Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

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bartleby
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Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby bartleby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:51 am

I know how critical it is for LSAT but does it make any sense to do a nasty 4 hour, timed full exam?

I'm not too concerned about my endurance but can someone tell me just doing the individual 70 minute questions under timed circumstances is enough. Thanks.

071816
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby 071816 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:52 am

How could it hurt you to do it?

bartleby
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby bartleby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:54 am

mmm, probably mostly just burn out. i've been doing the siegel's which i love because they are so short and i think reading the answers help me. im going to start doing old exams tomorrow. im planning on doing it in sections so that i can review. i can't imagine doing a 4 hour test and then doing like a 10 hour review of the test (for lsat, it wasn't that bad because there weren't so many ridiculous concepts)

071816
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby 071816 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:57 am

Why would reviewing a test take you 10 hours?

bartleby
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby bartleby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:59 am

well the exam is four hours right? say it's contracts and there are a shit ton of issues. each issue has some law and crap to it so i'd probably have to glance over it. write down some crap about everything. see what i should add and what i wrote was unnecessary. compare it to the model answer. crap like that, you know?

i'm just wondering if any successful students are strong advocates of doing entire practice exams

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jessuf
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby jessuf » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:20 am

I have taken several full, timed exams. None of them took me 10 hours total??

keg411
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby keg411 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:26 am

bartleby wrote:well the exam is four hours right? say it's contracts and there are a shit ton of issues. each issue has some law and crap to it so i'd probably have to glance over it. write down some crap about everything. see what i should add and what i wrote was unnecessary. compare it to the model answer. crap like that, you know?

i'm just wondering if any successful students are strong advocates of doing entire practice exams


<--- strong advocate of doing entire timed practice exams (at least first semester), successful student

bartleby
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby bartleby » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:29 am

alright i'll do it. i don't mean 10 hours total. i meant 4 hours on the exam (allotted time); maybe re-reading over the exam to see what i missed (probably at least an hour); then refining what i could have said or done (and i think this is the thing that'll take a lot of time)

truthfully, i just didn't want to grind that hard but i think i'll just have to do it.

lawschoolproblems86
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby lawschoolproblems86 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:39 am

Disclaimer: 1L

I don't see how taking a FULL exam (3-5 hours) would be beneficial. The whole point of practice exams is to get a feel for the time pressure of an exam, and to practice issue spotting, drafting concise a response etc. I think that when it comes to improving these skills, doing timed practice essays will suffice. For instance, do a timed 90 minute essay, or timed 30 minute essay, or whatever format you will be tested on.

But to sit down for an entire 4 hour block to try and recreate exam day doesn't seem all that helpful, and it will probably burn you out. Besides, when you think about it on exam day you will have an adrenaline rush and your nerves will help you power through the entire exam. When you're taking a practice exam, I would think it would be extremely hard to get yourself in that same mindset where you can genuinely appreciate how much is at stake. I really think doing individual essays (as long as they are of the same difficulty and same time constraints as your actual exams will be) is more than enough to prepare you for exam day. But what do I know, I've never taken a final before.

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Lasers
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby Lasers » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:15 am

depends if you are afraid of being burned out.

i have a high tolerance for boring, tedious things, so i take as many timed tests under real conditions as i can. on exam day it felt like second nature. i learned to manage my time and wasn't rushed on the real final at all.

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shepdawg
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby shepdawg » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:53 pm

Do a few full exams to see if you have the ability to get through the issues with sufficient time and to practice with the organization of your essay. Then just outline the rest.

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cinephile
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby cinephile » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:59 pm

I don't think it's solely about getting to experience the time crunch, but also about the diminishing returns you get on the later essays, and you can't experience that without a full exam.

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crossarmant
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby crossarmant » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:04 pm

10 hours to review the exam? No, no, no. Take the full exam under timed circumstances (If you have access to the room in which you're taking it, then do it in there), then go to your professor's office hours and talk it over with them. They'll point out what you missed, what you did right, and anything you're unclear on they will explain to you. It is far more helpful than anything else you could possibly do.

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Ludo!
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby Ludo! » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:10 pm

I took lots of full, timed practice exams 1l year and found it to be the most helpful thing I did. I wish I could force myself to do it again this year.

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Grizz
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby Grizz » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:13 pm

Never took a full timed PT. Could not force myself to sit there for 4 hrs to practice, but I had no problem with the adrenaline coursing through my veins on test day.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:18 pm

I think it's a waste of time. On any full length practice test, there will be stuff you have down pat and stuff you don't know that well. You're better off focusing on the latter.

I say this as someone who is generally good at taking tests under time pressure and who finds most law students' study strategies maddening for their inefficiency and blind perfectionism. YMMV.

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Grizz
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby Grizz » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:20 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I think it's a waste of time. On any full length practice test, there will be stuff you have down pat and stuff you don't know that well. You're better off focusing on the latter.

This was my reasoning as well.

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cutecarmel
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby cutecarmel » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:26 pm

I benefited from doing the full test once in a while. I learned endurance and pacing. You may think you have endurance, but it always good to practice so that the real test will be as natural as possible.

But I also think you should practice individually timed sections, particularly the sections that you struggle on.

bartleby wrote:I know how critical it is for LSAT but does it make any sense to do a nasty 4 hour, timed full exam?

I'm not too concerned about my endurance but can someone tell me just doing the individual 70 minute questions under timed circumstances is enough. Thanks.

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king3780
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby king3780 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:42 pm

crossarmant wrote:10 hours to review the exam? No, no, no. Take the full exam under timed circumstances (If you have access to the room in which you're taking it, then do it in there), then go to your professor's office hours and talk it over with them. They'll point out what you missed, what you did right, and anything you're unclear on they will explain to you. It is far more helpful than anything else you could possibly do.


Cross, I can't tell from your profile, but are you currently in law school? I've not had a single professor in five semesters willing to review a practice exam. I've had a couple that were willing to look at a list of issues that were spotted and tell students what they were missing from the list. But the consensus seems to be they can barely stand reading the final exams, they sure as hell don't want to spend time reading practice exams.

ETA: One of my profs said he wasn't even going to hold office hours during the 16 days between the last day of class and the final for his class b/c "I don't like being here any more than I have to."

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crossarmant
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby crossarmant » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:54 pm

king3780 wrote:
crossarmant wrote:10 hours to review the exam? No, no, no. Take the full exam under timed circumstances (If you have access to the room in which you're taking it, then do it in there), then go to your professor's office hours and talk it over with them. They'll point out what you missed, what you did right, and anything you're unclear on they will explain to you. It is far more helpful than anything else you could possibly do.


Cross, I can't tell from your profile, but are you currently in law school? I've not had a single professor in five semesters willing to review a practice exam. I've had a couple that were willing to look at a list of issues that were spotted and tell students what they were missing from the list. But the consensus seems to be they can barely stand reading the final exams, they sure as hell don't want to spend time reading practice exams.

ETA: One of my profs said he wasn't even going to hold office hours during the 16 days between the last day of class and the final for his class b/c "I don't like being here any more than I have to."


I am in law school, albeit, not a T14. But yes, my Torts professor spent an hour with me today going through a practice exam and pointed out everything I missed and what parts were good, what needed work, etc. And then helped clarify anything I was confused on. A tremendous help.

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joobacca
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby joobacca » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:17 am

i don't think you should take a lot of full timed exams. maybe, at most, one or two to get a feel. what i like to do is take as many exams as possible so that i can see as many fact patterns and see the angles that the model answer students see. that helps me see the angles and i incorporate them into my outline or memorize them. i read exams, write down as many issues that i can spot, maybe dig a little deeper to see if there are sub issues i can spot on my own, and then i look to the model answer.

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johansantana21
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby johansantana21 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:29 am

I have the laziest professors.

ak362
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby ak362 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:52 am

I'm in favor of taking as many timed exams as you can handle -- at least during your 1L fall. Doing the exams piecemeal doesn't simulate realistic conditions -- in a traditional 4 hour exam, it could take you longer to do the 2-hour issue spotter than you expected, you'll have to reallocate time to compensate, make decisions as to what suffers, etc. Once you've done a few, then you can issue-spot any other practice exams you'd like to work through, but pacing is hard to master if you do things bit-by-bit.

sknight323
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby sknight323 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:57 am

If your professor has a certain way they want you to write the exam, it is even more useful than usual, imo.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Is there any point in taking full, timed exams?

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:02 am

This has been mentioned, but I found taking practice exams in portions was the most beneficial. But then again, that's also how I studied for the LSAT (I hardly ever took an entire actual test in one sitting—usually a section or two at a time), so it was a natural transition for me.




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