Applicants taking the First-Year Law Students' Examination should carefully read this bulletin prior to the first day of the exam as it contains important information that you will need to know. Download this bulletin as a PDF.
The exam will be administered on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. There will be six total exam sessions throughout the day. There are set breaks between each session. You will have a lunch break between Essay 4 and the first set of multiple-choice questions. Applicants taking the exam online must use laptop computers and should go to the ExamSoft landing page by 7:30 a.m. to find the YouTube link to the announcements. This webpage is also where the passwords will be posted, as well as the URL for the backup password page.
Failure to follow examination rules while the examination is in session will result in notice to the Committee of a violation of examination rules in accordance with the provisions of Title 4, Division 1, Chapter 6 of the Rules of the State Bar of California (Admissions Rules). Conduct that results in a violation of security or disrupts the administration of the exam, which includes, but is not limited to, having unauthorized items with you during the exam (such as cell phones, notes, etc.), typing after time has been called, attempting to cheat or avoid/override the remote-proctoring system, or leaving the view of the camera while the examination is in session, will result in notice to the Committee of a violation of examination rules or, in some cases, can lead to a referral to the Moral Character Determination unit. It is expected that all applicants will demonstrate integrity, honor, and ethical behavior during this exam, and all exams administered by the State Bar of California. The 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 your moral character determination.
Only the following items are allowed in the examination room without prior approval:
Applicants cannot wear hats, caps, hoods, or any other type of headwear during the examination. The Committee, however, will consider petitions filed by applicants seeking exemptions from that policy, which would permit them to wear headwear due to their religious beliefs. Such petitions must be submitted online through the Applicant Portal no later than the final deadline for filing testing accommodations petitions.
The following laptop accessories are allowed:
Please note that applicants testing remotely cannot have wallets, lip balm, tissues, cough drops/throat lozenges, gum, candy, or other food or drinks in the examination room.
If unauthorized items are brought into the exam area for applicants taking the remote-proctored examination, either intentionally or inadvertently, they will be noted, and applicants will receive a Chapter 6 Notice and, possibly, additional sanctions imposed by the Committee. In accordance with the Committee’s policies, applicants will receive a score of zero for any session during which they are found to have brought an unauthorized electronic device, such as a cell phone or activity tracker device (e.g., Fitbit), into the examination, as well as any additional sanctions the Committee may impose.
After you have been notified your admittance ticket is available, you are eligible to have your laptop computer registered for use during the examination. You must download and install the required security software (Examplify with ExamID and Exam Monitor) onto your laptop computer, and you must complete the registration process by Friday, November 13, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. PDT. The Laptop Instructions posted on the State Bar’s website contains the details and requirements for participation in the program.
It is the responsibility of applicants using laptop computers to timely upload their exam files containing their answers to each of the four essay questions and each of the two multiple-choice question sets in compliance with the published procedures, instructions, and deadlines. Applicants who fail to upload their answer files by the published deadlines will have a deduction of 10 scaled points taken from their total written scaled score. Applicants who fail to upload their answer files within two weeks of the published deadlines will be given a grade of zero for each answer that is not received by the State Bar’s Office of Admissions by the published deadlines. Applicants are expected to comply with the published deadlines; there are no waivers of the deadlines or the sanctions that will be imposed as a result of applicants’ failure to upload their exam files.
If you do not attend or are unable to complete a required, scheduled exam session, you will not be permitted to attend any of the remaining exam sessions. For instance, if you are absent for or unable to complete any of the Tuesday morning sessions, you will not be allowed to take either of the Tuesday afternoon sessions of the examination. If you are absent for or unable to complete any portion of the examination, you will be considered as having not taken the examination, and your written answers will not be graded. If you intend to take a future administration of the examination, you will be subject to the same application filing deadlines applicable to first-time applicants rather than the deadlines applicable to immediate repeaters, if any. This policy does not in any way affect the statutory requirement within which the applicant must pass the First-Year Law Students’ Examination in order to receive credit for all law studies completed to the time the examination is passed. Applicants must make a good faith attempt to complete each session of the examination for which they are present. Failure to do so may lead to receipt of a Chapter 6 Notice and being prohibited from attending the remaining examination sessions.
Applicants testing remotely and logging in after 5 minutes of testing time have elapsed will not be permitted to begin the exam session that has started and will be locked out of the question in progress. Any answers to questions in subsequent exam sessions will not be graded or scored.
Applicants whose addresses change after filing their applications are encouraged to notify the Office of Admissions of a change of address as soon as possible. Applicants are able to update their admissions file with the new address by accessing their account through the Applicant Portal.
Applicants will receive an email alerting them when admittance tickets are ready to be printed. The admittance ticket can be located in the examination case record through the Applicant Portal.
For questions regarding your status or the other requirements for admission, you should contact the State Bar's Office of Admissions by sending an email directly from your Applicant Portal. If you need to contact the office by telephone, however, the following numbers are provided:
The State Bar of California–Los Angeles
The State Bar of California–San Francisco
Results from the November 2020 administration of the First-Year Law Students’ Examination are scheduled to be released to applicants on February 26, 2021. The contact information on file will be used to communicate your exam results.