How many exams to take

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
gobosox
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:28 pm

How many exams to take

Postby gobosox » Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:22 pm

Hey all-- the advice I've gotten on here has helped me immensely. I've largely followed it, but I'd love some more guidance from the sage wisdom on TLS.

Here is my situation heading into the final two weeks before exams:
1) I have my outlines for Torts and CivPro done. Torts is open book (I've pared down to a 14-page outline) and CivPro is a 2-page attack outline.
2) My Crim exam is all multiple choice, and he gives you 100 of the 130 questions beforehand. I've been going over those 100 in a group. Our plan is to work out the answers, then make 6 practice exams where we scramble the questions and answers, and repeatedly take these exams until we get (what we think are the right) answers despite the scrambling (professor changes question order and answer order, so we want to be prepared for that).
3) I have read all of Dressler for Crim, and read the E&E chapters for Torts and CivPro, but haven't done the questions in them.
4) I have done two practice exams for Torts already.

My plan going forward:
I was planning on doing one practice exam a day, as well as the E&E questions and answers I have left. I also will be going through and trying to internalize my outlines better and revise them after each practice exam.

I'm wondering what else I should be doing-- should I do more practice exams? In this plan, I will end up doing about 10 for each class (except Crim, where I will keep doing it until I get all of them right). I will have extra time though, so I am wondering what I should use it for.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks for taking the time, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Last edited by gobosox on Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 am

Re: Advice on final studying/How many exams to take

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:39 am

You're way ahead of the vast majority of your classmates. Only things I would add would be to go over practice exam answers with your profs to the extent they're willing, and to do the E&E questions. Otherwise, keep doing what you're doing.

If you perform poorly on your exams, it won't be for lack of preparation.

sighsigh
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Re: Advice on final studying/How many exams to take

Postby sighsigh » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:23 pm

My Crim exam is all multiple choice, and he gives you 100 of the 130 questions beforehand.

:shock:

User avatar
ManoftheHour
Posts: 3398
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:03 pm

Re: Advice on final studying/How many exams to take

Postby ManoftheHour » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:28 pm

sighsigh wrote:
My Crim exam is all multiple choice, and he gives you 100 of the 130 questions beforehand.

:shock:

Yeah...wtf. lol

gobosox
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:28 pm

Re: Advice on final studying/How many exams to take

Postby gobosox » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:45 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
sighsigh wrote:
My Crim exam is all multiple choice, and he gives you 100 of the 130 questions beforehand.

:shock:

Yeah...wtf. lol


Yeah it's a joke that it's still allowed. The questions are so hard, it's impossible to tell if you get the questions right, so I think that exam is a bit of a crapshoot. I am wondering how much time I should put into studying Crim for those extra 30 questions...

User avatar
nothingtosee
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 12:08 am

Re: Advice on final studying/How many exams to take

Postby nothingtosee » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:48 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:You're way ahead of the vast majority of your classmates. Only things I would add would be to go over practice exam answers with your profs to the extent they're willing, and to do the E&E questions. Otherwise, keep doing what you're doing.

If you perform poorly on your exams, it won't be for lack of preparation.


What does "go over practice exam answers" with your profs actually look like?

Do you take the practice test, and then compare to a model/exemplary answer, then ask prof why X or Y was a good thing to say?

It sounds like a good idea, I'm not sure how I would actually do it.

gobosox
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:28 pm

Re: Advice on final studying/How many exams to take

Postby gobosox » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:02 pm

I do not think my profs will go over practice exams with me-- I think it might even be fool hearty to ask, since most of them only can give an hour or two to office hours per week. But I guess there is no harm in it.

I am mostly curious for success on the actual exam-- how many exams are sufficient, necessary, and too many?

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 am

Re: Advice on final studying/How many exams to take

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:50 am

nothingtosee wrote:
WhiskeynCoke wrote:You're way ahead of the vast majority of your classmates. Only things I would add would be to go over practice exam answers with your profs to the extent they're willing, and to do the E&E questions. Otherwise, keep doing what you're doing.

If you perform poorly on your exams, it won't be for lack of preparation.


What does "go over practice exam answers" with your profs actually look like?

Do you take the practice test, and then compare to a model/exemplary answer, then ask prof why X or Y was a good thing to say?

It sounds like a good idea, I'm not sure how I would actually do it.


Basically, yes:
Step 1 - Complete one of prof's old exams (actually type it as if it were an actual exam)
Step 2 - Compare your answer to a model answer, if one is provided. Take notes on what you missed/differences
Step 3 - Meet w/ prof & discuss what you found during step 2 & related questions.

The goal is to figure out what your prof is looking for in an answer and to see how close to that you're getting.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9635
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: How many exams to take

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:33 pm

i did like 4-5 at most exams per class 1L fall and did fine

10 is probably overdoing it but that's not "bad" I suppose, as long as they are this professor's exams and relevant to the course

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: How many exams to take

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:43 pm

Food for thought. Practice tests are not beneficial for the practice, but rather for identifying areas of weakness. (Ok, they are good for learning how your prof wants things answered, but you can pick that up without running through a half dozen exams).

If you take ten practice exams without stopping to learn the area(s) of law you're testing weak on, that's pointless. You learn nothing when you run a question and get the answer right. I have a personal belief that some people will run practice exams, see questions they like, and focus on that topic, thinking it's best to maximize ability in a strength. But law school exams are about gaming averages, which can only be increased by increasing performance in weaknesses.

I'd focus first on E&Es or other similar subsets of questions with excellent explanations of why wrong answers were wrong so you can be honest with yourself and identify the topics you hate and suck at. For multiple choice, the best thing you can do to improve is literally ignore practice questions on topics you know and like. Instead, review your wrong answers and really internalize what it was about the wrong answer that made it attractive to you. This will teach you the multiple choice tricks you'll come across on that topic, and you'll improve your ability to reject the sexy but wrong answer. This advice holds for essay exams as well, except those are less about seeing the tricks exam writers use to make wrong answers appealing, and more about being conversant with the subject matter as a whole.

For your open book exam, that is the oldest trick in the book. Plan to not look in your book for anything. Plan like it's closed book. If you're opening a book in a closed book exam, you are a sucker who is gonna get median because people like me are moving into the next question while you're perusing the index and flipping pages.

And your crime exam sounds crazy, but my advice will still help. Everyone is going to have memorized the 100 practice questions, so you've got to distinguish yourself in that set of 30 randoms. And you can only do that by finding points in your weaker areas.

gobosox
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:28 pm

Re: How many exams to take

Postby gobosox » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:01 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Food for thought. Practice tests are not beneficial for the practice, but rather for identifying areas of weakness. (Ok, they are good for learning how your prof wants things answered, but you can pick that up without running through a half dozen exams).

If you take ten practice exams without stopping to learn the area(s) of law you're testing weak on, that's pointless. You learn nothing when you run a question and get the answer right. I have a personal belief that some people will run practice exams, see questions they like, and focus on that topic, thinking it's best to maximize ability in a strength. But law school exams are about gaming averages, which can only be increased by increasing performance in weaknesses.

I'd focus first on E&Es or other similar subsets of questions with excellent explanations of why wrong answers were wrong so you can be honest with yourself and identify the topics you hate and suck at. For multiple choice, the best thing you can do to improve is literally ignore practice questions on topics you know and like. Instead, review your wrong answers and really internalize what it was about the wrong answer that made it attractive to you. This will teach you the multiple choice tricks you'll come across on that topic, and you'll improve your ability to reject the sexy but wrong answer. This advice holds for essay exams as well, except those are less about seeing the tricks exam writers use to make wrong answers appealing, and more about being conversant with the subject matter as a whole.

For your open book exam, that is the oldest trick in the book. Plan to not look in your book for anything. Plan like it's closed book. If you're opening a book in a closed book exam, you are a sucker who is gonna get median because people like me are moving into the next question while you're perusing the index and flipping pages.

And your crime exam sounds crazy, but my advice will still help. Everyone is going to have memorized the 100 practice questions, so you've got to distinguish yourself in that set of 30 randoms. And you can only do that by finding points in your weaker areas.


So helpful-- really appreciate the advice!

Working through E&Es to help with that. I've already read the chapters throughout the semester, but I've been saving the questions for exam time. Even going through battery, something that seems to easy, there were a couple of nuances I forgot about.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests