Emond Exam Prep: Virtual Bar Exam Diaries: Benefits of Writing the Exam Remotely

Presenting the Virtual Bar Exam Diaries: A series specifically written for students, by students. Each article outlines the author’s personal experience writing the Ontario Licensing exam virtually, and is full of insights and advice. Learn from their experiences and write the exam with greater confidence.


Benefits of Writing the Exam Remotely

Writing the Ontario Licensing Exams during COVID-19 was not all that bad. This was my first time writing, so I have nothing to compare it to. However, not having to attend the exam in person was a huge benefit. This saved me so much time and stress on the morning of each exam. Rather than having to get a hotel nearby or waking up very early to get to the exam in time while waiting in a line of anxious students, I got to wake up later and sit in the comfort of my own home with no other students around me.

The exam itself was administered smoothly (I know others had different experiences with respect to technological challenges). The proctors were super friendly and available. The ability to answer multiple-choice questions online rather than fill in bubbles on a scantron was also a huge time-saver.

The shortened exam was compensated by fewer questions than the in-person exam. The new 4-hour format allowed you to complete your exam without tiring out; my adrenaline lasted the entire 4 hours. This was huge!

As for studying, I went through the exam material one time. I did a thorough read-through, which included highlighting. The biggest tip I can give future students is colour coding the highlights. For example, any timelines were highlighted in blue. On the day of the exam, if I was pushed for time, I would flip to the page and my eyes would instantly jump to the appropriate highlight colour, making it easier and faster to find the answer. This saved me a lot of time on the exam, and it was worth the extra time it took to change highlighters as I read through the material.

The other big tip I recommend is saving minimum 3-4 days for practice exams at the very end. The material is too long and dense to remember it all. I felt that by the end of a course (ie. Business), I had already forgotten most of the material I read for Business, let alone the other courses I had already read. It was only while doing my practice exams and getting familiar with my index that I started to feel somewhat prepared and confident. The Emond Practice Exams were by far the most relevant and similar in terms of complexity. I found Emond exams to be harder than the actual exam, but in terms of long questions. This was very useful while studying. If you are going into the exam not feeling ready, I strongly believe that’s completely normal, so do not stress! Also take the day before the exam off—you know what you know by that point. Nothing you do on the day before your exam will make or break you, so take the day off to relax your mind and get you energized for exam day.

The process is daunting, but you will get through it and it will be worth it!


My Top 3 Exam Tips:

  1. The time also pauses if your computer happens to freeze, so do not stress about losing time.
  2. Try not to dwell on any technical issues that may arise—it’s not worth the added stress; out of everyone I know who wrote, only a few students had issues
  3. The proctors are very helpful if there are any technical issues.


Written by: Ayala David

Ontario Licensing Exam candidate


Barrister Exam: March 2–6, 2021  |  Solicitor Exam: March 16–20, 2021