The pre-seen case studies will be available online from the CILEx website at the end of this month so it seems a good time to address the issue of case study preparation for ‘practice area’ exams. We often get asked ‘how do I approach the case study’? Obviously, a lot of information is subject specific which we can’t address here, but there are some general guidelines which apply to all papers at both levels.
Read the papers multiple times. There is no such thing as ‘too many’ here!
Who are you acting for? This is paramount and if you don’t get it right will change the nature of your answer completely. In Civil Litigation is it the applicant or the defendant? In Conveyancing is it the buyer or the seller?
There are usually three or maybe four scenarios. It’s helpful to physically split them up so that you don’t get confused and you can address the issues in the documents that relate to each individual scenario. Mark the top of each one in coloured pen with the name of the person/scenario. Having said that more recently there have been fewer scenarios and it maybe there are multiple questions on one scenario.
Check out dates, times etc. The relevance will depend on the paper you are studying. E.g. In Civil Litigation it could be hinting at limitation periods. In Criminal Litigation, maybe the timing at the police station is hinting at some kind of breach. In Conveyancing it may be hinting at important deadlines.
Have you been given a lot of personal detail about an individual? This may indicate that there is going to be some kind of form filling exercise in the examination. Again in Civil Litigation, this may be the Statement of Claim. In Criminal Litigation details about finances could be hinting at the completion of an application form for state funding. In Conveyancing it might be the completion of the Contract for Sale
Make initial pointers on the case study itself. These will help you focus on more extensive notes for revision purposes.
For Level 6 papers, don’t forget to use your statute book where you are going to be able to take this into the examination (you should be aware of whether this is the case and which one is allowed at this stage. You would be surprised at how many candidates are not!)
Remember CILEx can add/change scenarios on the examination paper so be prepared for the unexpected.
Don’t forget you cannot take the paper or notes into the examination. You will be given a clean copy of the case study on the day. Therefore, you need to memorise what you have been doing in preparation for it.
If you require any further assistance by way of 1:2:1 tutorial, we do have some limited availability for various subject areas, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Good luck and remember preparation is key!