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Category: NCBE announcements

Young lawyer

February 2022 Bar Exam CHAOS! NCBE v. Examsoft!

Hello y’all!

A nice little bombshell today from the NCBE, the organization who administers the MBE for bar exam jurisdictions.

Evidently the NCBE and Examsoft aren’t getting along.  The NCBE just announced that if a jurisdiction switches from an in-person to a remote bar exam format, “remote testing using NCBE exam materials is no longer an option for the February exam dates.”

So… a few options present themselves:

  1. Hold your exam in person (come what may), and paper materials and status quo start date of February 22.
  2. Pull a Nevada:  hold the exam remotely, hold it at the status quo start date of February 22, and NO MBE.
  3. Use the Examsoft equivalent program of ILG Exam360, have the NCBE use that service for its MBE administration, and hold the exam on the same dates – status quo
  4. OR… as the NCBE states below, force a bar exam jurisdiction to postpone its exam to late March and provide MBEs then.

No, I’m not making this up.  See below.

 

From the NCBE:

 

Update on Status of February 2022 Bar Exam

MADISON, WISCONSIN, January 10, 2022—NCBE is actively supporting bar admission agencies and courts as they prepare to administer the February bar exam consistent with their local health restrictions and requirements. As of this date, we anticipate that most jurisdictions will be administering the bar exam in person on February 22 and 23.

In the event that a jurisdiction’s February bar exam administration is prohibited due to public health restrictions, testing materials will be available for makeup dates in late March. Examinees are encouraged to watch for email and website announcements from the jurisdiction in which they plan to test, including announcements about specific COVID-19 protocols in place for the exam. Further information about administration of the bar exam in either February or March will come from the individual jurisdictions.

Due to firm deadlines set by ExamSoft, remote testing using NCBE exam materials is no longer an option for the February exam dates.

For information about jurisdiction announcements related to the February 2022 bar exam, visitFebruary 2022 Bar Exam: Jurisdiction Information.

 

https://www.ncbex.org/news/status-update-feb-2022-bar-exam/

NCBE wags the Bar Exam Dog… in-person bar exams for February 2022

Friends:

The NCBE is only going to provide in-person materials for the February 2022 exam.  That means hardcopy materials.  This is a strong leverage play.  “OK, state bar licensing entities, you can do what you want, so long as you do what I say.”  You want Uniform Bar Exam materials?  Enjoy our hardcopy exams, people:  you really didn’t want to think about having another remote exam, did you.

What does this mean for California?  You want those MBE materials for 50% of your test, don’t you?  Welcome back to in-person testing, people.  California has about 60 days to decide right after the July 2021 Cal Bar Exam that, hey, it really was our idea, it really was!  But we’re doing in-person testing for February 2022… and now you know.

NCBE’s press release from June 1 appears below.

 

NCBE Anticipates Return to In-Person Testing for February 2022 Bar Exam

MADISON, WISCONSIN, June 1, 2021—The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) announced today that February 2022 bar exam materials will be made available to jurisdictions for in-person testing only, unless restrictions by a public health authority prohibit a jurisdiction from administering the February exam in person.

NCBE is the not-for-profit corporation that develops the licensing tests used by most US jurisdictions for attorney admissions. In the second half of 2020 and throughout 2021, NCBE made bar exam materials available to jurisdictions for both in-person and remote exam administrations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar exam had been administered by each jurisdiction in person, in a secure, proctored testing environment. The July 2021 bar exam is expected to be the last that includes a remote testing option; 29 jurisdictions plan to administer that exam remotely, while 24 will administer it in person.

NCBE has advocated for in-person testing as the best mode of administration of the bar exam.  According to Beth Hill, NCBE Director of Test Development, Operations, and Security, “Remote exams have been a valuable stopgap for jurisdictions during this time, allowing examinees to take the test without having to gather in a larger group. However, remote exams create challenges for exam security and uniformity, and for this reason, we have consistently advocated for in-person testing as the best option whenever possible.”

Hill acknowledges, however, that both NCBE and jurisdictions must continue to monitor the public health landscape: “Throughout the pandemic, jurisdictions have worked closely with their state and local health authorities to ensure that examinees may take the bar exam consistent with each jurisdiction’s safety requirements. Although conditions appear to be improving, NCBE recognizes that any jurisdiction’s public health authority may establish that candidates cannot test in person. Should that occur, we are committed to working with that jurisdiction on a solution that will enable its candidates to take the bar exam.”

The National Conference of Bar Examiners serves bar admission authorities, courts, the legal education community, and candidates by providing high-quality assessment products, services, and research; character investigations; and informational and educational resources and programs. It promotes fairness, integrity, and best practices in bar admissions for the benefit and protection of the public in pursuit of its vision of a competent, ethical, and diverse legal profession. For more information, visit the NCBE website at http://www.ncbex.org.