Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: mf22076 on December 17, 2007, 11:20:01 AM

Title: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: mf22076 on December 17, 2007, 11:20:01 AM
So far on mixed exams I have been doing the questions first and the essay second, anyone have a system or theories on which is better?  I figure if I start the essay first I will go over the alloted time and have to rush the questions.

Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: vaplaugh on December 17, 2007, 11:26:12 AM
I do the same for the same reason.
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: GA-fan on December 17, 2007, 12:06:49 PM
Depends on how well you know the info and your individual test taking strengths. I generally do well on MC, but not when I'm rushed. I do the MC 1st, usually taking less than the allotted time, then spend the remaining time on the essay. This is particularly effective on a time pressured exam- if you do essay first, then MC, then try to use anyremaining time on spotting more issues in the essay, you are probably wasting time getting reacquainted with the essay issues. Just my .02
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: Lenny on December 17, 2007, 01:10:33 PM
Definitely MC first.  The MC will serve as a sort of review of the entire subject and will jog your brain on many issues, which is good for the typical "explain the world" essay.  If you do the essay first, it is almost certain that one of the multiple choice questions will make you realize something about the essay, and you'll be scrambling to go back and add to or change your essay. 
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on December 17, 2007, 01:12:42 PM
MC FIRST!  Same reasons ... and it gives me confidence ... even if I don't know the material perfectly I feel like at least I'm writing down SOMETHING and COULD be getting points.  lol
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: juliemccoy on December 17, 2007, 08:59:34 PM
I agree... same goes for short answer vs essay. It kick-starts your brain so when you get back to the essay some of the nerves have shaken loose.

Wish I'd thought of that before my first exam! (grumble)
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: nico on December 17, 2007, 09:04:26 PM
just to chime in...i've just had my first two exams and did MC first on both....and even though I feel awful about the essays, i feel really good about MC. Just what everyone is saying here--it's a quick confidence booster, there is an answer--and they've printed it out for you, etc.

But if you have the whole exam time to do both, do try and finish MC quickly so you have more time for the essays. Leave MCs you don't know for the end, if you have time. I wasted too much time on single MC questions.

Of course, I have no grades, as of now. So maybe my system sucks.
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: KianaFran on January 29, 2008, 05:53:10 PM
I always do the essay first and the MC next. I do very well and multiple choice and hate to feel rushed on the essay. I almost always have time leftover to review my essay once more. This is just what I do and has worked for me.
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: resipsaloquitur on January 29, 2008, 06:12:29 PM
We didn't have a choice in the order so essay first then MC.  But I think I would prefer it the other way around.
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: sweetlawgirl on February 13, 2008, 06:42:49 AM
One more vote for MC first!
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: Lawbster on February 23, 2008, 06:27:06 PM
I like to speedily do MC first (maybe using 1/3 or 1/2 of the allotted time for them), then essay fully, then go slowly through MC reviewing what I did and answering questions that I didn't do.

Honestly, if you need to jog your memory about the subject by doing MC first, you are probably unprepared for that exam.

I do it my way because I easily pick off the MC questions that I absolutely know and have no tricks to them/the short ones, so I KNOW I have some points. Then essays. If the essays are pretty simplistic, I will have plenty of time for MC. Worst case scenario, if the essay is on something I'm unprepared for, I have time to think out the response better. Then if time is coming close to running out, I know I have many points on the MC, and can just guess "D" or something on all the remaining MC questions (again, worst case scenario) and know I'm getting at least a few points.

You can't do that with essay questions, you have to write something to get points. With MC you could presumably get points by random guessing.
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: KianaFran on March 02, 2008, 09:12:06 PM
Personally, I prefer the essay first and the multiple choice next. Multiple choice questions really don't take that long to me because there are a questions that will come to you right away. The essay queestions always take longer for me. I spend more time outlining my answer. I prefer to spend my time on the hardest part of the examm, which for me is usually the essay. And I always have time left to review my essay. Its just horrble feeling to be rushed on the essay portion and worry about missing an issue. I would rather take my chances quessing a MC question if I am low on time.

But this is just my 2 cents! :)  
Title: Re: Essay First or Multiple Choice
Post by: Prof_OSU on March 14, 2008, 11:35:43 AM
As a law professor (of more years than I care to admit), I can tell you that students usually finish multiple choice portions early, which gives them a bit of extra time to do essays.  If a student does the essay(s) first, two risks exist: (a) taking too long, and thus having to rush through the MC; and/or (b) being more mentally exhausted than you need to be for the MC questions.