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Online exams: my reflections so far

Online exams: my reflections so far

Charlotte Lear


Reading time: five minutes

Dear reader, a few LCN blogs later, I have officially completed and received the results for my first exam season for law!

That’s not to say that the next lot isn’t coming around the corner quickly but I thought I’d take the time to discuss and hopefully shed light on a few things.

I know for a lot of you this isn’t your first rodeo. However, having completed an English degree in a pandemic that was mainly coursework, my last exam season was those incredibly nail-biting A-level ones I took almost four years ago (yikes). You can imagine my sheer panic when I had eight to do in two weeks in a subject I hadn’t studied until three months prior. Anyway, the moral of the story in my case is that it isn’t the end of the world…groundbreaking I’m aware.

If you’re a non-law student, check out LawCareers.Net’s non-law student hub.

To follow this, here are some realisations I’ve had since completing the season.

You already have the skills you need

Look, you’ve got through sixth form and your undergraduate degree or equivalent – the skills you have gained over the years have perfectly equipped you to know how you learn and what makes you successful. The key skill is knowing which ones to use and when. For example, this probably isn’t something to admit on the internet but I’m such a crammer!

Find out which institutions offer qualifying law degrees by using our course search.

Catch me late into the evening reading, highlighting, and ‘rewriting the Bible’, so to speak, as I regurgitate paragraphs of information. Apart from being seriously detrimental to my blood pressure, it seems to works for me!

This is where the skill of prioritisation comes in; when I know that something is of high importance on my list – I will do it, it’s as simple as that. You should follow this instinct because it works almost like that mind-muscle connection that people bang on about in the gym. The mind-muscle connection is about focusing on what you’re doing while doing your sets in the gym. In my case dedicating my evenings to a single topic helps to store that information in my brain better. But it’s not for everyone!

Engage those learning tactics you have relied on repeatedly, and they will see you through. There’s no special formula for learning the content in law, it’s just about finding what works best for you.

Block out external pressures and focus

If you’re like me and hadn’t secured a vacation scheme or training contract since graduating, you’re likely to also be very much in that mindset of building your CV for applications and spending hours trawling through pages of firms that all look the same on paper to find that ‘USP’ for the application you’ve been spending weeks on. Honestly, scrap it. Especially if you’re already working part-time alongside your studies to pay for them.

If you’re studying part time, read this LCN Blog: ‘Studying law part time and working full time, can it be done?

Part-time work and study for exams is more than enough for one person to handle, it doesn’t matter if your peers are still managing to complete applications in this time. Everyone is different and it will benefit your future applications if you take some time to focus on your exams for a while. Your applications will suffer inevitably if you continue to juggle 100 things at once during exam season. So do yourself a favour, take that pressure off and come back to them with fresh eyes.

If you’re an aspiring solicitor, check out LawCareers.Net’s vacation scheme deadlines page and the training contract search tool to discover your future firm.

Don’t become a hermit

I’m not one to talk, but we are certainly all guilty of just locking ourselves in a room until exams are done and dealing with the aftermath afterwards. Really, it’s the time to check-in with yourself and ensure that you do have that daily shower and eat something that’s not pot noodle (no judgement, please!)

This is particularly crucial for online students like me, it can be incredibly isolating, so try to some schedule in me-time or attend a social event at least once a week so you can see the light of day. it’s good to maintain a balance!

Listen to this LCN Podcast Episode on tips on how students can look after their mental health.

Final thoughts

Studying a conversion course after having done a non-law degree seem like a huge mountain to climb, and in many respects it is, but there is a lot to say for having even got there in the first place.

If you’re a non-law student, you can find out more about the ‘Law Conversion Course – GDL’.

The imposter syndrome is real, don’t get me wrong, but when you jump over the hurdles you set for yourself and make it over the other side in one piece your confidence grows massively.

I understand this is painfully optimistic for someone whose next set of exams hangs like a looming dark cloud over their head, but at least it speaks for their resilience.