Bar exams kick off at UST with record-high examinees
MANILA, Philippines — This year’s Bar exams kicked off on Sunday, with a historic number of examinees flocking to University of Santos Tomas in Manila for the first leg of the four-week test.
According to the Supreme Court, a total of 7, 146 law graduates were scheduled to take exams that would be held every Sundayof November. The gates of UST opened for them at about 5 a.m.
The high tribunal was quoted in reports as saying that the number of takers was the highest number recorded in four years.
The high court attributed this to the scrapping of the five-take rule, which previously barred students from taking the exam after failing for five consecutive times.
This year is also the first time that the exams are being held in November. The Supreme Court said the schedule was moved from September to November in line with the academic calendar shift.
Security was tight along España Boulevard as the Manila Police District deployed about 200 cops at the site to ensure the takers’ safety.
The streets surrounding the four corners of UST were relatively silent. It has been like that since a grenade explosion in 2010 that disrupted the traditional Bar exams revelry and injured 50 people.
At that time, the exams were being held at the De La Salle University along Taft Avenue.
The social media, however, was far from being quiet. Well-wishers and examinees took to Twitter to express their mixed #NovemBar feelings.
From prayers to banters, Bar-related tweets using different hashtags abound in social media.
“Goodluck to all those taking the Bar exam tomorrow. Lord please, watch over my cousin,” one Jyd Parreño tweeted using handler @lejydimate.
Even Raissa Laurel, one of the victims of the 2010 Bar blast, sent prayers and good luck messages through her account. Laurel is also running for a seat at the San Juan City council in next year’s polls.
“Great are you Lord!” she said. “Today is the day! Please pray for us as we take the bar exam. All for his glory!”
The Bar is considered the most difficult and prestigious licensure exam in the country.
Aside from modifying the number of times an examinee could take the Bar, the Supreme Court also lowered the passing grade for three consecutive years.
From the required 75 percent general average, the high tribunal has lowered to the passing grade to 70 percent for the 2012 exams, and to 73% for the 2013 and 2014 exams. SFM
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