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NCA Study Schedule for 5+ Exams
Don't underestimate the power of an exam schedule. Discipline goes a long way when learning new information.
Before getting into the gritty details of scheduling, you want to know as much as you possibly can about each of your exams. Make sure you understand how the NCA exams are structured, and create your strategy ahead of time. To do this, ensure you have all the tools needed:
Multiple sets of notes for each exam (check our free notes here).
A bank of practice questions (you can find hundreds here).
A method of organizing all the information so you may easily sift between subjects (I'll touch on a bit of this below).
The difficulty with managing upwards of 7 exams is in retaining all the information you need (read how I did it). Remember, you do not necessarily need to memorize this information. You should ensure you are familiar enough and comfortable with the content of each subject. For that reason, repetition is part of your goal.
A schedule that has you revisiting subject matter regularly, rather than dedicating blocks of time exclusively, should be part of your strategy.
Below is an example of a 3-month timeline for studying between 5-7 exams.
Month 1: Read to understand. At the same time begin compiling a list of all the cases that are needed to understand the law. Build your case list at this time (find cases lists made for you here)
week 1: Read all notes from subject 1 & 2.
week 2: Read all notes from subject 3 & 4.
week 3: Read all notes from subject 5 & 6.
week 4: Read all notes from subject 7.
Notes are already summarized versions of primary sources. They touch on the most pertinent pieces of information. You can in fact get through a full set of notes expeditiously. Remember, you're not reading to memorize. You're reading to understand. Take your time and revisit different text from your notes throughout this month; use the internet and other primary sources to fill gaps in your understanding. This month, your aim should simply be in comprehending the language used in each subject area.
Month 2: The goal for this month should be to practice; ensure that you can expose yourself to as any different exam questions during this time. You don't necessarily need to know if your answer is right or wrong. Your focus should be on simply applying your exam day strategy to practice questions.
week 5: Use this week to complete any unfinished readings.
week 6: Complete case lists and ensure a basic understanding of all exams.
week 7: Begin practice questions for 3 exams. One exam per day - rotate between practices questions these three exams.
week 8: Begin practice questions for the remaining 4 exams. One exam per day - rotate between practices questions these three exams.
Month 3: You will need to compile resources for exam day. Many of the issues you will be faced in the exam should have already been identified during your practice sessions (read more about issue spotting here). Therefore, you need tools in the exam to help you efficiently answer these similar questions.
week 9: Continue practice questions for all exams. One exam per day - rotate between practices questions these three exams.
week 10: By now you should be able to identify reoccurring questions and it should be clear how some templates may be useful to prevent you from always thinking about how to answer.
week 11: Complete answer templates for your exam. Continue practice questions.
week 12: Compile a complete list of resources you will be taking into exam day. Include case lists and answer templates. Continue practicing questions and make use of your packages to answer these questions.
Consider how you might be able to structure your studies to ensure strategy, predictability and then confidence are part of you learning goals.