What to do with 1 week leading up to 2nd year exams?

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wifd149
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Hi! I am an extremely anxious law student, who has about 9 days left (as of 12th May).


My subjects are, in order of examinations:

Tort law — 3 problem questions [full final grade]

Land law — 1 problem question & 1 essay question
- first semester [1/3 of final grade] scraped by a 60%
- essay question is my worst concern I think

EU law — 2 problem questions

Public international law — 2 essay questions (most likely)
- the trickiest by far because had different lecturers for some topics and they were extremely horrible (no hand-outs nada; literally me watching them talk solo for an hour or two — I’m dying)


All of them are open book, but none of the questions are released ahead of time so.


Thing is I have been extremely anxious and I am not sure if I have been preparing productively or properly.



For tort law, I went through all topics continuously. Have guidelines and outlines. Kept looking and skimming through alternating sources (notes & textbook) whenever I am nervous or breaking down. Worried that I might skip a point in the exam.

Tort law topics: everything — 1 negligence question & 2 questions to answer from other topics (e.g. private nuisance & Rylands v Fletcher). Hate Intentional Tort: Trespass to the Person, not sure if I should leave it out because sometimes problem questions have mixed topics.



For land law, I don’t even know anymore. I have a rough outline & guideline (steps) on how to approach the problem questions for the topics I’d be tested on. My notes for this are the bare minimum (important cases; some sections have more specific bits — right of light & parking?).

Still trying to compile cases properly, but I keep forgetting to do it because my nerves go up really horribly at (a lot of) times.

Most worried about the essay question; not extremely certain on what topics (questions?) to focus on. Have a rough idea about reforms.

4 topics for land law: mortgages, easements & profits, freehold covenants, leases & licenses.




For EU law, I went through my topics but unsure how to make it useful for exams yet? Mindmaps or flowcharts? Or just a simple outline of steps on what to do first?

The 2 topics I choose to do is on Direct & Indirect Effect, and Free Movement of Workers & EU Citizenship (economically inactive persons).



For public international law, when the questions go up I get to choose 2 questions and have a week to complete them. So I’ve been thinking to only go through what is my plan when I get the questions (what to make sure I will write in my essay; types of essay questions and what I need to include in those — none are topic-specifc) before the exams. Will have an “exam details” session on the 14th May so, we’ll see?

Maybe some essay tips might help for this pub int law?



So whenever my nerves go up, I have no idea what I am doing anymore. No awareness. Then if I am not, I become suddenly calm but then would not give a **** for exams. At times my sleeping schedule is heavily affected. I don’t know what to do?

What should I do in the days before the exams?
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lawdreamer23
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What did you do last year/last semester when exam time hit?
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wifd149
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(Original post by lawdreamer23)
What did you do last year/last semester when exam time hit?
Nothing good. For context, I averaged a bare 2:1 (61%) but had a 2:2 in Criminal law.

I did not do any of my exams properly until 3/4 days before it was due AND I only started learning the topics during that time too. Had no idea about the topics that came out because I never attended lectures and had only attended some seminar classes (“some”). Not even the revision ones or exam briefings.

Long story short, I have very personal issues about solo long-term commitment and habits. And because I kept thinking to myself during that time that I cannot do it, I maintained my sanity by not getting out of bed at all and behaving like the exams did not exist. Whenever I am anxious, I honestly have no awareness at all; it concerns me. Wanted to get an actual psychiatric report because everything kills me, but my family won’t understand and might stop me from getting any real “evidence” in records. Also had issues with reading in MCQs & small nuisances like s 27(b) or s 27(f), hence the 60% in land law (sem 1).

Also had a 3rd or 2:2 in jurisprudence last semester (most likely will remain marked up because of ‘bell-curve’ range/marks & new uni measures; many failed and my 2nd essay was a class above—shown overall capability of a 2:2 at least) . Even if I prepared earlier. One failed essay and the second one got 2:2 because my arguments were not clear. Made sub-headings in that essay too. But aside from that, I used too much academic commentary and did not contrast/compared them properly by applying the authorities succinctly (to the point) to the primary source(s), and did not have an actual stance in my introduction. Could have used and incorporated more case examples and real-life scenarios (even non-legal).

These two incidents taught me that it is when I am answering the exam questions that matter most. No point in being consistent, in advance, if you f**ked up in answering the exam questions and have bad (specific) answering technique.

Yeet, sorry for the unnecessary backstory. I just really don’t know what to do anymore.
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wifd149
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Trying to get more people to answer.

TFEU
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TFEU
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Hello (sorry this won’t be a detailed post, I’m slightly stressed out about exams too atm 😂).

It depends on how long you get. 24 hours? 3 days? 7 days? I assume u get at least 4 days based on ur second post?

Study smart rather than trying to cover all the topics. I would choose a few topics to cover in-depth. For online exams, you don’t need to worry about memorising anything. Last year, I scanned through as many academic articles as I could and just briefly labelled their key arguments. When the exams were released, I was able to pick out the relevant points I wanna use and then read them more thoroughly (I didn’t get 4 days and managed to do this pretty easily, so if u do get a few days, then there really is no need to panic!)

I would also take some time and work on exam techniques. If you are getting 2:2s or low 2:1s constantly then it suggests there is something fundamentally wrong with the way you approach questions. R u sill allowed to see ur lecturers? Maybe quickly do some essay plans & bring them to see if u have the structure and and the basics covered.

Also, see if you can get hints on what the questions might be on based on seminar questions, past papers and revision lectures. I know you didn’t attend them, but see if u can get notes from friends.

Good luck xx
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wifd149
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(Original post by TFEU)
Hello (sorry this won’t be a detailed post, I’m slightly stressed out about exams too atm 😂).

It depends on how long you get. 24 hours? 3 days? 7 days? I assume u get at least 4 days based on ur second post?

Study smart rather than trying to cover all the topics. I would choose a few topics to cover in-depth. For online exams, you don’t need to worry about memorising anything. Last year, I scanned through as many academic articles as I could and just briefly labelled their key arguments. When the exams were released, I was able to pick out the relevant points I wanna use and then read them more thoroughly (I didn’t get 4 days and managed to do this pretty easily, so if u do get a few days, then there really is no need to panic!)

I would also take some time and work on exam techniques. If you are getting 2:2s or low 2:1s constantly then it suggests there is something fundamentally wrong with the way you approach questions. R u sill allowed to see ur lecturers? Maybe quickly do some essay plans & bring them to see if u have the structure and and the basics covered.

Also, see if you can get hints on what the questions might be on based on seminar questions, past papers and revision lectures. I know you didn’t attend them, but see if u can get notes from friends.

Good luck xx

Heeeyyy we be stressed out af :argh:

I’ve got 9 days left, but yeah. Already know what topics to look into depth, except for Tort I need to have an overview of everything because it’s 3 problem questions, etc. The reasons I’ve got low 2:1s previously was because my marks were not consistent between essays (i.e. one 65%, another 58%).

May I ask how you handled problem questions previously for online exams?

And thnx for the tips on essay writing (specific for online exams) :five:
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Catherine1973
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Do you have books like law express/ q&a or concentrate range? They gave quesuons and sample answers. And practice last years papers if you have access and read examiners comments.
I am just doing tort exam and last few days it was just getting summaries of each part, identifying articles abs cases that related to each bit and could then read if relevant. Also finding recent cases in a few bits. Used one so far in today’s exam!
I find essays the worse so am practicing them more.
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wifd149
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
Do you have books like law express/ q&a or concentrate range? They gave quesuons and sample answers. And practice last years papers if you have access and read examiners comments.
I am just doing tort exam and last few days it was just getting summaries of each part, identifying articles abs cases that related to each bit and could then read if relevant. Also finding recent cases in a few bits. Used one so far in today’s exam!
I find essays the worse so am practicing them more.
Ooo nice!

Unfortunately I don’t because I haven’t been in the UK for a while, came back at some point. Thanks for the tip! Will bear that in mind.

How did you search up recent cases if you don’t mind me asking?
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lawdreamer23
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(Original post by wifd149)
Nothing good. For context, I averaged a bare 2:1 (61%) but had a 2:2 in Criminal law.

I did not do any of my exams properly until 3/4 days before it was due AND I only started learning the topics during that time too. Had no idea about the topics that came out because I never attended lectures and had only attended some seminar classes (“some”). Not even the revision ones or exam briefings.

Long story short, I have very personal issues about solo long-term commitment and habits. And because I kept thinking to myself during that time that I cannot do it, I maintained my sanity by not getting out of bed at all and behaving like the exams did not exist. Whenever I am anxious, I honestly have no awareness at all; it concerns me. Wanted to get an actual psychiatric report because everything kills me, but my family won’t understand and might stop me from getting any real “evidence” in records. Also had issues with reading in MCQs & small nuisances like s 27(b) or s 27(f), hence the 60% in land law (sem 1).

Also had a 3rd or 2:2 in jurisprudence last semester (most likely will remain marked up because of ‘bell-curve’ range/marks & new uni measures; many failed and my 2nd essay was a class above—shown overall capability of a 2:2 at least) . Even if I prepared earlier. One failed essay and the second one got 2:2 because my arguments were not clear. Made sub-headings in that essay too. But aside from that, I used too much academic commentary and did not contrast/compared them properly by applying the authorities succinctly (to the point) to the primary source(s), and did not have an actual stance in my introduction. Could have used and incorporated more case examples and real-life scenarios (even non-legal).

These two incidents taught me that it is when I am answering the exam questions that matter most. No point in being consistent, in advance, if you f**ked up in answering the exam questions and have bad (specific) answering technique.

Yeet, sorry for the unnecessary backstory. I just really don’t know what to do anymore.
No need to apologise! This is all the information I was looking for.

First of all, I'm sorry you're struggling so much with your anxiety. I have the same issue, and a lot of the things you have listed I can relate to. Your family may not understand, but you also need to put your mental health first because it is important! If you want to seek help, you should.

In terms of revising - don't revise everything. I assume (like what my uni does) there are going to be definite topics that come up, and you only need to answer a certain amount of questions between them? E.g. at my uni my exam may have 6 definite topics (and 6 questions) for the exam, but we only need to answer 3 essay/problem questions. That means you just need to pick three topics and revise them until you feel like you could look in the mirror and explain them back to yourself with no/minimal notes. I know they are open book, but if you can explain it confidently out loud, it will help you explain it confidently in your exam and hopefully prevent you getting stuck in the middle of the exam then shutting down when you get anxious.

Your exams are open book so if you get stuck, it's okay. You can look to remind yourself - just please put everything in your own words and reference correctly should your uni be asking you for references.

Contact your lecturers and ask if you could have chats with them about anything that comes up that you are unsure about (obviously pre-exam, not during!)

Are your lectures recorded? Go back and watch them again. Last year I got really confused during my Land law exam, so I went back and listened to the lecture to hear it explained again. Yeah, it takes up time, but it's better than writing something I don't understand.

Go back on your old essays/online exams and look at the feedback given. What suggestions come up the most? Write this on a post-it note so when you are actually writing your exam it is right beside you so you can check you are implementing it.

If it is a problem question with the made up scenario, remember to use the IRAC/ILAC formula.
What is the issue? E.g. for tort, the issue might be negligence, more specifically duty of care.
What is the rule of law? State what statutes/cases apply to this scenario.
What is the analysis/application? The longest part of your answer - apply the law to the facts of the scenario.
What can you conclude from your analysis? the usual sum it up and answer the question (e.g. is x liable, or whatever it may be!)
Repeat for however many issues are covered in your problem question!

^ Have that next to you when you are writing and it may help you break down your problem essays during your exam so it feels less overwhelming. It's likely a system you have heard of already but it's easy to get lost in the panic when you're actually writing your exam.

And finally, look in to your university's mitigating circumstances policy. It is good to know your options in case you don't feel you can finish on time/maybe get a redo in the summer if you are unhappy. Talk to your uni's mental health department if you need to so they know that you are struggling a lot.

Overall, remember to breathe! Exams are incredibly stressful, and doing them in the current conditions with COVID etc is even harder. You are a champ for still powering through! You will get through this!
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Catherine1973
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Used westlaw for articles with keywords like defamation or occupiers liability.

Think you may be able to get some of those books on kindle?
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Johnny ~
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Are you sure that you shouldn't be deferring your exams? I'm just conscious of the fact that some universities allow students to defer exams to the end of the summer (think late August/early September) instead of forcing them to repeat a university, and that COVID has resulted in a lot of universities loosening up their deferral policies.
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wifd149
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(Original post by lawdreamer23)
No need to apologise! This is all the information I was looking for.

First of all, I'm sorry you're struggling so much with your anxiety. I have the same issue, and a lot of the things you have listed I can relate to. Your family may not understand, but you also need to put your mental health first because it is important! If you want to seek help, you should.

In terms of revising - don't revise everything. I assume (like what my uni does) there are going to be definite topics that come up, and you only need to answer a certain amount of questions between them? E.g. at my uni my exam may have 6 definite topics (and 6 questions) for the exam, but we only need to answer 3 essay/problem questions. That means you just need to pick three topics and revise them until you feel like you could look in the mirror and explain them back to yourself with no/minimal notes. I know they are open book, but if you can explain it confidently out loud, it will help you explain it confidently in your exam and hopefully prevent you getting stuck in the middle of the exam then shutting down when you get anxious.

Your exams are open book so if you get stuck, it's okay. You can look to remind yourself - just please put everything in your own words and reference correctly should your uni be asking you for references.

Contact your lecturers and ask if you could have chats with them about anything that comes up that you are unsure about (obviously pre-exam, not during!)

Are your lectures recorded? Go back and watch them again. Last year I got really confused during my Land law exam, so I went back and listened to the lecture to hear it explained again. Yeah, it takes up time, but it's better than writing something I don't understand.

Go back on your old essays/online exams and look at the feedback given. What suggestions come up the most? Write this on a post-it note so when you are actually writing your exam it is right beside you so you can check you are implementing it.

If it is a problem question with the made up scenario, remember to use the IRAC/ILAC formula.
What is the issue? E.g. for tort, the issue might be negligence, more specifically duty of care.
What is the rule of law? State what statutes/cases apply to this scenario.
What is the analysis/application? The longest part of your answer - apply the law to the facts of the scenario.
What can you conclude from your analysis? the usual sum it up and answer the question (e.g. is x liable, or whatever it may be!)
Repeat for however many issues are covered in your problem question!

^ Have that next to you when you are writing and it may help you break down your problem essays during your exam so it feels less overwhelming. It's likely a system you have heard of already but it's easy to get lost in the panic when you're actually writing your exam.

And finally, look in to your university's mitigating circumstances policy. It is good to know your options in case you don't feel you can finish on time/maybe get a redo in the summer if you are unhappy. Talk to your uni's mental health department if you need to so they know that you are struggling a lot.

Overall, remember to breathe! Exams are incredibly stressful, and doing them in the current conditions with COVID etc is even harder. You are a champ for still powering through! You will get through this!
Thank u so much for the detailed response luv! :heart:

Feels good to find someone to relate with because everyone seems to have their sh*t together and mildly belittle me each time :bawling:

I’ll keep in mind about the post-it notes, and also to keep reviewing my land law materials productively and constructively. I can re-watch my lectures again and again instead being extremely anxious. ...

I’m thinking of making a TSR thread on revising so that I can keep it all together :creep: Might want to tag you in it too but no pressure to respond (if you don’t mind).

Again, thank u sooo much for your reply! It means the world to me right now :bubbles:
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wifd149
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
Used westlaw for articles with keywords like defamation or occupiers liability.

Think you may be able to get some of those books on kindle?
Ooof don’t have an acc atm but no worries. I think I can still do it. Thanks for the concern though :five:

N I seee, I’ll try to do that. Thank u a lot again sweet
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wifd149
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
Are you sure that you shouldn't be deferring your exams? I'm just conscious of the fact that some universities allow students to defer exams to the end of the summer (think late August/early September) instead of forcing them to repeat a university, and that COVID has resulted in a lot of universities loosening up their deferral policies.
Unfortunately I don’t have a good reason for that to give to my sponsor now, only when I actually fail then I suppose so. But it shouldn’t go up to that point though.

Thank u for the concern though
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lawdreamer23
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(Original post by wifd149)
Thank u so much for the detailed response luv! :heart:

Feels good to find someone to relate with because everyone seems to have their sh*t together and mildly belittle me each time :bawling:

I’ll keep in mind about the post-it notes, and also to keep reviewing my land law materials productively and constructively. I can re-watch my lectures again and again instead being extremely anxious. ...

I’m thinking of making a TSR thread on revising so that I can keep it all together :creep: Might want to tag you in it too but no pressure to respond (if you don’t mind).

Again, thank u sooo much for your reply! It means the world to me right now :bubbles:
You're welcome! I am glad to be of some help.

I'm a 3rd year law student, and I am convinced that no one has that sh*t together to be honest.

It's just good to have something to remind you of structures etc when you are writing because it can be so easy to 'waffle on' when you're in the moment. Anxiety is tough to handle, and if you do get extremely anxious then that's okay. It happens. Sometimes these little reminders can help ease it a little when you are writing.

Sure! I am happy to be tagged. :heart:
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TFEU
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(Original post by wifd149)
May I ask how you handled problem questions previously for online exams?
I just make sure I have the law correct and all the relevant case law ready. I also prepare some academic commentaries/reforms just to weave in VERY BRIEFLY when relevant. Lots and lots of practice papers and make sure you have a clear structure. Sorry I couldn't be of more help - you have received some excellent advice so I'm sure you will be fine!
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Knaz2020
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Hi,

Some great advice provided on here. I graduated with my law degree last year but can confirm it is ABSOLUTELY NORMAL to be feeling this way!

I myself had moments of sheer doubt where I questioned my own approach to assessment and examinations and became totally anxious at times as law is really not an easy degree, even more so given the current times we are in!

My top tip would be take as many short breaks as you can in between studying, mental health is something which uni's definitely need to focus on more, but if you look after this, then you'll be able to manage your studying more effectively. Try and take some time out and do something fun in between your studying, comedy clips on youtube/music/games really helped me to come back to studying with a fresher mind.

On top of the advice given on this forum, I would highly recommend this book (link below) for your EU law exam. I used this myself when answering the questions on Direct/Indirect effect and Free movement of Goods in my second year of uni. It essentially cuts out all the unnecessary commentary you get in the 1000 page textbooks and tells you exactly what you need to know in an easy to understand way. It helped me massively for my exam.

https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb/b...BoCSUcQAvD_BwE

No matter how hard it seems, you WILL get through this! if you find yourself getting anxious, just move away from your workspace for a short while and return when you feel calmer, do it as many times as you feel you need to, from my experience, taking breaks in this way tends to allow the subconscious to trigger a solution to a particular issue/question you are struggling with.

In terms of study techniques, the suggestions made on here are exactly what i'd suggest. Try to follow what works for you but if you incorporate this into your study routine you will be fine.

Good Luck!
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EU Yakov
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revise only for the minimum number of exam questions you need to answer. you dont need to revise all of them. so if a question paper has 10 questions and you need to answer 3 revise for 3-4 topics. past paper questions can tell you which topics are likely to come up.
ideally revise essay questions. not hard to read a few articles and learn the arguments in them. better than trying to memorise lists of criteria and caselaw and exceptions. you seem to struggle with that anyway which increases risk of you making a mistake.
maybe try exchanging notes with someone. that gives you more learning time and less notetaking time.
oh yeah - rely on your permitted materials as far as possible. so dont bother learning statute or anything. just read it, understand it, tab it, move on.
if you find one topic tricky do your best and move on don't get bogged down. no time for that.
i can't really share any study tips since my notes were always too long and complicated. one thing that is said to help is rewriting notes to make them shorther over time. so idk start out with your existing notes and aim to end up with flashcards.
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