The February 2021 Bar Exam will be remotely proctored and must be taken on a laptop with a functional internal webcam. Desktop computers are not allowed for security reasons. It’s important to read and follow the State Bar’s instructions.
Laptops must meet the specifications outlined below. Applicants requiring special equipment due to medical reasons must submit a request through the testing accommodations petition process. There will also be very limited space available to take the exam in-person for applicants who certify that they have extenuating circumstances.
Here are the steps to prepare your laptop before the exam:
Note: Desktop computers are not allowed for security reasons. Exam software provider ExamSoft currently does not support iPads or Surface Pros as tablets with detachable keyboards.
The specific system requirements can be found on ExamSoft’s custom homepage for the California Bar Exam.
You are not required to have Internet connectivity during the exam, but must have access to Internet connectivity at the start of each exam session to access the passwords and for ID verification. As soon as you enter an exam session, the Internet is then blocked.
Immediately following the exam, you will need Internet access to upload your answer files and remote proctoring files.
To ensure the security of the exam process, applicants are required to use Examplify software to take the February 2021 Bar Exam. The application provides a simple word processing program and is designed to be familiar to users of Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. It blocks access to non-Examplify files on an applicant’s laptop computer during the exam.
Starting on January 26, after you have returned your Acknowledgement and Acceptance of Testing Conditions Form and Release of Liability and received your admittance ticket, you can register with ExamSoft and download and install Examplify onto the laptop computer you will be using for the exam.
Examplify can be registered for your school and the California Bar Exam concurrently. When launched, click on ‘Take an Exam’ and you will see your Academic Student ID and any downloaded exams, along with your file number and California Bar Exam file and mock exam file.
Do not copy the ExamSoft program from one laptop computer to another. For example, do not download the software to a desktop computer and try to manually move it to your laptop. If you move the software and exam files to another computer, an error message display when you attempt to begin the exam. If such an error message appears, you will be unable to use your laptop to take the exam and you will be required to handwrite your answers. You may NOT download and install Examplify to more than one laptop computer.
TIP: If you have an email spam blocker, please add firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to your contact or safe list so that you can receive critical emails from ExamSoft before, during, and after the exam.
The mock exam process is required. Taking the mock exams confirms that your laptop computer is compatible with Examplify and provides you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with procedures for opening, using, and uploading answer files prior to the day of the exam. By typing a paragraph in each window, it also allows you to ensure that there are no typing/keyboard issues with your laptop.
See the instructional videos and guides on taking the mock exams.
Two mock exams must be completed and the related exam answer files uploaded to complete the registration process and ensure that your laptop has been configured properly to use on exam day and to upload your exam answer files.
You will receive an email confirmation after you have uploaded your mock exam answer files. Until you receive this email confirmation, you are NOT registered.
Additional copies of the mock exams are available if needed to help familiarize you with the Examplify application. Internet connectivity is required for downloading additional copies of the exam file and uploading exam answer files. NO internet connectivity is required while taking the mock exams. Download additional copies of the mock exam at Examplify's website.
After completing your mock exams, you will be able to download the 10 California Bar Exam files, and must do so by February 19. You will receive confirmations on screen and an email confirmation from ExamSoft for each exam file you download. When you have received all 10 confirmations, your laptop is registered for the exam. Once you have completed the laptop registration process, do not make changes to the configuration of your laptop.
If you do not receive the confirmation emails, you have not successfully completed the registration process for the February 2021 Bar Exam. You may check your registration status and view your download/upload history online. Log in using the Exam Takers box, click the Exam History button to review your record and confirm that you have downloaded the exam and mock exam files and have uploaded the mock exam answer files. You should have 10 exam files for the essay questions and multiple-choice sessions of the February 2021 Bar Exam.
NO extra time will be provided to ensure that your laptop is ready for use before the exam session begins. A second laptop to serve as backup is not permitted.
You must complete the registration process no later than Feb. 19, 2021. It is recommended, however, that you complete the process as soon as possible after you receive your admittance ticket, so that ExamSoft will have the opportunity to assist you in resolving any problems you may encounter prior to the exam. If your laptop or Examplify is not operational when the exam begins or at any time thereafter, you will have to handwrite your exam answers.
Laptop computer problems after registration
If after completing the registration process with ExamSoft you experience problems with your laptop that would prohibit you from using it for the exam, (i.e., it becomes inoperable), you may ask to have another laptop registered and to download additional exam files through the “Re-Download Examplify” link after you log in with your Applicant ID and password. Authorization will not be granted for the purpose of having a backup laptop.
Visit the ExamSoft Knowledge Base if you have questions on the use of the software or if you encounter technical problems during the laptop registration process, as most problems can be easily resolved through ExamSoft’s published support guides and troubleshooter. Should you continue to have technical problems, however, please call ExamSoft Client Support at 1-888-816-3065. Technical support is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
Neither the Office of Admissions nor the Committee of Bar Examiners is available to answer technical, installation, or registration questions.
You must read the instructions that will accompany your Admittance Ticket advising you of the items allowed in the room in which you are taking the exam. All other items not listed are prohibited unless you have received written authorization in advance.
It is expected that you will demonstrate integrity, honor, and ethical behavior during this exam, and all exams administered by the State Bar of California. This remote-proctored exam will be continuously monitored by artificial intelligence and human proctors and any and all anomalies or suspicious behavior will be flagged accordingly. Flagged video files will be reviewed by the State Bar and conduct violations will result in strict sanctions. Sanctions may include, but are not necessarily limited to: a zero for the flagged exam session, a zero for the entire exam, and a negative impact on the applicant’s moral character determination.
If you do not take the time to familiarize yourself with your laptop or with the exam software’s word processing functions, you should consider handwriting your exam answers. You must pay careful attention to and follow all instructions provided prior to the exam. Use great care when highlighting and deleting during the exam and when using other functions that may significantly change a document. No extra time or other administrative relief will be granted if an exam file is deleted or otherwise altered, or if you experience any other word processing problems.
The February Bar Exam will have 200 MBE questions, with the essays and performance test on day 1 and the MBE on day 2. If you are an approved attorney applicant, you will test on day 1 only. View the February 2021 Bar Exam schedule.
You must be logged into the system with your laptop no later than 8:30 a.m. on both exam days. The exam will begin immediately following establishment of your identity and delivery of instructions. You must be logged into the system no later than 2:00 p.m. for the afternoon session on day 1, and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon session on day 2. Every session begins with re-establishment of your identity.
If you are testing in-person, you should arrive no later than 7:30 a.m. The exam will begin immediately following the instructions. You should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early for temperature screening and to locate your assigned room. Arriving late to the test center will not alter the start time of your exam.
If you are granted extended time, you may have a different schedule, which will be communicated to you in advance of the exam.
Uploading answer and proctoring files
The exam file contains your answers to the five essay questions, the performance test question, and the four multiple-choice sessions. Upload the exam files and remote proctoring files as soon as possible after the exam and no later than the deadline: Feb. 25, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (noon, PDT).
Verify the successful upload of your answer files by launching Examplify to see that you have uploaded all your answer files.
Do NOT delete or uninstall Examplify or any Examplify Program Directory Files or Folders until results for the exam have been released.
If there is a problem with the uploading of your answers, you will be notified. You may be required to contact ExamSoft for assistance in retrieving the file remotely or be asked to physically provide your laptop to ExamSoft or to the Office of Admissions so that efforts can be made to retrieve the encrypted backup copy of the exam answer(s) from your laptop’s hard drive.
Rented laptop computers
If you rented a laptop to use during the exam, you should not return it to the rental company until results for the February 2021 Bar Exam have been released.
Any attempt to disable or tamper with Examplify’s security features is prohibited. If it is discovered that tampering has been attempted, this information will be reported to the Committee of Bar Examiners for whatever action it may deem appropriate, which could include disqualification for admission to practice law in California.