Bar Exam Results Delayed in Some States

While the bar exam results of some states have already been released, other states are likely to be delayed amid an ongoing probe into technical issues that some test-takers experienced.

Both California and Illinois, for example, have now issued statements in which they have acknowledged that the results will not be released when expected.

The Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar just announced that it “is committed to carefully reviewing all information from examinees who experienced technical problems during the July 2021 bar exam. As a result, we anticipate that the announcement of bar exam results will be delayed beyond October 1. We are not able as of this writing to provide an anticipated date for certain.”

The announcement came the same day that the California State Bar released the conclusions of its own investigation into bar exam tech problems. That probe found that about 2% of California test-takers—158 individuals—experienced technical difficulties that resulted in “meaningful impacts of lost time or content.”

“We always want an optimal exam-taking experience for all applicants,” said Donna Hershkowitz, State Bar Chief of Programs, in a press release. “Although the data show that only a small percentage of applicants lost time or answer content, we are troubled by the extent of the problems identified. We recognize that any unwelcome technological disruption is cause for concern.”

While  only 2% of applicants” faced glitches that resulted in lost time or content, nearly 31% of California test-takers experienced one or more technical issues related to the software memory utilization, according to the bar.

The bar also said it is consulting with its psychometrician “to determine what, if any, grading adjustments need to be made for test-takers who lost time or content.”

ExamSoft officials have said the problems affected roughly 1% of test-takers across jurisdictions, but the company, in a statement, also apologized to applicants who experienced problems, blaming “memory management issues” between ExamMonitor, which records test-takers, and “the main software renderer.”

The National Conference of Bar Examiners  (NCBE) had said in June that it plans to return to paper-based, in-person testing next year, but added “unless restrictions by a public health authority prohibit a jurisdiction from administering the exam in person.”

California and Illinois have both said that they plan to administer the February 2022 exam in person but of course, as we all know, changes in real world conditions could end up altering these plans.

You can read more about this issue here.

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