The exam software company behind the online bar exam says it’s beefed up support staff and tech, but February test-takers are bracing themselves for glitches

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Nearly every state is holding their remote bar examinations on Tuesday and Wednesday, but many test-takers have concerns that tech glitches and other issues from the October bar exam are still lingering.

ExamSoft, the remote test-taking and proctoring software that’s being used by many states, faced a flurry of criticism and outrage following the previous exam in October. Examinees voiced concerns over data security, facial recognition software that allegedly led to racial discrimination, and technical glitches — some of which prevented some test-takers from accessing the test, as previously reported by Insider.

The scale of the outrage, which led to calls for diploma privilege and other bar exam changes, even prompted government officials to speak up. In December, a group of senators, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Cory Booker, wrote a letter to ExamSoft calling for clarity around these concerns.

The software company responded that there were no major issues to change.

Insider spoke with ExamSoft about test-takers’ main concerns. Here’s what they had to say.

Increased support staff for tech glitches

ExamSoft said that it’s more than doubled its support staff since October to accommodate the higher volume of calls before and on exam days, but declined to disclose the total number of staff members it will have for the February 23-24 exam.

“We make it a priority to have our staffing at a level that minimizes hold times and enables quick resolution of cases. Exam volumes vary throughout the year, which means staffing levels may vary as well,” Nici Sandberg, spokesperson of ExamSoft, said.

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During the October exam, many test-takers had reported long wait times with the software company’s customer support hotline after they encountered technical issues.

However, some February examinees are still encountering tech glitches. While completing the mock exams, Liz Gil, a recent graduate of the Duke University School of Law, said that she experienced intermittent screen-flashing, and had to try a few times to get a video file to upload. She’s also heard of computers running hot, forced shutdowns, and compromised passwords.

Despite these continuing tech glitches, examinees are still spending hours on the phone with ExamSoft support, per a Tweet from Diploma Privilege for New York, a group advocating for automatic entry into the bar.

Responding to Insider’s question about these issues, ExamSoft’s Sandberg said that technical glitches are “unlikely to occur” if exam-takers have a device that meets their operating system minimum system requirements.

“However, we have continued to improve error messages to make issues clearer to users,” she said.

Concerns over data privacy and facial recognition

Data security is another major concern of test-takers, especially given the fact that the remote exams require them to download software onto their personal computers. Last summer, ExamSoft was slammed after multiple people reported that their personal information — from passwords to credit card numbers — was compromised after they used the software.

ExamSoft said that no breach in data occurred. The attack, which “appeared to be designed specifically to disrupt the password delivery” for the Michigan bar exam in July 2020, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance

      

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