Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

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sap
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Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby sap » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:07 pm

Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be okay. Literally everyone missed at least one issue on that exam. Some will have missed two, or ten. Some will have spent 80% of their time on a question worth 50% of the points. Nobody's exams are prefect. Even the people that book the classes will not have written perfect exams.

Here's my anecdotal story of why it's okay to miss some things. Last year, I felt really amazing about my CivPro exam, except for the question about attorney client privilege. For the life of me, I couldn't name all of the elements that my professor wanted us to go through (there were 6). I went through it 3 or 4 times and could only name 5. So I analyzed it with 5, came out deciding the documents were privileged and not subject to discovery. I went home and looked up the 6th element and, of course, it was the critical element. I had left out one of the elements of the test, and the element I had left out was the deciding factor in the exam question. I went off to SantaCon (fyi, saturday exams are the worst!) morose, convinced that I had failed CivPro, drank waaaaaay too much, and ended up dancing on the street in a santa dress to one of those street performers playing his little trash can. I'm a white girl with no rhythm. There are videos. It was not a pretty night.

Three weeks later, I found out that I had booked the class.

So, 1Ls who are freaking out because you missed one thing, sometimes even a fairly big thing, there is still hope. Sure, you probably didn't book the class because there are 60+ people in the class. But maybe you did. And even if you didn't book the class, you definitely didn't fail it. You probably got an A, or a high B. You're good. You're golden. Go back to studying for your next exam, and stop wasting time reviewing the material you've already been tested on.

Other non-1Ls, let's share the rest of our stories about blinding stupidity on our exams that resulted in success. Exam periods are bleak. It's winter out there.

And now I'm going to go back to writing my computer crime exam on my birthday.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby brotherdarkness » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:50 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dannynoonan87
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby dannynoonan87 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:51 am

If you think of the exam as a giant bear chasing after everyone, you don't need to be faster than the bear—you just need to be faster than the others running behind you.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:02 am

BUT THAT GOD DAMN PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS ISSUE FFFF UU

iworkforlsac
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby iworkforlsac » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:16 pm

I hope all these things are true

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PepperJack
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby PepperJack » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:27 pm

There's no right answer. It depends on how major of an issue it is. The truth is if you picked up on some of the major problems, and kept on going deeper in the arguments without being repetitive or tangentry, you should be fine. Even then, it depends on the point system. If it's the a maximum of 5 points for Issue X, 3 for Y, etc. then it may be more important to spot more issues. If it's just Question 1 is worth 50 points then it doesn't matter. At the end of the day what you decided to talk about, and how well you talked about it will control. It's not a contest just to see who can spot the most issues. Spelling mistakes absolutely don't matter.

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MarineLaw
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby MarineLaw » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:05 pm

I had a take-home exam consisting of two questions for crim law--counting for 66% of my grade. The most prominent issue, in both questions, pivoted on the definition of the word "dwelling". "Dwelling" had a statutory definition. That definition was not provided in the references statutes distributed for the test, however the applicable criminal statutes referenced using that definition.

I assumed our professor wanted us to go through multiple levels of statutory analysis (something we focused on a lot in class) and wrote both my 2000 word analyses as if a statutory definition was unavailable and I had to go off plain meaning (i.e. dictionary), look at surrounding provisions, etc.

However, one of the cases within out 600 page casebook specific to our state, cited the statute and provided the state statutory definition of "dwelling" within a footnote. Granted we went over the case in class--spending the entirety of 20 minutes on it. Naturally, the statutory definition was much broader than plain meaning, or surrounding statutory provisions had indicated--meaning that my analyses went in the exact opposite direction, and making the direction of the exam a whole lot less comprehensible.

I discovered this three hours before our in-class short answer exam by accident while briefly looking through our casebook to review our state specific Castle Doctrine test while studying for our in-class short answer exam. As soon as I saw it, I furiously re-wrote my essay answers, identifying other issues that cascaded out of the new direction of my essay--which now had a much more logical flow.

Perfect example of how fucked up law school exams can be. I spend five days writing an exam, and miss a key definition that both exams hinged on (I even cited the preceding page within my first analysis). I did not study hardly at all, for the in-class short answer exam due to the overwhelming amount of time I spent trying to wade through my two analyses to begin with, followed by my frantic re-write just before the in-class exam. As karma would have it, I think I killed my short-answer exam--largely because I spent so much goddamn time searching for answers to other, non-relevant issues as a result of my failure to find the statutory definition in a case. Because of all that research, I unintentionally memorized a huge portion of both my casebook and supplement--which the short answer exam was 100% based on (not a single lecture-based question).

Also, my first exam. If this is any indication, law school exams are effing crazy...

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3|ink
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby 3|ink » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:29 pm

All of this advice is wrong. The credited answer is seppuku.

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stillwater
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby stillwater » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:03 pm

just get an A+ bro

arklaw13
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:56 pm

25% of my civpro exam was a question about discovery sanctions. Company A sues company B, alleging that it actually invented the thingy in question a year before company B did, so B's patent is invalid or whatever. Company A produces a schematic with a date stamp that is before company B said it invented it, and says in a couple interrogatories that the schematic program automatically puts in a date stamp. An employ testifies in a depo that the program automatically put "Feb., 15th 1998" or whatever as the date. Company B sees the weird typo and hires an expert, who says that actually the program automatically puts in January 1 1995 as the date and that the user has to edit this to put in the actual date. Company B sends this to Company A, who supplements its interrogatories clarifying that while the program automatically puts in the date, the date that it puts in is January 1995. I'm supposed to say what Company B should do about it, since it seems like the other side was lying, especially since the guy lied in the depo.

We covered discovery sanctions for 10 minutes in one class, which consisted of a case about the intentional destruction of electronic documents. What the fuck.

Basically made up a a way to analyze it based on what we talked about in class. Said they'd have to pay for the expert we hired to prove that they basically lied, but that we wouldn't get major sanctions because bad faith would be hard to prove and there really isn't any prejudice since we figured it out. But I don't think that's really the right rule.

In short, I have no idea what the right rule was or how I was supposed to analyze it. But I'm hoping no one else did either. So I could have dropped the ball and got fucked hard, since the other issue spotter was relatively straight forward, and I'm pretty sure everyone would have gotten most of the points there.

OH GOD I NEED ALCOHOL

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ph14
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby ph14 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:50 pm

Best post-exam advice: don't think about exams after they're over. There's nothing you can do now. Obviously easier said than done.

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El Pollito
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby El Pollito » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:51 pm

ph14 wrote:Best post-exam advice: don't think about exams after they're over. There's nothing you can do now. Obviously easier said than done.

That's like telling a kid with OCD to disregard odd numbers.

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ph14
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby ph14 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:58 pm

El Pollito wrote:
ph14 wrote:Best post-exam advice: don't think about exams after they're over. There's nothing you can do now. Obviously easier said than done.

That's like telling a kid with OCD to disregard odd numbers.


It's tough but you'll feel better if you don't think about it, if possible. Definitely do not talk to others about the exam or any issues on the exam. That's a sure way to needlessly worry yourself.

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northwood
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby northwood » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:23 pm

ph14 wrote: Definitely do not talk to others about the exam or any issues on the exam. That's a sure way to needlessly worry yourself.



THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS OOOOH SOO MUCH THIS

shock259
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby shock259 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:19 am


09042014
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:25 am

If you missed a significant issue, you probably aren't getting top 20% on that exam. Minor issues don't matter much because everyone spots different ones.

It depends though. Some exams are so hard nobody gets all significant issues, but that is rare.

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moonman157
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby moonman157 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:31 am

sap wrote:Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be okay. Literally everyone missed at least one issue on that exam. Some will have missed two, or ten. Some will have spent 80% of their time on a question worth 50% of the points. Nobody's exams are prefect. Even the people that book the classes will not have written perfect exams.

Here's my anecdotal story of why it's okay to miss some things. Last year, I felt really amazing about my CivPro exam, except for the question about attorney client privilege. For the life of me, I couldn't name all of the elements that my professor wanted us to go through (there were 6). I went through it 3 or 4 times and could only name 5. So I analyzed it with 5, came out deciding the documents were privileged and not subject to discovery. I went home and looked up the 6th element and, of course, it was the critical element. I had left out one of the elements of the test, and the element I had left out was the deciding factor in the exam question. I went off to SantaCon (fyi, saturday exams are the worst!) morose, convinced that I had failed CivPro, drank waaaaaay too much, and ended up dancing on the street in a santa dress to one of those street performers playing his little trash can. I'm a white girl with no rhythm. There are videos. It was not a pretty night.

Three weeks later, I found out that I had booked the class.

So, 1Ls who are freaking out because you missed one thing, sometimes even a fairly big thing, there is still hope. Sure, you probably didn't book the class because there are 60+ people in the class. But maybe you did. And even if you didn't book the class, you definitely didn't fail it. You probably got an A, or a high B. You're good. You're golden. Go back to studying for your next exam, and stop wasting time reviewing the material you've already been tested on.

Other non-1Ls, let's share the rest of our stories about blinding stupidity on our exams that resulted in success. Exam periods are bleak. It's winter out there.

And now I'm going to go back to writing my computer crime exam on my birthday.


I absolutely needed to hear this. Thank you very much.

jbf
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby jbf » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:48 pm

Desert Fox wrote:If you missed a significant issue, you probably aren't getting top 20% on that exam. Minor issues don't matter much because everyone spots different ones.

It depends though. Some exams are so hard nobody gets all significant issues, but that is rare.


How significant is significant?

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stillwater
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby stillwater » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:54 pm

jbf wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:If you missed a significant issue, you probably aren't getting top 20% on that exam. Minor issues don't matter much because everyone spots different ones.

It depends though. Some exams are so hard nobody gets all significant issues, but that is rare.


How significant is significant?


EXAMPLE: if you didnt see the personal jurisdiction issue(s) on your civpro exam, probably not good. if you didnt see a small subsidiary issue, not a big deal. just look thru your syllabus, what did you spend a lot of time on? those are likely to be the big issues.

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lisavj
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby lisavj » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:55 pm

ph14 wrote:Best post-exam advice: don't think about exams after they're over. There's nothing you can do now. Obviously easier said than done.


Best thing I did 1L - we could leave exams early and I type fast. I left every test about 10 minutes early (5min and you had to stay), went directly to the gym, and upped the speed on the treadmill every time I thought about the test. By the end, I had missed classmates talking about the exam (evil, at best you'll feel good because you caught something someone else didn't, at worst you'll assume you failed) and I couldn't really remember my own name much less whether I cared about the exam.

Oh, and also drinking. Drinking after the workout can help remove the memories. But it all depends on how close together your finals are.

collegewriter
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby collegewriter » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:41 pm

I FORGOT my MPC for Crim Pro. We didn't even have case law on the exam--it was all MPC and I didn't have it in the outline. Spent 30 minutes trying to get another copy. Missed 3 whole questions on the test. Did not get an A but close. (NO IDEA HOW) .

Y'all will be FINE.

Something to keep in mind: I had a big 5 hour test for a 5 credit class. Prof told me later that there were 200 issues. A grade only got 100 of them. I got 70 and did well. There's always a lot on these exams and you will NEVER EVER EVER get it all.

Again you'll be fine.

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stillwater
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby stillwater » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:42 pm

collegewriter wrote:I FORGOT my MPC for Crim Pro. We didn't even have case law on the exam--it was all MPC and I didn't have it in the outline. Spent 30 minutes trying to get another copy. Missed 3 whole questions on the test. Did not get an A but close. (NO IDEA HOW) .

Y'all will be FINE.

Something to keep in mind: I had a big 5 hour test for a 5 credit class. Prof told me later that there were 200 issues. A grade only got 100 of them. I got 70 and did well. There's always a lot on these exams and you will NEVER EVER EVER get it all.

Again you'll be fine.


Echo this. On our civpro exam there were like 100 available points and the top grade got like 60/65. You won't know how you did until you get your grade back.

UnderrateOverachieve
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby UnderrateOverachieve » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:48 pm

FUCK! I totally forgot to mention the optional disclosure for professional misconduct, which fell under a 1.6 exception for crime fraud using your services...

There goes my book award...

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hellojd
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby hellojd » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:37 pm

sap wrote:Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be okay. Literally everyone missed at least one issue on that exam. Some will have missed two, or ten. Some will have spent 80% of their time on a question worth 50% of the points. Nobody's exams are prefect. Even the people that book the classes will not have written perfect exams.

Here's my anecdotal story of why it's okay to miss some things. Last year, I felt really amazing about my CivPro exam, except for the question about attorney client privilege. For the life of me, I couldn't name all of the elements that my professor wanted us to go through (there were 6). I went through it 3 or 4 times and could only name 5. So I analyzed it with 5, came out deciding the documents were privileged and not subject to discovery. I went home and looked up the 6th element and, of course, it was the critical element. I had left out one of the elements of the test, and the element I had left out was the deciding factor in the exam question. I went off to SantaCon (fyi, saturday exams are the worst!) morose, convinced that I had failed CivPro, drank waaaaaay too much, and ended up dancing on the street in a santa dress to one of those street performers playing his little trash can. I'm a white girl with no rhythm. There are videos. It was not a pretty night.

Three weeks later, I found out that I had booked the class.

So, 1Ls who are freaking out because you missed one thing, sometimes even a fairly big thing, there is still hope. Sure, you probably didn't book the class because there are 60+ people in the class. But maybe you did. And even if you didn't book the class, you definitely didn't fail it. You probably got an A, or a high B. You're good. You're golden. Go back to studying for your next exam, and stop wasting time reviewing the material you've already been tested on.

Other non-1Ls, let's share the rest of our stories about blinding stupidity on our exams that resulted in success. Exam periods are bleak. It's winter out there.

And now I'm going to go back to writing my computer crime exam on my birthday.


Thanks for writing this. 80% of my time is spent worrying about the next (and last) final I have, but the other time is spent rehashing in my head how the others went (partially because when I went out to lunch with some people after, they mentioned some minor issues that I didn't spot).

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Single-Malt-Liquor
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Re: Post-Exam Advice: So You Missed an Issue?

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:06 pm

I dont get the gospel of not talking about exams after. After each exam a few friends and I have had lunch/dinner and debriefed. By the end we'd all end up seeing the stuff that we missed, but more importantly, we'd realized that we all missed stuff.

Instead of saying oh god, I wonder what I missed. We end up going, "oh, that's what I missed" and then work on rationalizing it away.

Now if you're section-mates are lying dicks, talking about the exam could be bad.

Side note: if you dont like talking about exams, dont butt into a conversation two people are having about the exam and then 30 seconds later bitch about the fact that they're talking about it. You might get punched in the face.




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