Now in an expanded second edition, the book explains in a clear and easygoing, conversational manner what law professors expect from their students both in classes. What do the terms openbook, closedbook, secure, and non. How to succeed on an open book law school exam jd advising. Basically, when you study for and take a law school exam, you are entering gladiatorial combat with 100 orread more. You should devote the same amount of time and energy in studying for an open book law school exam, as you would a closed book exam.
Introduction to openbook, takehome exams while an athome, openbook exam may sound like an alien concept in law school, the goal of assessment remains the sameyou are being tested on your ability to recognize issues, articulate the relevant law, and apply that law to a new set of facts and circumstances to reach a reasoned conclusion. In law exams, the bits that the open books are meant for are just statutory technicalities that. Make sure to keep all of your law school exams in mind, and budget your time accordingly. This is one of the dumbest law school exams ever but at. Sitting so many open book exams throughout my law school experience has made me realise just how important the materials you take into them can be. Succeeding on exams from the first day of law school barry friedman, john c. Ive only had open book exams, but talking to people at lower ranked schools that had all closed book exams, it seemed like so much of what they were studying was word for word memorization. An openbook exam, with factpatterns containing genuine issues and red herrings, that mandates one apply those concepts seems more align with the function of a lawyer. Nonsecure is examsofts term for openbook law school exams. For these classes, perhaps looking at the book is more practical, but you should annotate and cross reference the shit out of it. Id recommend to not be too reliant on your booknotes during the exam and use them simply for reference.
With obvious problems like cheating, timing, and openbook vs. While this may seem like an easy way to take a test, openbook exams may be harder than youd think since they are about taking information and applying it in a more thoughtful, meaningful manner. Here are four suggestions to make sure you are ready to ace it. Jun 22, 2017 reintroducing closed book exams at law school by cathy sherry over the past three decades, law schools, along with others, have consistently moved away from closed book exams. Find out what to focus on and get some tips for organizing your thoughts in a useful manner. Jan 24, 2017 i study the same for open and closed book tests. You should prepare for your exam throughout the course of the semester and use the time before exams to make your final push toward the finish line. While this might have been true a few years ago, australian law students are no longer guaranteed to have open book exams. Here are my top tips for getting your notes right start early dont leave your note preparation for swotvac. Preparing for law school suggested reading for law school. Nov 03, 2017 five tips for doing well on an open book exam. You need to study for open book exams just as you would for any exam. Oxford assessments usually take the form of invigilated, handwritten exams taken by large cohorts dressed in sub fusc usually in the examination schools or ewert house.
Provides a really good overview of the law school exam process. Closed book exams have been associated with cramming, rote learning and superficial understanding. If you know your subject, youll have a knowledge base to draw on. In reality, the basic approach to both an open book law school exam and a closed book exams is quite similar. With so many law students taking their exams online at home this time, the number of open book exams have only increased. An upperclassman explained to me how to do well on law school exams at the beginning of my 1l year and its worked for me very well ever since. Mar 20, 20 best law school prep books getting to maybe a great guide on how to do well on law school exams. In open book exams, students are allowed to bring notes, texts, andor other resources into the exam room. The preferred method of writing inclass exams is on computer.
The same wretched way you would study for a regular, closedbook exam. In fact, more and more law schools are swapping to closed book exams every year, and i think most universities will start making the change within the next few years. Reintroducing closed book exams at law school by cathy. Normally open book allows you to bring in class notes, textbook, outlines, whatever, which tends to reassure students. Dec 02, 2019 mastering the law school exam is designed to provide students with a knowledgeable, reasonable, and rational voice to navigate the intricacies of law school exams. Love it, hate it, but odds are youll have one eventually.
Like virtually every other law school in the country, yales required firstsemester classes procedure, torts, contracts and constitutional law conclude with exams. Law school exams are unlike anything you experienced in undergrad, and your law school grades in each course are based largely on a single exam. For example, a student scheduled to take two exams on the same day may postpone one of the exams for up to one week. When i attended law school, all of my exams were open book. How to plan for takehome exams aba for law students. Without the right kind of preparation, you might do worse on an open book exam than a closed book exam. An open book exam is one where you can bring all of your notes, books, and study aids into the exam room. Now in an expanded second edition, the book explains in a clear and easygoing, conversational manner what law professors expect from their students both. Apr 10, 2008 what i didnt expect, however, was the variety of options available for receiving a grade in my courses at law school. Feb 19, 2020 getting good grades in law school therefore depends on just a handful of tests at the end of each semester. So i decided this is a good opportunity to discuss some strategies for success on open book exams. Law schools odd in that most, if not all, of your final grade will be based on a single exam at the end of the semester.
If you are prepping for an open book exam you should do the following. This is true for all types of law school exams, but especially true on open book exams because all of the students have all of the rules in front of them. In this post, we take a look at some of the options on the table for schools that are turning to remote law school exams. The inside track to law school success, second edition is a book that every jd and llm law student needs to read, either before classes start or as they get going in their 1l year. One of the most frequently debated issues concerning law school exams is a professors decision to make the exam open book or closed book. Closedbook exam generally means that the only source of information you may rely on is your brain. Open book exams post by panda595 sun jan 25, 2015 7. Open book exams are an insurance policy, not a strategy. The inside track to law school success, 2e is a book that every law student needs to read, either before classes start or as they get going in their 1l year. Succeeding on exams from the first day of law school. Any attempt to bypass or disable the security features of the examsoft software will subject the student to disciplinary action as described in rule xi.
The unfortunate trap that many law students fall into is underpreparing for open book law school exams. In an open book exam, the focus is not on memorizing information but applying that information. Open exams are meant to teach students how to take information and apply it in a thoughtful, deep manner. Secure is examsofts term for closedbook law school exams. Alongi says his department is still working to understand the constraints on students in taking online exams, but for now the department plans to stick with the online, open book format for spring.
Taking law school exams the 8020 way its a truism that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. Unlike, undergraduate exams where majority of the marks are given based on your ability to regurgitate what you learned from lecture and textbooks, law exams tests your ability to first spot that issues and your ability to argue why a particular law applies and the ways it could be resolved. How to study for an open book testexam in law school quora. To pick apart why exactly law school exams are such a rare and terrifying beast, lets first look at what makes up a typical law school exam as far as the structure and content. Individual faculty may choose to give open book exams.
Amy coney barrett, professor, notre dame law school i would definitely recommend this book. In contrast, open book exams, takehome exams and research. Best law school prep books getting to maybe a great guide on how to do well on law school exams. The most typical form of an exam question is an issuespotter. Assuming you need to write your exam in an hour, give yourself one hour and see how the exam writing process goes. Open book exams allow you to take notes, texts or resource materials into an exam situation. How much do you actually open the casebook for an open. Today, were talking about how to make a smooth transition to open book and takehome exams, since law schools are likely to use them this semester. How to succeed on an open book law school exam jd advising, llc. Compare your answer to the model answer and take notes on areas you need to work on. They test your ability to find and apply information. If you missed her post on preparing for a closed book exam, check it out, too.
Succeeding on exams from the first day of law school, barry friedman. The effort a law student puts into studying should be identical regardless of whether the exam is open book or closed book. There are various different versions here are a few. Go study law they said every exam is open book they said. More and more law schools are offering the openbook exam. What i didnt expect, however, was the variety of options available for receiving a grade in my courses at law school. Open book exams post by areasonableman sun jan 25, 2015 4. Students often have wrong ideas about these exams, such as. You wont get a lot of feedback or practice before the first set of exams, and what youre tested on bears little resemblance to whats discussed in class. How to prepare for an openbook exam you knew this was coming. This type of questions makes up the bulk of most exams. Knowing how to approach these unique exams will make yourread more. Open book is going to rely a lot less on actually knowing things perfectly and a lot more on analysis.
The professors will clearly state to you whether you should use open mode when taking your exam. Under law school category, click the university of wisconsin law school link. The inside track to law school success, 2e is a book that every jd and llm law student needs to read, either before classes start or as they get going in their 1l year. In reality, the answer to this question demonstrates why openbook exams are traps for the unwary. Resist the urge to transcribe its not going to help. One bad grade will not sink you, your legal career, or your gpa, as long as you dont let it. While most law schools offer reading days for students to prepare for final exams, its impossible to cram for a law school exam. You are allowed to bring in your own notes and outlines. Instead, you will have the information in front of you, but what you will be asked is typically quite involved.
This is a book that will help law students get law school, not just law school exams. Studying for law school exams study guides for law student. Past exams prepare for hls exams research guides at. Open or closed book, the law you need to know should be in your head. An insiders view of what professors look for in exam answers and how exam taking connects to good lawyering. Mastering the law school exam is designed to provide students with a knowledgeable, reasonable, and rational voice to navigate the intricacies of law school exams. Students seem to be partial to open book exams, perhaps because they seem less frightening and overwhelming. Dec 01, 2011 law school exam tutor extraordinaire lee faller burgess of amicus tutoring is back with advice on preparing for an open book law school exam. The law school bar exam writing study preparation system leews will help you prepare for and write a exams bs guaranteed andor pass the bar. In law exams, the bits that the open books are meant for are just statutory technicalities that just cannot be humanly memorised so it makes no difference.
Even though the exam may be open book, the professor. Theres a lot written on preparing for openbook and closedbook exams, but not a lot about the other type of law school exam. You cannot bring in any kind of electronic device, such as an electronic dictionary, even into open book exams. It gives great advice to students who have no idea what to expect when they take their first law school exams. I dont need to study much for my exam because the information will be right there for me to look up. Law school exams are all about applying the law to the facts. You cannot bring in an englishforeign law dictionary unless the exam is a restricted open book exam and the professor has allowed for this, or unless the exam is a completely open book exam. Law school honor code violation is a basis for denying bar. Apr 08, 2020 every semester at about this point i have students asking me about how to study for open book exams. It really captures what it means to think like a lawyer. The choice as to whether to use open mode is up to your professor. One of the most frequently debated issues concerning law school exams is open book or closed book. Law school registrar fordham university school of law office of the registrar. You will also understand how and why topics are linked.
After closed book exams in law school, i remember postexam discussions focusing on what was remembered vs. Obviously, it makes sense to put your best efforts into these exams. You wont study for them as hard as you would for a closed book so youll take a more lax approach and your grade will reflect that. Tips for success on openbook exams law school success. Leews law essay exam writing system the law school.
Open book exams tend to be more difficult and time consuming than closed book exams. Under the law school rules, students must take exams at the scheduled time unless there are extraordinary or compelling circumstances. Here is a look at the differences between and benefits of open and closed book law school exams. What to expect from online exams required during the. This series of posts is a deliberate approach to final exams, from study strategy to open and closed book exams, takehome exams, and final papers. Struggling to study for an open book law school exam. Dec 04, 2012 tips for takehome exams december 4, 2012 by alison monahan leave a comment theres a lot written on preparing for openbook and closedbook exams, but not a lot about the other type of law school exam. Openbook exams generally are not much different from regular exams. Go to class and take notes on the professors key phrases, terms, and analysis. Even though the exam may be open book, the professor may choose to not allow open mode in the exam software. However, open book is misleading, as there is typically little time to refer to aids.
The law school is not responsible for any computer hardwaresoftware problems that may arise, or any damage which may occur to student property. Students seem to be partial to open book exams, perhaps because they seem less overwhelming. What do the terms openbook, closedbook, secure, and nonsecure exam mean. However, unless a faculty member specifically announces an open book exam, you should assume the exam is closed book. Now in an expanded second edition, the book explains in a clear and easygoing, conversational manner what law professors expect from their students both in classes and exams. And since most exams are open book, is there much memorization involved. A concise, highly accessible guide to exam success. How to succeed on an open book law school exam the unfortunate trap that many law students fall into is underpreparing for open book law school exams. Nov 07, 20 second, you need to have great legal analysis. Your analysis must be thoughtful and show that you have a great understanding of the law.
You can debate all day about whether anything else in academia is harder, but im here to tell you that law school exams are just plain tough. This style of learning equips you well for exams and real life experiences. Open book exams, on the other hand, are sat remotely by students on their own usually in their own homes. This will show you what additional work you need to do to prepare for the exam. The coronavirus and remote law school exams jd advising.
Alexandra brill rated it it was amazing jul 26, 2017. Wentworth miller attorney, yale law graduate 77, rhodes scholar has developed polished for over 25 years comprehensive system of preparation exam taking, applicable to any essaytype in legal subject, that is remarkably. You need to know that law, and only have the book there for reassurance and maybe a quick referenceeven for classes based on the ucc et al. The use of computers on exams is governed by policy. May 20, 2012 i discuss my method for doing well on law school exams. They test your ability to find and apply information and knowledge, so are often used in subjects requiring direct reference to written materials, like law statutes, statistics or acts of parliament. These exams may allow you to bring in your outline, a codebook, your textbook. Preparing for openbook exams unsw current students. Law school exam tutor extraordinaire lee faller burgess of amicus tutoring is back with advice on preparing for an openbook law school.
I can assure you that you will either run out of time to finish them, or you wont. Law school honor code violation is a basis for denying bar admission impermissible collaboration on a takehome exam, and subsequent lying about it, kept one law graduate from admission to. In the case of law school exams, this is absolutely true. Professor asks exam questions from book available on the net for an open internet exam. Nov 09, 2019 an openbook exam is a test that lets you bring your books or notes in with you. This book is practical rather than theoretical where the emphasis is on providing the type of detailed examples necessary to show students precisely how to do it and how to write it.1433 808 1082 1052 1560 1217 1662 763 927 524 566 83 739 646 462 1456 906 1180 1011 123 120 1464 1007 1515 1286 328 490 1554 467 207 1145 1128 759 131 1418 806 230 19 515 414 878