Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

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WinbyLazy
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Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby WinbyLazy » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:25 pm

It's a bit of a ways out, but I have a take-home exam (I am a 2L) as a final and I haven't had one before. So, I am unsure of the best way to net that A on this bad boy. I've been told that it is going to be a fact pattern; no word on a page requirement or format.

Hit me with your general tips so I can set that curve high.

WinbyLazy
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby WinbyLazy » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:11 pm

Bump

odoylerulez
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby odoylerulez » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:54 pm

1. Read the honor code.

2. Do everything that the honor code doesn't forbid.

For example, knowing whether you can consult other people (such as attorneys) is an absolutely crucial piece of information. You almost definitely will not be allowed to talk to other students taking the exam, and your professor will likely not respond to any questions during the examination period, but sometimes, schools will leave other possibilities open. If you have any doubts, though, consult your professor first.

3. Learn what the time limit is as soon as you can. If you have a lengthy time frame to work with (like 48 or 72 hours), you won't want to study excessively for this exam. Instead, put that extra time in to studying for your closed book exams, if you have any, or your other exams in general.

4. Consult multiple sources of information. I blended material from multiple supplements as well as my casebook, and it worked well. Look to any Restatements also. You can make up ground on other students by turning in a complete and fully accurate analyses. Blending this language also allows you to come up with a unique-sounding exam while still maintaining accuracy, which is absolutely what you want to do on a final.

5. Don't rely on energy drinks for the sheer purpose of staying awake for 48+ hours straight. I made that mistake. For me, about 24 hours in, it absolutely crushed my efficiency once that first big crash hit. Get at least a little bit of sleep at night, but do remember that time is money on take home exams. How much effort and time you put in tends to correlate with better grades. Get some sleep, but just enough. You'll have plenty of time to recover once finals are over.

Same probably applies to adderall, but I haven't tried that.

Good luck!

Gotallanswers
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Gotallanswers » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:29 pm

Someone will work on it straight for all 24 hours or maybe Ben potentially even 48 hours although I predict they will try to get some sleep if its 48. But maybe 5 if that.

z0rk
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby z0rk » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:36 pm

In the event that your take home is timed (i.e. you may take the exam during a two week window, but school software will limit your examination to just 4 hours) I suggest pre-phrasing your rules/legal standard section (provided its an open notes exam). This will allow you to provide a thorough rule without wasting time on constructing that section during the exam. You can then launch into the analysis during your other four hours.

Void
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Void » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:14 pm

odoylerulez wrote:For example, knowing whether you can consult other people (such as attorneys) is an absolutely crucial piece of information.


On what planet would it be ok to talk to an attorney (or anyone) about an exam? Are there actually schools that allow this?


OP, take-homes at my school were always 24 hours or less. We were also allowed to choose when to begin the exam period. If it's the same situation for you, I recommend thinking about your start time very tactically. For instance, whenever I had a 24 hour exam, I would start it at 3 PM. That way I could work on it steadily until midnight or 1AM, at which point my brain would be pretty fried. I would go to sleep until around 6-7 AM, and then I would have a whole new "day" from 7-3 PM. It was effective because I was able to rest my mind and sort of reset. Lots of people think they should try to get a head start or whatever and begin their exam at like 8 AM. This is dumb, because you can only work so long before you have to sleep, and if the exam is due at 8 the following day, you won't have much time to do extra work after waking up.

FWIW I took about 5 take-homes in law school, and got an A on every single one using this technique.

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Dogg
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Dogg » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:37 pm

Void wrote:
odoylerulez wrote:For example, knowing whether you can consult other people (such as attorneys) is an absolutely crucial piece of information.


On what planet would it be ok to talk to an attorney (or anyone) about an exam? Are there actually schools that allow this?

sounds like a massive honor code violation, especially for an exam

Void
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Void » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:50 pm

Dogg wrote:
Void wrote:
odoylerulez wrote:For example, knowing whether you can consult other people (such as attorneys) is an absolutely crucial piece of information.


On what planet would it be ok to talk to an attorney (or anyone) about an exam? Are there actually schools that allow this?

sounds like a massive honor code violation, especially for an exam


I agree. My school even required full disclosure if we talked to outside sources about our research papers. Talking to someone about an exam while taking the exam was grounds for serious academic misconduct citations- probably expulsion.

odoylerulez
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby odoylerulez » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:54 am

Void wrote:
odoylerulez wrote:For example, knowing whether you can consult other people (such as attorneys) is an absolutely crucial piece of information.


On what planet would it be ok to talk to an attorney (or anyone) about an exam? Are there actually schools that allow this?


It's not permitted at my school - but I know of at least one school where the honor code is a little loose, and consulting outside sources isn't explicitly forbidden. It's worth checking your honor code to see exactly what you can and can't do.

Of course, I don't recommend trying to do it, if it's forbidden, for more than just moral reasons. Sure, you can gamble and try to break the rules anyway, but what happens when you contact the wrong person for help, and that person chooses to report you? Then you're done, and your aspirations of a legal career are probably going to be swiftly eliminated. There may even be ramifications beyond law school.

Void
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Void » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:54 am

odoylerulez wrote:
Void wrote:
odoylerulez wrote:For example, knowing whether you can consult other people (such as attorneys) is an absolutely crucial piece of information.


On what planet would it be ok to talk to an attorney (or anyone) about an exam? Are there actually schools that allow this?


It's not permitted at my school - but I know of at least one school where the honor code is a little loose, and consulting outside sources isn't explicitly forbidden. It's worth checking your honor code to see exactly what you can and can't do.

Of course, I don't recommend trying to do it, if it's forbidden, for more than just moral reasons. Sure, you can gamble and try to break the rules anyway, but what happens when you contact the wrong person for help, and that person chooses to report you? Then you're done, and your aspirations of a legal career are probably going to be swiftly eliminated. There may even be ramifications beyond law school.


Uh, yeah- it's really not worth even thinking about.

Sort of a sidetrack, but it blows my mind when I hear about law students doing stuff like this- even if not expressly prohibited by your honor code, why would it ever be worth the risk? Exams aren't that hard- just actually do the work during the semester, pay attention in class, make good outlines, and you'll do well. I don't understand why anyone would risk so much for what might amount to a .001 GPA boost.

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Redamon1
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Redamon1 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:52 am

Void wrote: whenever I had a 24 hour exam, I would start it at 3 PM. That way I could work on it steadily until midnight or 1AM, at which point my brain would be pretty fried. I would go to sleep until around 6-7 AM, and then I would have a whole new "day" from 7-3 PM. It was effective because I was able to rest my mind and sort of reset. Lots of people think they should try to get a head start or whatever and begin their exam at like 8 AM. This is dumb, because you can only work so long before you have to sleep, and if the exam is due at 8 the following day, you won't have much time to do extra work after waking up.


I have my first 24-hour exam coming up and I'm looking for tips. Anyone take a different approach from Void's -- I'm wondering what time to start and whether/how much to sleep?

Void
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Void » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:06 am

Redamon1 wrote:
Void wrote: whenever I had a 24 hour exam, I would start it at 3 PM. That way I could work on it steadily until midnight or 1AM, at which point my brain would be pretty fried. I would go to sleep until around 6-7 AM, and then I would have a whole new "day" from 7-3 PM. It was effective because I was able to rest my mind and sort of reset. Lots of people think they should try to get a head start or whatever and begin their exam at like 8 AM. This is dumb, because you can only work so long before you have to sleep, and if the exam is due at 8 the following day, you won't have much time to do extra work after waking up.


I have my first 24-hour exam coming up and I'm looking for tips. Anyone take a different approach from Void's -- I'm wondering what time to start and whether/how much to sleep?


I already said this, but not sleeping is a really bad idea.

jarofsoup
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby jarofsoup » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:08 am

how do you deal w/ month long take home exams? I have had and reviewed a take home exam since early october.

Very short, no outside sources allowed.

Any advice?

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Lockfast
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby Lockfast » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:53 pm

jarofsoup wrote:how do you deal w/ month long take home exams? I have had and reviewed a take home exam since early october.

Very short, no outside sources allowed.

Any advice?


Holy shit, a month long exam?

My upcoming one is an 8 hour exam.. I wonder how much typing I'm going to have to do. (We have to print out and hand in the paper.)

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PepperJack
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby PepperJack » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:12 pm

Whatever happened with the guy who asked TLS the answer?

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stillwater
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Re: Take-Home Exams: Tips and Tricks

Postby stillwater » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:23 pm

PepperJack wrote:Whatever happened with the guy who asked TLS the answer?


The Duke bro? He's probably in his biglaw office.




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