Tips for finding professors old exams?

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69Coronet
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Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby 69Coronet » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:59 pm

I'm attempting to put together a group of old exams from each of my 5 professors so that I can begin to understand patterns between their exams and start reading and studying as such.
While 2 of my professors have several of their old exams freely available, the remaining 3 professors do not have their exams available through the law library exam database or anywhere on campus.
Upon asking each of the three professors for those exams individually, they each gave a similar reply, that I was, "Getting ahead of myself, they'd release old exam materials to the class later, and for now I needed to focus on the material at hand."
Any tips for trying to penetrate that feeling on their part?

Should I just utilize other exams from other schools wherever I can pick them up (mostly through threads here)?

Thanks for your help!

bdubs
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Re: Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby bdubs » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:09 pm

You should look at your schools conduct or honor code, usually if an exam it isn't made available you aren't supposed to have it.

Also, there are many styles of exams and different content that is focused on by different professors. Looking at an exam from another professor seems about as useful as looking at a supplement to get info, helpful but not entirely on point.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:30 pm

On the third day of class my K's professor mentioned to us that he heard from a librarian that some student has already asked for his exams...during orientation. He then went on for the next 5 minutes telling us to not worry about the exams at this juncture, as it will be like a foreign language right now. IMHO, he is 100% correct. I know a lot of the success guides on TLS tell you to focus on the exam from the get-go, but just relax for right now. You won't have a friggin clue as to what is going on in the exam. We're still in the beginning stages where we should be focusing on how to break down cases more quickly and efficiently while still gathering the necessary components.

morris248
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Re: Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby morris248 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:21 pm

I would disagree. While it is probably too early to start trying to answer hypo's, it is not too early to start looking at model answers. Your professor is not interested in how much law you can memorize, but how you can apply the law to a particular situation. By studying old exams and model answers you can pick up on how to structure an answer that will give you the maximum number of points along with the most tested issues of a particular course. You need to see if your library has a copy of How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams By John Delaney. That is where you need to start.

69Coronet
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Re: Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby 69Coronet » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:36 pm

bdubs wrote:You should look at your schools conduct or honor code, usually if an exam it isn't made available you aren't supposed to have it.

Also, there are many styles of exams and different content that is focused on by different professors. Looking at an exam from another professor seems about as useful as looking at a supplement to get info, helpful but not entirely on point.


I am not trying to violate the school's honor code. I'm not looking to find exams through some backdoor source through a link to a website I'm not supposed to have, I am simply trying to figure out if anyone has had success in convincing their professors to give them exams or if people think it may be a decent decision to try and ask 2Ls if they have any old exams around.
As for other professors exams, I totally agree, but I am considering them for supplemental reasons, as you said.

MrPapagiorgio wrote:On the third day of class my K's professor mentioned to us that he heard from a librarian that some student has already asked for his exams...during orientation. He then went on for the next 5 minutes telling us to not worry about the exams at this juncture, as it will be like a foreign language right now. IMHO, he is 100% correct. I know a lot of the success guides on TLS tell you to focus on the exam from the get-go, but just relax for right now. You won't have a friggin clue as to what is going on in the exam. We're still in the beginning stages where we should be focusing on how to break down cases more quickly and efficiently while still gathering the necessary components.


I'm not trying to be extreme gunner here.
I've got my eyes on the prize, and thats exams. I haven't been raising my hand in every class or hiding materials from other students, and I don't intend to...
However, I do not think it is too early for me to start getting old exams together and to start briefly leafing through them to familarize myself with their general format as well as the different types of questions that are asked.
After all, I've been in school nearly a month now, which has allowed me to figure out how to brief, that I really no longer need to make long, formal briefs, and that I now have more time to devote to studying supplements, re-reading Getting to Maybe, doing LEEWS, and reading Delaney's book.

morris248 wrote:I would disagree. While it is probably too early to start trying to answer hypo's, it is not too early to start looking at model answers. Your professor is not interested in how much law you can memorize, but how you can apply the law to a particular situation. By studying old exams and model answers you can pick up on how to structure an answer that will give you the maximum number of points along with the most tested issues of a particular course. You need to see if your library has a copy of How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams By John Delaney. That is where you need to start.


Yep, I agree with everything you've said. I also agree with the sentiments about Delaney. I am nearly done with Getting to Maybe for the second time, and my copy of How to Do Your Best... by Delaney will be here tomorrow.

shock259
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Re: Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby shock259 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:49 am

I have the same problem: only a few of my professors share their exams. Most of my professors are going to give us one exam, at most. To work around this, I'm planning on doing exams from other schools. Most schools have passwords on their test banks, but some do not. Use the thread at the top of this forum. I'll use these exams to get the general feeling for law school exams, then do my prof's exam last, a couple of days before the final and when I feel totally prepared.

There's not much else I can do. Honor code is the honor code.

69Coronet
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:35 am

Re: Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby 69Coronet » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:53 am

I'm glad that I'm not the only one with that problem, then.

Thanks for the insight, I think I'll be following a similar course of action.

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wiseowl
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Re: Tips for finding professors old exams?

Postby wiseowl » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:24 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:On the third day of class my K's professor mentioned to us that he heard from a librarian that some student has already asked for his exams...during orientation. He then went on for the next 5 minutes telling us to not worry about the exams at this juncture, as it will be like a foreign language right now. IMHO, he is 100% correct. I know a lot of the success guides on TLS tell you to focus on the exam from the get-go, but just relax for right now. You won't have a friggin clue as to what is going on in the exam. We're still in the beginning stages where we should be focusing on how to break down cases more quickly and efficiently while still gathering the necessary components.


In fairness, different people do things different ways. Many of my 1L exams had very little to do with the day to day case brief regurgitation. There's no question exams are a different language - but you might as well learn it now.




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