North Carolina requires test takers disable MacBook Pro Touch Bar for bar exam [u]

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2017
Prospective lawyers wanting to attend February's North Carolina Bar Examination will have to disable the Touch Bar if they're bringing along Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro, according to an announcement.




Before the start of the exam, a proctor will ask if anyone is using the laptop and have either another proctor or an ExamSoft technician ensure the feature is disabled, the state's Board of Law Examiners said. The Touch Bar must already be off prior to entering the examination site.

Instructions note that the feature can be disabled by going into the Keyboard menu under System Preferences, clicking the drop-down for "Touch Bar Shows," then picking Expanded Control Strip.

The board didn't explain its policy, but it's presumably concerned about cheating. The Touch Bar is designed to replace physical function keys with context-sensitive touch commands -- a programmer could, however, conceivably write software that would display test answers.

The Touch Bar is so configurable that people have managed to get games such as Doom running on it, even if they're not playable in any practical sense.

Removing the technology can make a Pro more difficult to use, forcing owners to click through menus to accomplish common tasks.

Update: Other states are also coming down hard on MacBook with Touch Bar as it pertains to bar examinations. California, for example, will not allow applicants to bring the laptop to the upcoming February 2017 exam because it "contains certain embedded features that makes it problematic for use" during test administration.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I thought nobody bought these though? So why the policy?

    Seems like a "new scary" technology for these guys. You can cheat with any tech nowadays. 
    jdwnetmagewatto_cobraredgeminipa
  • Reply 2 of 45
    I'm waiting for the day that websites figure out how to send scrolling banner ads across my touchbar.  Nice to know I can disable it if necessary.

    watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 45
    So how is the touch bar different from an exam taker just having another window or desktop with a window with exam answers?  With WiFi and an iPhone they could presumably access any server with info needed.
    edited January 2017 Solinetmagewatto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 45
    Disable the touch bar, for a "bar" exam. 

    Bar exam...






    I'll be here all week, folks.
    edited January 2017 macseekereriamjhbuzdotsvukasikaboltsfan17retrogustoSpamSandwichidreycldarlington1jdw
  • Reply 5 of 45
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    Apple Promotes Cheating with failed MacBook refresh!
    /s

    i used my TI-85 to cheat in college. Then again it was open book exams. 
    calicali
  • Reply 6 of 45
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,039member

    Come on, they are allow to use a laptop during the test and if someone is going to cheat there are hundreds of way to do that on a Mac without drawing much attention and they are worried about the touch bar.

    My son told me this fall Apple watch were no longer allow during testing, they caught people texting each others on their watches to share answers. Now I did not think of that but the kids figured out quickly. It is amazing how educators have not realize that making rules only encourage kids to find a way around them and all they have is time to figure it out.

    edited January 2017 mattinoznetmage
  • Reply 7 of 45
    Sad when Bar Examn proctors need to implement "anti-cheating" measures to persons wanting to practice law. If they cheated and passed the bar exam would they then become honest? 
    buzdots[Deleted User]GeorgeBMacjdgazjony0
  • Reply 8 of 45
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,980member
    maestro64 said:

    Come on, they are allow to use a laptop during the test and if someone is going to cheat there are hundreds of way to do that on a Mac without drawing much attention and they are worried about the touch bar.

    My son told this fall apple watch were not allow during testing, they caught people texting each others on their watches to share answers. Now I did not think of that but the kids figured out quickly. It is amazing how education have not realize that making rules only encourage kids to find a way around them and all they have is time to figure it out.

    You mean like programme in a whole bunch of stock answers, case summaries and useful quote into the autocomplete text?
    retrogustomike1
  • Reply 9 of 45
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,039member
    jungmark said:
    Apple Promotes Cheating with failed MacBook refresh!
    /s

    i used my TI-85 to cheat in college. Then again it was open book exams. 

    I hated open book test, it usually meant most kids failed since the Prof knew if you did not know the material no open book was going to help you. I had HP 15C calculator which did lots of advance functions that most calculators of the time could not do and the Prof did not know this and those few of us who had them did well in his class then he figured out and change the test to us symbols verse number which meant to you have to manually work through the problems since he provided no numbers.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,531member
    Disable the touch bar, for a "bar" exam. 
    They're really raising the bar when it comes to cracking down on cheating.
    GeorgeBMaccoolfactorpscooter63
  • Reply 11 of 45
     :D :D :D   Quadra can I get a ticket for the Friday Evening show?
  • Reply 12 of 45
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    I'm at a loss as to how they would prevent a test taker from turning the touch bar back on or using other means of communication through various connection methods and messaging protocols. Are they watching the screens like a hawk?
    netmage
  • Reply 13 of 45
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    maestro64 said:
    jungmark said:
    Apple Promotes Cheating with failed MacBook refresh!
    /s

    i used my TI-85 to cheat in college. Then again it was open book exams. 

    I hated open book test, it usually meant most kids failed since the Prof knew if you did not know the material no open book was going to help you. I had HP 15C calculator which did lots of advance functions that most calculators of the time could not do and the Prof did not know this and those few of us who had them did well in his class then he figured out and change the test to us symbols verse number which meant to you have to manually work through the problems since he provided no numbers.
    I used a TI-58C until it died during my final year of college and got an HP-15C. That was in 1987. I still use that calculator (a little bit) today and it's still on the original batteries. I have no idea how this is possible and I'm an electrical engineer.
    netmagecoolfactorfirelock
  • Reply 14 of 45
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,091member
    When my daughter took the CA bar back in 2008, they required a Windows PC along with software (I believe it was from ExamSoft) that took over the entire PC, making it impossible to do anything other than access the exam software. This kept potential lawyers from cheating but it also screwed up the PC. They had to take their PC in before the test and have a technician validate the configuration. Once the test was over, the software was supposed to reset the PC, stripping out all the malware the test agency put in. It didn't always remove everything but it didn't really matter to my daughter because that's the only time she ever used a PC. She's been a Mac user since our first Performa 400. 

    As for abiding by the morals clause, yea, lawyers can be just as untruthful as politicians and common people. After all, we're just humans. (That's a lame excuse, I know.)
    coolfactor
  • Reply 15 of 45
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,039member
    linkman said:
    maestro64 said:
    jungmark said:
    Apple Promotes Cheating with failed MacBook refresh!
    /s

    i used my TI-85 to cheat in college. Then again it was open book exams. 

    I hated open book test, it usually meant most kids failed since the Prof knew if you did not know the material no open book was going to help you. I had HP 15C calculator which did lots of advance functions that most calculators of the time could not do and the Prof did not know this and those few of us who had them did well in his class then he figured out and change the test to us symbols verse number which meant to you have to manually work through the problems since he provided no numbers.
    I used a TI-58C until it died during my final year of college and got an HP-15C. That was in 1987. I still use that calculator (a little bit) today and it's still on the original batteries. I have no idea how this is possible and I'm an electrical engineer.

    yep my 15C is from 1985, and on its second set of batteries and I still use it today, tried to show my kids how to use it and they wanted nothing to do with it. I love the calculator and it was worth every penny I spent on it. Just shows you how good HP was at engineering things.
    edited January 2017 dewmenetmage
  • Reply 16 of 45
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,039member
    rob53 said:
    When my daughter took the CA bar back in 2008, they required a Windows PC along with software (I believe it was from ExamSoft) that took over the entire PC, making it impossible to do anything other than access the exam software. This kept potential lawyers from cheating but it also screwed up the PC. They had to take their PC in before the test and have a technician validate the configuration. Once the test was over, the software was supposed to reset the PC, stripping out all the malware the test agency put in. It didn't always remove everything but it didn't really matter to my daughter because that's the only time she ever used a PC. She's been a Mac user since our first Performa 400. 

    As for abiding by the morals clause, yea, lawyers can be just as untruthful as politicians and common people. After all, we're just humans. (That's a lame excuse, I know.)

    My son told me he takes examine on the computer for college, it requires he log into a website. While logged into the website they know if you are doing anything else on your computer. I am curious how they do that since he uses a Mac and it is much harder to take control of the computer via the web. But he said kids have gotten caught trying to find answers on the computer while taking the test.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    It's only fair. I mean, if they're going to look up the answers on YouTube, they should at least have to sit through the ads, like everybody else.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 45
    Just saying: If you can cheat with the touch bar... you can more easily cheat with the rest of the laptop.
    caliretrogustopscooter63netmage
  • Reply 19 of 45
    This is good news, and they deserve kudos not snark.  The easy thing for them to do would be to require everyone to use a Windows laptop and allow no exceptions.  Instead they not only support Macs but are willing to accommodate brand new models with new features that could be used to cheat.  We should be publicly thanking them for supporting Macs.  I'm certain there were plenty of people at ExamSoft arguing for a "no new Macs" policy; but instead a more pro-Mac policy was adopted.

    Frankly, I find it almost unbelievable that lawyers-to-be are allowed to bring their own computers for the test.  What other high-stakes tests allow that?  
    radarthekat
  • Reply 20 of 45
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,457member
    When we do state testing (NYS Regents) we do have students that are allowed to use computers during testing. I disable their internet so they cannot access anything and we log them into a generic account which also doesn't have internet access. I'm sure there's actually a terminal command that can be run to disable it as well. In a school environment, this would make it much easier to disable during testing and you can lock down the system preference so it cannot be re-enabled in the Keyboard system preference. 

    Within the next couple of years we are going to implement computer based testing where all tests are taken on the computer. These have to be state approved devices with keyboards and they will run a special browser that locks the entire computer down and all you can get to is this browser, even if you restart the device.
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