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Updated: May 17, 2023



The GDL is a year's worth of studying compressed into a single year. The sooner you understand how to manage a year of intense legal study, the better your chances of surviving the GDL and PGDL.

When students used to receive their GDL textbooks, they came in a suitcase-sized package with 23 hefty volumes inside. It was so heavy that it almost knocked them down! To attend lectures, students were required to read three books for each tutorial.

Gradually, you will began to see that there must be a better learning method. We have put up a list of my best advice on how to get the most out of both your time and effort.

Make a plan for how you will be evaluated, and then prepare for that

Examined in a variety of methods, units are graded differently. Multiple-choice questions will be used to test your knowledge of the subject matter. While long written answers will be used to test your writing and advising capabilities. However, your instructors may not always instruct you in this manner. You will be taught in a less scholarly manner than you were accustomed to in university .

This is all fine and dandy, and it will help you better understand the law. However, it is not important to solve problems or write essays. This will need figuring out what material you will need, how you will present it, and which authority you will need to cite to back up your assertions.

Typically, the framework for responding to these questions is predetermined. Private Law Tutor Publishing has done most of the legwork for you, so check out our Core Series and Q&A Series Law Books to get right down the nitty-gritty.

Go to your lectures and tutorials

You will not pass the PGDL if you miss lectures and tutorials. Attending lectures and tutorials is not enough; you will also need to prepare for them ahead of time. To learn, you must repeatedly hear, think about or write about the same subject matter to retain it.

You will need the fundamental legal grasp of a subject before you can think about how to create the greatest exam response (for that reason, we propose our Core series be used as a study tool alongside your studying). If you want to succeed, you will have to put in the effort!

There is no substitute for practice.

Once you have mastered the fundamentals of the law, it is a good idea to practice prior papers. The best way to learn how to answer questions on certain themes is to get familiar with former papers. As much as possible, seek tutor input on how to effectively answer mock examinations.

Options for expanding your knowledge base

Getting stuck on the train? Are you tired of being cooped up in your house? Make the most of your time off by using it to further your education differently. Reading our Core Series books will give you the understanding you need.

Do not lose sight of your long-term professional aspirations.

It is easy to get sucked into the rigors of the PGDL course. But keep in mind why you are doing this. Make sure you do not only study if you want to become a lawyer but have not yet gotten a training contract. Prioritise your participation in legal fairs and internship applications. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your applications; conduct your research and apply early.

Utilise the resources of your law school.

The PGDL is costly, and if you do not have a training contract, one of the things you are paying for is your law school's careers and skills services. So put them to good use! Training contract application reviews, CV workshops, and even extra study choices and modules are available to students. Get your money's worth out of a training contract since the competition is fierce.

Put yourself first.

There are times when things do not go according to plan, and the GDL is already taking up too much time. Despite your best efforts, you may fall behind in your job or studies or succumb to the effects of stress.

Recognise when you are stressed out so you may take action to reduce your stress. Discuss your thoughts with a trusted adult such as a law tutor, a member of the law school faculty, or a close family member.

Keep in mind that you will not be the only one in this situation. It is important to set aside some time throughout the day to recharge your batteries, whether by taking a stroll, having a coffee, or going to the gym.


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