Skip to main content

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners

THE BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS IS OPERATING REMOTELY.

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners

February 2021 Exam Software Registration

UPDATE: Registration has been extended to 4:00 p.m. on FEBRUARY 1, 2021. You must register, download the Software, complete Mock Exam 1 and Mock Exam 2, and upload the files on or before the deadline or you will not be eligible to sit.

Registration for testing software opens January 14, 2021; Applicants will receive an email on or before the day registration opens from ExamSoft Support. Registration closes on January 29, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. In an effort to assist Applicants in registering with ExamSoft for the February 2021 bar examination, we offer the following important reminders and tips:

  1. The Institution ID is TNBar.
  2. The Applicant’s “NCBE” number is required for registration with ExamSoft. Each Applicant’s NCBE number that is on file with this office was sent to the Applicant in an email from the Board.
  3. Remember to include the letter “N” before entering the NCBE number.
  4. For returning users, it is recommended to UNINSTALL prior versions of the ExamSoft software, including those used in law school.  Then, make the payment first before trying to use Examplify (payment is the first step of the process). Once payment is completed, download the latest version of Examplify 2.6 and then register with credentials provided in the registration notice letter.

ExamSoft Requirements:

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS for laptop or desktop compatibility for Windows and Mac computers can be found here: https://examsoft.com/resources/examplify-minimum-system-requirements. I-pads are not permitted for the bar examination.

Registration for download of the testing software will be done in time to provide applicants multiple opportunities to practice using the Software and virtual scratchpad. Spell-check and highlighting functions will be enabled for this exam.

Mock Exam and Downloads Requirements:

  • The mock exams are MANDATORY. Applicants will have the opportunity to take multiple mock exams in order to practice screen management and use of the virtual scratch paper.
  • Applicants who have not registered and downloaded the software, and completed both mock exams, by January 29, 2021, will be withdrawn from the exam and no refund will be issued from from ExamSoft. Board refund policies apply. 
  • As part of the ExamSoft registration process, applicants will set up their camera and microphone and MUST consent to collection of biometrics, which include facial features for identifying the applicant prior to each session. ​
    • A baseline photo will be taken during the mock exam which will be used during registration before each online session to verify the applicant’s identity.
    • Additionally, all examination sessions will be videotaped and recorded.
    • By consenting to the use of biometrics, the applicant agree to allow the sessions to be videotaped and recorded and understand that the videotape and recordings will be reviewed by live proctors to determine if Applicant engaged in any behaviors that will result in cancellation of the exam scores.
    • Applicants who do not wish to permit the collection of biometric data will not be permitted to take the February 2021 bar examination and must withdraw from the exam. Applications cannot be transferred to another exam. The deadline for withdrawal with a partial refund is February 1, 2021.
  • The Board will compare the baseline photo in the Examplify software to the photograph and ID uploaded with the application and again to the photo taken prior to each examination session on exam days.
  • Applicants will receive emails from ExamSoft and the Board when registration opens and before it closes with reminders about the Mock Exam and deadline dates.

Applicants must have internet access in order to start the exam and to upload answers. The full session and all keystrokes are recorded and uploaded with the answers so if internet service fails during the upload of answer files, exam materials can be retrieved.

TAKE THE MOCK EXAM MULTIPLE TIMES TO GAIN FAMILIARTY WITH THE SOFTWARE. Practice screen management and use of the virtual scratch paper (the equivalent of 12 sheets of blank paper).

The following is a list of behaviors or actions that may result in flags for monitoring:

  • Use of or presence of a cell phone, fit-bit, watch, camera other than the one in the laptop used for testing
  • Paper of any kind other than as permitted for the MPT ONLY
  • Headphones or earplugs of any type
  • Mirrors that can reflect the laptop screen
  • Anyone other than the examinee in the room
  • Talking, reading aloud, or other extraneous noise in the room in which the examinee is testing
  • Being out of the frame of the camera at any time, including standing up or walking around while testing; you must remain in the camera frame.

The Code of Conduct will be provided in the General Information Manual, which will be sent prior to February 1, 2021.

It is recommended that there be nothing that could be used to identify the applicant in the testing room i.e., do not have a framed diploma on the wall within the view of the camera.

The last day to withdraw from the February 2021 UBE with a refund is February 1, 2021 of $150.  After February 1, 2021, no refunds will be provided to anyone who withdraws or is withdrawn from the exam.

Office Closed for Holidays

The Office of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners will be closed Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 25, 2020 for Christmas as designated state holidays.

Additionally, the office will be closed Thursday, December 31, 2020, and Friday, January 1, 2021, for the New Year as designated state holidays.

Questions emailed to BLE.Administrator@tncourts.gov will not be answered on days the office is closed. Responses will be provided during working hours as soon as possible and in the order in which the emails are received. Most answers can be found in information included in this website, in Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, or in the Board’s Policies and Procedures found under “Governing Authorities.”

Grades Released for the October 2020 Admissions Assessment for July 2020 Applicants

The list of Applicants who achieved a passing score on the October 2020 Admissions Assessment administered in Tennessee for July 2020 applicants has been posted. Of the 677 people who completed the October Assessment, 507 received a score of 270 or higher and passed the examination requirement in Tennessee. The overall pass rate is 74.89% and the first time pass rate is 82.36%.

Emails with exam results will be sent to all applicants.  Qualifying Scores on the assessment may be used for admission to reciprocal jurisdictions. Please check with the jurisdiction to which you will transfer the score for that jurisdiction’s procedures.

FOR APPLICANTS WHO DID NOT ACHIEVE THE SCORE REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION IN TENNESSEE, pursuant to TN Supreme Court Rule 7, §14.04 the only remedy for failure to pass the bar examination is reexamination. No part of the Assessment will be regraded.

Applicants who wish to apply for Re-Examination in February 2021: Applications for Re-Examination are open. Although the Initial Deadline has passed, the Board has extended the Initial Deadline for applicants who were unsuccessful on the October Assessment until December 17, 2020. Board Policies related to the requirements for meeting the Initial Deadline can be found in Board Policy P-3.03. The Final Deadline has not changed and is December 21, 2020. Please note that there are new document requirements for applications.

Grade Release for the October 2020 Assessment Updated 12/7/2020

UPDATE December 7, 2020:

As we announced on Friday, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners is spending additional time verifying the results of the most recent bar exam to ensure each test taker receives the correct score.  We anticipate releasing exam results by noon on Wednesday, December 9 at the latest.

We understand this delay is stressful for test takers, and we are grateful for your patience during these unprecedented times. The Board and executive team are working diligently to verify each score, and we are confident that our results will be valid and accurate when released. To reiterate, there are no issues with the actual scoring of the tests. Tennessee is verifying each result to ensure test takers in our state receive their true and accurate score.

Friday, December 4, 2020: The Board issued the following statement regarding release of results of the October 2020 Assessment:

The State of Kentucky has announced that, after releasing grades for the online bar assessment, it has discovered a software error that resulted in the misassignment of scores. Because the State of Tennessee administered the same exam and uses the same software, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners and executive team are spending additional time verifying Tennessee’s results. We are confident that our results will be valid and accurate when released.

As a result, for those who took the exam in Tennessee, it is possible that there may be a delay in releasing grades, which are scheduled to be released on Monday, December 7, 2020. If results are not announced Monday, the Board will issue a statement on Monday as to when applicants can expect the results. To reiterate, there are no issues with the actual scoring of the tests. The issue that arose is with a separate system that sent results to test takers. Tennessee is verifying each result to ensure test takers in our state receive their true and accurate score.

The delay is due to an issue with the system used to provide notification of results. The Board and staff are working diligently to release scores that accurately reflect each test taker’s performance on the October 2020 assessment and are committed to providing you with your results as soon as possible. Updates will be posted here if grades will not be released on Monday as soon as information is available.

SUPREME COURT ORDERS REMOTE ADMINISTRATION OF THE FEBRUARY 2021 UNIFORM BAR EXAMINATION

The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order today approving remote administration of the February 2021 Uniform Bar Examination in Tennessee, citing the continuing risk associated with large gatherings due to the pandemic and the increase in COVID-19 cases in Tennessee. A “remote examination” means that the examination will be administered in the applicant’s home or location of choice. Applications for the February 2021 examination will open on Monday, October 26, 2020.

Although stringent public health and safety protocols were planned for an in-person administration of the February 2021 examination, the Court could not “justify the risk of assembling large groups of people in limited space for up to nine hours per day over a period of two day, even if all precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are implemented” and instead, adopted use of the remotely administered Uniform Bar Examination for the February 2021 examination.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners recently announced that jurisdictions may choose to administer the February 2021 Uniform Bar Examination either in person or as a remote examination. Both the in-person and remote examination will be administered on February 23 and 24, 2021, and will consist of two Multistate Performance Tests, six Multistate Essay Questions, and 200 Multistate Bar Examination questions. Scores earned on the examination are portable Uniform Bar Examination scores.

In entering its order, the Court recognized the hardships that COVID-19 has placed upon applicants to the Tennessee bar, as well as the interests of the applicants, the public, and the administration of justice as they relate to licensing and admission of attorneys.

Tennessee was one of 20 jurisdictions that administered a remote examination to July 2020 applicants, with 683 Tennessee applicants participating in the remote assessment that was administered to over 30,000 applicants on October 5 and 6.

The Court ordered additional modifications to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, section 11.03, and approved new Board Policies and Procedures related to remote administration of the examination which can be found on the Board’s website. A copy of the order can be found here.

Admissions Assessment: Schedule and Notices

Testing schedules were sent to all applicants on Friday. All start and end times are Central Daylight Time. Test-takers will receive the Honor Pledge on Tuesday afternoon by email. Once you have completed the test, complete the form, sign it, and upload it to “Honor Pledge” in your Synergy application, under the Related Items tab.

The Honor Pledge and all answer, audio, and video files must be uploaded on or before 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

February 2021 Applications for Admission – Uniform Bar Examination

The Board will announce the date Applications for Admission to Tennessee for the February 2021 Uniform Bar Examination administration will be open [1]. The initial deadline under Board Policy P-3.03 is December 1. The final application deadline is December 21, 2020. For important information regarding deadlines and application requirements, please see “Admission by Exam Score” and “Governing Authorities.”

_______________

[1] By order of the Tennessee Supreme Court, entered September 25, 2020 and October 8, 2020.

USE OF SCRATCH PAPER ON THE OCTOBER 5 – 6, 2020, ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT

The NCBE has informed the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners that they will permit the use of scratch paper for the MPT portion of the upcoming Admissions Assessment. Therefore, the Board has amended the policies and rules on scratch paper for the online Admissions Assessment. The General Information Manual has been updated[1] to include that examinees are permitted to use physical scratch paper and up to two non-digital pencils or pens on the MPT item, which is the first session of testing. You are not required to upload a new Acknowledgement of the General Information Manual, which prohibited the use of any paper on any portion of the exam. During the pre-test notices, there will be reminders regarding this policy that you will accept by clicking through to the next screen.

            The permission to use scratch paper and writing implements is limited to the MPT item. You must remove the scratch paper and writing implements from your testing space prior to the next testing session. Using scratch paper or any writing implement on any other portion of the Admissions Assessment (the MEE or MBE) will constitute test misconduct. Your scores will be nullified and you may be ordered to appear before the Board for a hearing regarding your character and fitness.

            During the MPT session only, you may use lined or unlined letter size paper that is otherwise blank. There is no limit on the amount of paper you may use, but the paper, pens, and/or pencils must be in your testing space when you begin testing; you cannot leave the testing space to get additional paper or writing implements.


[1] The revised Manual (TN Admissions Assessment General Information Manual – Addendum 1) has been uploaded to the Board website at here and here. Changes are as follows:

a)  Security Policy, Item 2, page 4, “Scrap paper, reference materials …” has been modified to include at the end of that bullet, “except that scratch paper is permitted for the MPT item only, as provided below;” and

b)  Assessment Procedures, Item 4, page 8, has been modified to include the updated policy on scratch paper.

ExamSoft Registration Dates and Deadlines

ExamSoft Registration open on September 1, 2020. You must register, pay the fee of $100*, download the software, take two mock exams, and upload the answers on or before September 18, 2020. If you do not complete the process by the deadline, you will not be eligible to sit for the Admissions Assessment. For more information, go to the Online Assessment page.

*If you paid the $100 fee for the JULY 2020 laptop testing software, your account has been credited with that payment and you will bypass the payment screen.

Credit Card Services Issue – Resolved

The credit card vendor for the State of Tennessee has informed all offices that credit card services are unavailable at this time. You may experience issue with credit card payments in our application program during this time. The vendor has identified the issue and is expecting to have an update within the next few hours. We post an update as soon as we have more information.

UPDATE: As of 3:00 PM CDT the vendor has notified us that the issue is still ongoing. They are working to restore functionality as soon as possible but we remain unable to accept payments at this time.

UPDATE: 8/11/2020 – We have received confirmation that the issue has been resolved.