12th Gen Intel processor can’t handle the bar exam

Law students preparing to take the bar exam digitally may run into a serious problem: One of the nation’s most frequently used testing software packages, Examplify, is incompatible with Intel’s latest generation of processors.

In a notice to users, ExamSoft, the company that owns Examplify, writes that 12th generation Intel processors are not compatible with its software. “New Windows devices containing the 12th Gen Intel chipset trigger Examplify’s automatic VM check,” Examplify’s advisory reads. “These are NOT currently supported. Therefore, they cannot be used for the upcoming July 2022 Bar Exam.” A user called attention to the issue in a post on Twitterand included a screenshot of what appears to be a notice given to bar candidates.

Examplify’s minimum system requirements page confirms that “Laptops with an Intel 12 Gen processor are not currently supported.” It’s unclear when this information was added, but it wouldn’t have been much of a warning even if it had arrived months ago. Who would think of reading this page if they have a laptop with all the latest hardware? It’s like asking someone with a 3090 Ti, one of the highest-end graphics cards, to check the system requirements before starting a game.

If their laptops prove to be incompatible, students don’t have many other options. Examplify’s software also does not support desktops, Chromebooks, or computers running Linux – only MacBooks running macOS Catalina or higher, or Windows laptops new enough to offer Windows 10 or 11, but sufficiently old so as not to be equipped with the new Intel processors.

It’s not yet clear if the students had any other warning beyond the post spotted via Twitter. The bar exam is just two weeks away on July 27-28, and Examplify is the software used to administer the bar in many states. According Bloomberg Lawit is also used by over 150 law schools across the United States for distance testing.

ExamSoft and Intel did not immediately respond to The edgerequest for comment.

The bar exams taken by Examplify last year didn’t go smoothly either. Throughout the year, Bloomberg Law reports, students had trouble uploading files, having parts of their essays removed, and being kicked out of the test due to facial recognition issues — if the test didn’t completely crash. At the time, a spokesperson for ExamSoft attributed the issues to “memory issues on some devices.”

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), the organization that develops the bar exam itself, said The edge that he is aware of the problem, but that it is essentially up to the individual jurisdictions administering the exam to figure things out. According to NCBE spokeswoman Valerie Hickman, each state is responsible for choosing exam software.

“While the NCBE is not directly involved in the administration of the exam, it is aware of ExamSoft’s communication to candidates regarding Windows devices with a 12th generation Intel chipset,” Hickman said in a statement. at The edge. “Candidates with questions should contact ExamSoft or their jurisdiction directly.”

The NCBE issued a similar, equally unhelpful response after hearing reports of various technical difficulties during last year’s exams, saying Bloomberg Law that it “supports the courts” in the search for a solution.

This isn’t the only compatibility issue we’ve encountered with a recent Intel processor, either. 11th and 12th Gen Intel processors have dropped support for SGX (Software Protection Extension), making it difficult, if not impossible, to play 4K Blu-ray on newer devices. As BeepComputer explains, Blu-rays need SGX for digital rights management (DRM) processing in order to play in 4K.

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