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How to Present Answers in Bar Examination/ Law School Mid-Term Exam Answering questions in the Bar Examination involves

basically two aspect: (1) form; an ! (") substance# $he gui elines provi e are esigne to ensure that an examinee may better communicate their answers# $hey coul also be useful in answering exams at law schools as most of them prefer to imitate the bar examination to prepare their stu ents# FORM %orms refer to the physical presentation of the answer to appeal aesthetically to the examiner# $hese inclu e but are not limite to gui elines for (1) margin! in entation an proper punctuation! (") erasures! an (&) spacing# 'roper form is necessary as you must min that an examiner will chec( the answers of multiple examinees# 'roper margin shoul be observe in answering question at the bar exam# Equal wi th shoul be use at both si es# %or example! if on the right si e! a margin of one (1) inch is use ! the wi th of the margin on the left si e shoul also be one (1) inch# An examinee must train himself to write with invisible margin# )ome examinees use a *+shape cut+out from acetate paper for mar(ing margins# ,owever! before using such! permission must be sought from the proctor# -orrect punctutation must be observe in sentences! an the first sentence in a paragraph must always be in ente # Erasures must be one by stri(ing through the answer inten e to be erase # .o not cross out your erasures# $his will be consi ere as mar(ing your examination boo(let# /f no space is available for changes in your answer! in icate the page that contain it# ,owever! some examiner may consi er this as not following instruction# 0eave one space in between paragraph# An examinee must always write concisely an clearly# )entences shoul contain only about "1+"2 wor s! while a paragraph shoul contain only about 3+11 lines# /f longer sentences are nee e ! an examinee can use punctuations such as comma an collon to express brea( in or continuity of thought# $here is no nee to restate the whole question# %or example! in answering the question 45ay an illegitimate chil of an alien mother an a naturali6e %ilipino father acquire the citi6enship of his putative father74 instea of restating the question in eclarative form! an examinee can simply state! 48es! the illegimate chil can acquire the citi6enship of his father#4 $his way! unnecessarily consuming space in your boo(let is avoi e # 9emember that each answer requires one page which only contains 12 lines# A sentence must always express a complete thought! but it must not be absur ly shortene # /nstea of writing! 4,e run# ,e went to the .ean:s office#4 write 4,e run to the .ean:s office#4 A paragraph must contain coherent sentences organi6e un er a singular topic# /f the paragraph is about the legal basis of your answer! all sentences containe in the paragraph must refer to the legal basis of your answer# ,igh+faluting wor s must be avoi e # $he use of simple wor is more a visable as this ensures universal comprehesion# %or example! instea of 4pillori6e4 use the more familiar 4penali6e#4 9epeate ly using the same wor in a short answer is not a visable# ,an writing is also consi ere in so far that it must be legible! an oes not require unnecessary effort from the examiner to comprehen # %or consistency! an examinee must answer only in one style! either in cursive or in print# ;eep in min that answer boo(lets use in the bar examination are similar to composition noteboo(s# 8our han writing must be more roun e to suit the spacing of the boo(let# *se one color of in( throughout the examination# %ountain or sign pens are the preferre writing implement in the bar# .o not use abbreviation# *se 4shall not4 instea of 4shan:t#4 )imilarly! acronyms for the )upreme -ourt such as 4)-4 is iscourage # /n referring to the )upreme -ourt! use 4-ourt4 or 4)upreme -ourt#4 5embers of the -ourt shoul be referre with their respective title# /f retire ! write 4retire 4

or 4former4 as in 4retire <ustice 9egala o#4 .o not be casual in referring to the =ustices by using their first name# >rite 4<ustice -arpio+5orales4 an ?@$ 4-onchita#4 Acronyms can be use if they are acceptable# %or example! 4*?4 is generally un erstoo to refer to the 4*nite ?ations#4 @therwise! full meaning of acronyms must be presente first# %or example! use first 4$he 'ontifical *niversity of )to# $omas (*)$)4 after which you may procee to use 4*)$4 as its acronym# Asi e from possible technicalities! the goal of form is to ma(e your answers as aesthetically pleasing as possible# /t aims to eliminate istraction from the substance of your answer# 'ut yourself in the place of the examiner# ,e will be te iously chec(ing hun re s of answers from the examinees for the next six months# ,e is li(ely to be less incline to give his full attention to improperly presente answers# SUBSTA !E $here are two ways of answering in the bar exams: (1) .irect attac(; an ! (") four+paragraph form# $he first is less time+extensive# ,owever! the secon one is commonly use by bar+top notcher even though time+extensive# Answers are recommen e to be presente in four+paragraph form: 1# A?)>E9# 9esponsive answer "# 0EAA0 BA)/)# / entify the relevant legal basis &# A''0/-A$/@?# Apply the legal basis to the question at han B# -onclusion# 9estatement of the responsive answer# )A5'0E C*E)$/@?: 45ay an illegitimate chil of an alien mother an a naturali6e %ilipino father acquire the citi6enship of his putative father74 )ubstance refers to the (1) responsive answer! (") legal basis! (&) logic an ! (B) grammar# 8our answer must be responsive to the question# /t must provi e the information as(e in the question# /f the question is answerable by 4yes4 or 4no4 answer it with either a 4yes4 or a 4no#4 /f the question calls for an enumeration! enumerate; if for a efinition! efine# $his shall be your first paragraph# %or example! in answering the question you may answer it with 48es! the illegimate chil can acquire the citi6enship of his father4 in your first paragraph# 8our legal basis is the law on which your answer is base # /n law school! you can not answer a question without legal basis# /n bar examination! you are expecte but not require to cite the specific provision in the law# /f your answer is base on =urispru ence! you may simply state 4*n er the prevailing 'hilippine =urispru ence#4 /t is of course! more commen able if an examinee can cite the specific provison# $his forms your secon paragraph# /n answering the question! you may write 4*n er the present -onstitution! chil ren born of %ilipino mother or father are citi6ens of the 'hilippines4 or 4'aragraph "! section 1! Article /D of the present -onstitution states 4($he following are citi6ens of the 'hilippines) those whose fathers or mothers are citi6ens of the 'hilippines#4 /n the thir paragraph! you must apply your legal basis to the facts of the question# 8ou may answer 4)ince the illegitimate chil is born of a naturali6e %ilipino father! un er the present -onsitution! the chil is a citi6en of the 'hilippines#4 8our conclusion is a restatement of your answer# 5a(e sure that they o not contra ict each other# 8ou may answer 4$herefore! the illegitimate chil can acquire the citi6enship of his father#4 8our answer must be logical# $his means that it is coherent! oes not fall prey to logical fallacy! an 4follows#4 $he most common mista(e in logic is non+sequitur statements# An examinee must properly show how point A reaches point -! by going through point B an plotting the connection between each point# @utlining can help you maintain coherence in your answers# -orrect grammar must be observe # )u=ect+pre icate agreement shoul be followe # /f you write in the 4present tense4 observe the 4present tense4 all through out# -orrect spelling is highly encourage# Arammatical lapses re uce the persuasive power of your answers as they show your wea( comman

of the English language# $his may istract the examiner from the substance of your answer an can be a emerit against you# /n case of oubt! (eep in min that these gui elines are recommen e to facilitate ease of communicating your answer to the examiner# NOTE: Majority of the guidelines were culled from a lecture on Legal Research. The example uestion was adapted from an assignment on the su!ject. "owe#er$ they are not entirely faithful to the lecture. The writer too% li!erty in transliterating it to terms he can !est understand. "e also added some insights of his own. &ny defect lies at his fault. One of the more authoritati#e reference in writing is the style!oo% !y 'tuart ( )hite. &n old edition can readily !e downloaded from the *nternet. Remem!er that practice ma%es perfect.