Oh exams! They are scary, they are dreadful and studying for them is a chore; most especially so if you are studying for them during your Christmas break!
By the end of last semester, I was exhausted from doing papers, tutorials and going to class that I was looking forward to coming home. I counted down the days to when I was going to see my family and friends again. And of course, that day came and I was beyond excited! I arrived in Vancouver, and for about a week of being home, I did nothing but spend time with my family and friends. However, looming over me like a dark cloud was the fact that I had to start studying for my exams…
About two meltdowns, 60 pages of notes and endless hours of studying later, it was time to write these dreaded exams. I was petrified to say the least, despite having studied so much; but I cannot help but think of the pressure of writing and doing well on my first set of law school exams! I remember I had Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” stuck in my head whilst walking into the exam room, “[Her] palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy/ [She’s] nervous, but on the surface [she] looks calm and ready”- it is safe to say that that pretty much summed up my psychological and physiological state at the time. But I digress, both exams went well and I can safely say that I was happy about how I studied. But alas! It is all up to the exam gods now!
Enough about me though, I asked a few of my first-year friends about how their exams went and this is what they had to say:
Since I have a previous degree, I expected my first law school exam to be a lot harder and much longer in length and time. Law school was always thought to be very difficult so my expectation for the exam was the same. However, in reality, the law exam was very similar to the exams I wrote during my first degree and I think that makes the exam stress a little bit easier to cope with, especially for the upcoming exams in the spring. Another reality for these exams is that they count, especially for Canadian students in the 2-year program. I know my grades for my previous undergraduate degree did matter but not as much as my grades for my LLB. This just means that we all need to work a lot harder during our time here. – Aman Kalsi
As most law students would probably say, I was preparing for my first set of exams in law school to be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Although the experience delivered on that expectation at (tired) times, the process was crucial in uncovering the significance and usefulness of strategic studying. As we are required to retain a lot of content across all of our subjects, I learned it is necessary to consider the format of your exams – particularly if essay-style – and study accordingly. Use your brain efficiently! I also found that watching lecture recordings was very helpful; as they allow you to pause if you need some extra time to grasp a concept, or speed up when covering something you are already know inside-out. Overall, the exam period was a learning experience that I can integrate into my study habits and strategies in future law exams. – Caroline George
Despite some needed changes to my studying techniques, January’s exams went rather well. What really impressed me during the days leading to the Civil and Constitutional examinations was how willing many law students were to help out their peers when they couldn’t understand some of the course material. I know that law school can be stressful, but it’s always nice to know that the pressures of education don’t subvert the kindness and generosity of the student community. – Armen Dumanian
The expectation I had of the exam before doing it, was that it was going to be extremely hard. There were loads of topics to read about and the time allocated seemed to be too short. However, all in all I would say it was great. – Aury “Frank” Mugisha
The first set of exams are always the most nerve wracking. Once you get in to the groove of things, it tends to get easier. Frankly, they weren't as hard as I anticipated them to be. – Jasmine Kranat
So I guess my aim for this blog is to reassure you – whether you are a current first year or even a second year LLB student – that everything is going to be okay. As long as you study and work hard. If you prefer to study on your own, then by all means! If you prefer studying in a group setting, that is cool too! But, do not leave your studying to the last minute, you did not make it this far to stress yourself out even more! I mean it is already hard enough that you have to write these exams, let alone suffer from added stress due to procrastination, right?
And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about our upcoming CLS events for the month of February:
Ms. Hedayati is a Leicester University Alumni practicing law in Toronto. She will be giving a talk about how to get a job in Canada – including preparing for NCAs, putting resumes together and job applications. There will also be an opportunity to sign up at the talk for individual appointments with her on Tuesday (Feb 7th) and Wednesday (Feb 8th). This is a great opportunity to speak to someone who has been in our shoes!
February 15, 2017 @ 4:00pm – 5:00pm – Canadian Moot Finals - Location: The Law School Chambers
Please come out and support our mooters!!
Mr. Tibollo is a practicing lawyer for 30 years and owns his own private practice in Toronto. His lecture will focus on the positive and negative aspects to private practice. He will also be sharing his experience in working in both the public and private sectors of the legal world! This is a rare treat so please come out!
Please join us for a continued night of fun! The price for CLS members is £5 and £7 for non-members.
We look forward to seeing you all at these events!
Written by: Rhea Alcantara