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Author Topic: Closed Book Exams  (Read 4068 times)

Seano

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Closed Book Exams
« on: November 29, 2008, 02:13:19 PM »
I have limited exposure to people at other schools (or to daylight right now for that matter), but does anyone else have closed book exams? All three of my exams are no book, no notebook, no outline. The sheer volume of information that I have to cram into my head over the next three weeks is daunting. It seems insane, for exams that have maybe 3 major essay questions that may or may not hit any number of primary or secondary or truly minor issues, to require that we answer comprehensively from memory. I suppose once the initial shock of staring at 170 pages of outlines wears off, maybe it won't seem so big, but still...
Seton Hall University School of Law - Class of '11

"That One"

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 02:20:12 PM »
i have a closed book exam.  I plan on making a checklist, memorizing it, and then writing it down at the beginning of my exam.

Seano

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 02:41:05 PM »
Yeah, I figure I'll do that too to make sure I don't miss any issues. It's a good idea. It's more the details and nuances of some of the nitpicky stuff. Which doctrines have split in jurisdictions, how many elements a defense or claim has, etc.  I suppose no one will get all the details.

Thanks.
Seton Hall University School of Law - Class of '11

Eugene Young

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 03:16:29 PM »
me too. misery loves company

jacy85

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 04:17:50 PM »
I used index cards and a shortened outline.  I would go through all my index/flash cards.  As I remembered or was able to recall the information on each card, I woudl put it aside in a separate pile. This way, I was able to focus more on the info I didn't know.  After a few passes through the stack of cards, i would skim over my shortened outline just to keep the "known" information fresh.

This worked well for me, especially when I had a few weeks to go through the info.

As for not looking at your outline in an open book class, that blanket statement is false for a lot of people (as blanket statements tend to be).  I prepared well for all of my finals, and I used my outline to answer every damn question I've ever had on an open book exam.  I knew the material, but didn't waste my time memorizing it.  My outlines, which were rather long, were tabbed and highlighted in a binder.  And I since I graduated as one of the top 10 students in my class and never got less than a B+ on any exam I've taken, it seems safe to say that I was well prepared.

Seano

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2008, 06:30:02 PM »
The cards and outline idea is helpful too. I've got a solid grasp on the material, and when I can go through the notes as I answer practice questions, my application seems to be on point.  It's the memorizing that's intimidating.  I've been out of school a while, so I haven't done the rote thing in a while.  I'll try the cards.

Thanks.
Seton Hall University School of Law - Class of '11

"That One"

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2008, 07:50:21 PM »
As for not looking at your outline in an open book class, that blanket statement is false for a lot of people (as blanket statements tend to be).  I prepared well for all of my finals, and I used my outline to answer every damn question I've ever had on an open book exam.  I knew the material, but didn't waste my time memorizing it.  My outlines, which were rather long, were tabbed and highlighted in a binder.  And I since I graduated as one of the top 10 students in my class and never got less than a B+ on any exam I've taken, it seems safe to say that I was well prepared.

TITCR

Jets

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2008, 12:00:46 AM »
Most professors allow material into exams with the intention that it's just a security blanket.

Which is to say, if you're well prepared, you're not going to look at your outline anyway.

Definitely not true. I devised a system that allowed me to literally type one of my "outlines" into my exam.

"That One"

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2008, 12:39:23 AM »
Most professors allow material into exams with the intention that it's just a security blanket.

Which is to say, if you're well prepared, you're not going to look at your outline anyway.

Definitely not true. I devised a system that allowed me to literally type one of my "outlines" into my exam.

That is my plan as well.  "Canned answers" FTW!

Jets

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Re: Closed Book Exams
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2008, 03:17:30 AM »
Yikes.  Was that particularly helpful?

It's hard to answer this without seeming boastful, but I promise that's not my intention--I got multiple A+'s, and only one grade lower than an A (there was a strict word limit in that class, and my canned answers were really wordy). I attribute all success to the system, and none of it to innate knowledge, exam taking ability or excellent understanding of the material. Mostly, I was just writing long articulations of the "rule" for the "R" part of the IRAC, but I did also correctly guess (and write) a policy question for one of my exams. We were supposed to allocate 30 minutes to said question, but I was able to type it over in about 5 minutes...in short, I highly recommend doing this.