Revision Tips and Tricks
As a law student myself, the necessity of getting past the excessive panic stage of your degree is one of personal experience. As someone who has overcome the multiple breakdowns and tears, I am going to share with you several points which can make your degree seem much less daunting.
This is absolutely critical; you can put off doing your reading or seminar work continuously but all this does is add incapable amounts of stress. Whether you find the motivation from a film, song or friend it is vital. Think about why you are doing the degree in the first place, stay positive. One of the things I do is cover my wall in motivational quotes around the area where I revise, so when I begin to panic about the never ending list of what to do, its put into perspective.
Personally, I found that keeping a notebook and splitting the book into sections, e.g. the front is for contract, the middle for tort and the end is for land. When you need to do something e.g. reading 2 chapters for tort, I make a list of it under the tort section, and once I have completed it I cross it out. This method works well as what can seem a never-ending list being put into a paper form is much more manageable. The crossing out of an act you have completed is also a personal reward within itself.
When studying European Union Law, I instantly felt lost. I was behind on my work because I couldn’t get my head around it until I decided to see what materials there were online. I found watching YouTube videos much more enjoyable and easier to understand. Many universities publish lectures on topics, so it is worth a look. However, this should not be your only source of revision, though watching the videos can seem more pleasurable than reading. Typically, the people who write your exams are the same people who wrote your textbooks, so do not neglect your reading!
At the start of first year when you receive the reading list it can seem rather daunting, both in length and in price. Looking for second hand books is something I greatly recommend! The library will have the books you need, but there is always the risk that someone else may have it checked-out. You can normally find second hand law text books on Amazon and eBay, but the app Depop is worth a look too.
By putting the most important information from your reading or notes onto a mind-map, you are skimming the information. Doing this is a form of repetition that enhances the likelihood of retaining the information.
Like mind-mapping, you put the crucial information onto a flash card which helps you to retain the information every time you use them. Rewarding yourself with sweets or fruit for example for each card you get correct is also a great idea.
Westlaw and LexisNexis
Both of these websites are fantastic if you need more details regarding cases, legislation and extracts from books. If you are university student you will be able to get onto the databases.
For those, alike myself, who prior to university had no previous understanding of referencing, it can seem like a very daunting process. But you need not panic as there is a variety of resources that can help you. Different universities use different referencing so before you begin, ensure you know which type of referencing you need to be using. Google is your best friend here, and there is a variety of reference generators and YouTube videos which can give you demonstrations on how to use them. By Alexandra Wilson