apollo2015 wrote:Lowereastside, what would you recommend doing differently if you were to do the take home test again? What did you change before the final exam? Thank you for the tips!
I'm not sure Hillman is doing the performance exam style take home, since I don't think you guys have the same torts professor that we had. But if she does decide to do that type of thing again...
The biggest course correction I made in the final was to cite to the FRCP rule or to case law when backing up my arguments. One of the problems I found with the take home was that there was a word count, so the first thing I took out of my exam to get under the word count was to cut/shorten my citations. Don't do that with Hillman. You obviously don't need to blue book it, but she wants to see you cite to a line of jurisdiction cases when talking about jurisdiction, or cite to FRCP 12(b)(6) when talking about motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
I think she actually breaks your score down to like, quality of argument for each legal issue, quality of authority/citations used, and then a catch-all category for "coherence/writing quality." Someone else with a better memory of Hillman's grading breakdown should chime in though.
I also just completely missed an issue in the take home exam, and lost a ton of points as a result, so for the final itself, I very much kitchen-sinked it. If it had what I considered even a slight relation to the topic at hand, I talked about it. And made sure to cite which case or FRCP I got it from. But you do have to navigate the fine line between being comprehensive, and wasting time. She's not going to take points off for talking about irrelevant things, but she will deem certain things irrelevant, and won't award you points. That is time better spent elsewhere.
Also, don't do this for a take home with a word count. Another reason I did badly on the take home was because i wasn't concise. As a result, I ended up spending 30 minutes of valuable time cutting my final answer down to size. Plus, since I was wordy, I didn't have as much opportunity to talk about some issues, which made me lose even more points.
Also, and this is a tiny point, she does actually correct for spelling/grammar/etc on your exam. So if you have a chance, save a few minutes to spell check everything. I have no idea if it actually affects your grade or not, but its embarrassing to have her correct the same spelling mistake over and over again!