Here are some tips on spotting what is likely to come up in the exam.
1 Past papers. Look at the past papers that have been set on X law over the past few years. Is there an issue that tends, time and time again, to form the basis of a question in the X law exam? If so, be prepared for a question on that issue to come up again.
2 Last year’s paper. Pay particular attention to last year’s paper. Examiners tend not to set the same sort of essay questions two years in a row, so if there was an essay question on last year’s
paper on a particular issue, it’s not likely you will get a similar essay question this year. So preparing for such a question to come up will often be a complete waste of time.
3 Recent developments. Examiners are human beings. When an examiner sits down to write an exam, he can often feel very jaded and uninspired. Lacking in ideas for good essay and problem
questions, he will often turn to recent cases and articles for inspiration. So, in your revision, pay a lot of attention to recent developments in X law.
A case decided in the past year is far more likely to form the basis of a problem question in the exam than a case that was decided five years ago. An article that was published in the past year is far more likely to supply a quote for an essay question than an article that was published five years ago. An issue relating to X Law that has made the newspapers in the past year is far more likely to form the basis of an essay question or a problem question than an issue that was dominating the headlines five years ago.
4 The examiner. If you know who the examiner setting your paper is, then listen out for any hints that she might give in her lectures as to what might be covered in the exam paper and, just as importantly, what won’t be covered in the exam paper. Also try and find out what the examiner has been writing about in the past year or so. It may be that she will draw on her work for ideas for essay or problem questions.
- What is Freshers Week?
- Most universities hold a Freshers’ Week or a similar event. Its chief purpose is to help new students settle in quickly. As well as a series of informative talks, there is usually an energetic social programme and senior students will be around to help you to find your feet. Your university will probably send you an information pack ahead of your arrival.