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Exam-Day Information

The bar exam security policy will be strictly enforced. All violations will be reported to the Board of Bar Examiners and may impact eligibility for admission to the Massachusetts bar.

Table of Contents

Policies and Procedures

Please be advised that any items brought to the exam site, including but not limited to coats and bags, may be subject to search. Any prohibited items found at the exam site will be confiscated by the Board of Bar Examiners.

Examinees are prohibited from:

  • Writing, typing, erasing, or otherwise altering an examination answer once time is called. No exceptions will be made.
  • Looking at or copying another examinee's test materials.
  • Removing or attempting to remove any test materials from the examination room.
  • Having bar review or other materials at the exam site at any time.
  • Attempting, by any method, to share or exchange exam information.
  • Giving or receiving assistance to or from any examinee.
  • Talking while the examination is in session.
  • Being disruptive to the bar examination process by any sound or movement, either inside or outside the exam room.
  • Being verbally or physically abusive to anyone, including examinees, security, or exam personnel.
  • Falsifying or misrepresenting exam or personal information.

While in exam rooms, examinees using a laptop are prohibited from:

  • Accessing programs and platforms, with the exception of EXAMPLIFY.
  • Connecting to the internet, email, notes, or study materials.
  • Opening any and all programs, windows, and documents.

Computers must be left in the examination room during the lunch break.


Exam Site

All areas of the exam venue, i.e., the Convention Center or School.

Prohibited conduct (above) and prohibited items (below) are not allowed at the exam site unless otherwise noted (i.e. bags may be stored in the designated bag storage area; bags stored elsewhere at the exam site will be confiscated).

Testing Area

Rooms, hallways, and other spaces reserved by the BBE for the administration of the bar exam. 

Only examinees and Board-authorized personnel are permitted in the testing area - relatives, friends, professors, etc. may not access the testing area and will be asked to leave. 

Please be aware that examinees may be testing throughout the building on different schedules; your lunch break may occur while others are still testing. Please be respectful of your fellow examinees - do not congregate in the hallways, and do not make excessive noise while in the testing area. Access to each floor of the convention center is restricted to those testing on that floor.

Exam Room

Room(s) where testing takes place.

Any personal items brought into the exam room may be subject to search. Within the exam room, examinees should only have in their possession the items listed below as required or permissible, or items otherwise approved by the Board.

What to Bring to the Bar Exam

Examinees must bring the following items to the bar exam:

  • Government Issued Photo ID
  • Seating Assignment notice (sent via email appx. 1 week before the exam)
  • Tuesday only Blue or Black Pens and/or a Laptop with a charger
    • Examinees who are handwriting the exam must bring blue or black ink pens - only one color should be used throughout. Examinees who are typing must bring their laptop, registered in advance with ExamSoft, and may bring pens if they wish.
  • Wednesday only Sharpened No. 2 pencils

Examinees may bring the following items to the bar exam:

  • A one-gallon zip bag, containing a lunch, the required items above, and other small personal items such as keys and a wallet.
  • A clear plastic water bottle with no labels. This bottle must be resealable and have a spill-proof lid. Water fountains will be available for refills.
  • Menstrual products will be provided, or examinees may bring their own.
  • Face masks are recommended.
  • Light layers of clothing (without a hood) are recommended – the temperature in the testing hall may fluctuate.
  • With prior approval: medication, tissues, lumbar support device, and similar arrangements. Review the guidelines for Arrangements for Health-Related Conditions.

Additional Resources

Prohibited Items

Examinees may not bring the following items to the bar exam:

  • Cell phones, personal electronic devices, wireless activity trackers, smart glasses, or any other device with wireless internet capabilities
    • Exceptions: Examinees may bring a laptop on Tuesday, and examinees testing at the Boston site may bring one cell phone, which will be secured for the duration of the test day. More information will be emailed to examinees.
  • Notes, books, bar review materials, or study materials of any kind.
  • Watches, clocks, or timers of any kind.
  • Backpacks, briefcases, hand or tote bags, purses, luggage, or any bags other than the one, 1-gallon clear plastic zip bag
    • The Boston site will have a bag storage area. Examinees will not be permitted to access these bags for the duration of the test day.
  • Hats and/or hoods worn on the head, except for religious or medical apparel
  • E-cigarettes and vaping devices
  • Pencil cases
  • Sticky notes or flags
  • Mechanical pencils, highlighters; erasable ink, fountain, or felt-tip pens
  • Pencil Sharpeners
  • Liquid or tape correction items (i.e. White Out)
  • Noisy footwear or jewelry
  • Scrap paper (this will be provided for the MEE and MPT test sessions, and is not permitted during the MBE)
  • Ear plugs (ear plugs are provided by the Board of Bar Examiners)
  • Weapons of any kind.

Information for Examinees Using a Laptop

Examinees may handwrite or type their responses to the MEE and MPT portions of the exam. Examinees who opt to type must submit the Laptop Registration and Compliance Form with their bar petition. Please review ExamSoft's minimum system requirements to ensure your computer is compatible.

Approximately six (6) weeks before the exam you will receive an email notice from ExamSoft to download and register the software. Please note, ExamSoft will be sending an email notice from laptop@bbe.state.ma.us. The dates of the registration period for ExamSoft will be posted on the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners’ Home Page on ExamSoft’s website, which can be found at www.examsoft.com/mabar.

By the deadline, you must:

  1. Download and Install the Examplify software on the laptop you will use on exam day. If you've used Examplify in the past, such as for law school, you must uninstall that version and install the bar exam version of the software.
  2. Register your Examplify account.
  3. Complete the mandatory mock exam.

Failure to complete these steps may preclude you from typing the exam.

If you anticipate using external computer equipment other than an external mouse and/or external keyboard, you must submit the Computer Equipment Request Form, accessed via the Applicant Portal. Any such external devices must be approved by the BBE, and you must complete the Mock Exam with the equipment you anticipate using to ensure compatibility. Wireless devices that require Bluetooth connection may not be compatible.

NOTE: Gaming keyboards, or other keyboards that create excessive noise and/or backlight, are not permitted.

Additional Resources

Contact   for Exam-Day Information


Office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm M-F.


Fax: (617) 542-5943


John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square, Suite 5-140, Boston, MA 02108

This information is an overview of the Board of Bar Examiners' policies and procedures, and is subject to change.

Specific dates and deadlines will be communicated to examinees via email. 

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