QOTW: How do I revise for my Exams? May 3, 2011Posted by travisthetrout in Exams, Legal Practice Course (LPC), QOTW.
With exams quickly approaching I might be a bit late dealing with this question – but work has been manic so I’ve not been blogging.
Another frequent question relates to revision and preparation for exams – there is a lot of material out there on “How to revise” I do not intend to go into this again here particularly as everyone studies in a different way. Instead I list the 5 “points” that I consider the most important and explain a little about how I approached my LPC exams.
1. Be Prepared
The first rule is to be prepared – in reality you should be preparing for your exams from the word GO! Right at the beginning of the year. But if you missed that opportunity – there is nothing for it, but to get in some cramming. Just because you are cramming doesn’t mean that you cannot learn and use your time effectively. Prepare, plan and revise.
2. Have a plan (and/or a routine)
Your plan will depend on your personal situation. Considerations should include:
- “How much time do I have?” and “What do I need to learn?” Draw up a Revision Timetable. When studying my LPC I took the practical approach of 30 days to learn 30 Workshops.
- How do I learn? Through trial and error you should by the time you have finished your undergraduate degree, know how you learn best. There is no point in saying I will do loads of mind maps if you are simply procrastinating and you don’t actually learn from them (a mistake I made during my undergraduate degree). I am an individual who learns from writing, which prompted me to come up with the design your own textbook method of revision as it helped me revise and made answering questions a breeze in the open book exams. Of course if you are more of a typist than a writer a wiki is another alternative – but, while it does help you learn, the problem is you can’t take it into the exam.
- Continued Learning – there is a temptation to wait until all your classes are finished before you start revising. This is too late. You need to have a plan of how to deal with the ongoing classes parallel to getting in some revision. If you don’t already use something similar, my “teaching notes” method of note-taking was my solution to this problem.
3. Know when to change your plan
The unexpected will always happen. You need to know when your plan isn’t working, or at least KNOW when help is required and/or a change of plans is needed. The most common reason for students needing a change of plan is that they run out of time. The golden rule here is: simplify. Whatever your original plan was, make it easier, focus on the main points – 30 days… simplified action.
4. Know your weaknesses (aka Procrastination is evil) – avoid them!
With a plan all set out – it really is simply a matter of getting down to business. Get rid of all distractions, work in an environment that works well for you. Do not procrastinate. Everyone has an optimum study time – use your time well, take breaks when you feel your concentration is going – but be careful not to get sucked into doing other things. A break can be as simple as going to the bathroom and splashing some water on your face. You should also combine your breaks with getting some healthy food in you to keep your energy levels up and to help you to focus.
5. Keep stress to a minimum
Stress is not productive. Do not panic and do not stress – keep your focus. Try to enjoy your revision it will seem like less of a chore. And most importantly - sleep well!!