The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) is a standing committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. It conducts the NCA examination for international legal professionals and law students looking for accreditation in Canada.
The NCA exam assesses the academic training and professional experience of candidates who earned their law degree outside Canada to ensure that they have knowledge of Canadian law and are certified to practise in the country. Passing the NCA exam is mandatory to practice in any of the Canadian provinces.
Preparing for the NCA exams can be difficult for international professionals as everyone has different styles of studying and attending exams. Here is a list of a few mistakes people make when studying for the NCA exams.
- Attempting any NCA examination
Randomly choosing and writing NCA examinations is a folly which many candidates commit. Whether you plan to write one, two or five exams in a sitting, it is always wise to contemplate which subjects complement each other and choose accordingly.
For example, constitutional law and administrative law contain many similar concepts as in the foundations of Canadian law which makes taking them together easier.
- Memorizing the material
NCA examination can be cracked if you choose to work smarter than harder. It is an open book examination of 3 hours. So, memorizing all the concepts will not be of any good to you. Instead, get familiar with the concepts and refer to the notes to complete your answers on time.
- Not understanding the concepts
Understanding concepts is different from memorizing them. If you do not understand the concepts listed in the syllabus, the questions may seem confusing to you. So, understanding a concept puts you in a position where you can comprehend what is asked in the question and answer accordingly.
- Not practicing sample questions
Not practicing sample questions before the exam is a crime. Practicing sample questions makes you familiar with the pattern of questions and the way they should be answered. These sample papers will also have questions similar to the original exam making your way easier.
- Relying on lengthy notes or books for the exam
The exam being open book tests your ability to answer questions in the allotted time. Large books and notes are helpful in the preparation but taking them to the exam hall is not recommended. They eat up your time flipping through the pages without being of any help. So, always choose books that are short and crisp.
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- Time management
The most important part of any open book examination is time management. It tests your ability to finish the examination within a limited time and in this case 3 hours. So, plan wisely before starting the examination and do not spend more than a fixed time on one question. Practicing sample papers is helpful in time management during the examination.
The NCA examination can be cracked with the right amount of smart preparation. Focus on the important concepts, practice well and manage your time during the examination to make it easy for you.