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Bad grades

Im a first year uni student studying law and i will never score higher than a 2:2. I watch all the lectures, readings and complete all my notes but im not sure why i can never score higher. I need help on how to get better grades..
Original post by gojo
Im a first year uni student studying law and i will never score higher than a 2:2. I watch all the lectures, readings and complete all my notes but im not sure why i can never score higher. I need help on how to get better grades..


Ask your tutor for help in improving your revision and essay writing technique
Original post by gojo
Im a first year uni student studying law and i will never score higher than a 2:2. I watch all the lectures, readings and complete all my notes but im not sure why i can never score higher. I need help on how to get better grades..

Hi there

Sorry to hear that you are not achieving the grades you are hoping for. However, please do not be discouraged, since you are in first year, there are a lot of opportunities and time to improve your skills and pull up your grades. :smile:

The important thing is to be able to take on feedback from your previous coursework. I usually find looking through written feedback a good starting point (take some time to compile all the feedback you have received, list your strengths and weaknesses). Also, it is a good idea to speak to your seminar leader for any feedback, and to clarify any questions you had regarding the assignment. It is great that you are watching all the lectures and doing the readings. You are already in a really good position in terms of your knowledge, so I think the area that you need to improve on is the style of answering these essays- which I think will be the most helpful if you go to your seminar leader, or if you have a law skills support hub that will be useful too. Will these feedback, make sure that you return to them when you finish drafting your next essay. Mark your essay yourself and see where you have made repetitive mistakes, where you could improve etc. It may be quite strenuous to do so, but I have found that it helped me to improve my grades.

Coursework for law are normally divided into essays or Problem Qs, and there are different styles of answering each of these. PQ assesses your ability to identify all major and minor issues, and analyse the most likely outcome, any counterarguments and support what conclusion is likely etc. Essays on the other hand, is more about research, incorporate extra readings, formulating your own arguments. (In University, markers are looking for an innovative and obvious argument, you have to support why your argument is correct, introduce new perspectives of thinking about it, and back your point with evidence such as articles, cases, legislations etc.) Unlike A levels, do not sit on the fence with University essays, and whilst giving counterarguments- acknowledge why your point is stronger and why it prevails.

Essay writing also involves having a good structure and coherency. A way I normally structure my essays is in the introduction: set out my main argument, and then the structure (i.e. what sub arguments I will make to support my main argument, and in what order I will analyse these). I will then follow this throughout my essay, try to use good grammar throughout, and link your paragraphs together so the essay flows. It may take a few drafts to get this right, but these will help you gain some marks. 🙂

During second year, I fell into the trap of doing all my lecture and seminar material, but then getting burnt out when it came to actual coursework that mattered. So take frequent breaks, and ensure that you prioritise your coursework before any other seminar prep (which you can always catch up on a later date). Focusing on coursework that contributes to your grade may means spending more time on it, and it is definitely worth doing so if you are not already. Finally, my last tip would be to try and complete your coursework ahead of deadlines, so you can have to time to come back to read it and double check at a later date- reading and marking your own working with a fresh mind may help you spot some mistakes, and give yourself sufficient time to improve on these areas.

Improvement does come with time, so keep building on the feedback you receive, do not get discouraged. You can do this. 🙂 Good luck!

I hope this helps.
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep

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