Surpass Assessment to Provide NextGen Bar Exam Delivery Platform
MADISON, WISCONSIN, January 30, 2024—The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) has announced that Surpass Assessment (https://surpass.com/) will provide the testing software for the NextGen bar exam, set to launch in July 2026. The new bar exam will be delivered via examinees’ laptops through a secure, computer-based system already in use by testing organizations around the world.
Founded in 1985, Surpass Assessment is a global leader in assessment services and technology with offices in Exton, Pennsylvania, and in Saltaire, UK.
Their client-base features some of the most prestigious certification and licensure boards in the world, including the National Board of Medical Examiners, American Nurses Credentialing Center, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, and Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the UK.
“For the NextGen bar exam, we didn’t just need the right technology – we needed a partner who would work closely with us to understand the needs of our stakeholders and deliver the right solution for everyone involved. We look forward to launching the NextGen exam with the support of Surpass and furthering our vision of building a competent, ethical, and diverse legal profession,” said Judith Gundersen, NCBE President and CEO.
“After working with the assessment community to securely and robustly deliver over 40 million proctored exams and score over 2 billion items using the award-winning Surpass technology, we’re delighted to build our partnership further with NCBE to support their innovative and prestigious NextGen bar exam program,” said Andy McAnulla, Co-CEO of Surpass Assessment.
Surpass Assessment’s system for question drafting and management is already in use by NCBE. This system, as well as the delivery platform, will be paired with a dedicated bar exam grading platform for use by jurisdictions’ grading teams.
“With the addition of Surpass’s exam delivery and grading capabilities, NCBE gains an end-to-end assessment solution, providing us with streamlined and frictionless interaction across the technology used to develop, administer, and grade the NextGen bar exam,” said Andreas Oranje, NCBE Managing Director of Assessment Programs.
Designed to reflect the work performed by newly licensed attorneys, the NextGen bar exam will test nine areas of legal doctrine (civil procedure, contract law, evidence, torts, business associations, constitutional law, criminal law, real property, family law) and seven foundational lawyering skills (legal research, legal writing, issue spotting and analysis, investigation and evaluation, client counseling and advising, negotiation and dispute resolution, client relationship and management). The new exam will balance the skills and knowledge needed in litigation and transactional legal practice and will reflect many of the key changes that law schools are making to their own curricula, building on the successes of clinical legal education programs, alternative dispute resolution programs, and legal writing and analysis programs.
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About Surpass Assessment
Surpass is a market-leading professional end-to-end assessment platform used for the authoring, banking, administration, delivery, scoring, and reporting of computer and paper-based tests. It is a secure platform solution for large-scale high-stakes paper examinations, language testing and computer-based assessment, with the flexibility to work with multiple vendors and partners. For more information about Surpass, visit www.surpass.com.
About the National Conference of Bar Examiners
The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1931. NCBE promotes fairness, integrity, and best practices in bar admissions for the benefit and protection of the public, in pursuit of its vision of a competent, ethical, and diverse legal profession. Best known for developing bar exam content used by 54 US jurisdictions, NCBE serves admission authorities, courts, the legal education community, and candidates by providing high-quality assessment products, services, and research; character investigations; and informational and educational resources and programs. In 2026, NCBE will launch the next generation of the bar examination, ensuring that the exam continues to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent entry-level legal practice in a changing profession. For more information, visit the NCBE website at https://www.ncbex.org.
About the Next Generation of the Bar Exam
Set to debut in July 2026, the NextGen bar exam will test a broad range of foundational lawyering skills, utilizing a focused set of clearly identified fundamental legal concepts and principles needed in today’s practice of law. The skills and concepts to be tested were developed through a multi-year, nationwide legal practice analysis, focused on the most important knowledge and skills for newly licensed lawyers. Designed to balance the skills and knowledge needed in litigation and transactional legal practice, the exam will reflect many of the key changes that law schools are making today. NCBE is committed to ensuring a systematic, transparent, and collaborative implementation process, informed by input from and participation by stakeholders, and guided by best practices and the professional standards for high-stakes testing. For more information, visit https://nextgenbarexam.ncbex.org/ or https://www.ncbex.org/exams/nextgen.