Statistics on the 2014 Bar Examinations
by Thads Bentulan
The Chair of the Bar Committee, which is rotated each year, rightfully keeps the examiners anonymous due the immense pressure from examinees and their fraternities to obtain any form of advantage such as leakages. But when a lecturer suddenly goes on official leave the year before, he is immediately suspected as the next year’s examiner.
A bar examiner may be tempted to construct questions that are meant to impress the candidates with his supposed expertise rather than test the latter’s knowledge of the law. Some questions have questionable logic or questionable validity as a metric of the candidate’s knowledge. However, since discretion is given to the examiner, it is almost impossible to assail the appropriateness of such a bar question.
The examinee is afraid that the bar examinations will not test him on what he knows; he is afraid that the examiner will test him on what he does not know.
Based on information from various sources, each examiner is supposed to give 50 questions personally to the Chairman of the Bar Committee (who is a sitting Justice) at least 45 days before the exams. The questions are preferably in the handwriting of the examiner. By the time he has prepared 20 questions, he will have run out of questions to ask. And this probably tempts him to ask outlandish questions.
Of the 50, the Chairman will select 20 questions or, the latter may reject all questions and make his own.
Remember I said that I will share my discovery of the weakest link in the entire bar exam operational cycle that remains unrectified to this day, and may be have caused tremendous injustice to the examinees?
The Supreme Court spends millions to protect the integrity and streamline the bar examination process, and over the years they have developed an impressive template. Yet, ironically, in my opinion, they have not given attention to the weakest link of the entire process: the correction of the examinees’ answers.
This is not the place to fully discuss each factor that makes the correction phase as the weakest link but I will just summarize some ideas.