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In essence, your answer should clearly indicate

:
1. the relevant facts;
2. the applicable law;
3. your analysis; and
4. your conclusion.

To expound it further, a Bar examinee’s answer should clearly demonstrate:

IDENTIFICATION OF THE PROBLEM
Your answer should demonstrate your ability to identify correctly the problem(s) and issue(s)
of law presented in the question. Your answer should demonstrate your ability to articulate and
classify the problem presented, that is, to state it in a lawyer-like fashion and to place it in its proper
category or categories of doctrine.
KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW
Your answer should demonstrate your knowledge of legal principles and your ability to
repeat them accurately on the examination as they relate to the problem presented by the question.
You should state concisely the principle(s) and rule(s) governing the issue(s) presented by the
question.
APPLICATION AND ANALYSIS
Your answer should reveal your capacity to reason logically by applying the appropriate rule
or principle to the operative facts of the question as a step in reaching your conclusion. This involves
making the correct preliminary determination as to which facts in the question are legally important
and which, if any, are irrelevant.
The line of reasoning that you adopt should be clear and consistent without gaps or
digressions. This is the most important element in your answer and, therefore, carries the most
weight in the grading process.
CONCLUSION
You should address yourself to the task that the question asks you to perform. For example,
if the question calls for a specific conclusion or result, such conclusion should clearly appear in your
answer and should be stated concisely and without equivocation.
An answer that consists entirely of mere conclusions unsupported by any statements or
discussion of the rules or reasoning upon which it is based is entitled to little credit. Clarity and
conciseness are important, but make your answer complete. Do not volunteer irrelevant or
immaterial information.
ARTICULATION
Articulation is expressive of the following basic fundamentals: good language, impressive
presentation, logical reasoning and substantial background knowledge of law and procedure.
Impressive answers showing the candidates reasoning faculty is what the examiners want to read in
your examination notebooks.
Your answer should demonstrate your ability to analyze the facts presented by the question,
to select the material from the immaterial facts, and to discern the points upon which the question
turns. It should show your knowledge and understanding of the pertinent principles and theories of
law involved and their qualifications and limitations. It should demonstrate your ability to apply the
law to the given facts, and to reason logically in a lawyer like manner to a sound conclusion from the
given premises.

FIRST LINERS

Knowing “First Liners” or introductory words will greatly help you to quickly and smoothly
string your thoughts and effectively convey your answers. The following “first liners” or introductory
words can be used interchangeably to begin every paragraph of your outlined answer.

The following “Useful Introductory Lines”

ANSWERING IN THE POSITIVE
1. The petition is meritorious.
2. The contention has legal basis.
3. The case will prosper.
4. The argument is proper.
5. The provision is perfectly applicable.
6. The action is tenable.
7. The motion should be granted.
8. The Judge is correct.
9. The petition is impressed with merit.
10. Yes. It is a (i.e. patent violation) of the
11. There is merit in the petition.
12. The petitioner’s contention is sustainable.
13.
ANSWERING IN THE NEGATIVE
1. The decision is not in accord with law and jurisprudence.
2. The decision is erroneous.
3. The contention is totally misplaced.
4. The doctrine of….. does not apply in this case.
5. The petition is not meritorious.
6. The evidence presented deserves scant consideration.
7. The contention has no legal basis.
8. The argument is bereft of merit.
9. The petition is devoid of merit.
10.Petitioner’s/Respondent’s/Complainant’s/Plaintiff’s/Defendant’s/Accused reliance on the (i.e.
doctrine of…) is inappropriate.
11. It is a futile gesture on the part of the respondent to invoke the rule on…
12. The theory/argument has no ground to stand upon.
13. The contention has no leg with which to stand on.
14. The position of the petitioner runs counter with the doctrine of…
15. The case will not prosper.
16. The case is not tenable.
17. The act of the accused in… is of no moment.
18. The assertion lacks substance.
19. The (i.e. respondent) cannot rely on (i.e. mere alibis) to aid his cause.
20. The court cannot countenance the (i.e. inconsistent postures of the petitioner)
21. The testimony that…, cannot be given credence.
22. The evidence presented has no probative value.
23. The allegation is belied by the fact that…
24. To put it otherwise would be to render the law on _____________
useless/futile.
25. The actuations of the accused in (i.e. fleeing and hiding) negates (i.e.
innocence)
26. While it is true that _______________ is a (i.e. constitutional guaranteed right
of a person), it does not, however mean…
27. It is not correct to say that…
28. It is not proper to state that…
29. It is not accurate to conclude outright that…
30. A contrary conclusion would erode the rule that provides in part that…
31. To sustain the contention would be to render the law on ____________
nugatory.
32. It would be absurd and incongruous to sustain the argument that…
33. It is not enough that…
34. The fact that … is immaterial since…
35. The fact that … is irrelevant since…
36. In itself, mere …… is not sufficient (i.e. to warrant conviction)….
37. The petitioner cannot give any additional meaning to the clear and plain
language of the law.
38. The Supreme Court, in several cases, has struck down the (i.e. defense of alibi)
39. The attendant circumstances of the case are contrary to the petitioner’s
assertion.
40. The evidence does not support the theory of the petitioners.
41. There is no cogent reason to disturb the ruling of the (i.e. Court of Appeals)
42. The claim for (i.e. moral damages) must necessarily fail.

ANSWER THAT REQUIRES QUALIFICATION
(But if the facts are complete in itself, do not attempt to add facts or assume anything.)
1. We must distinguish. If… (or As far as the __________ is concerned)
2. It depends. If…(or As far as the __________ is concerned)
3. The question requires a qualified answer. If…
4. I will qualify. If…
5. On the assumption that…
6. My answer must be qualified.

CITING LAW PROVISIONS
1. No less than the (i.e. 1987 Constitution) provides for the…
2. The (i.e. Rules of Court) substantially provides in part that…
3. Under the broad principles of (i.e. due process clause)…
4. Under the all-encompassing doctrine of (i.e. incontestability clause)…
5. Under the law…
6. According to the (i.e. Family Code)…
7. The law is explicit on the matter.
8. The law explicitly expresses in part that…
9. By express provision of law,…
10. By operation of law…
11. As a matter of law…
12. Worth remembering is the rule on _______________ which provides in part that…
13. Decisive on the matter is the pertinent provision of the (i.e. Law on
Property)
14. The law prescribes certain rules on…
15. By legislative fiat…

QUOTING SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
1. The Supreme Court in one case, had the occasion to rule that…
2. In a long-line of cases decided by the Supreme Court, it has always been
(consistently) held that…
3. In a litany of cases decided by the Supreme Court,
4. In a long-string of cases decided by the highest court of the land,
5. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court,…
6. In a series of cases decided by the Supreme Court,
* Do not use the words series, litany or long-line if there is only one
decision/jurisprudence for that topic.
7. In one case decided by the highest court of the land, it was held that
8. In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that
9. It has been said that…
10. In a recent case, the Supreme Court has laid to rest the issue of whether or not…
11. It is well settled in this jurisdiction…
12. It is well settled in this country…
13. The Supreme Court has steadfastly adhered to the doctrine which states
that
14. In a case with similar facts, the Supreme Court ruled that…
15. In several notable Supreme Court decisions, the highest court declared that…
16. The Supreme Court has often stressed that…
17. In the landmark case of _____________, (if the case is so famous) the
Supreme Court laid down the doctrine which substantially provides that…
18. In the leading case of …
19. As enunciated by the Supreme Court in one case,…
20. The court has repeatedly ruled…
21. A case in point is a case already decided by no other than the highest court of the land,
where the Supreme Court held that…
22. There is likewise an array of cases in this jurisdiction where the Supreme Court has
consistently declared that…
23. Deeply rooted is the jurisprudence which provides that…
24. In one case, the Supreme Court was emphatic when it ruled that….

EMPHASIZING CASE DOCTRINES / JURISPRUDENCE
1. It is hornbook doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) that…
2. Immortal is the rule that…
3. Well settled is the rule…
4. Well entrenched is the principle that..
5. Elementary is the rule that..
6. The cardinal rule in (i.e. labor law) is that
7. It is a familiar canon in (i.e. political law) that
8. By well settled public law…
9. Basic is the rule in (i.e. Criminal Law)…
10. It is an elementary principle in…
11. It is a fundamental doctrine in…
12. Well accepted is the rule that…
13. It is axiomatic in (i.e. Civil Law) that
14. Enshrined in the 1987 Constitution is the rule that (i.e. no person shall be deprived of life,
liberty or property without due process of law)
15. Consonant with the rule on…
16. It is a recognized doctrine in (i.e. Civil law) that…
17. It is a basic tenet in (i.e. Commercial Law)
18. Consistent with current jurisprudence
19. It is a legal presumption, born of wisdom and experience, that …
20. It is an oft-repeated rule that…
21. The Philippines adhere to the principle of…

REFERRING BACK TO THE CASE
(correlating the facts with the law/jurisprudence)
1. Applying the said law/doctrine in the instant case,
2. From the facts given, noteworthy is the …
3. From the facts of the case, it is readily observable that…
4. In the instant case, it may be observed that…
5. It is crystal clear from the facts presented that (i.e. the crime of treason) is present (or was
committed).
6. In the present case, it is immediately noticeable that the element of
__________ is wanting (or lacking).
7. Under the circumstances, the proper remedy would be…
8. The case obtaining indicates a case of (i.e. B.P. 22)
9. It logically follows…
10. It goes without saying…
11. Even assuming arguendo, for the sake of argument that…
12. The situation in the case at hand…
13. The situation presented evinces a case of…
14. The facts sufficiently indicated …
15. In the given facts, it is immediately apparent that…
16. It is evident that…
17. In the same token…
18. Under the facts stated in the problem,…
19. In the case under consideration,…
20. Worth stressing is the fact that
21. Worth emphasizing is the fact that
22. The facts would reveal that…
23. A careful perusal of the facts of the case would reveal that…
24. A careful scrutiny of the actuations of the accused would reveal that…
25. A careful reading of the (i.e. Deed of Absolute Sale) would reveal that…
26. A cursory examination of the…

CONCLUDING WORDS
1. From the gamut of evidence on hand, it can be gathered/deduced that,…
2. Taken all together,…
3. Finally, …
4. Hence, …
5. Therefore, …
6. From the foregoing, it can be deduced that there is really (i.e. a violation of…)
7. From the foregoing, it is now safe to conclude that….
8. Lastly, …
9. Consequently,…
10. As a necessary consequence…
11. The logical implication is that…
12. At any rate,…
13. In view of the foregoing,…
14. As an inevitable conclusion,…
15. In the light of the circumstances,…
16. Undoubtedly,…
17. Indubitably,…
18. Clearly, the case at hand falls squarely within the purview of…
19. Verily, he/she has committed…
20. For this/these reason/s, it is unavoidable to conclude that…
21. Based on the facts obtaining,…
22. In this light,…
23. This being the case…
24. Clearly therefore, applying the aforecited ruling in the case at hand,…
25. In light of the foregoing, it is beyond cavil (doubt) that,…
26. There is no doubt that…
27. To the unprejudiced mind, the actuations of the three, when analyzed and taken together,
leads to no other conclusion except that (i.e. conspiracy
among them existed)
28. Inescapably, therefore,…
29. All things considered,…
30. It follows therefore that…
31. As a logical result…
32. In sum,..
33. In view of the fact that…,
34. All told,…
35. Given the prevailing facts…
36. Having stated the foregoing premises,…
37. One final point,…
38. Accordingly,…

Using the outline and the “first liners” above, make a format or model of your answer and
use what you deem is applicable in a given question. Here are some examples:

1. No/Yes. He can/cannot…..,
The law provides that/The Supreme Court has held in a line of cases……
In the case at bar…..
Hence.. …

2. X’s claim is not meritorious, hence the case should be decided against him
According to the law/The Supreme Court, in many cases, has ruled that….
Based on the facts of the case…
Therefore/Consequently… . . .

3. The. . . . is proper/tenable/untenable
It is a well settled rule/As provided for under the
Moreover . . ..Hence/Therefore

4. Under the provisions of RA/Constitution/Law/Statute. . . .
On the problem at hand..,..Consequently
On the other hand….
As such it should be ruled … …

ENUMERATION

If you can enumerate all, write it in bulleted or numbered form to highlight the fact that you
know all of them and for more convenient-reading
purposes.
1.
2.
3.

If you cannot enumerate all, write it in paragraph form so that it would not easily be
noticeable that you missed something.

1. In capsule form, the following are the elements of the crime of _______
2. In a nutshell, the following are the elements of the crime of _________
3. The following elements are generally considered in the determination of
the presence of (i.e. employer-employee relationship)
4. Among the (i.e. defenses/remedies) available to (i.e. Mr. X) as provided for by/in the (i.e. Civil
Code) are:
(1)…
(2)…
5. The following are the requisites for…
6. In order that a case for (i.e. B.P. 22) to prosper, the following elements must be
attendant/present:
7. To constitute (i.e. homicide), the following requisites must concur:
8. (i.e. Legal compensation) requires the concurrence of the following conditions:
9. To establish a person’s culpability under (i.e. estafa), it is indispensable
that…

DISTINCTION
When being asked to distinguish, do not state its definition. If you give its definition, you are
in effect asking the examiner to extract out the differences of the two [or more] from your definition.
Do not also give their similarities. You are asked to differentiate and contrast, so similarities are not
included. The number of distinctions you will give must also be proportionate on the points allotted
for such. If it is only worth two points, do not give 8 distinctions. The examiner cannot give you 8
points for that. For a two point distinction question, perhaps, three would be enough (four is not too
much).
1. The (i.e. two) may be distinguished from each other in the following
ways:
a.
b.
2. In the first, it is necessary that there be….., whereas in the second it is sufficient that there be
….
3. In the former, … while in the latter…
4. The former requires … while the latter…
5. … on the other hand ______________ is…

DEFINITION
1. ________________ is a comprehensive term used to describe _______.
2. _________________, in its generally accepted sense, refers to ….
3. … It is a safeguard and guarantee provided by the 1987 Constitution..
4. … It is a kind of relief granted to a ______________ by the …
5. ________________ is a branch of public law (or private law) which deals with..
6. It pertains to…
7. It connotes a ….
8. … is a doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) which refers to…
9. … is a principle in (i.e. Criminal Law) which states that…
10. It presupposes…
11. Its principal identifying feature is..
12. It is akin to…
13. The function of which is to…
14. The office of which is to…

REASON BEHIND THE LAW/CONCEPT/PRINCIPLE
1. The purpose of the law is…
2. The law is designed to…
3. It is intended to shield …
4. It is primarily aimed at protecting ____________ from unwarranted ____
5. The rationale behind the law is…
6. The spirit of the law is to the effect that…

ADDITIONAL TIPS ON HOW TO APPROACH BAR ESSAY QUESTION
1. Finishing is the key. Many fail the Bar exam because they don’t finish the exam. They spend
so much time on an early question that they can’t finish the later ones. Or they work on all of
the questions at once, but without finishing some or all of them. Either way, these Bar
candidates are writing too slowly, and it costs them their ticket to a law license. Focus on one
question at a time. Don’t bother or think of another question while answering one.
2. Budget your time according to the number of questions and length of problems. Check the
point percentage allocation for each question. This will be your guide on how much time you
will spend for a question. Of course, you will devote more minutes to questions with a big or
higher percentage (i.e. 5%; 10%) than questions with a minimum point percentage (i.e. 1%;
2%).
3. Set a time schedule. It’s easy to waste time by getting carried away by a single question or by
getting stuck on a question that’s giving you trouble. Make a general allocation for each
question and adjust the time depending on their percentage weight. Monitor your pace so
that you stay calm and will be able to answer all questions on the exam.
4. If the question is lengthy, read first what is required at the bottom of the question. By doing
this, you will be able to determine what facts do you need and what facts are immaterial.
This will save you time from re-reading the question. You can also start formulating your
answer in mind while reading the question, thus, it will be easier and faster for you to write
your answers since you are already guided by your earlier analysis. It will also minimize errors
and erasures.
5. Be reminded that one of your tasks while preparing for the Bar exam is to become an expert
fact pattern reader. So what do you do if you aren’t very good at reading facts? You need to
experiment with different ways to get better at reading facts. Practice answering past Bar
questions as many as you can. Analyze the suggested answers and take note how the
answers used the facts in the problem. Remember, you won’t get all the possible points if
you don’t understand what the Bar examiners are asking you. You must become an expert
fact reader in order to write a complete exam answer.
6. Before answering, formulate on your mind what will be placed on your first, second and third
paragraphs. Mentally apply your outline. The first paragraph normally contains a one-
sentence direct to the point answer to the question. The second paragraph commonly
contains legal basis (provision of law in point, jurisprudence, co-relation of the
jurisprudence/provision with the facts of the case and application). Third paragraph normally
contains the conclusion. When you are already decided of your answer, write it according to
your thoughts. In this approach, you will not only be avoiding unnecessary revisions and
erasures, you will also maintain the cleanliness of your booklet. Bear in mind that, a dirty
booklet is irritating to the eyes of the person checking the same.
7. Use logic or common sense when you do not know the answer. Ask the question, “What is
the best solution or resolution for this case?” or “If I were the examiner how do I want the
question answered?” Do not just guess, make a smart guess. Your best guide is to think what
is most just and equitable since these are the purpose any law seeks to achieve.
8. If you really have no idea on how to answer a really difficult question, or a borderline case, or
you do not know what the answer is, the use of inverted pyramid of answering question may
be helpful. This may be done by inverting the usual answer format. Initially, present your
knowledge of the law and/or jurisprudence, then make your smart guess. With this, you may
be able to show or convince the examiner that you know something about the issue but you
were merely incorrect in your conclusion, you may get a credit for your answer.
9. Number your answer accordingly. Don’t make the Examiner search for your answers. Make
your answer look professional. Don’t use textspeak and don’t abbreviate. Answers which
look professional, are well organized and which use paragraphs and indenting where
appropriate make the Examiner’s job easier.
10. An answer to one question in one problem requires a separate page. Answers to sub-
questions may be presented continuously in a page separated by space/s. It is suggested,
however, that even answers to sub-questions be presented on separate page, unless your
answer is very short, so that in case you want to change any or in case you have missed a
sub-question, you can still insert your answer in the remaining spaces of the page.
11. Don’t submit your test booklet too early. There’s no prize for early finishers. Budget and
utilize all the time allocated for you to: (a) compose good answers; (b) review your answers;
and (c) write legibly.
12. Practice, practice, practice. Practice is vital to your success in the Bar exam. You must get
used answering Bar essay questions. The only way to know if you can (or if you know the law)
is to practice. Answering Bar questions regularly will help you learn the law as well as
become a better tester. There are many sample bar exam essay questions and answers
available on the internet. You may also find the Q&A published by the UP Law Center helpful.
13. The key to success in any endeavor is preparation. Familiarity with the structure of the essay
questions and how you respond to them will go a long way in alleviating your anxiety on test
day. You job is to practice the approach we’ve just outlined so that it becomes so automatic
by exam day that you move from one step to the other without missing a beat.
14. At least twice during your bar prep (ideally four), do a simulated Bar exam day. Do a mock
version of it. The key is to practice under conditions similar to the actual Bar examinations.
This will make you mindful of time constraints and more comfortable when you approach the
real test, the Bar exam.
15. Finally, PRAY!