Legal Education

NCBE plans to offer some remote exams for new October testing date but not for UBE

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The National Conference of Bar Examiners announced Monday that remote offerings will be available in October for the multistate bar exam, the multistate essay exam and the multistate performance test.

The remote tests, scheduled to be administered Oct. 5 and Oct. 6, will not include the uniform bar exam, according to an NCBE update.

In theory, the remote exam would follow in-person administrations scheduled for July, early September and late September to early October. According to the NCBE, “nearly all” jurisdictions are planning for an in-person bar exam this year.

As of Tuesday, Nevada, Indiana, California and Michigan have plans for online bar exams. Many of the exams are limited to essay questions, and some legal academics and psychometricians have questions regarding whether an online bar exam will work.

The NCBE remote exams will follow its subject matter outlines but cover less content in shorter testing sessions. Jurisdictions decide which tests they want to administer and are responsible for scoring the exams.

Full-length, in-person bar exam administrations are preferable for a number of reasons, including exam security, psychometric issues and testing environments, Judith Gundersen, president and CEO of the NBCE, said in the update.

“We recognize, however, that these are extraordinary times. It is worth noting that many other high-stakes professional licensing exams, such as those for the medical, health care, engineering and public accounting professions, are to the best of our knowledge still being held in person or are being postponed until they can be held in person,” she said.

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