how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
ninny
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:28 am

how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby ninny » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:57 pm

i guess profs just don't give out past exams when you're a 2L (i know, wah wah)...what are your thoughts on helpfulness of doing past exams from different profs (decade old one from my school, more recent ones from other schools)?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Can be very useful if it matches even roughly your course. It's good to get exposure to the fact patterns that give rise to legal issues.

When you find exams, just skim them to make sure they look relevant to your course before trying them out.

starrynight62
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:15 pm

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby starrynight62 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:02 pm

1L year several of my professors didn't give out old exams, so my friends and I used the Pepperdine exam bank for practice. Not as good as an old exam from your professor, but more helpful than not doing practice tests at all. I agree that the key is finding practice tests that are in the same style your professor will give (essay, short answer, multiple choice), and that test the same aspects of the law you focused on in class.

Another alternative is to make up your own questions with your friends. This also forces you to think through and appreciate the nuances of the law and will often be close to what is actually asked on the exam.

swimmer11
Posts: 464
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:54 pm

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby swimmer11 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:06 pm

Absolutely extremely helpful.

If you do not and others do you will be at an automatic disadvantage especially if the prof includes a model answer or checklist to show what he is looking for.

User avatar
Learned Scissorhands
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:41 am

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby Learned Scissorhands » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:27 pm

I don't have grades back yet but I read a lot of past exams from different schools just to compare and contrast different approaches. I thought it helped me a lot to go into the exam with a solid game plan and structure in mind.

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6344
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby 5ky » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:42 pm

swimmer11 wrote:Absolutely extremely helpful.

If you do not and others do you will be at an automatic disadvantage especially if the prof includes a model answer or checklist to show what he is looking for.


They can be helpful, but you're way overstating it and either (a) trying to psyche people out, or (b) trying to convince yourself that you're going to do well.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:54 pm

swimmer11 wrote:Absolutely extremely helpful.

If you do not and others do you will be at an automatic disadvantage especially if the prof includes a model answer or checklist to show what he is looking for.


Take a step back there. They are good, yes, but an "automatic disadvantage" is silly.

They are good, though. I like the model answers more than the exams because it's a good example of how the concepts work together in an exam answer.

MinEMorris
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:26 am

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby MinEMorris » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:00 pm

put simply, they're the next best thing to past exams from your professor. If you only have a limited number of exams from your professor, look for exams from other professors that seem similar in format and theme to those given by your professor. Check out this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12526 for exam databases.

Also, obviously approach model answers from different professors with an appreciation of the fact that what your professor teaches, how (s)he teaches it, and what (s)he emphasizes is going to be different at least in minor ways from how other professors teach the course.

User avatar
LAWYER2
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:15 pm

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby LAWYER2 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:12 pm

i read through past exams and answers right before taking my family law exam. I caught some great tips that I probably wouldn't have caught otherwise!

LAJ20002
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:25 pm

Re: how helpful is it to go over past exam from different prof?

Postby LAJ20002 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:56 pm

starrynight62 wrote:1L year several of my professors didn't give out old exams, so my friends and I used the Pepperdine exam bank for practice. Not as good as an old exam from your professor, but more helpful than not doing practice tests at all. I agree that the key is finding practice tests that are in the same style your professor will give (essay, short answer, multiple choice), and that test the same aspects of the law you focused on in class.

Another alternative is to make up your own questions with your friends. This also forces you to think through and appreciate the nuances of the law and will often be close to what is actually asked on the exam.



This is the same advice I was going to give. Making up your own questions is really valuable, even just as an exercise to prepare you mentally for a professor's exam.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: burritoface, stig2014, Yahoo [Bot] and 14 guests