Typing Speed

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lawyerwannabe
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Typing Speed

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:28 pm

I have seen typing speed referenced in many threads as having a very direct impact on exam grades in law school.

Out of curiosity, how many hours of, let's say a three hour exam, does one actually spend typing?

This is simply to figure out how fast certain people type (e.g. if the model answer is 7500 words and the average student is typing for two of the three hours for an exam, that student was typing at an average speed of a little over 60 WPM).

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thesealocust
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:35 pm

Depends entirely on the exam. Your typing skillz won't do shit for you on your tax exam with a 1,000 word limit total. Even on 'racehorse' exams people tend to overstate the correlation between length and grade.

That being said, typing slowly can be a handicap. And "typing fast" can actually be a proxy for knowing the material well enough to have a lot to say without lots of time spent pondering or leafing through your outline, but in that regard it's really more about prep than about finger skill.

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Emma.
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Emma. » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:51 pm

Whether or not typing a lot is going to help you get a better grade, the faster you can type the more time you can spend in that 3 hours actually thinking about your answer rather than just furiously typing.

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Cavalier
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Cavalier » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Two things.

1) The real issue is thinking speed, not typing speed. The very longest exams will average out to not much more than 40 words per minute, and only a couple students per class at most will type that much. Even averaging 30 wpm will put you well above the average student. Everyone in law school can probably type significantly faster than 40 wpm, so the key is not having a super fast typing speed (although it helps). The key to typing a lot is being able to spend the majority of the exam typing and not thinking, reading through outlines, etc. When you studied for the LSAT, you presumably took practice tests to train your mind to think faster. Taking practice law school exams will lead to the same result: you'll become more familiar with the law itself and applying it to varying sets of facts, so you'll be able to produce answers in less time. If you want to write long answers, you need to get to the point where, after reading a fact pattern, you can immediately begin applying law to fact and not stop for the duration of the question.

2) You don't need to produce long answers to do well in law school. Long answers are helpful--law professors grade on your application of law to fact, and being able to type more applications of law to fact than your classmates is a reliable way to distinguish yourself. But plenty of students do well with short answers.

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kswiss
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby kswiss » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:33 am

Its not that fast typing speed is essential, its that you can't be a slow typer.

There are certain horse race issue spotters that involve taking 10 minutes to read the fact pattern, then 50 minutes of analysis that is basically going through your markings and writing it up. As long as you are average or better, you'll be fine. But you'd be at a distinct disadvantage if you type slow. I have a classmate that is a luddite and never learned to type, and he was smart as hell but he felt that his speed held him back.

I type very fast, and I feel that it was an advantage in the two exams like the one above. It also helps if theres a policy question or something at the end of the exam, because when you aren't referencing facts your basically typing as fast as you can. I wrote a policy question for Civ Pro in the last 15 minutes. It was like 4.5 pages (and I got an A). I did it on purpose because I knew I could type fast enough on a straight policy question to take some extra time on the substantive questions.

rangers0412
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby rangers0412 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:24 pm

For the first time ever I can say that my years of playing PC games have actually paid off. Thank you diablo 2 and starcraft, you have given me the power of lightning fast typing.

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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Zazelmaf » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:33 pm

rangers0412 wrote:For the first time ever I can say that my years of playing PC games have actually paid off. Thank you diablo 2 and starcraft, you have given me the power of lightning fast typing.


Those games are great, but World of Warcraft is the caek. And, yes, that and internet chatrooms on webtv back in the day with my online gf of the time really helped out a ton. Even though our relationship went down in flames, I have her to thank for my typing speed. Who knew that our flirtatious romps in whisper would one day pave the way for law school?

redsox4lyfe
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby redsox4lyfe » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:18 pm

.
Last edited by redsox4lyfe on Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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2011Cycle
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby 2011Cycle » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:25 pm

Are the number of words on double spaced pages and does the exam-taking software have a spell-checker? thanks

lawgod
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby lawgod » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:32 pm

I got some really nice grades with some really short essays.
contracts- 3500 words- 3 hours- A
civ pro- 2800 words- 3 hours- A

That works out to 15 wpm and 19 wpm

I think the correlation is overstated. Although, we all can think faster than we can type, so I suppose you get more time to think if you can spend less time typing what you thought. And I'm getting better at typing. I got 5000 words out in conlaw

goodolgil
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby goodolgil » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:51 pm

I think if you type slow, you have less leeway in how much time you can spend before you start typing an answer. Slow typing speed + spending a half hour+ "outlining" an answer = trouble.

People talk a lot about LS exams being a time crunch, and they are to an extent, but it's not terrible. For example, I found the LSAT (specifically the logic games) to be far more of a race to the clock than ls exams (all of which I did well on in 1L). I finished four out of six with 30 minutes or more to spare, and the other with 10 minutes or less to spare, but I never really felt pressed for time (went to the bathroom multiple times (nervous habit for me on exams), took a couple cigarette breaks, etc...). My typing speed is pretty average also, but I started typing almost immediately after finishing reading the question.

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California Babe
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby California Babe » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:51 pm

Whether or not typing a lot is going to help you get a better grade, the faster you can type the more time you can spend in that 3 hours actually thinking about your answer rather than just furiously typing.


This.

It does not make any sense to say that an exam ends up being 40 wpm just because it was a 3-hour exam and so many words were written by the end of it. If you can write the same amount of words in half the time, that gives you more time to think about your answer, outline it, etc. before you start.

I don't know if typing speed == better grades, but it's inaccurate to say that writing 7,000 words in 3 hours means someone only needs to type 40wpm.

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fatduck
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby fatduck » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:00 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:I have seen typing speed referenced in many threads as having a very direct impact on exam grades in law school.

i am staking my financial future on this

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thesealocust
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:05 pm

fatduck wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:I have seen typing speed referenced in many threads as having a very direct impact on exam grades in law school.

i am staking my financial future on this


A prof once did a statistical analysis and found long exams were somewhat correlated with not getting bad grades, but not at all correlated with getting good grades.

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fatduck
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby fatduck » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:08 pm

thesealocust wrote:
fatduck wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:I have seen typing speed referenced in many threads as having a very direct impact on exam grades in law school.

i am staking my financial future on this


A prof once did a statistical analysis and found long exams were somewhat correlated with not getting bad grades, but not at all correlated with getting good grades.

that's interesting, though i suspect fast typists may have more advantages than simple exam length. in two exams with identical length, the 150 wpm typist would have more time for thinking/editing than the 50 wpm typist, yea?

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TheKingintheNorth
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby TheKingintheNorth » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:50 pm

fatduck wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
fatduck wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:I have seen typing speed referenced in many threads as having a very direct impact on exam grades in law school.

i am staking my financial future on this


A prof once did a statistical analysis and found long exams were somewhat correlated with not getting bad grades, but not at all correlated with getting good grades.

that's interesting, though i suspect fast typists may have more advantages than simple exam length. in two exams with identical length, the 150 wpm typist would have more time for thinking/editing than the 50 wpm typist, yea?



Full disclosure: I am not in law school yet

Still, I feel that the typing speed question frames the debate improperly on speed (e.g "thinking speed" "have more time for thinking"). Going from prior posts in this thread, especially the poster who said his fairly long answers (I think) came out to less than 20wpm, I'm getting the feeling that time saved by typing fast or time wasted by typing slow has a minimal, if any, impact on your grade.

Another point is that typing does not preclude thinking. Slow typing may even be beneficial in that your typed words may be more inclined to synchronize with your thought processes, allowing you to sort of "flow," instead of "type-think-type-think-type-think."

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Cupidity
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Cupidity » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:57 pm

I too was skeptical, but I assure you, word count = grades

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D-hops
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby D-hops » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:57 pm

fatduck wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
fatduck wrote:
lawyerwannabe wrote:I have seen typing speed referenced in many threads as having a very direct impact on exam grades in law school.

i am staking my financial future on this


A prof once did a statistical analysis and found long exams were somewhat correlated with not getting bad grades, but not at all correlated with getting good grades.

that's interesting, though i suspect fast typists may have more advantages than simple exam length. in two exams with identical length, the 150 wpm typist would have more time for thinking/editing than the 50 wpm typist, yea?


Yeah, obviously being able to type 150 wpm is not going to hurt you, but at some point the length of the exam matters less than the quality of the analysis and the proper application of law to the facts.

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thesealocust
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:02 pm

TheKingintheNorth wrote:Full disclosure: I am not in law school yet

Still, I feel that the typing speed question frames the debate improperly on speed (e.g "thinking speed" "have more time for thinking"). Going from prior posts in this thread, especially the poster who said his fairly long answers (I think) came out to less than 20wpm, I'm getting the feeling that time saved by typing fast or time wasted by typing slow has a minimal, if any, impact on your grade.

Another point is that typing does not preclude thinking. Slow typing may even be beneficial in that your typed words may be more inclined to synchronize with your thought processes, allowing you to sort of "flow," instead of "type-think-type-think-type-think."


You're definitely overstating it. The extent to which how much you get on the page matters won't be clear until you've tried a few issue spotters. Don't try to think it out before you get there.

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TheKingintheNorth
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby TheKingintheNorth » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:22 pm

thesealocust wrote:
TheKingintheNorth wrote:Full disclosure: I am not in law school yet

Still, I feel that the typing speed question frames the debate improperly on speed (e.g "thinking speed" "have more time for thinking"). Going from prior posts in this thread, especially the poster who said his fairly long answers (I think) came out to less than 20wpm, I'm getting the feeling that time saved by typing fast or time wasted by typing slow has a minimal, if any, impact on your grade.

Another point is that typing does not preclude thinking. Slow typing may even be beneficial in that your typed words may be more inclined to synchronize with your thought processes, allowing you to sort of "flow," instead of "type-think-type-think-type-think."


You're definitely overstating it. The extent to which how much you get on the page matters won't be clear until you've tried a few issue spotters. Don't try to think it out before you get there.


Yeah I know. My point was more that typing speed doesn't necessarily correlate to how much you get on the page and that there are numerous other more important factors that control that.

I copywrote for Groupon and did a lot of other content farm writing where word count/time did matter, and I didn't find typing speed to be correlated to performance. Granted my experience has little to do with issue-spotting exams, but then again the discussion really wasn't referring to their unique attributes either.
Last edited by TheKingintheNorth on Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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fatduck
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby fatduck » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:25 pm

i'm just trying to wpm-slang, is all

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thesealocust
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:30 pm

TheKingintheNorth wrote:I copywrote for Groupon and did a lot of other content farm writing where word count/time did matter, and I didn't find typing speed to be correlated to performance.


. . .

Oh. Well, then.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:40 pm

typeracer.com

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futurelawyer413
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby futurelawyer413 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:41 pm

thesealocust wrote:Depends entirely on the exam. Your typing skillz won't do shit for you on your tax exam with a 1,000 word limit total. Even on 'racehorse' exams people tend to overstate the correlation between length and grade.

That being said, typing slowly can be a handicap. And "typing fast" can actually be a proxy for knowing the material well enough to have a lot to say without lots of time spent pondering or leafing through your outline, but in that regard it's really more about prep than about finger skill.


Credited. Depends on prof. Some want/value quantity (issue spotting w/ general and not too detailed analysis), others quality (examine each issue like no other). I wouldn't worry too much - just avoid knowledge dump, i.e. the R of IRAC! It's all about the A, more or less.

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fatduck
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby fatduck » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:41 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:typeracer.com

you challenging the undisputed champ?




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