Exam Experience During the Pandemic!
Hello everyone, it’s that time of year where exams have finally ended after a whole term’s worth of nothing but revision! I am here today to tell you all a little about the exam experience for law during the pandemic as compared to normal years! There are three main differences in exams this year as opposed to previous years- 1) they are submitted online, 2) they are typed instead of written, and 3) they may have been modified due to the pandemic. I will go through these differences one by one so that you can have this information at hand if exams continue to be delivered online next year!
- Exams are submitted online:
Exams are usually sat in exam halls, meaning that at the end of the allocated time period, you hand in the physical copy of your paper to the invigilators (as I have heard from peers in the years above me). Compared to this, exams have been submitted online via Tabula or the Alternative Exams Portal (AEP) instead for the past two years. This means that timings for handing in the paper have been much stricter, with even a second late submission amounting to a zero for the whole paper! If exams continue to be delivered and submitted online next year, make sure you leave plenty of time to upload your answer (the Law School recommended leaving 45 minutes to submit this year). If there are problems during submission, make sure to contact the IT number provided on the exam paper (take note of this number before you even start the exam as it will be useful to have at hand if something goes wrong with your IT equipment during the examination period).
2. Exams are typed instead of written:
Exams are usually sat in exams halls and written by hand in normal years, however for the past two years exams have been typed instead. This is due to the fact that lockdown and self isolation meant people could not be gathered in exam halls to physically sit the paper, and so typing answers was the best way to go about doing the exams. The positive side of this is that you can restructure your essays and answers easily, but the negative is that you may experience a block in your flow of writing (as I did many times since I was not used to typing my answers). There is however a way to overcome this (from my experience), and that is to practice typing under timed conditions! Practicing was the only way I was able to get used to typing answers and it helped my writing flow better!
3. Exam modifications due to the pandemic:
Finally, the last change is modifications to the exams sat by students. Last year, I had a mix of 48 hour examinations and multiple choice assessments, whilst this year I had 24 hour examinations with varying numbers of question to answer. The changes to the exam paper will depend on which module is setting the paper, for instance I had to answer 3 questions out of 10 for one paper, 3 out of 5 for another, and 2 out of 5 for another. These could also change next year as it depends on the module team and what they decide to do with the paper- for instance you could have a wider selection of questions for a paper, or a more restricted selection (i.e. fewer questions to choose from). The best way to find out about these modifications is to attend the revision sessions held by the module teams in term 3; these are super helpful because they give you a breakdown of all the content and give you exam tips, as well as explain the structure of the exams- so don’t miss out and make sure you attend these!
I hope you find this breakdown useful in case there is a repeat of these changes next year as well! As always, let me know if you have any questions or if you want any advice in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as I can!