SC shortens Bar exams, reduces coverage amid Omicron surge, Odette aftermath

Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2022 02:34 PM | Updated as of Jan 04 2022 02:39 PM

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) has shortened the Bar exams to two days amid concerns over the effects of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and typhoon Odette. 

Previously scheduled on January 16, 23, 30 and February 6 this year, the Bar exams are now set to happen on January 23 and 25. 

SC has also merged the eight subjects to four, reducing the coverage of the exams.

For January 23, examinees will take two sets of exams which are The Law Pertaining to the State and Its Relationship with Its Citizens (formerly Political Law, Labor Law, and Taxation Law) in the morning and Criminal Law in the afternoon.

For January 25, examinees will take two sets of exams again which are The Law Pertaining to Private Personal and Commercial Relations (formerly Civil Law and Commercial Law) in the morning, and Procedure and Professional Ethics (formerly Remedial Law, Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises) in the afternoon.

Pursuant to these changes, the high court issued Bar Bulletin No. 31 which enumerates the reduced coverage per exam.

Bar examinees are advised to self-quarantine starting January 9. 

SC said it has to push through with the Bar exams to meet demand for new lawyers. The reduced coverage will only apply to this year’s exams.

Last year, SC announced that the Bar was going to be digitalized, localized, and proctored. It was also announced that Bar examinees were to take the exams using their own Wi-Fi-enabled laptops instead of the traditional exams that required all answers to be handwritten.

In 2020, the high court en banc decided to skip Bar exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.