Revised bar exam won’t use software that caused tech problems for some test-takers
“If you have all your eggs in one basket and then it doesn’t work, nobody else is ready to step in,” said Greg Sarab, the chief operating officer of Extegrity. (Image from Shutterstock)
The revised NextGen bar exam rolling out in some states in July 2026 won’t be using the ExamSoft software that led to complaints of crashes, frozen screens and faulty facial recognition by some test-takers.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners will be using a software called Surpass Assessment for the new exam, according to a Jan. 30 press release, Reuters and Law.com.
Surpass Assessment software is currently used by the National Board of Medical Examiners and other professional licensing boards.
States currently can choose from ExamSoft and two other platforms for the exam. The chief operating officer of one of the other software companies, Extegrity, criticized the decision to use only one company in an interview with Reuters.
“If you have all your eggs in one basket and then it doesn’t work, nobody else is ready to step in,” said Extegrity COO Greg Sarab.
The NextGen bar exam will be more focused on legal skills needed by newly licensed lawyers. It will be available, along with the current exam, through February 2028. After that, the old bar exam will fall by the wayside.
ExamSoft has said past problems appeared to be related to memory issues on some devices. A spokesperson for ExamSoft’s parent company told Reuters that it “continues to provide bar exam services” to states but did not offer further comment.