icarus04
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I am currently self-studying A-level law and I was wondering if anyone could share any advice or resources they have? Perhaps tips/techniques you found helpful when preparing for the exam?

In particular it would be helpful to learn a bit more about properly structuring essays etc...

Really any help at all is greatly appreciated! Thanks
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james_law2.0
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While this is all subjective i'll share my thoughts on what i do to prepare for an exam;

1. Create a revision timetable.
2. Don't just go over your notes.
3. Further consolidate your notes into revision cards or something like that.
4. Specific answer plans for certain topics, if you can't do this create generic plans.
5. At very minimum learn the cases that are fundamental to that area, then learn conflicting cases to discuss. Then if you can add cases of your own that you have researched. Do not simply regurgitate the facts of case unless then are so similar, even then you dont need to, but may wish to. Also the idea when discussing a case is what the legal principle is and how does it apply to our scenario/question.

In terms of advice for essay questions, I would have a look at google first and then do a search on here, that should give you a lot of good stuff to use.
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icarus04
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(Original post by james_law2.0)
While this is all subjective i'll share my thoughts on what i do to prepare for an exam;

1. Create a revision timetable.
2. Don't just go over your notes.
3. Further consolidate your notes into revision cards or something like that.
4. Specific answer plans for certain topics, if you can't do this create generic plans.
5. At very minimum learn the cases that are fundamental to that area, then learn conflicting cases to discuss. Then if you can add cases of your own that you have researched. Do not simply regurgitate the facts of case unless then are so similar, even then you dont need to, but may wish to. Also the idea when discussing a case is what the legal principle is and how does it apply to our scenario/question.

In terms of advice for essay questions, I would have a look at google first and then do a search on here, that should give you a lot of good stuff to use.
Thank you! That's great advice. I've been sticking to my timetable to the best of my abilities haha it's certainly tougher when you don't have the regular pressures of school/teachers.
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-_Dynasty_-
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(Original post by icarus04)
I am currently self-studying A-level law and I was wondering if anyone could share any advice or resources they have? Perhaps tips/techniques you found helpful when preparing for the exam?

In particular it would be helpful to learn a bit more about properly structuring essays etc...

Really any help at all is greatly appreciated! Thanks
Hey there! I can give you some advice for answering essay questions & small tips that I usually stuck to when doing class assessments and mocks etc - hopefully they can be of some use to you! Apologies in advance for the long response...!

When answering essay questions, like the commenter above mentioned, you don't need to explain cases - you just need to know their names and the legal principles. If you can't remember the case name though, then you won't lose out marks if you explain the case facts instead! This takes a lot more time though, so ideally remembering case names would be preferable Maybe make some cards where you match up case names to their legal principles? You know how you revise best, so do whatever works most effectively for you!

The biggest tip I can give you for answering scenario questions is to apply EVERYTHING - even if you know that the defendant is guilty/liable overall, examiners are looking for students who can point out things that could be argued, and things that would be considered. For example, if you were looking at the mens rea of a defendant and you were sure that they intended to cause serious harm, is there anything that could indicate that it was an accident, or only some harm? In crime, the chain of causation and applying mens rea (direct intention, oblique intention, recklessness) are often the places where you can find juicy points to contradict yourself, so maybe try looking at practice scenarios and just annotate around it to pick out points to talk about.

Another thing would be to try your best to cut down on lengthy explanations and things that are unneccessary. It's easier said than done, but when explaining points of law, really you only need one or two sentences per legal principle - case names can just be thrown in brackets at the end of explaining a legal principle, and there are your marks! To give you an example, I used to use this in scenarios containing battery, and this was really all I needed when explaining what battery was; "The actus reus of battery is applying unlawful force. R v Thomas shows that even the slightest touch can count as battery. Wilson v Pringle shows that the force must be hostile and beyond the ordinary jostlings of everyday life." That's all that was needed before I could move onto applying it to the scenario - of course it may be different for you! I'm not too sure which exam board you're studying for, what topics, or how they actually prefer you to answer questions, but I'm fairly certain that keeping answers concise is preferred by examiners! They'll probably have model answers that you can look at and take notes from

If it's helpful at all (just ignore me if it's not!), the way we structured our essays was through the IDEA structure. We would identify the defendant, victim/claimant, point of law, and what action took them to court. Then we would define where the point of law came from (- e.g. "Grievous Bodily Harm is defined in both s20 and s18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861", or "Negligence was established in Donoghue v Stevenson and is when D owed a duty of care, breached that duty [...etc] (Caparo v Dickman)"). Crime, tort and contract are all different from here on out, but generally for crime, we'd then explain actus reus, apply actus reus, explain and apply causation, explain mens rea, apply mens rea (and it continues if necessary). For tort and contract, you'd generally just follow the steps, tests and subsections of the statute you're applying. What makes someone an employee, what classifies as having a duty of care, etc - there's such a broad scope of law topics that I'm sorry I can only give you examples for a few, ahahhaha

Time yourself when you're answering questions - it may sound obvious but the more you practice, the easier it'll be to write what you need in the amount that you have, and what kind of things you can cut down on. A lot of the time, you will probably run out of time to write down absolutely everything, but if there's still a lot that you wanted to write down but didn't get the opportunity to, it doesn't hurt to bullet point the points you were going to mention!

The Lawyer Portal is good for advice - https://www.thelawyerportal.com/blog...s-law-a-level/ (and other articles that you can browse through)
If you haven't looked on here already, E-Lawresources is also good for condensing the law and concepts of law and breaking it down for students to understand easier. It also has a LOT of cases that you can use as examples! - https://www.e-lawresources.co.uk/
Looking on your exam board site would be best for past papers, model answers, what examiners are looking for etc. Even though I've tried my best to let you know what I went through, I have no idea how relevant it all is to you specifically, so your exam board website would be a great place to look independently

Once again I'm so sorry for the really long message! I did A level Law and will hopefully be studying it in uni this Sept after results come out, so I'm hoping that what I've said is credible enough and hope that it helps you out even in the slightest - I'm rooting for you! I hope you ace your exam, and don't hesitate to let me know if you need any more help :thumbsup:
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icarus04
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(Original post by -_Dynasty_-)
Hey there! I can give you some advice for answering essay questions & small tips that I usually stuck to when doing class assessments and mocks etc - hopefully they can be of some use to you! Apologies in advance for the long response...!

When answering essay questions, like the commenter above mentioned, you don't need to explain cases - you just need to know their names and the legal principles. If you can't remember the case name though, then you won't lose out marks if you explain the case facts instead! This takes a lot more time though, so ideally remembering case names would be preferable Maybe make some cards where you match up case names to their legal principles? You know how you revise best, so do whatever works most effectively for you!

The biggest tip I can give you for answering scenario questions is to apply EVERYTHING - even if you know that the defendant is guilty/liable overall, examiners are looking for students who can point out things that could be argued, and things that would be considered. For example, if you were looking at the mens rea of a defendant and you were sure that they intended to cause serious harm, is there anything that could indicate that it was an accident, or only some harm? In crime, the chain of causation and applying mens rea (direct intention, oblique intention, recklessness) are often the places where you can find juicy points to contradict yourself, so maybe try looking at practice scenarios and just annotate around it to pick out points to talk about.

Another thing would be to try your best to cut down on lengthy explanations and things that are unneccessary. It's easier said than done, but when explaining points of law, really you only need one or two sentences per legal principle - case names can just be thrown in brackets at the end of explaining a legal principle, and there are your marks! To give you an example, I used to use this in scenarios containing battery, and this was really all I needed when explaining what battery was; "The actus reus of battery is applying unlawful force. R v Thomas shows that even the slightest touch can count as battery. Wilson v Pringle shows that the force must be hostile and beyond the ordinary jostlings of everyday life." That's all that was needed before I could move onto applying it to the scenario - of course it may be different for you! I'm not too sure which exam board you're studying for, what topics, or how they actually prefer you to answer questions, but I'm fairly certain that keeping answers concise is preferred by examiners! They'll probably have model answers that you can look at and take notes from

If it's helpful at all (just ignore me if it's not!), the way we structured our essays was through the IDEA structure. We would identify the defendant, victim/claimant, point of law, and what action took them to court. Then we would define where the point of law came from (- e.g. "Grievous Bodily Harm is defined in both s20 and s18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861", or "Negligence was established in Donoghue v Stevenson and is when D owed a duty of care, breached that duty [...etc] (Caparo v Dickman)"). Crime, tort and contract are all different from here on out, but generally for crime, we'd then explain actus reus, apply actus reus, explain and apply causation, explain mens rea, apply mens rea (and it continues if necessary). For tort and contract, you'd generally just follow the steps, tests and subsections of the statute you're applying. What makes someone an employee, what classifies as having a duty of care, etc - there's such a broad scope of law topics that I'm sorry I can only give you examples for a few, ahahhaha

Time yourself when you're answering questions - it may sound obvious but the more you practice, the easier it'll be to write what you need in the amount that you have, and what kind of things you can cut down on. A lot of the time, you will probably run out of time to write down absolutely everything, but if there's still a lot that you wanted to write down but didn't get the opportunity to, it doesn't hurt to bullet point the points you were going to mention!

The Lawyer Portal is good for advice - https://www.thelawyerportal.com/blog...s-law-a-level/ (and other articles that you can browse through)
If you haven't looked on here already, E-Lawresources is also good for condensing the law and concepts of law and breaking it down for students to understand easier. It also has a LOT of cases that you can use as examples! - https://www.e-lawresources.co.uk/
Looking on your exam board site would be best for past papers, model answers, what examiners are looking for etc. Even though I've tried my best to let you know what I went through, I have no idea how relevant it all is to you specifically, so your exam board website would be a great place to look independently

Once again I'm so sorry for the really long message! I did A level Law and will hopefully be studying it in uni this Sept after results come out, so I'm hoping that what I've said is credible enough and hope that it helps you out even in the slightest - I'm rooting for you! I hope you ace your exam, and don't hesitate to let me know if you need any more help :thumbsup:
oh my goodness THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!! apologies for this terribly late response (life's been hectic lol). I truly appreciate the detail you have put into this answer -- your advice has been very helpful!!!

My exam board is CIE.. Paper 1 is operations of the legal system, P2 - data response, P3 Contract and P4 Tort. The IDEA structure is very helpful! I had also reviewed the CIE standards booklet for a level law + the marking schemes (which can be quite general so your advice on structuring answers really helps!) The links are also very helpful

I hope A Levels went well for you! I know its been crazy with the whole U-turn and predicted grades being used now... Seems like you will be a great law student -- hope that has gone well for you too!!!

Once again, thank you so, so much!

PS I may just reach out to you personally a bit later w essay questions
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