Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Comparative Analysis of Bar 2014 and Bar 2015

Comparative Analysis of 
Bar 2014 and Bar 2015

Using the data which I compiled in the table below here are some differences between the 2014 Bar and the 2015 Bar.

In terms of success rate, the 2014 Bar and the 2015 Bar are in opposite poles. The 2014 Bar with an original, unadjusted success rate of only 11.43% has the lowest success rate in a decade. (Later, the Supreme Court adjusted this to 18.82%).

By the way, the original success rate of 11.43% in the 2104 Bar was never publicly released by the Supreme Court, and this is the first time, as you reading this, that this figure is revealed. How did I get this information? That's another story.

On the other hand, the 2015 Bar has the highest success rate in a decade at 26.21% and the Supreme Court didn't even lower the passing grade of 75.00! Overall, we can say that the 2015 Bar takers are the luckiest in a decade, while the 2014 Bar takers are the unluckiest in a decade.

The original number of passers in the 2014 Bar is only 684 out of 5,984 (11.43%), these are the original number who obtained 75.00.  The original number of passers in the 2015 Bar is 1,731 out of 6,605 (26.21%).

Thus, at the level of unadjusted success rates, the 2015 Bar's success rate of 26.21% is 129% higher than the unadjusted success rate of only 11.43% in the 2014 Bar (26.21/11.43 = 229 times which in percentage is 129%, not 229%).

Therefore, a Bar 2015 candidate's chances is 229 times more than a Bar 2014 candidate, based on the statistics. Tremendous difference.

In the 2014 Bar, due to to its atrocious low success rate of 11.43% only, the Supreme Court decided to lower the passing grade from 75.00 to 73.00.  In so doing, the Supreme Court allowed 442 more takers to pass the 2014 Bar.  In terms of percentage, these additional 442 comprise 65% more than the original 684 passers. The adjusted total passers became 1,126 resulting in an adjusted success rate of 18.82% for the 2014 Bar.

Therefore, the published official success rate is 1,126 out of 5,984 (18.82%) in Bar 2014 compared to 1,731 out of 6,605 (26.21%) in the Bar 2015.

Yet, at 18.82% this adjusted success rate for the 2014 Bar is still the lowest in a decade. The 2014 Bar passers are really an unlucky batch. Two chances, and still the lowest.

Based on the table below, the difficulty of the 2014 Bar and the relative ease of the 2015 Bar is further emphasized by the scores of the topnotchers.

In terms of the topnotchers, it was very surprising that the 2015 Bar's topnotchers obtained very high ratings, which are still of the highest in a decade as well.

The 1st placer in the 2014 Bar only obtained 85.50 while the 1st Placer of the 2015 Bar obtained a very high grade of 87.40.

The grades of the 10th placers continue to demonstrate the difference in difficulty between the 2014 Bar and the 2015 Bar. The 10th placer in the 2014 Bar obtained 83.95 while the 10th placer in the 2015 Bar obtained 85.75.

As we can see, the 10th placers in the 2015 Bar whose grade is 85.75 very very much higher than 1st placer of the 2014 Bar whose grade is only 85.50!!! The 10th placer in Bar 2015 is actually 25 notches higher than the 1st placer of the 21014 Bar. (Each notch is 0.01).

The 1st Placer in the 2015 Bar is 190 notches above that 1st Placer in the 2014 Bar!! This is further proof, that as a whole, based on overall statistics, the 2014 Bar is more difficult and probably the most difficult bar in recent history. This is due to the very long exams in the 2014 Bar.

Essay-type Questions
As we can see from the table below, the 2014 Bar has more essay-type questions even if we removed the number of Multiple Choice (MCQs) from this list.

For example, the number of essay-type questions in Political Law in Bar 2014 is 23, while in Bar 2015 Bar is only 22. (We didn't even include the 7 MCQs in the 2014 Bar.)

Remember this, even one single additional essay type question makes a huge impact in terms of difficulty because it would take more than 20 minutes to read, analyze, think, and write down the answer to a single essay question, especially since most questions are "trick questions." (Meaning, they ask the "exceptions to the exceptions?".

Plus, do not forget that the 2014 Bar also has 6 to 7 MCQs for each subject that also require time to analyze even if they are just MCQs.

The worst gap is in Commercial Law. There were 21 essay-type in Bar 2014 compared to only 16 essay-type in Bar 2015!!!

Read the self-explanatory table below for the number of essay type questions per subject.

Ordinarily, if the two bar exams are similar, the larger the number of takers, the lower the percentage of passing success rate should be. For example, we should expect lesser success rates for an exam with 6,605 takers than for an exam with 5,984 takers. The higher the number of takers, the lower the success rate because each additional group of takers would increase the number of flunkers rather than passers.

The expectation is that the success rate of Bar 2015 with a higher number of takers should be lower than that of Bar 2014.

Yet, the original success rate of 11.43% for the 2014 Bar with 5,984 takers, is lower than 26.21% with 6,605 takers for Bar 2015. This is evidence that Bar 2015 is not an ordinary result. It is an outlier result. And indeed, it is an outlier, having the highest success rate in a decade even without lowering the passing grade.

In conclusion, the 2014 Bar is one of the most difficult in recent history while the 2015 Bar is one of the easiest in recent history. Does luck matter in the bar at all? Prayer is individual; statistics is general.

Comparative Analysis of Bar 2014 and Bar 2015
Category Bar 2014 Bar 2015
Original Success Rate 11.43% 26.21%
Original Number of Passers 684 1731
Adjusted Success Rate (Official Success Rate) 18.82% 26.21%
Adjusted Number of Passers 1126 1731
Additional Passers Due to Adjustment 442 0
Number of Takers                 5,984                    6,605
Score of First Placer 85.50 87.40
Score of !0th Placer 83.95 85.75

Number of Essay Questions by Subject Bar 2014 Bar 2015
Political Law 23 22
Labor Law 21 22
Civil Law 23 20
Taxation 22 22
Commercial Law 21 16
Criminal Law 21 22
Remedial Law 21 18
Legal Ethics 19 24
Note: Bar 2014 has MCQs ranging from 6 to 7 problems
excluded in this list. Even if MCQs they still consume valuable time for analysis

Separately, you might also want to read  "Statistics on the 2014 Bar" serialized in the links below

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     
Part 5    Part 6     Part 7     Part 8     
Part 9    Part 10    Part 11     Part 12
Part 13     Part 14  Part 15     Part 16
Part 17