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Barristers offer Zoom Discussion for BPTC students over recent exam problems with BSB and Pearson VUE

An independent group of barristers are providing a forum, chaired by OTC, for BPTC students to discuss and get advice about the difficulties encountered taking their exams this summer.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) exams have not gone well so far this year, first being postponed due to Covid-19, then suffering technical problems during the online exams.

Back in May, the BSB announced that the centralised assessments on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and the Bar Transfer test (BTT) would be offered as computer based exams in August after the April exams had to be cancelled. Pearson VUE’s OnVUE secure global online proctoring solution was supposed to enable students and transferring qualified lawyers to sit the exams remotely.

However after just the first round, students have flooded Twitter to complain and express their concerns for their October pupillage offers. They listed a wide range of issues including:

  • The lack of water and toilet breaks during the hottest day of the year
  • Technical issues preventing students from logging in
  • Inadequate telephone technical support
  • Administrative errors by the examination centre

Barristers offer support

Barristers across the industry have been alarmed by the stories and have responded on social media with advice and support for distressed students.

Now, some of these barristers have gone one step further and joined forces to provide a one-off remote discussion for any students affected by these issues. The panel includes barristers from 3PB, St Paul’s Chambers and Claire Van Overdijk from Outer Temple Chambers with more expected to join soon.

The panel will be chaired by Daniel Barnett of Outer Temple Chambers.

This event will be held via Zoom on Thursday 27 August 2020.


Any BPTC student wishing to join the discussion at 10am on 27 August 2020 can register at:

Events 13 Aug, 2020


Claire van Overdijk KC

Call: 2003 Silk: 2023

Daniel Barnett

Call: 1993

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