People taking the bar exam in Tennessee won’t be able to use certain Microsoft Surface devices

Edoardo Maggio
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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The Surface Book features a detachable keyboard, which creates problems with the exam software, SofTest.

The Tennessee state bar has prohibited examinees from bringing their Surface Book and Surface Pro devices to the bar exam next month. Test-takers with laptops using the Windows 10 Creator update, on the other hand, will have to make some adjustments, The Verge reports.

The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners had to take this decision as SofTest (the exam software) doesn’t support the Windows 10 Creator update. It will ask students to notify them before July 12, in order to tweak the accessibility settings and sign an extra addendum to their “Laptop Agreement.”

Users can’t bring their Surface Books and Surface Pros, but all other devices with a detachable keyboard will not be permitted as well. The board doesn’t explain why, but compatible accessories such as the Surface Pen won’t be allowed during the examination either.

Basically, if you want to use a Surface device, Surface Laptop is your only option; however, you have to keep in mind that SofTest does not support Windows 10S either, so you will have to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

The decision left some Surface Book owners, such as Twitter user @ThirdScrivener, puzzled; he questioned why the device’s detatchable keyboard would be a problem, pointing out that he has taken “multiple law exams on it” without issue.

As far as Apple laptops go, the board accepts all MacBooks, but SofTest will disable the TouchBar on the most recent versions of the MacBook Pro.


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