Word Limit Exams: Getting an A

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Ravenclaw23
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:46 pm

Word Limit Exams: Getting an A

Postby Ravenclaw23 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:29 pm

I'm struggling to figure out how I could get an A on my torts exam that has a word count limit.

I try to be as quick as possible in stating rules & then give an in-depth analysis, both sides of the argument & any relevant policy but then I ALWAYS end up a few hundred words over the limit. Through practice exams I'm trying to work on getting rid of my wordiness (I was an english literature major - so flowery writing is my jam), but that seems to have been insufficient to get down to the word count.

Any suggestions on how to do this? Specifically, how abbreviated can I get on a second or third negligence claim - since I already mapped out the test on example one?

Thanks!

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Nebby
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Re: Word Limit Exams: Getting an A

Postby Nebby » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:35 pm

Don't give policy-related information. Unnecessary if your test is an issue-spotter. The only exemption is if your professor specifically requests it, which you would know. If they are silent on whether or not to include policy, then default that policy is unnecessary.

Your professor is testing you on:

(1) whether you know the applicable rule
(2) whether you can succinctly provide and illustrate rules
(3) whether you can apply the particular facts with rules

sflyr2016
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:47 am

Re: Word Limit Exams: Getting an A

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:45 pm

Skip defining any rules. They are testing your ability to apply it, not recite it. If you apply the rule or principle correctly, the professor will know that you know it.

For example: there is a clear battery in the fact pattern; do not define a battery and then apply it to the facts; instead, begin at the application part--X battered Y because he (1) intentionally (2) made an offensive contact with Y by punching Y in the face. (I totally forgot the elements of a battery and am too lazy too look them up. But you get the point.)

This will save you words.

LittleLionMan
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:26 pm

Re: Word Limit Exams: Getting an A

Postby LittleLionMan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:46 pm

There are a lot of variables on how you should approach this exam. Above poster's suggestion to skip "rule explanation" is probably good advice, but be absolutely sure that your professor doesn't award easy point for reciting the rule (a lot of first year professors do, understanding that students don't yet know how to approach law school exams).

Even if you have to recite the rule, this can be pretty simple/short for a torts exam.

Now, for approaching how to get the most points on (presumably time pressed issue spotter), the professor isn't looking for deep analysis but probably how many issues you can spot. Thus be brief; identify both sides for as many issues as you can find--but make both sides arguments short and sweet.


If this word limited exam is a take home exam (I doubt it since its 1) torts and 2) you didn't say you were freaking out about having a take home exam) the above advice probably doesn't hold as true. Instead, the professor is likely looking for really good analysis on each sides.

Finally, you can give policy arguments IF your professor really stressed that he/she is looking for them. Even so, with a word limited exam, save it for the really pressing issues.
Last edited by LittleLionMan on Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Word Limit Exams: Getting an A

Postby AVBucks4239 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:01 am

joeant wrote:Skip defining any rules. They are testing your ability to apply it, not recite it. If you apply the rule or principle correctly, the professor will know that you know it.

For example: there is a clear battery in the fact pattern; do not define a battery and then apply it to the facts; instead, begin at the application part--X battered Y because he (1) intentionally (2) made an offensive contact with Y by punching Y in the face. (I totally forgot the elements of a battery and am too lazy too look them up. But you get the point.)

This will save you words.

This is dangerous advice without knowing your professor.

Some professors will give you a point just for stating the rule correctly. Over the course of an exam, that's a lot of points you can rack up.

I'd advise to just condense your rule statements as briefly as possible and learn how to write with brevity.




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