If There Is An Earthquake While You Are Taking the Bar Exam, Do You Get Extra Time?

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If you think the answer to that might be yes, you are probably going to fail anyway.

11834_2Some of those enjoying Day One of the California bar exam, which is otherwise a walk in the park, were rudely interrupted today by an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4.  (The preliminary preliminary magnitude was 5.8, but it was quickly downgraded to a less preliminary 5.4.)  The large blue square on the USGS map (left) shows the general location of the quake, east of Los Angeles and about seven miles south of Pomona.  A closer look at that map will reveal many smaller squares clustered in that area, showing the dozens of aftershocks that residents and visitors continued to enjoy today.

Barquake_2As you can see on the map to the right (again, if you click to zoom), this is not too far at all from Ontario and Anaheim, two of the bar exam testing centers.  The quake did not cause major structural damage, apparently, but was strong enough to be felt as far away as San Diego.

So it was certainly strong enough to be felt by test-takers in the area who were finishing up their first-day essays.  And finish they did.  Reportedly, at least at one location those taking the test who became concerned about the earthquake were yelled at by proctors, who told them "this happens all the time in California" (which is not quite true), and said that everyone should continue with the test.

The small blue aftershock square to the southwest on the USGS map above is probably the effect of hundreds of bar-exam takers in Anaheim freaking out, briefly jumping up, and then sitting back down again in unison after hearing they would get no extra time.

Link: Los Angeles Times