By Tobi Amoo
First off, let me make some comments concerning the last post about the Portfolio Assessment.
One. Let me start by NOT THANKING you for your e-mails (I mean you can’t give an offer and not expect to be taken up on it?! LOL!). I received hundreds of e-mails (stopped counting after 200) but I tried to personally reply them all. It was a sacrifice but i’m glad I could help (You want to know how to pay me? Ace the bar finals). If I did not reply you, it was either inadvertently or your message was delivered into the spam folder. Please download and go through the Externship handbook (Click here) for more details on the essays, forms and presentations.
Two. SIMPLE INSTRUCTION!!! Understanding and following instructions is what sets the bright students apart from others. The instruction was simple: “…with the subject: Request For Portfolio Assessment” but a lot of you decided not to head your message while others used a variety of subjects. As your exams approach, note that instructions in the exams are key. It’s not only enough to get it, you must get it in accordance with the instructions.
Three. The posts remain the exclusive copyright of the publishing blog (ILEMONA) and it’s All Rights Reserved. Please refrain from doing ‘copy & paste’ and sharing on other platforms like whatsapp, BBM, Facebook. I know you all want to share it with your friends and group members which is cool but please kindly share the Web link with them. I have been directed to inform you that if the ‘copy & paste’ continues, they will pull the plug! So let’s cooperate. Thanks.
Now to the myths. I want to talk about some stories and doctrines making the waves about the bar finals that are not only false, but have no iota of truth in them. I wonder where some of them were generated from. So, in no particular order, meet the myths (pun intended :-D):
1. You must use different ink colours.
The myth is that you have to use the blue/black pen for your principles and drafts, use the red pen for judicial authorities, and use the green pen for statutory authorities.
Hello! You’re no longer in the university. Besides, the bar finals is not an art competition. If you choose to use them, by all means please go ahead. But it is only a matter of style. It has nothing to do with your marks at the bar finals. Provided your answers are legible enough and correct, you will earn your marks. If using different inks will slow you down, please stick to one. You can write your authorities in uppercase letters.
I know some of you will still doubt. So here’s my story, I used only a black pen throughout my exams! Yes you heard read right – principles, drafts, authorities – black pen only. I guess that settles it yeah.
However, please note to take extra pens along. You don’t want to be stranded if THE ONE starts messing up.
2. Negative marking
The myth is that negative marking is employed in grading the Multi-choice Questions (MCQ) exams, therefore if you don’t know it, leave it blank.
It’s totally false. You get marks for the ones you shade correctly and nothing more. Take your mind off that myth please. If you’re not sure it’s the right answer, shade it all the same. Don’t leave any blanks because you’re afraid they would deduct marks if you’re not correct.
Also, in the event that there’s an error in the options (No correct answer or there are two correct answers), please shade a box (or circle) all the same. Remember, bonus can only be awarded to candidates that answered.
3. No new questions can be formulated.
The next time someone tells you that the Law School has exhausted her questions and have no choice but to recycle Past Questions, go to your phone contacts and change his name to “Sorry“.
Don’t join those people that study past questions and do permutations and predictions. It’s a recipe for failure.
The examiners are way more creative than you think. Let me give you a perspective. You remember all those little class tasks and assignments you did? Or those questions the lecturer asked that turned the class to a legislative debate on the floor of the National Assembly? Most of them were formed in class! Yes, improvised and spontaneous. So imagine what they can do if given time to properly set questions.
If you try to predict questions by looking at topics that were not tested in the last exams, you’re heading the wrong way. It won’t work. Just study your books, and cover all areas.
4. Lagos campus students always do better.
Shout out to my friend Kenneth Okwor (of Lagos campus) who not only had a First Class but was the best graduating student and also set record with the highest number of prizes won by an individual (Ten!). But I strongly believe it’s a product of his personal academic excellence and not campus location.
In that same set, out of 976 candidates who sat for the exams at Lagos campus, 176 failed and 37 had a Conditional Pass (roughly 22%).
So, Dear Lagos students, I hear you’ve been bragging all around saying Lagos students don’t fail. Please take a chill pill and prepare well for the exams, because in the marking hall you (and your script) are On Your Own- O.Y.O!
Dear others, please stop the pity party, regretting why you were not in Lagos campus. You can excel from any campus. It’s one Nigerian Law School remember.
As a matter of fact, history tells us Lagos used to produce one of the poorest results before. Anyways, that’s history.
Point is, your result is personal. Forget about the myth. It’s false. You can have a First Class (or 2:1) from any of the campuses.
5. You can’t cover the syllabus
100 topics! 2000+ authorities! Bla bla bla. You may have seen the picture displaying those statistics. Did it scare you? Oh! No, it shouldn’t.
Yes, the course content is wide, but it can be covered (more than once). You’re not required to read all in one day or week after all.
The most ridiculous part of the myth claims that the people that ‘manage to’ achieve the feat of covering the syllabus do not sleep! Maybe they even told you they neither brush their teeth nor have their bathe. I think they should also add that they do not eat. It will make perfect sense.
Serious talk though, you can cover the syllabus both intensively and extensively. How do you overcome this myth? Look at the time you have before you, compare it with the volume you intend to cover, and draw a study schedule that will enable you cover the volume within the said period. For instance, you want to cover 10 topics in 2 weeks. You can schedule 1 topic per weekday (10 week days in 2 weeks) and use the weekends to rest and work on past questions. However, note that drawing the schedule is not as important as having the discipline to stick to it.
The truth is many of you haven’t covered much because you’re not disciplined enough! Leave those distractions for now: Bellanaija, Linda Ikeji, Diary of Jenifa (or is it Jenifa’s Diary now), Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat, Keeping up with the Kardashians (keep up with your books please), Instagram, movies, video games, regular hangout with friends (who are not preparing for any exams) and other kinds of distraction you know. They will still be there after the exams.
Discipline yourself to silence or switch off your phone when you want to study. Tell them at home you don’t want to be disturbed for the next couple of hours. Discipline your mind to stop wandering all over (you can travel all over the world later), and you’ll be surprised at how fast you will move, and ultimately cover the syllabus.
Now that you know the truth, there is no stopping you. You can ace the exams. All the best!
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