The First 5 Minutes of the First Sunday of Bar Exams

There are four full Sundays reserved every year for the Philippine bar examinations, arguably the most difficult bar exam in the whole world. Until the first Sunday of the bar exam, law students can only surmise, as part of their arduous bar exam preparation, what to expect inside the examination room. Each bar examinee has a different experience when it comes to the precious few minutes after opening the bar exam questionnaire — a brief moment that is forever etched in the minds of all lawyers or would-have-been lawyers (incidentally, the OBC noted that of the total 6,344 examinees admitted to take the 2014 bar examinations, only 5,996 showed up during the first Sunday and 5,994 remained at the end of the first Sunday). As a helpful reference for those taking the bar exams, and as a catharsis for those who have survived the bar exam, we’ll feature the realizations of bar exam hopefuls during the first 5 minutes (after opening the questionnaire) of the first (of four) Sunday of the bar exam.

Oh s&@t I read that one but I couldn’t recall it now. — Atty. Vic Trinidad

Writ of amparo… Wth! — Atty. Vic Trinidad

I shouldn’t have had that heavy breakfast. — Atty. Leo Laurente

Oh, it’s the real thing now! This is no longer another dream of me taking the bar! — Atty. Froilyn Doyaoen

Shit just got real! — Atty. Marnie Tonson

I got this shit. — Atty. Arnell Uychoco, mirroring Atty. Dominic Solis

I’m glad they prepared me for the “shock and awe” effect of the very first question. — Atty. Jesse James Garcia

All that angst culminated in 4 Sundays of exams. — Atty. Elvira Escueta-Duavit

Fight!! Para sa bayan!! — Atty. Joan de Venecia

The perfect handwriting that I practiced was not happening, because my hands were shaking and sweating! — Atty. Valerie Feria Amante

There goes my penmanship. — Atty. Fred Pamaos

Thank you all my Consti, Admin Law, Political Law review professors! You drilled these concepts into my head! — Atty. Anna Alfaro Manurung

Wow, after 5 years of studying the law and fighting about “spacing” during final exams, I can actually prepare for AT LEAST 7 final exams in one day (e.g., Consti 1, Consti 2, Loc Gov, Pub Off, PIL, Labor 1, Labor 2). — Atty. Salma Angkaya-Kuhutan

[Feel free to add your own experience through the comment section below.]


  1. “Kaya ko to…kaya ko to……” “Oh my God my writing hand is shaking I can’t write well”, “How will I start my answer”, “How long should my answer be”, “OMG, they say the first answer matters for impression purpose”….etc etc

  2. anak ng patola ngayon pa humilab ang tyan ko, lord wag muna. After the morning exam i spent my lunchbreak sa cr, no lunch na dahil halos sobra isang oras ako dun and the remaining time ginamit ko sa recall for afternoon subject.

  3. for me, the first sunday of the bar exams was actually the Taxation Law exam. grabe, as in dumugo ang utak ko at may sumakit talaga ang kamay ko. i felt that in many of the questions, there was no way out for me unlike the other three bar subjects.


    well, taxation law is my waterloo subject and i support the proposal of some legal proponents to exclude it as one of the major bar subjects.

    i suggest gawin na lang na major subject ang legal writing which will cover legal research, legal forms, legal opinions and trial memoranda. we will be graded not as to the correctness of our legal bases but as to the structure of the forms (the SC should create a compendium of simplified and standardized legal forms as our reference) and as to the proficiency and formality of our writing skills and our being conversant with a good command of the English language (as to grammar, vocabulary, syntax, logic etc.)

    base sa experience ko sa legal aid program, when our indigent clients showed their legal documents, iba-iba ang style (e.g. legalistic, verbose, simple and straight-forward English) and structure (e.g. indention, enumeration, footnotes, font style and size etc.) ng mga legal forms na ginagamit ng mga lawyers, law firms and government agencies; and i really think that there is a need need for the SC to simplify and standardize legal forms.

    and of course, lawyers as expected to be proficient in his/her oral and writing communication skills not ony when he/she converses with his/her clients but also when he/she presents his/her arguments before a forum.

    just sharing my thoughts.

    1. Nice thoughts, Abu.

      Last year, nahirapan din ako sa Tax. I expected a grade of 50-60. Pero nung makita ko grades ko, highest ang Tax, 83. May mystery talaga ang Bar Exams na hindi maipaliwanag. Kapit lang 🙂

  4. Eto ba Ang BAR exam? Wow, sobrang Dali. After taking the two bar subjects on the 1st Sunday. Wtf! Ang hirap! Ano kaya yong isinagot ko. Gago!

  5. Makaka-landing din ang ballpen ko ng maayos sa booklet, after 1.5 hours sa wakas! Si ate bantay gusto pa yata magtayo ng monumento sa harap ko pa tumayo. Kaloka.

  6. Kaloka, ang lamig pero para akong nag aapoy ako sa lagnat!
    Kung panaginip lang ito, kelangan ng gumising.
    Expectation: perfect margin, good penmanship, keep it short

  7. Sabi ko sa sarili ko…

    “P***, kalma lang. Kaya mo yan.”

    Tapos paulit ulit “Kaya mo yan kaya mo yan kaya mo yan kaya mo yan. Oh sh*t.” Hahaha para akong baliw talaga.

    Sa bus ngangatog na yung katawan ko nanginginig na ako hahaha

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