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HOW TO ANSWER BAR EXAM ESSAY

QUESTIONS IMPRESSIVELY
By:Atty. Ruben C. Talampas, Jr.

The then Chairperson of the Committee on Bar Examinations,


Madame Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Hererra, submitted a report to
the Philippine Supreme Court her observations on the 1980 bar
exams.

According to her several examinees have made very unsatisfactory


showing to such an extent that there is one who obtained a grade as
low as 7% another obtained a grade of 11%; still some others
obtained grades of 12%; 16%; 17%; 18%; 19%; 20%; 21%; 24%; 25%;
26%; 27%; 31%; 34%; etc.”

She pointed out the general weakness of the bar examinees. She
said: “The reason for this high mortality rate, may be attributed to
several factors among them in the opinion of the undersigned, may
be due mainly to the following: . . . inadequate command of the
English language”.

She further emphasized: “The examinees inhabiting the lowermost


rungs of the grading scale manifested not alone an appalling lack of
knowledge of the fundamental principles involved in the examination
questions but also an inability to logically string their thoughts
together compounded by an almost incredible deficiency in language
skills.”

It was less than 35 years ago but still her remarks seem to be true at
present.

The following are actual questions and answers of some examinees


which demonstrate their lack of knowledge of the fundamental legal
principles and inadequate command of the English language:

Question No. 6(b) – “An accused was found guilty of double murder
and was meted out two sentences of reclusion perpetua. How would
the accused serve the sentences?”

Answer – “Both penalties must be served by the accused,


and he was electrocuted and died then it washes out the
remaining sentence to served by the accused.”
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Question No. 11. – “Patrolman Cruz, acting under orders of the
Municipal Mayor, Who wanted to put a stop to the frequent
occurrence of robbery in Sitio Masukal, patrolled the place. At about
midnight, seeing three persons acting suspiciously in front of an
uninhabited house and entering the same, he arrested them without
warrant and took them to the municipal building where they were
detained in jail for about five hours before they were
released. Patrolman Cruz was accused of arbitrary detention. If you
were the Judge, would you convict him of the crime charged?”

Answer – “No. considering his possession as peace officer


by the higher authority to patrol the place where robbery
are frequent. The one responsible for this is the Municipal
Mayor who order without warrant of arrest and the act of
the patrolman are in good faith believing to be a robbery
entering a house. So the proper party liable is the
Municipal Mayor.”

Question No. 17 – “AA” was the owner of a jeepney for hire. When his
driver was hospitalized, he hired “BB” as driver on a temporary
basis and entrusted to him the vehicle for transporting passengers
from Quiapo to Baclaran with a compensation of P30.00 a day. “BB”
never returned the vehicle and after search the vehicle was found in
Tarnate, Cavite, about to be sold. “BB” was charged with Qualified
Theft and was convicted. Appealing the judgment of conviction,
defense counsel contends that “BB” may have committed Estafa but
not Qualified Theft on the theory that the possession of the vehicle
was obtained with the consent of “AA” the owner, and therefore,
there was no illegal taking. Decide the case.”

Answer – “The defense counsel of the accused contention in


untenable assuming now that there is no illegal taking of
the jeep from “AA”. The owner but “BB” a temporary driver
hired by “AA” failure to return the jeep such vehicle as now
ready to be sold by “BB” have an intent to gain is theft
cases as an element.

Our aim, of course, is not to ridicule and immortalize


these Bar answers. Our aim is to remedy, correct, and
supplement the aforesaid deficiencies for future bar takers
so that they would not suffer the same fate.

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By far the most important tool that the bar candidate could equip
himself with which to tackle the examination that is inherently
personal to him is command of written English. The examinee who
has a fairly good command of English, assuming that he is prepared in
all other matters, stands definitely with a much better chance of
passing.

Not all the BAR tips I will be presenting here are mine. I
believe they are the collective ideas of past bar examinees,
bar topnotchers, bar lecturers and law professors who want
to share their experiences and have the desire and concern
to help future bar takers. I will try though to present these in
a more comprehensible and effective way.

A bar examinee’s answer should be a total “package”.


Meaning, it contains all the necessary ingredients. This is
when the 4Ls come in: law, language, logic, and layout. His
answer should be legible and neat without the irritating
erasures observing the proper margin and space between
paragraphs with correct composition, grammar and spelling
coupled of course of the knowledge of the law principles
and its application to the given set of facts responsive to the
issue or question at hand.

The examiner will be looking and expecting for the following


from your answer:
1. Proper understanding and appreciation of the facts, particularly
of the components or details that can be material in resolving the
given problem;

2. Appreciation of the applicable laws that may come into play;

3. Recognition of the issues posed;

4. Resolution of the issues through the analysis and application of


the law to the given facts; and

5. Presentation and articulation of answer.

In essence, your answer should clearly indicate:


1. the relevant facts;

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2. the applicable law;

3. your analysis; and

4. your conclusion.

To expound it further, a Bar examinee’s answer should clearly


demonstrate:

IDENTIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM

Your answer should demonstrate your ability to identify correctly the


problem(s) and issue(s) of law presented in the question. Your answer
should demonstrate your ability to articulate and classify the problem
presented, that is, to state it in a lawyer-like fashion and to place it in
its proper category or categories of doctrine.

KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW

Your answer should demonstrate your knowledge of legal principles


and your ability to repeat them accurately on the examination as they
relate to the problem presented by the question. You should state
concisely the principle(s) and rule(s) governing the issue(s) presented
by the question.

APPLICATION AND ANALYSIS

Your answer should reveal your capacity to reason logically by


applying the appropriate rule or principle to the operative facts of the
question as a step in reaching your conclusion. This involves making
the correct preliminary determination as to which facts in the question
are legally important and which, if any, are irrelevant.

The line of reasoning that you adopt should be clear and consistent
without gaps or digressions. This is the most important element in
your answer and, therefore, carries the most weight in the grading
process.

CONCLUSION

You should address yourself to the task that the question asks you to
perform. For example, if the question calls for a specific conclusion or
result, such conclusion should clearly appear in your answer and
should be stated concisely and without equivocation.
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An answer that consists entirely of mere conclusions unsupported by
any statements or discussion of the rules or reasoning upon which it is
based is entitled to little credit. Clarity and conciseness are important,
but make your answer complete. Do not volunteer irrelevant or
immaterial information.

ARTICULATION

Articulation is expressive of the following basic fundamentals: good


language, impressive presentation, logical reasoning and substantial
background knowledge of law and procedure. Impressive answers
showing the candidates reasoning faculty is what the examiners want
to read in your examination notebooks.

Your answer should demonstrate your ability to analyze the facts


presented by the question, to select the material from the immaterial
facts, and to discern the points upon which the question turns. It
should show your knowledge and understanding of the pertinent
principles and theories of law involved and their qualifications and
limitations. It should demonstrate your ability to apply the law to the
given facts, and to reason logically in a lawyer like manner to a sound
conclusion from the given premises.

You must also be aware that the Bar questions are not all “case or
situationer problems”. There are other types of Bar essay questions
you ought to know so you will be able to prepare and answer them
properly in case you encounter one. The usual types of Bar essay
question are enumerated below:
1. Enumeration;

2. Distinction;

3. Definition;

4. Reason behind the law/concept/principle; and

5. Case Problem.

CASE PROBLEM

This type comprises an average of 80 – 90 percent of the questions in


every subject, hence, it is imperative that you are well-versed in
answering the same.
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Given that you know already the law; that you know how to apply it to
the set of facts; that you write legibly enough; left you with one
problem – that is how are you going to present or articulate it in an
impressive manner.

A ready outline or structure of your answer will tremendously help


you to answer faster without missing an important part. By constant
practice in answering this type of question with the outline/structure
in your mind, you will be amazed how it easy for you to start outright
and tackle the question and come up with an impressive answer.

Below is the suggested outline/structure of your answer for a


“case/situationer problem” question:

1st Paragraph – Positive/Negative/Qualified Answer

2nd Paragraph – Applicable Law/Jurisprudence

3rd Paragraph – Correlation of the Law/Jurisprudence with the


Facts of the Case

4th Paragraph – Conclusion (this may be part of the 3rd Paragraph)

Okay, you already have an outline but isn’t it boring for the examiner
to read in your answers the same words or phrase at the beginning of
your paragraphs? For example you will use these words in every
answer: the contention is untenable; the law provides; therefore. The
examiner will spot this and might not be impressed to you at all which
will result to a lesser points.

You will agree that the hardest thing to do is to start. We want that the
first sentences or paragraph we will write will impress the examiner
and more often we cannot find the right words to start. Would it be
easier if just like the outline you have already a pool of words waiting
to be used?

Knowing “First Liners” or introductory words will greatly help you to


quickly and smoothly string your thoughts and effectively convey your
answers. The following “first liners” or introductory words can be used
interchangeably to begin every paragraph of your outlined answer.

The following “Useful Introductory Lines” are mostly taken from the
article of Atty. Rey C. Tatad, Jr. with the same title.

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ANSWERING IN THE POSITIVE
1. The petition is meritorious.

2. The contention has legal basis.

3. The case will prosper.

4. The argument is proper.

5. The provision is perfectly applicable.

6. The action is tenable.

7. The motion should be granted.

8. The Judge is correct.

9. The petition is impressed with merit.

10. Yes. It is a (i.e. patent violation) of the

11. There is merit in the petition.

12. The petitioner’s contention is sustainable.

ANSWERING IN THE NEGATIVE


1. The decision is not in accord with law and jurisprudence.

2. The decision is erroneous.

3. The contention is totally misplaced.

4. The doctrine of….. does not apply in this case.

5. The petition is not meritorious.

6. The evidence presented deserves scant consideration.

7. The contention has no legal basis.

8. The argument is bereft of merit.

9. The petition is devoid of merit.

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10.Petitioner’s/Respondent’s/Complainant’s/Plaintiff’s/Defendant’s/
Accused reliance on the (i.e. doctrine of…) is inappropriate.
11. It is a futile gesture on the part of the respondent to invoke the
rule on…

12. The theory/argument has no ground to stand upon.

13. The contention has no leg with which to stand on.

14. The position of the petitioner runs counter with the doctrine of…

15. The case will not prosper.

16. The case is not tenable.

17. The act of the accused in… is of no moment.

18. The assertion lacks substance.

19. The (i.e. respondent) cannot rely on (i.e. mere alibis) to aid his
cause.

20. The court cannot countenance the (i.e. inconsistent postures of


the petitioner)

21. The testimony that…, cannot be given credence.

22. The evidence presented has no probative value.

23. The allegation is belied by the fact that…

24. To put it otherwise would be to render the law on


_____________

useless/futile.
25. The actuations of the accused in (i.e. fleeing and hiding) negates
(i.e.innocence)

26. While it is true that _______________ is a (i.e. constitutional


guaranteed right of a person), it does not, however mean…

27. It is not correct to say that…

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28. It is not proper to state that…

29. It is not accurate to conclude outright that…

30. A contrary conclusion would erode the rule that provides in part
that…

31. To sustain the contention would be to render the law on


____________ nugatory.

32. It would be absurd and incongruous to sustain the argument


that…

33. It is not enough that…

34. The fact that … is immaterial since…

35. The fact that … is irrelevant since…

36. In itself, mere …… is not sufficient (i.e. to warrant conviction)….

37. The petitioner cannot give any additional meaning to the clear
and plain

language of the law.


38. The Supreme Court, in several cases, has struck down the (i.e.
defense of alibi)

39. The attendant circumstances of the case are contrary to the


petitioner’s

assertion.
40. The evidence does not support the theory of the petitioners.

41. There is no cogent reason to disturb the ruling of the (i.e. Court
of Appeals)

42. The claim for (i.e. moral damages) must necessarily fail.

ANSWER THAT REQUIRES QUALIFICATION

(But if the facts are complete in itself, do not attempt to add facts or
assume anything.)
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1. We must distinguish. If… (or As far as the __________ is
concerned)

2. It depends. If…(or As far as the __________ is concerned)

3. The question requires a qualified answer. If…

4. I will qualify. If…

5. On the assumption that…

6. My answer must be qualified.

CITING LAW PROVISIONS


1. No less than the (i.e. 1987 Constitution) provides for the…

2. The (i.e. Rules of Court) substantially provides in part that…

3. Under the broad principles of (i.e. due process clause)…

4. Under the all-encompassing doctrine of (i.e. incontestability


clause)…

5. Under the law…

6. According to the (i.e. Family Code)…

7. The law is explicit on the matter.

8. The law explicitly expresses in part that…

9. By express provision of law,…

10. By operation of law…

11. As a matter of law…

12. Worth remembering is the rule on _______________ which


provides in part that…

13. Decisive on the matter is the pertinent provision of the (i.e. Law
on Property)

14. The law prescribes certain rules on…

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15. By legislative fiat…

QUOTING SUPREME COURT DECISIONS


1. The Supreme Court in one case, had the occasion to rule that…

2. In a long-line of cases decided by the Supreme Court, it has


always been

(consistently) held that…


3. In a litany of cases decided by the Supreme Court,

4. In a long-string of cases decided by the highest court of the land,

5. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court,…

6. In a series of cases decided by the Supreme Court,

* Do not use the words series, litany or long-line if there is only one

decision/jurisprudence for that topic.


7. In one case decided by the highest court of the land, it was held
that

8. In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that

9. It has been said that…

10. In a recent case, the Supreme Court has laid to rest the issue of
whether or not…

11. It is well settled in this jurisdiction…

12. It is well settled in this country…

13. The Supreme Court has steadfastly adhered to the doctrine


which states that

14. In a case with similar facts, the Supreme Court ruled that…

15. In several notable Supreme Court decisions, the highest court


declared that…

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16. The Supreme Court has often stressed that…

17. In the landmark case of _____________, (if the case is so


famous) the

Supreme Court laid down the doctrine which substantially provides


that…
18. In the leading case of …

19. As enunciated by the Supreme Court in one case,…

20. The court has repeatedly ruled…

21. A case in point is a case already decided by no other than the


highest court of the land, where the Supreme Court held that…

22. There is likewise an array of cases in this jurisdiction where the


Supreme Court has consistently declared that…

23. Deeply rooted is the jurisprudence which provides that…

24. In one case, the Supreme Court was emphatic when it ruled
that….

EMPHASIZING CASE DOCTRINES / JURISPRUDENCE


1. It is hornbook doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) that…

2. Immortal is the rule that…

3. Well settled is the rule…

4. Well entrenched is the principle that..

5. Elementary is the rule that..

6. The cardinal rule in (i.e. labor law) is that

7. It is a familiar canon in (i.e. political law) that

8. By well settled public law…

9. Basic is the rule in (i.e. Criminal Law)…

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10. It is an elementary principle in…

11. It is a fundamental doctrine in…

12. Well accepted is the rule that…

13. It is axiomatic in (i.e. Civil Law) that

14. Enshrined in the 1987 Constitution is the rule that (i.e. no


person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due
process of law)

15. Consonant with the rule on…

16. It is a recognized doctrine in (i.e. Civil law) that…

17. It is a basic tenet in (i.e. Commercial Law)

18. Consistent with current jurisprudence

19. It is a legal presumption, born of wisdom and experience, that …

20. It is an oft-repeated rule that…

21. The Philippines adhere to the principle of…

REFERRING BACK TO THE CASE

(correlating the facts with the law/jurisprudence)


1. Applying the said law/doctrine in the instant case,

2. From the facts given, noteworthy is the …

3. From the facts of the case, it is readily observable that…

4. In the instant case, it may be observed that…

5. It is crystal clear from the facts presented that (i.e. the crime of
treason) is present (or was committed).

6. In the present case, it is immediately noticeable that the element


of

__________ is wanting (or lacking).

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7. Under the circumstances, the proper remedy would be…

8. The case obtaining indicates a case of (i.e. B.P. 22)

9. It logically follows…

10. It goes without saying…

11. Even assuming arguendo, for the sake of argument that…

12. The situation in the case at hand…

13. The situation presented evinces a case of…

14. The facts sufficiently indicated …

15. In the given facts, it is immediately apparent that…

16. It is evident that…

17. In the same token…

18. Under the facts stated in the problem,…

19. In the case under consideration,…

20. Worth stressing is the fact that

21. Worth emphasizing is the fact that

22. The facts would reveal that…

23. A careful perusal of the facts of the case would reveal that…

24. A careful scrutiny of the actuations of the accused would reveal


that…

25. A careful reading of the (i.e. Deed of Absolute Sale) would reveal
that…

26. A cursory examination of the…

CONCLUDING WORDS

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1. From the gamut of evidence on hand, it can be
gathered/deduced that,…

2. Taken all together,…

3. Finally, …

4. Hence, …

5. Therefore, …

6. From the foregoing, it can be deduced that there is really (i.e. a


violation of…)

7. From the foregoing, it is now safe to conclude that….

8. Lastly, …

9. Consequently,…

10. As a necessary consequence…

11. The logical implication is that…

12. At any rate,…

13. In view of the foregoing,…

14. As an inevitable conclusion,…

15. In the light of the circumstances,…

16. Undoubtedly,…

17. Indubitably,…

18. Clearly, the case at hand falls squarely within the purview of…

19. Verily, he/she has committed…

20. For this/these reason/s, it is unavoidable to conclude that…

21. Based on the facts obtaining,…

22. In this light,…

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23. This being the case…

24. Clearly therefore, applying the aforecited ruling in the case at


hand,…

25. In light of the foregoing, it is beyond cavil (doubt) that,…

26. There is no doubt that…

27. To the unprejudiced mind, the actuations of the three, when


analyzed and taken together, leads to no other conclusion except
that (i.e. conspiracy

among them existed)


28. Inescapably, therefore,…

29. All things considered,…

30. It follows therefore that…

31. As a logical result…

32. In sum,..

33. In view of the fact that…,

34. All told,…

35. Given the prevailing facts…

36. Having stated the foregoing premises,…

37. One final point,…

38. Accordingly,…

Using the outline and the “first liners” above, make a format or model
of your answer and use what you deem is applicable in a given
question. You may make your own models as many as you want but it
is suggested to have at least 10 models. Here are some examples
(taken from my 2007 Bar Tips to NEU and INC Bar Examinees):

No/Yes. He can/cannot…..,

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The law provides that/The Supreme Court has held in a line of
cases……

In this case…..

Hence.. …

X’s claim is not meritorious, hence the case should be decided against
him

According to the law/The Supreme Court, in many cases, has ruled


that….

Based on the facts of the case…

Therefore/Consequently… . . .

The. . . . is proper/tenable/untenable

It is a well settled rule/As provided for under the

Moreover . . ..Hence/Therefore

Under the provisions of RA/Constitution/Law/Statute. . . .

On the problem at hand..,..Consequently

On the other hand….

As such it should be ruled … …

ENUMERATION

The real secret in remembering the matters contained in an


enumeration is the use of keywords. Make your keywords on
enumerations you consider important. Never leave a blank in an
enumeration! However, if you use the letters a, b, c, etc. for numbers
in the enumeration, so much the better. Ten to one, the examiner may
not count his fingers. Make the first four in the enumeration definitely
good.

If you can enumerate all, write it in bulleted or numbered form to


highlight the fact that you know all of them and for more convenient-
reading

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purposes.

1.

2.

3.

If you cannot enumerate all, write it in paragraph form so that it


would not easily be noticeable that you missed something.
1. In capsule form, the following are the elements of the crime of
_______

2. In a nutshell, the following are the elements of the crime of


_________

3. The following elements are generally considered in the


determination of

the presence of (i.e. employer-employee relationship)


4. Among the (i.e. defenses/remedies) available to (i.e. Mr. X) as
provided for by/in the (i.e. Civil Code) are:

(1)…

(2)…
5. The following are the requisites for…

6. In order that a case for (i.e. B.P. 22) to prosper, the following
elements must be attendant/present:

7. To constitute (i.e. homicide), the following requisites must


concur:

8. (i.e. Legal compensation) requires the concurrence of the


following conditions:

9. To establish a person’s culpability under (i.e. estafa), it is


indispensable

that…

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DISTINCTION

When being asked to distinguish, do not state its definition. If you give
its definition, you are in effect asking the examiner to extract out the
differences of the two [or more] from your definition. Do not also give
their similarities. You are asked to differentiate and contrast, so
similarities are not included. The number of distinctions you will give
must also be proportionate on the points allotted for such. If it is only
worth two points, do not give 8 distinctions. The examiner cannot give
you 8 points for that. For a two point distinction question, perhaps,
three would be enough (four is not too much).
1. The (i.e. two) may be distinguished from each other in the
following

ways:

a.

b.
2. In the first, it is necessary that there be….., whereas in the
second it is sufficient that there be ….

3. In the former, … while in the latter…

4. The former requires … while the latter…

5. … on the other hand ______________ is…

DEFINITION
1. ________________ is a comprehensive term used to
describe _______.

2. _________________, in its generally accepted sense, refers


to ….

3. … It is a safeguard and guarantee provided by the 1987


Constitution..

4. … It is a kind of relief granted to a ______________ by the …

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5. ________________ is a branch of public law (or private law)
which deals with..

6. It pertains to…

7. It connotes a ….

8. … is a doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) which refers to…

9. … is a principle in (i.e. Criminal Law) which states that…

10. It presupposes…

11. Its principal identifying feature is..

12. It is akin to…

13. The function of which is to…

14. The office of which is to…

REASON BEHIND THE LAW/CONCEPT/PRINCIPLE


1. The purpose of the law is…

2. The law is designed to…

3. It is intended to shield …

4. It is primarily aimed at protecting ____________ from


unwarranted ____

5. The rationale behind the law is…

6. The spirit of the law is to the effect that…

ADDITIONAL TIPS ON HOW TO APPROACH BAR ESSAY


QUESTION
1. Finishing is the key. Many fail the Bar exam because they don’t
finish the exam. They spend so much time on an early question
that they can’t finish the later ones. Or they work on all of the
questions at once, but without finishing some or all of them. Either
way, these Bar candidates are writing too slowly, and it costs them

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their ticket to a law license. Focus on one question at a time. Don’t
bother or think of another question while answering one.

2. Budget your time according to the number of questions and


length of problems. Check the point percentage allocation for each
question. This will be your guide on how much time you will spend
for a question. Of course, you will devote more minutes to
questions with a big or higher percentage (i.e. 5%; 10%) than
questions with a minimum point percentage (i.e. 1%; 2%).

3. Set a time schedule. It’s easy to waste time by getting carried


away by a single question or by getting stuck on a question that’s
giving you trouble. Make a general allocation for each question
and adjust the time depending on their percentage weight.
Monitor your pace so that you stay calm and will be able to answer
all questions on the exam.

4. If the question is lengthy, read first what is required at the


bottom of the question. By doing this, you will be able to
determine what facts do you need and what facts are immaterial.
This will save you time from re-reading the question. You can also
start formulating your answer in mind while reading the question,
thus, it will be easier and faster for you to write your answers since
you are already guided by your earlier analysis. It will also
minimize errors and erasures.

5. Be reminded that one of your tasks while preparing for the Bar
exam is to become an expert fact pattern reader. So what do
you do if you aren’t very good at reading facts? You need to
experiment with different ways to get better at reading facts.
Practice answering past Bar questions as many as you can. Analyze
the suggested answers and take note how the answers used the
facts in the problem. Remember, you won’t get all the possible
points if you don’t understand what the Bar examiners are asking
you. You must become an expert fact reader in order to write a
complete exam answer.

6. Before answering, formulate on your mind what will be placed


on your first, second and third paragraphs. Mentally apply your
outline. The first paragraph normally contains a one-sentence
direct to the point answer to the question. The second paragraph
commonly contains legal basis (provision of law in point,
jurisprudence, co-relation of the jurisprudence/provision with the
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facts of the case and application). Third paragraph normally
contains the conclusion. When you are already decided of your
answer, write it according to your thoughts. In this approach, you
will not only be avoiding unnecessary revisions and erasures, you
will also maintain the cleanliness of your booklet. Bear in mind
that, a dirty booklet is irritating to the eyes of the person checking
the same.

7. Use logic or common sense when you do not know the answer.
Ask the question, “What is the best solution or resolution for this
case?” or “If I were the examiner how do I want the question
answered?” Do not just guess, make a smart guess. Your best guide
is to think what is most just and equitable since these are the
purpose any law seeks to achieve.

8. If you really have no idea on how to answer a really difficult


question, or a borderline case, or you do not know what the
answer is, the use of inverted pyramid of answering question may
be helpful. This may be done by inverting the usual answer format.
Initially, present your knowledge of the law and/or jurisprudence,
then make your smart guess. With this, you may be able to show or
convince the examiner that you know something about the issue
but you were merely incorrect in your conclusion, you may get a
credit for your answer.

9. Number your answer accordingly. Don’t make the Examiner


search for your answers. Make your answer look professional.
Don’t use textspeak and don’t abbreviate. Answers which look
professional, are well organized and which use paragraphs and
indenting where appropriate make the Examiner’s job easier.

10. An answer to one question in one problem requires a separate


page. Answers to sub-questions may be presented continuously in
a page separated by space/s. It is suggested, however, that even
answers to sub-questions be presented on separate page, unless
your answer is very short, so that in case you want to change any
or in case you have missed a sub-question, you can still insert your
answer in the remaining spaces of the page.

11. Don’t submit your test booklet too early. There’s no prize for
early finishers. Budget and utilize all the time allocated for you to:
(a) compose good answers; (b) review your answers; and (c) write
legibly.
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12. Practice, practice, practice. Practice is vital to your success in the
Bar exam. You must get used answering Bar essay questions. The
only way to know if you can (or if you know the law) is to practice.
Answering Bar questions regularly will help you learn the law as
well as become a better tester. There are many sample bar exam
essay questions and answers available on the internet. You may
also find the Q&A published by the UP Law Center helpful.

13. The key to success in any endeavor is preparation. Familiarity


with the structure of the essay questions and how you respond to
them will go a long way in alleviating your anxiety on test day. You
job is to practice the approach we’ve just outlined so that it
becomes so automatic by exam day that you move from one step to
the other without missing a beat.

14. At least twice during your bar prep (ideally four), do a simulated
Bar exam day. Do a mock version of it. The key is to practice under
conditions similar to the actual Bar examinations. This will make
you mindful of time constraints and more comfortable when you
approach the real test, the Bar exam.

15. Finally, PRAY!

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