California and North Carolina Ban MacBook Pros With Touch Bar From Bar Exam

Juli Clover, reporting for MacRumors:

In California, the Committee of Bar Examiners has decided that the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can’t be used at all on the February 2017 examination and sent out notices to test takers this morning.

The Committee of Bar Examiners has been advised that the MacBook Pro laptop with Touch Bar contains certain embedded features that makes it problematic for use during the upcoming February 2017 administration of the CBX. As a result, applicants will NOT be allowed to use the MacBook Pro laptop with Touch Bar during the February 2017 CBX.

My first thought when I read this was that I couldn’t see how the Touch Bar would make cheating any easier than software on your regular display. I’m not sure if the same software is used in all states, but here’s a description of the software used in Pennsylvania:

Bar exam applicants have the option to provide answers to the written (i.e., Performance Test and essay) portions of the PA bar examination using their own personal computer. This method of test taking is known as Computer Based Testing or CBT. The essay/PT questions are provided in booklet format (they do not appear on screen), while the responses may be entered via the applicant’s computer. Applicants must download and register a program known as SofTest, developed by ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc. (ExamSoft), in order to participate in CBT. The software prevents a test taker from accessing any program other than SofTest while it is running.

So I think what they need is for ExamSoft to update their Mac software to turn off typing suggestions in the touch bar while in use.

Monday, 30 January 2017