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dwigt

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  1. Long post alert, but I'm a paper-writer not an exam-taker, what can I say? I just received my result for my re-write of the PLTC Barrister exam. Thank you sweet baby jesus that I don't have to go to my principal once again and utter the words "I failed". Don't get me wrong, you will absolutely get through it, but that doesn't make that pit of your stomach gross feeling any more enjoyable. So, if you're like me and a consistently poor exam-taker who never fails to struggle with timing, here is a little story of what I learned by passing the exam I thought I failed (Solicitor) and failing the exam I thought I passed (Barrister). The two PLTC exams are a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and medium-short answer questions with bite-sized fact patterns. Some fact patterns are intended for multiple questions for a combined 5 or 6 points, while the rest are single questions worth 2 or 3 points each. There are anywhere between 30ish and 45ish questions, and as you will find out in PLTC, each area of law covered is allocated a certain number of points. Long story short (ha), I did not finish the Solicitor exam and was 100% sure I had failed. I was already insecure about my grasp of the material and left a large chunk of points behind by failing to answer some longer questions. I had skipped through a lot of questions in order to answer the ones I knew I could do quickly, came back to as many as I could, and had to sacrifice the others. I knew that I had taken far too long answering most of the questions, and often elaborated until I ran out of characters permitted. Suffice it to say, I walked out of that exam tipping my hat to my traumatized friends thinking, see you at the next one. Two days later came Barrister, and obviously I was going to finish that exam if it was the last thing I did. Yep, finished it, felt like a champ having confidently answered all the questions with what I thought were the right, albeit to-the-point, answers, and with time to review at the end. My strategy failed me. And I'm pretty sure you can put two and two together as to why. The combined points I lost in unanswered questions on Solicitor was not enough to fail me outright, and the fact that I answered the others FULLY, and I emphasize that, allowed me to pass. The combined points I lost across the entirety of Barrister, with very few questions totally wrong (2, maybe 3), was the reason I am here today. Those exams FLY, and unless you're some evil genius who remembers everything from the neverending reading materials, you WILL be insecure and you WILL flip madly through your binders, using up precious time and making you rush through your answers. Don't make my mistake. Today I passed the Barrister re-write with, yet again, an unfinished exam. Just make sure your answers cover off everything: name the legal concept, cite and briefly explain the applicable rule(s)/legislation, briefly apply the facts, give your opinion. After getting my results, I attended a session at the Law Society where they let you review your failed exam. My mistake on Barrister was a lack of detail and missed opportunities for full points. In other words, finishing your exam does not make you more likely to pass, and I promise, they make it pretty bloody hard to fully answer AND finish. This time around, I passed the Barrister using the same strategy I used on Solicitor. This is my nugget of experience to you slow exam-takers out there. Take it or leave it, but I hope you crush PLTC so you never have to think about it ever again
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