Welcome to your first Law exam! Here is some useful information about preparing for this assessment.
- One of the first things you’ll want to do is check Course Materials Online for copies of past exams in your unit.
- Consult Study Smarter to help understand how to study most effectively, particularly when preparing for open book exams.
- Inform yourself on official UWA policies regarding exam rules and regulations. Do you know what to do if you are unexpectedly late for an exam? Do you know what to do if you need to defer an exam? Don’t wait until you are in a crisis to get familiar with UWA exam policies.
- 7 ways to help manage study stress - get familiar with these simple tricks now, so when you start to feel stressed later on, you will know what to do.
Ever Wonder Why You Procrastinate?
10 Study Tricks:
1. Plan when you are going to study for all of your exams.
Although your law exams are (obviously) your favourite units, make a schedule for when you are going to study for each exam and stick to it.
2. Plan how much time you are going to spending answering each question during the exam, based on how many marks each question is worth and how much time you have.
For example, a two hour exam with three questions all worth the same amount of marks should be broken down like this:
120 minutes minus 15 minutes (reading the questions and planning your answers) = 105 minutes
105 minutes divided by 3 questions = 31 minutes per question plus 10 minutes to read through your answers.
3. Practice planning out your answer. This can be a powerful tool during the exam.
This is important for four reasons:
- An outline helps you organise your thoughts so you know before you start to write exactly what you are going to say
- If you do get confused or off topic, your outline could help keep you on track and bring you back to answering the question at hand
- You can avoid repeatedly using the same examples and case studies
- If you run out of time, or if your answer isn’t written clearly, the person marking your exam may know what you were trying to say and will have some idea of how well you know the subject matter
An answer map can be something as simple as this:
One sentence which answers the question directly.
- Reason 1
- Ex ?
- Reason 2
- Ex ?
- Reason 3
- Ex ?
4. Record yourself going over important information, examples and case studies. Listen to these recordings as you ride the bus, go for a walk, cook dinner, etc.
This trick is very easy to do and makes a big difference! Not only do voice recordings help maximize study time, but you are using three different techniques to study by reading information, saying it out loud and listening to it.
5. Practice writing introductions in 5 sentences.
Start by answering the question at hand in 1 sentence, so you know you are answering the question directly. In the next 2-3 sentences, use two or three concepts from your readings to explain why your answer is a good one. A strong introduction might need one more sentence that sums up your arguments and leads in to your first paragraph. If you become familiar with this process you will save plenty of time and energy when writing your exam. By the way, this paragraph is approximately the desired length.
6. Remember some of the examples used in lectures, tutorials or the textbook that helped you understand the subject matter.
These are the examples that are likely come to mind during the exam. Become really familiar with these and other examples or case studies and write out how they relate to different theories discussed in class. It is good to have examples and the accompanying citation readily available for the exam.
7. Take breaks.
Eventually you will stop absorbing information and your time studying will be wasted. Everybody is different, but one technique you could try is taking a 10 minute study break after every 45 minutes spent studying.
8. Practice writing in exam-like environments.
Draw on questions from your text book and past exams and sit in a quiet room, for a specific amount of time, writing out answers in full. You will get used to writing answers within a constrained timeframe and in a quiet environment. It is useful to practice handwriting answers, because it takes longer to write than type.
9. Talk about what you are studying!
Find a study group, a friend, a family member who you can bounce ideas off of, teach and test yourself out loud. Use Facebook and LMS to ask your peers questions you may not be sure about or to get a discussion going.
10. Eat properly and get enough sleep.
The best way to fight exam stress is to take care of yourself. It is easier to think clearly during an exam if you are well fed and well rested.
During Your Exam
1. Make sure to read and reread the questions being asked. It is very common to answer a question based on what you want it to ask, rather than what it is actually asking.
2. Double space your answers. Not only does this automatically give you brownie points with the person marking your work, but it also gives you room to fix any mistakes when you are editing your answer later on.
3. Stick to the time limit you made for yourself.
4. Make answer maps before writing out your answers in full. This is important for four reasons:
5. Bring a bottle of water with you. If you start to get stressed, take a sip of water and try to keep calm.
General Notes About the Crime and Society Open Book Exam
- In Crime and Society, you are only permitted to bring the specified textbook into the exam. Ensure you have the proper edition because outdated textbooks will be taken from you in the exam room.
- Library material is not permitted in the exam. If you have failed to buy the textbook, you will not be able to bring in a copy from the library. This avoids any arguments about who reserved the library copy and who did not return it on time.
- Do not write any additional information in the margins of your textbook. You are permitted to mark pages with sticky notes or highlighters, but do not annotate the textbook or write sentences in the margins.
- Do not expect to use lecture notes during your exam. You are permitted to use your textbook but no additional material.
- Although you are not required to write a bibliography, when quoting from the textbook use basic citation (author of chapter, date), so it is obvious what sources you are relying on to make your case.
Some Study Apps You May Want To Try:
Smartr - Makes smart flashcards to help you study.
Evernote – A great way to manage and share notes.
Evernote Peek -Makes a similar flashcard-type study technique as Smartr.
ATH Exam - Allows students to easily share notes, and related course materials.