Innovative technology is now available to help make test taking, such as studying for the essay and performance test portions of the bar exam turn into a routine for passing on exam day. Technology that simulates the exam day experience offers a standardized test taker, such as a bar candidate, turn the exam process into a routine for a spot on the pass list.
As someone prepares to enter professional life, how a person such as a bar applicant prepares for a license exam is just as important as how often. An applicant who practices test questions under timed conditions may improve speed for completing questions in the allotted time. A test taker who practices with recent prior exams from the makers of the standardized tests becomes familiar with actual exam materials.
For individuals seeking attorney employment, one program that assists bar applicants in improving scores on essays and performance tests for the bar exam is The Bar Exam Doctor, available in almost all United States jurisdictions. The Bar Exam Doctor is a website that provides unlimited simulated exams for the essay and performance test portions of the bar exam.
When a professional license is necessary for employment, a useful test preparation resource may be a program that allows for self-evaluation with sample answers so a test taker becomes aware of mistakes and test patterns. A test preparation resource is even more useful when it provides feedback from tutors who have passed the license exam themselves, and can teach an exam taker how to improve on weaknesses.
The Bar Exam Doctor uses prior exams and sample answers from bar examiners for students to practice under exam conditions. A student may select a topic or allow the simulator to pick the question randomly. The essay exams are searchable by subject, and the performance tests are sorted by tasks.
With the performance test simulator, a student may choose a letter, pleading, or memo to complete. For essays, a student may practice each bar exam subject, including business associations, professional responsibility, civil procedure, evidence, contracts, torts, and constitutional law.
The program teaches students how to effectively allocate their time during a bar exam, and to improve on issue spotting, rules recall, legal analysis, and organization. For the performance test, the simulator divides test materials into different screens. There are screens for the file and library. For essays, there is a question screen. A student can also print out the test materials and highlight sections while outlining. For the student who plans to type during the bar exam, there is an additional answer screen modeled after the ExamSoft software required by several bar examiners such as California and New York. For the student who plans to handwrite, there is a process to fax in answers for feedback. There is a timer that lets the student monitor progress. Once the allowed time for the exam is up, the student’s answer is automatically sent to a grader for review, or if the student is handwriting, the student is expected to stop writing.
The Bar Exam Doctor graders provide comments throughout an answer on legal analysis, communication, and other areas they feel the test makers focus on when evaluating an answer. Then the graders provide written feedback and numeric scores in each of these areas, highlighting students’ strengths and weaknesses. The scores in individual areas compute to final scores, and get logged for students to track practice results, and compare with other students who complete the same exam.
Once a student signs up for a simulator program, the student may access the Bar Exam Doctor website 24 hours per day to practice through the completion of the next bar exam. Students may practice the same question multiple times.
The “doctor” theme comes from analogizing the Bar Exam Doctor graders to in-house physicians with bedside manners. The graders strive to provide personalized feedback to promptly diagnose a student’s problem areas so the student knows what to concentrate on when practicing. For students with trouble studying for long periods of time or difficulty dealing with anxiety, the Bar Exam Doctor also offers relaxation CDs and hypnotherapy sessions.