The Philippine Bar Exams
This is a selection of my experience in the Bar Exams in the Philippines. The insights I have learned before, during and after the exams. Included in this selection are touches of divine principles that have been etched into my mind and heart as I reviewed and prepared for the most coveted license exam in the country.
How to Pass the Bar Exam
The legal profession is probably the most coveted and envied of all professions. It brings a lot of privileges and benefits. However, conquering the most coveted title is not easy. The Bar Exams are nemesis of every lawyer wannabe; they are formidable, intimidating and gigantic.
I just passed the recent Bar exam in the Philippines and I cannot imagine how joyous and ecstatic me and my whole family have been over such a triumphant phenomenon in our lives. After a few days from the release of the results, I was afraid to go to sleep, lest I wake up to find that everything is just a good dream. For days, I cannot get over the tears of joy and happiness, cannot thank GOD enough for letting me pass the exam.
When I took the Bar in November 2011, it was the first time in Philippine history that it was given in a multiple choice type of exam; sixty percent in MCQ and forty percent in essay. All of us 6,200 plus hopeful examinees are guinea pigs that the Supreme Court was experimenting on. Although I am quite good in writing, I know the MCQ is really a nemesis to reckon with. My answers in all eight subjects of the MCQ were more than fifty percent guess work. How I made it through was entirely GOD’s grace.
I want to share to all hopeful students the lessons I learned from the Bar exam and the guidelines I lived which probably made me pass the exam. Prayer and faith in GOD are basic things that no longer need discussion. They must precede everything.
1. Have a clear goal in your mind and in your heart. What is every law student’s goal in studying and preparing for the Bar? The goal is to become a lawyer. Some students might be studying only for promotions in their jobs; well, they are exceptions to the goal setting. I entered law school because my parents wanted me to become a lawyer. I took the Bar in 2005 and 2006 with my parents as my foremost consideration. I failed in those exams by missing the passing mark by .02 points! After five years, I came back to the law arena with a vengeance; this time, my goal is to become a lawyer by my own choice and not my parents’! The goal will keep us from being side-tracked by so many destructions in life. Problems may come during the review. Do not mind them! Keep focused on the goal of becoming a lawyer.
2. Your goal must be in line with GOD’s will. Becoming a lawyer is a blessing and with it comes great responsibilities. Many people wants to enter the legal profession because they want to become rich, richer, powerful, more powerful, and a lot more personal motives with ulterior designs such as revenge on someone who has wronged them, and the likes. This should not be. The goal of becoming a lawyer must be to bring glory and honor to GOD and to help the nation. Probably this has become a cliché and difficult to live out, but it is the truth! An evil motive attending the Bar exams has very slim chances of passing. As for getting rich, as long as you are doing the will of GOD, everything will follow- the blessings, the fortune, happiness, etc.
3. Forget the former things and move to the task. If there are past failures the most common of which is failing the previous Bar exams several times, forget it, do not dwell on the failures and pains. Move on! There is a greater task to think about and work on - passing the next exam. Be positive that something great will come.
4. Persevere. Beat your body but do not over-work. Work hard. Do not live an ordinary day, study an extra mile. It is not true that reviewing for the Bar is just like the ordinary day. No! You are like a soldier under training; you have limitations and rules to follow. You must set a reasonable schedule of activities and follow them to the letter. It is not anything goes as some would like to have it for their convenience. Forget convenience. Sacrifice for a few months. And then the fruit of the sacrifice is sweet.
The biggest factor of a person’s becoming a lawyer is GOD’s will. If GOD sees that you deserve to become a lawyer, He will grant you the desire of your heart. If He does not so want that you become a lawyer, then pray, petition, fast, that He would relent and allow you to become a lawyer. Everything begins and ends with GOD. Your relationship with GOD must be good.