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Top Tips for Core Subjects - First Years!

It's a few weeks into semester one, by now you will have garnered an idea of the subjects you are studying. Although, at this stage a few pointers wouldn't go astray. LLSN and members have kindly offered the following advice:

General tips

  • Get those coloured pens and highlighters out. Map out your deadlines early, factoring in any competitions, big events (family b'days etc), and rest time. This will reduce your chance of becoming overwhelmed during busy times.

  • Relaxing and turning off your brain for a little while is as equally valid as making time for readings. Try not to get the "I'm not studying" guilt. It can be hard to take a break that isn’t spent thinking about what you should be doing, but treating rest times as a necessary part of the study process can help.

  • Everyone falls behind! Keep track of what you’ve missed and catch up when you can.

  • Use the hypotheticals in your reading guide throughout semester, don’t save them for swotvac.

  • Even if you haven't prepared for the class hypo, go to the class. These are the most valuable classes. You can write down the answer and review it once you have had a go in your own time.

  • Be honest with the people you’re studying with. Everyone is stressed and feels overwhelmed at some point, and being honest about it with the people around you will help you see that we’re all in the same boat. Also, they'll usually give you a big hug!

  • Time pressure is a key challenge in the exams. In the open-book exams you won’t have time to search extensively through your notes, so ensure that they are concise and easy to navigate.

  • Know what is expected from an answer, because it differs for each subject. For example, PPL may require academic context of the law in your answer, whereas Obligations may require greater focus on the application of the law.


  • The ratio/rule is the most important thing, don't get too hung up on the facts of the case.

  • This is a subject where checklists or exam scripts are often the most effective way of approaching problem questions.

  • Simulate exam conditions when you practice! Often you won’t have enough time to provide a comprehensive overview of ever issue - you need to get used to writing concisely!


  • Focus on the Principles of Public Law. It's a good idea to structure your notes around these.

  • Don't panic if you're unclear about what the subject is all about - it is confusing. When you finish a topic take a moment to see where it fits in with everything else and eventually you'll work it out.

  • If you are confused about something have a chat with your lecturer. Particularly if you are not sure where something fits in. In PPL these things tend to snowball, so don't wait until swotvac.

Dispute Resolution

  • A check list, exam script or a flow chart will be immensely helpful for the exam.

  • Actually read the legislation and the textbook. The textbook is very helpful and will indicate how the rules operate together (even if it is boring).

  • Do practice exams, this is a subject that requires you to apply the rules and practice will be invaluable.

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