Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
Undergradut
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:28 am

Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Undergradut » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:39 pm

Thoughts?

User avatar
Ty Webb
Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Ty Webb » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:41 pm

You serious, Clark?

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby snowpeach06 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:43 pm

Depends on the exam. For torts, when you just have to write a lot, yes. For crim where you need to write just the right stuff, not so much. My friends computer malfunctioned too. That was a waste of time.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby 20160810 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:56 pm

I think so. It's not unusual for me to write 5,000-6,000+ words in one test; doing this by hand would be a massive pain and go more slowly. The only people who do exams by hand tend to be 40+ non-trads, and they're probably so hopped up on Cialis for Daily Use that who knows what's going on in their heads...

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:04 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:Depends on the exam.


Only depends on the exam if the exam has a really strict word limit.

Otherwise, you're really doing yourself no favors by handwriting an exam. Then again, if you don't type at least 50wpm you might struggle even if you type.

User avatar
Undergradut
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Undergradut » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:47 pm

Ty Webb wrote:You serious, Clark?


Yeah. The professor said he has been noticing that people who hand write have consistently been some of the highest scorers on his exams.

User avatar
dailygrind
Posts: 19667
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby dailygrind » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:53 pm

Undergradut wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:You serious, Clark?


Yeah. The professor said he has been noticing that people who hand write have consistently been some of the highest scorers on his exams.


maybe it's cuz they've been handwriting their notes all along, weren't distracted in class, and now want to use the same methodology? i cannot believe that causation = correlation here.

kxz
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:18 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby kxz » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:03 pm

dailygrind wrote:
Undergradut wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:You serious, Clark?


Yeah. The professor said he has been noticing that people who hand write have consistently been some of the highest scorers on his exams.


maybe it's cuz they've been handwriting their notes all along, weren't distracted in class, and now want to use the same methodology? i cannot believe that causation = correlation here.


+1

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:06 pm

dailygrind wrote:
Undergradut wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:You serious, Clark?


Yeah. The professor said he has been noticing that people who hand write have consistently been some of the highest scorers on his exams.


maybe it's cuz they've been handwriting their notes all along, weren't distracted in class, and now want to use the same methodology? i cannot believe that causation = correlation here.


yes there could be a plethora of reasons

maybe the type of students who choose to hand write tend to be the ones who do the best in your professor's class (i.e. his teaching style, the subject matter, etc.)

maybe your professor really dislikes people who just go on and on (and arent concise), something that one typing on a comp may do, but not as likely if one were hand writing it

etc.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby General Tso » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:09 pm

SBL wrote:I think so. It's not unusual for me to write 5,000-6,000+ words in one test; doing this by hand would be a massive pain and go more slowly. The only people who do exams by hand tend to be 40+ non-trads, and they're probably so hopped up on Cialis for Daily Use that who knows what's going on in their heads...


Not only can you write more words by typing, you also have to consider your handwriting. Even people with good penmanship are going to get hand cramps and start writing sloppily about midway through the exam.

My brother's handwriting looks like chicken scratch, and I am certain that it hurt him both on law school exams and on the bar he failed the first time.

User avatar
BriaTharen
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:17 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby BriaTharen » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:18 pm

I handwrote notes for the first half of the semester until I started using class time where a student got the professor on an unrelated tangent to work on my outlines.

I find that when you handwrite, you do tend to write more concisely so the professor may value exams that are very to-the-point. Also, when you handwrite (versus when you type), you need to be more conscious of organization from the get go since you can't copy/paste. So those exams may already have great organization, which typed exams can lack from a deficit of practice or no time to go back and organize as "planned."

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:04 pm

law professor wrote:“I am not going to take off points if you handwrite your exam instead of typing it. But you are an idiot if you handwrite it.”

User avatar
Undergradut
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Undergradut » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:50 pm

I decided to take the exam by computer. There's no way I could have gotten down as many words as I did, had I hand wrote the exam. However, whether that is a good or bad thing is not totally clear. . .the more words I was able to put down could have been worthless. Overall, I'm glad I took the exam by computer, because there's a certain comfort of knowing that I was able to put enough words down before time expired, whereas that may have not been the case had I hand wrote.

User avatar
onthecusp
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby onthecusp » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:03 am

Undergradut wrote:Thoughts?


I think writing by hand forces you to be more precise. Typing my exam I can exercise every opportunity to score as many points as possible without fear of running out of time because I type over 100wpm. If I had to write it out, I'd better be damn sure what I'm writing down is relevant, because if not, I'm wasting valuable time.

There was one guy today however who opted to hand write the exam because, "he didn't want to think about typing while he wrote." I looked at him like, :shock: Mavis Beacon?

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby traehekat » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:15 am

I really think it is a mistake to handwrite an exam when you can type faster. Not only are you capable of getting more down on paper (which is obviously useful if it is more of a racehorse exam), but the added benefit of being able to change what you have already wrote down quickly probably makes typing an exam the right play.

I really don't understand the mindset of handwriting the exam. The advantages are so few, if any, that is makes it almost irresponsible for anyone who can actually type faster than they write (which should be any traditional student, since most of us grew up on computers).

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4858
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Borhas » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:23 am

copy and paste is awesome

User avatar
OperaSoprano
Posts: 4410
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:54 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:36 am

onthecusp wrote:
Undergradut wrote:Thoughts?


I think writing by hand forces you to be more precise. Typing my exam I can exercise every opportunity to score as many points as possible without fear of running out of time because I type over 100wpm. If I had to write it out, I'd better be damn sure what I'm writing down is relevant, because if not, I'm wasting valuable time.

There was one guy today however who opted to hand write the exam because, "he didn't want to think about typing while he wrote." I looked at him like, :shock: Mavis Beacon?


I actually think it's kind of good to be forced not to type out word vomit. I would not ever advocate writing by hand, but I type ~60 WPM (apparently faster than my previous estimate, but still a modest speed), never broke 4,000 words even on a 3.5 hour exam, but was still happy with my academic performance. Knowing you won't have time to write every random thing that pops into your head forces you to prioritize.

It's also true that your classmates may not be able to spot and analyze the issues as quickly as they can type them up. I got hit with a whopper as my last question on a recent exam, and it took a decent amount of time just to iron out the facts, which had been revealed in a circuitous manner. I heard my classmates talking about it after the exam ended, and it occurred to me that ability to spot the issues quickly might make up for inability to type 100 WPM. (Of course, the very, very top students can do both. Break 10,000 words on an in class exam and the world is your oyster. However, you can still do quite well as a slower typist if you are decently efficient at spotting and analyzing the issues. I suspect the same would apply to a hand writer, but the cramping/penmanship issues just make it highly inadvisable.)

Kobe_Teeth
Posts: 964
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:40 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:33 am

I held up the LSAT because it took me so long to write the verification statement (I don't do cursive - no one told me I could print). I would have been dead if writing was required.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:36 am

0L Question:

Is it worth taking the time to learn to touch type before law school? I'm not egregiously slow but I'd say I have a slightly below average typing speed (basically with 4 fingers).

User avatar
OperaSoprano
Posts: 4410
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:54 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:21 am

AreJay711 wrote:0L Question:

Is it worth taking the time to learn to touch type before law school? I'm not egregiously slow but I'd say I have a slightly below average typing speed (basically with 4 fingers).


It's a useful skill to have, but I also have a kind of weird pattern to my typing and it didn't really harm me, except that I won't ever reach 80+ WPM. I would recommend it if you have time.

User avatar
D. H2Oman
Posts: 7469
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:47 am

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby D. H2Oman » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:24 am

AreJay711 wrote:0L Question:

Is it worth taking the time to learn to touch type before law school? I'm not egregiously slow but I'd say I have a slightly below average typing speed (basically with 4 fingers).



It's less important than people on here will have you believe.

BobSacamano
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:51 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby BobSacamano » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:16 am

Several of my professors have strongly recommended typing as it's easier for them to read. That alone should be enough for you to whip out the computer, but the added benefit of being able to put more stuff down on the paper helps too. Personally, I think you'd be crazy to write your exams and, while I feel like a terrible person for saying this, I'm secretly happy when I see someone picking up blueblooks from the proctor. Odds are my curve just got a liiiiiittle bit easier.

User avatar
rdcws000
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:41 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby rdcws000 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:30 pm

Kobe_Teeth wrote:I held up the LSAT because it took me so long to write the verification statement (I don't do cursive - no one told me I could print). I would have been dead if writing was required.


HAHA, this was the most stressful part of my LSAT experience. If I remember right they told us cursive was required. My statement looked like a dyslexic blind man wrote it. It was really embarrassing, and I considered somehow law schools would see it and deny me.

User avatar
twert
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby twert » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:37 pm

AreJay711 wrote:0L Question:

Is it worth taking the time to learn to touch type before law school? I'm not egregiously slow but I'd say I have a slightly below average typing speed (basically with 4 fingers).

in the long run learning to type correctly will just be easier.

however, i am not one of those people that think typing is that much of an advantage on an exam

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4858
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Is writing the exam by hand a disadvantage?

Postby Borhas » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:57 pm

I take notes by hand but type on the exam

the only reason to write by hand is because you are afraid of your PC crashing, otherwise there really is no reason to write by hand. By using a PC you can copy and past entire sections so you can spend more time doing analysis and less time writing out stuff. My exam yesterday had a Takings issue on both essay questions. I copied my Takings block from the first one and then pasted it into the second question and then just applied it.

Is it a huge advantage? No, but it's significant.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dcc617, houritsu, LAW1995, luckydayahead and 10 guests