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The Study Contract

Wizard of Oz

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, two ambitious law students decided to walk down the yel-law brick road... yada yada yada, the story ends with the two law students living happily ever after… and you can too!

Not so long ago my friend and I devised a plan to get great academic results, and the best part about it is that it works. Behold! The study contract!

For this to be successful it is essential that you “contract” with someone who is as motivated as you are and will not be a distraction. You don’t want a study buddy who will spend hours discussing what they did on the weekend, or simply someone who will talk garbage.

I believe my friend and I have had success with the study contract because we believe in the contract (however absurd that may sound). Of course getting good marks comes down to putting in the hours of study, but the study contract is a great source of motivation and will actually make you do those hours. Come exam time, you will have amazingly detailed notes, and will be able to do a number of practice questions.

Below is a condensed and slightly edited version of the contract my friend and I agreed to. The clauses in this agreement may not fit with your study habits or timetable; the study contract will work best if you write it up with your friend with terms appropriate to your circumstances. So maybe this is not quite legally enforceable, but it will get you thinking about how you study and what your goals are for the semester.

Super Study Agreement

  1. Denny and Alan agree to study Monday to Friday in the library (or other reasonable location to study) every week for the duration of the semester.

  2. Study sessions are for a minimum of 6 hours per day through Monday to Thursday. Both parties must be in the library at 8am and study for a minimum of 4 hours on Fridays.

  3. This contract commences on day/month/year.

  4. A long macchiato coffee must be consumed prior to every study session. Any additional coffees are at the parties’ discretion. Friday is the only exception, whereby parties may at anytime after the first 2 hours of study purchase a coffee of their choice. All coffees must be purchased at Cafe A. In the event that parties are unable to purchase their coffee at Cafe A, parties may then seek to find a reasonable substitute.

  5. A Subway sandwich must be consumed either prior to or in between study sessions at least three times during the week.

  6. If a party to the contract is unable to fulfill their required obligation, the party must provide reasonable notice and an honest and reasonable excuse for not performing. If the party has no reasonable excuse, it is intended the other party have an unfettered discretion as to whether the party may be relieved of its obligation.

  7. If a party does not receive a High Distinction in any law subject assignment, that party must then purchase the next three coffees for the other party. If both parties receive High Distinctions they may reward themselves with a day off, on a day agreed to by the parties. If both parties receive less then a High Distinction, both parties must spend the next two weekends in the library.

  8. This contract expires on day/month/year.

Signed on day/month/year by Denny and Alan

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