BSB publishes candidate guide for August centralised assessments

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published a detailed guide for candidates due to sit the centralised assessments for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and the Bar Transfer Test (BTT) in August. This follows the postponement of the April 2020 sitting and last month’s announcement that the exams will be computer-based.

The guide provides further details about the arrangements which the BSB is putting in place to make sure that the exams are accessible for everyone. Students will either sit the computer-based exams remotely via Pearson VUE’s online proctoring solution or in a physical test centre. The guide explains in detail how both types of sitting will work. Discussions will be had with the small number of students whose needs cannot be met by a computer-based solution. The guide does not apply to these students as their arrangements will be bespoke and tailored to individual needs.

The BSB has been liaising with the BPTC and BTT providers to assess students’ needs in light of the necessary change in arrangements for the August sitting. Any student whose needs are assessed as being best met in a test centre will not need to take their exam remotely via the online solution. Breaks, for example, will be permitted in test centres.

Test centre bookings will be available widely to students, depending on their other needs. Priority will be given to those who require reasonable adjustments or who have a specific need to take their exams in a test centre. Pearson VUE has the largest and most widely available network of local centres in the UK and globally.

BSB Director of Regulatory Operations, Oliver Hanmer, said:

“We fully understand why students have been concerned about the prospect of taking such important examinations under unfamiliar conditions. We hope this guide will explain the arrangements we have put in place for their exams and the steps we have taken to seek to make the arrangements accessible to everyone.”

The full guide is available on the BSB website.

Students will be contacted soon by their BPTC / BTT provider with further instructions regarding examination arrangements. They should liaise directly with their provider about their specific arrangements as the BSB is unable to respond to individual students at this time.

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