Historic 2020/21 Bar exams yields 72.28% passing rate

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Historic 2020/21 Bar exams yields 72.28% passing rate
Examinees shower the Supreme Court grounds with emotions as Bar exam results flash through an LED screen on April 12, 2022.
Philstar.com / Deejae Dumlao

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:22 a.m.) — The historic 2020/21 Bar exams, the first test digitized and localized and done during taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, has yielded a passing rate of 72.28%.

This means that the Philippines is set to welcome 8,241 new lawyers, after nearly two years of no new lawyers as exams were suspended due to the pandemic.

But Associate Justice Marvic Leonen — Bar chairperson — said for this batch, they “removed all reference to ‘fail.’ Instead we recognize those who did not make it as ‘did not finish’ or ‘did not pass.’”

With the pandemic forcing closure of premises of many, including the SC, and delaying the conduct of the Bar exams, the high court on Tuesday allowed some examinees who wish to confirm their passing on the LED wall installed onto the grounds. However, entry will be controlled.

For the 2020/21 Bar exams, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen — Bar chairperson — reduced the coverage and shortened the period of the examination on February 4 and 6, instead of the traditional four Sundays of November.

The 2020/21 Bar exams were conducted physically in 31 local testing sites in 22 local government units across the country. In each testing site, strict COVID-19 protocols that have been continually revised were implemented, including antigen test for examinees.

Out of the 11,790 applicants, only 11,402 finished the two-day test. Some were also disqualified for violating policies of the Office of the Bar Chairperson and their Honor Code.

Again departing from tradition, the SC will not release topnotchers but instead, recognize examinees who obtained a total weighted score of 85.00% or higher for  their "exemplary performance in the Bar examinations."

There are of 761 takers, representing 9.23% of thosr who passed, who earned the recognition for exemplary performance for earning a grade of 85% to 90%.

14 Bar takers meanwhile are recognized for excellent performance for obtaining grades higher than 90%.

Leonen, in an earlier Bar Bulletin, said this is in consideration of the different circumstances that the two batches of examinees went through amid a pandemic.

The SC also ranked law schools with more than 100 Bar takes, according to their percentage of passers among first-time takers. The top 5 list is as follows:

  • First, Ateneo de Manila University: 99.6429%
  • Second, University of the Philippines: 98.8406%
  • Third, San Beda University: 98.1061%
  • Fourth, University of San Carlos, 98.0000%
  • Fifth, University of Santo Tomas -Manila, 93.0556%

The top five law schools with most number of exemplary passers meanwhile are:

  • First, University of the Philippines: 147
  • Second, Ateneo de Manila University: 100
  • Third, San Beda University: 94
  • Fourth, University of San Carlos: 57
  • Fifth, Arellano University: 39
  • Meanwhile, the following law schools

The oath-taking is set on May 2, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Further details and health protocols to be announced later.

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