The Legal Specialist Examination will be remotely proctored, and you must take the exam on a laptop computer with a functional internal webcam and microphone. Desktop computers are not allowed for security reasons. It’s important to read and follow the State Bar’s instructions.
Laptop computers must meet the specifications outlined below. Applicants requiring special equipment due to medical reasons must request permission to use such equipment through the testing accommodations petition process. There will also be very limited space available 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 website.
Laptop operating systems
Both Microsoft and Apple have announced that they are releasing new versions of their operating systems, Windows 11 23H2 and macOS Sonoma respectively, on September 26, 2023.
Because Examplify is not yet compatible, users who update their operating systems to Windows 11 23H2 or macOS 14 may experience technical issues that prevent them from installing or successfully completing exams.
Please DO NOT update your machines until ExamSoft announces official support for these new versions.
Additionally, you should not install beta versions of new operating systems. As a reminder, the versions of operating systems that are currently compatible with Examplify are available at Minimum System Requirements.
You should also ensure that automatic operating system updates are paused on your devices prior to the release dates of Windows 11 23H2 and macOS 14 Sonoma until ExamSoft has certified Examplify’s compatibility with them. Instructions can be found here.
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 October 2023 Legal Specialist 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 an applicant’s laptop computer during the exam.
Starting on September 26, after you have received your admittance ticket, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with instructions to register with ExamSoft and download and install Examplify onto the laptop computer you will be using for the exam.
If you have previously used SofTest or Examplify for law school or another exam, you must completely uninstall any prior version before downloading and installing the version of Examplify used for the Legal Specialist Examination.
Do not copy the ExamSoft software from one laptop computer to another computer. The laptop used to download the software MUST be the laptop you use to take the exam. More specifically, applicants who download the software to a desktop computer and try to manually move it to their laptop computer will experience problems. If you move the software and exam files to another computer, an error message will be displayed when you attempt to begin the exam. If such an error message is displayed, you will be unable to use your laptop computer to take the exam and you will be unable to launch or take the exam. You may NOT download and install Examplify to more than one laptop computer.
TIP: If you have an email spam blocker, please add email@example.com, 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. Typing a paragraph in each window it also enables you to ensure that there are no typing/keyboard issues with your laptop computer.
See the instructional videos and guides on taking the mock exams.
The mock exams must be completed, and the related mock exam answer files uploaded to ensure that your laptop computer has been configured properly for use on the day of the exam and for the upload of your exam answer files.
You will receive an email confirmation after you have uploaded the answer files for your mock exams. Until you receive these email confirmations, you are NOT registered.
Additional copies of the mock exam 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 exam. Download additional copies of the mock exam at Examplify's website.
After successfully completing the registration process, you will be advised on-screen and via email by ExamSoft that you have done so and that the six exam files have been downloaded. 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 October 2023 Legal Specialist Examination.
You may launch Examplify to ensure that you have all six exam files downloaded. 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 six exam files for the essay questions and multiple-choice questions, one for each session of the October 2023 Legal Specialist Examination.
No extra time will be provided to ensure that a laptop computer is ready for use before the exam session begins. Laptop computers to serve as backup are not permitted.
You must finish downloading the exam files no later than October 20, 2023. It is recommended, however, that you complete the process as soon as possible after receiving 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 computer or Examplify is not operational when the exam begins, or at any time thereafter, you will not be able to launch or take the exam.
Laptop computer problems after registration
If after completing the registration process with ExamSoft you experience problems with your laptop computer that would prohibit you from using it for the exam, i.e., it becomes inoperable, you may ask to have another laptop 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 laptop computer available in the event a laptop computer malfunctions during the exam.
Visit the ExamSoft Knowledge Base if you have questions on the use of the software or if you encounter technical problems during installation, the mock exam, or while completing your laptop registration process. Most problems can easily be resolved through ExamSoft’s published support guides and troubleshooter. Should you continue to have technical problems, please call ExamSoft Client Support at 1-866-429-8889. Technical support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Neither the Office of Admissions nor the California Board of Legal Specialization is available to answer technical questions related to the software, your system, or installation. Please refer to ExamSoft technical support.
You must read the instructions that 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 on the permitted items list are prohibited unless you have received written authorization in advance.
All applicants are expected to demonstrate integrity, honor, and ethical behavior during this exam and all exams administered by the State Bar. This remote-proctored exam will be continuously monitored by artificial intelligence and human proctors. 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 any additional sanctions the California Board of Legal Specialization may impose.
Applicants who do not take the time to become familiar with their laptop computers or with the word processing functions should consider handwriting their exam answers. Pay careful attention to and follow all instructions provided prior to the exam. Use great care when highlighting and deleting during the exam, as well as using other functions that may significantly change a document. No extra time or other administrative relief will be granted in the event that an exam file is deleted or otherwise altered or if you experience any other word processing problems.
See additional remote exam instructions to Prepare to Take an Exam with ExamID and ExamMonitor.
View the full schedule here
On the day of the exam, applicants must log into the exam by the posted password release time of 8:00 a.m. to verify their identification. In the morning, the exam will be administered in four, one-hour sessions (one hour per two essay questions).
You will have a 20-minute break between sessions and then 30 minutes to complete the login process and begin the next exam session. The password for each session will be available to applicants 30 minutes prior to the end of the login period for each exam session.
Other than scheduled breaks, applicants are not permitted to leave the view of their web camera during an exam session unless they finish the session early and upload their answers.
In the afternoon, the multiple-choice questions will be split into two sessions, one 76 minutes in length for 38 questions, and the second 74 minutes in length for 37 questions. There will be a 20-minute break between the sessions, followed by a 30-minute login period. Other than the scheduled break, applicants are not permitted to leave the view of their web camera during an exam session unless they finish early and upload their answers.
If you are unable to verify your identification and begin the session within the 30-minute login period, you will not be allowed to enter the session. Once you begin the exam session, you may not leave the session for any reason.
Uploading answer and proctoring files
The exam answer files contain your answers to the eight essay questions and the two sets of multiple-choice questions. Upload the answer files and remote proctoring files as soon as possible after the exam and no later than the deadline: October 25, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).
Verify the successful upload of your answer files by launching Examplify and seeing that you have uploaded all your answer files.
Do NOT delete or uninstall Examplify or any Examplify Program Directory Files or Folders until the 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 computer 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 computer’s hard drive.
Rented laptop computers
If you have rented a laptop computer to use during the exam, you should not return it to the rental company until results for the October 2023 Legal Specialist Examination 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 California Board of Legal Specialization for whatever action it may deem appropriate, which could include disqualification from receiving State Bar legal specialization certification.