Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, isn’t it? Barcode scanners make your supermarket trip quicker, word processors makes writers sound smarter, and online shopping gives even the laziest boyfriends a chance to buy something nice for their their significant other’s birthday. But we all know that our dependence on technology is a double-edged sword. When something goes wrong it can seem like the end of the world, especially if that software glitch involves a high-stakes test that could help define our future.
Such is the case with the bar exam, future lawyers in nearly 20 states are frustrated because of problems with the software that handles digital submissions of the test, and the problems could hold up their careers. ExamSoft experienced a meltdown on July 29, and angry law students expressed their rage and frustration on Twitter.
On the same day, students took the essay portion of the two-day test. Some students reported that it took them hours to submit their completed tests. ExamSoft has not revealed how many test takers were affected by the glitches, but it did offer apologies to the impacted students and explained away the issues by citing server problems.
As a result of the glitches, the states affected have decided to extend their submission deadlines. Perhaps the state of Iowa, which is considering doing away with the bar exam altogether, is on to something. On the other hand, perhaps we should all just go back to pencils and paper. They rarely face server meltdowns.