Board moves to virtual administration of the APPLIED Exam in Spring of 2021

The Board—which has been working carefully and diligently since May to adapt the APPLIED Exam to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic—has voted to move forward with a virtual administration of the APPLIED Examination in the spring of 2021.

In working to adapt the APPLIED Exam for a virtual administration, our goal has been to maintain the integrity of the exam and assess as many candidates as possible, while avoiding as many preventable technical issues as possible. We acknowledge that, while this solution will not be perfect, we will do our utmost to provide a valid and reliable exam experience for our candidates and our examiners. We plan to return to in-person assessments as soon as it is safe to do so, possibility in the fall 2021.

We recognize the inconvenience and stress caused by the cancellation of Weeks 2-9 of the APPLIED Exam and its impact on our candidates’ professional advancement. Thus, while it remains our intention to assess all 2020 and 2021 candidates by the end of 2021, 2020 APPLIED Exam candidates will be given priority and will receive their exam appointment for the first half of the year no later than November. Time zones will be taken into consideration and accommodated. The Board will decide in early 2021 if the APPLIED Exams will continue virtually during the second-half of 2021 based upon the state of the pandemic.  In order to assess as many candidates as possible in 2021, candidates will not be able to select their exam appointment.

Please read on for additional details about our plans for the 2021 APPLIED Examination. We value your feedback and invite you to email APPLIEDexam@theABA.org if you have questions not addressed below.

Am I eligible to take the virtual 2021 APPLIED Examination?

You are eligible to take the virtual 2021 APPLIED in the spring of 2021, if:

  • You registered for and were scheduled to take the APPLIED Exam in Weeks 2-9 of 2020. (If this applies to you, you’ve already been registered for the 2021 APPLIED Exam and will be assigned an exam appointment.)
  • You registered for and were scheduled to take the APPLIED Exam in Weeks 2-9 of 2020 and voluntarily cancelled your exam appointment. (If this applies to you, you must first register for a 2021 APPLIED Exam before being assigned an exam appointment.)

Appointments for eligible candidates for the virtual 2021 APPLIED Exam will be assigned based on the order we cancelled 2020 exam weeks (e.g. 2020 Week 2 candidates will be scheduled for an earlier appointment than 2020 Week 7 candidates). Candidates will be notified in November of their exam appointment.

You are not eligible to take the virtual 2021 APPLIED Exam in the first-half of next year if:

  • You recently passed the 2020 ADVANCED Exam and are eligible to take the 2021 APPLIED Exam.
  • You need to re-take any part of the APPLIED Exam.
Can I take the SOE and the OSCE on the same day?

The 2021 APPLIED Examination will include both the Standard Oral Examination and the Objective Structured Clinical Exam for candidates who need to take both components.

How will the virtual exam model differ from typical administrations of the APPLIED Exam?
  • In our virtual exam model, we will be scheduling exam days instead of weeks to assess as many candidates as possible in 2021.
  • Candidates will not be able to select their exam appointment.
  • Time zones will be taken into consideration and accommodated.
What do you mean by, “Time zones will be taken into consideration and accommodated, where possible”?

In a virtual exam model, candidates and examiners will be participating from across various time zones. To accommodate this, we will schedule virtual exam days, instead of weeks. Candidates will be scheduled for exam periods between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., accommodating their local time zone.

What should I do if my exam appointment doesn’t work with my schedule?

If your exam appointment conflicts with your schedule, please email us at APPLIEDExam@theABA.org as soon as possible.

Please note that candidates who are unable to attend their assigned exam appointment may decline and request a new date without incurring any additional fee. However, doing so will effectively place the candidate at the back of the line.


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