Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to answer in KSLU exam pattern ?

Write in simple legal language. It is left to you to convince the evaluator by your handwriting and content that you understand the subject and principles involved. 

Never mind if your answer is short. Though, on a broader context, you should go for quality as well as quantity; in that order.

Read the question properly/thoroughly and answer to the point.

Start by defining, principles, explanation/understanding of the subject, exceptions if any, limitations if any, case laws(origin/source of principle and indian context), and finally conclusion or your thoughts. 

Do not write bullshit - it will hurt the patience & intelligence of the evaluator. 

I myself am a 3rd year law student of KSLU (batch of 2011-2012) but am thinking how best to impress the examiners. However, my approach has not been that great in convincing to get more marks. So, I started looking up how best to answer since my efforts are not paying off even though I think I know the subject thoroughly well.  I doubt if KSLU follows this. I have spoken to some  professors who go for evaluation but all they say is the Supervisor/Superintendent strictly instructs not to go beyond a certain marks criterion. I find it absolutely & amusingly silly. For example: for essays don't award more than 7-8; for short notes/problems:- not more than 3 marks. 

Overall, I think, don't worry about marking/marks, since the real battle is in the head and your energy, enthusiasm in beyond the court. The difference between one and another is only your energy levels. Maintain it absolutely HIGH !   :-) 

Catching the Issues
The questions all are stocked full of various issues. Even if you do not analyze an issue in depth, at least acknowledge its existence.
Formulating the Issues
Catching the issues is not the only important task. You must explain the issues clearly.
Certain issues are very important and others are not. You should indicate which issues are really central and which are not as important.
Relationships Between Issues
Certain issues are really sub-issues of other issues. This does not mean that you shouldn’t reach these secondary issues, but you should indicate that they are secondary.
Stating the Law
You need to accurately set forth the applicable law. I don’t require specific case names, but if you’re referring to a case, say enough about the facts to identify the case. If you’re applying a test, rule, formula, or the like, you should set it forth in the exam. Avoid copying entire passages from class notes. This is often not responsive to the question, as it contains a lot of extraneous information.
Applying the Law
An exam that merely recites cases or rules is deficient. You must apply the rules. As you saw in the class, there are cases which apply the rules in counter-intuitive and unusual ways. You must be aware of these cases. You should not merely apply a rule as if there were no case-law already applying it. The case law that applies a rule is instructive in how that rule is applied. You should discuss whether any of those cases is analogous to the situation at hand.
Reasons, Reasons, Reasons!
This is critical to a good performance! One of the most difficult things to do is to explain why a particular conclusion is reached. A conclusory exam isn’t very good, even if I agree that your answers are correct. First, sometimes there isn’t a “right” answer. Although there are “right” answers to certain issues, others are more debatable. I’m more interested in how you justify your conclusions than in the actual conclusions themselves. Second, I am not just grading your memory or how assiduously you copy your notes into the answer, but how you think through problems. The word “because” is a great word to see on an exam. You must demonstrate that you understand the reasoning of the cases we studied, not just their holdings.
I realize that time spent on analysis is time lost in issue spotting. You need to strike a good balance between catching the issues and analyzing them. An exam that spots all the issues, sets forth all of the applicable rules of law, and reaches conclusions is respectable, but it is missing the most important component – your ability to demonstrate that you can think through the problems, that you understand what’s at stake, that you’ve really digested the cases we read and thought about our discussions in class.
Discussing Counter-Arguments
Often, when an issue is difficult, there are arguments on the other side. A great exam addresses the counter-arguments to its conclusions. Often the questions on the exam are not calling for you to be advocates of a particular position, but to appraise and evaluate the various issues. Even when you’re writing to an advocate or as an advocate, you must address the counter-arguments. After all, an attorney will surely have to address counter-arguments in oral argument before the court. The judge will consider both sides of an issue. A good advocate must be able to anticipate the counter-arguments and respond well to them.
Reach a Conclusion
Even if an issue can go both ways, you need to reach a conclusion. Some exams simply present both sides of an issue and then quit. I want you to come to a conclusion. This does not mean simply slapping a conclusion on at the end without a reason. So after discussing the arguments on both sides, explain which side you believe has the strong argument.
Indicate the Strength of Your Conclusions
Not all conclusions are equally as well-supported in the law. You might have to speculate as to how to resolve some issues. This is fine, especially when the law is murky or inconsistent or when the issue is novel and there are many possible ways that the law could resolve it. The key is to indicate that this is the case. Do not simply write your conclusion as if it were clearly evident. This is misleading. When an issue is tough and the resolution is in doubt, say so. This will prove to be very helpful to lawyers and judges who read your memos – they need to know which are the easy issues and which are the tough ones.
Provide an Accurate Picture of the Law
Not all courts agree on particular issues. Decisions are sometimes conflicting. A particular issue could be governed by different lines of cases, each of which pulls you in a different direction. Don’t let this alarm you. Welcome to the law! This is what many areas of law are like. Don’t think that on the exam you need to make all cases coherent and all rules work together in harmony. When you write an exam, you’ll often be asked to analyze issues as in a legal memorandum, exploring all sides of an issue. The key is to provide the reader (me) with a good picture of the law and how it might apply. A good picture is an accurate one. If the law is clear, say so. If the law is fuzzy or contradictory, say so. If the law leaves certain issues open and unresolved, say so.
Argue in the Alternative
Suppose there is a contestable issue. If you decide it in manner #1, the analysis is over. But if the issue is resolved in manner #2, then there are other issues to reach. If the issue is contestable (if there’s a plausible argument on each side) and if you ultimately believe manner #1 is correct, don’t just stop there. You need to explain what happens if you’re wrong, if manner #2 ultimately prevails. Therefore, you need to examine the other issues that will only arise under manner #2. This is called arguing in the alternative. Attorneys do it all the time. An example: “My client is not guilty of stealing the money because he has an alibi. And if he did in fact take the money, he did it because he mistakenly thought it belonged to him.”
Good Organization is Critical
This is very important and is why I explicitly factor it into my grading. It is not enough to spot all the issues and have a solid analysis of them. You must present your thoughts in an orderly and logical sequence or else it looks like a jumble. One of the most important aspects of legal writing is to have a clear organization. Use headings and sub-headings; this enhances the clarity and organization of your answer. Do not tax me in figuring out where you’re going. A disorganized exam indicates that you lacked the ability to see the big picture, to understand how things relate to each other.
Write Clearly and Well
I’m not expecting you to write like Shakespeare, but style is important. The key is to write clearly and concisely. If I read an exam that is full of run-on sentences, bad grammar, and awkward phrases, it becomes difficult and painful to slog through, and I become frustrated. Trust me, you don’t want me to be frustrated in any way when I’m grading you.
Failing to Follow the Instructions
Pay close attention to the exam instructions. I’ve read many an exam that ignored key instructions and analyzed extraneous issues.
Not Answering the Questions
Pay attention to the questions that are asked. Tailor your answers to what I’m asking you to do. For example, if I’m asking you to advise a judge or an attorney, write your answer as if you were in that role. Do not write in the language of an appellate brief, where you use strong advocacy, but in the language of a memo which explores all sides of an issue from a more balanced point of view.
Answering Questions Not Asked
Some exams engage in an elaborate analysis of all sorts of questions I didn’t ask. For example, sometimes in a scenario involving several actors, I ask you to analyze whether a particular actor can be charged with a crime or crimes. I invariably receive a number of exams that analyze the charges against all the actors. This is not good, because you don’t get credit for a brilliant analysis that doesn’t have anything to do with what I asked.
Misallocating Time
Be balanced in the attention you spend on each issue (and on each answer if I ask more than one question). If I ask more than one question, I will indicate on the exam a recommended amount of time to spend on each question. Try to follow my recommendation. If you run short on time, at least flag certain issues if you don’t have time to address them fully. It’s better to flag issues than not flagging them at all.
Getting Psyched Out
There will be some easy issues, but there will also be some challenging ones as well. I don’t expect you to be perfect. Do not feel that because you didn’t have time to address every issue that you did poorly. I recognize that this is an exam, that you’re under a lot of stress, and that you’ve got very limited time. Just do the best you can and don’t get psyched out if a question seems complicated.


  1. I'm an engineering graduate and going to join LL.B this summer just by reading this blog. Inspired

  2. hey thanks this is very helpfull. i want the topper answer script for 3rdsem of 3year LLB. can you please help e in that

  3. what is the highest percentage in kslu plz update

  4. (ii) To achieve uniformity in valuation, where more than one examiner is involved, a meeting of the Head Examiner with all the examiners is held soon after the examination. They discuss thoroughly the question paper, the possible answers and the weight age to be given to various aspects of the answers. They also carry out a sample valuation in the light of their discussions. The sample valuation of scripts by each of them is reviewed by the Head Examiner and variations in assigning marks are further discussed. After such discussions, a consensus is arrived at in regard to the norms of valuation to be adopted. On that basis, the examiners are required to complete the valuation of answer scripts. But this by itself, does not bring about uniformity of assessment inter se the examiners. In spite of the norms agreed, many examiners tend to deviate from the expected or agreed norms, as their caution is overtaken by their propensity for strictness or liberality or eroticism or carelessness during the course of valuation. Therefore, certain further corrective steps become necessary.
    (iii) After the valuation is completed by the examiners, the Head Examiner conducts a random sample survey of the corrected answer scripts to verify whether the norms evolved in the meetings of examiner have actually been followed by the examiners?.
    (iv) After ascertaining or assessing the standards adopted by each examiner, the Head Examiner may confirm the award of marks without any change if the examiner has followed the agreed norms, or suggest upward or downward moderation, the quantum of moderation varying according to the degree of liberality or strictness in marking. In regard to the top level answer books revalued by the Head Examiner, his award of marks is accepted as final. As regards the other answer books below the top level, to achieve maximum measure of uniformity inter se the examiners, the awards are moderated as per the recommendations made by the Head Examiner.
    (v) If in the opinion of the Head Examiner there has been erratic or careless marking by any examiner, for which it is not feasible to have any standard moderation, the answer scripts valued by such examiner are revalued either by the Head Examiner or any other Examiner who is found to have followed the agreed norms.
    (vi) Where the number of candidates is very large and the examiners are numerous, it may be difficult for one Head Examiner to assess the work of all the Examiners. In such a situation, one more level of Examiners is introduced. For every ten or twenty examiners, there will be a Head Examiner who checks the random samples as above. The work of the Head Examiners, in turn, is checked by a Chief Examiner to ensure proper results.

  5. this is d worst univ i have ever seen . no matter how much u study they wont give marks

  6. Many students complain about not passing and they blame the books,teachers,principal,exam paper and the lastly the University itself.What some of you who dont pass need to understand is you are doing a professional course and not some time pass course like some training course.Many students join law thinking that it is a cakewalk like just appear and you will pass.Well news for people like those that you cant clear exams in that manner.If you are not going to write your answers with the relevant sections and case laws then please find an another course to further your career.And lastly many students refer some cheap guide books available on Avenue road to tackle the subjects.Sorry folks you cant get through writing such nonsense answers.You need to refer good quality books.The newest reason given out by some students are change in exam pattern.This is utter nonsense to say the least.This pattern is what a professional course should be all about.If you cant write those answers quit the course and stop wasting your precious time.It is time to stop blaming the world for your faults.Good luck to all.

  7. yes but seeing the paper itself the examiners can guess the value of that paper, so hard work should be properly rewarded mere holding marks for name sake is of no proud . and passing a professional degree should not be a easy, but the effort , the correct reasons , explanations should be awarded properly.

  8. It is like the story of "The Fox and the Grapes". One has to place real efforts to get a professional degree. There is no point in blaming any one for our defects.

  9. KSLU university is excellent.
    If we don't answer the questions properly with relevant section / Case laws then it is Garbage means..-Garbage in the Garbage out- can be

  10. am a student of a college under KSLU. i joined with one of my friend.. we both passed with 96% marks in cbse syllabus... we are getting marks like 40-45% only... and my frd fed up with the university and joined Kerala university which is said to be the best and toughest university and now he scores marks more than 80% .. what does this mean

  11. then how can an average student pass the course with this kind of cheating

    1. if we read more chapters, then reproduce the same in Exam might be difficult. So better to read less topics and get through the Exams.

  12. If we read text books , then we can score.
    If we read guides, it may not yield good marks

  13. Are clinical course subjects taken into account while calculating the total percentage..???


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