Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

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law777
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Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby law777 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:55 pm

My strategy for finals (which begin in a few days) is to have a general sense of where topics are on my outline for quick reference during the exam, rather than spending copious amounts of time memorizing. However, I will go through the outline to understand what the general rules of law are (so I am not doing any learning during the exam).


Does this seem like a good strategy?

BlueDiamond
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby BlueDiamond » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:06 pm

thats all I am doing.. I feel as though 2 of my 3 classes memorizing would be a waste of time and stressful on top of it.. and the other class I am absolutely lost in and dont have an outline to memorize in the first place and will be cramming it into 4 days of studying then praying I say something that makes the professor think I should be at the median

edit: i should qualify that by saying one of my exams is an 8-hour take home with a 5k word limit and the other is a 4 hour exam where every final the professor has given in previous years goes through the issues on the exam in the order that we covered the issues in the course

law777
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby law777 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:13 pm

BlueDiamond wrote:I feel as though 2 of my 3 classes memorizing would be a waste of time and stressful on top of it


I agree. I have outlines for all of my classes, so I think I may just understand generally where the topics are, read over it several times, take a few practice exams, and head into the exam.

Any 2Ls or 3Ls have success with this method?

adonai
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby adonai » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:20 pm

You guys don't know how lucky you are to have open book exams. But I would memorize anyway because it would save time and refer to notes only when you absolutely blank out on something. More time = more time to address issues and analyze = more points. I would use the outline as your emergency fall back and not your main reference of information.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:22 pm

I never took specific pains to memorize stuff, but I did enough practice exams that, by the time test day rolled around, I didn't need to reference my outlines much.

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sun
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby sun » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:48 pm

law777 wrote:My strategy for finals (which begin in a few days) is to have a general sense of where topics are on my outline for quick reference during the exam, rather than spending copious amounts of time memorizing. However, I will go through the outline to understand what the general rules of law are (so I am not doing any learning during the exam).


Does this seem like a good strategy?


Do more.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:04 am

I don't have every single thing down cold, but I'm committing most of it to memory. I'm better able to issue-spot that way. My civ pro prof purposely leaves little tricks and goodies in his exam that can be difficult to catch if you don't have a lot of the rules memorized.

c3pO4
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby c3pO4 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:12 am

i have 3 closed book finals

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quiver
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby quiver » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:13 am

acrossthelake wrote:I don't have every single thing down cold, but I'm committing most of it to memory. I'm better able to issue-spot that way. My civ pro prof purposely leaves little tricks and goodies in his exam that can be difficult to catch if you don't have a lot of the rules memorized.
ToTransferOrNot wrote:I never took specific pains to memorize stuff, but I did enough practice exams that, by the time test day rolled around, I didn't need to reference my outlines much.
I think this is the way to go. For open book exams I would make sure my outline was the way I wanted it and then just read it over and over in between taking practice exams. Reading your outline repeatedly 1) pretty much equates to memorizing and 2) makes you understand where everything is. IMO you need everything but the finer points memorized in order to issue-spot to your full potential (as acrossthelake said).

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$peppercorn
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby $peppercorn » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:15 am

acrossthelake wrote:I don't have every single thing down cold, but I'm committing most of it to memory. I'm better able to issue-spot that way. My civ pro prof purposely leaves little tricks and goodies in his exam that can be difficult to catch if you don't have a lot of the rules memorized.


+1.

law777
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby law777 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:44 am

$peppercorn wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I don't have every single thing down cold, but I'm committing most of it to memory. I'm better able to issue-spot that way. My civ pro prof purposely leaves little tricks and goodies in his exam that can be difficult to catch if you don't have a lot of the rules memorized.


+1.


What about using a checklist as a substitute for this?

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ahduth
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby ahduth » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:58 am

adonai wrote:You guys don't know how lucky you are to have open book exams.


Disagree. Curved closed book exams sound like a meal ticket to me.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:59 am

law777 wrote:
$peppercorn wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I don't have every single thing down cold, but I'm committing most of it to memory. I'm better able to issue-spot that way. My civ pro prof purposely leaves little tricks and goodies in his exam that can be difficult to catch if you don't have a lot of the rules memorized.


+1.


What about using a checklist as a substitute for this?


I don't find that a checklist that you don't sort of intuitively know really works all that well when your professor is trying to purposely trick you.

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ahduth
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby ahduth » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:03 am

acrossthelake wrote:
law777 wrote:
$peppercorn wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I don't have every single thing down cold, but I'm committing most of it to memory. I'm better able to issue-spot that way. My civ pro prof purposely leaves little tricks and goodies in his exam that can be difficult to catch if you don't have a lot of the rules memorized.


+1.


What about using a checklist as a substitute for this?


I don't find that a checklist that you don't sort of intuitively know really works all that well when your professor is trying to purposely trick you.


What kind of professors do you have that are trying to "trick" you? That's... I dunno, not my experience at NYU. The presumption is you're on top of your shit, but there's no ball hiding. Now that I think of it, the least supportive professor was a Harvard grad (not Miller). They really pull that on you up there?

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quiver
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby quiver » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:04 am

acrossthelake wrote:
law777 wrote:
$peppercorn wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I don't have every single thing down cold, but I'm committing most of it to memory. I'm better able to issue-spot that way. My civ pro prof purposely leaves little tricks and goodies in his exam that can be difficult to catch if you don't have a lot of the rules memorized.


+1.


What about using a checklist as a substitute for this?


I don't find that a checklist that you don't sort of intuitively know really works all that well when your professor is trying to purposely trick you.
I agree with this. A check list, if made correctly, may get you most of the major issues but smaller issues or issues with professor-style finesse will almost never be caught without your own knowledge.

morris248
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby morris248 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:06 am

Going over and over your outline will not help you that much. You need to do several practice tests and then compare your answers to the model answers. You want the rules down cold so that you can spit them out automatically with all the elements and can name any applicable test. Without doing a couple of timed practice tests you will have a problem finishing.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:39 am

ahduth wrote:
What kind of professors do you have that are trying to "trick" you? That's... I dunno, not my experience at NYU. The presumption is you're on top of your shit, but there's no ball hiding. Now that I think of it, the least supportive professor was a Harvard grad (not Miller). They really pull that on you up there?


Well basically this:
quiver wrote:I agree with this. A check list, if made correctly, may get you most of the major issues but smaller issues or issues with professor-style finesse will almost never be caught without your own knowledge.



I suppose "trick" wasn't quite the word, but more "professor-style finesse". I just had several: "but wait, isn't XYZ here too, and doesn't it..." sort of thoughts when doing the practice exam and went into office hours to ask about it. He basically told me that the majority of students missed it on the exam, and that it was a sort of like trick/easter egg for students who really got the material. He does it to try to create a larger spread, to make assigning grades to the curve easier. My point is that I spotted it from just knowing the material off the top of my head. There isn't a lot of time on this particular exam--it's an 8 hour take home, but there's legitimately 8 hours worth of exam in it, so not only are you time-pressed, you're exhausted.

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goosey
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Re: Finals - Memorizing vs. knowing where things are

Postby goosey » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:37 pm

sun wrote:
law777 wrote:My strategy for finals (which begin in a few days) is to have a general sense of where topics are on my outline for quick reference during the exam, rather than spending copious amounts of time memorizing. However, I will go through the outline to understand what the general rules of law are (so I am not doing any learning during the exam).


Does this seem like a good strategy?


Do more.



if you dont have things committed to memory, you dont know they exist unless you have a reason to look at that specific section of your outline. So that means potential issues wont jump out at you while you go through the fact pattern....you cant see what you dont know.

condense and re-condense it. not only will you learn where it is in the main outline but you will memorize it too




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