Applicants taking the October 2023 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.
The exam will be administered on Tuesday, October 24, 2023. There will be six total exam sessions throughout the day. There are set breaks in between each session. There will also be time for lunch between Essay 4 and the first set of multiple-choice questions. Applicants taking the examination online must use laptop computers and should go to the Prometric landing page at their scheduled exam time.
As soon as the exam starts, it will be administered with the following schedule:
Essay 1—60 minutes
Essay 2—60 minutes
Essay 3—60 minutes
Essay 4—60 minutes
Lunch break—45 minutes
Multiple-Choice 1-50—90 minutes
Multiple-Choice 51-100—90 minutes
The First-Year Law Students’ Examination consists of four one-hour essay questions administered during the morning session and 100 multiple-choice questions, divided into two 50-question sets each 90 minutes long, administered during the afternoon session.
For the October 2023 exam, 25 of the 100 multiple-choice questions will be new items being operationally pretested. The pretested items will include items from each content area. With an operational pretest, all 100 items administered on the exam will be scored. Following administration, the new exam questions are statistically analyzed to ensure that they perform as intended. Any new items that do not meet evaluation criteria will be removed from scoring so that they do not harm an applicant’s score.
An applicant's total score on the exam is the sum of an applicant's converted scores on the multiple-choice and essay portions. This step gives these portions equal weight in determining the total score. To pass the exam after one reading, an applicant must achieve a total scaled score of 560 or higher.
If the total scaled score is at least 540 but less than 560, that applicant’s exam is automatically sent to reappraisal, where the supervising member of the Examination Development and Grading Team reviews the entire exam and determines whether, taken as a whole, it merits a pass or fail. Because no score adjustments are made in reappraisal, the scores reported to applicants whose exams were reappraised are the scores achieved after the initial reading.
If an applicant is absent for any portion of the exam, the applicant will be considered as having not taken the exam; the applicant’s written answers will not be graded; and, if the applicant intends to take a future administration of the exam, they will be subject to the same application filing deadlines applicable to first-time applicants rather than the deadlines applicable to immediate repeaters, if any.
Applicants must follow all the rules and procedures set forth in this Admittance Ticket Bulletin and in the Acceptance and Acknowledgement of Testing Conditions Form. Failure to do so may result in receiving a sanction of zero for a section of the exam, or for the full exam, or a negative referral to the Moral Character Determinations unit.
The Committee of Bar Examiners is the sole judge of the validity of the exam and, at its discretion, may determine that the result of any test or any part of any test or any individual's score is not valid. Should the Committee invalidate any part of the test, or if any individual's test is declared invalid or for any reason any part of the test cannot be graded, the Committee may, at its discretion, decide to make a pass/fail decision on the basis of the valid portion of the applicant's test product available to the Committee.
For applicants testing at a Prometric test center, all personal items will need to be stored in one of the onsite lockers. Only the following items are allowed in the exam room without prior approval during the essay and multiple-choice sessions of the First-Year Law Students’ Exam. All items are subject to inspection:
For applicants taking the exam remotely, only the following items are allowed in the exam room without prior approval during the essay and multiple-choice sessions of the First-Year Law Students’ Exam. All items are subject to inspection:
If items not listed above for the remotely proctored or in-person administrations are brought into the exam room either intentionally or inadvertently, the proctor is required to notify Prometric and the State Bar of California. Failure to follow oral and written instructions while the examination is in session will result in notice to the State Bar's Committee of Bar Examiners 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). In accordance with the Committee's policies, the applicant 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 devices (like a Fitbit), into the exam room, as well as any additional sanctions the Committee may impose.
Applicants who wish to bring items into an exam room that are not listed above for the remote online or in-person administrations must file a petition for testing accommodations using the Committee's forms in conformance with the Committee's policies and deadlines. Permission to use specific items will not be granted as a matter of convenience or preference. Applicants cannot bring wallets, tissues, cough drops/throat lozenges, gum, candy, lip balm, activity trackers (e.g., Fitbit), or other food or drinks into the exam room unless specifically granted permission to do so through the testing accommodations petition process. All personal items will need to be stored in one of the onsite lockers for applicants testing at a Prometric test center.
Applicants deemed eligible to sit for the October 2023 First-Year Law Students' Examination will receive a scheduling authorization email from the State Bar of California with information on how to schedule an exam appointment with Prometric for the remotely proctored or in-person administrations. Please allow 24 hours from receipt of this email before attempting to schedule your appointment. You can schedule your exam appointment online via Prometric's website by clicking schedule on the left side and following the on-screen instructions. Applicants can also schedule an exam appointment by contacting the Prometric contact center at 1-888-842-9321, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
Applicants with certain testing accommodations cannot schedule an exam appointment online via Prometric's website and must contact the Prometric Testing Accommodations Unit at 1-800-967-1139, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
Applicants should be ready to start the check-in process 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time.
Applicants testing remotely and logging in more than 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment time will not be permitted to take the exam.
Applicants testing in person and arriving at the Prometric test center more than 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment time will not be permitted to enter the test center for any portion of the exam.
Applicants testing remotely or in person must present an original, valid (unexpired), government-issued photo and signature-bearing identification to take the exam.
Acceptable forms of photo and signature-bearing identification include but are not limited to:
If your current government-issued photo identification does not include a signature, then a signature-bearing secondary identification and name that exactly matches the name provided to the State Bar of California during registration must be provided. Secondary identifications include some bank cards, credit cards, and some employee identifications.
Applicants testing remotely: You will complete a system readiness check to ensure that your computer is ready to run the application. An easy-to-follow check-in process will guide you through the final preparations before a Prometric Readiness Agent greets you. The Readiness Agent will perform a security check before you enter the exam. The security check will include a 360-degree scan of your testing environment including the desk area, under the desk area, the corners of your room and a search of items on your person and in your pockets. After completing this process, you will be ready to take your online, remotely proctored exam. Your proctor will monitor you live throughout the testing process using your computer’s webcam and microphone.
Applicants testing in person: You will go through a security check prior to every entry into the test room. If you are wearing eyeglasses, you will be required to remove them for visual inspection to ensure they don’t contain a recording device. You might also be asked to remove any contents in your pockets. In addition, large jewelry items must be stored in your locker due to concerns over concealed recording devices. You must sign out each time you leave the test room. Onsite Prometric personnel will inform you what is permitted during scheduled or unscheduled breaks. Applicants must notify staff before accessing a stored item during a break, including medicine.
While every effort will be made to keep the environment of the test center comfortable and quiet, there are times when events or conditions, or actions of third parties occur beyond the control of the Committee. For instance, the temperature of the test center may fluctuate due to the weather or the test center’s cooling/heating equipment; applicants should be prepared for either warm or cold temperatures. Efforts will be made to keep the test center quiet, but there may be forces outside the control of the Committee, so such an environment cannot be guaranteed. You should come prepared to accommodate noises, such as those made by other exam takers, staff carrying out their duties, people entering/exiting the exam room, equipment inside or outside the test center that may make sounds while operating, construction outside the facility, other meetings or conventions in the same facility, etc. Earplugs, in the form specified earlier, are strongly recommended.
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, please contact the Office of Admissions by sending an email directly from the Applicant Portal. If you need to contact the office by telephone, please call us at the following numbers:
Results from the October 2023 First-Year Law Students’ Exam are scheduled to be released to applicants on December 8, 2023.