FULL RESULTS: November 2019 Philippine Bar Exam list of passers, top 10

    MANILA, Philippines – The November 2019 Philippine Bar Exam results are officially released online after the special en banc session expected in April-May 2020. Out of 7,685 law graduates who completed the grueling tests on four Sundays of November 2019, the full list of passers and topnotchers (top 10) will be announced by the Supreme Court (SC).

    FULL RESULTS: November 2019 Philippine Bar Exam list of passers, top 10

    For the 118th bar exams, the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) said that 8,245 were admitted to take the examinations. After the first Sunday on November 3, the number of candidates who took the test was only 7,699. After the second Sunday on November 10, the number went down to 7,691.

    March 19, 2020 Update: Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe has denied that the SC has officially announced the date of the release of last year's bar exam.

    Contrary to what has been recently reported in a newspaper, the Court has not yet made any official announcement regarding the date of release of the 2019 Bar results.

    The public is requested to await official announcements from the Court. Rest assured, the results will be released at the most appropriate time," the Bar chair said in a statement.

    January 24, 2020 Update: SC today announced that the total number of candidates who completed the bar exam is 7,685.


    Held on November 3, 10, 17, 24, 2019
    Released April - May 2020

    Stay tuned for the list of passers...Like us on Facebook for the real-time results.

    As a protocol, takers who did not proceed on succeeding exams are not required to explain their absence. In addition, SC has no way of knowing if the examinees fell ill or were simply overwhelmed by fear of the grueling tests.


    The 2019 bar exam was headed by Committee Chairperson is SC Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe and the sixteen (16) examiners for all bar subjects. The two-examiner policy per subject was re-adopted "in order to promote operational efficiency in light of the notable increase in number of admitted candidates in recent years."

    The examinable subjects are: Political Law and Public International Law (15%), Labor and Social Legislation (10%), Civil Law (15%), Taxation (10%), Mercantile Law (15%), Criminal Law (10%), Remedial Law (20%) and Legal and Judicial Ethics (5%).

    Examinees were tasked to answer open-ended questions in long hand. Those questions, carefully selected by the committee, are formulated to test analytical ability, facility in expression in terms of written argument, comprehension of basic principles of law, and grasp of jurisprudence.


    While a bar examinee is “deemed to have passed his examinations successfully if he/she has obtained a general average of 75%,” the SC en banc has the discretion whether to make adjustments, as it did in the 2012-2014 Bar Examinations to lower the bar exam passing percentage.

    In 2012, the Bar exam committee lowered the passing average to as low as 70%. In 2013 and 2014, SC lowered the passing grade to 73% in view of the structure of the results, the difficulty the candidates encountered with the MCQ portion of the exam, and in light of past precedents.

    Meanwhile, the standard passing grade of 75% was kept for the 2015-2018 examinations. Section 14, Rule 138 of Revised Rule of Court added that there should be no grade falling below 50% in any bar subject.


    The official results of the 2019 bar exam are expected to be released between April and May 2020.

    Previous exams were released early May of the year but the re-adoption of the two-examiner policy may expedite the checking of booklets.

    The Bar Examiners committee manually checks the test papers which caused the long waiting period of about five (5) months.

    Traditionally, the full list of successful bar examinees is being flashed on a widescreen at the Supreme Court front yard and simultaneously be viewed at the official website of the high court.


    Prior to the official release of list of passers and topnotchers, reliable sources give updates on the possible or exact date of release of bar exam results. Specifically, the SC and the personnel related to the administration of the bar exam are sharing information of the special en banc leading to the release of results mid-day of the schedule.

    The Summit Express will once again provide immediate and live updates on this page and our social media accounts in time for the announcement of results.


    The Philippine bar examinations, dubbed as the most prestigious professional licensure exam in the country for aspiring lawyers, is the only professional exam not handled by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). It is exclusively supervised by the Supreme Court.

    The SC conducts the Bar examinations pursuant to Article VIII, Section 5 of the Constitution which provides that it shall have the power to promulgate rules governing the admission to the practice of law.

    Some Filipino lawyers say the bar exam is hard because it is centralized on eight bar subjects, with the expected annual passing rate of 20% to 30%.

    “The bar exams should not be made intentionally difficult for extraneous reasons. Institutional measures should be set to ensure that the Bar remains true to its purpose as the licensure exam for the legal profession. It should be a fair test of the candidate’s aptitude and readiness for actual legal practice,” Bernabe said during the Legal Education Summit last July.

    Special en banc session for the 'decoding of bar exam results' is being done morning prior to the release of results. Decoding is the process where the SC orders the OBC to open the sealed envelopes with the names of the candidates who passed the exams.

    In 2011, SC introduced multiple-choice questions (MCQ) in the exams resulting for higher passing rate. In 2012, passing rate plummeted to a 12-year low of 17.76%.

    In 2013, SC revised the rule giving essay questions more weight (80 percent) than MCQ (20 percent). Passing rate recovered (22.18) but still far from the 30-percent mark in the early 2000s.

    The 2014 exam also resulted to a low passing rate of 18.82% while a big jump was saw in 2015 having 26.21%, the the sixth highest since 2001 which had a 32.89 percent.

    The historic high of 59.06% passing rate in 2016 was recorded as Chairman Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr was more "reasonable" as "points were given to answers, even if the positions taken may not exactly be the right answer."

    In last year's bar exam, passing rate was down to 22.07%. Sean James Borja of the Ateneo de Manila University aced the bar with 89.31%.

    Check out the Comparative Results for the Bar Examinations in the past 19 years (statistics courtesy of OBC):

    Year No. of Examinees No. of Passers Passing Rate
    2018 8,158 1,800 22.07%
    2017 6,748 1,724 25.55%
    2016 6344 3747 59.06%
    2015 6,605 1,731 26.21%
    2014 5,984 1,126 18.82%
    2013 5,292 1,174 22.18%
    2012 5,343 949 17.76%
    2011 5,987 1,913 31.95%
    2010 4,847 982 20.26%
    2009 5,903 1,451 24.58%
    2008 6,364 1,310 20.58%
    2007 5,626 1,289 22.91%
    2006 6,187 1,893 30.60%
    2005 5,607 1,526 27.22%
    2004 5,249 1,659 31.61%
    2003 5,349 1,108 20.71%
    2002 4,659 917 19.68%
    2001 3,849 1,266 32.89%
    2000 4,698 979 20.84%

    Meanwhile, SC spokesman Theodore Te explained:

    “Each bar examination must be considered unique in itself when we look at the comparative statistics across the years. Unlike other licensure examinations which employ a standard set of questions and the same set of examiners across a period of time, the bar examinations for each year is practically a new exam because the composition of the Committee differs—from the Chair, who has absolute and sole discretion to choose the questions to be asked, to the eight examiners, who are the ones who correct the notebooks."


    — The Summit Express

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