One of the jobs folk at NTI would be lousy at is that of a pathologist - we just don't do post mortems (which would be a bit of a sticking point). So, don't expect this article to go mark-by-mark through Question 2(b)(i) on the Corporate Insolvency Paper, sat by JIEB candidates last Tuesday. Equally, Michelle would be no good as an astronaut, as she doesn't like the shoes, and don't get us started on Neil as a diplomat.
But, what of the two Joint Board Papers sat on Tuesday and Wednesday? We can hardly touch our phones, so red hot are the answer buttons with NTI students calling to hear what they already know; that the Corporate Paper was a virtual law free zone and the Personal shaded it for doability. However much you tell people, in multiple languages and variable volume, that the Joint Board exam is designed to be a 'psychological event', the rehearsal of many mock exams will never fully prepare anyone for the reality of the live performance.
At NTI we prepare our students with three full new mock exams in 'Phase 2' of their studies (from mid-September), an in-lecture-room mock, the last two actual papers and a 'prediction mock', brimful of our best-guesses for the main event. Your grandma taught you never to say 'I'm good', or 'I was great at that', as apparently some prick-eared demon will descend on you and blend your brain, hoofing you in the crotch as they do so. We believe the opposite; that thought and reality are interconnected and it is fine to say, 'I prepared really well for that exam, it was tough, but I am as good as anyone else who took it - given that NTI typically have 75 per cent pass rate for each Paper I have a fantastic chance of passing the Papers I took'. You then move on.
The reality? In the Corporate Paper there was an options question our students would have been all over. We have webcasts, a TINIE TEMPAH mnemonic to die for, monthly webinars dealing with similar practical questions and exercises in the lecture room revolving around that topic. We force exam technique so far down our students' throats it re-sets their default positions situated in the pelvic area, and we have a flight plan that takes over the brain-choices they think they still have.
The practical CVA question? Covered it, lectured it, examined it, answered it. No law in the paper? Good. It gives NTI students the competitive edge they need. Practical marks? We did nothing but debate them during our Passing The Exam course. Landlords? Come on. They have hogged the news throughout 2020 and information would have entered their brains via sybiosis.
So, why do our students feel the way they do? Why do they feel unsatisfied and still in shock after Tuesday? This is because they learnt so much and had so many areas covered it is devastating not to be able to type about them all in the allocated 210 minutes. About law they can be certain. About the 'other stuff' they are less sure and the more they forget what they actually typed the more obsessed they become about the omissions they believe they made, but actually didn't.
This is why they were trained the way they were. They have just forgotten the best part of themselves and we blame their grandmas.
The Personal Paper was better. Finally some soft ground they could stick their knowledge trowels in. Two and a half decent questions, a bit of death and a cashflow. Well, what a shocker. You don't know how you did? Well, let us help. The memory is designed for immediate information fill. It will recall something physical and 'real' as long as it is useful for escape or survival, before starting to re-calibrate and make up what is useful to blur reality. Memories of the exams and the way you (really) answered them aren't real. All that is real are the questions. These questions:
1 Did you prepare well for the Paper or Papers?
2 Had you practised your technique and flight plans?
3 Could you have done any better in the given circumstances?
4 Did you do yourself as proud, bearing in mind the JIEB and their psychological games?
5 Do you trust yourself, or at least NTI and our exam passing experience?
Fine. It is time to leave it all alone and book a vaccine. See you at the JIEB passing ceremony in 2021. Don't bring your grandma.