differences in preparing for take home vs in class exam?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

differences in preparing for take home vs in class exam?

Postby thexfactor » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:54 pm

Hey guys. I did really well on my take home exam, but I did only slightly above average on both in class exams. ( one open book, other closed book)

Do you guys have a different way of preparing for open/closed book in class exams as compared to take home exams?

Thanks

User avatar
Lawl Shcool
Posts: 763
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:44 pm

Re: differences in preparing for take home vs in class exam?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:10 am

I approached my take home exam much differently than my other exams.

My take home was an 8 hour performance test which was basically impossible to finish. It was in civil procedure btw. I did as much "pre-writing" as possible. I converted my outline into rule statements in sentence form I could just copy and paste into the answer and also had flow charts and diagrams taped to the wall in front of my desk. My goal was to have as much done relating to the exam as possible before the 8 hours started. It ended up being a tie for my highest grade.

For the normal exams all of mine were closed book. I put a big emphasis on memorizing my entire outline to the point that I could repeat it out loud verbatim while juggling 3 balls. Sounds crazy but doing that drilled that information (some of it forever) into my head. I also did between 5-8 practice exams for each class, with a few for each class under timed exam conditions. For non-exam condition practice tests I would go through issue spotting and writing out the primary arguments with each issue but would not take the extra time to compile it all into a full answer to save time. My general rule was to do every available practice test. I did not go over any PT's with professors but after midterms met with each to discuss formating and style so I could tailer my finals to exactly what they wanted to see.

Hope this helps, I did a full breakdown of each class in the "After Grades What Did We Learn" thread too if your interested.

User avatar
thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

Re: differences in preparing for take home vs in class exam?

Postby thexfactor » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:06 am

JPU wrote:I approached my take home exam much differently than my other exams.

My take home was an 8 hour performance test which was basically impossible to finish. It was in civil procedure btw. I did as much "pre-writing" as possible. I converted my outline into rule statements in sentence form I could just copy and paste into the answer and also had flow charts and diagrams taped to the wall in front of my desk. My goal was to have as much done relating to the exam as possible before the 8 hours started. It ended up being a tie for my highest grade.

For the normal exams all of mine were closed book. I put a big emphasis on memorizing my entire outline to the point that I could repeat it out loud verbatim while juggling 3 balls. Sounds crazy but doing that drilled that information (some of it forever) into my head. I also did between 5-8 practice exams for each class, with a few for each class under timed exam conditions. For non-exam condition practice tests I would go through issue spotting and writing out the primary arguments with each issue but would not take the extra time to compile it all into a full answer to save time. My general rule was to do every available practice test. I did not go over any PT's with professors but after midterms met with each to discuss formating and style so I could tailer my finals to exactly what they wanted to see.

Hope this helps, I did a full breakdown of each class in the "After Grades What Did We Learn" thread too if your interested.


I did something similar for my take home exam. I had one of the highest grades in the class. I found 4 outlines. Outlined, then error checked every single argument I made just to make sure I did not make any stupid mistakes. After I went through another "hit list" just to make sure I covered every single topic.

I'm a little clueless about how to study for the in class exams. I think I just need to spend more time memorizing my outlines. My worst performance was on the open book exam.

VincentChase
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:16 am

Re: differences in preparing for take home vs in class exam?

Postby VincentChase » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:40 am

thexfactor wrote:
JPU wrote:I approached my take home exam much differently than my other exams.

My take home was an 8 hour performance test which was basically impossible to finish. It was in civil procedure btw. I did as much "pre-writing" as possible. I converted my outline into rule statements in sentence form I could just copy and paste into the answer and also had flow charts and diagrams taped to the wall in front of my desk. My goal was to have as much done relating to the exam as possible before the 8 hours started. It ended up being a tie for my highest grade.

For the normal exams all of mine were closed book. I put a big emphasis on memorizing my entire outline to the point that I could repeat it out loud verbatim while juggling 3 balls. Sounds crazy but doing that drilled that information (some of it forever) into my head. I also did between 5-8 practice exams for each class, with a few for each class under timed exam conditions. For non-exam condition practice tests I would go through issue spotting and writing out the primary arguments with each issue but would not take the extra time to compile it all into a full answer to save time. My general rule was to do every available practice test. I did not go over any PT's with professors but after midterms met with each to discuss formating and style so I could tailer my finals to exactly what they wanted to see.

Hope this helps, I did a full breakdown of each class in the "After Grades What Did We Learn" thread too if your interested.


I did something similar for my take home exam. I had one of the highest grades in the class. I found 4 outlines. Outlined, then error checked every single argument I made just to make sure I did not make any stupid mistakes. After I went through another "hit list" just to make sure I covered every single topic.

I'm a little clueless about how to study for the in class exams. I think I just need to spend more time memorizing my outlines. My worst performance was on the open book exam.


Make sure you do the outline memorizing early, though. As in throughout the semester, work on your outline and memorize the rules so you know them cold entering your study period. At least for me, the study period should be spent putting your knowledge to use on practice tests and active learning. You'll be surprised what you don't know, or at least what you are unable to articulate in exam circumstances.

For me, every minute spent strictly learning BLL during exam study is a minute wasted. I work on new outlines during exam period, but they flow directly from practice tests, rather than the other way around.

Always be actively learning, not passively learning, when possible. Applying your knowledge is what is important in law school, and that's more difficult to do than people realize. I do understand that everybody's different and different approaches work differently. This is what has worked for me, and I think active learning is something close to relatively universal.

User avatar
apper123
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: differences in preparing for take home vs in class exam?

Postby apper123 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:01 am

VincentChase wrote:
thexfactor wrote:
JPU wrote:I approached my take home exam much differently than my other exams.

My take home was an 8 hour performance test which was basically impossible to finish. It was in civil procedure btw. I did as much "pre-writing" as possible. I converted my outline into rule statements in sentence form I could just copy and paste into the answer and also had flow charts and diagrams taped to the wall in front of my desk. My goal was to have as much done relating to the exam as possible before the 8 hours started. It ended up being a tie for my highest grade.

For the normal exams all of mine were closed book. I put a big emphasis on memorizing my entire outline to the point that I could repeat it out loud verbatim while juggling 3 balls. Sounds crazy but doing that drilled that information (some of it forever) into my head. I also did between 5-8 practice exams for each class, with a few for each class under timed exam conditions. For non-exam condition practice tests I would go through issue spotting and writing out the primary arguments with each issue but would not take the extra time to compile it all into a full answer to save time. My general rule was to do every available practice test. I did not go over any PT's with professors but after midterms met with each to discuss formating and style so I could tailer my finals to exactly what they wanted to see.

Hope this helps, I did a full breakdown of each class in the "After Grades What Did We Learn" thread too if your interested.


I did something similar for my take home exam. I had one of the highest grades in the class. I found 4 outlines. Outlined, then error checked every single argument I made just to make sure I did not make any stupid mistakes. After I went through another "hit list" just to make sure I covered every single topic.

I'm a little clueless about how to study for the in class exams. I think I just need to spend more time memorizing my outlines. My worst performance was on the open book exam.


Make sure you do the outline memorizing early, though. As in throughout the semester, work on your outline and memorize the rules so you know them cold entering your study period. At least for me, the study period should be spent putting your knowledge to use on practice tests and active learning. You'll be surprised what you don't know, or at least what you are unable to articulate in exam circumstances.

For me, every minute spent strictly learning BLL during exam study is a minute wasted. I work on new outlines during exam period, but they flow directly from practice tests, rather than the other way around.

Always be actively learning, not passively learning, when possible. Applying your knowledge is what is important in law school, and that's more difficult to do than people realize. I do understand that everybody's different and different approaches work differently. This is what has worked for me, and I think active learning is something close to relatively universal.


Good advice ^^^^.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 11 guests