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Why Is The New MacBook Pro Banned In Bar Exams?

By Jomar Teves , Feb 01, 2017 04:36 AM EST
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Apple has already called its MacBook Pro featuring a Touch Bar as a "revolutionary" device. But several state bar associations are currently concerned that the laptop's Touch Bar software could potentially be used by would-be lawyers to cheat on their bar exams. Which is why bar associations in California, New York, and Colorado will be banning MacBook Pro's with Touch Bar starting next month.

MacBook Pro w/ Touch Bar Banned

Software Company ExamSoft, which creates digital bar exam tests, published a notice on its site last week, explaining to test takers and administrators how to turn off the Touch Bar.

"Exam Administrators will want to make sure that the newest feature included with some MacBook Pro's will be disabled before a student begins their exam," the notice reads. "By default, the Touch Bar will show predictive text depending on what the student is typing, compromising the exam's integrity."

Reason For Ban Is Unclear

According to Fortune, it's still unclear why ExamSoft and several state bar associations are concerned about the Touch Bar. Apparently, the feature can be used to cheat, but ExamSoft didn't say just exactly how and whether anyone has actually managed to do it.

The company did not immediately respond to any requests for them to comment.

According to ExtremeTech, test takers will be allowed to use other computers during the bar exam. On the other hand, policies vary as to whether they can go online during testing.

About the MacBook Pro

Apple unveiled its new MacBook Pro in October 2016. The Touch Bar sits just above the keyboard and replaces the function keys, like the escape, volume, and other keys found in traditional keyboards.

In its place, users can interact with the touchscreen and be automatically presented optional functions that they can turn on based on what is currently on the screen display. Some developers have also been finding ways in modifying the Touch Bar. This includes getting video games such as Doom that can be played through the feature.

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