The road to revision

It’s critical to give yourself time to prepare for the upcoming CILEx exams. The road to revision below will provide you with some tips and tricks to get prepared.

Click on the sections below for our exam preparation tips and suggestions:

Start early – completing your study exercises, reading the manual and taking advantage of the Student Area resources will give you a head start on your revision

Understand yourself – adapt your revision plan to reflect the kind of learning that suits you best:

  • Visual: you might find mind maps and diagrams work best
  • Auditory: revise out loud and listen to Student Area audio resources
  • Kinaesthetic: use games, flash cards and our MCQs to test yourself

Create a timetable – whether it’s blocking out specific chunks of time or working out when you can fit your revision in, a revision plan is key to giving yourself a chance of success

Make an inventory – what resources do you have at your disposal or do you need to acquire? From cruising the Student Area to view the full range of resources available, to stocking up on your favourite pens and post-it notes, this is the time to get ready

Reward yourself – set yourself goals or milestones and identify treats for reaching each of them

Use the CLS resources – from your manual to revision sessions and the materials on the Student Area, we offer you a wide range of study options to prepare for your exam, including:

  • Mock exams: these are a great opportunity not only to practise writing exam-style answers but also to get feedback from our expert tutors – this will help you identify any comprehension issues and learning gaps. You should submit at least 4 weeks before the exam
  • Revision Guides/Course Summaries: these invaluable revision aids give an overview of the course syllabus, and provide a summary of the most important topics and key points. They can be found in the Revision section of your course page on the Student Area
  • Revision Questions and Answers: the Questions are available within the Revision section of your course page. These require you to apply your knowledge to given scenarios, and are excellent preparation for the exam. The Answers will be available after all revision sessions have taken place.
  • Autumn/Spring Updates: these are available on your course page within the Essential Course Information section

Be realistic – you are unlikely to remember everything so you need to distil your notes down to the essentials and then build on that once you are comfortable with the basics

Mix it up – don’t just copy out the manual – use your own words. Try these revision methods:

  • Mind maps: they help with recall by visually connecting key concepts and information
  • Diagrams: can enable you to visualise processes and timelines
  • Post-its: break down the information into bite sized pieces to aid comprehension and reduce distraction. Place these strategically where you see them often
  • Audio recordings: record yourself talking about a topic and create your own podcasts to listen to
  • Mental associations: create rhymes, silly sentences, acronyms or other associations that work for you for key cases, statutes, etc.
  • Record cards: these are useful to practise synthesising the information down to the basics

Reading aloud – make a list of key concepts, cases, etc. and read them out loud. For each one you should be able to provide a short explanation and associate the relevant concept

Past papers – they are a great way to get a sense of what the exam will be like (be aware that the law may have changed since the date of the paper):

  • Question types: familiarise yourself with the question styles and terminology
  • Marking scheme: look at how the sections are split and the questions graded. Think about how this would translate into points against the suggested answers
  • Suggested answers: these will give you an indication of what is expected in terms of information depth and scope
  • Examiner’s report: get a sense of what the examiner is looking out for and the common pitfalls

Identify gaps – go through the CILEx syllabus and write down what you can remember for each topic. This will highlight any weaker areas

Teach someone – this requires you to organise your knowledge and present it in a clear and structured way so that people who are new to a topic can understand it

Quizzing – create a grid with key information you want to memorise and insert a one-point column with a single answer, a two-point column with additional info and a three-point column with bonus information. Get someone to quiz you and see how you get on! You can also set a timer and see how many ‘facts’ about each topic you can recall

Sense-check your knowledge – whether you speak to one of our tutors at a revision session, phone or email our Academic Team or simply post on the Student Area forums, it’s always worth checking that your understanding is correct. It doesn’t cost anything to ask and it can make a big difference

Support and motivation – whether it’s to request time and space to revise from your partner, or simply to have someone to talk to, do turn to those around you to help you in the lead up to the exams

Take a break – as exams draw nearer there is a tendency to focus on that exclusively but stepping away can help refresh you and give you added momentum

Rest versus procrastination – be alert to the difference between taking a break and getting distracted

Get fighting fit – eating healthy and regularly, staying hydrated, sleeping enough and giving yourself time to decompress and relax are great ways to reduce anxiety

Seek help – is a concept or procedure not sticking? Give the Academic Team a call and one of our tutors will walk you through it

Don’t compare – don’t focus on what others are doing, what’s important is what works for you

Think positive – whatever the outcome, there will be other opportunities!

Create space – if you haven’t already, find a time or space when you can really focus or refocus on your revision

Test yourself – repeat those strategies we covered in #4 and identify any hesitations or stumbling blocks

Play catch-up – have you spent a long time focusing on Chapters 1 & 2 or on a particular topic? Don’t forget those other chapters and topics – they are just as examinable!

Progress review – review the syllabus or course manual table of contents and assess each item against the learning stage you’re at:

  1. Comprehension: can you link what you have learnt and make connections between the key concepts?
  2. Memorisation: have you committed the essential information to memory?
  3. Recall: are you able to run through the contents of the topic in your own words?
  4. Review: are you comfortable with the topic and feel that you just need a refresh prior to the exam?

Exam readiness checklist – the studying is over, now make sure you have made all the necessary preparations ahead of the exam:

  • Exam permit: this will be issued by CILEx and available via your MyCILEx portal online. You need to have it with you in order to sit your exam(s)
  • Current ID: you will not be able to sit your exam without bringing some identification – check the CILEx website for further details
  • Location: think ahead about how you are going to get to the exam venue, how long it will take, parking availability or transport frequency if you are using public transport. Make transport and, if necessary, accommodation bookings in plenty of time
  • Time: needless to say, you want to arrive in plenty of time – check the time on your exam permit