First of all, congratulations on coming this far with law. You deserve all the appreciation in the world because I of all people know how tough it is. Trust me when I say, if you are crying right now, then you are good to go; however, if you are chilling and seem like you are all done with the studies – you are in for deep trouble, my friend. Don’t get stressed, but motivated and use all this time as a golden period. Now you have at least a month, and if you were worried about taking exams while fasting, then this is good news for you.
The tips I am going to jot down below are some of my tried and tested tricks that landed me the grade I wanted. But before that, I want to tell you guys a story.
I loved law when I was in A levels (I am currently doing LLB), I had amazing teachers who made sure that we were well prepared, but in AS when I got my results, my law grade was a C. I was broken when my grade break down came. I had an A in paper 1 (all those who take law know that it’s close to impossible to get an A in P1) and a U in Paper. It made little sense to my teachers and me, and the same day my teachers told me that retake was the best option (we knew a U was not possible, but rechecks are not safe) and that U is unbelievable. I sat for my retake, and here I am, telling you my story while I pursue my LLB and helping you get the grade you wish for. And yes, I did get an A.
Now let’s get back to the essential tips that can help you score an A.
• This is for no particular topic or subject but a general tip. An examiner is checking thousands of paper, what makes you different from others? Everyone has written what’s in the course, what will make you stand out?
• When it comes to the law, the content available is unlimited. You are not bound to study from just one book. You can study from A level books, LLB books, use case law books, search the internet for the case’s judgment, the act of parliament, and all in all the resources are unlimited.
• A good approach would be to support whatever you write with a reference. The reference could be a judge’s statement, any obiter statement, case laws, sections and etc.
• When it comes to case laws, the best approach is to remember three cases for each topic. Let’s say you are writing about how the courts used practice statements; you must know the case that led to the practice statement, the case in which the practice statement was used first, and the cases in both criminal and civil jurisdiction. This will make your analysis a lot better than 95% of the other candidates appearing for the paper.
• A level is very different from any other system. The examiners want to know the understanding and the application of the law. They don’t want you to narrate the law, but to explain what it actually means.
• The most important thing right now is that you rote learn the course. The best way to do so is to memorize the subheadings.
• This way, you will have an answer structure in your mind, and you will know exactly what you need to write in the exam. And while many discourage rote learning, it is only best to apply it when you have so much knowledge.
Below we will discuss each paper separately:
1. Paper 1:
• There are 20 chapters in Paper 1, and you have to attempt three questions in the paper, out of the six given questions. You will be given 1 hour 30 mins to attempt three questions.
• The paper has the highest weightage of all three papers of Alevel law (30%), and you are given scores out of 75.
• The best approach for paper is as mentioned above, rote learn everything and then memorize the structure. In law 9084, you do not get time to think or make a mind map. Do the question that you feel you know the best.
• This way, you will save a lot of time and not waste on deciding which question to attempt. Time is the key. Most people write very slow at the beginning and end up missing a question that automatically makes their grades fall to a C.
• You must write like you are in a writing marathon since the very first minute.
• Whenever you feel that you recall something, make sure you write it down, so you do not forget.
• The best approach is to begin your essay answer by explaining the question statement mentioning what you will be talking about in your essay.
For example, if the question is about the precedent, we will have our intro like:
We understand that precedent is one of the foundations of law that allows the judges to acts as lawmakers. We note that the precedent has various benefits and some drawbacks that we will discuss below. However, we will begin by explaining the types of presents (mention the types with cases) and the Importance of precedent. Next, we will talk about the courts in the hierarchy that are: Supreme Court (Havana railways), the court of appeal (Bristol airplane), high court (Colchester Estates (Cardiff) v Carlton Industries plc) and the inferior courts. Lastly, we will critique the question statement.
• With an introduction like this, you will never forget what you have to write in the paper. Last but not least, it is very important to critique and connect with the question statement every now and then. 12/25 marks are for your commentary.
2. Paper 2:
• This paper is easy, has 20% weightage ad you get 1 hour 30 minutes to attempt this paper.
• You will have to read the given scenario, the given act, and the case law like a layman and apply it.
• Remember: NOT to use your brain. The only thing you must do is provide a solution like you are the judge based on the given material and nothing else.
• Moreover, you will also have to write an essay just like the one. In paper 2.
• There will be two questions (scenario + essay), and you will have to choose one scenario and out of it and also attempt the essay question that comes with it.
• It is a smart idea to write down all the chapters that were assessed in Paper 1 since these are the chapters that will NOT be assessed in P2.
• So for paper 2, you do not have to study or practice all 20 chapters of your course. You will have to prepare for the remaining 14 chapters.
This is scoring paper, ensure that you do not think out of the material provided to you.
3. Paper 3: Contract Law
• The contract law has a very small course and very specific rules. This paper is a mixture of paper 1 and paper 2.
• You will have to attempt three questions again out of the six questions given. There are two parts in this paper: part a and part b.
• You will have to attempt one question from part a, one from part b, and the third question you can choose if you want to attempt from part a or part b. This paper has both essay questions like p1 and problem questions like p2.
• You can see if you are better with essay or problem and choose accordingly. The syllabus is less, hence ensure you do not leave out any paper since the contract law is easy and scoring while tort (p4) is not scoring at all, so you should make your mark while you can.
• Also, this paper has 25% weightage.
4. Paper 4: Tort
• For those who love tort, it is awesome. There is so much information available for tort. The important thing that most people make a blunder in p4 is that:
- They leave the negligence topic: Do NOT do this. Negligence covers 70% of your course, and if you leave the topic, how are you going to even pass? Negligence is ALWAYS tested, and sometimes there are even 2 questions on negligence in paper 4.
- They do not understand trespass, battery, and assault: A quick tip is that whenever there is a question of assault, there will be a part on battery and one on trespass. If you think that the question is only on trespass or only on assault + battery, then you are mistaken. Read carefully, and you will find out.
• The tort is like the syllabus of paper 1. It has a lot of content available, and it requires much more commentary than paper 2 and paper 3. However, if you get the hang of it, it’s the most fun paper.
• Paper 4 has 25% weightage, and the paper pattern is just like that of paper 3.
Know, you have chosen one of the toughest papers, and since you have come this far, you definitely have it in you. If I can do it, you can do it too. Just ensure that you are practicing the answer writing structures, and when you enter the examination hall, you know everything that you know. Trust yourself and not the people around you. You can do it.
Best of luck. You can do it!