SC adopts 'digitalized, localized, proctored modality' for 2021 Bar Exams | Inquirer News
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SC adopts ‘digitalized, localized, proctored modality’ for 2021 Bar Exams

/ 08:42 PM February 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has approved a “digitalized, localized, and proctored modality” for the 2021 Bar Examinations in consideration of travel restrictions and other enforced safety protocols amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a resolution of the Supreme Court (SC) en banc dated February 8, the high tribunal authorized such method for tests scheduled on November 7, 14, 21, and 28.

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“The Court En Banc has issued a February 8, 2021 Resolution approving a digitalized, localized, and proctored modality for the Bar Examinations, which will be held over the four Sundays of November 2021,” reads the resolution penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, chair of the 2021 Bar Examinations.

SC said it will review applications for local testing sites like law schools – and that minimum requirements for a testing site will be released subsequently. Applications for local testing sites will be accepted until April. After which, audit teams will check whether the testing sites will pass the standards.

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Meanwhile, applications for bar examiners will start around May via an Online Application System that will allow applicants to apply without going to Metro Manila to visit the Office of the Bar Confidant.

“Second, after the local testing sites are determined, the Court will then announce the guidelines for application to take the Bar Examinations and start accepting such applications by May. Applications will be done through an Online Application System,” SC said.

“Applicants need not go to Manila and visit the Office of the Bar Confidant, except when required to clarify the authenticity of the documents submitted. The Office of the Bar Confidant shall do this at a minimum, to reduce all applicants’ expenses,” it added.

Also, examinees are reminded that health standards will be observed for the duration of the 2021 Bar Examinations, which means that Covid-19 testing and physical distancing rules, among others, will be adopted.

“Fifth, proper hygiene protocols will be observed during the Bar Examinations, which will include Covid-19 testing and proper physical distancing inside the testing rooms. The Court will explore arrangements for a predominantly Saliva RT-PCR testing modality in each of the testing sites,” SC said.

SC also noted that applicants who will be allowed to take this year’s Bar exams will have to bring their own laptops that can connect to Wi-Fi systems, and are either running on legitimate Mac or Windows operating systems.

A set of minimum system requirements were also released for both Windows and Mac laptops:

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Windows

  • Operating System: 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 (versions: 1909, 2004, and 20H2) with the English (United States) Language Pack
  • Only genuine versions of Windows Operating Systems are allowed
  • CPU Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel i3 processor or equivalent
  • RAM: 4GB or higher
  • Hard drive: highest recommended for the operating system or 4GB of available space
  • For on-site support, and in order to back up the answer files to a USB  drive, a working USB port is required. (Newer devices may require an  adapter)
  • For technical troubleshooting, account, passwords, including BitLocker  keys, may be required
  • Internet connection for download, registration, exam download, upload and some exam features
  • Screen resolution should be at least 1024 x 768

Mac

  • Operating system versions: OS X 10.14 (Mojave), macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Big Sur (11.0)
  • Only genuine versions of Mac operating systems are allowed
  • CPU: Intel processor
  • Devices using Apple’s Ml processor and Apple Rosetta 2 are allowed
  • RAM: 4GB or higher
  • Hard Drive: 4GB or higher available space
  • For on-site support, and in order to back-up the answer files to a USB drive, a working USB port is required (newer devices may require an adaptor)
  • For technical troubleshooting, account passwords including device  passwords may be required
  • Internet connection for download, registration, exam download, and upload

Further, SC released a list of what Windows and Mac users should avoid:

Windows

  • For now: alternate versions of Windows 10, such as Windows RT and I Windows 10 S. If you are using a Microsoft Surface device, Windows 10 “S mode” is not compatible
  • Tablet devices
  • CPU Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets
  • Virtualized environments or environments that require a persistent network (local or otherwise) connections during secure exams. This includes, but is not limited to, VMWare, Parallels, Citrix workspace, virtual disks, streamed images, etc.

Mac

  • A server version of Mac OS X
  • Virtual operating systems such as Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Parallels, VMware, VMware Fusion, or any other virtual environments
  • Virtualized environments or environments that require a persistent network (local or otherwise) connections during secure exams. This includes, but is not limited to, VMWare, Parallels, Citrix workspace, virtual disks, streamed images, etc.

Bar applicants are also reminded to remove files that are related to the topic of the examinations, even if the software would prevent users from either exiting the application or accessing other tabs and applications while the exam is ongoing.

All applicants will also be required to sign an “Honor Code,” wherein examiners agree that cheating during the 2021 Bar Examinations or helping others to cheat may lead to permanent disqualification from current and future tests.

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TAGS: 2021 Bar Examinations, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, COVID-19 pandemic, digital bar exams, Philippine news updates, safety protocols, SC, Supreme Court, Supreme Court en banc, travel restrictions
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