A TOTAL of 10,387 out of the 10,791 Bar applicants have managed to finish the three-day 2023 Bar Examinations held in 14 testing centers nationwide.
Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando, the 2023 Bar Examinations chairperson, described this year’s Bar as a “smashing success” with 96.26 percent turnout.
“I am overwhelmed by the smooth, peaceful, and orderly turnout of the 2023 Bar Examinations. It was more than what I hoped and envisioned it would be,” Justice Hernando said.
Justice Hernando led the conduct of the 2023 Bar under the so-called Condensed Bar Schedule, which shortened the original four-Sunday-schedule and packed it into three days instead.
He also promised to cut short the waiting period for the Bar results from five to six months to three months.
“This year, however, following the examples of my recent predecessors as Bar Chair, the time spent by the examinees waiting in agony for the results of the exams will be cut short: my team and I are eyeing the release of the results of the 2023 Bar Examinations in early December before Christmas Day. Yes, you heard me right, the results will, God-willing, come out in early December, before Christmas Day,” Hernando said.
Among those who took the regionalized and digitalized Bar exams were those with special needs and senior citizens.
Upon the recommendation of Justice Hernando, the Court, through separate issuances allowed select examinees with special needs to take this year’s Bar under exceptional accommodations, either through the traditional handwritten modality, with an encoder’s assistance, or with the use of the new Digital Booklet Method.
It can be recalled that in Bar Matter No. 4399, a visually impaired examinee was allowed to take the test through the use of the Digital Booklet, where a Court-issued laptop with installed Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) served as examination booklet.
The said examinee, with the aid of NVDA, completed all three days of the examinations at the local testing center in Ateneo de Davao University.
While it was not the first time that an individual with visual impairment was allowed to take the Bar exams, it was the first time that the Court permitted the use of NVDA application.
NVDA is a screen reader that “reads aloud” scanned text of his books and testing booklets, enabling the examinee to study his books and take his exams through ear reading.
In Bar Matter No. 4662, the Court also allowed examinees, who are senior citizens and suffering from varying physical disabilities, to take the Bar through the traditional and handwritten modality.
The 2024 bar examinations will be chaired by Associate Justice Mario V. Lopez.