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Bar examinees warned: Posting ‘prayers’ is cheating


The Supreme Court has warned aspiring lawyers not to include a prayer, a Bible verse, or an outright plea in their answers in order to gain extra points or sympathy from the examiners in next year’s first online bar exams, saying that doing so would be considered cheating.

“Do not write a mantra, motto, prayer to deities or saints, special plea addressed to the examiner or the bar chairperson, or any other such extraneous text,” said Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, chair of the 2020-2021 bar exams committee.

In a 14-page bar bulletin, Leonen stated that putting any distinguishing mark in a submitted answer “is classified as cheating” and can “disqualify the examinee from the entire bar examinations.”

Bar exams, as the magistrate previously stated, are designed to determine the “minimum skills” required of those seeking admission to the bar.

“The bar examinations test both honor and excellence. Remember that it is not worth passing the exams when you do so by being dishonest or by making others suffer,” he said. “Start your legal career with the nobility, capacity for leadership, and empathy that our profession deserves.”

In 2019, only 2,103 (or 17.36 percent) of the 7,685 people who took the bar exam passed. In June 2020, about three months into the pandemic, they took their oath as lawyers via an online video conference.

Since 2020, the Supreme Court has been forced to postpone the exams twice.

Leonen urged law graduates to look after their health and read the Supreme Court’s advisories on the country’s first-ever localized and online bar examinations, which will be held in various testing centers across the country on four Sundays in January, February, March, and April. 16, 23, and 30, as well as February 6, 2022.

Each of the eight bar exam subjects will have 15 to 18 “straightforward” essay-type questions, which examinees will answer on their laptops using the Examplify testing software.

To pass, they should have a good understanding of the fundamentals of law as well as the most recent jurisprudence, according to Leonen.

They must also have a sufficient command of the English language, which, he said, “comes from the examinees’ accumulated study of and experience in communicating in this language.”

“To pass the bar examinations, the examinees need to exert effort to be as precise as possible in communicating their knowledge of the law in their answers,” the justice said.
Bar examinees warned: Posting ‘prayers’ is cheating|

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