Studying for legal exams can be challenging for a number of reasons and this article will focus on some top tips to deal with exam stress.
With the Legal Practice Course (LPC) being replaced potentially in September 2021 by the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) there will be a big shake up in the way all solicitors will qualify. Despite the change in qualification process however, all individuals will still be required to sit examinations to assess legal skills.
This article will run through a few methods of dealing with exams and contains some tips on getting through the LPC, speaking from my own personal experience.
1. Make good notes
The required reading for each lecture/ seminar could often span a few chapters of the textbooks, so assimilating notes is a very important task. After each lecture/ seminar, I found it helpful to write up shortened revision notes that could be used to help prep for exams. Not only did this highlight areas that perhaps I did not understand properly from the lectures themselves, they were also a helpful tool to make the reading more digestible.
2. Support each other
It can certainly be a great idea to bounce ideas off your peer group. When exam season comes around, I found it useful to have library study sessions together. Not only can it be helpful to have someone there to ask questions if you don’t understand a particular area, I found it helpful to be around your peer group, even if it is just to build up the much needed communal supply of chocolate!
3. Use your teachers
When there is a particularly complicated area of law, do not be afraid to ask for the help of your lecturer. Rather than sit at home stewing and confusing yourself about a particular problem, I found it really helpful to ping a quick email across to my lecturers to clarify a certain point. Especially during exam season, if you get really stuck on a particular topic, most of my teachers told us to make sure we emailed them as they would much rather we asked them for help than struggle through the exams.
4. Use your friends/ family
Whilst your partner may not be that interested in the Civil Procedure Rules or making interim applications, when it comes to advocacy prep, practice is key. What would you rather be doing on a Friday night than practicing your presentation skills over a pizza?
5. Take a break
It is important to maintain a healthy work life balance. With the breadth of reading to get through on the LPC, I found that having frequent short breaks was beneficial to keep me motivated and get through the reading list with a pair of fresh eyes. When it got to the end of a long day studying, I found it great to wind down by either going for a run, meeting some friends or relaxing on the sofa.