samiseaborn wrote:Can any of you amazing A/A+ achievers speak to preparing for classes without any practice exams or newbie profs? Last semester we had a database of exams and no answers, this semester none of my profs even have exams to practice with/have never taught these course before. I've decided exam writing is where I must have gone wrong on finals (prof listed all the issues he graded on for one class, so I know I didn't miss issues), but without sample exams, I'm not sure how to practice doing it the way they're looking for to get over the B+/A- hump. Any advice is appreciated.
If you didn't miss issues, then you're missing something on application. The goal is to apply law to facts
, and that means a couple things:
1) Make sure you state how the law would treat both sides. Every case has two points of view, two parties in conflict, and you want to make sure you're adequately covering both positions. This is where the book "Getting to Maybe" gets its title from; you want to make sure you're explaining why maybe
a court would come out one way and maybe
it might go the other. Go through both adequately; spotting the issue isn't enough, you have to cover how both sides would try to apply the law to the facts of the case to resolve that one issue.
2) Give policy reasons that a court might come out one way or another. There's two sides, but there's only going to be one ruling at the end. Which way you come out isn't that important, what's important is being able to correctly state what policies you discussed in class that a court might use to pick one side over the other. As long as you properly apply the policies the professor brought up in class you'll be earning additional points. Most exams are written so that you could actually argue they could come out either way, so what matters isn't how you come out but why
3) Make sure you know the BLL enough to spot not just the overall issues but all the proper details. Likewise, make sure you mention
all the proper details. This doesn't mean going crazy and studying the most minute details of everything, but at least the stuff the professor spends a full day or especially multiple days on. Being able to spot that an issue resolves around 2-207(2) and whether additional terms come into play is one thing. Spotting that 2-207(2) discusses additional terms "between merchants" and mentioning whether both parties are merchants or not is additional points. Even if it seems obvious that both are merchants, it's important to point it out because it would change the outcome if they weren't. You can't just go "oh, they're both merchants, this part is obvious" and not explain that part, you're thinking about it but not showing that thought process to the professor and losing the additional points you'd get for considering it.
Without knowing your problem specifically I can't give any better advice, but I'd bet that's a big chunk of it. Even if you're analyzing things properly, are you describing your full analysis, or just jumping straight to the conclusion?
All of this should be taken with a grain of salt, because I fell below median in one class and cannot understand why. I do intend to speak to the professor and find out WTF happened, though, I just haven't been able to find him yet.