ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Retaking the Law exam


Published: 29 Oct 2021 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students, users and members.

In this guide we will cover how to prepare to retake the Law exam including reviewing what went wrong and how to prepare for your retake.

Having had an unsuccessful result in the Law exam can be demoralising, so in this article we will look at how to turn that fail into a pass.

Reviewing what went wrong

It is worth taking the time to think about what you did in your last attempt at the exam to try to improve the next time.

When you receive your results you will also receive marks feedback within your online training file. This will show how you performed in the main syllabus areas. Are there particular syllabus areas that you performed less well in? If you are struggling to relate the syllabus areas to your material the syllabus can be found online and will help you to do this.

Common mistakes in this exam are listed below. Consider whether you made any of these and how you can try to avoid these in the future.

  • Rushing and not reading questions carefully. There is plenty of time in the exam so ensure you read the requirement and the scenario carefully before answering the question.
  • Assuming two questions are the same. Questions are often based on short scenarios. By changing the scenario slightly, the correct answer would be different so you must read these carefully and break them down.
  • Missing negative words in requirements. If you are asked ‘which of the following is not false in relation to company capital’ you are actually being asked which is true.

How to prepare for your retake

  1. Your first step should be to book your exam. Think about other commitments you have but try not to leave too much time as the risk  forgetting what you have learned. Once you have booked the exam, you have a clear deadline to work towards so you are more likely to stay focused.
  2. Plan ahead by adding your key dates to your planner. Be realistic about how much time you have to study and allow yourself time for breaks. Once your timetable is set try to stick to it.
  3. Start off by remedying knowledge gaps in your weaker syllabus areas. Go back to your learning materials and work through the relevant chapters and complete all exercises. Try to review all cases provided in the material. Although these are rarely tested by name they often provide the inspiration for scenarios in the exam.
  4. Move onto question practice. Try to complete all questions in the question bank. Attempt the question before reviewing the answer. 
  5. Complete the sample exams on the ICAEW website as complete exams to allow you to work on time allocation and exam technique.