The Bar Standards Board has apologised for the ‘distress and inconvenience’ caused by technical faults in its online exams, saying students will get another opportunity to sit the tests as ‘soon as possible before December’. The regulator previously said bar school students who experienced IT failures would have to defer until the end of the year.

In a statement published late yesterday, the BSB said: ‘Our test delivery partner, Pearson Vue, experienced some delays today with the OnVue platform, which is being used to deliver the centralized assessments online as part of this year’s bar exams.

‘We apologise for the distress and inconvenience that this may have caused. Pearson Vue has resolved the delay, and the majority of candidates who were meant to test today have been able to complete their exams. We are examining options to ensure that candidates who experience any difficulty with online testing will get another opportunity to sit their exams as soon as possible before December. ‘

Last week, the regulator said problems had arisen in 11% of the exams delivered so far. However, it claimed 97% of exams had been successfully completed.

Dozens of students on the Bar Professional Training Course have been unable to sit core assessments because of technical issues. Candidates have reported being locked out of the assessment system, losing large chunks of allotted time, and being repeatedly interrupted by remote proctors.

The Bar Council has demanded answers from the regulator, saying it is ‘very concerned’ at the reports of problems faced by some students.