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

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270910
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Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby 270910 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:46 pm

edcrane wrote:This is not to say your strategy won't work for you. You might end up with a 4.3 this semester. But I would be cautious about trying to generalize your intuitions into formulas for exam success.


Fair enough. Advice appreciated!

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98234872348
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Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby 98234872348 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:47 pm

I wish I could write as much as I wanted on exams...

I believe that my PR essay question has no word limit; other than that, the highest limit on any exam I am taking (torts, crim law, Ks) is 2400 words.

:(

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

Postby Grad_Student » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:02 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
betasteve wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:I just did my first full 3-hour practice exam. 5,045 words, which doesn't seem that high, except for the fact that I finished 30 minutes early and had run out of things to say. I spent the remaining time cleaning up the formatting and grammar.

I'll go back over it tomorrow to see if I missed anything important, but I really don't feel like I did.


You did.

+1


+1. Unless the exam had very narrow, statute-based questions... and even then, you probably missed something.

My tax practice exams are involving a whole lot of failure at the moment, and it is concerning me:/

Just remember to apply 179 and THEN do depreciation for year 1...double declining of course.

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

Postby legends159 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:27 pm

edcrane wrote:
I stopped worrying about missing extremely subtle (but relevant) arguments and instead tried to produce extremely clean, concise answers, pursuant to my torts professor's advice to "write like a lawyer."


+1

On exams there are obvious things and non-obvious things that need special attention paid to it.

For example, if in civ pro the case is clearly based on diversity, and you jump into a half page ramble showing your knowledge of federal question jx you're not getting any points and the professor may just start skimming your exam and miss on brilliance that you do actually have in there On the other hand, if it's about diversity jx and you just say party A's citizenship is NY without stating where in the facts you got that from you're missing out on points.

There is definitely a balance and no one-size fits all. I do think it's better to be more organized and clear than to ramble in hopes of hitting issues. And I would rather point out the strongest one argument one each side and then come to a conclusion then throw in the kitchen sink.

There are big issues and then minute issues. If you can hit all the big issues then you should go into detail. But if you're spending more time on detail than on big issues you're losing points.

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

Postby superserial » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:28 pm

tag

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

Postby edcrane » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:52 pm

First exam of 2L: 3 hours and 3400 words (I was feeling verbose). I'll let you know how it turns out.

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

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:23 pm

It does seem like my exams this quarter are going to involve considerably less volume. I'm getting somewhere between 10-14 pages double spaced on these, compared to the 20+ that was common last year.

Part of that is probably that tax and secured transactions questions legitimately have a lot of "right or wrong" answers that don't require much analysis. Obviously, there are points where you need to argue for one characterization or another, but it is a much different situation than, say, Con Law or Ks.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:26 pm

First exam of the semester: 3 hours, 4500 words, 14 pages.

However, this was a tricky one. The last two questions imposed a word limit of 300 words each. That both limited the number of words I could spend there and also caused me to spend more time carefully editing my answers to those questions, reducing the amount of time I could go into detail on my other answers. Overall though, I think I had a pretty satisfactory response.

I get the feeling I'll fall right into the B+ curve, but hey, if it's a B+ at a T10, I'll still take it.

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

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:30 pm

My first exam was 18 pages and 6200 words. There was no word limit, but I write concisely.

Same school as vanwinklehozer. Frankly, I'm terrified of the competition. I just want to get a 3.0 GPA or better and bank on my IP background getting me a job. The price you pay for going to a T10 is you deal with ridiculously smart people. I just wish I had known HOW smart peeople were before coming to law school because I might have considered just taking a scholy at a lower ranked school.

Oh well.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:42 pm

CE2JD wrote:My first exam was 18 pages and 6200 words. There was no word limit, but I write concisely.


:shock:

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

Postby Snooker » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:47 pm

CE2JD wrote:My first exam was 18 pages and 6200 words. There was no word limit, but I write concisely.

Same school as vanwinklehozer. Frankly, I'm terrified of the competition. I just want to get a 3.0 GPA or better and bank on my IP background getting me a job. The price you pay for going to a T10 is you deal with ridiculously smart people. I just wish I had known HOW smart peeople were before coming to law school because I might have considered just taking a scholy at a lower ranked school.

Oh well.


I wouldn't be so terrified imo unless you are going to NYU, which I've heard, is an absolute disaster in the NYT. I am similarly situated to you and was in a Master's program also attended by harvard, chicago, and columbia JD grads. None of them seemed scarily smart to me. You are sitting down to take a test which is going to be based on your knowledge of law and how to apply it, and your ability to take a law test under timed conditions. The LSAT measures the timed conditions part. I wouldn't say there's a big gap between the people at a top 10 school and people at a top 40 school, there just doesn't seem to be any evidence for it. The "Cravath System" legitimizes the schools because it revolves around marketing prestige. There's a huge prestige gap between Penn and Hastings, but only about 4 LSAT points of different, which translates to a marginally better ability to take tests with time pressure (the LSAT disclaims, explicitly, that the test measures intelligence and Berkeley has refuted that it measures lawyering ability).

What's there to worry about? At a top 10 school you get Cravath-Credibility and the competition has more or less been randomly selected for you from a big pool of smart people that will no doubt include its share of geniuses.

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

Postby Snooker » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:52 pm

What do you get points for on these exams anyway? I've figured out a few things:

1) Recognizing the issue
2) finding each relevant rule and stating it
3) Identifying supporting facts that support either side and explaining why
4) Noting relevant policy issues
5) Stating which side will probably prevail

The exams I've seen don't really seem to lend themselves to gigantic 25-page sprawls. What is accounting for the mega bloat of some of these exams? Are some people rambling on and on about the rule and the case, or stating the same rule repeatedly, or what? I don't see myself writing 25 pages, even if every single word in the entire thing is discussed as an issue and every single possible rule that could be applied is on there. (but I am not taking torts)

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:53 pm

Snooker wrote:I wouldn't be so terrified imo unless you are going to NYU, which I've heard, is an absolute disaster in the NYT. I am similarly situated to you and was in a Master's program also attended by harvard, chicago, and columbia JD grads. None of them seemed scarily smart to me. You are sitting down to take a test which is going to be based on your knowledge of law and how to apply it, and your ability to take a law test under timed conditions. The LSAT measures the timed conditions part. I wouldn't say there's a big gap between the people at a top 10 school and people at a top 40 school, there just doesn't seem to be any evidence for it. The "Cravath System" legitimizes the schools because it revolves around marketing prestige. There's a huge prestige gap between Penn and Hastings, but only about 4 LSAT points of different, which translates to a marginally better ability to take tests with time pressure (the LSAT disclaims, explicitly, that the test measures intelligence and Berkeley has refuted that it measures lawyering ability).

What's there to worry about? At a top 10 school you get Cravath-Credibility and the competition has more or less been randomly selected for you from a big pool of smart people that will no doubt include its share of geniuses.


Does not compute?

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

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:56 pm

Snooker wrote:What do you get points for on these exams anyway? I've figured out a few things:

1) Recognizing the issue
2) finding each relevant rule and stating it
3) Identifying supporting facts that support either side and explaining why
4) Noting relevant policy issues
5) Stating which side will probably prevail

The exams I've seen don't really seem to lend themselves to gigantic 25-page sprawls. What is accounting for the mega bloat of some of these exams? Are some people rambling on and on about the rule and the case, or stating the same rule repeatedly, or what? I don't see myself writing 25 pages, even if every single word in the entire thing is discussed as an issue and every single possible rule that could be applied is on there. (but I am not taking torts)


A couple of things I've noticed:

1) Fact patterns are about 300x denser in the practice exams I've taken from UVA than from American University and other lower-ranked law schools. This makes sense because better quality students are, on average, better and faster at spotting issues. So I think the school of origin might have an impact on how many issues are in an exam.

2) I'm not sure if you're a law student or not, but I've noticed that as the semester has gone on, I've started interrelating things much more which has an exponential effect on the length of my exam answers.

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

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:02 pm

I can say from personal experience (at least based on UoC's practice exams): the fact patterns are more dense here than they were at Wisconsin; furthermore, the model answers catch more of them, and the questions themselves give fewer hints as to what the "real" issues are.

Also, lol@6000+ words being concise. There's nothing wrong with writing that much--I would be concerned if I didn't have that much on an issue-spotter that doesn't have the "right/wrong" answers involved in statutory application courses--but don't try to pretend you're being concise!

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

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:03 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:I can say from personal experience (at least based on UoC's practice exams): the fact patterns are more dense here than they were at Wisconsin; furthermore, the model answers catch more of them, and the questions themselves give fewer hints as to what the "real" issues are.

Also, lol@6000+ words being concise. There's nothing wrong with writing that much--I would be concerned if I didn't have that much on an issue-spotter that doesn't have the "right/wrong" answers involved in statutory application courses--but don't try to pretend you're being concise!


Dude... it was a 24-page fact pattern. I'm not trying to pretend I was being concise. I really felt like I was being concise.
Last edited by CE2JD on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:04 pm

CE2JD wrote:Dude... it was a 24-page fact pattern. I'm not trying to pretend I was being concise. I really felt like I was being concise.


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Okay, I'm definitely glad I'm not in your section now.

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

Postby thesealocust » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:06 pm

CE2JD wrote:which has an exponential effect on the length of my exam answers.


Improper usage of the term exponential, yellow card ;)

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CE2JD
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Re: How many words (on average) do you write for exam answer?

Postby CE2JD » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:06 pm

thesealocust wrote:
CE2JD wrote:which has an exponential effect on the length of my exam answers.


Improper usage of the term exponential, yellow card ;)


FUCK YOU. You know what I've just been through.

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

Postby thesealocust » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:08 pm

CE2JD wrote:FUCK YOU. You know what I've just been through.


Unfortunately, I do know what we both just went through :(

Still, I assume that Harrison is watching. Always watching.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:10 pm

.
Last edited by vanwinkle on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby legends159 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:12 pm

wtf 24 page fact pattern?

How do you keep track of all that information? and what subject is this?

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:14 pm

I saw what you did there, CE2JD. :lol:

Buuuut... I edited mine out too.

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness' sake!

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

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:15 pm

legends159 wrote:wtf 24 page fact pattern?

How do you keep track of all that information? and what subject is this?

This...

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:16 pm

legends159 wrote:wtf 24 page fact pattern?

How do you keep track of all that information? and what subject is this?


It would've been Contracts, all 1Ls here had Contracts finals today. My fact pattern was only 5 pages (but 7 questions).




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