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How to prepare for your law exams -
revision techniques for all law students

BY EVE DULLABH
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When the examination season nears, don’t panic. Here are some tried and trusted tips that should help you get the most out of your law revision.

Look after yourself

It’s countdown to the exams: are there enough hours in the day? That skipped meal, the odd sleepless night spent pouring over notes are worth it, surely? Just pack in the revision and think of little else….

Cutting corners with caring for oneself is not a sensible approach. That lies in taking the balanced way and getting enough rest and nutrition. Burning out far from guarantees success: quality sleep, food and some time spent with friends keep the mind sharp and motivated – alongside hard, methodical study, of course.

Certainly, it’s harder to be at your best in an exam if you did not get enough sleep the night before.

Plan well

Schedule when you’ll do the following:

  • Defined revision periods. Some students use a Pomodoro App to assist. Pomodoro is a time management technique that claims to create a sense of urgency by using a timer to alternate intensive bursts of concentration (around 24 minutes) with short breaks. Factor in longer periods of “time to unwind” after you’ve finished revising.
  • Create your timetable – working backwards from exam dates to the present. Break the timetable down into topics. Identify those you feel require the greatest amount of revision, and mark those on your calendar as priorities. Allocate time for all topics and to practise exam techniques. If required, set alerts to remind yourself what to study when and for how long. Be realistic and allow for days off, how long you take to read things and to write notes and to commit facts to memory, and even the amount of time it takes before you sit down to revise.

  • HOWEVER, DO NOT SPEND AGES TIMETABLING. If you do, you might be guilty of procrastination.

    Set goals

    Set time goals (e.g. “In two weeks I will have completely revised Land Law) and functional goals (e.g. “I will practise drafting legal documents for a particular audience”).

    Fit your revision style to the topic

    Tailor your methods for each subject. Are you going to use mind maps for Law of Tort and Q&A for Criminal Law? Will you condense your notes for a topic down to one sheet of A4? Nail the essentials, e.g. “forming a contract”; and make a list of the areas with which you feel you are least familiar.

    Sometimes it can help revising a topic by using a mix of techniques.

    Track what you do

    Some students find it useful – and motivating – to keep a very brief journal of what they’ve learned, revised and reflected upon. The form of the journal can be very simple; some daily bullet points for example.

    Create your own lectures

    It’s not unknown for some students to revise by speaking their notes aloud and turning them into an audio recording they can listen to while out walking or taking a bus journey. The act of producing recordings helps learning as does the listening, of course.

    Revise with a fellow student

    Partnering with another student can be a great way to revise – to check each other’s knowledge, and to debate! Learn by arguing the facts.

    Give yourself rewards

    Reward yourself when you meet your revision milestones. Try to make sure they’re special or unusual treats.

    Above all

  • Don’t be a passive learner – i.e. someone who just absorbs facts. Process your knowledge – be proactive… make notes.
  • Use practise papers.
  • Revise regularly.
  • Don’t worry if your revision style is different from that of a fellow student. Revision is individual.
  • Don’t panic but neither be complacent.

  • Discuss things with your tutors.

    Our academic staff are happy to assist you. We take pride in the way we support our students. Your tutors can be contacted by email – so if you have any questions about your learning and your exams please don’t hesitate to contact them.

    And finally, practise makes perfect. Please take advantage of all the practise material Law Training Centre supplies.

    Good luck during exam season, you can all do this!