Thursday, 26 January 2017

Comlaw 101 Exam Resource

I have turned two of my previous exams into "exam resources" and I think it is time to do so again. Hopefully the course hasn't changed too much for I am given to understand my Business 101 Exam Resource is probably only of historical interest, i.e. they've changed the exam substantially for that paper. However, this is a cautionary note that should be very useful to any prospective student reading this: I have no affiliation whatsoever with the teaching of these courses I "make" resources for and offer nothing more than images of my own scanned papers.

This particular exam paper comes from Semester Two 2015 and as before I have not included the questions and have restricted my resource to offering copies of my short answer responses only. If you want to know the questions, go to the library website and find the exam (you won't be able to do this unless you are an Auckland University student, even one who doesn't study a BCom). It is also really important to note why the Comlaw department (at least when I took Comlaw 101) doesn't provide model answers: there are many different ways of answering their questions. To that end, if you treat my answers (even the sole one that got maximum marks for its section) as being anything more than an indication of how you might answer one of these questions you are an idiot. No ifs. No Buts. It makes you a moron.

That being said, I do think that my answers are useful. Firstly, in that they can show you what university exams are like. Secondly although perhaps this is far too grand an assessment of them, maybe they'll give you insights into the topics (which, in general, I was not familiar with prior to taking Comlaw 101). Thus, to guide your interpretation of my resource, I will note that I did well in Comlaw 101, gaining an A overall. However, I did better in the coursework and was sitting on 93.25% prior to the exam, helped substantially by 91.67% on the test (the mean was 43% and the max 100%) and sustained by resitting the last three CECIL tests as many times as I could. It should also be noted that I made full use of the available resources (I went to office hours and with tutorials and workshops did as much as possible beforehand and extensively consulted the old textbook in the run up to the exam). I was also a second year in a first year course. Oh, and I liked this paper quite a lot. Point is, there are reasons why I got between 80 and 86% on the exam, although just 80% for the resource questions (but this is misleading also: it was 72% for the first SA section and 87.5% in the other).

Moral: please read this, but if you want to do well, there is so much more you really do need to do. Starting, of course, with understanding the material.

As a bonus, I will include an excerpt into how I personally attempted to study for the cases in this course. I think cases are, in some sense, the most daunting aspect of Comlaw 101 because they're not quite like quotes in English nor are they quite like case studies. If you stuck a gun to my head and made me answer (bearing in mind I haven't taken another Comlaw paper since 101) I would say that cases both illustrate the point you're making (there is a rationale to ratios) and are the point you're making. That's quite weird and I know from my AROPA comments (and Philip's agreeing with them) I wasn't the best at incorporating the law parts of Comlaw 101 into my answers. (How cases are treated in Law, i.e. by law students, is another question altogether; I know at least some of their exams are open book.)

As far as I remember, I didn't quite complete my review of the cases in Comlaw but they're relatively interesting as a Thing. In fact, I would go as far to say that my taking Comlaw 101 has given me some important ideas for the nature of reform in English curricula in New Zealand. That is, I think certain legal topics should be taught in English, with defamation (not something we did in Comlaw 101 when I took it) leading the charge.

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