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Aspiring Lawyers Panic on Twitter Over a Bar Exam Software Glitch

Update, 1:10 p.m.: Adds comment from ExamSoft

On Tuesday night, as would-be lawyers in 43 states tried to submit their answers to the bar exam, many were met with a nightmarish surprise: an error page. ExamSoft Worldwide, the company that administers the exam in those states, was plagued with a glitch that delayed the processing of test takers’ responses.

Students who elect to complete their exams electronically normally download ExamSoft test materials to their own computers, see the file lock when they’ve finished, and are then instructed to upload test responses when they can get online, according to the Associated Press.

“Due to a technical reason that we are still investigating, it took us approximately 6 hours longer than usual to process all of the exam takers’ answers onto our servers,” said Ken Knotts, an ExamSoft spokesperson in a statement Wednesday morning. The malfunction, Knotts said, did not affect “the exam takers’ answer content.” The answers that law grads uploaded on Tuesday were not lost, the company said, and most responses have made it into the ExamSoft system. “As of very early this morning, the backlog of answers was nearly fully processed.”

The reaction to what Twitter (TWTR) quickly dubbed “barghazi” was unmuted. There were bursts of rage, unbridled schadenfreude, legal threats, and the spectacle of people using Twitter to hue about the good old days of pencils and paper.






Dispensing with the niceties of lower case emotions, one Twitter user provided an unfiltered play-by-play of his general state of mind to Above the Law, one of the first outlets to spot the disaster.





For exam takers looking to sue, here’s the start of a listserv.





Kitroeff is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York, covering business education.

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