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Using your laptop at the bar exam

The Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) allows examinees to use their own laptop computers for the essay portion of the exam.

Important update for February 2021 Bar Exam: Examinees February bar exam should NOT plan to use a new Mac device with a new M1 microchip for the exam. 

While every effort is made to minimize the risks of participation in the Laptop Computer Testing Program, before deciding to register it is important to note that the BBE does not own or maintain the software used for the laptop computer testing program and cannot guarantee the performance of the software furnished by ExamSoft, Inc.  In the event that technical difficulties occur during the bar examination, you will be required to handwrite your essay answers in the answer books provided and no additional testing time will be provided.  Technical difficulties may include hardware or software malfunctions, data saving or retrieval problems, operator errors or the loss of electrical power at the examination facility.  

Communications between Laptop Computer Testing Program Registrants and ExamSoft

  • All communications between examinees selecting to participate in the Laptop Computer Testing Program and ExamSoft will be by email.
  • You will be contacted at the email address you provide on your petition for admission. It is your responsibility to maintain the email address provided until the conclusion of the bar examination process. Should unforeseen circumstances require that you change your email address during this time, you are required to provide a new and valid email address to the Court immediately.
  • ExamSoft will use any identifying information regarding program registrants for the sole purpose of establishing an account for each applicant to register and download software.

Minimum System Requirements

Examinees must provide their own laptop computer which meets or exceeds system requirements as determined by ExamSoft.  Please review these Laptop Computer Testing Program Systems Requirements before registering for this program. The February 2021 bar exam requirements can be found at the links listed below.

Minimum System Requirements For Windows:

  • ·A full list of requirements can be found in the document link for Windows below.

Windows Operating System: 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10.


Minimum System Requirements For Mac:

  • The full  list of system requirements can be found in the document link for Mac below. 

MacOS Catalina (version 10.15) is only compatible with Examplify version 2.0.6 or higher (Released on 10/14/19 or later)

MacOS Big Sur (version 11.0) is only compatible with Examplify version 2.5 or higher (Released on 11/13/20 or later)

Supported operating systems: OS X 10.14 (Mojave), macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Big Sur (11.0). Only genuine versions of Mac operating systems are supported.

CPU: Intel processor. (Devices using Apple’s M1 chipset are not supported.)

  • For instructions on how to check your computer’s specifications, click here.

NOTE: Mac devices using Apple’s new M1 chipset are not currently compatible with Examplify. 


ExamID and ExamMonitor:

  • The following requirements apply for exams with ExamID or ExamMonitor enabled:
    • Examplify version 2.5 or greater
    • Hard drive: 4GB or higher available space
    • RAM: 8GB or higher recommended; 4GB required
    • Webcam (no virtual cameras or phones as cameras)
    • Microphone (no headphones, no virtual mics)
    • Internet: 2.5 Mbps upload speed
  • PLEASE NOTE: You may not use any virtual camera or audio software with ExamID or ExamMonitor.

Additional Resources for

Registration, Fees and Startup

To be eligible to use a laptop, examinees must:

  1. include with the Petition to the Court, the signed Bar Exam Laptop Computer Testing Program form (below) for registration and compliance
  2. include  with the Petition to the Court, the laptop fee of $75 in addition to the Petition for Admission fee of $815 for a total of $890
  3. complete the registration process with Examsoft -you will be billed directly by ExamSoft for the $97.35 software license and service fee 
  4. complete the mock exam  

After the Petition filing deadline, examinees will receive instructions by email from ExamSoft  about registering and downloading the laptop software and certify your laptop computer for the bar examination.  The mock exam will be downloaded in the registration process.  It is the responsibility of the examinee to register with ExamSoft, pay the appropriate fee and follow all ExamSoft instructions.

Questions regarding the download and use of the  software should be directed to ExamSoft technical support at (866) 429-8889 or via email at:


Additional Resources for