I’m now back in Singapore, typing this post. It’s been about 3 days since the last exam ended. I think it’s a good time to set down, collect my thoughts and reflect about the 4th trimester.
To sum this trimester up in one word – tiring.
With 3 back to back research essays and 3 rather content heavy subjects – Equity, Trusts and Constitutional Law, there was no time for rest. I had to start on my long notes right after my last essay was submitted. There was no time to waste.
If you wonder why I don’t do my long notes before each lecture, that is because I might not understand the case before the lecture. So it’s a waste of time just typing the cases out but not understanding it. Then why not right after the lecture? Part laziness and part busy with the assignment and also I keep writing my long notes to the last minute is because I want the cases to be fresh in my mind – 3 to 4 weeks before my exams. But this is really cramming things pretty hard especially with the trifecta of evil subjects. But thankfully, the cases do stick in my head somewhat. If you pay attention in class, do the tutorial questions religiously, things will be less difficult come revision time.
And I think I am learning to expand my horizons about the study of law. This time, I would totally blow off the minority judgments and dissenting judgments – but knowing the minority and dissenting judgments in key cases and marking them out in the notes, and pointing them out in the exam, can be the key point to getting the High Distinction or Distinction. I am also starting to appreciate the importance of reading the judgment. I think reading cases help me relate better to the principles and help me distinguish and analogize between the facts in the exam and that in the case.
As I look (not) forward to starting Trimester 5 in a couple of weeks, there are certain things which I hope I can achieve in the next trimester.
- Start typing the cases/make notes as I go along (at least for 1 or 2 out of my three subjects) – try to know the details of the more important cases.
- Pay a bit more attention to the minority and dissenting judgments (whenever applicable) and mark them out.
- To have the cases embedded within my head and to recall them as quickly as possible.
- Work hard on improving my essay writing skills. Avoid describing and critically analyze.
- Be more careful during exams – I panicked when I wasn’t able to write enough stuff for a 14 mark question for Trusts. I probably make a few mistakes here and there in Equity. And I missed out a small bit in Constitutional Law.
- Not to panic during exams. My exam performance is still bad. I would usually be able to give more thought to the questions post-exam.
I’m not too sure how I would fare this trimester. I think I should be able to achieve a minimum of 3 Credits. I hope I will be pleasantly surprised when the results come out on 28 Aug.