How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

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20160810
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How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby 20160810 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:13 pm

Last semester, all of my finals were open book and note, but this semester both property and torts will be closed-book, closed-note. What are some strategies I (and the others in a similar predicament) can employ during the course of this semester to maximize performance? I feel like this should probably change how I outline, but any other tips and tricks would be appreciated.

I'm not super worried, because of course this doesn't change the curve, but I do feel like the same preparation methods I used for open-note finals will not be nearly as effective.

Welp2277
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby Welp2277 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:17 pm

SoftBoiledLife wrote:Last semester, all of my finals were open book and note, but this semester both property and torts will be closed-book, closed-note. What are some strategies I (and the others in a similar predicament) can employ during the course of this semester to maximize performance? I feel like this should probably change how I outline, but any other tips and tricks would be appreciated.

I'm not super worried, because of course this doesn't change the curve, but I do feel like the same preparation methods I used for open-note finals will not be nearly as effective.

I updated all my outlines once a week. Afterwards I would read through the whole thing so that by end of the term the oldest material had been read frequently enough that it was memorized. Once reading week came I just worked on condensing it over and over again until a 20 page outline was down to a 3 pages or so "Attack Outline." I then handwrote that a couple of times to make sure it was memorized.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby Lawl Shcool » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:25 pm

Welp2277 wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:Last semester, all of my finals were open book and note, but this semester both property and torts will be closed-book, closed-note. What are some strategies I (and the others in a similar predicament) can employ during the course of this semester to maximize performance? I feel like this should probably change how I outline, but any other tips and tricks would be appreciated.

I'm not super worried, because of course this doesn't change the curve, but I do feel like the same preparation methods I used for open-note finals will not be nearly as effective.

I updated all my outlines once a week. Afterwards I would read through the whole thing so that by end of the term the oldest material had been read frequently enough that it was memorized. Once reading week came I just worked on condensing it over and over again until a 20 page outline was down to a 3 pages or so "Attack Outline." I then handwrote that a couple of times to make sure it was memorized.


Very similar technique to what I used, although I was rarely ever able to get it down to 3 pages, usually still around 10. I am pretty good at memorizing stuff and after a few days of working off of the same outline doing practice tests I could usually repeat it word for word. To drill it into my head I would juggle (yes it sounds silly) and say my entire outline out loud. The juggling was great because it forced me to focus on 2 things at once and really helped me memorize the material. It was like a form of meditation.

Ignatius J. Reilly
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby Ignatius J. Reilly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:26 pm

I actually think making your own flashcards works very well for closed book exams.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby Lawl Shcool » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:32 pm

Ignatius J. Reilly wrote:I actually think making your own flashcards works very well for closed book exams.


YES! I forgot about flashcards. I used them in Crim and Torts and they definitely helped.

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20160810
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby 20160810 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:38 pm

JPU wrote:
Welp2277 wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:Last semester, all of my finals were open book and note, but this semester both property and torts will be closed-book, closed-note. What are some strategies I (and the others in a similar predicament) can employ during the course of this semester to maximize performance? I feel like this should probably change how I outline, but any other tips and tricks would be appreciated.

I'm not super worried, because of course this doesn't change the curve, but I do feel like the same preparation methods I used for open-note finals will not be nearly as effective.

I updated all my outlines once a week. Afterwards I would read through the whole thing so that by end of the term the oldest material had been read frequently enough that it was memorized. Once reading week came I just worked on condensing it over and over again until a 20 page outline was down to a 3 pages or so "Attack Outline." I then handwrote that a couple of times to make sure it was memorized.


Very similar technique to what I used, although I was rarely ever able to get it down to 3 pages, usually still around 10. I am pretty good at memorizing stuff and after a few days of working off of the same outline doing practice tests I could usually repeat it word for word. To drill it into my head I would juggle (yes it sounds silly) and say my entire outline out loud. The juggling was great because it forced me to focus on 2 things at once and really helped me memorize the material. It was like a form of meditation.


This is without question the most awesome study technique I've ever seen discussed on TLS.

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thesealocust
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:52 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ak362
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby ak362 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:57 pm

thesealocust wrote:I haven't had any closed book LS exams yet, but I've had to memorize lines for shows and ridiculous chemical structures for things like biochem. At least for me, the key has always been repetition. No matter how hard you attempt to memorize information in a single sitting, you'll know it better when you sleep on it. I can't explain it, but if I drill lines for a show one night I'll do twice as well the next morning. For an LS exam, I think this means start the memorization process early. And as others have mentioned, you have to bring it back out of yourself - if you read your outline 10 times you'll commit a hell of a lot less to memory than if you try to reproduce it from scratch twice.


I've taken a couple of closed-note finals (only one-closed final grade back so far), and I agree - the ability to reproduce from memory is always good for a closed-book final. In my Ks class, I memorized the syllabus headings - and did all of my studying within that framework. My memory works in a way where a keyword or two helps jog the memory for that entire "section" of information. During the final, the first thing I did was grab a piece of scratch paper, and jotted down the syllabus headings in order. While working through the issue spotters, I ran through the piece of paper like a quick checklist - and came up with a couple of things I otherwise wouldn't have caught. For instance, the moment I saw the words "material breach" on the checklist, I immediately thought of the factors in weighing whether a breach is material... or if I saw anticipatory repudiation on the list, I remembered the UCC/Restatement provisions (no numbers, but prof didn't want them - it's not like Civ Pro where the Rule #s are kinda important... as long as we were properly stating the law) on anticipatory repudiation, the cases, when there is an anticipatory repudiation in close calls, etc.

Memory is a strange thing.

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apper123
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby apper123 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:13 pm

I think rewriting things and using flashcards is good, but the best memorization technique for me by far was applying law. Doing practice problems, practice tests and CALI lessons were the best ways of memorization for me.

I felt like I got the best of both worlds: practice applying law AND effective memorization. The other way you just get BLL memorization.

BattlingBarrister
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby BattlingBarrister » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:36 pm

3 of my finals were closed note.

I made my own outlines and would write them out over and over again by hand. I took enough practice tests (2 or 3 per class) to the point where I knew almost everything the professors would put on the exam given the material. For each question I had a canned response that came straight from my outline. I used to come up with my own hypos involving my parrot and my dog but the parrot started repeating 'BREACH OF K!!!!!' over and over again so that stopped.

I made one mistake on a policy question. It had to do with economics and I got over-excited about it and used some outside information from my econ background (I knew the professor also has a PhD in econ so I got all happy). I used the term 'tragedy of the commons' and upon reflection I know he never used that term in class but just alluded to it briefly in a few lectures about Ghen v. Rich.

I don't have my grades back though, so who knows. I screwed up a few minor things and one big thing on my contracts final but at this point I'm just looking forward.

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samiseaborn
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby samiseaborn » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:44 pm

All of my exams were closed note, and in hindsight I should have started memorizing a lot earlier in the semester because I'm really bad at it. But in writing practice exams I did worked out 'canned' responses to certain topics which definitely came in handy. I practiced typed certain ConLaw topics over and over because I was especially dense about that.

Question for practice exams though, what's the verdict on practicing open-outline for a closed-outline final? I did practices without because I didn't want it to become a crutch, but I'm now wondering if that's where I went wrong and missed things on the final.

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apper123
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby apper123 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:47 pm

samiseaborn wrote:Question for practice exams though, what's the verdict on practicing open-outline for a closed-outline final? I did practices without because I didn't want it to become a crutch, but I'm now wondering if that's where I went wrong and missed things on the final.


You gotta do em' open at first if you want to memorize anything. Otherwise you'll just keep going along missing the stuff. It's the application of law that will help you memorize the best, and to do that you need it available early on. If anything, practicing closed note is to just get the feel of doing something closed note down. Otherwise, I feel you should practice with your notes available.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby Lawl Shcool » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:04 pm

apper123 wrote:
samiseaborn wrote:Question for practice exams though, what's the verdict on practicing open-outline for a closed-outline final? I did practices without because I didn't want it to become a crutch, but I'm now wondering if that's where I went wrong and missed things on the final.


You gotta do em' open at first if you want to memorize anything. Otherwise you'll just keep going along missing the stuff. It's the application of law that will help you memorize the best, and to do that you need it available early on. If anything, practicing closed note is to just get the feel of doing something closed note down. Otherwise, I feel you should practice with your notes available.


Def at first have your notes available to get comfortable with typing the law but by the end it should be all closed note, exam style conditions. I think there is value in having to stretch your mind to remember stuff and only being able to rely on your own mind because this is what will happen on the exam. Getting the experience of blanking on something or totally over-looking an issue is part of the process of learning and memorizing. Also doing exam conditions eases the tension a bit on game day because you have a better idea of what you can accomplish within the time limits.

emoticons777
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Re: How to start effectively preparing for closed note final now

Postby emoticons777 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:17 pm

samiseaborn wrote:All of my exams were closed note, and in hindsight I should have started memorizing a lot earlier in the semester because I'm really bad at it. But in writing practice exams I did worked out 'canned' responses to certain topics which definitely came in handy. I practiced typed certain ConLaw topics over and over because I was especially dense about that.

Question for practice exams though, what's the verdict on practicing open-outline for a closed-outline final? I did practices without because I didn't want it to become a crutch, but I'm now wondering if that's where I went wrong and missed things on the final.


I did the practice exam as well as I could without looking at my outline, then I would use my outline to fill in the gaps and if necessary, the details on how to apply the law where I missed it. This was helpful because it also helped me figure out issues I needed to work more on.




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