Tips for Take Home Exams

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gnarlyfingers
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Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby gnarlyfingers » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:18 pm

Have a Conlaw 2 take-home exam coming up in a week or so (24 hr-long test). Given that it's my first take home, I'm not too sure as to what will work best. For all you students who've done well with these types of tests: what worked best for you? Did you outline at all? Do you recommend doing anything differently that you would not have done for the other traditional in-class exams?

Thanks!

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ph14
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby ph14 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:34 pm

gnarlyfingers wrote:Have a Conlaw 2 take-home exam coming up in a week or so (24 hr-long test). Given that it's my first take home, I'm not too sure as to what will work best. For all you students who've done well with these types of tests: what worked best for you? Did you outline at all? Do you recommend doing anything differently that you would not have done for the other traditional in-class exams?

Thanks!


Interested in this as well-- I have an 8 hour take home.

Breezin
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby Breezin » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:42 pm

Also interested. My test is in a month and I don't plan to outline fwiw

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goosey
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby goosey » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:52 pm

I think the biggest mistake you can make is to assume you will have 8 hours [or 24 or whatever it is] to take a normal 3 hour law school exam. it will be 8 hours of exam...you will be writing up until the last minute, and you will not have time to flip through pages of notes----it is like a regular exam, except 500 times as painful. thats been my experience [and that of my peers. Of my two take home exams last year, nobody [that admitted it, at least] finished in the allotted 8 hours. btw one of my closed books was con law...i outlined, made a table of all the standards of review, had an outline of just cases, etc...I basically studied the way I would have if I was taking it in class. I could have prepared EXACTLY how I would have for an in class exam and the fact that I didn't reflects in my grade. I did well but I could have done better if I got the chance to write more than 3 sentences for the last question. time is an issue...the less one prepares, the more time becomes an issue.


prepare as you would for an in class exam.

and be prepared for the most painful 24 hrs ever. I hate take home exams. in class exams are like a straight bullet to the head. take home exams are like being repeatedly stabbed with plastic knived and toothbrushes...
Last edited by goosey on Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ph14
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby ph14 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:54 pm

goosey wrote:I think the biggest mistake you can make is to assume you will have 8 hours [or 24 or whatever it is] to take a normal 3 hour law school exam. it will be 8 hours of exam...you will be writing up until the last minute, and you will not have time to flip through pages of notes----it is like a regular exam, except 500 times as painful. thats been my experience [and that of my peers. Of my two take home exams last year, nobody [that admitted it, at least] finished in the allotted 8 hours. btw one of my closed books was con law...i outlined, made a table of all the standards of review, had an outline of just cases, etc...I basically studied the way I would have if I was taking it in class. I could have prepared EXACTLY how I would have for an in class exam and the fact that I didn't reflects in my grade. I did well but I could have done better if I got the chance to write more than 3 sentences for the last question. time is an issue...the less one prepares, the more time becomes an issue.


prepare as you would for an in class exam.

and be prepared for the most painful 24 hrs ever. I hate take home exams.


Thanks for the tips. Was your exam not word limited?

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goosey
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby goosey » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:57 pm

ph14 wrote:
goosey wrote:I think the biggest mistake you can make is to assume you will have 8 hours [or 24 or whatever it is] to take a normal 3 hour law school exam. it will be 8 hours of exam...you will be writing up until the last minute, and you will not have time to flip through pages of notes----it is like a regular exam, except 500 times as painful. thats been my experience [and that of my peers. Of my two take home exams last year, nobody [that admitted it, at least] finished in the allotted 8 hours. btw one of my closed books was con law...i outlined, made a table of all the standards of review, had an outline of just cases, etc...I basically studied the way I would have if I was taking it in class. I could have prepared EXACTLY how I would have for an in class exam and the fact that I didn't reflects in my grade. I did well but I could have done better if I got the chance to write more than 3 sentences for the last question. time is an issue...the less one prepares, the more time becomes an issue.


prepare as you would for an in class exam.

and be prepared for the most painful 24 hrs ever. I hate take home exams.


Thanks for the tips. Was your exam not word limited?


both were word limited. that was a major issue. because not only are you running out of time, but you are out of words..and you need to try and edit previous answers to allow for new answers, which is super stressful at 4:54 if the exam is due by 5.

gnarlyfingers
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby gnarlyfingers » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:39 pm

goosey wrote:I think the biggest mistake you can make is to assume you will have 8 hours [or 24 or whatever it is] to take a normal 3 hour law school exam. it will be 8 hours of exam...you will be writing up until the last minute, and you will not have time to flip through pages of notes----it is like a regular exam, except 500 times as painful. thats been my experience [and that of my peers. Of my two take home exams last year, nobody [that admitted it, at least] finished in the allotted 8 hours. btw one of my closed books was con law...i outlined, made a table of all the standards of review, had an outline of just cases, etc...I basically studied the way I would have if I was taking it in class. I could have prepared EXACTLY how I would have for an in class exam and the fact that I didn't reflects in my grade. I did well but I could have done better if I got the chance to write more than 3 sentences for the last question. time is an issue...the less one prepares, the more time becomes an issue.


prepare as you would for an in class exam.

and be prepared for the most painful 24 hrs ever. I hate take home exams. in class exams are like a straight bullet to the head. take home exams are like being repeatedly stabbed with plastic knived and toothbrushes...



Shit just got real.

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dabomb75
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby dabomb75 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:51 pm

uh ohs. 3 take home exams next semester..... :shock:

was not expecting that response from goosey

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beachbum
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby beachbum » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:00 pm

Two take-homes (8 hour and 24 hour) this semester. FML.

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quiver
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby quiver » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:05 pm

goosey wrote:I think the biggest mistake you can make is to assume you will have 8 hours [or 24 or whatever it is] to take a normal 3 hour law school exam. it will be 8 hours of exam...you will be writing up until the last minute, and you will not have time to flip through pages of notes----it is like a regular exam, except 500 times as painful. thats been my experience [and that of my peers. Of my two take home exams last year, nobody [that admitted it, at least] finished in the allotted 8 hours. btw one of my closed books was con law...i outlined, made a table of all the standards of review, had an outline of just cases, etc...I basically studied the way I would have if I was taking it in class. I could have prepared EXACTLY how I would have for an in class exam and the fact that I didn't reflects in my grade. I did well but I could have done better if I got the chance to write more than 3 sentences for the last question. time is an issue...the less one prepares, the more time becomes an issue.


prepare as you would for an in class exam.

and be prepared for the most painful 24 hrs ever. I hate take home exams. in class exams are like a straight bullet to the head. take home exams are like being repeatedly stabbed with plastic knived and toothbrushes...
I have not had a take home exam yet but I recently talked to a bunch of 3Ls about it and they all seem to agree with goosey above. It will depend on the exam though: an 8 hour take home with a 5 page limit is different than an 8 hour take home with a 20 page limit. The former is somewhat less stressful and the hard part is usually the page limit rather than the time. One 3L said she had a 24 hour take home with a 15 page limit (or something like that) and it ended up being a perfect storm of time crunch and page limit. Sounds horrible.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:10 pm

I haven't felt take homes to be extra horrible, though I do take take home exams like a boss (in the sense that I sit down for my 8 hr take homes and work non-stop, I don't even piss or eat...and I don't even feel it. Must be the Asian gamer in me), and they were my best grades haha.

That being said, they generally have word limits so that you can keep your sanity, and some are better than others (depends on your prof). I did not study for it any differently than I would have for an in-class exam tbh. Know the stuff, you can't be sitting there READING chapters (or I guess you could but it'd be a waste of your time). That being said, my notes/outlines for take homes tended to be a bit more disorganized...or I did not make them as clear or visually appealing as I did for the in-classes.

edit: I have never had a 24 hr take home before...that sounds horrible, esp. if you're a perfectionist lol.

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ph14
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby ph14 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:12 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:I haven't felt take homes to be extra horrible, though I do take take home exams like a boss (in the sense that I sit down for my 8 hr take homes and work non-stop, I don't even piss or eat...and I don't even feel it. Must be the Asian gamer in me), and they were my best grades haha.

That being said, they generally have word limits so that you can keep your sanity, and some are better than others (depends on your prof). I did not study for it any differently than I would have for an in-class exam tbh. Know the stuff, you can't be sitting there READING chapters (or I guess you could but it'd be a waste of your time). That being said, my notes/outlines for take homes tended to be a bit more disorganized...or I did not make them as clear or visually appealing as I did for the in-classes.


Oh man.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby holdencaulfield » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:45 pm

I had a totally different experience with the two take home exams I took. I thought they were generally much easier; I stayed on top of the material all semester. I tabbed the crap out of my books and had westlawnext on standby. Results: A and A-

Other than spending approximately 10 hours on 18 pages in one 24 hr period (which really blew), it wasn't that bad

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ph14
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby ph14 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:47 pm

holdencaulfield wrote:I had a totally different experience with the two take home exams I took. I thought they were generally much easier; I stayed on top of the material all semester. I tabbed the crap out of my books and had westlawnext on standby. Results: A and A-

Other than spending approximately 10 hours on 18 pages in one 24 hr period (which really blew), it wasn't that bad


Why?

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby holdencaulfield » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:57 pm

IMO, and for the class I was taking, it was the fastest way to find detailed explanations of certain topics. It was as easy as typing [class subject] and [issue] into the search box. Up pops [class subject] guide with a section for the [issue].

If was much quicker than flipping through the casebook, and I didn't have a great outline.

smittytron3k
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Re: Tips for Take Home Exams

Postby smittytron3k » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:49 am

My feeling is that take-home exams reward those who can write very concisely/clearly and who can properly allot time and words between issues and questions, whereas in-class exams reward those who can spot a ton of issues and spam out decent-to-good analysis on all of them. My outlines for take-home exams tend to be longer and more detailed than those for in-class exams, but then again I did a lot better on in-class exams than take-homes so take whatever I say with a grain of salt.




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