Here’s what you can do to do well in your Year 12 Legal Studies
- Identify your goals
Goal setting is a technique constantly pushed on students. It’s important to remember that there are endless variables that could affect your end-of-year score and that many of these will fall beyond your control. It may be that you get sick and miss classes or have a fight with your friend right before an exam, which influences your mood and concentration. You should always be ready to tackle pressures and obstacles. In addition to your study score goal, you should allocate the time and effort you expect yourself to put in throughout the year. At the end of the day, if your end-of-year result is not quite what you’d hoped, at least you can be satisfied that you tried your best.
- Have the right mindset
Legal Studies is extremely content-heavy, with its subject matter ranging from the exciting world of courts and crime to the denser areas of constitutional law and Australian parliamentary structures. To do well, students need to master the skills of memory, application, analysis and evaluation, which is by no means an easy feat. That being said, Legal Studies should not be seen as too much of a challenge. I believe that any student has the potential to achieve a result that they can be proud of. Consistent hard work and persistence can allow anyone to develop their skills and hopefully achieve a great outcome.
- Conduct independent study
With the help of an extremely knowledgeable and helpful teacher, you can do your own research. This entails looking for relevant case studies and reading up on aspects of the legal system. Make use of your school library, as well as online resources. As students with easy access to computers and the internet, we have more information available to us than ever, and it’s not at all difficult to extend your knowledge and clarify questions by way of personal research and independent learning.
- Be prepared for constant change
In Legal Studies, we learned that the Australian legal system is constantly changing, and you should try to reflect this in the case studies and examples you use. The examples you choose can be crucial to receiving full marks in a question and can also be a great way to bulk up an answer if you can’t remember much detail. Legal Studies isn’t one of those subjects where you can just be a ‘natural’ and achieve a great score with little study; it takes hard work and determination applied consistently throughout the year.
- Study techniques for Legal Studies
It is recommended that you dedicate a minimum of five to seven hours a week specifically to Legal Studies, and this should be increased as the exam draws closer. This might seem daunting, but it is really quite manageable. Note-taking can help you significantly. Drawing mind maps and diagrams can also help you out. Hearing recorded information is also one of the ways for effective learning.
- Practice exams:
Ultimately, practice questions and exams are the best tools for preparing for the real thing. Practising every possible type of question helps significantly. When you run out of questions, make up your own. When it comes to the exam, there will be nothing that will surprise you. While you’re in the exam, you should make every minute count. As you practise more, you’ll realise that there is plenty of time to be gained on short questions. So, you should focus your practice on the more complicated questions that require you to really think instead of just stating memorised information.
- Keep calm:
Being in the right headspace is critical. Try not to let feelings of doubt or inadequacy enter your mind. If you come across something that you can’t answer, come back to it later; hopefully, another question will jog your memory.
Once you have thoroughly learned the content and done as much practise as possible, you can focus on those little things that might get you an extra mark here or there and distinguish your paper, such as formatting and time management.