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Author Topic: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?  (Read 8574 times)

kenpostudent

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 03:43:59 PM »
I guess when you say "Supplements", I should start with a definintion. I don't consider treatises supplements. When I say "supplements", I mean commercial outlines designed for law school. A treatise by a respected scholar is always invaluable. However, I avoid canned briefs, commercial outlines, or nutshells. One caveat: I think BarBri outlines are great for filing in noteholes. Yet, even BarBri covers many things that my professors don't. For instance, BarBri study aids and outlines reference duress of goods as pretext for a false confinement claim: i.e. A takes B's laptop and hides it "somewhere in the building". According to BarBri, B can bring a false confinement claim against A because a laptop is sufficiently valuable to make leaving the premises without it an "unreasonable means of escape." I asked my torts professor about that and she said that the only claim A would have against B is a trespass to chattels claim, but not false confinement. I'm not going to say BarBri is wrong because they are probably not. Yet, my professor would have given me little to no credit had I analyzed a fact pattern according to BarBri's guidance on an exam in her class. Yet, I can find treatises in the library that support the "duress of goods" rule for false confinement.

My other problem with supplements is that they ignore what your professor actually covers. I used a variety of supplements to study for exams, AFTER I made my own outlines. I probably added at least 3 pages of material to each outline from supplements throughout deadweek. NOT ONE shred of that material was tested on a final. Why? Because the professor didn't cover it. The stuff that was tested was exactly what was covered. My own outlines and notes were the most useful for preparation.

I'll get off my soapbox now. Yet, I just think that overreliance on supplements breeds laziness and poor-reasoning. True excellence is achieved by struggling with the material, grappling with it until you fully understand it. I don't see a reason to short circuit that process.

KoalaTamer

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 08:04:10 PM »
OP: Are you a 1L?  If so, you will have to learn the lesson we all did.  Study smart, not hard. 


That's the thing--I did study smart, and I also maintained good sleep habits, ate healthfully and exercised, etc., so it's not like I was "out of it" on the day of the exam. There was absolutely nothing preparation-wise I would have done differently. I just effed up during the actual exam, even though one of the things (I thought) I had learned from taking practice exams is how important it is to read every bit of the prompts thoroughly. However, I had also learned not to waste a second of time. On the exam, my professor had quoted a part of the state penal code for our convenience near the beginning of the prompt. Near the end of the prompt was what looked (almost) just like another part of the state penal code, and I skimmed it, figuring it also was just there for convenience. Big mistake--it was altered. It was just one part of the question, so it's not like I completely bombed it, but my grade won't be as good as it could have been had I focused more on the "careful reading" that I'd learned from practice and a little less on the "don't 'waste' a second of time." (Ironically, the altered statute from the penal code was about--wait for it--mistake of law.)

kenpostudent

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 06:41:40 PM »
Careful reading is part of the essential skills of an attorney. Fortunately, doing it under time pressure is generally only necessary for exams.

KoalaTamer

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 11:07:54 PM »
Careful reading is part of the essential skills of an attorney. Fortunately, doing it under time pressure is generally only necessary for exams.

I know--the time pressure was my problem. I'm extremely thorough and detail-oriented by nature, and I found I wasn't getting enough substance actually into the essays in my practice exams because I was spending too much time reading and outlining. I guess I just took it too far in the opposite direction.

kenpostudent

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2009, 11:54:53 AM »
Ya, I know how that goes. I missed a portion of one Civ Pro question on bifurcation and trifurcation. I just forgot to talk about it. I hope it's not worth major ponts. I hit every other part of the question but just glossed right over that. Some exams just have so much going on that it's nearly impossible to get to everything.

Denny Shore

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2009, 02:57:50 AM »
It happens.  Usually, it can be traced back to one of two things: studying badly or over-studying.
I've known people who have blanked, but that's always been temporary (a few minutes).
I found that when I studied with serious, focused students that kept it short to be most beneficial.  There was a study group member who was a distraction because she kept asking questions about issues or elements unrelated (confusing restrictive covenants with negative easements for example) and changed hypos to fit the answer they want.
Prepare intelligently, do what brings you the most success, and don't be afraid to take a break.  I saw far too many students transform from normal, intelligent individuals into manic, jumpy loons who couldn't string together complete sentences.  I also saw far too many people "taking it easy" and ending their study sessions by closing a few bars.

byebyeny

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2009, 08:28:03 PM »
I studied a ton for my final and I feel like I miserably failed it. I did write a lot on the essay part but for some of the short answer questions, I had no f-ing clue what they were about. Im just hoping the curve is going to save me. Law school exams suck big time.

TheDudeMan

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2009, 08:30:29 PM »
You make excuses constantly.  Nobody cares why you bombed (if you did in fact bomb, though you probably did fine).  If you did bomb, fix it.  If not, relax.

byebyeny

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2009, 08:33:56 PM »
can you offer some constructive advice on how to do well on law school exams?

Denny Shore

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Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2009, 06:50:20 PM »
Whatever.
When you find out what you scored, meet with your professors to do an exam review.  Ask good questions (like "What were you looking for there?", not "How do I write good answers?") and you'll probably figure out where you went wrong (either with prep or execution). 
For what it's worth, after two of the three exams I took this semester, most folks thought they bombed.  Try to bear in mind, your raw score isn't as important as what other people did in relation to your old score.  It is not uncommon for students "raw" score to be below 70% and still get B's based on the curve...

Good luck!