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MacBook Touch Bar barred from bar test takers this February

MacBook Touch Bar barred from bar test takers this February


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MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
James Bareham

There are a lot of kitschy things you can do with the new MacBook Touch Bar. Autocorrect your typos! Fast forward through a YouTube video! Cheat on a test? Not for bar exams in North Carolina, according to a new announcement by the state’s Board of Law Examiners.

As reported by Apple Insider, the board today released a notice requiring bar test takers disable the Touch Bar function if they plan on using their new MacBooks for the upcoming February exam. The announcement doesn’t point out cheating as the reason for requiring Touch Bar to be disabled, but it seems obvious that’s what the board is trying to work around. Touch Bar helps automatically suggest phrases and words relevant to what you’re typing, so presumably students could add predictive texts ahead of their test date.

Similarly, Colorado has also banned Touch Bars during the February exam, citing that the feature is “not compatible with the security features of the ExamSoft software” used to administer the tests. Although not every state has released an official notice, ExamSoft itself did recommend proctors to disable the Touch Bar before testing takes place.

How exactly the boards will implement this rule seems a little vague. So far, according to the board of North Carolina’s statement, it seems a proctor will simply ask if anyone in the exam room has a new MacBook with Touch Bar, and a technician will come by to help disable it if you raise your hand. I guess the test of a good lawyer starts at being a trustworthy human.

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