October 2020 Remote Bar Exam FAQs

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October 5 and 6, 2020 Online NCBE Bar Exam FAQs

Check this webpage, as it will be updated with frequently asked questions. 

The Attorney Admissions department has an email inbox for questions about the October 2020 bar exam. Note that necessary preparations may delay or prevent responding to individual questions or answering questions that are unrelated to the administration of the October bar exam. 

Email questions to AZOctoberBar@azcourts.onmicrosoft.com.

Update August 27, 2020: Arizona has contracted with ExamSoft, using Examplify software for the October 2020 online bar exam. See ExamSoft’s FAQs here. If ExamSoft’s FAQs differ from those below, defer to the ExamSoft answers. Also see the exam-taking guides here.

Is the October examination a Uniform Bar Examination (UBE)?

No. The October exam is an alternative to the July 2020 in-person UBE exam. The results of the October exam will be valid only for practice in Arizona.
(Note: Some states giving the remote exam are discussing entering into a reciprocity agreement. Until any such agreement is reached, the exam is valid only in Arizona).

Is there a fee for taking the October exam remotely?

Yes. Examinees will pay a fee directly to the vendor that is providing the testing software. More information will be provided directly to examinees.

How is the October exam administered? What technology is required? (updated 08/20/2020

Examinees may take the remote exam at their home or another location of their choice. The location must have internet access to begin the exam and at the close of the exam and a web camera is required for the check-in and for remote proctoring of the exam. Additional information will be provided to examinees as soon as it is available. Like the in-person exam, there is a fee paid directly to the vendor to take the remote exam. The fee will be equal to or less than the fee paid for the in-person exam.

Is a built-in web camera required? (added 08/20/2020)

A built-in web camera is recommended but not required. A built-in microphone and camera is the most reliable technology setup for the exam. If your device requires a USB or other external camera, those must be connected before the testing software launches and you must make sure your device settings accurately reflect the microphone and camera being used. Selecting the wrong microphone and camera will cause technical problems. Microphone and camera settings should be tested before launching the practice exam and before each session of the actual exam

What if I do not have access to a space that is quiet, private, or that has reliable internet access?

The Attorney Admissions department can provide a limited number of spaces for examinees who cannot locate an appropriate testing environment. Examinees may contact Attorney Admissions for assistance.

Will I be able to transfer my October exam score to another jurisdiction administering the same remote exam?

Not currently. Arizona has not entered reciprocity agreements with other jurisdictions for the October exam
(Note: Some states giving the remote exam are discussing entering into a reciprocity agreement. Until any such agreement is reached, the exam is valid only in Arizona).

Does October’s remote exam have any impact on the character and fitness process?

No. Character and fitness requirements remain the same.

How will the October examination be graded?

Multiple choice questions will be scored by the national vendor. Essays will be graded by the Committee on Examinations and by graders who are approved by the Committee. Graders are the same graders who score the July exam.

When will October examination results be released?

Because Arizona will not need to wait for nationally scaled and scored results, and due to a smaller pool of examinees, we anticipate the grading can be accomplished quicker than it takes to grade the July exam. October results are anticipated between mid-November and early December.

Are the October test materials created and distributed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)?

The NCBE created the remote examination. It will consist of 3 Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions, 1 Multistate Performance Test (MPT) item, and 100 Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) questions. The questions cover the same subject matters as a UBE test.

Will the October examination questions be Arizona specific?

No, the examination questions are not Arizona specific.

Is the October examination open book?

No. The exam is administered in four, 90-minute sessions over two days. The examination software monitors the test taker’s presence and activity to flag conduct for further review.

Will the exam materials be printable?

No. The exam will be administered electronically through software. Examinees should anticipate making notes on the computer and not using paper for notes or drafts.

What if I need technical assistance during the exam?

One of the requirements for the online exam is that cell phones are not allowed in the testing space while testing. Instructions will include how to pause the exam if needed to retrieve your phone and obtain technical support. This pause does not impact your testing time. Examinees are strongly encouraged to test the software and its features before the start of the exam. Advanced testing of the software drastically reduces the need for troubleshooting during the exam. When the test practice exam is available, examinees will be contacted directly.

Will examinees be required to be physically present in Arizona at the time of examination?

No. Applicants may take the exam in their residence or at another location appropriate for an online exam.

If an individual applied for accommodations for the July 2020 exam, does the accommodation request or approval transfer/apply to the October 2020 exam?

Yes, previously submitted accommodation requests will be transferred to October and individuals will not be asked to provide additional information unless needed by the Committee on Examinations to make the accommodation determination.

Will the October examination affect an individual’s Rule 39(c) status if the individual does not take the October examination?

No. Administrative Order 2020-80 requires that the individual must sit for a uniform bar examination no later than February 2021. However, if individuals take and fail to pass the October examination, they would lose Rule 39 status.

If an individual transferred from the July exam to the October exam but still wants to have a UBE score and takes the February exam as well, what is the cost?

Fees paid for July will transfer to October or February but not for both. The cost of the February examination remains unchanged.

May an individual who was registered for the July exam transfer to the October remote exam?

Individuals who withdrew from the July exam after July 10 can apply for the October examination by the August 7 deadline but will have to pay the application fee as a new applicant.

If an individual did not request transfer by July 10th, and is subsequently barred from taking the July examination for COVID-related reasons, would the individual be able to sign up for the October examination?

Yes. If the individual provides verification that they were physically unable to take or complete the July exam, the individual may apply for a refund or to transfer their registration to the October 2020 or February 2021 exam.

If an applicant did not apply to sit for the July examination, when will applications be available to take the October examination?

Applications will begin being accepted on August 10 till August 14, but Pre-Registration is required by August 7. The Attorney Admissions department will post the application and information about the application process at https://www.azcourts.gov/cld/Attorney-Admissions.

FAQs updated 8/14/2020

Must all examinees be in the same time zone to complete the exam?

No. Examinees will not need to be in the same time zone to take the exam. The exam will be administered simultaneously across all time zones. Examinees should ensure the device on which they take the exam accurately reflects the time zone they are in to avoid problems.

May I use a wireless keyboard and mouse?

Yes, but it is not recommended. Arizona allows using a wireless keyboard and mouse. However, the wireless keyboard and/or mouse must be connected to the examinee’s device before launching the exam software. If the examinee’s wireless connection is lost during an exam session, the exam software might prevent the devices from reconnecting to each other.

For the MPT portion of the exam: Can examinees copy and paste text into the exam answer? Will there be a split screen between the question and answer sections? In drafting the answer, can examinees highlight or otherwise mark-up the question on screen and organize their draft answer on screen, like using pen and paper at an in-person exam? (updated 08/28/2020)

The exam software allows a split screen, showing the question and the field for the answer on one side and a space that can be used to outline, organize, and draft the answer on the other side. The virtual notepad space is text-only and can be copied and pasted into the answer field (with keyboard functions, not by right-clicking the mouse), where available formatting and mark-up can be applied. The software will not allow the exam question to be copied and pasted. Examinees are encouraged to do a practice exam to get comfortable with the layout, settings, and operation of the screen and features, including the need to ensure the answer appears in the answer window, not in the notepad window. The software does not save the text entered in the notepad section. When the practice exam is available, examinees will be contacted directly.

How will the exam be scored/weighted and what will be a passing score? (updated 9/23/2020)

Please review Administrative Order 2020-150.

Can I turn off my device as soon as a testing session ends?

No. When each testing session ends you must leave your device on until you receive notification on the screen that all uploads are complete. Confirmation will appear in text and graphics.

How does the proctor monitoring work?

When a completed session uploads, artificial intelligence flags certain actions or behaviors for review by a person who has been credentialed by the vendor for this purpose. Neither the AI nor the person have access to the examinee’s identity or their jurisdiction when doing this review. Once the vendor confirms that the audio, video, and exam portions of the session have been successfully uploaded, that content is deleted from the examinee’s device.
Registered examinees will receive more detailed information directly.

Can I refuse to have an image of my face taken and still take this exam?

No. The software for this remote exam includes facial recognition to verify the examinee’s identity. This is considered biometric data, which requires the examinee’s consent.

What happens if I go off-screen during an exam session to use the restroom or if a person or animal enters the room during an exam session?

Exam sessions are scheduled in four, 90-minute segments over two days. Examinees should secure a test taking location that will ensure they can be present and undisturbed during each test taking segment. Issues with sounds, movement, and the examinee’s placement in the field of view can trigger proctor review. If a medical accommodation or alternative site is required, contact the Attorney Admissions unit directly.

If I took an in-person bar exam in July or September, can I take Arizona’s October remote exam?

No. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) prohibits this.

Can I use noise-canceling headphones or earplugs during the exam?

No. Examinees may not have a device in or over their ears during the exam because proctors have no way of knowing if the device is wireless or Bluetooth enabled.