All 5 entries tagged Exams

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May 09, 2007

The beauty of trespassing

I’ve just been revising the law of trespass ahead of my exciting Law exam next week. I probably should have revised this topic before this morning.

It turns out I’m fairly safe – I can only be sued for trespassing by the landowner himself, and seeing as he’s not likely to read this blog (nor am I likely to identify him!) I think I’ve got away with it. I also didn’t cause any damage, except a few muddy footprints.

I’m working on an exciting (can you hear the sarcasm?) story set in the middle of nowhere. Literally. The GPS system I’ve borrowed got as lost as me. I spent about two hours driving around, looking, quite simply, for an empty field which I needed to film in the pouring rain. It turned out to be at the end of a dark, muddy track and completely invisible from any man-made road.

Eventually, with a bit of help from the knowledgeable locals I found it. I didn’t trust them to begin with. I’ve heard that people with English accents will often find themselves given completely the opposite direction to the one they require while in parts of Wales. I could see on their faces a look of ‘ooh… well… shall I give him the Welsh answer or the English answer?’. Luckily the two locals both gave the same answer and it turned out they sent me the right way. Without them I would never have found it.

Not even Google Earth helped – I checked that out yesterday and it bore no relation to the roads I was looking for. Utterly useless. Maybe it was out-of-date.

Hopefully the fruits of my labour will be finished in a couple of weeks – I’ll upload them here, just so long as a certain landowner doesn’t find me first…

January 15, 2007

4.30pm is a stupid time for an exam

...I’m waiting. I have a 90-minute exam starting at 4.30pm and have nothing left to revise. I’m all revised out. I know what the questions are going to be, I know how I’m going to answer them. And this waiting is killing me.

Someone on my course said they’d be more likely to read my blog if I put revision notes on it. So here’s a last-minute review of the Barker Review of Land Use Planning, 2006…

Screw residents, let businesses build whatever they like.

And the interim Lyons Report (2006)?


Hope that helped.

Finally, what’s the shortest amount of time you’ve been given to write an essay in an exam? 60 minutes? 45? 30? At Warwick I typically had 45mins per question. Today I have… 20-25. Anyone do better than that? Thought not.

January 10, 2007

Council tax made me ill

I think I’m coming down with something. The time of night I’m writing this might be relevant.

But I think I’m finding council tax interesting.

I have an exam next week and the only compulsory question on the paper is about local government financing. It’s hardly an episode of 24.

It ought to be a complete bastard of a question, but a chapter in a book called Local Government in the United Kingdom (by Wilson and Game) has got me interested. It’s very well-written for a start, but it’s great at revealing how important local government finance is. I don’t think I can – or should – explain here why that’s the case. You’ll just have to believe me that it is.

The government’s ballsed the whole thing up (surprise surprise). Apparently we’re using house valuations which are now 18 years out of date and counting. We’re the only country in the world which has just one type of local tax (a tax on property). And we have one of the smallest local government sectors in the Western world. All of these things are a bit daft. The government have admitted this, but aren’t doing much about it.

And for all these reasons and more, I’ve decided that – at least in this book – local government finance is interesting and important.

I’m definitely ill.

May 26, 2006


The worst thing about exams is waiting for them to bloody start.

May 18, 2006

University draws out the sting from the AUT strike

Writing about web page

The University Senate has voted to award degrees if exams aren't marked before graduation. Essentially this means if students have achieved over 70% of their CATS but are lacking some of the rest of the marks, they'll get their full degree based on the 70%. People with less than 70% of their CATS marked will get 'unclassified' degrees, which I take to mean are provisional, but subject to change when the exams are finally marked. This is the same system used when exams are missed due to illness.

I'd applaud the University for taking this rational step. They've effectively drawn the sting out of the tail so that if the AUT continue their strike for several weeks (as seems likely now), then students won't be adversely affected. I challenge the unions to oppose this! I'm sure they'll say that our degrees are being devalued, but the fact of the matter is that we still have to do all the work we would have done before, and our mark will be determined based on how well we've done.

Now the dispute can be settled with less haste and more realism. My suspicion is that the Unions were using the impending exams as a reason to settle soon, and on its terms. Now the University doesn't seem to have that hanging over its head quite so much, I'm sure the two sides will come to a reasonable offer.

And perhaps the Students Union will now see that the University has students' interests at heart (at least on this issue), while the AUT clearly doesn't.

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