Philippine Bar Exam Passing Percentage for 10 Years

Bar Exams Passing Percentage

With the start of the new year, 2008, those who took the 2007 Philippine bar examination are expected to feel an increasing excitement, which is a better way of putting it rather than “fear,” about the results. The symptoms, which will probably get worse as the days pass by, are obvious — sleepless nights, loss of appetite, mental anguish, anxiety, and, possibly besmirched reputation, extreme embarrassment and wounded feelings. These symptoms, by the way, are elements in claiming moral damages (but how could you claim moral damages for something you voluntarily went through?)

There are a number of usual topics after the exams. Who were the examiners? Are the questions difficult? What are the suggested answers? What is the probable passing rate? The last question is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to answer as compared to the others. Examinees, however, would like to believe that there’s a trend. An urban legend, if you will. For instance, some say that a difficult exam follows a year with a high passing rate, and a high passing percentage is expected after a difficult year.

Of course, there’s no proof to this, but, for the sake of discussion, let’s analyze the passing rate for the last 10 years of bar exams. Lito Basilio presented a great graph at the Bar Exams Forum, reproduced below:

Bar Exams Passing Percentage - last 10 years

Let’s begin with the belief that a high passing rate follows the year with a difficult bar exams. The problem is this: what’s difficult is subjective. Although there’s some consensus on which year is difficult, maybe let’s just assume that a high passing rate follows the year with a low passing percentage, which is presumably – but not necessarily – difficult. You’ll note that the first part of the 10-year period shows a regular cycle of 2-year low percentage, followed by a very high passing rate. Following that cycle, the passing rate for the 2007 bar exams should be high.

But before you feel relieved, you’ll also note that the last 3 years deviated from the trend. Year 2006, which should have a low passing rate if we follow the trend, has a high passing rate. This apparently follows the general belief — a low passing rate follows the year with a high passing percentage. In other words, the passing rate for the 2007 bar exams could be low.

Now, as I said above, there’s absolutely no basis for this urban legend. In relation to this topic, some say that if you’ll have a dream that you failed, you’ll pass. I don’t know if this is true, but I had the scare of my life when I had a dream that I failed (but made it, thankfully). There are school bets that didn’t make it,while there are dark horses. There are those who are confident that they answered correctly and that they’ll make it — but didn’t. On the other hand, there are those who can’t believe that they passed.

Let’s just wait for the judgment day. Good luck and God bless to everyone who took the 2007 bar exams.


  1. Hi! I’m currently a law student from the University of San Agustin. That’s in Iloilo. I’m currently working on an article about BAR EXAM urban legends and I happened to visit your site during my search. Do you have other stories that you can probably share with me? I left my e-mail here so that we could probably communicate if you have other stories to tell. Thanks a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *