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2020/2021 Bar Exams moved again, new exam dates set for January 2022

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Sep 28, 2021 4:06 pm

The 2020/2021 Bar Exams, which have already been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are pushed back once again, with new dates set for January and February 2022.

In a bulletin released on Sept. 28, the Supreme Court (SC) announced that the bar exams, initially scheduled for November 2021, will be moved to Jan. 16 to Feb. 6, 2022.

“After considering the COVID-19 situation nationally and in all the testing sites, as well as receiving advice from various experts, the Supreme Court, after recommendation by the Bar Chairperson, with an abundance of caution and to assure the highest level of safety for all the bar applicants and personnel, decided to reset the Bar Examinations from November 2021 to January 16, 23, 30, and February 6, 2022,” Associate Justice and bar chairperson Marvic Leonen said in the SC bulletin.

The bulletin also stated that the application period, which ended on Sept. 15, will not be reopened.

All preparatory activities, including selection of bar applicants’ venue and downloading of the secure exam delivery program, will continue.

“Treat this as an opportunity. Keep your momentum. Remember that you study not only to pass the Bar Examinations, but also so that you will best serve others. Study well, purposively, and with passion,” Leonen said.

There were more than 11,000 examinees who applied for the 2020/2021 Bar Exams, reportedly the largest batch in bar exam history.

As the Supreme Court’s preparations for the bar exams were in full throttle this year, several historic changes were made to keep up with the restrictions of the pandemic, including the launch of its online application site called Bar Personalized Login Unified System or Bar PLUS, where the applicants will submit their verified petition and other required documents.

In July 2021, the SC also announced that the supposed November 2021 bar exams will be held in more than 24 local testing sites across the country.

And for the first time in history, the SC has scrapped the traditional announcement of the Top 10 bar passers for the 2020/2021 exams, citing that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the country “will make it inequitable to adhere to exacting, minute distinction for exemplary performance.” Instead, Leonen said, examinees with a total weighted score of 85% or higher will be recognized for “exemplary performance.”

Banner and thumbnail photo by KJ Rosales/The Philippine STAR