Best Cramming Strategy?

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Lizard
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby Lizard » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:26 am

I'm trying to prepare for finals and for some reason I'm not remembering...anything...
I have outlines and old exams and notes and supplements all around, but I am feeling very overwhelmed. Exams are right around the corner. Please tell me the best way to use the week or so of total days that I have left (not counting "holidays").

Thanks so much! Congrats to everyone that already finished exams.

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby muskies970 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:36 am

If you have your professors old exams try looking at them so you know exactly what you are studying for. Just blindly studying is never a good idea, you want to have an objective in mind.

Also, don't just read things. Re-type them out, handwrite them out, make flash cards of important concepts, and orally read things out loud. Reading is one way of learning something but those interactive processes will help you remember as well. Also, try taking practice tests or take the time to apply the concepts once they're in your head as a way of memorizing/ challenging yourself.

Work in time that is manageable for you, 1-4 hours, with 10-20 minute breaks to refresh. Also, get good nights sleep to help your brain reprocess the information. Along with that, don't stress! It's much harder to learn when you're under pressure (especially if it's self motivated), don't look at it as cramming, but actually learning.

I just got done exams and felt like I did decently well with last minute studying, if you need more specific advice let me know and good luck, from what I could tell you don't need to know everything, just enough, to do well on exams, and you'll be fine.

Lizard
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby Lizard » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:44 am

muskies970 wrote:If you have your professors old exams try looking at them so you know exactly what you are studying for. Just blindly studying is never a good idea, you want to have an objective in mind.

Also, don't just read things. Re-type them out, handwrite them out, make flash cards of important concepts, and orally read things out loud. Reading is one way of learning something but those interactive processes will help you remember as well. Also, try taking practice tests or take the time to apply the concepts once they're in your head as a way of memorizing/ challenging yourself.

Work in time that is manageable for you, 1-4 hours, with 10-20 minute breaks to refresh. Also, get good nights sleep to help your brain reprocess the information. Along with that, don't stress! It's much harder to learn when you're under pressure (especially if it's self motivated), don't look at it as cramming, but actually learning.

I just got done exams and felt like I did decently well with last minute studying, if you need more specific advice let me know and good luck, from what I could tell you don't need to know everything, just enough, to do well on exams, and you'll be fine.


Thank you so much! I really really appreciate it. I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material and just realized how much reading I did not manage to finish. 2 of my tests are take home issue spotters/essay questions with strict word limits and 48 hours. The other 2 are short answer in class exams. All of the exams permit internet and the use of casebooks, outlines, etc.

Lizard
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby Lizard » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:48 am

Hello, panic mode.
Last edited by Lizard on Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby muskies970 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:51 am

Are you a 1L? I really wouldn't be that worried you have plenty of time and those take homes don't sound too bad. I would worry about the BLL and getting the big picture concepts down. Memorizing lots of details that probably won't come up would be a waste of time, especially for a take home exam when you can look anything obscure up.

Basically just get the big picture concepts down, and be able to apply them well. Make yourself do the practice exams and figure out what you don't know and what you need to learn.

Lizard
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby Lizard » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:58 am

muskies970 wrote:Are you a 1L? I really wouldn't be that worried you have plenty of time and those take homes don't sound too bad. I would worry about the BLL and getting the big picture concepts down. Memorizing lots of details that probably won't come up would be a waste of time, especially for a take home exam when you can look anything obscure up.

Basically just get the big picture concepts down, and be able to apply them well. Make yourself do the practice exams and figure out what you don't know and what you need to learn.


Thanks! I'm a first semester 1L. I'm thinking maybe the best strategy here is to focus on learning material for the in-class exams and learn the relevant material for the essay tests during the 48 hour window?

nsv
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby nsv » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:06 pm

Lizard wrote:
muskies970 wrote:Are you a 1L? I really wouldn't be that worried you have plenty of time and those take homes don't sound too bad. I would worry about the BLL and getting the big picture concepts down. Memorizing lots of details that probably won't come up would be a waste of time, especially for a take home exam when you can look anything obscure up.

Basically just get the big picture concepts down, and be able to apply them well. Make yourself do the practice exams and figure out what you don't know and what you need to learn.


Thanks! I'm a first semester 1L. I'm thinking maybe the best strategy here is to focus on learning material for the in-class exams and learn the relevant material for the essay tests during the 48 hour window?


Learn to spot issues for the take home exam. The best way to do that is to get an overall picture of the subject. I had a take home exam for my contract class and did very well on it by reading the barbri outline and trying to understand the overall picture without really memorizing anything. Then I opened up my E & E book to look at hypos for topics that I did not feel strong on. After that, I looked at a bunch of past exams, from my own professor and others.

Lizard
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby Lizard » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:27 pm

nsv wrote:
Lizard wrote:
muskies970 wrote:Are you a 1L? I really wouldn't be that worried you have plenty of time and those take homes don't sound too bad. I would worry about the BLL and getting the big picture concepts down. Memorizing lots of details that probably won't come up would be a waste of time, especially for a take home exam when you can look anything obscure up.

Basically just get the big picture concepts down, and be able to apply them well. Make yourself do the practice exams and figure out what you don't know and what you need to learn.


Thanks! I'm a first semester 1L. I'm thinking maybe the best strategy here is to focus on learning material for the in-class exams and learn the relevant material for the essay tests during the 48 hour window?


Learn to spot issues for the take home exam. The best way to do that is to get an overall picture of the subject. I had a take home exam for my contract class and did very well on it by reading the barbri outline and trying to understand the overall picture without really memorizing anything. Then I opened up my E & E book to look at hypos for topics that I did not feel strong on. After that, I looked at a bunch of past exams, from my own professor and others.


Thanks! I am running out of time, so I am hoping 1 day of reviewing black letter law and looking at old exams is enough for each course. I kind of feel like I may learn some classes better by spending the same time doing missed reading (e.g. Property, because the reading is more straightforward), but maybe I should just focus on BLL at this point.

nsv
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby nsv » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:51 pm

Lizard wrote:
nsv wrote:
Lizard wrote:
muskies970 wrote:Are you a 1L? I really wouldn't be that worried you have plenty of time and those take homes don't sound too bad. I would worry about the BLL and getting the big picture concepts down. Memorizing lots of details that probably won't come up would be a waste of time, especially for a take home exam when you can look anything obscure up.

Basically just get the big picture concepts down, and be able to apply them well. Make yourself do the practice exams and figure out what you don't know and what you need to learn.


Thanks! I'm a first semester 1L. I'm thinking maybe the best strategy here is to focus on learning material for the in-class exams and learn the relevant material for the essay tests during the 48 hour window?


Learn to spot issues for the take home exam. The best way to do that is to get an overall picture of the subject. I had a take home exam for my contract class and did very well on it by reading the barbri outline and trying to understand the overall picture without really memorizing anything. Then I opened up my E & E book to look at hypos for topics that I did not feel strong on. After that, I looked at a bunch of past exams, from my own professor and others.


Thanks! I am running out of time, so I am hoping 1 day of reviewing black letter law and looking at old exams is enough for each course. I kind of feel like I may learn some classes better by spending the same time doing missed reading (e.g. Property, because the reading is more straightforward), but maybe I should just focus on BLL at this point.



If I was in your spot, I would skip over the reading at this point. It is time to focus on black law and spend most of your time preparing for in-class exams. To be honest, if you have only one day to prepare between each exam, it is far more beneficial to understand the subject as a whole rather than spending time memorizing black law. Look at a bunch of past exams for your professor and see what he loves testing on.

eerie_erie
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby eerie_erie » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:19 am

Agreed, past exams are helpful. Try to see if you can spot all the issues and say something intelligent about each of them. I might also take some time to explain to a non-law person what you are studying. It helps me realize my weak points.

Lizard
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby Lizard » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:40 am

Thanks! I'm slightly scared because we have so much time for exams. The idea of having a full day to do a property issue spotter for which we have strict word limits (1000 words per question, and only 1-3 questions on the full exam) AND for which we are allowed to use any materials we want, including the internet, horn books, etc. makes me wonder what I might be missing by having not kept up with the reading all semester...

Lizard
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby Lizard » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:01 pm

Best tips on cramming for Contracts?
1) It's an open book 6 hour test, but no copying and pasting from old documents
2) We didn't learn Statute of Frauds, but did lots of UCC and Parole Evidence work
3) Our prof is giving us a bunch of TRUE/FALSE questions. He will tell us what he wants us to use for each question--either the UCC/Restatement/common law--and according to the specified source, we are supposed to answer the TRUE/FALSE question and write a 1-2 paragraph explanation of why we answered the way we did. He wants us to cite cases to help explain the reasoning Apparently the test will be between 30 and 60 questions...he isn't sure yet...

I have very little time to study and have only read about half the cases. I have great outlines and supplements. Does it make sense to actually try to go back and learn the holdings/distinguishing facts of the cases NOW, from the outlines and casebriefs I have? Alternatively, do you think I should focus my efforts on looking at practice tests and learning to access info quickly to answer questions (using tools such as the outlines and summary books)? I don't really have time to get familiar with the cases AND practice tests.

I realize what a pickle I've created for myself by getting behind, but would really appreciate any feedback you have on how to catch up! :)

AmbriaMyles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:56 pm

PLEASE HELP!!!

Postby AmbriaMyles » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:00 pm

Hello!

I am a 1L second termer at Cooley. Closed book exam for Torts 2 and K2 one in 4 days and the other one is in 6 days! Is it even possible to remember enough to at least pass the exams? Please I need advice. This semester we had family loss and it was tough.

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Blessings,
Ambria

eagle2a
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:37 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP!!!

Postby eagle2a » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:04 pm

AmbriaMyles wrote:Hello!

I am a 1L second termer at Cooley. Closed book exam for Torts 2 and K2 one in 4 days and the other one is in 6 days! Is it even possible to remember enough to at least pass the exams? Please I need advice. This semester we had family loss and it was tough.

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Blessings,
Ambria



The best advise we could give you is to drop out because you're not getting a job as an attorney coming out of Cooley.

acr
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:14 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP!!!

Postby acr » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:08 pm

eagle2a wrote:
AmbriaMyles wrote:Hello!

I am a 1L second termer at Cooley. Closed book exam for Torts 2 and K2 one in 4 days and the other one is in 6 days! Is it even possible to remember enough to at least pass the exams? Please I need advice. This semester we had family loss and it was tough.

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Blessings,
Ambria



The best advise we could give you is to drop out because you're not getting a job as an attorney coming out of Cooley.


not as binary as you're making it out to be.

I'm sure the top 1-5 students at cooley have some options

AmbriaMyles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:56 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby AmbriaMyles » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:20 pm

I have a job, but I get a promotion with the JD. But I actually have to get the JD lol i.e. pass. Any cram tips?

AmbriaMyles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:56 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP!!!

Postby AmbriaMyles » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:28 pm

acr wrote:
eagle2a wrote:
AmbriaMyles wrote:Hello!

I am a 1L second termer at Cooley. Closed book exam for Torts 2 and K2 one in 4 days and the other one is in 6 days! Is it even possible to remember enough to at least pass the exams? Please I need advice. This semester we had family loss and it was tough.

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Blessings,
Ambria



The best advise we could give you is to drop out because you're not getting a job as an attorney coming out of Cooley.


not as binary as you're making it out to be.

I'm sure the top 1-5 students at cooley have some options



I have a job, but I get a promotion with the JD. But I actually have to get the JD lol i.e. pass. Any cram tips?

acr
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:14 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP!!!

Postby acr » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:41 pm

AmbriaMyles wrote:Hello!

I am a 1L second termer at Cooley. Closed book exam for Torts 2 and K2 one in 4 days and the other one is in 6 days! Is it even possible to remember enough to at least pass the exams? Please I need advice. This semester we had family loss and it was tough.

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Blessings,
Ambria


Yes. In my experience, closed book exams generally require less "cold" knowledge of the law and its nuances. Knowing the most important parts of the doctrine and being able to thoroughly analyze on the exam is usually sufficient. I am not saying that closed book exams require less studying. I'm just saying that learning the broad strokes is probably more useful than learning the nuances that your professor never covered.

The most useful strategy I have found is to take your own outline (or a former student's outline) and consolidate the outline into a few pages with the important points for each subject/doctrine. Once the outline is consolidated, I practice writing and rewriting the outline until I can do the entire thing from memory.

For instance, I'll get the outline down to:

Unconscionability:
(1) Procedural (unequal bargaining power and absence of a meaningful choice)
(2) Substantive (one-sided terms/surprise terms)

Remedies
Specific performance (not applied unless damages inadequate)
Substitutionary (Hairy Hand) (compensatory, punitive)

Rinse and repeat for each doctrine until I can recite it from memory.

But different things work for different people. Some people can read through an outline a few times and have a good grasp of the basics. I just like knowing it cold, especially for closed book exams.

eagle2a
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:37 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby eagle2a » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:43 pm

Also, don't use your real name on here

AmbriaMyles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:56 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP!!!

Postby AmbriaMyles » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:58 pm

acr wrote:
AmbriaMyles wrote:Hello!

I am a 1L second termer at Cooley. Closed book exam for Torts 2 and K2 one in 4 days and the other one is in 6 days! Is it even possible to remember enough to at least pass the exams? Please I need advice. This semester we had family loss and it was tough.

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Blessings,
Ambria


Yes. In my experience, closed book exams generally require less "cold" knowledge of the law and its nuances. Knowing the most important parts of the doctrine and being able to thoroughly analyze on the exam is usually sufficient. I am not saying that closed book exams require less studying. I'm just saying that learning the broad strokes is probably more useful than learning the nuances that your professor never covered.

The most useful strategy I have found is to take your own outline (or a former student's outline) and consolidate the outline into a few pages with the important points for each subject/doctrine. Once the outline is consolidated, I practice writing and rewriting the outline until I can do the entire thing from memory.

For instance, I'll get the outline down to:

Unconscionability:
(1) Procedural (unequal bargaining power and absence of a meaningful choice)
(2) Substantive (one-sided terms/surprise terms)

Remedies
Specific performance (not applied unless damages inadequate)
Substitutionary (Hairy Hand) (compensatory, punitive)




Thank you a ton! I'm taking the week off from work to prepare. So this really helps. Great strategy!

Rinse and repeat for each doctrine until I can recite it from memory.

But different things work for different people. Some people can read through an outline a few times and have a good grasp of the basics. I just like knowing it cold, especially for closed book exams.

AmbriaMyles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:56 pm

Re: Best Cramming Strategy?

Postby AmbriaMyles » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:59 pm

eagle2a wrote:Also, don't use your real name on here



:) Thanks! It's not, it's a combo of the most important people in my lifes names :)




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