I want to get better at hitting the word limit

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victortsoi
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I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby victortsoi » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:58 pm

So I'm finishing my summer session of 1L up, and I don't know what to expect grades wise. One thing I really want to improve on the next two semesters (trimesters?) is hitting the word limit on issue spotters. My last exam I was about 70-75% of the max. I do have a lot to say, but I'm so used to long take home assignments from undergrad, and about a year of no writing, that I'm honestly rusty and I didn't do as much as I should have to rectify it this summer. What do you guys do? Brain dump every E&E? pre-write answers (how does one go about doing that?) Finally, I've learned the less than pleasurable way that you have to focus on the test from day one...you don't believe it until you see it I guess.

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fatduck
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Re: I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby fatduck » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:08 pm

in my experience word limited exams tend to be comically short, like 800 words per question. i really hope this wasn't the case for you.

victortsoi
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Re: I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby victortsoi » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:12 pm

No, about 4000 for 4 hours and 3 fact patterns

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fatduck
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Re: I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby fatduck » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:07 pm

victortsoi wrote:No, about 4000 for 4 hours and 3 fact patterns

1000 words/question is pretty short imo, though it depends on the exam. some exams lend themselves more to dumping than others. i wrote ~8,000 words on crim and ~4,000 on property and got the same grade on both. more is usually better but that really means more relative to your classmates not more relative to some constant.

you've already taken your exams so just wait for your grades and then decide if you need to make changes.

LSATNightmares
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Re: I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby LSATNightmares » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:29 pm

There isn't necessarily a correlation. I got an A in one class without even hitting 1/2 the word limit. But if you really want to hit the world limit, you can focus on making your outlines very efficient. In one class in which I did well, I wrote out my outline so I could just transcribe all the rules to my essay without thinking how to phrase everything.

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thesealocust
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Re: I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby thesealocust » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:39 pm

Typing speed matters some, but truly fast exam taking requires knowing the material very well and being thoroughly practiced at writing law exams. It's the difference between stopping to think several times, looking up rules, being unsure what goes in the next paragraph, etc. and being able to dive in and stay engaged with analysis for almost the entire time limit.

I wrote some very long exams (and some less very long exams) but even my longest exams only ever came out to a fraction of the 'words per minute' as I can get just typing garbage into a typing game or something. Thinking fast and knowing the law well is at least as important, if not more important, than typing fast.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:08 pm

Do you outline your answers before you write them? I would always always always writd the whole outline first - issue is X, rule elements are a, b, c, etc.

That pre-outline structure may jog your memory with ideas of where you can add additional details.

Also, if you're not already, make sure you argue in the alternative (eg., "on the other hand, defendant's best argument is. . .") Even if the call of the question doesn't ask for it, saying what the opponent is likely to argue is a good way to flush out an answer and will probably earn you points.

Miller32
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Re: I want to get better at hitting the word limit

Postby Miller32 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:19 am

If you have time you should work on going over the word limit, making of the points you think are relevant, before going back to trim the fat (verbosity, repetitive sentences, etc.). This will get you to the word limit, you'll probably have more info down than most, and you'll have a more concise answer.




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