How To Pass the Bar Exam in the Philippines: Tips From a Filipino Lawyer

Taking the Bar Exams? In this guide, a Filipino lawyer summarizes the preparations and study tips you need to know to ace the Philippine Bar Examinations.

READ: How to Become a Lawyer in the Philippines: A Definitive Guide

Do I Need To Enroll in a Review School for the Bar Examinations?

It is not required but most recommended.

Although certainly self-study and a dedicated study schedule are still the most important things for the Bar Exams, there is no doubt that review schools will help you streamline your study.

Some review schools even offer mock Bar Examinations that not only aid you in the proper way of answering questions but also gauge your handwriting and test your legal knowledge. Some review teachers even provide ‘Bar tips’ or questions most likely to appear in the Bar Examinations.

How To Pass Bar Exam: 10 Preparation Tips You Need To Know

1. Have a Study Plan

Five or six months before the Bar Exams, do a study plan. Set dates that are not too strict nor too loose. Have your study materials, pens, highlighters, Manila papers, and markers ready.

2. Study the Basics

You will never go wrong by studying the basics. No matter how complicated the question, the basics are always there to help you out.

3. As a rule, do not read new textbooks

Stick to the textbooks and reviewers that you have already read in law school.

4. Discriminate teachers in review school

You do not have to attend the review class every day. Decide for yourself whether it is better to study alone or go to class. Assess how weak you are with the subject, the qualification of the professor teaching the class, and the contents of the class itself.

5. Stick to case digests

Throw the debate whether to read cases in full or go with case digests. In review, you simply do not have the time to read the cases in its full text. Go with digests.

6. Practice answering previous Bar questions

Like any exam, questions in the Bar Examinations sometimes get repeated. Read the previous Bar Exams. Compare and contrast what kind of questions always come up. You may use this set of books called “Pareto Notes” that already does this for you.

7. Have a study buddy

It is ill-advised to form study groups as each of you might have different schedules and study habits. It is, however, recommended to have a study buddy that you can bounce questions or throw Bar tips with.

8. Study every day but take a lot of breaks

It is recommended to study every day – Saturdays, Sundays and holidays included. Do not, however, burnout. Take many breaks throughout the day. Manage your time so you can still watch Netflix, browse Facebook, or have dinner with a friend.

9. Do a second reading

Schedule the second reading of your study materials to really reinforce the materials in your mind.

10. Take advantage of your school’s Bar Operations

They are there to help you out. Ask if they have notes available. Do not forget to thank them for their volunteer work.


I Took the Bar Exams. What Do I Do Now?

Well, now you have to wait for the results.

It takes about six months (from November to May) for the examiners to check the booklets, for the Supreme Court to encode the scores, and for the Justices to have a session en banc (as the entire group) and release the results.

In the meantime, you may take a long-needed rest, or if you are itching to work, apply as an underbar associate to law firms or as a legal assistant to government agencies.

What if I Fail the Bar Exams?

Grieve, and take it once again. There is no maximum number of tries in taking the Bar Exams.

Take note, however, that candidates who have failed the exams thrice shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they enroll in and pass regular fourth-year review class as well as attend a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school.

Go back to the main article: How to Become a Lawyer in the Philippines: A Definitive Guide

Atty. Kenneth Roy Sentillas

Kenneth Roy Sentillas is a graduate of San Beda University - College of Law and presently working as an Attorney for the Legal Division of the National Privacy Commission. Part of his advocacy is to promote good mental health ethics in the workplace.

11 thoughts on “How To Pass the Bar Exam in the Philippines: Tips From a Filipino Lawyer

  1. A mother and a full time employee….
    What is the % or probability of successfully passing the bar?

  2. Thank you s much for the tips. I am still in my freshman level but starting these steps as early as now could be a great help in my future challenge, the Bar exam.

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  5. Hi Im am Bachelor in Agricultural Technology Graduate is there anything I do just to enrol in Law school with my past degree?

  6. Hello.
    Your article is very informative. Thank you. I have a question, it says there are other schools that allow foreign students to study law in the Philippines however, they are not allowed to challenge the BAR exam, what if a student becomes a dual citizen can he/she do both? I am very curious to know. thanks again.

    1. In the Philippines, one of the qualifications of those admitted to the Bar is that the applicant must be a Filipino citizen. A dual citizen who is also a Filipino citizen will be allowed to take the bar exams, among other requirements after studying law in the Philippines for the entire program, or just the fourth year subjects of a recognized law school if the applicant has completed Law abroad. You may visit the Supreme Court website for more details, or check out Rule 138 of the Rules of Court for more details. Hope this helps and goodluck!

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