Being anxious for an exam is completely normal and happens to everyone and when the exam at hand is the NCA exam, any student that wishes to sit in the exam can develop NCA exam anxiety. Some questions that may pop up in the head of students can be “how come I study really hard and prepare but still blank out during the exam?” Let us discuss some tips that may help any student that intends to go through the NCA exams.
Organizing the Study Material
A beneficial practice that helps a lot of students curbing the NCA exam anxiety is to prepare and organize their issued/hand-made notes in a manner that is helpful for them come exam day. When a student is giving the exam, it would be really discouraging for the student to traverse through their material finding the relevant exam notes when the clock is ticking away so a well-organized material set would be much more comfortable.
Time Keeping and Exam Approach Strategy
A useful strategy that may come in handy is to minimize NCA exam anxiety is to solve each question according to the weightage they carry i.e. allocating the highest slot of time to the question that carries the most weightage and then carrying on in the same manner. This strategy allows us to manage time efficiently and if, in the end, a student finds some extra time he/she can allocate it to re-checking or adding extra content to the solution.
Using the IRAC rule in the NCAs
The IRAC rule can prove of beneficial aid during the exam process which states the 4 basic principles:
- ” I” is for Issue: Identifying the problem / what is the question asking you?
- “R” is for Rule: What Law should you use to help you solve the problem?
- “A” is for Application: How does the law interact with the fact-pattern?
- “C” is for Conclusion: What is the likely outcome of the case/remedies.
Whenever applying the IRAC principle the main key to success will be identifying the question and should be done up-front, the structuring if the RAC part of the question can be done more smoothly and using logic. No matter what the question asks of the applicant, IRAC can be applied to it. Sometimes you will see questions saying things like “write a memo to a partner on the client’s case”, if the IRAC format is applied it will look fine.
Multi-Issue Question Structure
Sometimes a question appears which contains multiple issues within a single question so tweaking the IRAC rule for such a question should be made. Here is how a little change in the IRAC rule can help:
- A paragraph on the introduction of the question where all the issues are laid out should be first, this practice explains that the key problems have been identified.
- Headings are always important, so a heading for every issue is very important to differentiate between the issues. For example, the headings to “issue 1” can describe the rules and applications to the issue and a conclusion paragraph can also be provided but if the issues are interlinked to one another then the conclusion paragraph can wait till the end.
- Heading for issue 2 or 3 or more can follow the same procedures as discussed above.
- If the issues identified and described do not require a conclusion, still writing down a conclusion will be better to identify remedies.
Single-Issue Question Structure
If the question has only a single a simple IRAC rule procedure can be followed directly with Introduction, Rules, and Conclusions (Remedies).