Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: What do typical law school exams look like and how are courses graded?  (Read 3838 times)

M112

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
For those already in law school, is there, more or less, a standard format in regards to tests and courses gradings or does it very dramatically from class to class?

For example, are most classes just one final exam and that is your grade for the course?  If so, how is the test broken down e.g. one essay question, several smaller essay questions, multiple choice, or a mix of essay and multiple choice. 

If no, how is the class grading broken up e.g. projects, case brief grades, discussion grades, tests, essays etc.?

Also, related to this, any tips on how to prepare for each class whatever the course grading scheme may be?  Thanks in advance.

learnedman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
for the most part your entire grade will be based on one exam at the end of the term.  In your 2L and 3L years you may have some paper classes in which your grade will be based on a paper.  there may be some rare classes that have several assignments, projects, etc...

Aluhks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
    • Email
For 1L classes (other than legal writing) and for most non-seminar upper level classes your grade will depend entirely on the exam.

The stereotypical exam is 3 hours long. Probably open book (but not always). Typically this would consist of three essay questions based on hypothetical fact patterns. Sometimes one of them will be a policy essay instead.

Sometimes professors give take home exams of varying lengths. Sometimes they use multiple choice questions or sets of short answer questions in place of one or more of the essays.

Most professors keep the same format from year to year, so ask them or look at sample exams to figure out what you're in for.

cooleylawstudent

  • Guest
For all the people who like to talk smack on Cooley, let me point out we dont have OPEN BOOK EXAMS! WTF?!?!
That test proves what exactly, that you know how to cheat? ::)

Dr. Balsenschaft

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 152
    • View Profile
Open book exams test your legal reasoning skills.  So do closed book exams.  Whether the test is an open or closed book exam depends on the professor.  The reason why some professors like closed book exams, I think, is because they don't like reading a lot of regurgitated black letter law or legal doctrine straight out of someone's outline.  My best grades on open book exams came when I barely looked at the materials I brought with me into the testing room.

cooleylawstudent

  • Guest
interesting. I guess the books just made you "second guess" yourself on what you knew for sure, or think the Prof's just appreciated the self worded vs carnon copy aspect?

Open book exams test your legal reasoning skills.  So do closed book exams.  Whether the test is an open or closed book exam depends on the professor.  The reason why some professors like closed book exams, I think, is because they don't like reading a lot of regurgitated black letter law or legal doctrine straight out of someone's outline.  My best grades on open book exams came when I barely looked at the materials I brought with me into the testing room.