February 2014 Laptop Program
REGISTRATION PERIOD OPENS 10:00 a.m. CDT Monday December 2, 2013
REGISTRATION PERIOD CLOSES 10:59 p.m. CDT Sunday January 26, 2014**
**Please note that the deadline will not be extended under any circumstance**
The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar (IBAB) contracts with ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc. for the use of ExamSoft’s SofTest technology, which allows Illinois bar applicants to use laptop computers to type their answers to the bar examination’s written components. February 2014 examinees may register for the laptop program for a nonrefundable, registration fee of $100. The registration fee covers the software license, technical support and supervision, power, and administrative costs. Registration is a three-step process, all of which must be completed in order to gain access to SofTest and actually use a laptop on exam day.
All communications regarding the Laptop Program will be by email only and sent directly from ExamSoft (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Applicants will be contacted at the email address provided on their application to sit for the bar examination. It is the applicant’s responsibility to maintain a valid email address at all times and to keep the Board and ExamSoft apprised of any changes to their email address. If you do not receive the email regarding purchasing the software and registering your laptop during this time, you should call the Board office. We strongly recommend that laptop candidates add email@example.com to their contacts and safe senders list to assure receipt of all laptop related email communications.
After the Registration Period opens you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with your ExamSoft ID and password. You will be instructed to go to www.examsoft.com/ilbar and register by logging in under “Exam Takers” in the upper left corner of the webpage. Online payment of the $100 registration fee will place you on the February 2014 laptop roll. Unless you complete the below steps, you will not be allowed to use a laptop at the exam.
After you have registered and before 11:59 p.m., CDT, Monday, February 24, 2014 you must:
a. Register the SofTest software on the actual laptop you will use at the bar exam;
b. TWO exam files and a Mock exam will download automatically onto the actual laptop; AND
c. Complete a Mock Exam on the actual laptop.
Please note that you must be in possession of the actual laptop that you will use at the bar exam in order to register the software. There is a $50 administrative fee if you wish to re-download.
Nonstandard Testing Accommodations (NTA)
If you are registering for the laptop program and are also making a NTA request, you must advise Ty Perry at TPerry@ilbaradmissions.org no later than Sunday, January 26, 2014, to ensure that any testing accommodations you might receive will be amenable for laptop testing. In the absence of this timely advice, you will not be permitted to participate in the laptop program, your registration for it notwithstanding.
Responsibilities and Risks Associated With the Laptop Program
If you elect to participate in the Laptop Program, please be aware that you undertake responsibilities and assume risks that a hand-writer does not. First, you are solely responsible for familiarizing yourself with the laptop computer you will use at the bar exam. Second, you are solely responsible for the operating condition of your laptop computer and its software, including the operation of SofTest. Third, you are solely responsible for learning how to use the SofTest software by reading and following the instructions provided by ExamSoft on its website prior to the start of your bar exam. In spite of your preparedness, should you experience technical problems, including but not limited to laptop failure, should you type an answer in the wrong field, or should an exam answer file be deleted or otherwise altered, you assume the risk of any possible consequences related to the scoring of your answers. Should you experience any of the foregoing problems, please be aware that NO EXTRA TIME OR OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE RELIEF WILL BE GRANTED.
Lastly, as a laptop program registrant, you assume the risk that you may end up handwriting the exam answers in the event your laptop malfunctions at any time, i.e., before the testing begins or while the testing is in progress. Please note that once you begin handwriting your answers, you must handwrite from there on out. You may NOT switch to a laptop later in the day.
If you register for the laptop program, you agree to assume the responsibilities and risks described above.
If you are unwilling to assume these responsibilities and risks, do not register for the laptop program.
Answer File Upload
As a laptop program participant, you must upload your answer files to the ExamSoft server after testing ends on Tuesday afternoon, February 25, 2014, which will be at about 4:30 p.m. We will not have wireless internet connection at the examination site. All laptop testers have until 2:00am (02-26-2014) to gain access to an internet connection at some other location and upload their answer files. NO exceptions will be made to this requirement. If you fail to upload your answer files by the 2:00 am deadline, you will receive a score of “0” for every missing IEE, MPT and MEE answer.
Please contact: Tara Henrikson at THenrikson@ILBarAdmissions.org
Stephany Shipp at SShipp@ILBarAdmissions.org
Laptop Program FAQ
Who is ExamSoft and what is SofTest?
ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc. developed the software technology called SofTest that blocks access to any files on a laptop other than its own word processing function and thus prevents access to information stored on an examinee’s laptop. The SofTest exam is delivered in the form of a downloaded exam file after SofTest is registered and will be used for the IEE, MPT and MEE portions of the examination. SofTest is presently used by more than five hundred educational institutions and is the program most frequently used by bar admitting authorities. The full operating functions of your laptop will be restored after the last SofTest exam session ends.
What are the Minimum System Requirements for a Laptop Computer to use SofTest?
Please visit the ExamSoft link below for current Minimum System Requirements.
PC Requirements: http://support.examsoft.com/ics/support/kbanswer.asp?deptID=15194&task=knowledge&questionID=170
Mac Requirements: http://support.examsoft.com/ics/support/kbanswer.asp?deptID=15194&task=knowledge&questionID=171
Can I use previously downloaded ExamSoft files from Law School or another Jurisdiction?
No, you must register at www.examsoft.com/ilbar with your assigned ExamSoft ID / password and pay the $100 registration fee; files are Illinois specific.
What must I do at the ExamSoft website and when must I do it?
After the Registration Period opens you will receive an email from email@example.com with your ExamSoft ID and password. You will be instructed to go to www.examsoft.com/ilbar and register by logging in under “Exam Takers” in the upper left corner of the webpage. Online payment of the $100 registration fee will place you on the February 2014 laptop roll. This step MUST be completed before 10:59 p.m., CDT, January 26, 2014.
Before 11:59 p.m., CDT, February 24, 2014, you must complete all of the below steps. Failure to meet the deadlines will result in your removal from the laptop program.
Download SofTest software, which takes only a few minutes on high speed Internet. Before registering the SofTest software on your laptop, make sure the laptop is the very one you will use at the bar exam.
Register SofTest (1 min.). Enter your ExamSoft ID / password. After you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email from ExamSoft, and IBAB will be notified.
TWO exam files and a Mock exam will download automatically after completing the above step.
Take the Mock Exam (5-10 min.). To ensure that SofTest operates properly on your laptop, you must take the Mock Exam. You may use ANY five digit number to use as a practice applicant number.
How can I check to make sure I have registered successfully?
After you register SofTest, you will be advised on-screen and via email that you have done so successfully. You may also access your registration status online.
What is the Mock Exam?
The Mock Exam confirms your laptop is compatible with SofTest and enables you to familiarize yourself with how to open; write and upload answer files prior to exam day. The Mock Exam must be completed to ensure your computer has been configured properly for use on exam day. Failure to do so may require you to handwrite your exam.
When and how do I download my TWO Exam Files?
Immediately after registering SofTest, your password-protected A.M. and P.M. exam files will automatically be downloaded to your computer. Please note that you may download these exam files ONLY ONCE.
How do I transmit my essay answers to ExamSoft?
After both exam sessions have concluded on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 you will be responsible for electronically transmitting (uploading) the two answer files containing your answers to ExamSoft NO LATER THAN 2:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2013. No exceptions will be made to this requirement.
Doing so is simple. Just connect to the Internet and double click the SofTest icon. The answer files will be uploaded automatically. If you are staying at a hotel, make sure you know how to connect to the Internet from the hotel room or business office.
What if my laptop does not have wireless capability?
You may upload your answers from any location where Internet connectivity is available (home, office, hotel, internet café, etc.) You are still required to upload your answers by the deadline, so we suggest determining in advance where Internet connectivity is available close to the test site.
What if I have a problem uploading my answers?
Technical support from ExamSoft will be available to you at the technical support line.
Is there a character limit for my answers on the actual bar exam?
Yes. Each IEE and MEE answer is limited to 4,600 characters and the MPT answer is limited to 9,200 characters, which is equivalent to the maximum number of handwritten pages permitted. Each letter, space, and punctuation mark counts as a character. A character counter will operate continuously at the bottom of your screen.
Can I bring a backup laptop to the exam?
No. Bringing a backup laptop to the exam is not permitted.
Will there be technical assistance at the exam?
ExamSoft representatives will be on-site to provide technical assistance during the exam. If needed, you will be permitted to call ExamSoft after the exam.
Can I get a refund of my $100 laptop registration fee if I don’t take the exam or need to withdraw, and I have a compelling reason?
The laptop registration fee is nonrefundable, and no exceptions will be made.
Will my registration and fee transfer over from a previous Illinois bar exam in which I withdrew or was unsuccessful?
No, you will need to pay and download the software again.
Will I be able to plug in my laptop during the exam?
Yes, there will be power outlets for all applicants.