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Bar Exam Tips & Secrets

An Interview with Dean Teodorico Martin
Contributed by:
Atty. Glenn M. Mortel
Judicious selection of materials for review purposes is a matter of
extreme necessity to the
bar candidate, according to former Dean Teodorico C. Martin of the
College of Law, San
Sebastian College.
In justification of this statement, Dean Martin cited his review efforts
for the 1936 bar
examination where he copped the 7th spot among the first 10 top
places that year.
I am citing my own efforts as aw ar ni ng to the future bar candidates
so that they will not commit
the same mistakes I made in my time, he said.

Immediately after graduation, Dean Martin recalled not without

regretful remembrance, he secured all the available notes and books
used during his undergraduate days and started his review preparation
in earnest.

After three months of intensive reading and study trying vainly to

grasp all those matters contained in his piles of notes and books, he
came upon the realization that henever completed reviewing asi ngl e

Imagine my consternation when I realized that I had only one month

more to review and there
were eight bar subjects to tackle! he recalled with vivid clarity.
He took a stock of the situation and immediately prepared aschedul e
that would enable him to
complete his preparations forone month!
So he had to force himself to review two subjects in the short span of
four days, a procedure
that consequently reduced his mental efficiency.

The bar candidate, Dean Martin said, should use only standard
textbooks for review and avoid reading notes all full of unnecessary
details and useless explanations that can only produce mental
confusion in his already confused mind.
Despite his defective review efforts, what enabled Dean Martin to
obtain very high rating?
Good background knowledge acquired during four years of college
training, particularly in the
eight bar subjects given in the examination, he explained.
Other suggestions for the bar candidates that Dean Martin
recommends include efforts directed
toward having a balance diet, proper apportioning of time available
when actually answering
bar questions, boarding with three or four candidates in a dormitory or
a secluded house and
providing themselves with review notebooks.

Having a balance diet during this rigorous period of preparation is a

matter which candidates always overlook, he said. This time they
should have nourishing food, to enable them to to build up body
energies that are fast getting worn out from terrific use.

Proper apportionment of time when answering questions will enable

the candidate to tackle all
by not making the mistake of using too much time on a few at the
expense of others.

Living in a house with three or four other candidates has undeniable

advantages, according to Dean Martin. Here, they are afforded with the
maximum quiet that augers well for concentrated study and review.

It is impossible to review at home, particularly when there are children,

he pointed out. The
demands of family living, family chores and problems unduly disrupt
Moreover, living with other companions, the bar candidate will be able
todiscuss and
exchange notes with them on matters that need clarification, he said.
Dean Martin’s last recommendation is the need for the candidate to
provide himself with
review notebooks for all bar subjects where he could jot down
important provisions of law
under each and leading decisions of the Supreme Court interpreting
these legal provisions.