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Are you studying law?
Create a term plan to organise your studies

BY EVE DULLABH
If you’re studying law, here’s how to organise your studies by creating a term plan; from Law Training Centre’s Eve Dullabh.
Creating a term plan to help your study
Effective planning can help you perfect your study technique. It can mean less time spent unwisely and wastefully and more time spent on academically purposeful activities. Too many students fail to create a proper term plan. But doing one is not actually complicated. Once you’ve created your first, the process becomes easier with subsequent repetitions. Planning feels like extra work – IT IS extra work. But it’s worth it. If your aim is better grades and fewer manic, last-minute, caffeine-fuelled, all-night sessions cramming in study, please read on.
First, plan your term in writing
The first rule of planning your term is “Put it in writing”, ‘it’ being study dates, key tasks and deadlines. These can be written down in a paper diary, Google Calendar, on a wall planner, or entered in an app. It doesn’t matter, so long as you proceed with the view that “What is recorded gets done”. Of course, the beauty of planning things digitally is that you’re reminded electronically.
Ensure your plan follows the syllabus
It’s vital that your plan covers the syllabus, and this should include factoring in reading time for all topics and earmarking larger chunks of time for its larger or trickier subjects. This will give you a picture of where the hard work lies and helps “chunk the challenges” into smaller, easier-to-manage pieces. It’s also great for staving off short-termism and last-minute thinking and encouraging a thorough and systematic approach over the long-term.​
Colour code the big events
It will help you recognise and visualise work plans, work patterns and timescales if you colour code your term plan. You may code the duration of study for key curriculum topics or by event, e.g. exams and assignment due dates. Mark all key deadlines in the brightest colours.
Plan daily
It’s vital that your plan covers the syllabus, and this should include factoring in reading time for all topics and earmarking larger chunks of time for its larger or trickier subjects. This will give you a picture of where the hard work lies and helps “chunk the challenges” into smaller, easier-to-manage pieces. It’s also great for staving off short-termism and last-minute thinking and encouraging a thorough and systematic approach over the long-term.​
Highlight conflicting deadlines
Use your planner to spotlight clashing deadlines. Where they exist, create some earlier deadlines to avoid the conflicts. Again, using colours or symbols will enable you to pinpoint these potential problems.
Give your planner some physical prominence If it’s paper, pin your plan somewhere you can see it all the time. Next to your desk is a good idea: anywhere you can’t ignore its presence. Scan it regularly so your deadlines become familiar in your life. If your planner is digital, set up multiple alerts so you can’t ignore it.
Include holidays and social breaks too
And finally, there’s more to a term than just study. Pencil in study breaks, planned treats, trips and events too – things that are rewards for your hard work.