Exam season is here, guys and gals. It’s kinda like raspberry season in the sense that there is a lot of sourness and tears, but unfortunately a lot less yummy pie. Whether you’re up to your neck in moots or waist deep in study notes, you know that exams are never going to be a stroll in the park.
When your last exam ends, and you relieve the chronic cramp in your hand, it can be easy to feel nothing other than sweet, sweet relief. But the time between your last exam and Results Day can be bittersweet. While you spend a few blissful weeks forgetting everything that you’ve ever learnt, you’re likely to be fretting over whatever jumble of words you jotted down in that stressful, two hour closed-book exam (I’m lookin’ at you, Equity and Trusts).
When you finally see your results, you’ve already been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. For some of you, you’ll be feeling ecstatic at best, or relieved at worst. You studied hard (or maybe you didn’t, but you still aced it) and you couldn’t be happier. Well done you! We all know that law exams, and studying law in general, isn’t no easy feat, so you should be feeling very proud of yourself. Or maybe you aren’t feeling as proud, but a little more relieved. Your overall results might not have been what you had originally aimed for, but you know that you deserved the mark you got and hey, you’ll take it! Either way, it’s time to celebrate and enjoy the holidays.
Others of you will be feeling disappointed at best, or mortified at worst. There is absolutely no shame in this; everyone has received a mark that disappoints them during their law school lifetime. First of all, breathe. Remind yourself that your university results in one semester are not a reflection of your entire degree, or an accurate reflection of you, for that matter. You are more than your results. With that in mind, it’s time to decide your course of action. Maybe you were aiming for a certain mark and you’ve missed out by one or two percent – you can either accept it, or book a consultation time with your lecturer and discuss the possibility of having your mark reviewed.
If you’ve failed a unit, you might have been offered a supplementary exam. You already know what to expect from the first exam, and you know your strong points and your weaknesses. Focus on studying cases or points of law that you struggled to remember or explain in the first exam. Ask your friends how they answered the questions, and their results should give you an indication of where you went wrong. Most importantly, book a consultation time with your lecturer or tutor, if this is permitted, so they can clarify what concepts are still bothering you.
If you failed and you weren’t offered a supplementary exam, you are going to be very disappointed. There will be tears. And you might curse every lecturer you’ve ever met. When this passes, which it will, you will remind yourself that you are more than your results. And you will keep on reminding yourself of this until it sinks into your wonderful brain. Yes, wonderful. Once you’ve accepted your result, again consider still booking a consultation time with your lecturer. Even though you won’t be sitting a supplementary exam for the unit, it’s still a great idea to find out what you did wrong and where you were right. And remember, be kind to yourself. (Law) exams are never, ever, easy.