This post has been contributed by Charlotte Crilly, Teaching Fellow for the Undergraduate Laws Programme.
General exam tips
Before the exam
- Try to do some revision with past exam papers before the exam. These will help you to actively engage with the study materials and prepare you to answer exam-style questions. Avoid preparing model answers, however, as every exam paper will be different and examiners want to see you answering the exact question that has been set.
- Make sure you know the structure of the exam paper before you sit the exam: how many questions will there be to choose from, and how many will you have to answer?
- Check how much time you will have in the exam and think about how you will divide that time up to answer the required number of questions.
- Check if any additional materials are permitted in the exam, for example statute books.
- Double check the date and time of the exam.
On the day
- Make sure you have everything you need, including the necessary ID documents and, of course, a pen to write with!
- Leave enough time to get to your exam – you don’t want to be late. You should aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before your exam is due to start.
During the exam
- Read the instructions on the exam paper carefully.
- Read the questions very carefully. Make sure your answer focuses on the question that has been set – not a different question you have revised for, or a set answer that you’ve prepared for.
- Spend a few minutes planning each answer before you start writing it up. Put a line through the notes that do not form part of your submitted work.
- Keep to the timings for each question. If you run out of time to finish an answer, it is better to move on, so that you write something for all the questions you’re answering. You can always come back to unfinished answers at the end, and try to finish them, even if only in note form.
- Recognise if you have poor handwriting, and consider writing on alternate lines as this makes it easier for the examiner to read.
- Try to leave a few minutes at the end of the exam to review your answers.
Above all, stay calm, and try to enjoy the experience!