Skip to main content

FAQS: OCTOBER 2020 ONLINE ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT

THE BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS IS OPERATING REMOTELY.

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners

  1. What will be the format of the Admissions Assessment? The Admissions Assessment will include one Multistate Performance Test (MPT) item, three Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) questions, and 100 Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) questions. The Admissions Assessment will be administered in four test sessions of 90 minutes each. Testing will be two sessions from 11 – 12:30 and from 1 – 2:30 Central Time each day; there is one 30 minute break.
  2. What content will be tested on the Admissions Assessment? How will I know what to study? The Admissions Assessment will be the same content as the Uniform Bar Examination so you should study as you would for the UBE.
  3. Is the October 5 & 6, 2020 Admissions Assessment a UBE? Tennessee has canceled the administration of the July and Fall Uniform Bar Examination due to ongoing safety concerns and public health considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Admissions Assessment is comprised of materials provided by the National Conference of Bar Examiners but is not a Uniform Bar Examination. Applicants who are successful on the Admissions Assessment and who complete all requirements for admission will be licensed and admitted to the bar of Tennessee.
  4. Is the score that I earn on the Admissions Assessment portable like a UBE score? The Admissions Assessment does not result in a UBE score. However, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners has entered into Reciprocity Agreements with Connecticut, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont who are offering the same online remote examination option on October 5 & 6, for transfer of scores to or from Tennessee. As agreements are reached, the list of reciprocal jurisdictions will be posted to the Board website. Your passing score qualifies you for admission in Tennessee just as any other bar examination would.
  5. I applied for the examination in Tennessee as well as another jurisdiction. The other jurisdiction is administering an exam that uses some NCBE materials (MBE, MEE, and/or MPT). May I still take the Tennessee Admissions Assessment? No. A component of the Memorandum of Understanding with the NCBE permitting use of the MPT, MEE, and MBE for the online assessment limits the use of the test materials to applicants who have not taken a bar examination in July, September or October, 2020, that utilizes any of the NCBE test materials. If you take such an examination in July, September or October, you will not be permitted to take the Admissions Assessment. The Board will cross-check your name against the list of exam takers from exams administered in July, September, or October, 2020, and if you are found to have taken a bar examination in another jurisdiction, you will be withdrawn from the Tennessee Admissions Assessment.
  6. Is there anything I need to do to be eligible to take the online Admissions Assessment? If you completed a July 2020 application for admission by examination and have not been found ineligible to sit due to incomplete application or withdrawn your application, then you are eligible to participate in the online Admissions Assessment. If you requested to transfer your application to the February 2021 exam but now wish to withdraw that request and take the online Admissions Assessment, please email the Board at ble.administrator@tncourts.gov to withdraw your transfer request. You must transfer your application on or before the last day to withdraw with a refund, which is September 1.
  7. What is the cost of the remote testing software license fee? The laptop software license fee is $100.
  8. What do I do if I registered for laptop testing for the July exam and downloaded the software? Applicants who registered and downloaded the laptop testing software for the July exam will need to register for the remote testing software but will not have to pay another fee. The fee you paid for the July exam will transfer to the remote testing software. You will have to download different software, take two mandatory mock exams (even if you took the July 2020 mock exam), and must register your baseline image for registration.
  9. How do I transfer my application to the February 2021 UBE administration? Send an email to BLE.Administrator@tncourts.gov  to request transfer of your application to the February 2021 administration on or before September 1, 2020.
  10. What if I want to transfer my application to the July 2021 UBE administration? The Supreme Court order modifies section 11.03 of Rule 7 to permit an applicant to transfer the July 2020 application to February 2021 only. You will have to withdraw your application and reapply for the July 2021 examination when applications open on March 1, 2021.
  11. If I don’t have a pending application for admission for the July 2020 examination, may I apply for the online Admissions Assessment? No. Applications closed on May 20, 2020, and will not reopen until October 1 for applications for admission for the February 2021 examination.  The online Admissions Assessment is for July 2020 examination applicants only.
  12. Will there be limits on the number of people who may take the online Admissions Assessment? No. All applicants who completed a July 2020 application for admission by examination and who have not been found ineligible to sit due to incomplete application, transferred the application to the February 2021 examination, or withdrawn the application, will be eligible to take the Admissions Assessment, subject to signing and returning acknowledgements and releases that will be provided by the Board at least one month prior to the examination dates. More information regarding the Admissions Assessment can be found here.
  13. UPDATED 8.20.20: What equipment and technology will I need in order to take the exam online? You will need a computer or laptop with an integrated web-camera and microphone and only one screen that meets ExamSoft’s minimum system requirements. Multiple screens are not permitted. If you do not have an internal webcam and microphone, you may use and external, wired webcam with microphone that you will need to test during the mandatory mock exams. You will need internet access to download the software, for the exam-taker identification process at the beginning of the test session, and for upload of your exam answer files. WiFi is not required during the testing but is needed to login and to upload your answer filed.
  14. What testing conditions must be met?
    • Applicants must be alone in the room where they are taking the Assessment.
    • Applicants may not have a phone or other electronic device on their person or anywhere in the room in which they are taking the Assessment.
    • Applicants may not wear headphones, headsets, ear plugs, ear buds of any type. Hats and hoodies are not permitted but if a head covering is required for religious purposes, the head covering cannot obscure Applicant’s eyes.
    • Applicants may not have notes, scratch paper, bar review materials, other legal reference books and/or materials in the testing space, except that applicants are permitted to use scratch paper on the MPT ONLY.
    • Diplomas, photographs, or other items that might be used to identify the applicant should not be visible to the applicant’s webcam during the Assessment.
    • Applicants must remain seated with their face in full view of the webcam for the entire duration of each session, unless otherwise instructed due to accommodations that have been granted.
    • Applicants may not eat during the session but may have water or other beverages in a clear, unlabeled container; food is not permitted absent accommodation.
    • Additional information will be provided in the General Instruction Manual that will be provided to each applicant prior to the Admissions Assessment.
  15. How do I take the exam if I do not have a computer with a camera and microphone, an internet connection, or a private location in which to test? The Board will have space for in-person testing, still using the laptop testing software but with the required equipment and internet connections, and have established a process by which applicants can apply for this testing space. The deadline for an accessibility request is August 10, 2020.
  16. UPDATED 8.20.20: I applied for accommodations. How will this affect the way I test? Applicants with additional time can test remotely. Applicants testing with approved accommodations will test on a different schedule that will be provided to you, along with instructions for remote, online testing.
  17. What features will be enabled in the testing software?
    • On the MEE and MPT, applicants will be able to view the question and their response at the same time. For the MPT, applicant will be able to open the MPT library attachments and view both the attachments and applicant’s response on the screen. Applicants will be permitted to highlight within the text of the question but not within any attachment; have use of virtual scrap paper for each MPT and MEE question to outline their responses; be able to cut and paste between the virtual scrap paper and answer; and use spell-check, the highlighter, and “find and replace” features in the answer.
    • On the MBE, applicants will be able to highlight within the text of each question; strike out unwanted answers or answers you believe are incorrect (NOTE – you must still select an answer as your choice, not just strike those you think are incorrect, to receive credit for a correct answer); navigate forward and backward between questions as well as skip and/or return to unanswered questions during each session (but you cannot go back to a question from a previous session in a later session); flag multiple choice questions that you would like to return to during that session; and use virtual scrap paper for each question.
    • APPLICANTS WILL NOT BE ABLE to use multiple monitors, cut and paste, or drag and drop, text from the MPT or MEE question or the MPT library to their answer; underline, circle, or strike out any text in any of the MEE or MBE questions or the MPT materials; use any physical scratch paper, notes, or physical reference materials.
  18. What score must I earn to pass the Admissions Assessment? The Board has hired a psychometrician to calculate scores on the Admissions Assessment. Scores will be reported on the same 400 point scale as used for a UBE score and the written component will be scaled to the objective, MBE score. The Admissions Assessment components will be weighted as follows: MBE – 50%, MPT – 20%, and MEE – 30%. The minimum score required to pass the Admissions Assessment is 270.
  19. When will results be released? The Board anticipates release of scores on December 7, 2020, by 2:00 p.m. Scores are only a part of the admissions process; you must complete the character and fitness requirements, the Tennessee Law Course and earn a passing MPRE score to be eligible for admission.
  20. What can I expect from the Board between now and the Admissions Assessment?
    • In late July or early August, you will receive notice that you have been assigned for a character and fitness interview. If you are licensed and in good standing in another U.S jurisdiction, you may not be required to be interviewed. Your interviewer will contact you to schedule your interview, which should be either in-person, if safe to do so, or by a remote video process such as Zoom or Skype.
    • Expect to receive the General Information Manual in early September which will include valuable information regarding the Admissions Assessment, the laptop registration dates, and a required acknowledgement that you must sign and return. The acknowledgement will include a Code of Conduct to which you must adhere.
    • Once you register for the laptop remote testing software, you will have to complete some training and two mock exams. It is critical to complete the training to familiarize yourself with the software.
    • Remember that in Tennessee you can practice pending admission, under Rule 7, Sec. 10.04 for recent law school graduates with supervision and under Sec. 10.07 for those licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction. You need to register to practice under these provisions of Rule 7. You can find the registration information on our website here.
  21. What releases will I have to sign for the NCBE to proceed with testing?
    • Test materials used for the Admissions Assessment are owned by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and protected by US copyright law. Testing data for each examinee including, but not limited to, personally identifying information (PII), test responses, test performance data such as keystrokes and time spent on each item, and reports of irregularities, must be shared by Tennessee and ExamSoft with the NCBE. The PII shared is similar to the information collected by the NCBE as part of the MBE answer sheet on a traditional examination.
    • An applicant who takes either a bar examination between now and October 2, 2020, in another jurisdiction that uses any NCBE materials (the MPT, MEE and/or MBE) is NOT PERMITTED to sit for the Admissions Assessment and must withdraw from the exam or transfer to the February 2021 administration. The Board will verify whether you have taken another examination using NCBE materials prior to the online Assessment and again, prior to grade release. If you are found to have taken another NCBE exam during that time, your scores will not be released and you may be required to appear before the Board.
  22. What data must I release to ExamSoft to take the online Admissions Assessment?
    • As part of the ExamSoft registration, applicants will set up their camera and microphone and MUST consent to collection of biometrics, which include facial features for identifying you 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 your identity.
    • Additionally, all online assessment sessions will be videotaped and recorded.
    • By consenting to the use of biometrics, you 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 you engaged in any behaviors that will result in cancellation of your scores.
    • Applicants who do not wish to permit the collection of biometric data will not be permitted to take the online Assessment and must withdraw from the exam or, if prior to September 1, transfer to the February 2021 administration.
  23. I am concerned about my privacy. Will the remote proctors have access to my personally identifying information (PII)?
    • No. Examinees will be assigned an “Applicant ID Number” which will be embedded in the testing software for your video and audio recordings, as well as on the answers sent to the graders. Your PII will not be attached to the files sent to the proctors for review. Live proctors will not have access to your personal information. Click the link to read the ExamSoft privacy policy. Proctors do not have access to your application data, including the photo you uploaded with your application or the government ID you must upload on or before September 4.

EXAMSOFT POST-REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

OFFICIAL EXAM FILES: On Friday, September 25, 2020, at noon, CDT, the official exam files will be available to Tennessee applicants for download. You will receive an email from ExamSoft about this process with step-by-step instructions for completing that process. You must download the exam files by the October 2nd deadline to participate in the remote Admissions Assessment on October 5 and 6. We suggest that you complete the download as soon as it is available to spread out the need for ExamSoft support. Applicants in some jurisdictions will not begin downloading these files until September 28th.  Upon opening Examplify to download the official exam files, Examplify will automatically download and install a mandatory version update to the Examplify software. This update will address a specific cut & paste function from shared devices, previously reported to the TNBLE and ExamSoft, preventing that function from being available for use during secure exams. While the illicit use of this function was something the TNBLE could detect through the video proctoring process, this update will prevent use of the function, which improves exam integrity and ensures the same functions are available to all examinees. The basic functionality of the software is unchanged. You are required to install version 2.4.6 of Examplify prior to downloading the actual bar exam files. After downloading version 2.4.6, you will have the ability to complete Mock Exam 2 again, but doing so is entirely optional.