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typing exams?

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typist:
To type or not to type?  My school requires that we use a typewriter if we want to type our exams.  I'm a much faster typer than I am a writer, but I don't know if the noise of the typewriter and the bulk (harder to think because the test question is way off to the side) would reduce any advantage gained by my speed.  Any thoughts?

I've heard from friends at other schools that a lot of schools are allowing people to take exams on computers.  This seems to be the best strategy, no noise, smaller size.  Has anyone had any experice with this?  Any problems?  What if your computer crashes in the middle of the exam?

dogtown:
I am finishing my second year, and I have used a laptop for every single one of my exams since I started lawschool.  Its a huge advantage.  And I guarantee you the teacher, whether consciously or not, favors the typed exams.  Your hands never get tired, and you can edit your answers to your hearts content.  

The school makes you install a program that locks your hard drive during the exam so that you cant access notes.  If your computer crashes, your in trouble.  It has never happened at our school.  The software company says that its software cant cause crashes.

As far as using an actual typwriter.  I would do it.  You said you were concerned about not having the exam directly in front of you.  Thoroughly read the exam and outline your answer ahead of time.  Then all you need to do is glance at it here and there to make sure your on track.  

Dangermouse:
Typing exams on computer is practically required for us.  No one can possibly write fast enough to keep up with the typers.  Every year somebody's computer crashes, and they just have to pick up a paper booklet and start writing.  Or they could just restart the computer, assuming they remember to save often.  I don't know what that wacky program for locking the hard drive is.  We're on the honor system here.

In sum: typing is a huge advantage over writing.  If you're on a curve, and most of the people write, and you have the opportunity to type, I say type.  You'll clean house.

DuctTapeGeek:
Where is it that has the honor system? I'm very interested in not having to use ExamSoft, and while I'm already going somewhere that uses it, I'd like to try to make a case to get it eliminated.

Erik:
I typed this semester for the first time, and I must say, I sure finished my exams a heck of a lot quicker than last semester... and I can still feel my fingers.

One word of caution if you have to use a manual typerwriter as I did: it's a lot different than taking notes on your laptop!  I experienced a certain level of disconnect between what I was thinking and what was actually coming out on the page. I think it's a result of not being able to see the screen as I type.  It wasn't much of a problem after my 2nd exam, but I wish I had practiced on that silly machine more than I did before exams began.  So that's all to say: Practice!

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