Post Exam Strategy

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KijiStewart
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Post Exam Strategy

Postby KijiStewart » Wed May 03, 2017 8:57 pm

If I don't think I did well on an exam, is it best to move on and forget the content or is it better to look back on the material and talk about it with others so that I have a more accurate rendition of how I did.

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lymenheimer
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby lymenheimer » Wed May 03, 2017 9:01 pm

Even if you missed something on the exam, you won't know how you did. That's the beauty of the curve. Don't think about it, because even if there is something you missed, there's nothing you can do about it now that will help you.

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magnum_law
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby magnum_law » Wed May 03, 2017 9:01 pm

You wont know how you did until your grade tells you. Move on & pretend it never happened

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed May 03, 2017 9:01 pm

MOVE ON. DO NOT TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE.

It doesn't matter how you think you did; you can't know because you don't know how everyone else in the class did, so just pretend it didn't happen until you get the grade back. Talking to only people will just stress you out, and it's not like you can go back and change your answers, so what good would it do to dissect what you submitted?

dabigchina
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby dabigchina » Wed May 03, 2017 9:09 pm

KijiStewart wrote:look back on the material and talk about it with others so that I have a more accurate rendition of how I did.

This is literally the opposite of what you are supposed to do.

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Sprout
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby Sprout » Wed May 03, 2017 9:12 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:MOVE ON. DO NOT TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE.

It doesn't matter how you think you did; you can't know because you don't know how everyone else in the class did, so just pretend it didn't happen until you get the grade back. Talking to only people will just stress you out, and it's not like you can go back and change your answers, so what good would it do to dissect what you submitted?


All of this. Any energy you spend on worrying about an exam that is over is a waste of energy. Bummer? Maybe. Reality? Move on. Serenity prayer. (Google it if you're unfamiliar)

Eta: I pray to a God I don't believe in but the Serenity prayer is real talk good advice.

eta x2: sorry I'm a recovering Catholic / am preachy.

anonanonny
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby anonanonny » Wed May 03, 2017 10:24 pm

100% move on. I realized I messed up a short answer question on an exam earlier, but it does no good to dwell. Forget about it and be happy. It's out of your hands now.

cheaptilts
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby cheaptilts » Wed May 03, 2017 10:27 pm

dabigchina wrote:
KijiStewart wrote:look back on the material and talk about it with others so that I have a more accurate rendition of how I did.

This is literally the opposite of what you are supposed to do.

I actually LOL'd because this really is the exact opposite of what you're "supposed to do," though if you're comfortable with doing it, go ahead

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sun May 07, 2017 3:02 pm

KijiStewart wrote:look back on the material and talk about it with others so that I have a more accurate rendition of how I did.


What would you do with that information? Like, even if you figured out that you missed a bunch of issues or whatever, how would that help you? You can't go back and redo it.

When you get your grades back, you can meet with the professor and talk through your exam, and maybe get some ideas on exam strategies for the next go-round. But there's no point in stressing about it now. What's done is done. If you have exams left, study for those. If you're done, focus on doing well in your summer gig.

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Toubro
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby Toubro » Sun May 07, 2017 9:21 pm

A lot of people ITT need to qualify their statements a bit. In theory (as a matter of "post exam strategy") it's a good idea to avoid thinking about the exam, but speaking from personal experience it's extremely difficult for some people to let go -- so all this advice about forgetting it because there's no control is great as an aspirational standard, but not really practical for some personality types. In fact, after our torts final our professor emailed our entire class to tell us to "stop thinking about torts and start focussing on other exams" presumably because people were obsessing over the exam to the point of emailing / reaching out to him with substantive questions about it. This is after the same professor told us this happens every year and admonished us not to do it again; as 1Ls who took every word as gospel, we somehow ignored this particular piece of advice.

Here's what I did, and it's served me just fine:
-- For the first few hours after the exam, maybe up until you get food or relax before studying for the next one, talk about the exam to the extent you need to in order calm yourself down (only to people who are willing though (you'll always find 'em), because many people don't want to think about it)
-- Try to replace the unhealthy and unproductive anxiety for the previous exam with some healthy nervousness and motivation for the next

Finally, if the exam you want to scrutinize after the fact is your last exam, feel free to dissect ad nauseam. Your friends will hate you for it, but do what you need to do. It's kind of glib to advise someone to enjoy their post exam freedom and not think about the exam they just took, because the exam itself is what's frustrating that enjoyment.
Last edited by Toubro on Sun May 07, 2017 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UVA2B
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby UVA2B » Sun May 07, 2017 9:33 pm

Obviously this is at least somewhat "you do you," but under no circumstance is rehashing the exam material and how you did on it, especially in talking to fellow students about it, a healthy and productive use of your time. If you realize you missed something, accept it and move on. If you're not sure if you covered everything or spotted every issue, then work under the assumption that you covered everything you thought was applicable for that exam. Because that's what you did. No good will come from, "wait, was this a [insert minor issue] problem too? I better talk to someone about it!"

The bigger advice that will ideally help you move past the exam and how you performed on it: the exam is just one data point for your analytic ability in that topic, which is a mere microcosm of how well you're doing in law school and becoming an attorney.

The exam is over. Be happy about that and move on. When grades come out, decide whether you need to speak with the professor about exam strategy. But as long as your grade isn't drastically lower/higher than you suspected (like a C- when you thought you did legit A work), then more than likely your self-assessment of your understanding of the material was just slightly off. Because the gradations between a B+ and an A- is not at all big, it's probably just an accept and move on situation.

Almost no one can accurately assess how they've done on an exam. So there's no use in stressing about it now.

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Toubro
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby Toubro » Sun May 07, 2017 9:42 pm

UVA2B wrote:Obviously this is at least somewhat "you do you," but under no circumstance is rehashing the exam material and how you did on it, especially in talking to fellow students about it, a healthy and productive use of your time. If you realize you missed something, accept it and move on. If you're not sure if you covered everything or spotted every issue, then work under the assumption that you covered everything you thought was applicable for that exam. Because that's what you did. No good will come from, "wait, was this a [insert minor issue] problem too? I better talk to someone about it!"

The bigger advice that will ideally help you move past the exam and how you performed on it: the exam is just one data point for your analytic ability in that topic, which is a mere microcosm of how well you're doing in law school and becoming an attorney.

The exam is over. Be happy about that and move on. When grades come out, decide whether you need to speak with the professor about exam strategy. But as long as your grade isn't drastically lower/higher than you suspected (like a C- when you thought you did legit A work), then more than likely your self-assessment of your understanding of the material was just slightly off. Because the gradations between a B+ and an A- is not at all big, it's probably just an accept and move on situation.

Almost no one can accurately assess how they've done on an exam. So there's no use in stressing about it now.


This might be veering off course, though this is a genuine question: is stress the result of choice? That is, can you avoid stress by understanding that it has "no use"?

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UVA2B
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby UVA2B » Sun May 07, 2017 9:48 pm

Toubro wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Obviously this is at least somewhat "you do you," but under no circumstance is rehashing the exam material and how you did on it, especially in talking to fellow students about it, a healthy and productive use of your time. If you realize you missed something, accept it and move on. If you're not sure if you covered everything or spotted every issue, then work under the assumption that you covered everything you thought was applicable for that exam. Because that's what you did. No good will come from, "wait, was this a [insert minor issue] problem too? I better talk to someone about it!"

The bigger advice that will ideally help you move past the exam and how you performed on it: the exam is just one data point for your analytic ability in that topic, which is a mere microcosm of how well you're doing in law school and becoming an attorney.

The exam is over. Be happy about that and move on. When grades come out, decide whether you need to speak with the professor about exam strategy. But as long as your grade isn't drastically lower/higher than you suspected (like a C- when you thought you did legit A work), then more than likely your self-assessment of your understanding of the material was just slightly off. Because the gradations between a B+ and an A- is not at all big, it's probably just an accept and move on situation.

Almost no one can accurately assess how they've done on an exam. So there's no use in stressing about it now.


This might be veering off course, though this is a genuine question: is stress the result of choice? That is, can you avoid stress by understanding that it has "no use"?


Not from a chemical/biological sense. But how we respond to a stressor is a choice, which is what we're talking about here. If you're feeling down/worried because you think you missed something on an exam you've already taken, you're choosing to dwell on that exam. You can't control feeling down/worried, but you can choose to remove yourself from thinking about it and accepting that this is no longer anything you can control. You might even see the material again when you take the bar, but you're going to have to study all over again when you get there, so trying to spot your gaps in knowledge in Torts as a 1L, for example, won't do anything productive in your future understanding of the material (primarily because it'll be bar Torts vice your professor's version of Torts, but also because you won't remember what you stressed over as a 1L).

It's natural to feel some reservation and nerves following an exam because most of the time you'll have little to no idea how you actually did relative to your peers. But if you accept that you now have literally zero control over how that comes out, you can ideally more successfully choose to move past it and try to find productive ways to destress and remove yourself from a place of worrying about it.

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Toubro
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby Toubro » Sun May 07, 2017 9:53 pm

UVA2B wrote:Not from a chemical/biological sense. But how we respond to a stressor is a choice, which is what we're talking about here. If you're feeling down/worried because you think you missed something on an exam you've already taken, you're choosing to dwell on that exam. You can't control feeling down/worried, but you can choose to remove yourself from thinking about it and accepting that this is no longer anything you can control. You might even see the material again when you take the bar, but you're going to have to study all over again when you get there, so trying to spot your gaps in knowledge in Torts as a 1L, for example, won't do anything productive in your future understanding of the material (primarily because it'll be bar Torts vice your professor's version of Torts, but also because you won't remember what you stressed over as a 1L).

It's natural to feel some reservation and nerves following an exam because most of the time you'll have little to no idea how you actually did relative to your peers. But if you accept that you now have literally zero control over how that comes out, you can ideally more successfully choose to move past it and try to find productive ways to destress and remove yourself from a place of worrying about it.


Well, if true, that's an empowering thought.

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UVA2B
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby UVA2B » Sun May 07, 2017 10:02 pm

Toubro wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Not from a chemical/biological sense. But how we respond to a stressor is a choice, which is what we're talking about here. If you're feeling down/worried because you think you missed something on an exam you've already taken, you're choosing to dwell on that exam. You can't control feeling down/worried, but you can choose to remove yourself from thinking about it and accepting that this is no longer anything you can control. You might even see the material again when you take the bar, but you're going to have to study all over again when you get there, so trying to spot your gaps in knowledge in Torts as a 1L, for example, won't do anything productive in your future understanding of the material (primarily because it'll be bar Torts vice your professor's version of Torts, but also because you won't remember what you stressed over as a 1L).

It's natural to feel some reservation and nerves following an exam because most of the time you'll have little to no idea how you actually did relative to your peers. But if you accept that you now have literally zero control over how that comes out, you can ideally more successfully choose to move past it and try to find productive ways to destress and remove yourself from a place of worrying about it.


Well, if true, that's an empowering thought.


This is why I caveated from the start that, at least somewhat, this is a "you do you" situation. In the abstract I think what I said is categorically true, but there may be people who personally benefit from an emotional blood-letting over the stress. I'm no Psychiatrist, nor do I pretend to be, and for some people rehashing might be exactly what they need. But that has nothing to do with their understanding of the material, and for most the practice will be destructive and emotionally vexing. But if you need this kind of support in dealing with these feelings of doubt and concern, it's obviously on you to seek the help you need in dealing with it. If you're the type that needs this sort of thing, I hope you're seeking professional help with dealing with stress like this, because fellow law students are never going to help you get through these issues.

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Toubro
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby Toubro » Sun May 07, 2017 10:20 pm

UVA2B wrote:
This is why I caveated from the start that, at least somewhat, this is a "you do you" situation. In the abstract I think what I said is categorically true, but there may be people who personally benefit from an emotional blood-letting over the stress. I'm no Psychiatrist, nor do I pretend to be, and for some people rehashing might be exactly what they need. But that has nothing to do with their understanding of the material, and for most the practice will be destructive and emotionally vexing. But if you need this kind of support in dealing with these feelings of doubt and concern, it's obviously on you to seek the help you need in dealing with it. If you're the type that needs this sort of thing, I hope you're seeking professional help with dealing with stress like this, because fellow law students are never going to help you get through these issues.


I agree, but to the extent you weren't using "you" in the third person, I'd like to clarify that most if not all of my post-exam bloodletting is positive and involves conferring with a trusted study group ("What did you say for that? Me too! What about issue Y - I thought it wasn't really applicable because of X - same! Great! Let's hope we're right!"). That's how I dealt with it, and thought it didn't rise to the level of needing professional help.

ETA: I guess I should change the tense because I just completed my last exam yesterday. :-)

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun May 07, 2017 10:32 pm

It's all well and good until the people in your trusted study group are all coming up with stuff you didn't and vice versa and everyone gets really unhappy.

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UVA2B
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby UVA2B » Sun May 07, 2017 10:42 pm

Toubro wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
This is why I caveated from the start that, at least somewhat, this is a "you do you" situation. In the abstract I think what I said is categorically true, but there may be people who personally benefit from an emotional blood-letting over the stress. I'm no Psychiatrist, nor do I pretend to be, and for some people rehashing might be exactly what they need. But that has nothing to do with their understanding of the material, and for most the practice will be destructive and emotionally vexing. But if you need this kind of support in dealing with these feelings of doubt and concern, it's obviously on you to seek the help you need in dealing with it. If you're the type that needs this sort of thing, I hope you're seeking professional help with dealing with stress like this, because fellow law students are never going to help you get through these issues.


I agree, but to the extent you weren't using "you" in the third person, I'd like to clarify that most if not all of my post-exam bloodletting is positive and involves conferring with a trusted study group ("What did you say for that? Me too! What about issue Y - I thought it wasn't really applicable because of X - same! Great! Let's hope we're right!"). That's how I dealt with it, and thought it didn't rise to the level of needing professional help.

ETA: I guess I should change the tense because I just completed my last exam yesterday. :-)


What you just described sounds a bit masturbatory and not very helpful in assuaging fears. Maybe it feels good for a bit as you all came to similar conclusions on the issues at play, but what if you get a grade back and it's below median or below your friends (if you're so crass to discuss your grades with each other)? How do you deal with that cognitive dissidence?

Nony covered this, but just because you saw the same issues (go study group!) doesn't mean you discussed them equally or is in any way indicative of performance. So other than temporary relief, it's really not helpful.

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Toubro
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby Toubro » Sun May 07, 2017 10:53 pm

UVA2B wrote:What you just described sounds a bit masturbatory and not very helpful in assuaging fears. Maybe it feels good for a bit as you all came to similar conclusions on the issues at play, but what if you get a grade back and it's below median or below your friends (if you're so crass to discuss your grades with each other)? How do you deal with that cognitive dissidence?

Nony covered this, but just because you saw the same issues (go study group!) doesn't mean you discussed them equally or is in any way indicative of performance. So other than temporary relief, it's really not helpful.


I think that's just it. Feel good for a bit after taking an exam, and then dive into studying for the next one. If I wasn't clear earlier, in no way am I suggesting that such a post exam exercise will actually help you predict your grade (after all even if you DID discuss the issues equally, there's the possibility that everyone in that group is wrong). Just because discussing an exam won't help you predict how you did on it doesn't mean that it doesn't have any other benefits - such as the temporary relief you identified. I also realize it isn't responsive to OP's original question; I was just reacting to people who seemed to suggest that it's wrong under all circumstances and to avoid it at all costs.

Also, @ Nony - that didn't happen to me, but if it did I assume I would've dealt with it by noting that reasonable minds can disagree? Of course I say that calmly now after being done with law school exams forever haha.

dothewhirlwind
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby dothewhirlwind » Sun May 07, 2017 11:23 pm

KijiStewart wrote:If I don't think I did well on an exam, is it best to move on and forget the content or is it better to look back on the material and talk about it with others so that I have a more accurate rendition of how I did.


I don't know if someone has said this yet because tl;dr but at my school it is an academic integrity violation to talk about the exam with other students after the exam. So just be careful--if you're going to talk content make sure you don't discuss approaches to a particular essay problem on the exam or something like that if your school also counts that as a violation.

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Toubro
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby Toubro » Sun May 07, 2017 11:27 pm

dothewhirlwind wrote:
KijiStewart wrote:If I don't think I did well on an exam, is it best to move on and forget the content or is it better to look back on the material and talk about it with others so that I have a more accurate rendition of how I did.


I don't know if someone has said this yet because tl;dr but at my school it is an academic integrity violation to talk about the exam with other students after the exam. So just be careful--if you're going to talk content make sure you don't discuss approaches to a particular essay problem on the exam or something like that if your school also counts that as a violation.


Our exams specifically say what we can and can't talk about. There's usually a warning: something to the effect of "I reuse multiple choice questions for test equating purposes so shush!" On the other hand, our con law professor puts up his exams on a blog the next day…

cavalier1138
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon May 08, 2017 5:51 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:It's all well and good until the people in your trusted study group are all coming up with stuff you didn't and vice versa and everyone gets really unhappy.


Or conversely, you realize that if everyone was able to see the exact same problems and give similar responses, your odds of having one of the top exams have dropped.

B90
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby B90 » Mon May 08, 2017 10:20 am

Toubro wrote:
dothewhirlwind wrote:
KijiStewart wrote:If I don't think I did well on an exam, is it best to move on and forget the content or is it better to look back on the material and talk about it with others so that I have a more accurate rendition of how I did.


I don't know if someone has said this yet because tl;dr but at my school it is an academic integrity violation to talk about the exam with other students after the exam. So just be careful--if you're going to talk content make sure you don't discuss approaches to a particular essay problem on the exam or something like that if your school also counts that as a violation.


Our exams specifically say what we can and can't talk about. There's usually a warning: something to the effect of "I reuse multiple choice questions for test equating purposes so shush!" On the other hand, our con law professor puts up his exams on a blog the next day…

I read "shush" as "sushi" :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

KijiStewart
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Re: Post Exam Strategy

Postby KijiStewart » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:56 pm

Bump

Came across this thread which gave me joy amidst all my EIP dinges.

I did get an A in the course. 8)




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