In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the success of the remote October bar exam, the Illinois Supreme Court announced this week that the February 2021 Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in Illinois will be administered online. The filing deadline for the exam is Tuesday, December 15.
“The Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar understands that an in-person exam would remain at risk of cancellation based on changing pandemic conditions. That risk is untenable for all stakeholders,” the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar (IBAB) said in a statement.
In October, Illinois administered a remote bar exam to over 2,000 applicants. Nationwide, approximately 30,000 people took the exam online, as several other states opted to give the exam remotely due to ongoing public health concerns.
Results from Illinois’ October bar exam are expected in early December. Participants who are waiting for results from the October exam before registering for the February exam will not be charged the $350 late registration fee, according to IBAB.
NCBE supports remote exam option
Last month, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) announced plans to allow jurisdictions the option to provide the February 2021 bar exam remotely. This includes a full set of bar exam materials – including two Multistate Performance Test items, six Multistate Essay Examination items, and 200 Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) items — available for remote bar exam administration on the same dates as the scheduled in-person bar exam (February 23-24, 2021).
The NCBE will provide score calculation and UBE and MBE score transfer services for both the in-person and remote administration of the February 2021 bar exam. Each jurisdiction will select its mode of administration.
The February bar exam is the second administration to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCBE is surveying participants who took the remote exam using NCBE materials in October to identify areas for improvement. The deadline for response was November 11.
As of November 12, 15 jurisdictions, including New York and the District of Columbia, had announced plans to administer the February 2021 bar exam remotely.
Further information on the Illinois bar exam will be posted on the IBAB website.
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