Law School Discussion

Using old exams to study

Using old exams to study
« on: January 16, 2007, 03:21:12 AM »
Studying for an exam by looking at a professor's past exams can be helpful but sometimes too narrow a method. It is helpful, but if one places too much emphasis on it, they risk going into the exam having neglected part of the course.

A professor of mine used to teach at UC-Hastings. She told us that a few years back students were studying for an exam with a professor who typically gave an exam almost identical to the previous year- never varying the nature of the question or the underlying themes. So, one year, the professor changed his exam altogether and students coming into the exam were surprised. Evidently, he had little sympathy for them, pointing out that it was their job to know the course cold- not just the exam he usually gave.

That's a somewhat extreme example of how using old exams doesn't always carry the day.

jacy85

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Re: Using old exams to study
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2007, 04:57:48 AM »
Using old exams is not how you *learn* the material.  It's how you learn to *apply* the material.  They are 2 separate and distinct parts of the learning process.

When people say do old exam questions, I don't think they're saying "do old exam questions, and nothing else."

brewha

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Re: Using old exams to study
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2007, 07:17:36 AM »
Studying for an exam by looking at a professor's past exams can be helpful but sometimes too narrow a method. It is helpful, but if one places too much emphasis on it, they risk going into the exam having neglected part of the course.

A professor of mine used to teach at UC-Hastings. She told us that a few years back students were studying for an exam with a professor who typically gave an exam almost identical to the previous year- never varying the nature of the question or the underlying themes. So, one year, the professor changed his exam altogether and students coming into the exam were surprised. Evidently, he had little sympathy for them, pointing out that it was their job to know the course cold- not just the exam he usually gave.

That's a somewhat extreme example of how using old exams doesn't always carry the day.


Was there supposed to be a point to this post??  You mean studying exclusively from old exams is bad?? wow!

I don't know if I should be scared of the fact that you might have actually believed that blindly taking old exams before you learned the law was a good thing.

brewha

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Re: Using old exams to study
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2007, 07:19:13 AM »
And to those of you who are 0L's actually reading this post... dont listen to a word the OP said.  Taking old exams after you have a grasp of the black letter law is a MUST.

Re: Using old exams to study
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 07:42:50 AM »
Studying for an exam by looking at a professor's past exams can be helpful but sometimes too narrow a method. It is helpful, but if one places too much emphasis on it, they risk going into the exam having neglected part of the course.

A professor of mine used to teach at UC-Hastings. She told us that a few years back students were studying for an exam with a professor who typically gave an exam almost identical to the previous year- never varying the nature of the question or the underlying themes. So, one year, the professor changed his exam altogether and students coming into the exam were surprised. Evidently, he had little sympathy for them, pointing out that it was their job to know the course cold- not just the exam he usually gave.

That's a somewhat extreme example of how using old exams doesn't always carry the day.


Was there supposed to be a point to this post??  You mean studying exclusively from old exams is bad?? wow!

I don't know if I should be scared of the fact that you might have actually believed that blindly taking old exams before you learned the law was a good thing.

No offense, but given what I have read on this board, you are in no position whatsoever to lash out at other users for creating stupid threads. You have created your own trail, and I will happily bump it for the edification of our newcomers.

brewha

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Re: Using old exams to study
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2007, 08:13:03 AM »
Have at it, i never give crappy advice in the form of a genuine attempt to "educate" people.

Re: Using old exams to study
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2007, 09:44:39 AM »
but brewha how do you have time to be posting when you have moot court, law review, US supreme court clerkship, saving the world, being a gunner, etc...

Have at it, i never give crappy advice in the form of a genuine attempt to "educate" people.

brewha

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Re: Using old exams to study
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2007, 12:33:51 PM »
but brewha how do you have time to be posting when you have moot court, law review, US supreme court clerkship, saving the world, being a gunner, etc...

Have at it, i never give crappy advice in the form of a genuine attempt to "educate" people.


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