chapter  9
10 Pages

Preparing for Law Exams

BySimon Chesterman, Clare Rhoden

This chapter outlines some of the important things to keep in mind while preparing for law exams. The purpose of a law exam is not to test whether the readers have memorised the law, but whether they can understand and use the law. However, in general the most difficult aspect of a law exam is working out how to apply these cases and doctrines to new circumstances, such as hypothetical problems. The chapter discusses how to approach an 'open book' exam and preparing notes that are 'exam friendly'. One of the reader first tasks in preparing notes for an exam is the process of translating their historical understanding of cases (what happened, what the judges said) into instrumental knowledge-that is, the readers have to turn fact-specific case law into principles that may be applied generally. The chapter provides a guide to what the readers can do to prepare ourself for the open book, hypothetical-based exams in law.