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South Carolina Bar Exam

What Is It Like to Take the South Carolina Bar Exam?

In this post, a guest bar exam taker explains what her South Carolina bar exam experience was like! Read further to see the details of her experience!

What Is It Like to Take the South Carolina Bar Exam?

Where does the South Carolina bar exam take place?

I took the bar exam in Columbia, South Carolina. I had as great an experience as one can have, taking the bar exam. The actual exam takes place in Columbia, South Carolina. You sit in a room in the convention center which is located downtown. Parking can be a bit of a hassle so get to the testing site as early as possible to secure a great spot. Trust me, the last thing you want to do the day of the exam is have to walk two or three blocks to get to your car for lunch.

What was check-in like?

Check-in is fairly simple. You will need to have your ID on the first day. You are then given a piece of paper with a bar code on it that you will have to bring back to finish testing the next day. It should be noted that South Carolina is a UBE state, so testing is two days. Once you have successfully checked in, you will pass through a metal detector. Proctors will inspect your belongings to ensure that you are not bringing any additional materials into the testing site. South Carolina has strict guidelines about what one can bring into the building. If you’re testing with your laptop, that is the only device that you are allowed. Phones must stay in your car. You are allowed to have notes but they will be placed in a side room that holds everyone’s bags.

You can bring a few snacks to eat but the food cannot go into the testing room with you. The only thing you can take into the testing room is your laptop for the essay portion. Pencils, erasers, and earplugs are provided by the proctors for testing purposes. When I took the exam, I had a cold and wasn’t allowed to have a tissue on my desk. I had to get up, leave my station, run to the restroom, (which is conveniently located in the testing room) and return to my seat. I could not bring a tissue back with me, so every time I sneezed I had to get up. That is the one part about the testing protocols that were difficult, albeit manageable.

What is the lunch break like?

For lunch, there are a few restaurants in close proximity to the testing site. However, if you are looking to save time, it would be better to pack something to bring with you. You get one hour for lunch and every minute you stand in line to grab a bite to eat chips away at that one-hour allotment. There are usually ala carte options available for purchase within the convention center. However, again if you’re trying to save on time and/or money the best thing to do is bring your own lunch that can be held at room temperature in a side holding room. Do not bring anything that may need refrigeration because those amenities are not available.

What should I dress like?

You can wear comfortable clothes, shoes, etc., as long as the items are not distracting. It would be prudent to dress in layers because the convention center can get cold. If you wear a hoodie, please be advised that you will not be able to test with the hood up, you will have to remove the hood from your head.

For other day-of bar exam tips, check out 22 Quick and Essential Bar Exam Day Tips! Also, be sure to review our Bar Exam Packing List to ensure you don’t forget any essentials at home.


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