Hi Northstar, not sure if this will be a help or not,
I largely relied on commercially available notes for the exam. Found it easier to reference then the texts on the big day, but that is subjective to me I suppose. I found most of my colleagues from law school were doing the same.
I did read everything on the syllabus unless it said it was supplementary: Texts, judgements, articles (although I only remember Articles on the syllabus for Public Law). I don’t recommend not getting the texts because anything in the textbook is free game and it is hard to know what another person’s notes may have omitted
I personally found Consitutional and Admin to be the most time consuming (ie. the most material to get through) of the five. PR was very easy to get through. I also found Public Law to be a great place to start. I see many NCA grads recommend starting with Public, Const and Admin.
I wrote mine in 4 sittings (I wrote 7 exams) pre-Covid as I was juggling a job on the side to pay the bills. Everyone is different. If you feel like you can juggle 5 syllabi by all means. Most of my friends wrote 2-3 per sitting. But of course these circumstances are different.
Best of luck, feel free to PM or comment on this if you have any other questions.
Thanks for the insight! It seems they say there is time off to complete CPLED requirements but I'm thinking it is closer to what you said and that its just "on paper". Do you remember how many hours you spent on each assignment? I'm thinking blocking off 1-2hrs per day should be more than sufficient but I've also heard that some students spend over 8hrs per assignment to get things perfect, then again it does depend on the individual so I don't actually know. Overall it just seems very time consuming more than anything.
Thank you for being candid about the salary, I'm happy to say that it was not too far off from what you were being paid but I understand that the market is very slow so they probably reduced the number. I was very lucky to have found this position, I've also been searching for several months since completing my NCA requirements so I know how tough it is. Sending you lots of positive energy and good luck! I'm sure you will find something eventually, it really is unfortunate that your firm couldn't keep you.