Whether it’s your first law exam or your fiftieth, the sheer volume of knowledge you will be tested on can be overwhelming. No doubt, law examinations are challenging. However, with preparation, you can excel. Below are a few tips to help you prepare for your next law exam.
You’ve paid attention to lectures, read your textbooks, completed all assignments, and have taken good notes, right? Terrific! You’re off to a great start. Now, take a deep breath and relax because you can do this.
Before the Law Exam: Prepare Yourself
While it’s tempting to pull a few all-nighters, don’t. Schedule regular, but short, study sessions as you prepare for your law exam. Refer back to your notes and refine them by organizing them into manageable categories. Use your notes as a springboard for further information gathering.
For example, if your notes are incomplete, complete them. Add the details that you initially started to jot down but ran out of time.
After revising and reviewing your notes, take the time to understand the reasoning behind each rule of law. There’s always a reason behind legislation. Once you understand why a law was created, you’ll have a better understanding of its nuances.
Another great study tip is to review previous exams and quizzes. Examiners often use the same approach with each subsequent exam. Try to predict the type and format of questions and then answer them. Create your own mock exam and time yourself as if you were in the examination room.
You should also understand what’s expected with various law exam questions so that you can respond appropriately.
Understanding Law Exam Questions
An essay question asking you to discuss a given issue within an area of law is asking you to discuss the issue – not detail everything you need to know about the area of law. Your answer should have a clear introduction, discussion focused on the relevant issue, and a conclusion. Stay focused and keep your answer relevant to the issue you’ve been asked to discuss.
Problem solving questions ask you to review a set of facts and offer a legal solution. It’s important to get to the root or roots of the problem. Long problems are often a set of shorter problems. Identify each issue and deal with them individually before coming to your conclusion. Remember, examiners are looking for a well-structured response that shows your understanding of the law. Address the issues in a logical manner and stay focused.
You’ve studied the material, revised your notes, reviewed previous exams, and practised answering likely questions. Now, it’s exam day. While it’s natural to feel nervous, go in with confidence and a positive attitude. Remember to determine the core issue of each question and keep your answers relevant.
During the Law Exam
Most law exams are timed, and you can expect each question to take about 45 minutes each to answer. The examiner should go over the timing before administering the law exam. Make sure to adhere to any guidelines and time yourself. For example, if the examiner suggests that you spend 45 minutes on each answer, set your timer for 45 minutes and move on to the next question once the time limit has expired. If you finish early, you may have missed something, so use the extra time to see if you have more to add. If you feel as though there’s not enough time, your answers may be going off on tangents with unnecessary information.
Law exams are challenging, but you’re fully capable of doing well. Take notes, study regularly, and practise answering law questions. When you receive your law exam back, learn from your mistakes.