Difference between midterms and finals?

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thrillerjesus
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Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby thrillerjesus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:59 pm

Are finals just more of the same, only longer? Or is there a difference of kind?

I was surprised at how little "room" there was in my midterms. Even in the issue spotter questions, there just wasn't that much ground to cover. I had thought that there would be more to write about than anyone possibly could in the time allotted, and consequently there would be plenty of space for the "A" student to distinguish himself. The difference was much less dramatic that I had expected. Thoughts?

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LAWYER2
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby LAWYER2 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:33 am

I don't know about finals but I felt the same way with midterms. I expect the same with finals though. This first semester seems strangely not as hard as the horror stories you heard about, judging by the midterm. He'll my toughest class seems to be LR

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eandy
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby eandy » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:28 am

My professors and TAs have specifically said that midterms are much easier than finals, as they are designed primarily to give you experience writing exams, not to test your knowledge or ability to write exam answers.

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Jordan77
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby Jordan77 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:12 am

Depends on the professor. Some will make their mid-terms representative of what to expect on the final; only longer. Others will "baby" you on the mid-term to ease you into how to take an exam, especially with 1L classes first semester. Generally these "baby" mid-terms are really straight forward and simple; whereas the final will be more convoluted.

Alyosha
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby Alyosha » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:40 am

After I took the midterms, I actually looked at my professors' old exams. In my case, the finals were completely different (and much harder).

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Paichka
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby Paichka » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:10 am

We only took one midterm my 1L year. It was CivPro, and my professor gave us one question off of one of his old finals. So the midterm was identical in format to the final, but instead of three essays and multiple choice questions, it was a single essay that we had an hour to complete.

I'd definitely expect your finals to be harder -- there will be more material that your professor could potentially cover, so each question will be more complex. You'll also be working under more of a time crunch -- 3 hours goes by incredibly fast given the amount of writing you're going to be doing. The midterms are like...I don't know, a preseason scrimmage. Finals are like March Madness. Same rules, sure, but vastly different experiences. There will be more pressure, and you'll have to fight off brain fatigue. That's why taking tests under timed conditions -- I worked up to two practice exams per day -- is important (IMHO) because it will help you stay sharp throughout the entire exam period.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:34 pm

My professor stated she specifically makes midterms much easier. Kinda scary that she said the number of issues doubles on the final when there were like 30 on the midterm.

keg411
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby keg411 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Paichka wrote:I worked up to two practice exams per day -- is important (IMHO) because it will help you stay sharp throughout the entire exam period.


What do you do if you only have two practice exams for your prof? Do you just get them from other professor exams and other sources? Also, my one prof has part essay/part MC and only puts the essays online (again only two) because he re-uses the MC questions. How do you do "full exams" with that type of constraint?

Believe me, I wish there were more available. I'd spend pretty much all of my time pre-exam doing practice exams because it's hard to see question patterns since there are only two (I've also heard that the other professors exams for the one full-essay class are easier in general than my prof's, so I don't want to read into anything there either).

We're having an Exam Q&A next week (and my professors will both be there) so I may just ask then what to do about only having a limited number of practice exams on file.

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Paichka
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Re: Difference between midterms and finals?

Postby Paichka » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:56 pm

keg411 wrote:
Paichka wrote:I worked up to two practice exams per day -- is important (IMHO) because it will help you stay sharp throughout the entire exam period.


What do you do if you only have two practice exams for your prof? Do you just get them from other professor exams and other sources? Also, my one prof has part essay/part MC and only puts the essays online (again only two) because he re-uses the MC questions. How do you do "full exams" with that type of constraint?

Believe me, I wish there were more available. I'd spend pretty much all of my time pre-exam doing practice exams because it's hard to see question patterns since there are only two (I've also heard that the other professors exams for the one full-essay class are easier in general than my prof's, so I don't want to read into anything there either).

We're having an Exam Q&A next week (and my professors will both be there) so I may just ask then what to do about only having a limited number of practice exams on file.


I used exams from other professors. I ran into the limited exam constraint with a couple of my professors, so I saved their specific exams to do during reading period. I used other exams for issue spotting practice, that sort of thing.




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