2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results

[Note: 2017 bar exam thread, here] We’re a bit late in posting a separate thread for the 2016 bar examinations, but here it is. As per our tradition, it’s time to have this separate post to track and centralize discussions on the preparations, schedule and related information for the 2015 bar examination (those who wish to continue discussing the 2015 bar exam, go here). The bar results will also be posted here. This post will be updated from time to time. Feel free to drop by and share your updates through the comment section below. As always, good luck and God bless, ladies and gents.

Bar Exam Questions:

Update (24 November 2016): The 2016 bar exams Chairperson stated that there’s no truth to the rumors on leakage in Commercial Law and Criminal Law. Click here for the full text of statement.


  1. I scanned the civil law questions just now,reasonable naman.

    Hmm. Baka higher standards ang ginamit ng nag-check.

    Good luck everyone.

  2. @Atty Realist, I find the Civil Law exam quite easy, which isn’t necessarily good and actually worries me a bit. Why? What about it?

    Thanks btw for the responses. I’ll tell you should I make it (you know what I mean). My office mates are kind of excited about the results. I don’t even have to say much but they seem to have picked up that I did well in the Bar. Jokes here and there about the interviews. @_@

  3. Civil law is the buzz exam here now. They’re asking about it, so it may be that the turnout isn’t that good. I don’t know.

    Pero ganito kasi during the previous bars. Yung mga subjects na low passing turnout, pinapasilip ang mga questions.

    For me, the questions are reasonable for bar purposes. Not at all complicated, may tamang sagot.

    Good luck everyone.

    1. @Atty Realist

      Civil law was reasonable for me. Baka nga mataas ang standards ng examiner. Would you know ano ang passing percentage sa Civil? Shocking nga kung mababa ang passing.

  4. When I took the BAR in 2015, I thought, that one of the easiest is CIVIL law and I am so confident with it. Wow, when I got my grade in the SC, it turned out that may score is only 65.

  5. I got 67 in Civil Law exam in 2015. I was surprised too coz I was a little confident about my answers. The examiner then might be super strict since most of my friends flunked that subject.

    1. Eto yung si Jimeno ang examiner? Grabe naman ang baba niya magrade. Yung iba at papasa sana kung hindi ganon kababa civil nila.

    2. I found civil law the most difficult subject but behold I got 80. Then the subject I found the easiest, Poli, I scored 73.

      I was very confident in Poli because many questions were on all fours with the cases I read. On the other hand, the civil law questions have too many dimensions which can be a main issue the examiner is pertaining to.

      It’s really difficult to trust your gut feel as far as the bar is considered, because the only discretion and gut feel that matters is the examiner’s. It will be all over in a few days so just enjoy life as it is and pray.

  6. The Bar Exams: Post Mortem
    by Rita Linda V. Jimeno

    Two weeks ago, the results of the 2015 bar examination was released. It yielded a passing rate of 26.21 percent, the highest in six years, with 1,731 out of 6,600 plus examinees passing. The licensure exam for lawyers is one of the most difficult in the world, having eight subjects taken in four Sundays and requiring that the examinees garner an average of 75 percent in all the subjects taken. Traditionally the passing rate has been between 15 and 30 percent. In contrast, in New York, the recent bar exams have been branded as the worst in decades because the passing rate has hovered between 61 and 68 percent while the rate used to be higher than that.
    The Philippine exams, being largely in essay form, have to be read and graded by an examiner for each of the eight subjects rather than a machine as in other licensure exams which use the multiple type of questioning. This means that each examiner had to read—for the most recent bar exam—more than 6,600 booklets. This manner of testing has been the subject of much criticism from law schools saying that it is an arbitrary process because it is subject to the personality make-up and the mood of the examiner. Many have said that some examiners have been power-tripping at the expense of the law graduates; thus, openly advocating the abolition of the bar examination itself.
    I had the privilege of being an examiner in Civil Law in the 2015 bar examination chaired by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro. I was an examiner too in the 2010 bar exams for the same subject. Although I was asked by the Chair to be very reasonable, even generous, in grading, which I later learned she also asked of the other examiners, I realized that much as I personally wanted to pass as many as I could (being in the academe myself) there was something fundamentally and sadly wrong with the answers to the questions. This made it impossible to achieve a remarkably high passing rate. The greater majority of the examinees simply did not have the grasp of basic concepts of civil law. For example, one question I asked was, if two males lived together, could they be covered by the law on full co-ownership under Article 147 of the Family Code, that is, could they share equally in the properties purchased by just one of them during their cohabitation while the other one took care of their home? Many said yes because there was no impediment to their getting married. Really now. Two males could get married in this jurisdiction? What law school could they have graduated from, I asked myself. Many also answered, in a question about the rights of illegitimate children, that they have absolutely no right to inherit because they are illegitimate. Still, there were many whose comprehension of the given question was wrong, resulting in a wrong answer.
    Worst, many of the examinees were unable to express their thoughts in English. The English grammar of many of the examinees could shock even a high school graduate who took his secondary education seriously. For instance, nearly a majority erred in the proper use of “is” and “are.” In one question involving two persons, “Y” and “Z,” many said “Z” and “Y” is wrong. Quite a number answered in a circuitous and incoherent manner. For most of the exam booklets, sentence construction, spelling and choice of words were so horrifying that if these examinees happened to pass the bar exams, they would have been a disgrace to the profession and would have caused injustice to their unsuspecting clients.
    As an examiner, I dropped nearly everything else I was doing—including writing this column for many months—to read each and every booklet. I wanted the standard of grading to be uniform and as reasonable as possible. But passing the bar does not lie in the hands of the examiners. It does not even hinge on how well one reviews for the bar exams. It lies, rather, in the foundation of an examinee’s four—year law education and, before that, his study ethics from elementary to high school, to college. The ability to comprehend, analyze and answer in a logical and coherent manner is not learned overnight.
    Advocating the abolition of the bar examination is not the solution to the poor performance of examinees in the bar examination. Improving the system of educating students from kinder to law school is.

  7. When I took the 2015 bar, I thought the Civil Law exam was fair. It was hard for me lang because my pre week game was kind of weak. And I’ve realized how crucial the pre weeks are. At least for me ha. I got 67 in Civil, which wasn’t that surprising. I was disappointed but not surprised.

    I found the Civil Law 2016 bar a little diverse. I can’t gauge if its hard or not. I think most of the questions came from jurisprudence. Some of them are familiar, I must have read them during review. I think there’s a question or two which were based on cases decided by Justice Velasco himself.

    Kinabahan naman ako, but God will prevail. We can do this, guys. Konti na lang!

  8. Any word on comm and crim? Those exams that supposedly were leaked? Hopefully examiners would be lenient in checking, considering ang daming students na stress at talagang ngpanic during that time 🙁 madami nadamay

  9. Almost every year civil law, criminal law and remedial law range from moderately difficult to very difficult. They’re different from tax, commercial law or labor law where there are reasonable years and difficult years depending on the examiner. At least, that’s what I noticed when I read all the bar Q&As.

    If you found civil law, criminal law or remedial law difficult, you shouldn’t panic. They’re really meant to be difficult for everyone taking the bar. If you found the bar difficult, you shouldn’t panic as well. It was designed to be difficult.

  10. How about the saying “claim it”? Does it really work especially in the Bar where, as you’ve mentioned, your gut feel does not matter?

    1. @Monching

      It depends. Positivity has its limits. Many have claimed but failed. More than usual, only 2 out of 10 will pass. Read previous comments for more info.

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