General Exam Tip - On Using IRAC

General Exam Tip - On using IRAC:

This is the second tip I'm posting about the IRAC formula. One of the most common pitfalls on NCA exams is that students incorrectly apply IRAC. This is how I recommend you use it.


This is where you list all the issues that you need to address in the problem question. I would number my issues and this would set out the structure of my essay on the exam. Ie. Issue 1: Can Jennifer be convicted of s139 of the criminal code?


This is where most students get into trouble. Many people feel that they need to use this section to list out and describe the general rules of a particular area of law. They spend one or two pages setting out the history and how the rule has been changed and how the legal test has been interpreted.

WRONG X - the NCA exams are open book exams and you should not be wasting your time and the examiners time with describing general rules and legal tests.

Instead, you should briefly set out which rules are applicable and why. That is it.


This is where the bulk of your writing will take place. In this section your job is to show how the legal tests you identified in the rules section apply to the specific case in your problem question. You should not simply be restating facts from the question, but rather applying the legal rules to the specific fact pattern. Keep general discussions of law to a minimum and only use it when its relevant to a specific part of analyzing your fact pattern.


This is where you simply state the results of your analysis. It should be brief and concise. Few marks are awarded in this section because your actual conclusion doesn't really matter in most cases.