How to Avoid Bad Grades: 9 Tips for Law Students

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Excel and avoid bad grades

Grades matter. A number of students don’t think they do but good grades are an indication of your effort and academic strength. Good grades mean a high CGPA, which translates to better opportunities for scholarships and jobs. You don’t have to be top of your class but you can avoid bad grades, even while studying a course as demanding as Law. So, here’s a guide for Law students on how to avoid bad grades.

9 Tips for Law Students to Avoid Bad Grades

Avoid bad grades when taking a test
  1. Start early
  2. Have a study schedule
  3. Do research
  4. Know your lecturer
  5. Take every assessment seriously
  6. Follow instructions
  7. Ask questions
  8. Study smart
  9. Avoid malpractice

1. Start early

The key to finishing on time and covering much ground while at it, is to start early. Early in the session, early in the semester, early in the week, and early in the day.

You shouldn’t wait till the semester is far gone before you begin to study. The coursework for virtually all Law courses can be bulky. And there’s often a lot of reading to do. Leaving everything for late in the semester would cost you your grades.

2. Have a study schedule

Schedules keep you organised and disciplined. It’s easier to read when you know you should be doing so at a specific time and you know what exactly you should be reading at that time.

However, having a study schedule is only one step. Actually following the schedule is the big leap that would make a world of difference in your grades.

3. Do research

Do research to avoid bad grades

Law and research are inseparable partners. The only way to deepen your knowledge of legal concepts and laws is to do your research.

Students who do research and fluff their notes beyond what the lecturer gives often do better than those who don’t. Especially when studying Law.

So, don’t rely on class notes. Do research. Read that judgment. Use the library. Find more about the topic in different textbooks. Research done right for all your courses would keep bad grades away.

4. Know your lecturer

Knowing your lecturer is just as important as understanding the topics they teach. Although guided by general assessment rules from the Faculty and the Council of Legal Education, every lecturer has their personal preferences with regards to writing style and structure.

Take note of how each of your lecturers would prefer to answer a question. Do they prefer an all-round introduction or that you just go straight to the point? Are they in support of brief, one-page answers as opposed to detailed, lengthy answers? Also, are they wont to repeating past questions or not?

Identifying what tickles your lecturers’ fancy with regards to their examination patterns would help you prepare better for exams and avoid bad grades.

5. Take every assessment seriously

Avoid bad grades when taking tests

One mistake a lot of Law students make is taking “small” assessments for granted. In reality, no assessment is too small.

Even 5-mark assignments or tests could make a difference in your total grade. So, take each assignment and continuous assessment seriously.

And don’t “just write something and turn it in” as some do. Give it your best shot and earn the grade for your hard work.

6. Follow instructions

If you want to avoid bad grades, then you need to follow your lecturers and Faculty’s instructions for doing so. ‘Register your courses before a certain deadline’? Do it. ‘Answer only four questions’? Do so. Ignoring instructions is a sure way to attract penalties – and bad grades.

7. Add questions

It’s okay not to know everything. No one does. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions. From asking your lecturers for clarification on what they teach, to asking your Faculty (Course Adviser) for any requirement you need to satisfy to qualify for writing your exams – it is important to ask questions. And don’t stop asking until you find answers.

8. Study smart

The danger with merely studying hard is that you can be doing it all wrong while wasting your time and energy. You need to study smart.

To do this, strategizing and coming up with a study plan that works for you is essential. Use the 80/20 rule and prioritize studying what is truly relevant or most important to your course (because, if we’re being honest, you can’t study all the materials available).

Most importantly, study to learn and not simply to pass exams. You would better reproduce and defend what you know than what you cram.

9. Avoid malpractice

Avoid bad grades and malpractice

“It is better to fail honourably. . .” There are many reasons why malpractice shouldn’t be a consideration when you’re trying to make good grades.

For one thing, it’s unlawful. For another, it can cost you everything you’ve worked for and you risk your Law School admission if you commit malpractice.

Study, do your best to prepare for exams, and have faith in yourself that you’d do well (because some people commit malpractice because of fear). Suspension or expulsion is worse than one bad grade, so avoid malpractice like a plague – which, if you think about it, it actually is.

Takeaway

There can be a lot of pressure to get good grades. And several factors make it challenging – your level of interest in a course, the course’s level of difficulty, the marking scheme or grading system of your lecturer, etc. It’s a long list.

Regardless of what variables are involved, you can get good grades by doing the essentials to stay on top of your act academically. Remember that studying smart beats studying hard but it is important to balance both.

When you start early in the semester and work with your reading schedule as you do proper research and study efficiently, you’re sure to boost your grades. You’ll find that it does pay to put in the work.

If you think you could use some extra help in getting good grades, consider getting a Law tutor for extra lessons.

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