Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'm Alive! Post OLQE

Wow, I have really neglected this blog lately.  It was because the OLQE took over my life last week.  The fear of failure combined with the devious questions combined with the sheer pressure of trying to study and work at the same time really turned me into a bit of a jaw-clenching nightmare-having neurotic beast.

The test happened on Tuesday morning, in the subterranean depths of a rather sketchy Holiday Inn on the Golden Mile in TST, Hong Kong, right next to the Chungking Mansions.  It was a bit surreal to be sitting down for an exam in a ballroom, with glitzy crystal chandeliers and pink tablecloths everywhere.  The test site had a huge clock counting down at the front of the room, which was a bit terror-inducing.  I shared a table with another girl who was pretty good about keeping to her side of the table.  We were not at all friendly and did not exchange names or hellos.  Oops.

I guess at this point in our lives we are veterans, if not skilled, at taking standard examinations.  I have sat through the PSATs, the SATs, AP exams, numerous and plentiful standardized multiple choice exams, tests in essay question format, the LSATs, the New York bar exam... but I don't think the stress ever really goes away, at least not for me. 

The day after the exam I had a long and realistic dream about answering every question wrong on the test...always a good sign.  I am really hoping that now that the exam is over I can sleep better and that my left jaw muscle can finally relax.  The pain was slowly easing into my ear and I was beginning to hear clicking sounds...


  1. Hi Allison,

    I came across your blog whilst 'googling' the OLQE. I am looking to relocate to HK and am considering the OLQE. Without 5 years worth of PQE under my belt and coming from a common law jurisdiction, I will need to sit for all 5 heads and was hoping to get some insight on how much time it would take to prepare for the exam. I note that you were only required to take one head. However, an indication as to how long that took you would be just as helpful.

    Thank you in advance for your time!



    1. Hi Maya, welcome! I think you will find it quite time consuming to study for all five heads of the OLQE, at least if you are working full time (and maybe even part time). I believe the exams are all three hours each. To my best knowledge they are all open book, so to the extent that you have a good outline/notes for each exam that will be very helpful. Note that the exam responses require citation of cases. Will you be taking a course? If so, the course for conveyancing alone which I took had I think 16 lectures (of about 2.5 to 3 hours each course). Not sure how you're thinking about it overall, but to the extent there are any heads that you don't pass, you would only need to take those in the next year (ie you get credit for the heads you do pass). Please let me know if you have other questions!

    2. oops, I meant to say 2.5 to 3 hours for each lecture. Overall I think I logged about 150-200 for the one head. I'm not sure if I overstudied though - I only had the one head and I wanted to ensure I passed it this time around - but I think I could have still passed if I had done less. It really requires crunch time of the last two weeks. As you can imagine, that gets a lot harder if you're juggling a few subjects!

    3. Thanks, Allison!