What the bar exams is about

I BOUGHT A COPY of the UP Law Center’s (UPLC) Answer to the 2007 Bar Questions (booklet). It’s worth P220.00 if I remembered it right. I read the booklet as soon as I reached home. I’d like to see how the UPLC answered the 2007 bar questions for obvious reasons – I’d like to compare them with my answers.

I started off with Legal Ethics (the last part of the booklet) where I got 95% rating. It appears to me that my answers were substantially the same with UPLC in that subject. I thought the similarity rests with the fact that there aren’t any much issues in answering that subject. As some put it, legal ethics is merely identifying a “bad dog” versus a “good dog” thing. The “legal forms” part in the UPLC likewise got substantial similarities with my answers.

I went on to scan UPLC’s suggested answers to Taxation part where I got my second highest rating in my bar grades (82%). I was surprised as I browse UPLC’s answers. Not only that my answers were not substantially the same but also that there are major differences in their reasoning and mine. Different in a sense that had I blurted that answer out in an ambush recitation in a taxation class, I’d definitely get a lavishing 5 (singko/sinco/failing mark) in that recitation coupled with a very irritated professor hurling invectives against me to totally ruin my self-esteem, social status and self-respect in a fashion to definitely have me transferred back to my elementary school or plant kamote instead. What happened? I thought that when your answers do not agree with UPLC’s, even in their ALTERNATIVE ANSWER part (alternative answer is the answer provided for right after the “suggested answer”) then, you are already doomed!

For a while, I tried to reconcile my sorry answers with that of the UPLC’s. Of course, that is on the assumption that UPLC’s answers are the same with what answer the examiner have in mind. Moving on, I began to entertain that trite advice to barristers: “Sa bar, tinitingnan lang naman kung pwede ka na maging abogado” (The bar exams is only a test to determine whether you are already fit/qualified to become a lawyer). Indulging into that premise, even if my answers were not the popular ones like the answers suggested by UPLC, the examiner may still give it due credits.

Proceeding further from the said premise, I arrived at a realization that the bar is an ultimate test of analysis and argument. With that, allow me to further identify my points, thus:

  1. The bar exams is not about perfect mathematical equations. Your answer may be wrong but you will still be given due credits for a reasonable argument and a sound analysis. Reasonable argument and sound analysis may be gained through understanding the substance of the subject. The basics. Never try to memorize enumerations or definitions without knowing at heart what the matter is all about. I attest to this truism. Words will just flow like the river if your mind is fed with the right knowledge;
  2. The bar exams is a test of what you do not know. I thought I failed the bar because I am already DQ (disqualified) in the Taxation exams since I thought that I do not know the answers to the questions. It turned out that I have been given due credits for answering using my best argument possible. The bar exams tests you to the limits of your knowledge. Many can attest to this. Your mind will be one helluva creative imaginary machine that pops the best chocolates like Charlie’s; and
  3. The bar exams is about how you argue your point. Many believed they have answered the questions correctly yet the results were disappointing. It is how you argue your point. A correct answer in mind isn’t necessarily the same correct answer when you have already started to write it down in your test booklets. The manner by which one answers in the bar is a key point in passing the bar. This is true. Argue each answer as if each answer is the last piece of evidence to disprove your guilt before God.

And that ends my discourse in the apparent disparity between the UPLC’s popular answer and my unpopular creation. It’s already July and barristers are already starting to cram and panic. Relax. Just do what you ought to do.

Going through the rest of the UPLC booklet, I can’t help but wonder what could have happened had I given the popular suggested answers instead. 🙂

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BAR TIP: Your writing seals your fate. Your pen, your hand. They seal your fate in the bar exams. Each word, each space, each letter counts. Take your fruitful time in expressing your beautiful mind through the medium of writing.

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