The key to overcoming revision anxiety and getting that information in is technique and strategy. We all work differently but here are a few tips that you might find helpful.
Make a revision plan
- Cramming for an area like law is NOT a good idea. Making a revision plan will not only ensure that you manage your time effectively and cover all the topics required but will also give you a realistic idea of how much time you have/don’t have which may help with procrastination.
- Dividing your days by subject area as opposed to topic areas might be best.
Set realistic targets
- Be realistic and don’t plan to study from 8am-8pm solid for 6 weeks. You will get bored. You won’t stick to it. And you’ll beat yourself up about it. Plan your revision around your life style and study patterns.
- Take frequent breaks your concentration lapses after a couple of hours
- Make a checklist at the start of each day of what you to achieve. Again don’t be over ambitious. You will feel a real sense of achievement ticking off targets throughout the day.
Read your lecture handouts
- The objectives on your lecture handouts are there for a reason, they set out what a student is expected to know about a particular topic.
- Your lecture handout will also give you an outline of the fundamental issues and important cases that relate to each topic. Use this to keep your revision focused.
Create a good study environment
- It’s essential that you create a good study environment to revise. Preferably somewhere tidy as a clutter free area makes for a clutter free mind.
- Some of us revise better with music and other in silence. Do what ever suits you best. You want to feel calm and relaxed.
- Revise with friend. Its one way of making revision a bit more fun. Talking through issues out loud and hearing different perspectives will help things stick in you mind.
Make your own revision notes
- Make your own revision notes. A consolidated version of your reading notes lecture notes and tutorial notes. We all learn in different ways so make your notes personal to you. Use anagrams, rhymes, pictures whatever helps you remember.
- Be brief. Try to condense your notes on each subject onto a side or two of paper (don’t worry of you can’t) this will ensure your being relevant.
- Focus and don’t make pointless notes. Use past papers and your lecture handouts to make sure you’ve got all the key issues covered.
Do not make irrelevant case studies
- Unless it’s an absolute landmark case that an entire question could be based on try to avoid making long case notes. You’ll spend an hour preparing it and 3 hours attempting to memorise it!
- Put cases into context. How does this case relate to this topic? What does it say? What issues does it raise? What are its implications? Be analytical as opposed to descriptive. You will remember a lot more cases this way.
Use past papers
- Past papers are by far THE BEST way to revise. They allow you to become familiar with the way questions are posed. Give a chance to practice structuring an answer to a particular type of question. Aid you in identifying issues which will help pin point gaps in your revision.
- Test yourself. Be it your ability to remember cases. Answering questions under timed conditions. Writing down all you can remember on a particular topic from memory. These are good ways of monitoring your progress and identifying the areas that need more work.
Thanks to the star that is Noella Lahai-Taylor for these great tips!