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How to Organize Bar Materials

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1 hour ago, Positiveaffirmations said:

Regarding charts, I can see why for the barrister exam they would be helpful (timelines, appeal routes, etc.) However, for the solicitor exam were charts helpful? Or was it more efficient to simply use the index and find the answer in the materials? 

It's whatever works for you. On either side, having quick charts to refer to for a simple piece of information is nice. On the solicitor side, for matters such as estates or tax related questions is particularly helpful, but don't over do it. You're going to have thousands of pages of material as is. If you want to bring an extra 1-2 pages of quick notes/charts that's fine, but otherwise just make sure you're comfortable moving through the material and you've got a basic foundation of the material. 

Remember, this isn't an exam akin to memorizing answers or issue spotting and therefore putting together a detailed analysis. Your job is to quickly read the question and synthesize it, spot the issue they're asking you, and then quickly figure out the answer. Either because you already know it, or because you are quick enough in finding it through your materials. Your job is to effectively "control f" a keyword/concept with your mind in the materials.

From what I understand this is all online now though, so I'm not sure if you'll be able to access the materials online or from your computer as well as that might change things. 

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On 4/22/2020 at 2:18 PM, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

Step 1: Buy a couple big binders

Step 2: Put the already hole-punched papers in the binders

Step 3: Study and practice

You can figure out other little permutations as you study. You don't need a perfect plan from day 1. 

Okay, I see what you mean now

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On 4/30/2020 at 12:26 PM, CoffeeandLaw said:

That being sad, I felt like having a strict highlighting regime prevented me from skimming. 

I am interested to know of the strict highlighting regime you speak of

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10 hours ago, Trew said:

I am interested to know of the strict highlighting regime you speak of

This is how I highlighted:

a.Statutes: pink
b.Case names: blue
c.Years and important dates: orange
d.Numbers (e.g. # of days, notice periods): orange
e.Important information/key terms to remember: yellow

I found I overhighlighted with yellow, so I would warn others to be more selective in that. 

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1 hour ago, ottawhat said:

This is how I highlighted:

a.Statutes: pink
b.Case names: blue
c.Years and important dates: orange
d.Numbers (e.g. # of days, notice periods): orange
e.Important information/key terms to remember: yellow

I found I overhighlighted with yellow, so I would warn others to be more selective in that. 

is pink your favourite colour?

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Is it just me or are the indices completely unnecessary. I doubt the authors intended everyone to go out and buy these things. Using the table of contents seems like the purer way of doing this. 

Edited by Trew

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3 minutes ago, Trew said:

Is it just me or are the indices completely unnecessary. I doubt the authors intended everyone to go out and buy these things. Using the table of contents seems like the purer way of doing this. 

When I heard indices are some 300 pages long for each exam, I really second guessed if I'd bother practising with them. 

But they're "word" based, which might be helpful in a different way than the detailed table of contents.

I really don't know.

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I was in the guinea pig year for these exams, so there was no "received wisdom" or indices circulating. I just used the detailed table of contents, which I annotated as I read. As I read each section, I compared the contents with the heading in the DTOC and made a note if there was any gap between them.

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8 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

I was in the guinea pig year for these exams, so there was no "received wisdom" or indices circulating. I just used the detailed table of contents, which I annotated as I read. As I read each section, I compared the contents with the heading in the DTOC and made a note if there was any gap between them.

even that seems too detailed for me. We really just need the subject heading and can drill down the sub-sections, and even further with highlights and notes. 

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10 minutes ago, Trew said:

even that seems too detailed for me. We really just need the subject heading and can drill down the sub-sections, and even further with highlights and notes. 

I noted the things that were in the text but were actually not related to the subject heading. Maybe they've improved the materials by now so that the gaps don't exist any more?

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Just now, Jaggers said:

I noted the things that were in the text but were actually not related to the subject heading. Maybe they've improved the materials by now so that the gaps don't exist any more?

It's really specific and outlines all of the sub-sections, which are also specifically worded. It resembles any good textbook which is easy to work with

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I prefer indices and never touched the DTOC on the exam. The fact that its alphabetical makes finding the relevant section faster and more intuitive. 

It's a matter of preference really.

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11 minutes ago, Gandhi said:

I prefer indices and never touched the DTOC on the exam. The fact that its alphabetical makes finding the relevant section faster and more intuitive. 

It's a matter of preference really.

Was your index hundreds of pages long too? I haven't opened mine. But that's the issue I see. The alphabetical nature of it makes more sense to me for sure.

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7 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Was your index hundreds of pages long too? I haven't opened mine. But that's the issue I see. The alphabetical nature of it makes more sense to me for sure.

Describing them as hundreds of pages is quite misleading. Yes in total they’re hundreds of pages, but each section is around 100. Once you recognize the key word you’re down to around 4-5 pages per letter. 

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Yeah, geez @pzabbythesecond. Next you’re going to be saying the bar materials are hundreds of pages long. Yes, in total they’re hundreds of pages. But once you recognize the sub topic, you’re down to around 10 pages. 

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7 hours ago, Gandhi said:

I prefer indices and never touched the DTOC on the exam. The fact that its alphabetical makes finding the relevant section faster and more intuitive. 

It's a matter of preference really.

I thought a topically organized index would be more useful than trying to figure out keywords. It really is about preference.

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9 hours ago, Jaggers said:

I noted the things that were in the text but were actually not related to the subject heading. Maybe they've improved the materials by now so that the gaps don't exist any more?

I've been annotating a bit. For the most part, they're pretty good, but occasionally they'll throw something that's kind of on a tangent in (probably because there's nowhere else to put it) that I wouldn't have figured out from the DTOC alone. 

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I’m probably going to use the indices because I never got around to reading the TOC as I was going through the material, and I’m a bit too far along now to go back. 

I’m also very tired of this exam and have slowed my studying to a crawl. In any other year we’d be done by now but there’s at least six weeks of this bullshit left to go!

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