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Trouble memorising things for law degree

I'm a second year law student and the way my degree is set out, my final mark will be entirely decided by my final exams, 9 exams each lasting 3 hours and in each exam you're expected to write 4 1500 word essays, so 45 minutes per essay. Mock exams I've done so far have been open book but my tutors have said finals will almost certainly be closed book.

I've never really had problems with exams before but here it is just the sheer volume of content you need to memorise that is holding me back. I try to make condensed notes/mind maps on things such as the main ratio from each case or the main point an article is arguing but that is nowhere near enough to get a decent mark in the exams.

On my tutorial assignments, where I have time to properly plan and go in depth about the cases/article arguments as I have my notes and am not just going on memory, by mark is usually about 67/68 (still not brilliant, I know), whereas in exams my marks are usually about 60 because I'm unable to memorise much more than a basic point from each case/article.

How can I get better at memorising and be able to successfully memorise such a high number of cases/articles in detail? All the techniques that worked for me at GCSE/A level don't seem to work now as there is just so much more you need to memorise and repeat within such a short space of time.
Original post by Username123ab
I'm a second year law student and the way my degree is set out, my final mark will be entirely decided by my final exams, 9 exams each lasting 3 hours and in each exam you're expected to write 4 1500 word essays, so 45 minutes per essay. Mock exams I've done so far have been open book but my tutors have said finals will almost certainly be closed book.

I've never really had problems with exams before but here it is just the sheer volume of content you need to memorise that is holding me back. I try to make condensed notes/mind maps on things such as the main ratio from each case or the main point an article is arguing but that is nowhere near enough to get a decent mark in the exams.

On my tutorial assignments, where I have time to properly plan and go in depth about the cases/article arguments as I have my notes and am not just going on memory, by mark is usually about 67/68 (still not brilliant, I know), whereas in exams my marks are usually about 60 because I'm unable to memorise much more than a basic point from each case/article.

How can I get better at memorising and be able to successfully memorise such a high number of cases/articles in detail? All the techniques that worked for me at GCSE/A level don't seem to work now as there is just so much more you need to memorise and repeat within such a short space of time.


Hi there

I understand that it is difficult trying to memorise lists of cases, legislations and articles. Would there be any hints on what topics will be tested during the exam? One thing that worked for me last year was memorising content for several specific topics instead of trying to cover all the topics but in less depth.

Exams should not be about writing down all the information you have memorised, you have to make an argument, using information to back you up (such as cases). So I think trying to understand the main arguments of articles can be really useful. (Generally, you are not expected to quote specific lines, but do check this with your University). Making a mind map is a good idea - I would link case law to different articles where I thought they made a good argument. Making your essay flow and linking different points together can be useful. :smile:

Starting early is really key for exams, if you start memorising bits of information you find information throughout the year, it will build up nicely towards the end of year exam too.

I hope this helps.
Chloe
- University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by University of Kent
Hi there

I understand that it is difficult trying to memorise lists of cases, legislations and articles. Would there be any hints on what topics will be tested during the exam? One thing that worked for me last year was memorising content for several specific topics instead of trying to cover all the topics but in less depth.

Exams should not be about writing down all the information you have memorised, you have to make an argument, using information to back you up (such as cases). So I think trying to understand the main arguments of articles can be really useful. (Generally, you are not expected to quote specific lines, but do check this with your University). Making a mind map is a good idea - I would link case law to different articles where I thought they made a good argument. Making your essay flow and linking different points together can be useful. :smile:

Starting early is really key for exams, if you start memorising bits of information you find information throughout the year, it will build up nicely towards the end of year exam too.

I hope this helps.
Chloe
- University of Kent Student Rep

Unfortunately for my exams I will be expected to quote from articles/cases and have had feedback that I'm not going into enough depth about the cases/articles when I only mention the basic points as opposed to in depth discussion. :frown:
The exam papers have 10 questions and you pick 4 to answer so it could be helpful to pick certain topics to learn in much more depth than others but if I did that I'd be worried those topics wouldn't come up as it's not guaranteed that there will be a question on every topic.

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