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Starting your Philippine Bar Review

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

As soon as you enroll in Law School you must keep in mind that each time you open your study materials, you are doing it in preparation for the Bar Exams.

Upon graduation from Law School, you are probably confused if you want to have a break for a couple of days or weeks or you want to begin your Philippine Bar Exam Preparations. Whether you were a diligent and a studious student or a happy go lucky type, it is probably a great idea to have a short break and bask under the sun before you start the review process. Either way, you may want to use the time before the Review starts to assess your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you come up with your Bar Review Strategy.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

Before you start, it is a good idea to assess your habits. "Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness... or ineffectiveness." (Covey, Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York. 1989.Print)

Given the limited time to study for the Bar Exams and the broad examination coverage, you must develop a strategy with your study habits, your circumstances and your learning ability in mind. It is also important to assess how you perform in your exams. Do you often struggle comprehending questions? Are you confident in presenting your answers? Do you have a solid substantive law knowledge?

With these in mind, come up with a strategy that will help you overcome your weaknesses and will help you maximize your strengths.

You should also put emphasis in developing two (2) skills while preparing for the bar: a strong grasp of the principles of law and relevant jurisprudence as well as the ability to effectively communicate your knowledge of law in your answers. According to the Guide and Rules of Conduct to the 2019 Bar Examination published by the Office of the Bar Confidant, "Performing well in the Bar Examination requires a good understanding of the basic principles of law and relevant jurisprudence, as well as an adequate ability to understand and communicate in the English language."

Bar Review Strategy

You now need to decide whether to enroll in a Bar Review Center or not. With the increasing popularity of Online Resources, you might think you already have all that you need to prepare. However, bar candidates still opt to enroll in bar review classes because they want to have a more structured approach in reviewing for the most difficult examination in the country. Bar Review Centers have lecture schedules and may just follow that.

Some bar candidates may not see the need to enroll in a Bar Review class because studying alone works best for them. For most Bar Candidates it is still best to have a structured Review Strategy. One of the benefits of taking a bar review course are the test-taking techniques and strategies they provide.

Here are the Bar Review Courses offered in the Country:

1.) Traditional Bar Review Classes are offered by leading Law Schools in the Country. Classes are conducted by Reviewers in Classrooms/ Auditoriums. These are condensed classes so discussions are not common. You may choose to follow their prescribed schedule.

2. One-on-one Coaching. One of the benefits of taking one-on-one coaching is the guidance on how to analyze and answer questions. Some bar candidates may see the need to learn how to analyze bar exam problems with the guidance of a competent reviewer. Having practice or mock-bar will also help you get used to answering bar questions.

3.) Online Bar Review. This program is a popular alternative to traditional or on-site classes. Those who plan to stay comfortable at their own homes as they prepare for the Bar Exams may opt for this.

4.) Combination. This may cost more money but if you want to take advantage of all the bar preparation strategies and learning materials, this is the program for you.

Depending on the review course that you decide to take, you will be given access to resources, books, sample exams and other valuable study materials that will help you in your preparation. You would need to maximize your access to these resources by using recommended readings .

Review Centers now have innovative ways to prepare examinees for the bar exam. Some are absolutely better than others. But you must remember that enrolling in a Bar Review Course does not guarantee success in taking the Bar. Consistency, discipline, and focus are important in passing the bar. In sum, if you remain focused on your goal to pass the bar and you follow helpful tips, you should be all set on the exam day.

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