Revising for LLB law exams can be a tough and stressful time for students. Students are often required to digest entire subjects such as contract law, tort law and trusts. This involves memorising the facts and ratios of the leading cases, knowledge of the academic commentary in the area and an understanding of the policies behind the law. There are however a number of techniques to help you with your revision, and this article lists a few, written by law tutors to help you pass your exams.
Most students will have taken lecture and tutorial notes. Often these notes will be too detailed to be of much use in revision, and insofar as learning is required it is usually better to go directly to the academic textbooks or to read the judgments of leading cases in full. If however you are familiar with the material already, the best thing to do is to start writing short notes. The goal of such notes is to concisely go over the subject in a few pages and highlight the main cases that one needs to know. Many law tutor services also offer first class law notes to help you with revision.
Secondly, it is useful to draw thematic mind maps. These are particularly useful when preparing to answer essay questions. When revising the tort of negligence, for example, students can group the material into the duty of care stage, the breach stage and the requirements of remoteness and causation, and finally remedies. Within the duty of care section they could then explore the different tests for duty of care and the relationships between those tests. Thematic mind maps are an excellent way to prepare for essay questions because they ensure that the student understands the major themes in the material and how it links to the substantive law. This ensures that the student is flexible enough to answer a range of different questions because of their core knowledge.
Some students may attempt to preempt certain essay questions by preparing an answer that they then intend to reproduce in the exam. While this strategy may sometimes work, it is inadvisable. If students do not get the questions they want, they will usually flounder. Moreover the question they get may be slightly different and failure to answer the question in its entirety will prevent the student from achieving top marks.
It is also important to discuss the law with your fellow students or, if you use one, a law tutor. It is true that throughout the year, most students will want to avoid discussing the law and doing additional work. However, when exams approach discussion is a useful way to test your knowledge and open your mind to other interpretations of the law. Of course, your fellow LLB students are not always reliable sources. It may be preferable for some students to therefore seek private law tutors in order to ensure quality of discussion and advice for the exams.
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