Right after the bar results came out, I chanced upon a brother who just passed the bar. He was exultant, having known just minutes before that he passed. He said that the list of the top 10 came out much earlier, and he almost cried when the list came out. If the 10th placer only got 80.90%, then the rest of the passers would be bunched from 80.89% - 75.00%. Slim chance that he will pass, he said. Luckily, the passing rate was decreased from 75 to 70. He figured that he was one of those benefitted by the decrease of the passing rate, so he was thankful. After the euphoria died down, he gave this one advice: read the codal provisions. If he had to do it all over again, he said, he would focus on the codals. With the unsolicited advice, I had the idea to ask the bar passers I know regarding their tips to the bar takers. What works? What doesn't? Here are some of the tips:
1. Three bar passers advised me to read the codals. They emphasized this because codals are usually taken for granted. One said to read the codals as your first reading. Annotations in review books will vary, But the codals will not. It is good to have a firm foundation of the codals. You can never go wrong with codals.
2. Have your schedule ready as early as now, even before you start reviewing. You may not be able to follow your schedule to the letter, but at least you have a gauge of where you are standing.
3. Even if you don't plan on studying yet, you should be choosing the books you'll be using. Obtain a copy as soon as possible, so that you can base your schedule on the number of pages of all the books and reviewers that you want to read.
4. Do not read too many books per subject. Stick to 1 or 2. The less books you read repeatedly, the better memory retention you will have. Reading three books per subject is too much. It will confuse you more.
5. Study to pass. Better yet, study to top. See the end goal in sight. The power of positive thinking helps, it will push you forward.
6. Have a break. Allot one day per week. Watch a movie. Surf the web all day. Drink. The important thing is to relax. It will keep you from being too high strung. It will help you keep your sanity.
7. Talk with your friends. Have your own support group. Unburden yourself when things become too stressful.
8. Stay healthy. Have yourself a flu shot. Do some light exercise every day. All your hard work will go for naught if you're gonna get sick on the day of the examination.
9. Adjust your sleeping habits. Try to get used to waking up at 5 or 6 in the morning, and sleeping at 10 or 11 at night. Feeling lethargic/groggy/sleepy on the day of the exam is not a good thing.
10. Pray. It will help you keep your bearings. Go to Manaoag. Go to Baclaran. Do whatever works for you.
One friend, who is ever so humble, had this to say, "huwag mo kong tanungin dyan, pare. Hindi ako authority! 1.25 readings lang ako. Hindi ko nga alam kung pa'no ko pumasa e." Well, I guess humility and a little luck helps too!