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September 2023 Bar Exams: compressed in 3 days, reduced coverage, lesser testing sites

The 2023 Philippine Bar Exams will be held sometime in September 2023, compressed in 3 days, reduced coverage, and lesser testing sites.

This was disclosed by Supreme Court Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Chairperson of the 2023 Bar Examinations and Chairperson of the Court’s Committee on Bar Reforms, in his message during a meeting with Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS) on June 23, 2022 via zoom.

The 3-Day Exams will have the following schedule:

Day 1

Morning: Political Law and Public International Law
Afternoon: ​​​Labor Law and Social Legislation​

Day 2

Morning: Civil Law with Land Titles

Afternoon: Commercial Law with Taxation

Day 3

Morning: Remedial Law with Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises

Afternoon: Criminal Law

There will be 20 essay questions, without sub-questions, for each Bar subject. There will be four examiners per Bar subject. Justice Hernando said that “entry level questions” will compose the examinations.

Commercial Law with Taxation will include basic taxation without computation of income tax. Tariff and Customs law are likewise excluded. Commercial Law will include Corporation Law, Insurance Law, Intellectual Property, General Banking Laws/BSP Charter and Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), Foreign Investments Act and Amended Public Service Act. Negotiable Instruments Law is still excluded.

The entire syllabus for the 2023 Bar Examinations will be released on August 8, 2022.

Exact examination dates and intervals are yet to be determined when 2023 Bar Bulletins are released later this year.

With the early schedule of the 2023 Bar Exams, the bar result is projected to be released in November 2023. The Bar Oath-taking and Signing of the Roll of Attorneys will be done at the same time in December 2023. 

The 2023 Bar Exams will still be digitized but with lesser testing sites compared to 2020-2021 Bar Exams. Testing centers in NCR, Baguio, Cebu, and Davao will be maintained, while other locations will still be determined. 

Justice Hernando emphasized that Fourth Year in law school is catered mostly to review subjects and should already be a preparation for the Bar Exam itself. Accordingly, review centers should only be supplementary.

As early as January 2023, the candidates taking the Bar Exams for the first time may file their application to take the Bar Exams. The other documentary requirements available after graduation such as the official Transcript of Records (TOR) and Certificate of Good Moral Character will have a later date for submission. The date of application for repeater examinees will be determined on a later date, most likely after the 2022 Bar Exams result is released.

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Law School Buddy would like to acknowledge Dean Cecilio Duka, LEXplore, and Mich Lopez for this collective information. Thank you!

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