Forget colour coding and revision timetables, these are the exam tricks you need to know
They say there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned hard graft when it comes to law exam success, but injecting some creativity into your revision sessions can go a long way. Forget walls covered in post-it notes and highlighted practice papers for a second: here are Legal Cheek’s top 10 creative revision tips.
1. Text to audio = the underrated life saver
You’ll find one of these programmes on Google or on the app store, then just copy and paste your revisions notes/a journal article/a practice essay into it. Listening to your notes being read back to you will give your eyes and hands a break, which means you can keep up the revision while you’re cooking, walking, in the shower, etc.
While some prefer to record themselves speaking, listening to your notes repeated back to you in the same speed and robot-like voice gets you used to the rhythm and helps you remember it. Long, complicated case names in particular will stick to memory easier when the programme trips over the word and pronounces it funnily.
2. Use your body as a canvas
Sometimes you have to do something a little outlandish to help commit a particularly difficult case name to memory, so why not write it on your body in a felt tip pen? It won’t be there forever, but after a few showers of R v Ahluwalia and Pinochet scrubbing, you’ll be sure to remember their spellings.
3. Bring your revision to life
It’s easy to forget Donoghue and Stevenson happened in a real Scottish cafe, and that there really are reasonable people travelling on the bus to Clapham right now. Get into the spirit of things by changing your revision location to the sites of famous cases. This article will help you find where these places are.
4. No matter how you do it, learn to spell Internationale Handelsgesellschaft
You might not get any more marks than if you referred to the case as Internationale, but 1) it’ll stick with you forever, 2) it’ll make you feel like an EU law god and 3) writing it on an exam paper is sooo satisfying.
5. Chew different flavoured gums when you’re revising a subject
Strawberry for trusts and equity, peppermint for criminal law, etc. Then, pop a piece of that flavoured gum in your mouth just before or during the exam itself. Research suggests this can help your memory recall. Apparently wearing the same perfume works too.
6. Take your revision into the shower with you
This one won’t work for everyone, but some showers are made from whiteboard-esque material and can therefore be scribbled on in whiteboard pen. The notes will begin to evaporate once the shower is turned on and the water heats up. Take it as a game — can I learn all these legal principles before they’re no longer readable?
7. Acronyms, acronyms, acronyms
Where would we be without ‘green winged dragons fly slowly clockwise round the old ruin’ (i.e. green paper, white paper, draft bill, first reading, second reading, committee stage, report stage, third reading, other house, royal assent)?
8. Sharing is caring
Law’s a pretty popular subject, so it’s safe to say you may have friends studying the course at other universities. If you’re at Warwick and finding your land law lecturer’s PowerPoints really confusing, your friend at Birmingham may well have some slides that just make total sense to you.
9. Re-read your personal statement
In the midst of revision season when you’re feeling truly fed up with your subject, sometimes it helps to be reminded why you started in the first place, how passionate you were about law and how far your legal knowledge has come.
10. Combine revision with the gym for maximum smugness
There’s a lot of research to suggest exercise boosts your memory skills, so bring your tort law textbook down to the gym and sit on bike. You’ll feel super productive, will get a decent Instagram post out of it (#progress), and with all the attention you’re getting you’ll probably feel the need to stick it out for at least 30 minutes.
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