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2019-20 Online Examination Delivery

The Law Society is moving forward with online delivery of the licensing examinations using a staged approach, beginning with the cancelled March Solicitor Examination. The March Solicitor Examination will be available to candidates via online delivery beginning in early June. Priority will be given to those candidates for whom this examination is their final requirement to be licensed, followed by all other candidates who were scheduled to write the examination.

We anticipate that other licensing examinations will be offered online beginning mid-July, including the postponed June Barrister and Solicitor Examinations, and the July Paralegal Examination. Candidates will be given a minimum of four weeks' notice of the examination dates, and lawyer licensing candidates will have approximately two free weeks between the June Barrister examination and the June Solicitor examination.

As Public Health measures regarding social distancing remain in place indefinitely, the Law Society is unable to confirm dates of future in-person examinations.

Additional information and FAQs about the online delivery model, including technical requirements, can be found on this webpage which will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

March Solicitor Examination
Overview of the Online Delivery Model
Technical Requirements
Testing Environment
Rules and Protocol
Permitted Items
Step By Step Process to Write an Examination
Frequently Asked Questions

March Solicitor Examination

Candidates will be notified by the Law Society of their eligibility to write the March Solicitor Examination through their online account. The Law Society will also provide the list of candidates eligible to write the March Solicitor Examination to its service provider. The service provider will then email those candidates with information about scheduling their online examination.

The Law Society’s service providers for the online examinations are Paradigm Testing and MonitorEDU who partner to provide examination administration and remote proctoring, respectively. The examination administration and remote proctoring follow industry best practices in compliance with standards defined by international accrediting bodies such as ISO/ANSI 17024.

The March Solicitor Examination is 7 hours in length and will be written online in two parts (3.5 hours each), over two days within a five-day ‘test window’. Candidates will write Part 1 of the exam on one day, and Part 2 on another day during the five-day test window. The examination will continue to be multiple-choice and open-book. For more information, see the Guide to Licensing Examinations, which continues to apply, subject to modifications to the delivery format outlined on this page.

The online delivery model will be available in early June, starting with the administration of the cancelled March Solicitor Examination. Priority will be given to those candidates for whom this examination was their final requirement to be licensed, followed by all other candidates who were scheduled to write the March Solicitor Examination, including those who were registered to write but deferred their examination on or after February 24. The March Solicitor Examination will be based on the 2019 study materials. 

  • Candidates for whom the March Solicitor Examination was the last requirement of the licensing process have the opportunity to write the examination from June 2 to June 6. Alternatively, these candidates may choose to write the examination from June 16 to June 20 or from June 23 to June 27.
  • Candidates who were registered to write the March Solicitor Examination and those who were registered and deferred writing the examination on or after February 24 have the opportunity to write the examination from June 16 to June 20 or from June 23 to June 27.  
  • The March Solicitor Examination will not be offered after June 27. Candidates not eligible or unable to write the March Solicitor Licensing Examination during the test windows listed above will be required to select another sitting and to study from the 2020 study materials.

Overview of the Online Delivery Model

The online licensing examinations will be delivered to candidates on a laptop or desktop computer. The delivery will be provided through a secure, browser-based platform that locks down the computer from accessing anything except for the examination. A proctor will verify candidate identification and monitor candidates during the administration of the examination through audio and two cameras: a computer webcam and a smart phone camera. The smart phone must be disabled during the examination with only the camera functioning. 

Technical Requirements

In order to write the licensing examinations in an online format, candidates must ensure they have access to the following:

  • Computer, Software and Operating System (OS): Laptop or desktop computer and monitor with a webcam, with Windows 7 or higher or for Mac OS requirements, please refer to the following chart. You must meet the operating system requirements in order to install the secure browser software required to complete the online examination. Further information regarding downloading and installing the secure browser software will be sent to you once you have confirmed an examination time and date with MonitorEDU.
  • Browser: Recent version of Google Chrome (50+). Google Chrome will be loaded during pre-exam configuration, if it is not already loaded.  
  • Mobile Device: Android 4.1 or higher and iOS (Apple) 8.0 smart devices with camera. Candidates can see the operating system version in the phone settings.  
  • Internet connection: A steady internet connection is required (Wi-Fi will be required for mobile streaming) with a minimum upload speed of 1MB/second. Recommended speed is 1.5MB/second upload, 1.5 MB/second download. Tethering is not supported.  
  • Bandwidth requirements
    • Video: 300 kbps per stream (recommended lowest level)
    • Audio: 50 kbps per stream (recommended lowest level)
  •  Video specifications
    • Video resolutions — browsers:
      • 1280 x 720
      • 640 x 480
      • 320 x 240
    • Video resolutions — mobile (iOS/Android):
      • Customizable (312 by 256 min)
    • VP8 video format (the WebRTC standard)
  • A six-foot extension cord:  Allows flexibility in the placement of the computer and camera if the proctor determines that these items must be moved  

If candidates have questions about the technical requirements at any time, they are encouraged to contact MonitorEDU through the 24 hour/7 days a week live chat line at https://monitoredu.com/live-chat.

Candidates’ hardware requirements and Internet bandwidth must be pre-checked through a link provided by MonitorEDU a minimum of 24 hours prior to examination day and again on examination day to ensure everything is in working order. If candidates experience challenges meeting the equipment requirements for online examination delivery, they are asked to contact the Law Society through their online account at least 10 business days before the start of their test window.

Testing Environment

In order to support successful completion of the licensing examination, candidates are required to ensure the testing environment is and will remain comfortable, quiet, and free of distractions during the scheduled examination.

The following is required:

  • Access to a desktop or laptop computer with monitor and webcam and smart phone that fulfill the technical requirements
  • A cleared desk or tabletop
  • A comfortable chair
  • Only the Permitted Items provided below are within reach
  • The areas beneath the desk and chair are clear
  • The walls immediately behind where the candidate will be seated are clear
  • The computer and phone are plugged in for the duration of the examination
  • A six-foot extension cord to allow flexibility in the placement of the computer and camera if the proctor determines that these items must be moved
  • Adequate lighting and the room is at a comfortable temperature
  • Other household members have been informed of the examination date and time and will remain quiet during the examination and not enter the examination room (candidates who are unable to meet this condition should contact the Law Society through their online account)
  • Limited noise from outside of the examination room (e.g., TV, conversation, music) that would interfere with the candidate’s ability to write the examination or the ability of the proctor to monitor the examination
  • Landlines, non-required electronics, and any security or recording devices in the room are turned off
  • A sign should be been placed on the door of the examination room to remind everyone when the examination is in progress
  • No one should enter the examination room during the examination

Rules and Protocol

Most of the rules and protocols for online delivery are the same as for the in-person delivery. Additional security measures are in place for online delivery to protect the integrity of the examination and preserve a standardized experience as much as possible.

In order to preserve the confidentiality and security of the examinations, candidates are strictly prohibited at all times from disclosing to any person or organization, reproducing (by memorization, by electronic or by any other means) or publishing any examination content or any of the other examination materials. Such content includes but is not limited to topics, items, questions, scenarios, fact patterns, cases, correct answers, and incorrect answers, from an examination.

The existing Licensing Examination Rules and Protocol are in effect for online administration of the examinations, with some modifications as outlined on this webpage.

During the examination, candidates are not permitted to do any of the following:
  • Wear a hat, coat, scarf, or bulky clothing; candidates may be asked to remove such items (religious attire is permitted)
  • Wear a watch; an examination clock will be on the screen as part of the examination delivery platform
  • Have access to or access electronic devices not listed as required for the examination on your person, or within reach
  • Have access to or use a communication device or any type of recording device, other than those listed as required for the examination 
  • Have anything in your pockets; candidates may be asked to show that their pockets are empty
  • Refuse to move the computer or other objects or to satisfy other requests made by the proctor
  • Make notes on anything other than on the software platform’s note taking feature, the blank notepad or scrap piece of paper permitted for this use; at the end of the examination candidates will be asked to destroy/rip up any paper notes taken during the examination in clear view of the proctor
  • Have a calculator; a calculator is embedded in the examination platform
  • Have anything on the desk or table or within reach, other than Permitted Items

Permitted Items

  • Law Society of Ontario candidate identification card (including an expired card) or valid, current government-issued photo identification that confirms your full legal name as it is on file with the Law Society
  • A laptop computer or desktop computer and monitor with a webcam that meet the technical requirements listed above
  • A smart phone that is disabled, except for the camera
  • A phone stand or something else to prop up and secure the smart phone position such as a book
  • A six-foot extension cord to allow flexibility in the placement of the computer and camera if the proctor determines that these items must be moved
  • Study materials and other printed materials, notes and textbooks
  • A blank notepad or piece of paper for note-taking
  • Pens or pencils, a highlighter, and an eraser
  • Snack items that may be conveniently consumed during the examination
  • A drink in a clear glass or bottle

Step-by-Step Process to Write an Online Examination

Once registered with the Law Society to write the examination, below are the steps that candidates must follow to take the examination online.

Step 1:  Schedule the Dates and Times to Write the Examination

Candidates will be notified by the Law Society of their eligibility to write the examination through their online account. Approximately one week later, eligible candidates will receive an email from MonitorEDU with links to schedule the examination and to complete the pre-exam equipment and Internet check.

Approximately two weeks before the start of the test window, a second email from MonitorEDU will be sent to candidates that includes confirmation of their examination date and time, access to a video about online proctoring and a sample online examination. The YouTube video is provided in English by an LSO licensing examination service provider, MonitorEDU. Candidates may access French captioning by clicking on the settings wheel and selecting French (Canada) subtitles/CC. On examination day, candidates will be required to accept a Candidate Agreement before they can begin writing the examination. 

The March Solicitor Examination is 7 hours in length and has been split up into two 3.5-hour parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Candidates must schedule themselves to write Part 1 on one day and Part 2 on another day and both days must be in the same five-day test window. Candidates must write Part 1 before Part 2. The five-day test windows run from Tuesday to Saturday. Examination time slots are in the morning or afternoon. An additional 15 minutes has been added to the time slots to allow time for pre-examination check-ins and post-examination procedures. The allotted time to write each Part of the examination is 3.5 hours.

Step 2:  Pre-Check Hardware and Internet Bandwidth

A minimum of 24 hours prior to the examination day, candidates must access the pre-examination check link sent to them from MonitorEDU to verify equipment and Internet bandwidth . The pre-check is a requirement to write the examination. It is important to verify that the computer that will be used is compatible, properly configured, and ready for the examination before examination day. This pre-examination check should be completed on the computer that will be used to write the examination and in the environment where the candidate will be taking the examination. This will provide an opportunity to identify any room configuration issues or other issues that can be addressed before examination day.

Step 3:  Examination Day

Candidates must be seated in the testing area at the time that the examination is scheduled is to begin. Candidates must ensure that the testing environment is comfortable, quiet, and free of distractions and that the desk or table is cleared except for the Permitted Items, listed above.  

The exam day check of equipment will be conducted via chat with MonitorEDU. The proctor will then verify ID, scan the examination area and screen the candidate to ensure that candidates are in compliance with the Rules and Protocol. Candidates may be asked to provide a 360-degree view or close-ups of the environment, clothing, glasses, ears or anything else that the proctor deems necessary. The proctor may ask to see the underside of the desk or table. During the screening process, candidates may be asked to make adjustments to clothing or to relocate objects in the room.

Once the security screening is complete, candidates will be asked to access the examination webpage and to wait for the secure access code from the proctor to begin the examination. Candidates will have access to technical support from MonitorEDU before and during the examination through the chat feature. The proctor will continue to monitor candidates throughout the examination and will be able to communicate via audio.

Candidates are permitted to take breaks up to five minutes in length to stretch or use the restroom during the examination, as necessary. The examination clock will continue during breaks.

Once candidates have finished the examination, they will be required, in clear view of the proctor, to destroy/rip up any paper notes taken during the examination. Candidates will retain the study materials.

Step 4: Receive Your Examination Results

Examination results for the Barrister, Solicitor or Paralegal licensing examination will be made available to candidates within six to eight weeks after the completion of the last test window for the licensing examination. Candidates will receive results from the Law Society through their online account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Terms or Concepts Explained