Let’s debrief on the KI mock exams… !
So, I have sat the Kings Inns mock exams which took place in March. To start off, they were a really good way to get an insight into what to expect for the REAL exams taking place next year. Don’t get me wrong, they certainly weren’t easy but towards the end of the exams, any skills that I needed to work on became apparent e.g. time management, communicate effectively with a client and even my legal writing skills. Whilst they were exams, I felt reassured that I knew what to focus my attention by virtue of maybe running short of time during my advocacy mock exam or maybe adding too much detail in my written mock exam.
But – I thought that I’d share an insight into what the exams are, how I got on with them – any tips I can recommend to you if you’re about to sit them.✨⭐️🤍💅🏽👏🏽🤩
Table of Contents:
What does the exam comprise of?
Bear in mind, for the real Annual exams in year 2 of the BL course, there is a total of… 13 exams… no, I am not joking. So whilst you’re only sitting 4 exams at the moment, the REAL exams await so this is kind of like a test run of what to expect next year. The 4 exams you’ll be sitting are:
- 1 drafting mock exam
- 2 advocacy mock exams
- 1 mock research assignment
When do they take place and for how long?
The actual exams are spread across 3 days and there’s a deadline for the assignment.
Why do they take place early in the year?
From my understanding, to give a flavour of what to expect for the real exams next year! With any set of mock exams, this is so that you can get an insight of where you stand as regards the content that you have learned so far and to see if you are on track or need to focus on some areas of study a bit more. They are only mock exams so there is no point in stressing over them and over your performance, considering that you haven’t covered all of the content. It is a good way to recap your understanding of the material so far.
How did I prepare for them?
Simply because this was a mock exam, I focussed heavily on getting my notes, folders, and materials in order and in an organised fashion. One of the written mock exams is an open-book exam so having my materials is really important. I’ve written a blog post on how to prepare for open-book exams which, if you haven’t already checked out, I’d recommend giving it a good read.
For the advocacy mock exams as well, I also needed to organise my notes too as you can bring them into the exam preparation room. You are under time pressure for these exams and so you don’t have the time to sort and locate the notes you need. So it’s important that your notes + folders are organised in a way that you can access the materials without haste.
Tips on preparing to the mock exams
Here are some ways that I prepared for both the advocacy and written exams as well as mentally preparing to sit the mock exams:
- organisation is key key key – I cannot stress this enough;
- remember.. these are only mock exams designed to check in with your understanding of the material you’ve learned so far;
- be open & content to learn from your mistakes (which, realistically are expected at this stage);
- compile any feedback you’ve received from previous assessments and homework together! Use them as guides for what you need to focus on as part of your revision;
- create a check/bullet list of all of the topics you’ve done so far in the course to  remind yourself and  so you know what to focus on;
- be digitally & physically organised – I use Notion as my digital organisation tool, the Notes app on my phone, and a hardback notebook [see images below]
- the night before, get as much sleep as you can because you will be inevitably tired at the end of the exams;
- again, you’ll be tired at the end, but the time does fly by quite quickly;
- don’t forget about the legal research assignment👀!
- know + follow your instructions as precisely as you can;
- plan your travel for your advocacy exams in advance of the exams dates once you know when they are
Hopefully this entry sheds a light on what you can expect for the mock exams. They are not scary to do, because its’ not just you going through them.
This is all I have to report about the BL mock exams! If you’d like more insight into the course content, what I’ve got up to and some of the things I’ve done during the BL course – I would recommend that you check out my Becoming-a-Barrister Diary series here !
If you’d like to follow me in real-time, you’ll find me on Instagram @itsjanetyennusick – do come and say hi.
Until the next entry,