Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Effective Bar preparation methods

(Editor's Note: This was written in 2009. Please  make the proper adjustments for the 2012 format of the exams.)

How to prepare for the Bar; effective Bar review methods; how to top the Bar; easy ways to pass the Bar - there are many ways you can call it but there is only one goal: To obtain the license to practice law in the Philippines.

Here are some pertinent portions of Atty. Abelardo T. Domondon's lecture recently. These are what I took note of or interpreted/restated as accurately as I can. However there are still important portions that I skipped. For a complete discussion, you may buy his book "Effective Bar Review Methods" sold by Primus.

"Be a Bar topnotcher.

Challenges that Bar examinees may face: communication skills, handwriting, poor English, defective logic, carelessness, inadequate preparation.

There is no relation at all in the grades in law school and your chances to top the Bar.

Know your enemy.

New ball game each year. Also take note of new rules, like: designation of two examiners per subject.

Prepare your petition papers early. July is already a late period to prepare them.

You don't have to read all the cases. Read only the landmark cases.

Gather all the codals.

Pay attention to: knowledge, recollection, communication, and speed.

Be very careful in the afternoon because the alloted time is lesser.

Write fast. Write legibly. Three short sentences, except in enumerations and distinctions.

What is the impact of the two-examiner rule? The 3-sentence rule may no longer be applicable because the examiner will have more time to evaluate your booklet and analyze your answers.

Are you ready to review for the Bar? You need a plan, to determine your SWOT.

You only have 114 days left between April 20 to August 29, 2009.

You need a minimum of P50,000 for the review.

You only have a max of 7 reading hours a day.

Reading speed is 3 minutes per page including comprehension and understanding. There are 10,000 pages you have to read.

Need for speed. Test your speed (read his book on how to do this).

If you make it easy for the examiner to check your notebook, he'll repay you with a high grade.

Physical resources: Get a thorough physical exam, especially an eye exam. You would be putting your eyes to extreme strain during the review period.

Review materials: Better that you use your old books; they are like old friends.

Review supplies: I don't recommend yellowpads and reading from the computer. Use 5" x 8" index cards for your notes as they could easily be inserted and are portable. Audio recorders are a waste of time and money if you don't pay attention to the lecture because you're thinking that you're recording it anyway.

Financial resources: Save. Borrow. Beg. The bottomline: You should no longer worry about money because it will distract you from your review.

Review school: Look for the lecturers in choosing a good review school. Be aware of those brilliant or star lecturers who will just put you to sleep.

Sometimes, the daily review lectures can be a waste of time.

Stabilize your EQ.

Rest on Sunday.

Adhere to your daily review schedule as if your life depends on it.

Reading everything would lead you to perdition. Be selective on where to focus on. Because even if you read everything, you cannot remember them all.

You can recall if you need to, and if you want to. Have a strong motivation to remember.

You must limit the materials that you have to master.

It is motivation that allows you to concentrate.

Read one section at a time before marking.

Bring your book during lectures so that you can mark appropriate portions related to the lecture.

Have your own mock Bar exams.

Read the area covered by the lecture prior to the lecture.

Be well rested when you attend lectures. Otherwise, you'll end up sleeping in the comfortable, airconditioned environment of the lecture hall.

A wrap-up review will help.

Pre-week is for psychological preparations.

Exam Days: War zone is still in La Salle, not in UE as earlier rumored.

An answer is complete if it cannot anymore be subjected to the question "Why".

Always look at the rationale behind every law or provision.

It is always the fear of the unknown that is difficult to surmount. Kaya ninyo 'yan!"


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