I spend 5-10 minutes reading the fact pattern then briefly answering it. I dont outline an answer before going in to it. I have friends that love that approach, but it just doesnt make sense to me. I just read the fact pattern, type the issues up that need to be addressed (I do this in advance so that I dont forget an issue and so I can figure out a time allotment for each problem), then I go to work. Most of my friends follow 2LMan's advice, some take a little longer even, but do what works for you. For me, I have the issues typed up, then I flip to my outline and copy the rule part, and go from memory on the application. The conclusion is BS, but I just make that up when I get to the end based on which arguments I found more persuasive or what view point the question was coming from.
I had the most trouble with the one exam that we were required to hand write (the professor is a little old-school). I also type out the issues and make notes as I go along. I agree, everyone has to find the system that works best for them
I wrote all my exams, using at least 4 blue books for all of them except research
Quote from: juliemccoy on December 18, 2007, 10:03:19 AMI had the most trouble with the one exam that we were required to hand write (the professor is a little old-school). I also type out the issues and make notes as I go along. I agree, everyone has to find the system that works best for themowww... thats got to be painful. I would require so much icy hot for my hands after that exam...
That sounds so easy, and I try to do that, but it seems like there are issues within other issues and I get all scrambled up, not knowing what to do.
I am utterly dependent on word processing to give my exam answers some sort of structure. I generally "regurgitate" my answer in a stream of consciousness fashion, as others have said. Then, I go back and cut and paste the paragraphs in a logical order. This is one reason I am absolutely convinced that typing an exam provides a MAJOR advantage. As far as outlining before writing goes, after five semesters of exams I must say that outlining before writing is a lost cause for me, and I'm not convinced that it is a good idea for most exams. You have a limited amount of time to gather points like easter eggs. I see no reason you can't chart your path while you're already on it, assuming you know the material reasonably well. Its like using GPS instead of a map. So, I just make notes in the margins of the fact patterns as I read it through twice, then start writing.