“Law school is no joke.” That’s what a friend of mine said when we last talked about my study program. He wasn’t lying. He’s a professional athlete, a downhill skier. He inspired me to think of note-taking like one of his epic runs to the finish line on a Super-G (super giant slalom) course – a combination of precision, technical expertise, and speed.
My fellow study mates!
Exams are soon upon us and so I have decided to take a break and tell you about my study pattern which worked for me during my LLB and seems to be working for me now as I read for my LLM. Hopefully it can assist you as well, especially those new to the University of London International Programmes (UoLIP).
By way of introduction, I am Philip Koonj Beharry, graduate of the UoLIP LLB programme, Class of 2012. I am currently an Attorney at Law in my home country of Trinidad and Tobago and I am also currently preparing for my first set of LLM exams with the UoLIP. My personal story can be found in this article on London Connection.
Over the last few weeks, I had some nice conversations with fellow students. The hottest topics turned out to be May’s exams and how to get prepared for them. In addition, some first-year students asked me about examiners’ commentaries and how to make best use of these. Therefore, I thought I’d post something on the Blog to share my views with a larger audience.
Well, we’ve got four months left before examinations. According to my year-wise objectives, this period marks a shift from short-term routine to mid-/long-term planning, which involves practice and perfection of acquired techniques until May. Now, we won’t necessarily agree on the best way to approach exams or when to start revising. However, we should at least concur on the following: practice with past exam papers should take most of our study time.
Dear students in arms,
There are two aspects to consider here that are relevant in undertaking any exam. The first is the psychological and the second is technical; I will try to elaborate on both holistically.
From the psychological side we have to realize that we ourselves are our greatest teachers; tutors and professors can show us the way but we have to travel that path ourselves. A person who is determined and keeps on pursuing ultimately gets his/her rewards, with or without any tutor. Later onwards in our lives we will realize that ‘one repays a teacher badly if one always remains only a pupil’ (Friedrich Nietzsche).
Actually, there is. My eldest son took his younger brothers to town on their bikes for the first time ever, just the three of them. My middle son started learning to barrel race (yes, there are cowboys in New Jersey!). My youngest son is simultaneously learning some new soccer moves and putting the finishing touches on Mozart’s “Turkish March.”
But still—let’s face it. EXAMS. June 3, June 5 and June 7, conveniently scheduled the same week as my 49th birthday and my 15th wedding anniversary.
Here are my top 10 tips for prepping:
1. Still finishing the courses themselves? Your synapses are frayed. So outsource your brain: Take. Good. Notes.
2. Get enough sleep. Don’t even bother cracking the books if you can’t get at least 7 hours.