Update (7 September 2008): The first Sunday is almost done. The SC newsflash reported that a “record” 6,533 law graduates are set to take the 2008 bar exams. A higher number (6,560) filed their respective petitions to take the Bar exams, but 11 applications had been denied. 16 applicants withdrew. Let’s hear from the examinees (and those who served in the barops) how’s the first day.
Original post: The release of the results of the 2007 Bar Exams marked the beginning of a discussion, at times heated, on the Supreme Court’s decision to lower the passing rate. We have the reflections of Dean Pangalangan on top of everyone’s comments. There was a call to put a closure on the 2007 Bar Exams. 256 comments later, everyone appears to have accepted the fact that the 2007 bar examination is done and there’s nothing we could do about it. Of course, I could be wrong.
There were suggestions, through the comments in the previous post, to talk about the 2008 Bar Exams instead. While these suggestions were made months back, I couldn’t think of anything to discuss about the 2008 bar exams. Maybe it’s because it would be redundant to deal with matters being discussed at the Bar Exams Forum (phbar.org). Maybe we’re not talking about the tips because there’s going to be a lecture on that in July 26 anyway, courtesy of the gracious 2005 Bar Exams topnotcher (Atty. Joan De Venecia). Maybe it’s because at that time, the 2008 bar exam is still months away. Of course, it’s dead wrong for me to say that there’s still so much time left at this point. For those preparing for the 2008 exams, a little over a month is always too short.
There’s a reason why the bar exam is known as the most difficult “licensure” exam. Bar exams are difficult, and, with all due respect, I disagree with the statement of Justice Azcuna, Chairman of the 2007 bar exams, that bar examinations are not difficult. Each batch is confronted with a different degree of difficulty. Some say it’s difficult in certain years and relatively easier in certain years. But how could we objectively say which year is difficult? For all we know, this year’s bar exam is difficult. Of course, I could be wrong — it’s also entirely possible that it is easier than the last year. The basic reason (and, again, I could be wrong) in people saying that an upcoming bar exam would be difficult or relatively easier appears to be the perceived level of difficulty of the immediately preceding one. This also appears to be true with respect to passing rates. This premise reduces the Bar Committee to a reactionary group, something which is not supported by facts or logic.
However, it is counterproductive to worry about the level of difficulty of this year’s bar exam. This is entirely out of your hands. Stop worrying about things that you can’t control. What you could control is how you review for the exam. You could control how you deal with stress and pressure. As one of my favorite prayers goes: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
A few more hours to go, then it’s time to face the bar dragon. Good luck and God bless to all 2008 bar examinees.