How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
wittywitless

Bronze
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:21 am

How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby wittywitless » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:18 am

Hey! -

1L here, and I am fairly curious to know how many words/pages you all tend to end up with after a three hour exam.

Before anybody jumps in with it, yes, I know that quantity does not equal quality. I'm not trying to compare myself to anybody at this point, either. I just do not want to ask anybody in my section how long their answers were, but on some level I am dying to know as it seems to be the only valid reaction to have after being locked in a room for three hours with 60 other people typing away at their keyboards frantically like possessed monkeys. (note to self: bring ear plugs to future exams)

:oops:
Last edited by wittywitless on Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
lymenheimer

Gold
Posts: 3979
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:54 am

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby lymenheimer » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:11 am

I think the first reponse would be: depends on the exam, professor, and question.

User avatar
Clearly

Gold
Posts: 4191
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby Clearly » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:55 am

Actually, this is the one area where quality and quantity are actually pretty comparable.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4476
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby zot1 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:32 am

After you finish an exam, please don't talk about it. Just move on.

Lettow

New
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:51 am

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby Lettow » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:32 am

Three hour exam. IIRC, somewhere between 30,000-50,000 characters. In my anecdotal experience, those who typed as much or around what I typed performed well. Those who typed around 15,000 or less characters did not perform as well. As mentioned, however, this is very anecdotal. I am sure there are people who typed 15,000~ characters and received an A. Overall, I'd say quantity does really help, but it must be relevant information and analysis you're throwing in, while hitting all (or at least most) of the issues. During my exams, I pretty much just winged it and typed every possible argument and counterargument I could think of on the fly. You also have to know when to move on to the next major issue and not get too bogged down with any single issue.

andythefir

Silver
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby andythefir » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:40 am

If I were a prof, I would word limit every exam question in order to focus the analysis. Without any limit, I probably put down an average of 5,000 words in a 3 hour exam and ended up doing very well.

Completely depends on the kind of exam, though. Property is always going to be a horse race because of the amount of content you have to shoehorn into the subject. If you're 3,000 words deep into an intentional tort essay you're doing it wrong.

User avatar
ArtistOfManliness

Silver
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:56 pm

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:10 pm

Six pages per hour is what I averaged.

dabigchina

Silver
Posts: 1424
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:48 pm

I've personally found that the optimal amount of writing is around 1500 words per hour. Any more and you are probably rambling. Any less and you are not covering all the issues.

User avatar
star fox

Diamond
Posts: 20789
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby star fox » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:10 pm

10 single spaced pages was typical for me on a three hour exam 1L.

User avatar
jingosaur

Gold
Posts: 3188
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:33 am

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby jingosaur » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:16 pm

I was around 4000 to 4500 words on most exams. Most I ever wrote was Civil Procedure with like 5800 words and a lot of people wrote much more than that.

At my school they don't allow copy paste on exams. People who can copy paste on 3 hour exams write a lot more. I've heard of 10000 words on 3 hour exams before.

User avatar
RareExports

Silver
Posts: 719
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:12 pm

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby RareExports » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:48 pm

I don't know how this translates to characters or pages, but anywhere between 4000 and 8000 words for a three-hour exam without copy and paste, depending on the professor's preferences and nature of the subject matter. Issue-heavy common law courses require more words than statutory application courses. There's always going to be more useful and relevant information you can throw into an exam, so you should continue to add more words (assuming you're not rambling or repeating yourself) until doing so loses more from quality than you pick up from quantity (this determination will vary by professor).

User avatar
thesealocust

Platinum
Posts: 8524
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:02 pm

Words per hour is the only fair way to think about this - "pages" or total word counts depend on too many other variables.

Around 1,500 words per hour should be your minimum goal. I've seen enough people writing exams in that range land at the top of the class to know it works.

I've also seen people write 2,500 words per hour or more and land at the top of the class. Writing that quickly tends to mean less dense writing, but there's nothing inherently wrong with that. The average professor grades with something like a checkmark method giving points for each argument, so more words = more arguments = more points.

Also, professors routinely heap scorn on long exams because the most common long exam wastes time repeating facts and/or dumping law from the outline in a panic, neither of which earn points on their own since they aren't analysis. In my experience, those professors will still give great grades to long exams that are actually written well. They're also lazy and don't like reading bad exams.

Source: I've been obsessed with law school exams for 7 years for some reason.

lawhopeful100

Bronze
Posts: 392
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:28 pm

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby lawhopeful100 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:37 pm

I think my 1L year when I was really locked in, I was putting out around 8k words in 3 hours. This was enough to get me near the top of the class. I would cosign that as long as you are continuing to make arguments and score points, more is generally better.

User avatar
wittywitless

Bronze
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:21 am

Re: How much do you actually end up typing on exams?

Postby wittywitless » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:42 pm

Thanks, folks! :D My curiosity has been satisfied.



Return to “Forum for Law School Students�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests