How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
wiseowl
Posts: 1071
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby wiseowl » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:21 pm

I broke 8000 today on a four hour where we had 30 minutes to plan first.

User avatar
superserial
Posts: 376
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:57 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby superserial » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:26 pm

wiseowl wrote:I broke 8000 today on a four hour where we had 30 minutes to plan first.


broken_image

User avatar
wiseowl
Posts: 1071
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby wiseowl » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:26 pm

sweet

User avatar
apper123
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby apper123 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:37 pm

Half of the 4 hour exam today was multiple choice. Half was essay.

I wrote 17 pages 10,000 words.

OH YEAH BABY

1474292940502124
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:43 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby 1474292940502124 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:46 pm

It is very obvious now why profs hate grading law school exams so much.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:47 pm

betasteve wrote:It is very obvious now why all of my profs impose word limits on their exams [strike]hate grading law school exams so much.[/strike]

FTFM...

Well, that or they just want to make LS grading more arbitrary than it already is...
Last edited by 98234872348 on Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:48 pm

apper123 wrote:Half of the 4 hour exam today was multiple choice. Half was essay.

I wrote 17 pages 10,000 words.

OH YEAH BABY


Sweet Mary Jane, you wrote 10,000 words on half of an exam?

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby rayiner » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:11 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
apper123 wrote:Half of the 4 hour exam today was multiple choice. Half was essay.

I wrote 17 pages 10,000 words.

OH YEAH BABY


Sweet Mary Jane, you wrote 10,000 words on half of an exam?


Yeah, that's 83 WPM continuous. I call BS.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:13 pm

rayiner wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
apper123 wrote:Half of the 4 hour exam today was multiple choice. Half was essay.

I wrote 17 pages 10,000 words.

OH YEAH BABY


Sweet Mary Jane, you wrote 10,000 words on half of an exam?


Yeah, that's 83 WPM continuous. I call BS.


Well, maybe he meant that he spent almost the whole four hours on the essay half, in which case it'd be like... 48WPM continuous, with 30min at the end to quickly answer the multiple-choice questions. He might have done that thinking that doing much better on the essay was the only way to earn the most points.

And since the multiple choice questions are half the test, he probably missed enough to torpedo his grade no matter how well he did on the essay part. Oops.

User avatar
underachiever
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:09 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby underachiever » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:17 pm

This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.

nn223
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby nn223 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:19 pm

had a 3 1/2 hour contracts exam and typed about 8200 words

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:20 pm

underachiever wrote:This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.


Dude, it's more than just word count. 10,000 words isn't going to help you if they're not addressing the issues. You'll probably piss off the prof pretty quickly by going off on tangents that aren't appropriate. He'll hate you for making him read through 10,000 words of your garbage, and that's going to mean he's not going to look too happily at you when he decides on your grade. The key to success in law school is quickly typing things that are relevant to the exam questions. Being faster is one asset, but it alone won't help you. You have to know what to type before you can type it.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:48 pm

underachiever wrote:This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.


I think that being able to quickly produce high-quality, written work is a highly valuable skill and most law firms seem to agree.

If you don't like it. LEAVE.

Biglaw jobs are for closers only: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TROhlThs ... re=related

Carnival1860
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:42 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby Carnival1860 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:00 pm

CE2JD wrote:
underachiever wrote:This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.


I think that being able to quickly produce high-quality, written work is a highly valuable skill and most law firms seem to agree.


Agreed. One of my professors makes this explicit, you are awarded for being able to think faster, seeing more issues under time pressure and making accurate judgment as to which issue(s) to work on, which are essentially things law firms look for.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:29 pm

Carnival1860 wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
underachiever wrote:This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.


I think that being able to quickly produce high-quality, written work is a highly valuable skill and most law firms seem to agree.


Agreed. One of my professors makes this explicit, you are awarded for being able to think faster, seeing more issues under time pressure and making accurate judgment as to which issue(s) to work on, which are essentially things law firms look for.


Also, saying things like: "How could you POSSIBLY write that much??? You must have just been writing bullshit for the last 3000 words..." is essentially admitting that you didn't spot as many issues as other people. So basically, you got a lower grade.

:(

You lose.

1474292940502124
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:43 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby 1474292940502124 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:38 pm

CE2JD wrote:
Also, saying things like: "How could you POSSIBLY write that much??? You must have just been writing bullshit for the last 3000 words..." is essentially admitting that you didn't spot as many issues as other people. So basically, you got a lower grade.

:(

You lose.

But, could also depend on how responses are worded. I.e
Student A: Negligence is the breach of a duty that causes harm. Duty is ... Breach is ... Cause is ... Harm is ... Here, X's had a duty because ... X breached that duty by ... X is the actual cause because ... X is the proximate cause because ... Y suffered the injury .. Thus X is negligent to Y.

Student B: X is negligent to Y. X had a duty, which was ... and he breached by ... Further, X's actions were the cause (prox and actual) of Y's injury because...


Student B will have covered same stuff, but with less words. Don't need a full description of what a fucking duty is, when there was a special relationship, or something. Building elements into analysis is a way to be more dense, and get points faster. My guess is that most people with these inflated word counts describe the entire cause of action, then apply it to facts.

Another example would be describing in detail every element for adverse possession despite facts clearly showing he didn't meet one of the elements at all. I mean if it's grey, then of course you apply the law, but if just isn't there, you aren't going to get points for restating BLL.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:45 pm

If there is one fact that makes adverse possession a possibility, you need to run through the adverse possession analysis. If the weight of the analysis cuts against adverse possession applying, then it may be as simple as "X will claim adverse possession. While he meets [element A] because of [facts], he fails to meet [elements B, C and D] because [indicate what facts are missing.] Thus, his adverse possession claim will almost certainly fail (never answer exam questions with absolute language, unless there really is absolutely no doubt.)"

The analysis doesn't need to take a lot of time, but you will, indeed, miss points if you don't go through it.

1474292940502124
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:43 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby 1474292940502124 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:51 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:If there is one fact that makes adverse possession a possibility, you need to run through the adverse possession analysis. If the weight of the analysis cuts against adverse possession applying, then it may be as simple as "X will claim adverse possession. While he meets [element A] because of [facts], he fails to meet [elements B, C and D] because [indicate what facts are missing.] Thus, his adverse possession claim will almost certainly fail (never answer exam questions with absolute language, unless there really is absolutely no doubt.)"

The analysis doesn't need to take a lot of time, but you will, indeed, miss points if you don't go through it.

Yeah.. this is exactly my point... If there is something that makes AP a possibility, then draw it, but if he never met the SOL, there would be no point in going on to then argue for a paragraph about how some states use a subjective test for claim of right, while others use an objective test, and the two possible subjective tests are either good faith or bad faith, and that good faith is this, and bad faith is that. You would likely get no points for going too far down the rabbit trail, and certainly would be wasting your time where you could be quickly racking points up on another issue. If you finish early and have time to go back and flesh it out, sure... but doing so before hand is dangerous.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:57 pm

Er, if anyone actually does what you just described, they deserve to fail :shock: Sorry, didn't realize that was what you were getting at.

In that case, I wouldn't assume that people with "inflated" word counts are going off the track like that. I never talk about issues that I can't relate directly to the facts. My rule of thumb is that I should be able to reference a specific fact in the fact pattern either before, in, or after *each* statement I write, unless I am:

1.) Making a policy argument (and even then, I do everything I can to avoid making disembodied policy arguments).
2.) Drawing an analogy to another case and needed to use two sentences in a row to describe that other case.
3.) Writing my "roadmap" at the beginning of my answer or my summary+conclusion at the end. I'm still referencing the facts in those, but indirectly.

Snooker
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:50 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby Snooker » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:02 pm

typing speed as an asset is probably a myth. there are diminishing returns here. if you are repeating yourself over and over or pontificating ridiculously and uselessly, will you get more points? no. there is nothing that distinguishes a 4,000 word A+ answer and a 10,000 word A+ answer. a top prof here at a top 15 school gave an A+ to a 2,500 word answer and an A+ to a 7,000 word answer in the same year. a really low word count is a problem, I have seen people type up 400 words per hour and get Cs. Don't do that. Discuss every fact, and every issue you can think of. If you use the GTM or Delaney approach to concise answers, you can hit everything with minimal redundancy, and you will be above you spammer classmates.

If you write 5,500 words for a four hour exam, looking at sample answers, you can hit every point but only need to type at 30 WPM. I have looked at a list of word counts per exam here and most people do not seem to exceed 1,500 per hour.

Snooker
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:50 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby Snooker » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:08 pm

CE2JD wrote:
underachiever wrote:This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.


I think that being able to quickly produce high-quality, written work is a highly valuable skill and most law firms seem to agree.

If you don't like it. LEAVE.

Biglaw jobs are for closers only: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TROhlThs ... re=related


Actually a Lexis survey recently showed that around 90% of lawyers believe that law school is inadequate preparation for legal work. There is no way in hell that the big law firms think this is a valuable skill. I have researched the topic and all the commentary points to that take home exams without time pressures are superior. Time pressured exams measure strange things, for example, they can actually test ethnicity - minorities will tend to place towards the bottom. On take home exams, the ethnicity factor fades. (several law review articles on this point) Which is more valuable, a racially biased test or a racially neutral test? Since studies of top schools show minority grads succeed equally as white students, the racially neutral test should be considered valid. and the neutral test (take home) is not a typing contest.

User avatar
CE2JD
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:33 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:33 pm

Snooker wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
underachiever wrote:This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.


I think that being able to quickly produce high-quality, written work is a highly valuable skill and most law firms seem to agree.

If you don't like it. LEAVE.

Biglaw jobs are for closers only: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TROhlThs ... re=related


Actually a Lexis survey recently showed that around 90% of lawyers believe that law school is inadequate preparation for legal work. There is no way in hell that the big law firms think this is a valuable skill. I have researched the topic and all the commentary points to that take home exams without time pressures are superior. Time pressured exams measure strange things, for example, they can actually test ethnicity - minorities will tend to place towards the bottom. On take home exams, the ethnicity factor fades. (several law review articles on this point) Which is more valuable, a racially biased test or a racially neutral test? Since studies of top schools show minority grads succeed equally as white students, the racially neutral test should be considered valid. and the neutral test (take home) is not a typing contest.


Then why are 1st year grades so important in the hiring process?

Also, I don't buy your "racially biased" argument. It makes absolutely no sense why RACE would have any correlation with scores on a timed test but not on a take-home test. Show me the studies and give me a concrete reason WHY this would be the case. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the very top law schools only give out take-home tests. I believe they give out timed tests as well. I think any correlation between race and test scores has to do with the fact that there aren't enough minority applicants to go around and hence, in schools outside of HYS, minority applicants tend to have lower qualifications which may explain the correlation between lower test scores and race. But this has nothing to do with the tests being racial biased in and of themselves.

User avatar
apper123
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby apper123 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:38 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
rayiner wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
apper123 wrote:Half of the 4 hour exam today was multiple choice. Half was essay.

I wrote 17 pages 10,000 words.

OH YEAH BABY


Sweet Mary Jane, you wrote 10,000 words on half of an exam?


Yeah, that's 83 WPM continuous. I call BS.


Well, maybe he meant that he spent almost the whole four hours on the essay half, in which case it'd be like... 48WPM continuous, with 30min at the end to quickly answer the multiple-choice questions. He might have done that thinking that doing much better on the essay was the only way to earn the most points.

And since the multiple choice questions are half the test, he probably missed enough to torpedo his grade no matter how well he did on the essay part. Oops.


Bwahaha. The MC were so painfully easy for the most part. I also type insanely fast. I did like 500+ practice MC questions before the exam, so I don't have to spend much time on them.

But yeah I spent like 3 hours of the 4 hours on the essays thinking my edge is better there. Some of the MC questions were downright silly. It's also worth nothing that a majority of the essay questions were policy essays. But let's all jump to conclusions!

Nice try on the troll attempt though by trying to screw with a law student's mind during final's week. I applaud your efforts. "Torpedo his grade" was a nice touch.

Esc
Posts: 724
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:09 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby Esc » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:46 pm

Snooker wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
underachiever wrote:This thread just shows one more reason why law school is a joke...jesus, typing speed is an asset that makes great law students, that's lovely to know. What a load of crap! Screw LEEWS & Getting to Maybe and just taking a secretarial typing course so you can brain dump quickly on to your exam....THANKS law professors, who make 6 figures while doing no real work, thank you for helping to create the next generation of useless law school graduates by valuing word count over substance.


I think that being able to quickly produce high-quality, written work is a highly valuable skill and most law firms seem to agree.

If you don't like it. LEAVE.

Biglaw jobs are for closers only: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TROhlThs ... re=related


Actually a Lexis survey recently showed that around 90% of lawyers believe that law school is inadequate preparation for legal work. There is no way in hell that the big law firms think this is a valuable skill. I have researched the topic and all the commentary points to that take home exams without time pressures are superior. Time pressured exams measure strange things, for example, they can actually test ethnicity - minorities will tend to place towards the bottom. On take home exams, the ethnicity factor fades. (several law review articles on this point) Which is more valuable, a racially biased test or a racially neutral test? Since studies of top schools show minority grads succeed equally as white students, the racially neutral test should be considered valid. and the neutral test (take home) is not a typing contest.


While I agree that the standard in-class exam is not a good measure of performance in the legal workplace, I disagree with the assertion that take-homes aren't time pressured. They ARE time-pressured - just in a way that more closely apes writing assignments in the workplace. I had a 24 hour property take home that took pretty much the entire alotted time, and was a total beast. An in-class issue spotter/policy wonk exam would have been way more enjoyable.

User avatar
apper123
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby apper123 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:47 pm

Also, by my count at least 5 people finished the exam over an hour early. One guy handed his in 90 minutes before the test time was up. Really guys? Really?




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests