HINTS ON STUDYING AND ANSWERING LAW PAST QUESTIONS
To excel in your Law Courses.
Hints by Vitesolutions
I think forming my note was more of an issue to me than were the exams. I sought to understand each course because the understanding would assist me in teaching and writing my works. Surprisingly, I still made good grades without much stress.
These are some hints you might find useful. First pray and be confident.
- AVOID CRAMMING. Try to Understand first – If you cannot understand try to have the Knowledge – If you can’t have the knowledge Please try to have a hint or idea…. before you think of cramming because cramming may fail you in problem questions and crammed knowledge may not last long. If you find it hard to note sections and cases, you may try ALLUDING THE FACTS OF THE CAES/SECTIONS.
– You can remember you cases by alluding the facts/principle of the case to the name of the case. You need to be very flexible, imaginative and interesting. Use any language, symbol, picture your head can come up with (in your mind). E.g. R. v. Seidu deals with ascertaining whether rape has been committed as the court noted that there must be penetration. You may allude thus; shey im do am? Shey Im do? Seidu? R v Seidu. Bird v Jones deals with false imprisonment in Tort. You can allude that a Bird is in a cage, falsely imprisoned. But in this case, the court held that, the plaintiff was not falsely imprisoned because the circumstances afforded him an alternative route/means of escape. Therefore you may say he was Jonesing by remaining in the place thinking that he was falsely imprisoned. Please go ahead and give the Vite-Allusion technique a try with your other cases. BUT DON’T CRAM.
You can also apply this allusion technique to sections. Take control of the Sections by alluding the provision/principle to the said Section’s Value. But (so that you don’t get confused in the exams) select only the most important sections to allude. For example Section 6 says rape is complete upon penetration. Rape is a sick crime. Section 6 requires the sick act. Rape is six as section 6 CCode requires the six (sick) act. Section 10 says no offence to wife for being accessory to husband’s offence. You can say 1 stands for husband and wife who are 1, 0 stands for zero offence. You can also say the wife 10kfully is free. 10kyou Section 10 for my freedom from being an accessory. Section 465 Ccode deals with forgery which means falsification. When you falsify you 4 6 5… fal si fy four six five so section 465 deals with when you falsify and to falsify is to forge.
Take another example; Section 516 CC on conspiracy. Section 22 LUA requires governors consent and 28 penalizes non compliance. 2 can represent a person who goes to another person called 2. It is cool for 2 to go to 2. It is tutu for 2 to go to 2. If not 2 (governor) would 8 (28) (that is hate Mr two). (8 (hate) there stands for the punishment section). You may even DRAW the sections. E.g. S 44 can be redrawn by putting 4 adjacent 4 to create a structure like a house with big roof (immovable property).
For a complex progression of sections with different meanings you can create a story for all the group of sections till the end (provided the facts correspond to the principles in the sections). Let us take for example; the fundamental rights enforcement provisions in the 1999 Constitution. Convince yourself that for the purpose of the provision, Mr 3 is a person and he has a right to be Mr 3 and not killed. (S33 CFRN)… But the police mistook him for a robber and beat him up (S 34 CFRN) then took him to the station for questioning and eventually locked him (35) He is taken to court and he is given opportunity to state his case (36), the judge believes him and releases him. But the police still want to watch him closely (37), he thinks this is not fair (38) and then tells his neighbours his story and gathers support (39). They are fed up and decide to hold an official meeting where they can forge the way forward (40) in the meeting they agreed to come out to vent their grievances. When the police saw the protesters, they were annoyed at such audacity (41). The Igbos among the protesters were beaten (42) and their belts and phones were confiscated (43). Then Mr Okah one of the victims felt discriminated against and was forced to pack out of the community (44).
You can make your story. But when you understand the progression of events, the order of sections would naturally come in the exam situation.
SECOND OF ALL: YOU NEED TO DEVELOP THE ATTITUDE OF SOLVING PAST QUESTIONS: Yep. That it. Past questions give you a glimpse of what the exam would certainly entail. Not just solving past questions but timing yourself and physically answering it.
In the exam, you need to read the question first, ask yourself what it is asking for, then read a second time and answer it in the most explained by brief manner. Be interesting and time conscious.
Just like the innovation of using red biro, you can underline very important points and key words. This would also assist in drawing the examiner to important points in your work.
Please don’t use tables unless when asked to.
You may do well to avoid abbreviations except it is so popular or the you have established what it is. E.g. section 1 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hereinafter referred to as “CFRN 1999”.
You may divide problem questions into issues and treat one by one. But where doing so would be time consuming, try and flow quickly without first dividing into issues.
Try and be professional and write with confidence. E.g. instead of saying; “ISSUES: 1. Whether or not…. You can say something like: “This hypothetical question can be said to throw up the following issues; 1. xyz…”. Or “”the issues arising for determination from the facts of this question are as follows, 1. Whether or not… ”
Use the names as it appears in the scenario.
e.g. Kunle is advised to appeal to the high court. Instead of “he is advised to appeal to the High Court”
Cite Locus Classicuses and if you are citing a new or novel cases you may have to put the year for the examiner to easily trace.
All in all, do what works for you.