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Student Perspective Reflections on Study & The Course 8 November 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Perspective Reflections on Study & The Course 8 November 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Perspective Reflections on Study & The Course 8 November 2013

2 Welcome to the law Intro Doctrine of necessity

3 Agenda Please do not video or take pictures of any aspect of this presentation. Introduction Past exam statistics Why people fail or drop out Attending lectures Study groups Study expectations

4 Agenda Assignment preparation and layout Preparing for and passing exams What you get out of the course Question and answers

5 Introduction I have completed 15 of the 20 subjects Father of three (youngest is 21 months old) My partner, an admitted lawyer in Germany, completed this course in 2008, now works for as a Criminal Lawyer with the DPP

6 Past Exam Statistics Between 2007 and 2010: – Legal Institutions – 34% DNS & 17% failed – Criminal Law – 25.9% DNS & 12% failed However: – Legal Institutions - of those that sat, 31%, achieved a merit or distinction – Criminal Law – of those that sat, 36% achieved a merit or distinction The purpose of this presentation is to give you some suggestions on (a) how to avoid dropping out or failing, and (b) do well in the course

7 Subject Ranking (Failure Rates) 1.Contracts 2.Taxation & Revenue Law 3.Equity 4.Legal Ethics 5.Real Property 6.Legal Institutions 7.Succession 8.Trade Practices Law 9.Commercial Transactions 10.Criminal Law

8 Why People Fail or Drop Out Don’t attend lectures Don’t keep up with prescribed readings and summaries throughout the semester leaving to much to do before the exam – Stats show week 5 is often the critical week, when assignments can become due. Don’t spot the issues in assignment and exam questions Don’t structure their assignments and exam answers properly (ie don’t use IRAC) Poor time management in exams (running out of time). This is the key reason people fail exams

9 Time Management - Expectations Throughout the course allow approximately 9 hours of study for each lecture broken up as follows: Allow 3-4 hours for the readings (some take more) for each lecture Allow 1 Hour to review and tidy up your lecture notes after the lecture Allow 2 hours to summarize the readings, legislation and case extracts Allow 2 hours to prepare the final cut of your exam summary to 1 - 1.5 pages for each topic Assignment and exam prep are separate to the above

10 Time Management - Expectations Diarize when your assignments are due and the date you need to commence. Diarize exam dates and date you need to commence your exam preparation Set out and work to a project plan Set your families expectations, their support and understanding is critical to succeeding this course. Sit down with them and let them know: – What you need to do throughout the semester – The weeks/ weekends you will be tied up working on assignments – The weeks/weekends you will be preparing for exams – The dates of your exams (fact you will be stressed beforehand)

11 Attend Lectures Direct relationship between failing to attend lectures and failing Benefit of attending lectures The lecturer essentially: – Tells you what they what they want you to know – Summaries the course – Tells you the key cases to know for the exam – Often tells you the topics in the exam You get to ask the lecturer questions You get to form relationships with your peers feel accountable, and stay connected

12 Exam Preparation Recipe For Success Throughout the Semester Your subject guide is your course bible. – Print it out bind it, take it to lectures, refer to it all the time. – More on the subject guide later. Step 1 - Pre read prescribed readings before the lectures (allow 3-4 hours for readings (how many pages can you read an hour) – Read prescribed text – Read prescribed legislation – Read case extracts. Judgments are a Judges “EXAM ANSWER” for other judges. The judge sets out the issues, precedent case law, and application of the law to the facts considered Factual matrixes of exam questions are based on the cases Reading case extracts helps you spot the issues in exam questions Case extracts review other cases which provides good revision

13 Exam Preparation Recipe For Success Throughout the Semester Step 2 - Attend the lectures take notes (see word recording feature) Step 3 – Review, and tidy up your lecture notes within 48 hours of the lecture - helps to lock it in. Step 4 – Summarize the readings (prescribed text, legislation, case extract) in accordance with the subject guide headings. Settle the first cut of your notes for that lecture. Step 5 – Summarize the notes for that lecture to 1-2 pages maximum. Step 6 – Re read your notes before the next lecture and in the weeks before the exam.

14 Study Groups Join a study group of 3 or more people Assignment – Meet your study group 3-4 weeks before the assignment to discuss the assignment – Share a basic bullet point outline of the key issues in the assignment with your study group (do not share final version with anyone) Exam – Meet your study group 4 -6 weeks before the exam (and then weekly) to commence going over past papers – Don’t meet your study group 3 days before an exam it can confuse you (lock yourself in a cave)

15 Assignment Preparation Commence working on your assignment three weekends before it is due Allow 2 weekends for the reading Allow one full weekend to draft the assignment Allow one night, to sleep on the draft, and amend before submitting

16 Assignment Preparation Step 1 – Read the question several times Step 2 – Highlight the issues Step 3 – Read the relevant lecture notes (the lecturer is telling you what they want to see in their notes) Step 4 – Read the question again and highlight any more issues you see Step 4 – Read the text and relevant cases, and for extra marks try do some research (does not apply to first LI Assignment) Step 5 – Prepare a bullet point draft outline of the issues and law. Share with your study group and discuss

17 Assignment Structure Step 6 - Provide a structured answer to the questions (for each issue) – Overall introduction – Issue – Identify the issue – Law Make reference to the statute law – identify which section you are considering (and why you are starting with that section). If parts or phrases of the section are particularly relevant to your answer identifying those parts or phrases in your answer without writing out the whole section; Make reference to the relevant case law – state the principle in your own words, and cite the case. The relevant law/case law will often contain a test that must be satisfied – state the test clearly using your own words

18 Assignment Structure Step 7 - Apply the law – Apply the law /test to the facts and come to a conclusion. Step 8 - Conclusion – Briefly state your conclusion on the issue Step 9 - Overall conclusion – If a number of issues, provide an overall conclusion – ANSWERING THE QUESTION Step 10 - Complete citations, and bibliography Step 11 - Review, polish and submit Tip – In your assignment and exam cite the cases in referred to in lectures and in the subject guide (lecturers are looking for this) Please note the above process may not apply to the first Legal Institutions assignment. Example 1 assignment structure

19 Reasons People Fail In Exams Don’t pick the issues Poor time management - running out of time Use the reading time to allocate the time for each question, and stop that question when the time is up! Remember the easiest marks are the first 80% of the allocated marks for that question, don’t go over time chasing the other 20%. Don’t structure their answers and use IRAC Tip - Following exam apply for an interview with the lecturer to see what they are looking for and what you can do to improve

20 Pre Exam Preparation Start preparing for the exam at least 6 weeks before the exam. Prepare for the exam like it is a closed book exam! Open book exams give a false sense of security, you don’t have time to look for things Step 1 - Summarize each lecture/topic of the course to a maximum of 1 – 1.5 pages Step 2 – Review and start memorizing your notes (key sections of legislation, principles and cases) Step 3 – Time yourself – how long does it take you to hand write 1 page of typed notes. Plan your time and answers accordingly. Step 4 – Review past exam papers and do two questions on each topic (allow 2 hours for each question) – Prepare complete answers by hand – Practice applying the law to the facts

21 Pre Exam Preparation Step 5 – Do at least two complete exam papers under exam conditions (that’s 6 hours) – Do this under exam conditions, by hand. – This puts you in exam gives you an idea of time limitations. – Practice applying the law to the questions. Critical! Step 6 – Prepare an overview “MAP” of the course linking relevant principles etc. This locks in the course Step 7 – Print out and bind the subject guide and your notes Step 8 – Tab the relevant sections of your notes, legislation and prescribed text for quick reference in the exam. Step 9 - Calculate the time you can spend on each question and part thereof – 3 hour exam with 4 questions = 45 mins a question – Less 5 mins reading = 40 mins a question – At 20 marks for 40 mins - a 5 mark part to a a question is worth 10 mins of time

22 Pre Exam Summaries Example 2 – Tax Subject Guide Example 3 – Lecture summary

23 In The Exam Step 1 - Carefully read each question Step 2 - Choose the questions you want to answer Step 3 - Read the question again – highlight the issues Step 4 – Prepare an answer plan Step 5 – Answer the question for each issue using IRAC

24 In The Exam Step 6 – When the allocated time is up for that question, stop and move to next question. This is critical. The first 70% - 80% of the marks are the easiest to get. – Running over time, equals less time for next question, equals less marks, and can lead to panicking in the exam. Eg in a 3 hour exam with 4 questions worth 20 marks each (ie 45mins a question), just running 5 mins over for each of the first three questions, means you have 30% (15 mins) less time to spend on the last question, which is also worth 20 marks. – Don’t run over time on a question chasing the final couple of marks for that question. Pen down move on to the next question. Step 8 – Write legibly – allows examiner to give more marks. Write on every second line if you have bad hand writing. Tips – the examiner wants you to succeed, they want to give you marks. – If you can’t remember a case name, state the principle – the examiner will give you marks for this – Provide structured answers (quality not quantity) – Underling key cases citations and legislative sections – helps examiner – If you are running out of time at a bare minimum: State the issues – they will give you marks for this State relevant principle and case citation – more marks

25 Student Questionnaires See student questionnaires.

26 Lecturers Questionnaires 5 Lecturers questionnaires 6 Lecturer questionnaires closed book exams

27 What you get out of the course An ability to get straight to the issue of work related problems An appreciation of your time, and time management A new career in law/or appreciation of the law in your current role Alternatively, greater career opportunity based on the respect the workforce has for law on your CV Personal satisfaction. Studying law is immensely rewarding

28 What you get from the course An opportunity to meet a range of people you would not normally meet (my library friend) A different way of thinking Admission to an incredibly well respected profession Two success stories – Graduation ceremony – Admission ceremony

29 Questions Enjoy your studies and good luck

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