Can I sit the exam if I am overseas or interstate?
Yes, but you must advise the Victorian Bar office at the time of registering for the exam.You will be required to sit the exam at the same time as local candidates, (AEDST). No allowances will be made for any time differences.
What time commitment is required to study for the exam?
This will vary between individual candidates and is dependent on the individual’s study habits and techniques. The sample past exam and reading guide will give you an indication of what you might expect.
Can I hand write my exam?
There is no option to hand write the exam. A hand-written exam cannot be remotely invigilated.
Will I have allocated reading time for the exam?
There is no separate reading time, however, allowance for reading time is "in built" into the examination time.
Can I use a secondary electronic device as a timer during the exam?
No. Only the electronic device you use for the exam is permitted. Any additional electronic devices are strictly prohibited.
Can I use ear buds or head phones?
No. Ear buds, ear phones or anything that covers your ears is strictly prohibited.
Do I need to have stable internet connection throughout the exam?
There is no need to access the internet during the exam. The Examplify program will block the device’s internet access once the exam begins until completion. Internet connection is required only prior to the Permitted Time Window to download the exam file and again after the exam is completed for uploading the completed exam.
Can I print the Exam Reading Guide materials?
Prior to the exam, candidates may choose to print any of the Reading Guide materials to bring into the exam. You may print and prepare any hard copy materials you wish to bring into the exam room with you. This includes any notes, text books, print outs etc. You cannot print during the exam.
How is cheating detected?
ExamSoft offers military-grade exam proctoring and security services. Examinees will log in through ExamID and verify their identity. During the exam, the Examplify software locks the candidate’s device so the exam can be completed while all other software, files and features are disabled. ExamMonitor captures a continuous audio and video recording of the examinee using both webcam and screen capture. (No WiFi connection is required.) Once the exam is completed, all exam footage is uploaded and analysed by sophisticated artificial intelligence software which detects abnormal activity that potentially indicates collusion or academic dishonesty.
This detected activity is then reviewed by a professional invigilator. All suspicious behaviour will be reviewed and dealt with by the Victorian Bar. The Victorian Bar has a zero tolerance policy for cheating, and candidates who engage in cheating will be disqualified from the Exam and may face additional consequences including possible reporting to relevant bodies for professional misconduct.
What happens after I sit the Exam?
Approximately 6-8 weeks after the Exam, you will be notified of your result.
The number of participants in each Readers’ Course is limited. Successful candidates may receive an offer to commence the next Readers' Course or may be required to submit a preference of course intake. Please refer to s.6(7) of the Regulations
regarding allocation of places.
If you receive an offer, you will be expected to participate in the Readers' Course offered. A deferral to the next reading period may be granted only in exceptional circumstances. An exceptional circumstance includes where your current employment contract requires more than two months' notice of resignation. You cannot defer beyond that second reading period.
If you are unsuccessful in obtaining an offer you are welcome to sit the Exam in future intakes, but you must pay the non-refundable application fee to sit that Exam.
General feedback regarding the Exam is provided to all unsuccessful candidates in the form of selected model answers. These will be communicated after results are finalised.
Candidates who have been unsuccessful after three or more attempts may apply for an interview with Chief Examiner for individual feedback (fees apply.)
How much does the Readers Course cost?
The course fee in 2020 was $7000 including GST. The course fee is subject to change for 2021. More information is available on the Readers Course
Does the Bar provide any financial hardship assistance for exam candidates?
No. The Victorian Bar Inc is a not for profit, member organization. Exam fees are set on a cost recovery basis.
What financial factors should I consider before coming to the Bar?
Being a barrister can be an incredibly rewarding career, commencing your own practice as a sole trader. Successful candidates are required to surrender their current practising certificate prior to commencing the 9-week intensive Bar Readers Course The VicBar’s brochure 'Becoming a barrister
' may help you to assess whether this is the right time to join the Bar.
When are exams set for the following year?
Exams for each year will be confirmed late in the preceding year. The number of exams offered each year is contingent on the number of successful applicants for preceding year's exam/s.