Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

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miobrien
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Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby miobrien » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:00 pm

Above all, I know strong analysis, issue spotting, discussion, etc. are all most important.

Nonetheless, when writing an exam do you think it's better to shoot for a higher word count with typos or a lower WC without typos? By the latter, I don't mean something "perfect" but something a bit more clean than a completely unedited exam response.

My Civ Pro prof recently said he wants us to focus on analysis and will be more forgiving about typos, etc. Are most profs like this?

I intend to ask my other profs—just wondering what you all think.

I'm wondering because when I'm typing I instinctively try to edit typos out of my work. So if I should shoot for a higher WC then I need to try to get myself NOT to edit while writing an exam response.

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Br3v
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby Br3v » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:07 pm

Unless prof says otherwise, don't worry about typos. There will be times when you are thinking and not typing, correct typos you see then.

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EzraFitz
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby EzraFitz » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:08 pm

This is going to be professor specific, but in my experience thus far, more professors cared about content that typos. But I do have one who thinks organization and lack of typos is a huge plus, so ask your professors.

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chuckbass
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby chuckbass » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:10 pm

Br3v wrote:Unless prof says otherwise, don't worry about typos. There will be times when you are thinking and not typing, correct typos you see then.

I see what you did there.

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Br3v
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby Br3v » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:13 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:
Br3v wrote:Unless prof says otherwise, don't worry about typos. There will be times when you are thinking and not typing, correct typos you see then.

I see what you did there.


Ha I didn't mean to imply they were mutually exclusive

jphiggo
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby jphiggo » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:13 pm

I think you'll find that most aren't going to care about minor typos. The more you type, the more you have a possibility of writing something worth points. But, I think you should at least outline an answer before you start typing. Above all, clearly presenting your exam answer is important. If you are confusing to follow and/or hard to read (because of typos), it is going to be hard for the professor to grade your answer. They aren't going to bend over backwards to decipher what they think you meant.

I am fast at typing and I do think I have a slight advantage because of that. But in the end, I still have to actually present a cogent answer to what was asked, applying law to facts and what not.

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alphasteve
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby alphasteve » Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:37 am

jphiggo wrote:I think you'll find that most aren't going to care about minor typos. The more you type, the more you have a possibility of writing something worth points. But, I think you should at least outline an answer before you start typing. Above all, clearly presenting your exam answer is important. If you are confusing to follow and/or hard to read (because of typos), it is going to be hard for the professor to grade your answer. They aren't going to bend over backwards to decipher what they think you meant.

I am fast at typing and I do think I have a slight advantage because of that. But in the end, I still have to actually present a cogent answer to what was asked, applying law to facts and what not.

The bolded is TCR. Some typos won't really matter, unless they are so bad that the prof can't understand what you are saying. Wouldn't hurt to try to save 2-3 minutes to do a spell check at the end, but that's aspirational.

Provide headers, organize logically, etc. That will help ensure that you get credit for all of the thoughts you put on the page.

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:21 am

alphasteve wrote:
jphiggo wrote:I think you'll find that most aren't going to care about minor typos. The more you type, the more you have a possibility of writing something worth points. But, I think you should at least outline an answer before you start typing. Above all, clearly presenting your exam answer is important. If you are confusing to follow and/or hard to read (because of typos), it is going to be hard for the professor to grade your answer. They aren't going to bend over backwards to decipher what they think you meant.

I am fast at typing and I do think I have a slight advantage because of that. But in the end, I still have to actually present a cogent answer to what was asked, applying law to facts and what not.

The bolded is TCR. Some typos won't really matter, unless they are so bad that the prof can't understand what you are saying. Wouldn't hurt to try to save 2-3 minutes to do a spell check at the end, but that's aspirational.

Provide headers, organize logically, etc. That will help ensure that you get credit for all of the thoughts you put on the page.

Agree completely. I obsessively edit as I type, but during exams I would focus all of my editing energy on organizational issues instead of on spotting typos. Within twenty minutes I would probably move various paragraphs no less than 30 times to make sure my arguments were ordered in the most logical manner and easy to follow. Then I would proofread if I had enough time at the end.

gonefishing
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Re: Exam writing: higher word count with typos?

Postby gonefishing » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:02 pm

All things being equal (e.g., when you get the inevitable ambiguous "proofreading and issue spotting are both really important" answer from your professor) your exam time is best spent spotting issues and maintaining a relatively clear IRAC format whenever possible. If you have a few minutes left at the end of the exam to proofread, do so. But, if you are short on time and have to make a choice between proofreading stuff and briefly discussing another issue, go ahead and discuss the issue. Keep in mind that almost everybody taking an exam feels a fair amount of pressure and is bound to make typos.




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