During my mammoth revision session, I managed to get loads done. I think I taught myself the whole of the tort syllabus in 4 days, filled one counsel’s notebook, I watched podcasts, read textbooks and made mindmaps, which then cost me £10 to print at my local library. £10 to print 10 colour a3 and 3 colour a4 – it should actually have been about £14 but the guy let me off. But seriously it’s 55p a sheet for juniors then double for adults – err why am I paying more just because I am over 18, my age has nothing to do with how much extra it costs you to print for me. What is the “reasonable” cost to print – surely it wouldn’t cost more than 50p (and i’m being generous here to factor the cost for paper, ink and electricity for the printer?
Coming back from my tangent and mini rant there, the revision want well, I didn’t consume that much caffeine (I mean seriously forget having a colon cleanse, just drink lots of caffeine for a few days and your system is sure to be flushed out!) I had about 12 hours sleep between Thursday and Tuesday and I covered a lot of work. Come Tuesday morning when I woke at 3:46am (before my alarm which was set for 4am) I was a bag of nerves. Arriving in Manchester at just after 7am an walking over to the library I honestly felt like I wouldn’t make until my exam started at 9:30am let alone until it finished at 12pm. My heart was racing, I was sweating, I couldn’t feel myself move and my brain felt dead and I felt as if I had no energy whatsoever.
Sat there, at the bad of the exam room, I didn’t feel confident. I wanted to cry, go home, curl up in bed and go to sleep.
Turning the question booklet I read the first question, high lighted the issues and made notes around it as to what I knew and what the cases where. Turning to the second page I noticed that the defamation question was the same one which was used in the may paper, or that it was word for word used in a previous paper – did I query it? Did I just leave It? I mean, surely they’re by allowed to recycle questions like that, especially not ones which were on the paper in May which many of us were retaking. I had a choice, if I queried it – did it mean the exam would be stopped and then it’d have to be rescheduled or if I didn’t would it mean us having to retake it again when the mistake was realised, even though it wasn’t our fault. I queried it, the invigilator checked it out and I was correct it was the same question used on the May paper. My heart stopped and the blood must have drained from my face as I realised we may have to stop our exam and face having it rescheduled. But no, we were to carry on as it had been proofed so not our fault that the exam writer or board made a mistake on letting it through. I breathed a sigh of relief and carried on with my exam.
So I carried on reading through and making notes on each question before I wrote my answer, turning to the last section in which every question was mandatory, I looked at the first question, “who can make a claim in private nuisance?” – my mind went blank. I’d learned this and spent ages on it, why couldn’t I remember it. I started to panic, scribbled down “Rylands v Fletcher”, “Harvey v Canary Wharf”, “anyone with a proprietary interest”, “claim for personal injury only” and moved onto the next question, hoping I would remember when I came to write my answer later on.
The next question was, “what do you think the law of torts is for?” or similar, now all year I had been told NOT to write what you think and why your personal opinion is, this was worth 6 marks – how is there a right or wrong answer to what I think? Surely if it’s my opinion then it is right, in my eyes at least as it’s my opinion. I was not feeling confident and this was throwing me off my game.
The last questions were to do with economic loss and occupiers liability, “what’s the difference between consequential loss and pure economic loss? Refer to authorities”, I quickly scribbled, “XXX steel company v Martin – as a consequence, forecasted/predicted loss” – now anyone who saw my tweets on the Monday will know I was panic stricken and didn’t understand economic loss.
The final question, “occupiers liability acts provide a occupier is liable to visitors but not to non-visitors. Is this true or false”, my first response was, ‘OLA 1984 provides liability to trespassers in SOME circumstances’ and wrote down the tests for when an occupier wouldn’t be liable and the case of “Tomlinson v Congleton Council”‘, I actually forgot about stating whether the statement was true or false until I was writing my answers at the end.
This all took me 30 minute of my alloyed time, I now had two hours left to write a 50 mark answer, a 25 mark answer and 4 x 25 mark (totalling) answers. Time really was of the essence.
Writing the first, if I say so myself I really do think my answer and the way I wrote it was totally epic. I only wish I was able to get a copy or I could regurgitate what I wrote. Saying that, I haven’t had my mark back as yet so it all could have been total b*llocks and wholly incorrect – I’m feeling confident and will take my chances. Whilst wiring this, I realised ear the end and remembered I had missed out the important “reasonable man” test for establishing breach of duty. I flicked back and found my breach of duty paragraph and wrote a not to myself in the margin – “reasonable man test, Blythe v Birmingham waterworks – how could you forget this you idiot. Try an add in at end of there is time” and stuck a sticky tab on the page for me to go back to it at the end. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to read through my paper, let alone add in that paragraph, so whoever is marking it will have a little added paragraph to read, hopefully it will make them smile, who knows maybe they’ll even award me an extra mark just for making them laugh and providing amusement.
The next question, I chose the defamation option over psychiatric injury and trespass, purely based on the fact I had written more notes on that question than the others (plus psychiatric injury came up in the general negligence 50 mark question so I didn’t want to talk about it twice). One fatal error I Made whilst writing my answer, the question, through lack of imagination, referred to a tutor at Monchesterford University named Francois Blanc, now our head of tort lecturer is Francoise and I go to Manchester Metropolitan University, in my answer I wrote “MMU” – I quickly realised my error and crossed it out and amended it. Oops, it’s things like this which make me thankful for not being subjected to negative marking.
Final questions, I had just under 30 minutes to complete. I still couldn’t answer the nuisance question so scribbled down about the notes I had made and a case, for which I could t remember the name and still can’t where a girl was receiving harassing phone calls from an ex-lover and was able to make a claim despite not having a proprietary interest in the property, and the case where a toilet cistern fell on a wife’s head but she was unable to claim due to the property being owned by her husbands employer. Two sticky tabs were put onto this page to go back to and enter case names (as they were put on throughout the rest of the paper).
The next, well I wrote what I thought. Not much else I could have done.
The final two, I compiled my answer from the note I had made.
I looked up at the clock and I had 3 minute remaining, I flicked through we’re the sticky tabs were an tried to recall case names or the correct case names – to no avail. I had no time to read over the whole paper nor to add in my Blythe v Birmingham waterworks paragraph.
I was feeling confident. I felt I answered everything competently and that I did well. The first time I did the exam I only answered 2 questions and left out section c, however I did feel fairly confident then thinking I had done enough to pass and I was proven wrong.
This time I feel a bit more confident but there is not a lot I can do about it now – my fate has been sealed. I just wish I didn’t have to wait until mid-September to get my result.
P.S – if anyone notices an error in what I wrote on my exam – please don’t tell me, I’d rather not know and not have that playing over and over in my mind until September – its precisely why I have avoided looking at my book and notes.