Too little writing on exams?

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commoner
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Too little writing on exams?

Postby commoner » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:09 pm

My Civ Pro midterm went badly. The professor is a jerk from Yale but that's beside the point. Has anyone else experienced problems with length? I think my Torts exam will be alright I have a very detailed 35 page outline but the 20 page outlines scare me. Am I just not juicing them enough? Am I just a retard? Help!

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sublime
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby sublime » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:15 pm

..

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EtherOne
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby EtherOne » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:18 pm

Try to make larger outlines - this will help you write longer answers. You will be surprised that, with lots of editing/outlining, you will know where everything is located at exam time.

Also, Civ Pro is its own beast, so don't worry about your Civ Pro midterm grade.

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EtherOne
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby EtherOne » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:21 pm

sublime wrote:Well, my Torts outline is slightly over 3.5 pages.

hth


It really depends on the person. I have friends with 5 page outlines that did very well, and other friends that have 100+ page outlines that also did very well. Maybe the OP is the latter type, and needs to create larger outlines.

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Nova
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby Nova » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:42 pm

Length doesn't matter.

Content is what matters.

If you think you are missing a bunch of rules, then that's a problem.

My friend's Torts & K OLs were only 1 page front and back each. She averaged just over 2k words per hour and aced both classes.

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thesealocust
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:52 pm

Nova wrote:Length doesn't matter.

Content is what matters.


Not empty quoting.

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby lawhopeful10 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:53 pm

Our torts midterm was ungraded but I did 2200 words in 50 minutes and the exam is closed book. I mean you know your teachers but for us only one of our test really requires a long outline the rest it's more important to just have everything memorized. You waste time flipping through a long outline so ideally you will know all the law and good arguments from your cases cold and then your focus can just be as much application as possible on the exam.

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commoner
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby commoner » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:31 am

Ty to those who responded

shameless bump :twisted:

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stillwater
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby stillwater » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:39 am

the problem is that you shouldn't be relying on your outline to generate length while taking an exam. I try to keep my outlines as bare-bones as possible. for most of my 3 hour exams, i churned out 6000+ words. outline length doesn't produce exam length. being able to manipulate the fact pattern and apply law to that while seeing all the relevant issues is what produces length.

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commoner
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby commoner » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:41 am

I took a practice tort exam. I hit up every single issue in the model answer but I wrote only 2 pages as opposed to the model answer which was like 8 pages. Again any help is appreciated.

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JazzOne
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby JazzOne » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:03 am

commoner wrote:I took a practice tort exam. I hit up every single issue in the model answer but I wrote only 2 pages as opposed to the model answer which was like 8 pages. Again any help is appreciated.

Well, what's in the model answer but absent from yours? Hitting an issue isn't the same as analyzing it thoroughly.

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northwood
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby northwood » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:08 am

commoner wrote:I took a practice tort exam. I hit up every single issue in the model answer but I wrote only 2 pages as opposed to the model answer which was like 8 pages. Again any help is appreciated.



so you are good at issue spotting.... that's a plus. just focus on the analysis and making sure you are applying the law to the facts as presented. go over the model answer and see how the prof wants it done since (s)he gave you a great window into how she assesses each exam response and try your best to replicate that in December

kykiske
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby kykiske » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:44 pm

A solid +1 to all that has been said.

My final Torts & Contracts outlines were 5-6 pages each. They ended up being 2 of my highest grades all of 1L year.

I received some flake from my section-mates when I told them I had short outlines; most of them said there's was 30 pages, and they had significantly cut things out.

Though in reality, I also had those big 40 page outlines. But I didn't rely on them for the exam. It was definitely the process of taking that big outline, and really narrowing it down into a bare-bones attack outline that really helped me with my studying.

For me, doing practice problems definitely helped. But I felt that it was the combination of condensing my outline and doing practice problems that helped me the most.

Just my two.

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5ky
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby 5ky » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:21 pm

1. There's no one right way to law school. This can't be overstated. While anecdotal evidence can be helpful, I'm confident in saying that you could get an A anywhere from no outline at all to an outline of 200+ pages.

2. That being said, except in extraordinary circumstances, if you are writing two pages for a full law school exam, you will not do well. There are (extreme) limits to how little and how much you can write an still expect to do well. It is imperative that you understand a law school exam is not like an undergrad exam.

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SamSeaborn2016
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby SamSeaborn2016 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:19 pm

3L here. I used to make three outlines per class. I would start with a long one that was basically just distilled notes and then drill it down a bit to make a slightly shorter one. If we could bring outlines into an exam, I would make a third one that was usually a page or two of just key items to spur my memory. This was probably more work than necessary but it worked for me.

All that said, content beats length on the actual exam as long as you are actually hitting the key points. I have a difficult time typing/writing so I actively avoid word vomit and I've done well. You do need to get a read for your specific professor, though. They each expect a slightly different approach but I've found that if you make it easy for them to pull answers out of all your writing, you'll do better. Try to use lots of "because..."

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commoner
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby commoner » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:31 pm

I'm up to five pages but could use some more bulk to my answers. PTing really works!

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Lockfast
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby Lockfast » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:48 pm

SamSeaborn2016 wrote:3L here. I used to make three outlines per class. I would start with a long one that was basically just distilled notes and then drill it down a bit to make a slightly shorter one. If we could bring outlines into an exam, I would make a third one that was usually a page or two of just key items to spur my memory. This was probably more work than necessary but it worked for me.


I did the same thing. The process of cutting information down from a big outline to a much shorter one helped build retention and basically served as my "memorization"... At the end, my outlines were 5pg max, but started from something 25+.

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Jsa725
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Re: Too little writing on exams?

Postby Jsa725 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:59 pm

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