Saturday, September 6, 2008

Last Minute Tips on Last-Minute Bar Tips

With just about 30 hours to go before the first exam of the 2008 bar, examinees must be sweating bullets right now. That is why central bar operations of schools and organizations do all they can to help the bar takers. One way of helping the examinees is to make or secure the best last-minute bar tips possible.

Somewhere along the history of bar operations, someone had the ingenious idea of making bar tips for examinees. Bar tips are reviewers which are about 10 pages long, consisting of about 15-20 possible bar questions with the corresponding answers. Hours are spent on research, editing and deliberation on the possible questions that will come out. Law professors and practitioners even share their two cents' worth as to the hot topics and even as to the identity of the examiner. It is usually done the day before the exam, with the final draft ready to be mass-produced just before the break of dawn. Bar tips are distributed a couple of hours before the exam for the bar takers' perusal.

The more famous bar tips are the ones coming from the renowned schools, like San Beda's red tips and Ateneo's blue tips. There are also well-known tips made by orgs, fraternities and sororities. Past examinees had bought the hype of the bar tips to the point that some were (allegedly) even willing to shell out thousands of pesos just to get hold of the more coveted bar tips.

However, some skeptics brush aside the efficacy of bar tips. They say that bar tips are nothing more than psychological boosters. If you have prepared well for the bar exams, they argue, then you can answer any question without any last-minute aids. Add to that the prevalence of bum tips. There are mischievous people who deliberately make "tips" which have patently wrong answers or outdated questions and then leave copies in the numerous photocopy centers in the vicinity of La Salle. If the examinee is not careful enough, he might get a copy of these spurious tips which may bring him more harm than good.

For bar tip proponents, a good bar tip is a handy tool heading in to the halls of La Salle. Bar tips are made especially for last-minute reading which will most probably stick to the reader's short-term memory. If there are three exact Q&As in the tips and the actual exam, then the examinee has three less questions to worry about. A bar tip with five or more exact Q&As is like hitting the jackpot. With such a low risk/high reward scenario, proponents say that you've got nothing to lose if you read a good bar tip.

Just a note for examinees: past bar takers advise that if you do decide to read bar tips, limit what you're gonna read to one or two. Reading more than that will defeat the purpose of storing what you've read in your short-term memory.

To the bar takers, good luck and happy reading!

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