<Information for July 2021 Bar Examinees

July 2021 Exam Administration Information - Updated May 05, 2021

Format

The Board will administer the July 2021 bar examination remotely per this announcement. For a remote administration, the Board uses a “record and review” approach to monitor the examination. Examinees take the closed-book exam on their own computer from a location of their choice. The computer must have a working camera and microphone and meet system requirements to run the exam-required software, which will be Examplify with Exam ID and Exam Monitor, which records the candidate taking the exam. Candidates will need some internet connectivity at the start and end of each session to retrieve a password and to upload their exam answers and the audio/video files. An artificial-intelligence program the software vendor employs will initially process the exam files to identify any irregularities, which human proctors and Board staff will review.

Candidates interested in taking the July 2021 exam may learn more about a remote exam administration by reviewing the material posted on the Board’s website for the February 2021 remote bar exam. Be mindful that this material is subject to change; information specific to the July 2021 exam will be posted at a later date.

Dates

The Board will administer the exam over the course of three days for candidates testing under standard conditions. The exam will be July 26-28, 2021.

Only applicants seeking admission in Pennsylvania may sit for the exam. Applicants may not take portions of the exam. Additionally, applicants may not sit for this exam and bar exam in another jurisdiction during the same administration.

Content

The exam will consist of a performance test, six essay questions, and 200 multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions. Applicants must make a good faith effort on each question on the exam.

Registration/Deadline to Apply

Registration will open on February 15, 2021. The timely filing deadline will be April 15, 2021. Click here for a schedule of fees and deadlines.

Because the exam will be administered remotely, applicants must submit to the board office a photo of their face, and a picture of their current license or other government-issued photo identification. Immediately after filing an application, applicants should upload this information by using the "Upload Documents" feature in the online bar application portal.

Seeking Accommodations

Candidates seeking testing accommodations (“NTA”) under the Americans with Disabilities Act should not wait to begin the process. Rather, those seeking accommodations should review the NTA Request Form and Instruction Packet for the July 2021 exam. Applicants must complete an application to sit for the exam before they upload their NTA Request Form and Documentation.

In cases in which an applicant is seeking additional time to take the exam, the request itself and the documentation to support it would be the same as it would be for an in-person administration. However, unsupervised, off-the-clock breaks are not available when an applicant is taking the exam remotely. The modification for a remote administration is usually to request an assignment to the break-time schedule in which each question is administered in its own session and a scheduled break occurs between each question session. View the break-time schedule for the February 2021 examhere (other than the performance test that includes a five-minute break, each session is 45 minutes long and a 15 minute break is in between each session). In rare cases, a candidate might request an in-person administration as an accommodation for a remote administration (e.g. adaptive software).

Cut Score and Scaling

The required score to pass is a 272. The Board will follow its usual procedures with regard to scaling, as the NCBE will be equating, grading and scaling the MBE. The Board will grade and scale the total of the six answers to the essay examination and the performance test (valued at 1.5 times an essay question) to the scaled MBE. The combined essay and PT scores will be weighted at 55%, and the MBE score will be weighted at 45% of the total scaled score. The Board will combine the scaled scores of the PT/essay examination and MBE to determine if an applicant has attained a scaled score of 272 or higher. Out of an abundance of caution, the Board will expand the pool of answers below the pass line to receive a second review. All applicants receiving a combined score of 262-271 will be included in a re-read process and have their PT and six essay answers re-read and re-graded by a different grader. The re-read graders are not aware of the scores originally given. Through this process, examiners will determine a final grade. Pursuant to Pa. B.A.R. 221, the grading of the bar examination answers is final and is not subject to judicial review.