The year 2020 has been unprecedented, with jurisdictions taking a myriad of approaches to the bar exam. And now, many states are preparing to administer the test remotely in just a couple of weeks. While much uncertainty remains, if you find yourself facing a remote bar exam, let’s maximize your chances of success with this virtual bar exam checklist.
1. Decide on a testing location.
Be intentional about where you will take the actual test. What is the space like in terms of size, temperature, noise, and interference by other humans or animals? Choose wisely and then proceed to the next step!
2. Try out your testing location.
There may be issues with your chosen space that you cannot anticipate without physically being in the space for a period of time. Study there, and when the exam gets closer, do simulated practices there too. Make sure you know what the space will look like, the sounds you’ll hear or not hear, whether you have easy and quick access to the bathroom and/or kitchen, and any other needs that might arise.
3. Assess all your anticipated tech needs.
Software: Research everything you possibly can about the software your jurisdiction will be using for the exam day. If you have no idea, consider contacting the state bar directly and getting any information they can provide. Knowledge is most certainly power here.
Hardware: Figure out which computer you will use, whether you’ll need an external mouse, keyboard, power cord, webcam, and so on. Be sure your internet connection is rock solid. Again, practice makes perfect.
4. Research all requirements of the exam.
Because the virtual bar exam is a brand-new endeavor, jurisdictions are likely going to come up with unique ways to try to avoid problems. This means you might encounter unexpected rules and restrictions. Where will you place your phone? What are the rules around bathroom breaks? What are the rules about pen and paper? Any information you can gather, and as soon as it’s made available, will prevent unexpected confusion on the day of the test. (So you can focus on what matters: knowing the law!)
5. Set needed boundaries ahead of time.
If you live with people or creatures, or expect that anyone may come into your designated testing space on exam day, try to identify and communicate any boundaries you need to have a proper level of solitude for the exam. This may look like setting do not disturb statuses, disabling FaceTime or other notifications, taping a cardboard box over the doorbell button, you get the picture.
As always, treat this virtual bar exam checklist as suggestions and make them your own, based on your specific needs. Best of luck! The AdaptiBar team is rooting for you!