4 tips for getting better marks in your examiantion

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1. Keep in mind that, because the duration of the exam is limited, the examiner almost certainly cannot test you on every aspect of the subject. The chances are great that some topic or topics that were truly important will not appear in the exam. Don’t force them in if they’re just not there. (Of course, one of the major challenges to you, is to understand when different issues really should be raised. Accordingly, that should be a focal point in your studying.)

2. Ideally, all issues that are even potentially troublesome should be addressed. By that we mean this: If the case before you were an actual case working on it, ask yourself whether a particular legal issue (which has already come to your mind in connection with this case) would possibly be a point of contention or difficulty in the case. Unless the answer is clearly “no” (meaning that the lawyers on both sides would surely view this as a non-issue), you should address it. We understand that you will have to make this determination quickly, so that you may reasonably raise points that, on reflection, you would deem to be non-issues.

3. This leads to one of our major pieces of advice to you: When in doubt, cover it, but: if you really are in doubt about whether to discuss a particular point, address it after you’ve discussed all the issues you’re sure you’re supposed to discuss. [Admittedly, this piece of advice presumes that there is something in the question that you are sure you’re supposed to discuss.]

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4. One of the biggest (and costliest) weaknesses that candidates display, in the exam-taking process, is a tendency to spend a significant amount of time discussing points of law that are clearly not called for by the examiner’s question. Among the likely causes of this misguided tendency are: uncertainty about what to discuss, a failure to focus on the precise call of the question, and the mistaken belief that one is likely to receive a higher grade if one volunteers more than what has been asked for.

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