California’s remotely proctored online bar examination.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt normal routines, it also gives rise to new unanticipated obstacles. The California Bar Examination being no exception, on Friday, December 18, 2020, the State Bar of California flagged over 3000 bar exam applicants for Possible Chapter 6 violations.  That is to say, of the close to 9000 applicants who in October sat for the first remotely proctored exam in California, nearly 36% were suspected of an ethical violation that could presumably render their exams invalid.

For the first time ever, examinees had their exams remotely proctored by artificial intelligence and human proctors.  Essentially, every movement was recorded, and all anomalies or suspicious behavior was immediately flagged.  Applicants were notified for violating exam rules. 

In a statement Thursday, the Bar revealed that its review of test-taker video files is ongoing, and it declined to identify how many October examinees received violation notices.

“During the video review process, a Chapter 6 Notice is issued to any applicant who is believed to have violated examination rules and policies,” the bar said. “A Chapter 6 Notice is not a finding of a violation or sanction. Rather, it provides an applicant with the opportunity to respond in writing before any finding is made.”

Suspected violations could result either in either a warning, a score of zero on the October 2020 bar examination, or even a moral character violation. Applicants in receipt of a Chapter 6 notices are given 10 days to provide a statement in response to the violation.  Unfortunately, the State Bar of California may take up to 90 days to respond, and applicants holding this notice are precluded from sitting for the February 2021 examination thereby delaying possible admission to the California State Bar by well over a year. 

Maintaining the integrity of the admissions process is something that should be highly regarded.  Applicants study for months on end for what is widely considered the most difficult examination administered in the United States.  The new exam format should not be accompanied by exceptions.  In preparing exam applicants for the online bar exam, the experts at Executive Bar Review ensure that all of its enrollees are well versed on the technological requirements of the new exam and, in fact, are instructed throughout the study period on how to effectively utilize the exam software in order to avoid even the possibility that a Chapter 6 notice might ensue.  Applicants are individually advised on schematics, exam location/environment, and even participate in exam simulations that could trigger the artificial intelligence.  Being aware of possible triggers ensures the exam experience is seamless. Exam experts at Executive Bar Review are here to answer any questions regarding preparing for the next remotely proctored California bar examination. 


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