Bar Exam Fail: Law grads unable to submit completed tests due to software glitch

It’s Bar-magedon!

Law students across the country endured their own exam hell this week after a glitch in a widely used system to upload bar exam answers and essays temporarily failed, meaning their answers were not uploaded or sent to various state websites.

ExamSoft, the management platform software that handles digital bar exam submissions for multiple states, experienced a severe technical meltdown on Tuesday, leaving many graduates temporarily unable to complete the exams needed to practice law. The snafu also left bar associations from nearly 20 states with no choice but to extend their submission deadlines.

Frustrated law students took to Twitter in the wake of the disaster to air their frustration with ExamSoft, creating hashtag topics like #Barghazi and #Barmagedon and likening the system failure to that of Obamacare website glitches late last year.

“Are the folks at #examsoft the same who did the Obamacare website,” reads one tweet from a Twitter user named @Huerts31.

“Thanks #examsoft for turning the first day into Barghazi,” said one exam taker under the Twitter handle @nickdaisydaisy.

“This is why it’s a good idea to bring your 1946 Smith Corona 'silent' portable typewriter with you. For backup. #Barmageddon #examsoft,” reads another tweet from @Qwertz0.

Tuesday's testing session was for the essay portion of the two-day long examination period and normally takes six hours to complete. Some test takers say it took them just as long to attempt to send in their completed tests.

"There's a lot of stress with this exam. It's on your mind throughout law school," Recent UNC Law School grad Satie Munn said to "Tension is already high on that first day after all the time you put in preparing. It's like an instant panic attack when you are unable to send your essays in. I think it was sort of a breaking point for a lot of people."

It’s not clear how many exam takers were affected but officials for Florida-based ExamSoft issued an apology for the issues along with an explanation for the cause.

“We apologize to the affected exam takers for the delay in processing their answer files last night, Ken Knotts, a spokesman for ExamSoft, said in a statement to “We understand that it is a stressful time for bar exam takers, and their experience last night was unacceptable to us.

"Due to a technical reason that we are still investigating, it took us approximately six hours longer than usual to process all of the exam takers' answers onto our servers. As of very early this morning, the backlog of answers was nearly fully processed and those who are uploading their exam files are not currently experiencing a delay.”

Many exam takers took to social media Wednesday afternoon, saying they were still having trouble uploading their answers.

The digital system for the exam works on users’ personal laptop, which they bring to the testing facility, where they download the company's application to the computers they use to take the tests. At the end of the exam, the file closes and locks. When the user is able to connect to the Internet, the file uploads. Users cannot make changes to the file after the conclusion of the test.

ExamSoft has assured the grads that their answers were not deleted from their computers or the system and would be able to submit them in time for the extended deadlines.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.