With exam season imminent across the United Kingdom, we at JUSTICE have put our heads together to share our best exam tips!
Andrea Coomber, Director
Only one tip: read the question slowly to the very end before picking up your pen. After 19 years of formal education, I still failed to do this in my Law of Armed Conflict exam during my LLM at LSE. I felt like a total idiot (though got a distinction for the course, so happily didn’t suffer for it).
Angela Patrick, Director of Human Rights Policy
SUMMARISE YOUR NOTES
I found writing my own summaries of issues and cases – usually complete with flow charts, multiple colours and highlighting – helped me to remember more complex legal arguments. I still find that putting things “in my own words” helps me to understand and communicate legal ideas.
Jean-Benoit Louveaux, Head of Administrative Justice
Getting enough sleep goes without saying. Best not to leave things to the last minute if you want to get enough sleep: that way you can switch off properly before going to bed and have a restful night (and not wake up in a cold sweat at 4 am the day of your first exam not having done any revision, as I once did!)
Jodie Blackstock, Director of Criminal Justice Policy
A good tip for achieving the highest marks is to think critically – it is not enough to just repeat what you have learnt – what is good or bad about the principle you are discussing? Which school of thought do you agree with and why? Is there a gap in the thinking? Can you draw from any other sources to advance the argument you want to make?
Sarah Bond, Membership and Communications Coordinator
I found doing practise questions under timed conditions the most useful preparation for me. Also, perseverance. Just because you had a bad morning getting distracted, doesn’t mean you can’t have a good afternoon. And make sure you reward yourself for good study sessions. Life’s about balance.
Harley Freemantle, Student Network Fellow
I know too many people who fluffed their exams because of the sudden onset of a crisis of confidence and panic. Nobody gets to university by accident. You will have passed many previous exams, including, unless you are a fresher, degree-level exams. Stay calm, write clearly and simply, and remember that you earned your right to be there in every exam you have ever taken before.