Exams are here. As I write this I can smell the fear silently circulating the law library like the calm before a storm. The empty coffee cups and silver glittering junk food wrappers provide a comforting library decoration for this jolly season.
Once you’ve written and organised your exam notes (or printed all of the lecture slides in a last-minute panic), it’s time to do some practice questions. But what should you do when you don’t have access to any past exam papers, or you’ve already done every question you could get your hands on?
Although law students have a knack for legal things, our real talent is procrastination. We put things off until tomorrow, and if we can avoid doing something altogether, even better.
A little bit of procrastination is normal but when you’re consistently trying to do your class readings in the tutorial you should’ve prepared for earlier, maybe it’s time to change your habits.
Here are a few tips for beating procrastination…
If it were possible, I would marry flash cards. I love them that much! Many of us used them in primary school to learn vocabulary and times tables, but flash cards are also a fantastic tool for studying law.
We’ve all experienced that shocking realisation of the amount of material we need to learn for a subject. It’s even trickier when you’re faced with a closed book exam, where the only real way to commit everything to memory is the old fashioned way – by rote.
A great notes summary is the starting point of your memorisation efforts. What you need to do then is convert them to a format that will allow you to quiz yourself. Enter flash cards.
It is my personal opinion that going through law school is impossible without our baby lawyer companions by our side. I find nothing more daunting than the prospect of tackling a convoluted administrative law problem question or determining what on earth jurisdictional error is without talking it through with a friend.
That's why study groups are the up there on my list of law school loves, along with chai, blankets and kebabs. Not only do study groups give you a great way of realising that you're not alone in the battle of our law degrees, they also keep you motivated, less stressed and most importantly, inject a little fun into our long, sleep deprived days.
I've come to realise there are a couple of things that can make or break study groups, which I will now call "The 5 Commandments of Study Groups".
‘Aww man, you’re so lucky! You have an open book exam!’ While there are some students who believe this means no study is necessary (I like hearing them banging their heads on the desk during exams!), for the rest of us prepping for an open book exam means trying to synthesise a semester’s worth of learning into some brief, easy to use notes. I’ve found the best way to format these notes is as a quick-reference answer template. Because exams are just over a month away, here are some tips to help you make an awesome answer template…