Typing tests?

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cleareyesfullheart
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Typing tests?

Postby cleareyesfullheart » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:48 pm

I saw on the NYU website that all exams are typed on computers, is this standard for all law schools, or just unique to NYU? If this is standard, do you just bring your computer to the exam and then email your response to the professor when you are done? How do they monitor to make sure you are not using notes if you type them (not that I would cheat)? I thought this was pretty interesting, and good as I have terrible handwriting!

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ph14
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby ph14 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:49 pm

cleareyesfullheart wrote:I saw on the NYU website that all exams are typed on computers, is this standard for all law schools, or just unique to NYU? If this is standard, do you just bring your computer to the exam and then email your response to the professor when you are done? How do they monitor to make sure you are not using notes if you type them (not that I would cheat)? I thought this was pretty interesting, and good as I have terrible handwriting!


http://www.exam4.com/

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orm518
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby orm518 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:53 pm

Exams on computers is pretty standard. The programs all lock out your internet connection to keep from cheating. If you try and exit the exam it cannot be reopened.

Additionally, many schools use this program: http://www.examsoft.com/main/index.php

I had never taken notes or exams on a computer before law school. I thought I wouldn't like it, but I love it. Being able to copy and paste, bold and italicize things for organization, is clutch. Not having my arm feel like it's falling off, also nice.

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cinephile
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby cinephile » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:55 pm

We have the option to hand write exams. I think two people in my section are handwriting. They get a small, quiet classroom of their own for the test. But the computer based test is better if only because there's a word count function so you can stay within the word limit.

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NinerFan
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby NinerFan » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:44 am

Most everyone chooses to type their exam.

If it is a closed book exam, they can prevent cheating by using exam software that locks your computer and prevents you from accessing any program but the exam program. You're basically locked into a dumbed down version of word. Many professors permit you to use your book and your notes, though. That doesn't mean it's easy, because time constraints often play a big factor. And, if everyone has their notes, than theoretically the playing field has been leveled and it will be your identification and analysis of issues that separates you from the back, along with your writing.

Also, there's the honor system.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:51 am

Yea it seems that typing exams is pretty standard across the board (3/60 people in my section have chosen to hand write exams). Unless you can handwrite at an insane rate or hunt and peck when typing, I don't see the advantage to handwriting. I would say the vast majority of people can type faster than they handwrite and on many law school exams (save for those with word limits) the ability to get a lot on the page is crucial. Also, I think editing is much easier when typing.

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PDaddy
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby PDaddy » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:22 am

MrPapagiorgio wrote:Yea it seems that typing exams is pretty standard across the board (3/60 people in my section have chosen to hand write exams). Unless you can handwrite at an insane rate or hunt and peck when typing, I don't see the advantage to handwriting. I would say the vast majority of people can type faster than they handwrite and on many law school exams (save for those with word limits) the ability to get a lot on the page is crucial. Also, I think editing is much easier when typing.


What you quickly find out when you get to law school is that the profs want you to write as little as possible but give as complete an answer as possible. If you can spot issues quickly, analyze thoroughly, and then advocate succinctly for multiple points of view, it doesn't matter "how much" you write. Content and form, not volume, are paramount.

For a four-hour exam, the student should be brainstorming for about 2.5 to 3 hours and writing/typing for the rest. Attack the questions with the greatest point values first and allocate the amount of time spent on the question according to those points values.

For example, let's say you are taking a 4-hour exam worth 100 total points:

If you confront a 15-point question, 15% of your time should be allocated for that question, meaning you will spend about 40 total minutes or so on that question. About 2/3 to 3/4 of the time should be allocated strictly for analysis, which translates to about 25 minutes of analysis and 15 minutes for writing the actual answer. This approach ensures that your answers are focused, streamlined, concise, direct, etc., and that the "judge"...er...professor doesn't have to sift through any fat to get to your answer.

luthersloan
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby luthersloan » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:34 am

PDaddy wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:Yea it seems that typing exams is pretty standard across the board (3/60 people in my section have chosen to hand write exams). Unless you can handwrite at an insane rate or hunt and peck when typing, I don't see the advantage to handwriting. I would say the vast majority of people can type faster than they handwrite and on many law school exams (save for those with word limits) the ability to get a lot on the page is crucial. Also, I think editing is much easier when typing.


What you quickly find out when you get to law school is that the profs want you to write as little as possible but give as complete an answer as possible. If you can spot issues quickly, analyze thoroughly, and then advocate succinctly for multiple points of view, it doesn't matter "how much" you write. Content and form, not volume, are paramount.

For a four-hour exam, the student should be brainstorming for about 2.5 to 3 hours and writing/typing for the rest. Attack the questions with the greatest point values first and allocate the amount of time spent on the question according to those points values.

For example, let's say you are taking a 4-hour exam worth 100 total points:

If you confront a 15-point question, 15% of your time should be allocated for that question, meaning you will spend about 40 total minutes or so on that question. About 2/3 to 3/4 of the time should be allocated strictly for analysis, which translates to about 25 minutes of analysis and 15 minutes for writing the actual answer. This approach ensures that your answers are focused, streamlined, concise, direct, etc., and that the "judge"...er...professor doesn't have to sift through any fat to get to your answer.


I agree that focus, clarity and relevance is more important than volume, but allocating 2/3s to 3/4s to thinking/outlining is not the best approach for everyone. It really depends on how fast you think against how fast you type. If you think fast, and type slow the reverse of that ratio, or even no outlining at all is a much better breakdown. It is really depends on the person.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:35 am

I certainly agree that content and organization > length. Thats obvious. What I meant was when you are faced with a 4 page crim fact pattern (yea, I just had one) clearly there is a lot to touch upon. By the speed/length advantage of typing, I didn't mean to suggest that longer is always better. I just meant that the speed of typing allows you to hit upon more issues in a smaller amount of time.

luthersloan
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby luthersloan » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:39 am

Oh it certainly helps, but I mean I probably type 30 WMP and it has yet to cause me any trouble. Faster is better, but I doubt there is any strong correlation between typing speed and exam performance.

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quiver
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby quiver » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:17 am

luthersloan wrote:Oh it certainly helps, but I mean I probably type 30 WMP and it has yet to cause me any trouble. Faster is better, but I doubt there is any strong correlation between typing speed and exam performance.
luthersloan wrote:I agree that focus, clarity and relevance is more important than volume, but allocating 2/3s to 3/4s to thinking/outlining is not the best approach for everyone. It really depends on how fast you think against how fast you type. If you think fast, and type slow the reverse of that ratio, or even no outlining at all is a much better breakdown. It is really depends on the person.
From experience, I agree with these. Different people have different thinking/typing speeds and should allocate time differently. I type slowly so I rarely outline an answer and usually just start typing.

cleareyesfullheart
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby cleareyesfullheart » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:23 am

Thanks for the input guys, are you usually allowed to have scratch paper in order to maybe sketch and outline or something? I find that I can organize/outline thought by diagraming them, but that is tougher to do on the computer.

071816
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby 071816 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:28 am

cleareyesfullheart wrote:Thanks for the input guys, are you usually allowed to have scratch paper in order to maybe sketch and outline or something? I find that I can organize/outline thought by diagraming them, but that is tougher to do on the computer.


Yea you can pretty much have whatever you want except for the internetz

WSJ_Law
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby WSJ_Law » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:51 am

PDaddy wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:Yea it seems that typing exams is pretty standard across the board (3/60 people in my section have chosen to hand write exams). Unless you can handwrite at an insane rate or hunt and peck when typing, I don't see the advantage to handwriting. I would say the vast majority of people can type faster than they handwrite and on many law school exams (save for those with word limits) the ability to get a lot on the page is crucial. Also, I think editing is much easier when typing.


What you quickly find out when you get to law school is that the profs want you to write as little as possible but give as complete an answer as possible. If you can spot issues quickly, analyze thoroughly, and then advocate succinctly for multiple points of view, it doesn't matter "how much" you write. Content and form, not volume, are paramount.

For a four-hour exam, the student should be brainstorming for about 2.5 to 3 hours and writing/typing for the rest. Attack the questions with the greatest point values first and allocate the amount of time spent on the question according to those points values.

For example, let's say you are taking a 4-hour exam worth 100 total points:

If you confront a 15-point question, 15% of your time should be allocated for that question, meaning you will spend about 40 total minutes or so on that question. About 2/3 to 3/4 of the time should be allocated strictly for analysis, which translates to about 25 minutes of analysis and 15 minutes for writing the actual answer. This approach ensures that your answers are focused, streamlined, concise, direct, etc., and that the "judge"...er...professor doesn't have to sift through any fat to get to your answer.



Lol. Anyone who is spending 66-75% "planning" on an issue spotter exam in a curved class is toast. Assuming the content is meticulous analysis per gtm/leews, the more words you can put up the better your score as you hit more points on law prof's checklist. I wish pdaddy was in my torts class lol just lol

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PDaddy
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby PDaddy » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:14 am

luthersloan wrote:Oh it certainly helps, but I mean I probably type 30 WMP and it has yet to cause me any trouble. Faster is better, but I doubt there is any strong correlation between typing speed and exam performance.


If you type slowly, your analysis time does need to be cut...probably in half. That puts you at a certain disadvantage relative to the other students because while content is more important than volume there must be an effective balance between the two. Typing slowly is not fatal to your performance; but the slower you type, the better you need to be at issue-spotting, memorization, organizing and analyzing.

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PDaddy
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby PDaddy » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:22 am

WSJ_Law wrote:
Lol. Anyone who is spending 66-75% "planning" on an issue spotter exam in a curved class is toast. Assuming the content is meticulous analysis per gtm/leews, the more words you can put up the better your score as you hit more points on law prof's checklist. I wish pdaddy was in my torts class lol just lol


I received an A+ in torts at GULC's summer law program, thankyouverymuch! :wink: Secondly, I didn't say that the "points-to-time" ratios could be applied the same in every course. On that note, you do raise a good point: its use depends on the course.

Torts is one of the easiest law courses, so any well-prepared student might indeed spend consioderably less time on the analysis than on the actual writing. You get fact patterns with lots of possibilities that are easy to conjure up. But you'd be surprised at how many people don't know that a sizable portion of your exam is spent brainstorming...especially in courses like CivPro, ConLaw or Property. Those are beasts that require more time spent on analysis than writing.

WSJ_Law
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby WSJ_Law » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:44 am

Whats a gulc summer program?

NJcollegestudent
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby NJcollegestudent » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:34 am

cinephile wrote:We have the option to hand write exams. I think two people in my section are handwriting. They get a small, quiet classroom of their own for the test. But the computer based test is better if only because there's a word count function so you can stay within the word limit.


This. +1

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AreJay711
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:37 am

I guess conceivably you could spend 2/3 of your time planning... if there is a 2000 word limit. Other than that it doesn't make sense because you will figure issues out as you go and can just make a little outline then fill in the rest. While professors want you to hit the issues, it isn't always clear what the issues are. For example, in my Con Law exam there was a commandeering issue that was probably a red-herring since it was if the state law enforcement agencies "wanted to" enforce the federal law they could. That might fly under commandeering but there was still an issue with the president not only having a responsibility but also the privilege to take care that the laws of the U.S. were executed since he has all of the executive power and part of that power is to use his discretion. I didn't think of that until I was in the middle of another section and probably wouldn't have if I was just transcribing. I also guarantee I lost no points just tacking that on the end of a paragraph that said there was not commandeering problem.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:39 am

IMO, taking that much time on an issue-spotter to plan is a death sentence. My torts exam was a 3-hour, 3-one page fact pattern test, meaning that we had basically 1 hour per fact pattern. If I tried to outline all of the major issues and some of the more subtle ones, I would have never had time to go into a thorough analysis that applied the law to the facts, argued both sides and came to the most likely conclusion. I would have had around 30-40 minutes for each fact pattern to weave my thoughts into a coherent analysis that hit upon as many issues as possible. That is simply not enough time.

Make notes in the margins, and get right to the analysis. I would agree with AreJay711 in that you figure some issues out as you go through your analysis. If you can't sort things out in your head while typing, you may find yourself at the bottom of the curve.

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sundance95
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby sundance95 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:52 am

WSJ_Law wrote:Whats a gulc summer program?

+1

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SilverE2
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Re: Typing tests?

Postby SilverE2 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:40 am

sundance95 wrote:
WSJ_Law wrote:Whats a gulc summer program?

+1


+2




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