It’s bar month again and thousands of students  troop to UST with the dream of emerging victorious. Sadly, there’s a cruel wrench in that dream: 9% to 15% had always been the passing rate. Over ten thousand fail and come back for a second, third or fourth retake. Depressed?

What if I told you that you can whip through that exam without damning your family and social life for the six months of the bar review prior? It doesn’t involve costly bar review sessions, endless study or even poison notes from your friendly frat guy.

Here’s how to do it smart.

How to Pass the Philippine Bar in One Take

Solid Legal Foundation

First of all you need  a good foundation. If you slept through classes and got your friends to do your case digests for four years, there’s no way you can ace the bar with the succeeding tips. The bar draws from stock knowledge and not new principles. Retake your fourth year if your previous three years looked like your personal rendition of Gangnam Style.

Execute the Esoteric

You need a healthy body. No matter how  pumped up your brain is, if your body is ailing, you’ll be failing. Every single day of the bar review I went to the gym for an hour. Aerobic exercise jump starts the flow of solid chemicals both in your brain and in your body. Serotonin , acetylcholine and all those natural happy drugs keep your IQ high. Yes, I was the fool with my codals on the treadmill. I’m also the fool who passed the Philippine Bar on one take.

And there’s yoga. The average joe is happy with hatha yoga. I preferred hardcore flavors and indulged in Kundalini Yoga with breath of fire pranayama at least thrice a week. For those in the know, kundalini yoga spins up the 8 chakras along your primary meridians, bolsters your intuition and jump starts your neural functioning. With pranayama, I achieved a zen-like state that glancing at certain provisions cements it in my brain. Permanently.

Do yoga once a week and  your chances of passing go up 20%

Now I’m the fellow who leaves nothing to chance. So each weekend I run trends on my radionic apparatus to further optimize brain power. Bordering on fringe science, virtually no one knows of radionics in the Philippines- but it’s well entrenched in the UK and the USA.  I dabbled in radionic tech for amost a decade prior to taking up law.

Study Less- Learn More

I’d see scores of students raiding Starbucks from 7am in the morning and packing up 12midnight. Every day. Every damn day. Admirable zeal indeed but these future legal crusaders don’t realize that the brain has a limit to learning. After 7 minutes, absorption rate drops 20%. After 30 minutes short term memory starts congesting. In 4 hours, recall has reached zilch.

Hence I studied less.  Far less. In fact I started my review at 1pm right after gym. I cap it off 5pm. I would take breaks every 30 minutes, do deep breathing and restore the neural capacity. Ask the baristas at the Eastwood Starbucks about that fellow with the yoga ohm breaks. The 15 minute breaks can totally eliminate the dreaded mental blocks that have led to students leaping to their death. You’ll pass the Philippine Bar in one take

Ditch the Books- Hit the Reviewers

I know fellas who read the full books and cases thrice. This is zealously admirable. But it doesn’t work. Your brain can retain only so much information that by the third pass you’d have data dumped everything from the first pass. Recall that the Philippine bar is all about stock knowledge and your recall. To pass the bar, you only need the following study regimen:

  1. Read the full books of each subject once. Yes. Just once to restore understanding of key principles.
  2. Read the San Beda Red Notes and Memory Aid three times.

That’s all there is too it. You’ll pass the Philippine Bar in one take.

Why the San Beda Notes? Because it’s the best. Bar none. I graduated from the Ateneo Law School with a Juris Doctor degree and amassed copies of all the reviewers from all the major schools. Nothing comes close the the San Beda notes. Not even Ateneo’s. This bears repetition: you have an edge with the San Beda notes and it may be all you need.

Don’t Forget Your Socials

Confining yourself to the dungeon of your study chambers is counterproductive. Go out with your family and friends. Walk your dog. See a really funny movie. Pet the turtle.  Clown around like there’s no tomorrow. Light-hearted moments restore mind-body balance and prep you to take more challenges.

We clowned around a day before the bar

We clowned around a day before the bar

Go NZT and Take Your Nootropics

Did you watched Limitless?  On that film is a drug called NZT which made all things possible. NZT enhanced brain functions to nearly god-mode levels and bolstered EQ, IQ to heights unimaginable. That fantasy drug was inspired by a real world drug known as Modafinil.

That perked your interest? Modafinil is a eugeroic drug and is a schedule 4 controlled substance. It was originally designed for focused wakefulness until researchers discovered its potential for cognition enhancement. On Modafinil, you can read for hours, absorb like a sponge and not get tired after an entire day. The problem is this drug has severe side effects. Got a heart problem? Avoid it or you’ll wake up on the ICU.

There is a better way and that’s with nootropics

Nootropics- The Holy Grail For Students, Negotiatiors and Businessmen

You may not realize it, but mental steroids are real, completely legal, and clinically proven. These steroids are called nootropics.

I spent a year researching nearly every single nootropic available. Combined with energy breathing and exercise, the effects have been jaw dropping.

During first year of  law school, our awesome Professor Persida Rueda Acosta mandated full recall of the Civil Code. I was daunted but with the help of a  caffeine plus L-Theanine, I zipped through the provisions suffering zero mental fatigue. Throwing in B complex bolstered the ability to sponge vast quantities of information at once and regurgitate with pinpoint precision.

Second year law school got crazier. I suffered terror classes like Security Transactions where the Professor flunks the bottom half of the class. Yes even if your grade flew at 85, you’re flunked. Then there’s the marathon codals prescribed by Property and Comm. Caffeine L-Theanine protocol simply proved inadequate. Stronger nootropics were required.

Now a brief explanation on how brain chemicals work

Note that the effects of the nootropics I combined are synergistic and each operates along a different neural mechanism. If you randomly take  nootropics off the shelf,  you play Russian Roulette and may not experience a synergistic effect. You may even go dumb. Hence you need to know some key brain chemicals:

Acetylcholine is the primary nerotransmitter related to information processing. A healthy dose of this chemical aids your memory, short term and long term. According to Mercola:

Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter used at the neuromuscular junction—in other words, it is the chemical that motor neurons of the nervous system release in order to activate muscles. Acetylcholine is also used as a neurotransmitter in the autonomic nervous system, both as an internal transmitter for the sympathetic nervous system and as the final product released by the parasympathetic nervous system.

Think of acetylcholine as the fuel of your brain.

Acetylcholinerase is responsible for the breakdown of acetylcholine. The chemical makes acetylcholine viable for reabsorption in parts.

You want more acetylcholine

Several nootropics increase acetylcholine production, among them AlphaGPC, Centrophenoxine and ALCAR. You can’t have too much acetylcholine in your brain. Excess supplementation gets you hitting a ceiling on the amount of acetylcholine utilized.

You want to inhibit acetylcholinerase

Other nootropics such as Phenibut and Huperzine A inhibit acetylcholinerase. Inhibiting acetylcholinerase provides the same effect as manufacturing more acetylcholine. Nootropics offer only one of two mechanism: either to increase acetylcholine production or inhibit acetylcholinerase. Taking nootropic supplements without understanding the mechanism can eliminate a synergistic effect.

Hence if you plan to pass the bar in one take I recommend four potent and very safe brain enhancers

  • Pramiracetam or Noopept
  • Alpha GPC
  • Sulbutiamine (super vitamin B)
  • Picamillon (super vitamin B)
  • Pyritinol (super vitamin B)

Pramiracetam is the modern derivative of Piracetam which is the 1970 granddadday of all nootropics. There’s more information  here. Piracetam at 1200mg a day yields a photographic memory in 2 weeks. Pramiracetam operates 1000x stronger and gives you Superman memory in days. From the study, researchers found the substance 100% non-toxic and pointed that a bucket of it consumed at once cannot even kill. In contrast a cup of salt will kill you.

When you’re on pramiracetam, you must consume more eggs and spinach which are sources of choline. Pramiracetam consumes  acetylcholine – the primary neurotransmitter related to information processing. If the concept of eating more eggs frightens you, take Alpha GPC , Choline Citrate or Choline Bitartate.

Enhance your brain with super B vitamins. The best is sulbutiamine which delays mental fatigue. 12 hours of continuous work will feel like 2 hours on sulbuthiamine.  Other super B vitamin are Pyritinol and Picamillon  which bolsters focus and cognition. The three combined turns you into a Super Saiyan.

Understand that your brain needs thiamine for efficient information processing.  The challenge is the blood-brain barrier that blocks nutrients entering your brain. Sulbutiamine is a synthetic thiamine that crosses the blood-brain barrier easily unlike natural thiamine. After crossing the blood-brain barrier thiamine splits into two fragments of natural thiamine and acts as a neuroprotective agent.

A strong synergistic  effect occurs when taking the three super vitamin Bs.  Sulbutiamine splits to two thiamine fragments (vitamin B1) after traversing the blood-brain barrier. Picamilon splits into niacin (vitamin B3) and GABA after traversing the blood-brain barrier. Pyritinol  devolves to B6. The combination of brain specific B1, B3 and B6 gets your brain onto overdrive.

Get Your Fight Song Ready

Are you ready to pass the bar in one take? You have all the tools. All you need is one last component: your fight song. Choose upbeat music that pumps you up. Listen to it during critical moments and at your darkest pits. Music had always been and will be a massive source of inspiration. Currently , here’s mine:

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