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A First Year LLB Student’s Experiences Through Examinations at the RuG

Date:19 January 2020
Studying law
Studying law

The mention of the word ‘exam’ sends shivers down the spines of all students. But for a law student, it is a special kind of shiver that brings with it the uncontrollable urge to run through the streets screaming at the top of your lungs. But don’t worry too much, exercise is great to relieve the stresses of studying!

Law is highly complex and intricate in its workings, it demands its students to be highly accurate, thorough and articulate. Luckily for me, I chose to study at the RuG, and this institution has gifted me with the tools to tackle such an examination. But as we all know; tools are not enough to construct a building – they need to be skilfully used by the hand holding them in order to create a masterpiece. The same can be said for tackling the exams at the University of Groningen. While your lecturers and working group instructors might help you along the way with gaining the knowledge needed to pass your exams, it is up to you to take that knowledge and apply it to your exams. Be under no illusion – the emphasis is on you. Only you can ensure that you pass your examinations.

There is such a wealth of knowledge and experience to be found at the University of Groningen, and at times it can be hard to know exactly how to use these vast deposits to benefit your studies and your exams. But don’t fret – I am about to share with you, the single most important advice to help you along your journey of studying… When in doubt, ask. It is as simple as that. Ask for help if you need it. Whether it be from your dedicated team of study advisors to be found in the Harmonie Building or your lecturer or even from your fellow classmates. I have come to learn that there will always be someone here in Groningen who will be willing to help you. Just ask!

The study of law is something which is a beautiful yet terrible thing. It consists of so many different parts – from substantive law to procedural law, from private law to administrative and criminal law and beyond. It is so broad and so large that it might seem impossible when you sit down to begin your revision for the exams. My advice is to take it piece by piece, and ensure that you start summarising as soon as possible. Find a quiet place to kick back and read the numerous cases assigned by your lecturers and try to summarise them in a few words – to dissect their essence.

It is a challenge but one that is manageable with time and effort. Law is not easy as you might have already come to realise – but it is a beautiful thing. When you have dealt with each piece and step back to see them form the complete puzzle of law, all interlocking and dissecting to form a chaotic yet beautiful image – it is a feeling of completion that makes you want to run through the streets and scream at the top of your lungs… at least, that is the case for me.

In closing, the Law is a difficult subject but you needn’t worry too much. There is support to be found from the University and there are no shortage of resources to help you get through the exams. All you need to do, is ensure that you manage your time well and that you ask for help if you need it. Hang in there, and you are sure to succeed.

- Luc Giacomo Marchand, South Africa, International and European Law LLB student

Tags: llb, exams, study