Busted: Marcos’ highest bar exam scorer? Not true, his score was recalibrated due to cheating allegations

Did the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos really get the highest bar exam score in the country by scoring 98.01 percent?

Yes, this is what several Facebook pages have claimed as they shared a photo of Marcos as a topnotcher in 1939 splashed in front of The Philippine Collegian along with his scores, with their average of 98.01%.

Facebook page “Did You Know” uploaded the same photo in August and it has since been shared over 38,000 times.

Marcos Highest Bar Exam Scorer

On top of that, the page commented on its post just how “sharp” Marcos’ memory was, so much so that he was able to deliver the 25-page speech written by his then speechwriter the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago hours after.

However, it is quite noticeable that many of the top comments in the post were fact-checking the said post. Here are some of those comments:

Marcos Highest Bar Exam Scorer

According to TV5’s Interaksyon, the most notable highest score achieved in the Philippine Bar Exams was by the former president Marcos, who graduated with Class 1939 of the UP College of Law. He scored 98.8 percent. However, his extremely high score caused some groups to raise their suspicions about cheating during the exams. This propelled the Supreme Court to recalibrate Marcos’ score to 92.35 percent.


In fact, it was the late former Supreme Court associate justice Florenz Regalado who was officially recorded as having the highest bar exam average of 96.70 percent in 1954. Regalado passed away in 2015.

If you are interested in more facts about the Bar Exams, it was former senator Tecla San Andres-Ziga with 89.4 percent in 1930 who had the title of being the first woman to top the Philippine Bar Exams.

It also turned out that Marcos was not the only bar topnotcher among the Philippine presidents.

Former President Manuel A. Roxas, the Philippines’ first president, topped the 1913 Bar Exams with 92 percent. Diosdado Macapagal placed first the 1936 Bar Exams with 89.85 percent. Jose P. Laurel placed second in the 1915 Bar Exams with, so did Elpidio C. Quirino in the same Bar Exams. Sergio S. Osmeña ranked second in his 1903 Bar Exams while Manuel L. Quezon took the fourth place in the same year. Carlos P. Garcia ranked seventh in the 1923 Bar Exams.


As per official records, Marcos did not have the highest bar exams score after it was recalibrated due to cheating allegations. Instead, the title went to the late justice Regalado.

Sources: (,,

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