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Author Topic: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?  (Read 3507 times)

jacy85

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2008, 01:23:41 PM »
I do essentially what some posters have recommended, but definitely don't end up within the "page limits" set by some.

I try to start outlining my classes about two before exams (you could start earlier and do it more as you go).  This ends up being a VERY long outline (60-80 pages) because it's essentially a reorganization/integration of class and reading notes. 

Then, about 2-3 wks before finals, I start cutting down, condensing, shortening, etc.  For open book exams, I usually end up with something that's 40-50 pages. 

How long your outline ends up is really up to you and what you find useful.  For open book exams, I print my outline out, tab it, usually end up writing in the margin small notes, etc. and am familiar with every single page. 

Some people say 40-50 pages is way too long (in fact, I believe I've been told on this site that 50 pages is "way too f-ing long and it's ridiculous).  It works for me though.  I do actually refer to my outline A LOT during an exam.  It's worked out extremely well for me.  Some people may not have time to refer to outlines (I'd imagine after my post, someone will chime in with that comment).  I do have the time, and I get more As than anything else, so it works for me.

So don't hold yourself to any certain page limit.  As you get closer to exams next fall and are working on your outline, consider the parameters set by your prof (one prof only let us bring in a 5 pages total), and what you think will be most helpful to YOU.  And go with whatever you're most comfortable with, whether its distilling it down to a 5 page outline or going in with a binder holding a tabbed, highlighted and noted 50-page outline.

TraciRai

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2008, 02:16:43 PM »
I personally like to have a shorter outline, but then I print out all my notes from the semester and take those too, just in case I missed something in the outline, or there's something specific I want to quote the professor on... Honestly, I take a million notes in with me... my outline I made, outlines from other people, and all my class notes.  But it's useful to me, and I tab it all so I can find things quickly.

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2008, 02:40:54 PM »
I was planning on making a thread like this too. Except I'd also like to know what "briefing" is? Just short reading notes on the cases you read for class? Seems like it'd be really useful to do, but I've heard people say its a waste of time. Would these be incorporated into your outline?

Also, another stupid question: in general, you get to use your outlines on exams, right?

TraciRai

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2008, 02:49:09 PM »
I was planning on making a thread like this too. Except I'd also like to know what "briefing" is? Just short reading notes on the cases you read for class? Seems like it'd be really useful to do, but I've heard people say its a waste of time. Would these be incorporated into your outline?

Also, another stupid question: in general, you get to use your outlines on exams, right?

Again, I am too lazy to explain anything, but man do I love google: http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/research/brief.html

As to the second question.  Yes you can use your outlines for the most part.  Most exams are open book, meaning you can bring the course book, your notes, outlines, whatever.  Some of my profs would specify that you could only bring stuff you had written, some would say only stuff "you had a part in making", some would say "use anything you want, your own notes, commercial outlines and hornbooks, bring anything".  That's just something you have to confirm with the prof.  Also, some exams are closed book, meaning you get nothing.  So far I only know of one section (out of 5) at my school that had one closed book exam... it's not that common.


SASS

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2008, 02:53:49 PM »
Whether you can use your outline on an exam completely depends on the professor (sometimes the school). I just finished my first year and I have never been able to use notes, outlines, etc. However, my fiance has been able to use his on some of his exams and we are at the same school (different profs)

Astro

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2008, 02:57:13 PM »
I do essentially what some posters have recommended, but definitely don't end up within the "page limits" set by some.

I try to start outlining my classes about two before exams (you could start earlier and do it more as you go).  This ends up being a VERY long outline (60-80 pages) because it's essentially a reorganization/integration of class and reading notes. 

Then, about 2-3 wks before finals, I start cutting down, condensing, shortening, etc.  For open book exams, I usually end up with something that's 40-50 pages. 

How long your outline ends up is really up to you and what you find useful.  For open book exams, I print my outline out, tab it, usually end up writing in the margin small notes, etc. and am familiar with every single page. 

Some people say 40-50 pages is way too long (in fact, I believe I've been told on this site that 50 pages is "way too f-ing long and it's ridiculous).  It works for me though.  I do actually refer to my outline A LOT during an exam.  It's worked out extremely well for me.  Some people may not have time to refer to outlines (I'd imagine after my post, someone will chime in with that comment).  I do have the time, and I get more As than anything else, so it works for me.

So don't hold yourself to any certain page limit.  As you get closer to exams next fall and are working on your outline, consider the parameters set by your prof (one prof only let us bring in a 5 pages total), and what you think will be most helpful to YOU.  And go with whatever you're most comfortable with, whether its distilling it down to a 5 page outline or going in with a binder holding a tabbed, highlighted and noted 50-page outline.


Correction: if it's a closed book exam, DO hold yourself to the suggested page limits.  Memorizing 50 pages is a waste of time.  But if it's open book, this isn't a bad idea.
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SCK2008

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2008, 03:18:38 PM »
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wcombs65

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2008, 03:25:15 PM »
Wait, you get to bring an outline into the test?  After looking at some of those outlines I was thinking to myself, but unwilling to say here, that there was no way I could fit that much info in my head for 5 classes.  That's a huge relief.

Astro

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2008, 03:26:57 PM »
Wait, you get to bring an outline into the test?  After looking at some of those outlines I was thinking to myself, but unwilling to say here, that there was no way I could fit that much info in my head for 5 classes.  That's a huge relief.

It depends.  I haven't had a single open book exam in 1L.  Some people at some schools never have anything but open book exams.
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deedeeleigh

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Re: This may be the worst question ever but...Outlining?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2008, 05:38:09 PM »
I've only had open book exams, but some are modified (only your self-made outline and the casebook) and some allow anything (supplements that have built-in outlines and flow charts).

My first semester outlines were amazingly short (20-25 pages) but second semester the amount we went over seemed to have tripled and all of my outlines were at least 60-70 pages (and in one class close to 100 pages). But, of all of that, on the test I probably only looked at a few pages for a minute or two tops. The most helpful thing for me was an attack sheet that was sort of a checklist, to make sure I didn't miss any issues or small nuances.  The outline is just a crutch for if you forget a case name or element, really. It's more for making it and having it on the test for really small details, nothing major.

That is, unless you come prepared with canned answers in advance, that you only have to re-type. I think this is helpful in some classes.