Thursday, 17 April 2008


There, I have said it now, Failure. Watching 'The Apprentice' with the idiots competing to work for Sir Alan, one of them couldn't bring himself to even say the word. I can.

Failure, Failure, Failure.

I have just failed an important assignment for Uni. It was an assessed assignment writing all about how some money left to an unincorporated Society would be dealt with. Clever as I am not, I spent most of my time writing about the range of options available to the courts in dealing with the wonga, instead of being specific about this particular wonga. I did include it, but obviously not well enough, so I failed.

Now I could complain that the lecturer was being particularly harsh, or that its important I passed and its not fair, but being a grown up I will take it on the chin and move on.

When I opened the envelope I must admit to a certain amount of shock and disbelief. I thought I had written a cracking piece of work, so when I saw 36%, I felt that perhaps I was looking at the wrong box, and a decent 60% would be written elsewhere. But alas, 36% was my mark.

Apparently the external board may lift it up a tad to 40%, which would be jolly decent of them, but couldn't my lecturer have done that? No, if its bad, then its bad. I can't get credit for rubbish can I.

So how do I feel? Foolish perhaps, annoyed certainly, mainly with myself, but shock and worry seem to loom large in my thoughts. I don't think I have ever failed a test before. Right from spelling tests at Juniyer Skool I have always hit the pass mark. In fact, practically everything I have ever done I hit the pass mark. Never really excel, so it must be a knack I have picked up over the years, assess what is needed, and do that, no more, no less, just whats needed. No point wasting effort getting more than is needed is there. Except, now I wish I had. Now I am annoyed with myself enough to have devised a punishing revision timetable that will leave nothing to chance in the exams.

I get to take a resit after the exams in June, and next time it will be a work of art. I will have to figure out how to make sure it is a work of art, but it will be. I know the maximum I will score for it will be 40%, but hey, if I hit the exams with plenty of knowledge I may still get a decent overall score. The assignment makes up 25% of the overall mark and must be a pass (40%)

Worry is in the mix too. I assume I can't get to the BVC without a full pass, I am sure its in the terms and conditions somewhere, worried that I have 1 last chance to get it right. Nothing in reserve now, its last chance saloon. Worried that I may look a bit silly. Ha, the others in the class will laugh, thinks he can be a barrister and he failed! Slightly worried that my other assessed assignment for Public Law, which I know to be a work of art may be rubbish too.

Looking at it in the cold light of dawn this morning (Fateful post came yesterday), I mainly feel pleased that failing is the spur I needed to really crack on and make this count. I wanted to make this years exams count anyway, but was still drifting towards them without much thought. Now I am fired up and enthusiastic.

Now I know I will pass.



Android said...

Everyone has a one-off.

But... Seeing as you are living such a stressful life, can't you get a note from your GP about it (i.e. the stress)? Because you could theoretically get a first-attempt resit due to 'extenuating circumstances'. Just a thought.

Law Minx said...

Good thought, Andro!
I'd also add in going to see your tutor about the whole thing, just for that extra bit of support; they are bound to be sympathetic particularly if you are known to wok hard, be a good attender and that this is indeed a one off.

Lost London Law Student said...

Go see your tutor and beat him with a stick.
I also once had an assigment which I thought would be the dog's bollocks, I had done all the reading plus loads of further reading etc and got a measely 46% needless to say I wanted to kill my tutor, then he made a comment about my essay to the whole of the class! Some people just don't recognise talent when they see it ;)

Swiss Tony said...

Thanks for the advice. I wonder if its the 'blame culture' we live in that makes us feel we need a reason, or someone to blame for our failings in life. I was thinking how to describe what had gone wrong, and the best I could come up with was that if I had to write about the 3 BVC providers in London, and why I chose the one I did, I had actually written 2000 about the BVC and 500 about why I had chosen the one I did. So not what was asked for, although at the time of writing it, it all seemed very relevant. (I do think it was a harsh mark though)

It would have been nice to be able to check my direction while writing, but then I thought I was on the right track anyway.

Its clearly a mistake I made, and 'The buck stops here!'

I will speak to the lovely lecturer, chat about how you are supposed to know how detailed or how loose to write and assignment, and see how the discussion develops. I can only assume that the majority of the class managed to do it right, so I can't blame the lecturer, the course or the question.

Yes my life can be stressful, but thats my choice I suppose. I could earn less money by doing less work, but if I can't get a pupillage I need to carry on doing the job I do, so I need to juggle all the balls at the same time and somehow find a way through.

I did concentrate on Equity and trusts over the last few days and I feel the exam is certainly achievable, just a case of knuckling down. Which having seen the dark cloud of failure, I am doing!

Mel said...

I seem to remember that there was provision in the Bar Council/ Law Soc rules for when you only just fail a core subject and so you still get your GDL/QLD. From that respect, you should be fine- especially if you kick up a fuss with the uni, and frankly everyone.

I seem to remember Hudson was good for unincorporated associations (I think...). Property law can be one of those things that you can completely mess up if you miss something, but once you've got it down, it'll go smoothly.

Glad you've still got the fight in you! And I wouldn't worry about one aberation on your record, happens to the best of them.

Swiss Tony said...


Equity & Trusts. The final mark is made up of 25% written assignment and 75% exam. And both must pass at least 40%. So if I rewrite a new assignment, and pass the exam it will be OK, just damn annoying really.

I had wondered if I could do the ILEX exam in October which would give me an exemption anyway, but I will look through the rules and regulations to see if I can fail 1 subject. (Not that I will of course!)

I know my research project has passed, so it just ET, Public Law and European law to pass this June, so I am sure things will be OK


Mel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The 50-Year-Old Pupil said...

I too found assessments difficult as to get good marks you had to hit some hidden target that constituted the "right answer". Certainly I know that on the BVC there were differences of opinion among the examiners on the "right answer" but they vote on it and then you are assessed against that majority standard.

Swiss - if you want some advice from someone else for whom time's wing├Ęd chariot is no longer just a speck in the rear-view mirror, I would rather not post here as I will be recognised. Feel free to email me on fd80atdialdotpipexdotcom.