If you plan to use a laptop computer to take the California Bar Examination, it’s important to follow the State Bar’s instructions. Only laptops will be allowed into the examination room, and they must meet the specifications outlined below. If you require special equipment due to a disability, you must request permission to use such equipment through the testing accommodations petition process.
Preparing for exam day
If you wish to use a laptop to take the July 2020 California Bar Examination, you must:
Make sure you:
If you have a disability and wish to use your own laptop computer to take the examination, you must comply with the same requirements as those taking the examination under standard conditions.
If you wish to request a test center change, the Los Angeles Office of Admissions must receive your request no later than July 6, 2020. Following receipt of the request, you will be assigned to the requested test center, if space is available. Assignment to a test center does not establish your eligibility to take the examination. Only after all eligibility requirements are met will an admittance ticket be available for printing.
ExamSoft’s FlexSite internet-based examination delivery option will be used for the essay and Performance Test portions of the examination. This will require you to upload your examination answer files via the Internet. You are not required to have Internet connectivity during the examination, but must have access to Internet connectivity immediately following the examination in order to meet the upload deadline.
It is your responsibility to be familiar with Examplify and your laptop computer prior to the examination, Technical support will not be provided at the test center before, during or after any examination sessions.
Written examination questions will not be provided via the laptop computers; hard copies of the questions will be passed out at the beginning of each session and collected back at the end of each session. You will not be allowed to remove your laptop computer from the test center until a session has concluded. The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) portion of the examination also is not available electronically. Do not bring your laptop computer to the MBE sessions of the examination, which for the standard examination schedule will be on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Following the examination, you have until 12:00 p.m. (PST), Thursday, July 30, 2020, to upload your two (2) examination answer files. If you fail to upload your answer files by the published deadline, a deduction of ten (10) scaled points will be taken from your total written scaled score. If you fail to upload your answer files within two (2) weeks of the published deadline, you will be given a grade of zero (0) for each answer not uploaded timely.
To ensure there is sufficient time to resolve any issues that may arise, you are encouraged to upload the two exam answer files, containing your answers to Tuesday’s written sessions (Essay questions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and Performance Test) as soon as possible following the conclusion of the examination session on Tuesday. You should not wait until Thursday to attempt the upload process, in the event a malfunction of your computer or the software occurs that could prevent the timely and successful upload of your files.
On the day of the examination at laptop test centers, you must be seated no later than 8:20 a.m., at which time instructions for getting your laptop computer ready to use will begin. You should plan to arrive at the test center at least 15 minutes prior to that time so that you can find your seat and get comfortable. General instructions regarding administration of the examination will commence promptly at 8:30 a.m. Examination questions will be distributed in hard copy just before the beginning of each examination session.
If your laptop computer is not ready to begin at the designated time, for whatever reason, you must begin the examination by handwriting. No extra time will be provided to ensure that a laptop computer is ready for use before the examination session begins. Technical assistance will not be available.
In the event of a software, or hardware malfunction or other problem, or if a power failure or interruption occurs before or during administration of the examination, you will be required to handwrite your answers to the examination.
You are not permitted to bring additional laptop computers, typewriters, word processors or other devices into the standard laptop test centers to use as backups.
To ensure the security of the examination process, you are required to use Examplify software to take the written portions of the July 2020 California Bar Examination. The application provides a simple word processing program and is designed to be familiar to users of WordPerfect or Microsoft Word. It blocks access to non-Examplify files on your laptop computer during administration of the examination and can be used on virtually any modern computer, i.e., purchased within the last three to four years.
To use a laptop computer during administration of the examination, you must:
Note: ExamSoft recommends Firefox or Google Chrome, as Internet Explorer is not a supported browser.
Examplify minimum system requirements: Examplify can be used on virtually any modern laptop computer (i.e., one purchased within the last three to four years).
The specific system requirements can be found on ExamSoft’s Custom Home Page for the California Bar Examination.
It is not possible to take secure exams through virtual operating systems such as Microsoft’s Virtual Machine, Parallels, VMware, VMware Fusion or any other virtual environment.
External standard or ergonomic keyboards and equipment such as a mouse are allowed. These items may be wireless.
Maximum size allowed for laptop computer screen is 17.3 inches.
In some cases on PC laptops, certain antivirus applications may block Examplify from starting properly or can affect Examplify’s performance during an examination. Visit ExamSoft’s Knowledge Base to determine if your computer is running any of the programs listed and for instructions on how to disable your antivirus/antispyware applications before installing Examplify and how to re-enable them after installation is complete.
You must re-download Examplify, even if it was previously installed for a law school or for a previous First-Year Law Students’ Examination or California Bar Examination.
Completely uninstall any prior version of SofTest or Examplify before downloading and installing the newest version.
Installing Examplify: After you have received your admittance ticket, go to the ExamSoft Custom Home Page for the California Bar Examination. To begin the process, do the following:
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 the emails that will be sent to you during the certification process and as confirmation during the examination answer file upload process.
You must complete the certification process no later than Friday, July 24, 2020. After printing your admittance ticket, you should complete the process as soon as possible so that if you encounter problems, ExamSoft will have the opportunity to assist you prior to the examination. If your laptop computer or Examplify is not operational or not functioning properly when the examination begins or at any time thereafter, you will have to handwrite your examination answers.
Downloading your exam files: During the laptop certification process, the mock examination file and two (2) blank exam files for you to record your answers during administration of the examination will be automatically downloaded to your laptop computer.
Certification confirmation: After successfully completing the certification process, you will be advised on-screen and via email by ExamSoft that you have done so and that the three (3) exam files have been downloaded (The July 2020 California Bar Examination file and the mock examination file). If you do not receive the confirmation emails, you have not successfully completed the certification process for the July 2020 California Bar Examination. You may check your certification 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 file. You should have a total of 2 answer files with one exam file for each written session of the July 2020 California Bar Examination.
DO NOT copy Examplify from one computer to another computer. For example, do not download the software to a desktop computer and try to manually move it to your laptop computer. If you move the software and exam files to another computer, an error message will be displayed when you attempt to begin the examination. If such an error message is displayed, you will be unable to use your computer to take the examination and you will be required to handwrite your answers. You may NOT download and install Examplify to more than one computer.
Laptop computer problems after certification. If, after completing the certification process with ExamSoft, you experience problems with your laptop computer that prohibits you from using it for the examination, i.e., it becomes inoperable, you may submit a request to have another computer certified 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 computer available in the event a computer malfunctions during the examination.
The mock examination: The mock examination confirms your laptop computer is compatible with Examplify and provides users with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with procedures for opening, using and uploading answer files prior to the day of the examination. By typing a paragraph in each window, it also allows users to ensure that there are no typing/keyboard issues with their laptop computer.
The mock examination must be completed and the related exam answer file uploaded to complete the certification process. You must ensure your laptop computer has been configured properly for use on the day of the examination and for the upload of your exam answer files. You will receive an email confirmation after you have uploaded the exam answer file for your mock exam. Until you receive this email confirmation, you are NOT certified. Get instructional videos and guides on taking the mock examination.
Additional copies of the mock examination are available if needed to help familiarize yourself 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 Examination. You can get instructions for downloading additional copies of the mock examination at ExamSoft's website.
Visit the ExamSoft Knowledge Base at if you have questions on the use of the software or if you encounter technical problems during the laptop certification 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 contact ExamSoft Client Support at 866-429-8889. 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 certification questions.
Preparing for exam day
You must bring your own power cord to the test center each day of the examination, which can be plugged into the electrical outlets that are provided at the test centers. Although an electrical outlet will be available to you, be sure to have a fully charged battery in case there is an electrical problem or power outage. You will not be allowed to tape power cords into the electrical outlet, nor will you be allowed to plug any other item besides your laptop computer into the electrical outlet. Floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, flash/thumb drives, and other information storage media are prohibited in the examination room. If such items are found in the examination room or in an applicant’s laptop computer, they will be confiscated and will not be returned.
Once you have completed the laptop certification process, Do NOT make changes to the configuration of your laptop computer. Do NOT delete or uninstall Examplify or any Examplify program directory files or folders until results for the examination have been released. Do NOT have someone else download the software for you.
Instructions: Pay careful attention to and follow the instructions provided during the examination. Use great care when highlighting and deleting text during the examination, as well as using other functions that may significantly change a document. If you do not take the time to become familiar with your laptop computer or with the word processing functions, you should consider handwriting your examination answers. No extra time or other administrative relief will be granted in the event that an examination file is deleted or otherwise altered, or if you experience any other word processing problems.
If there is a problem with the downloading 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 computer to ExamSoft or to the Office of Admissions so that efforts can be made to retrieve the encrypted backup copy of the examination answer(s) from your laptop computer’s hard drive.
Rented laptop computers: If you have rented a laptop computer to use during the examination, you should not return it to the rental company until results for the July 2020 California Bar Examination have been released.
It is your responsibility to be familiar with your equipment, the Examplify software, the instructions provided by the Committee of Bar Examiners (Committee) and by ExamSoft on its website prior to the start of the examination. It is your responsibility to timely upload your answer files after the examination.
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 for whatever action it may deem appropriate, which could include nullification of an examination or consideration during the moral character determination process and possible disqualification for admission to practice law in California.
To ensure proper and complete certification of your laptop computer for use during the examination, the following is a checklist of the steps that must be taken.