Examinations are upon us and some of us are scrambling to get it all in. Some courses may be considered heavier than others but don’t worry, straight A’s are possible. We all have our study goals and formulae, but do we really stringently follow them? Nevertheless amidst our own study routines, there is hope; a few tips as suggested by our second and third year students that may help to ease the burden:
- Try to ‘Read the worksheets or hand-outs together with the slides provided. ‘For many courses including Constitutional Law or CCHR this is deemed the better method of studying. It s been proven to have a more satisfactory success rate when studied together than to have one supersede the other. Be sure however, to not neglect your own notes.
- Also ‘Emphasise on the cases highlighted in lectures and tutorials.’ Always place major focus on the key cases, dissents, judgements, legislations and articles highlighted by the lecturer or tutor. In addition, external sources can be the most helpful to boost grades; these books can provide the icing on your essay to earn that extra grade.
- It can be a complicated task when learning cases. So a great method is to ‘try fun acronyms’ or with the really difficult cases I’m sure they won’t penalize if u can only ‘remember the first or part of the name’.
- Try to have a’ detailed knowledge of all topics in each course, especially since all topics are interlinked.’ However if you find that time is against you it is a suggestion that you could ‘focus on 4-5 topics and read generally on the others.’ This ensures confidence and extensive knowledge in several topics. For example second years recollected that for Constitutional law ‘rule of law and separations of powers are topics that are intertwined in every topic. Or in Tort a few good topics to focus more on are ‘negligence, occupier’s liability, malicious prosecution, assault ‘Things may change now, but if it’s the same these are superior topics to definitely focus on.
- A superb tip is to make an extra effort to attend the last two lectures and tutorial classes. These can be most useful as lecturers and tutors will give exam tips, hint at particular topics, revision guides, as well as issue quizzes which no doubt, give you an understanding or an approach for exams. If you have already missed these ask your classmates or a friend what took place.
- ‘Ensure that you get past papers!’ Take advantage of the university’s resources during or before preparations. Past paper questions are located on the University of the West Indies (Cavehill) website. You may not be able to answer questions in detail but once you are able to identify and address the key issues then your preparations are going well. If not after preparations, try doing the questions while timing yourself. Exams are always the same. Questions are worded differently so use past papers as a tool to help you study.
Lastly there are simple techniques when approaching examination questions. It reads; identify the law in the question, identify the legal issue, state both sides of the argument and then your stance, state the rule- this is the legal principle and authority which applies to the issue and your objective. Afterward apply the facts in the question and conclude.
I truly hope these tips were helpful. Remember there is no one method that works for everyone, so you can try the ideas suggested but also find what works best for you. Stay focused on your goals and believe in yourself. Good luck 😉
© Sujay Johns 2014