COVID-19 Bar Exam Checklist
If you are taking the bar exam during the COVID-19 pandemic, keep in mind the following items on our COVID-19 bar exam checklist. We have listed special considerations for students taking an online bar exam and students taking an in-person bar exam. These are some important things to consider as the bar exam nears. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to make sure you are complying with the bar examiners’ rules! Instead, you will have a less stressful experience if you prepare ahead of time for the bar exam that will be offered during this COVID-19 pandemic!
COVID-19 Bar Exam Checklist
Make sure your wifi is working!
We recommend investing in an ethernet cord and high-speed internet! (Or making sure you have access to this!)
Make sure your video camera works on your laptop.
Any state offering an online bar exam will generally require you to video yourself during the exam so that any irregularities can be monitored. This is an effort to prevent cheating. Some states (like Indiana) require that you use an external webcam with a desktop stand. Please set this up and get comfortable with it ahead of time!
Make sure your laptop is useable.
If there are keys that always stick or if your laptop freezes regularly, it is the time to fix these problems! You may consider purchasing a new laptop or borrowing one from a friend. Some states are also allowing examinees to use “loaner” laptops if the student does not have their own functional laptop. Check with your state board if this is the case!
Mimic the exam!
Practiced exams in a timed setting following restrictions (for example, most states offering online bar exams do not allow scratch paper and instead provide a digital option — so make sure you practice in this manner!) Closely review test conditions ahead of time and mimic test conditions.
Set up your room ahead of time.
Some jurisdictions are pretty strict with their requirements of what is — and what is not — allowed in the room. For example, California is administering its baby bar exam online this June and has several rules that must be followed. For baby bar takers, many items are not allowed in the testing room, including but not limited to watches, clocks, digital timers, books of any kind, scratch paper, food, beverages (including water and coffee), radios, stereos, etc. Further, no other individuals or animals may be in the room. Also, exam takers are not allowed to have any outlines, notes, study materials, or cell phones in the room.
Make sure you set up your room ahead of time or find a place to take the exam that follows the requirements. You don’t want to be disqualified from the exam (or worse, accused of cheating!) because a prohibited item was inadvertently left in the room!
Review the rules ahead of time and make sure you stay informed about your state’s executive orders!
For example, a state may require you to quarantine for 14 days or a period of time if you are traveling to the state in preparation for the bar exam. This would require a lengthy visit in the state. It is better to prepare for this ahead of time! Keep up with the bar examiners’ announcements and any executive orders affecting the state in general.
Make sure you have the appropriate materials.
For example, you will likely be required to wear a mask. Try out different masks to see what is most comfortable for you. You don’t want one that is too tight or too loose or one that makes it too difficult to breathe!
Take practice exams simulating test conditions.
If you are required to wear a mask during test day, do this during your practice exams too. (You may find that your mask gets uncomfortable or that your glasses fog up–these are issues that can be addressed ahead of time, rather than on exam day!)
Some states (like Florida) will be conducting temperature checks and disallowing students with fevers to take the exam. Make sure you stay safe studying for the bar exam so that you are actually permitted to take it when the time comes! Practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands regularly! Here, we give you more tips on how to do that!
Are we forgetting something on our COVID-19 bar exam checklist? Please comment so we can revise this post to include it!
Good luck studying for the bar exam. Stay safe!
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