Those planning to take the bar exam in Tennessee this July won't get to use a Surface Book, Windows 10 laptops with automatic updates enabled, devices with detachable keyboards, Touch pens, or Touch Bar functions on a 2016 MacBook Pro in taking the exam.
The state bar has officially prohibited those planning to take the test from using the aforementioned devices, and anyone using a machine with new software updates installed must make some adjustments beforehand.
Take Note Of These New Prohibitions, Bar Examinees
As per an announcement by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, the new rules mostly grew out of limitations with SofTest, the exam software. It doesn't support the Windows 10 Creators Update, or any Surface Book other than the Surface Pro for that matter.
The rules will require users to make some compatibility changes before taking the test, too. The board also recommends that users disable automatic updates on their devices, specifically Windows 10 devices with the Creators Update installed, because updates can potentially freeze SofTest when in use. Should the software freeze mid-exam, the test-taker would have to continue it via handwriting, and no extra time will be given to compensate for the software glitch.
Also, all programs running in the background must be closed even before arriving at the test location.
The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners permits only the following devices:
• MacBook Pro, with Touch Bar functions disabled during the exam.
• Surface Laptop, but the software must be changed to Windows 10 Pro.
• All laptops using Windows, but automatic updates must be disabled for those who have the Windows 10 Creators Update installed.
Tablets or any device with a detachable keyboard won't be permitted. Any pen compatible with the Surface's screen won't be permitted, as well.
Comply With The Tennessee Board Of Law Examiners Or Else
Those planning to use a laptop with the Windows 10 Creator Update installed should notify the board before July 12, which also requires them to sign an additional addendum to their Laptop Agreement. Those who fail to comply will be asked to leave and "will have to answer to the Board regarding their failure to follow instructions."
Users who don't make the necessary changes won't be permitted to use their laptop. Those who'll violate the rules will be ejected from the exam and must answer to the board over their failure to follow instructions. The same goes for anyone found with a Surface-compatible touch pen in possession.
Twitter user ThirdScrivener first spotted the prohibitions, perplexed as to why devices with detachable keyboards are not permitted, especially since he has "taken multiple law school exams" on his Surface Book sans any issues.
Technically, the exam software will run on a Surface Pro, but this device requires a keyboard, so it falls under the category of detachables. The software also works on iPads, too, but the board simply isn't permitting people to use such devices when taking the exam.
Taking the bar exam next month at Tennessee by any chance? What do you think of these new rules by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!