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We had our Property Law exam yesterday.

What came to my attention was the notable absence of a particular student. This student in class is sub-standard. Yet, somehow in exams, his results are far better than one would expect.

Like most universities, ours practices a policy of additional help for those suffering from cognitive disorders and possibly serious disabilities, where actual writing, reading, etc are impaired.

This particular chap has applied to take his exams under this disability policy. His disability you ask? Crohn’s Disease. What exactly is Crohn’s? Essentially it is an ulcerative colitis that can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract.

In most, it is quiescent. If it is symptomatic, there are a number of external physical symptoms that indicate its activity: migratory arthritis, inflammatory disorders of the skin, eye and mucous membranes. Needless to say, this chap has presented with robust good health…until exam day.

So what advantage is provided? Quite a significant one. For every hour of exam, you receive an extra 20mins. In a three hour exam, that is an extra hour.

The point here is that in a law exam, that is the exact area of pressure. The information and questions are designed that you have little to no thinking time. No time to go back to unfinished questions. It is a flat out race against the clock. You have to deliver structure and content in one take at a very fast pace.

The largest problem encountered by students is not being able to finish the paper due to being only able to write so fast. Then, in your mad rush to finish, grammar, spelling, structure, content are all heavily penalised for errors.

Thus extra time…confers a huge advantage. This is the second year that he has employed this strategy. I suppose he will use it all the way through. God help his clients if he does actually graduate, as this individual is simply not up to the task.

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