25 Do's & Dont's in the BAR exam

[1] Only sign pens and fountain pens in permanent blue, blue-black or black ink shall be used in writing answers. Changes in the color of the ink used shall not be allowed. Changes in the style of handwriting within one notebook should be avoided.

[2] Answers should be written legibly and erasures avoided. In case of a mistake, the Bar examinee should simply draw a line across the word or words to be changed or erased. NO ERASURES OR TEARING-OFF OF ANY PAGE OF THE NOTEBOOK IS ALLOWED.

[3] THE BAR EXAMINEE'S NAME CANNOT BE WRITTEN IN ANY PART OF THE NOTEBOOK NOR IS ANY UNNECESSARY MARKING OR IMPERTINENT EXPRESSION ALLOWED TO BE MADE ANYWHERE IN THE NOTEBOOK. Names of persons other than those specifically mentioned in the questionnaire cannot be used. Unless particular names are called for, persons shall be referred to by letters of the alphabet such as A, B, C, etc.

[4] As a reminder, prayers or personal notes written in the examination notebook shall be considered as markings that shall disqualify the Bar examinee from the WHOLE bar examinations.

[5] Answers should be written on the face or side of the page of the examination notebook fronting the examinee. In case all the front sides of all pages have been used, the examinee may use the back sides of the pages of the exam notebook starting from the back side of the first page and the back side of every page thereafter. In case of any doubt in this regard, directions should be secured from the headwatcher.

[6] The THIRD BELL (11 :30 a.m.; 5:30 p.m.) signals that only thirty (30) minutes are left before the end of the examination. The FOURTH BELL (11:55 a.m.; 5:55 p.m.) signifies that only five (5) minutes are left before the end of the examination.

[7] A Bar examinee finishing the exam before the FIFTH BELL may immediately submit his/her examination notebook to the headwatcher and shall forthwith leave the room.
[8] At the FIFTH BELL (12:00 noon; 6:00 p.m.), all Bar examinees should submit their examination notebooks, finished or unfinished. Failure to submit the examination booklet as required will result in the examinee's disqualification. For example, any Bar examinee who leaves the assigned room for any length of time however brief without submitting his/her examination notebook, can no longer make a submission and is considered disqualified from the whole Bar Examinations.

[9] The examinees can bring home the examination questionnaires or submit it together with the examination notebooks. A copy of the questionnaire in every Bar subject will also be seasonably posted in the Supreme Court website. Although an examinee can bring home the questionnaire for every Bar subject, it is best for a Bar examinee to clear his/her mind of the past examination and to move on to the next subject.

[10] After every examination and before leaving the room, the Bar examinee should ask for his/her Notice of Admission from the headwatcher, who shall accomplish the certification found at the back of the Notice of Admission as proof of the examinee's completion of the examination.

[11] The Notice of Admission will be retained by the headwatcher at the end of the last Bar examination, i.e., after the Legal Ethics examination on the 4th Sunday, for submission to the Office of the Bar Confidant as required.

[12] Every Bar examinee with special medical or other needs (e.g. insulin injections or taking medications during examination hours) should so inform the Office of the Bar Confidant so that appropriate preparations can be made or taken well ahead of examination time.

[13] If the Bar examinee feels sick during the actual examination, he/she should immediately call the attention of the headwatcher or watcher so that appropriate action may be taken. The Court has prepared for this contingency.

[14] Every Bar examinee should attend to his/her toilet needs before the FIRST BELL. If he/she needs to go to the toilet at any time during the actual examination, the attention of the headwatcher or watcher should be called for directions on the procedures to observe in these eventualities.

[15] It may be advisable to bring extra t-shirts and umbrellas. As well, exam rooms are fully air-conditioned. For the examinees' comfort and convenience, they may need to bring sweaters or jackets.

[16] Every Bar examinee should master this Guide and the examination Instructions in the cover page of every Questionnaire. This Guide is provided well ahead of time to give the examinees time for its study. A Sample Bar Instructions will be posted in the Court's Bar Bulletin. The sample questionnaire will contain a copy of the Instructions that will apply to the actual Bar examinations, subject to the necessary changes that particular Bar subjects may call for.

[17] Read each question carefully for its full and complete understanding. Pay particular attention to the directive or direction word/s the essay question uses. Examples of direction words are argue, compare, contrast, define, decide, and distinguish. The answer should respond to what these directives or direction words exactly require.

[18] Again, time planning and pacing are essential, remembering that the essay questions contain the bulk - at least 80% - of the examination.

[19] Every well-written essay question specifically asks for the resolution of the legal problem posed. The examinee's task is to provide the resolution that the essay question calls for, nothing more and nothing less, with sufficient explanation of how the examinee arrived at his/her conclusion. Note that in a 5-point essay exam, the examiner can give credit even if the answer is not exactly correct but the answer is wellwritten and logical. Consider, however, that the use of the "shotgun" approach in answering essay questions may not be the best approach as it indicates the lack of exact or specific knowledge about the questions asked.

[20] Go straight to the point if you know the exact answer to the question. As a good rule to follow, draw an outline of the proposed answer - after reading the question and understanding what it requires, take some time to note (mentally or on a scratch paper) a brief outline of the proposed answer. The examinee can use the questionnaire but not the exam booklet to do the outline. The outline allows him/her to systematically present all the pertinent information in a logical order.

[21] Write clearly and legibly. Use black, blue or blue-black ink only. Pencils will no longer be used nor allowed for the examinations. As a rule, five to six words per line significantly contribute to readability.

[22] The examinee can help the examiner's assessment of the answer by providing clues to the line of thinking used and the answer's pattern of organization. Use transitional words such as first, second, next, finally, on the other hand, consequently, furthermore and in conclusion.

[23] Answers should always be proofread. Because an essay exam is also a test of the examinee's writing ability, he/she should spend some time to review his/her answer. Look for mistakes in grammar and punctuation, check for misspelled or missing words and omit needless words.
[24] Make sure no uncalled for name, distinguishing or identifying mark is placed in one's notebook. Care should be taken not to use a specific name when no such name is called for. Do not write any prayer to God nor any special plea addressed to the examiner. Leaving or making a distinguishing or identifying mark in the exam booklet is classified as cheating and can subject the examinee to disqualification for the whole examination.

[25] An examinee will be considered cheating if caught with notes or "codigos" during the examination, or if caught copying or allowing the copying of examination answers by another Bar examinee. Conversing or talking to other bar examinees during the examination shall be prima f acie evidence of cheating. Any communication with another Bar candidate can be done only with the prior permission and in the presence of the exam headwatcher. SOURCE: http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/baradmission/2014/ruleofconduct.pdf
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