July 2021 Remote Bar Exam Success: study your jurisdiction’s website


By Sara Berman

The key to success in any big endeavor is planning. The bar exam is no exception. Think about what information you would need if you were planning a major social event this July – details, for example, regarding location, logistics, insurance the venue may require, cancellation fees, guest lists, invitations, menus, parking, etc.

Your event is the bar exam. This July, your exam may well be offered remotely. Whether your bar will be in person or remote, you must study the information provided by your jurisdiction. Learn what you must do to be allowed to take the exam and what you may not do in order to pass the exam. 

I have had former students who showed up late to bar exam testing sites or wore clothing that was not permissible during the exam. Even in remote testing, for example, you may not be allowed to wear hats –and you may have to obtain advanced permission for head coverings for religious purposes. Determine all rules that apply to you well ahead of your exam and comply with them.

Jurisdictions also provide practice testing opportunities. You must take advantage of these. Taking the bar without taking practice tests under exam conditions is like mounting a Broadway musical without a dress rehearsal. Don’t do it.

Jurisdictions and the NCBE also post a ton of valuable information and tips on their websites. Some may  refer you to helpful articles, such as this on how to view attachments in Examplify and this on Exam IDs and Exam monitors. Be sure to consult all of the articles suggested by as well as all of the requirements in the jurisdiction where you will take the bar exam.

Here below are just a few links for information on remote testing in a handful of state – MD, CA, PA, FL, CO, and WA 

FAQS for the July 2021 Uniform Bar Exam in Maryland (mdcourts.gov)

Laptops for the July Bar Exam (ca.gov)

Information for July 2021 Bar Examinees (pabarexam.org)

Florida Board of Bar Examiners - FAQ (floridabarexam.org)

July 2021 CO Bar Exam Technical Information Guide.pdf (coloradosupremecourt.com)

4-13-2021-july-remote-ube-faq.pdf (wsba.org)

Every jurisdiction should have a similar website. Study these carefully. And, visit them weekly for updates or changes between now and your exam. If there are points you do not understand after reviewing your jurisdiction’s website and the NCBE’s website, contact your law school’s Bar Success or Academic Success faculty. They are experts in this area and will be able to advise you on where to find relevant rules.

I know you are swamped with studying, but when you take breaks, which you must in order to keep up your stamina, review the information on these websites. And, for the record, taking breaks after you put in a good day of studying is a great way to maximize your productivity. Good luck and keep up the hard work. Your lawyer license is the key to a productive, rewarding, and meaningful future.


Sara J. Berman is the Director of Academic and Bar Success Programs at AccessLex Institute and the author of many books and articles on how to pass the bar exam.