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The Bar Exams Will Have No Top 10 for 2020-2021

Those with 'exemplary performance' will be recognized.
by Arianne Merez
5 days ago
Photo/s: Mike Gonzales / Wikimedia Commons

Due to the "extraordinary circumstances" posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020/21 Bar Exams will break away from the tradition of announcing top 10 passers and would instead recognize all examinees who will record “exemplary performance.” 

The policy was adopted due to the unique nature of the upcoming Bar Exams which will test two batches of graduates--those from 2020 and 2021, Bar Chairperson Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said in a bulletin released Friday. The November 2020 Bar Exams were postponed due to the pandemic.

"They were adopted considering the extraordinary circumstances engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the anxiety and uncertainties suffered by examinees," he said in the bulletin.

"It is hoped that by shifting the focus away from how select individuals excel and onto a school’s collective performance, this will encourage deep-seated and wide-ranging improvements in legal education," he said.

First to be conducted digitally, the upcoming Bar Exams will make use of a tiered grading system where examinees who will get a total weighted score of 85% or higher shall be recognized for "exemplary performance" in the Bar exams.

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"Each bar subject will have a total of 15 or 18 straightforward questions designed to address entry-level legal competency. There will be no sub-questions," the bulletin explained.

Points ranging from zero to five will be given per question based on certain criteria. Examinees need to get a total weighted score across all Bar subjects of at least 75% computed in accordance with the relative weight per subject to pass.

Examinees will be tested on their knowledge of Remedial Law, Political and International Law, Civil Law, Commercial Law, Labor and Social Legislation, Criminal Law, Taxation, Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises.

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