By Samar Alam
So, you’re enrolled onto the LPC, and now you’re wondering what to expect? Here is the 411 on all things LPC.
The LPC can seem overwhelming, especially if did a non-Law degree or you had a break between your undergraduate and starting the LPC. The important thing to understand now is that the course is not that complex to understand but requires a lot of organisation and time commitment which perhaps during undergraduate, you could have got away without.
Is the LPC Difficult?
Depending on which degree / modules you completed for prior degrees, you might find the LPC easier or harder to understand than your peers. But I want to highlight that doing a non-Law degree or having a long break between your studies will definitely not put you at a disadvantage; you might just have to commit some more time in the earlier weeks of the course to ensure you have a grasp of the basic topics of each module.
The LPC goes fast and stops for no-one. If you are on the full-time one-year course, this will be one SGS a week (or two for BLP) which means that you go through topics fairly quickly with little chance to return to them except during consolidation week. This means you NEED to understand the topics as you go through them, otherwise it will cause a lot of stress later down the line. I am not saying that you should be able to sit an exam on the topic by the end of the week, but just be confident you understand the learnings of it and that when you come back to it during revision, it won’t seem like brand new information.
The LPC exams are now open book so whilst there won’t be enough time in the exam to learn things for the first time, it provides a certain level of security in the exam that you can quickly check your unsure answer or refer back to your BLP procedure plans to make sure you did not miss anything. This takes away a lot of stress from the course. But do remember that timings are tight so do not over rely on the format of the open book exam as substitute to revision.
If you’re not organised, the LPC can seem overwhelming. Your LPC course provider should offer you a study planner which outlines each week of the course with the SGS covered for each week. You should use this as a starting point to get organised with what you need to prepare for the following week and try to look ahead beyond that if you have time.
Customise this study planner to fit your life and commitments so you are able to stay on top of the expectations of the lectures, reading and preparation each week. By doing this, you can easily refer to this each weekend and know what is coming up the following week and whether you have finished all the preparation needed for those upcoming SGS.
It is also very important to be organised with your notes. As mentioned, with open book exams, you want to be confident in your notes when it comes to exam season because you won’t have time to look for answers if you are not sure where the answer lies in your notes. Make sure you are on top of your notes going through the course as it will save you precious time during consolidation / revision weeks when you should be using that time to revise and not spending 90% of it doing admin.
Make revision notes that you understand as opposed to regurgitated versions of chapters, use tabs to separate topics, and highlight key points so they jump out at you when you need them in the exam.
Okay so this is a big one. This also varies on how long it takes you to complete tasks such as reading or making notes. Use the first two weeks as a tester to gauge how long preparation takes for each SGS across the various modules. The first week might take slightly longer due to it being new, so also see how this changes in the second week. Some people can read a lot quicker than others, and some like to spend a lot of time on their notes, so time commitment will vary for each person depending on their style. Your course provider usually gives an approximate suggested prep time for each SGS and highlights any heavy prep weeks in the study planner so you can refer to this as a guide when planning your week.
It is important to highlight that whilst you can work smart on the LPC to cut time spent on certain tasks, it is definitely a big-time commitment, nevertheless. They say to approach it like a full-time job which would be 37.5 hours a week if you think of it that way. If you understand the topics, stay organised and attend all the sessions, you shouldn’t need to be doing all-nighters every night for nine months. And if you are, you should reassess your approach as you will burn out and balance is always key!
Hopefully this provides you with an insight on how to successfully approach the LPC. Remember to try and enjoy the course if you can as it is also a great opportunity to see how legal theory works in practical examples, which is something you will be doing in your future legal career.