Prior preparation and practice prevent piss-poor performance.
The ‘Seven Ps’ – an old Royal Navy saying.
- Well before your exam, read your syllabus or module pack and confirm precisely what is examinable.
- Ensure you have all the materials you need to study (for example textbook, lecture notes, tutorial questions, marked assignments, up-to-date copy of the relevant statutes, etc).
- Draw up a study timetable and stick to it.
- Prepare and revise the examinable material. Reread and condense your notes, don’t write more notes. Use visual aids such as colour coding, diagrams, flowcharts or mind maps to condense information into one-page summaries of each topic.
- Practise answering past exam questions set by the course co-ordinator in previous year(s).
Do not endlessly revise, only to apply your hard-won knowledge for the first time in the exam. You wouldn’t run a race without training.
Law exam questions assess your ability to critically analyse and discuss issues within a limited time, so it is sensible to practise this skill before the exam.
Students are still required to write law exams in longhand. If you are used to using a computer keyboard to type assignments and notes, don’t forget to practise writing out your answers. You will be surprised how much harder it is to write a good answer without being able to cut and paste, delete, format, etc.