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The Top 10 Strangest Things Seen During a Bar Exam

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

Studying for the bar brings out the worst in most of us and that's part of what makes the bar exam such a strange place to be.

Following the July bar this year, the ABA Journal asked participants about the strangest thing they've seen at the bar exam. The results are as varied as they are wacky.

There are many but we've rounded up the top 10 wild and crazy stories.

  1. 1975: Just before the exam, a nervous examinee vomited on his electric typewriter and shorted it out. A nearby participant with two spares refused to lend him another.

  2. Florida, 2006: To promote security examinees had to go through metal detectors before entering the exam. But when the process took too long, proctors told everyone to run through (thus setting them off) so they could start on time.

  3. While we don't know when this happened, one commenter mentioned seeing someone bite their nails so badly their fingers bled during the exam.

  4. California 2008: An earthquake happened during the exam but that didn't stop test takers in San Diego and Los Angeles. Some examinees just kept going while others moved their laptops underneath their desks for added security.

  5. California 2010: 'Where's Waldo?' Apparently he took the bar exam, in full costume mind you, this year.

  6. Ohio 2011: A test taker brought flashcards into the exam and used them openly during the test. He made it about five minutes before proctors escorted him out.

  7. Florida 2011: Several people reported hearing 'the screamer' during this exam. One woman yelled for several long seconds before packing up and leaving the room.

  8. Illinois 2011: Everyone noticed the nine-months pregnant bar examinee in the testing room and many people say they saw her get up and leave with 30 minutes left on the last day. What most people didn't notice is that she left because she was in labor.

  9. Virginia 2012: Stress can be a health hazard and one student at this bar exam ended up having a seizure during the exam. Paramedics took care of him but everyone else kept on working.

  10. Indiana 2012: 'Bats' can be used to describe bar takers on the last day of the test but in this case examinees were talking about a bat infestation. It was disruptive but still didn't result in extra time.

Did we miss any? Let us know on our Facebook page what other strange events went on when you took the bar exam.

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