Tips on exams with word limits

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Tips on exams with word limits

Postby shock259 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:48 pm

I'm the "practice typing the BLL, type super fast, and try to argue everything imaginable" type. It's done well for me thus far, but I have an issue spotter with a word limit this semester. Unfortunately the professor has only given us 1 sample exam, so it is hard to give myself practice in limiting my words count.

Is there any consensus on the best way to approach a final with a word limit?

My random ideas:
-trimming BLL statements to bare-bones
-try to analyze "quicker"
-Never repeat discussions -> when issues or topics come up later that were partially discussed, refer to them, apply to facts quickly

Edit: It's a 4 hour exam with a 3000 word limit.

User avatar
zonto
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:20 pm

Re: Tips on exams with word limits

Postby zonto » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:19 pm

I had an eight-hour property exam last semester with an 8,000 word limit so I learned a few tricks that might help you out:
    -don't use articles if you don't have to
    -use contractions when you can
    -just use one party for case names and put it in parentheses (lets your professor know you know the case, but saves space you'd use saying "In _____, the ____ said _____)
    -stay about from adverbs and adjectives if you can; save them for a conclusion if necessary
    -write an outline for your answer on a separate paper where you brainstorm and plan; this way you won't be rambling when it counts toward the word limit
    -make use of supra when you can
    -if elements are a part of your answer (like trespass), just underline the element while applying it to the facts of your case instead of following IRAC where you'd basically be doing the same thing twice
    -give yourself a half-hour to delete and rework it at the end

Good luck!

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: Tips on exams with word limits

Postby traehekat » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:22 pm

1 word: prioritize. go through the exam like you normally would, spotting issues, etc. and figure out everything you could possibly want to talk about. then start prioritizing, starting with the obvious big issues, down to the little things that are barely there but you could still get points for. the objective is to include as much of it as you can while still giving a full analysis to the big issues. you want the professor to come away saying, "wow, he/she was really able to discuss a lot of stuff in 3000 words"

portaprokoss
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:40 pm

Re: Tips on exams with word limits

Postby portaprokoss » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:40 pm

Try-giving-your-professor-just-one-word-he/she-will-value-your-lawyerly-ingenuity




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: pancakes3 and 5 guests