If you know your subject, youll have a knowledge base to draw on. It gives great advice to students who have no idea what to expect when they take their first law school exams. This is a book that will help law students get law school, not just law school exams. How to succeed on an open book law school exam jd advising. Individual faculty may choose to give open book exams. Closed book exams have been associated with cramming, rote learning and superficial understanding. 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. 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. 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. Students seem to be partial to open book exams, perhaps because they seem less frightening and overwhelming.
Here are my top tips for getting your notes right start early dont leave your note preparation for swotvac. Tips for success on openbook exams law school success. The professors will clearly state to you whether you should use open mode when taking your exam. 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. Amy coney barrett, professor, notre dame law school i would definitely recommend this book. Make sure to keep all of your law school exams in mind, and budget your time accordingly. Students often have wrong ideas about these exams, such as. 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. Your analysis must be thoughtful and show that you have a great understanding of the law. While most law schools offer reading days for students to prepare for final exams, its impossible to cram for a law school exam. 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. Open book exams post by panda595 sun jan 25, 2015 7. Open book exams are an insurance policy, not a strategy. With so many law students taking their exams online at home this time, the number of open book exams have only increased.
Reintroducing closed book exams at law school by cathy. What to expect from online exams required during the. 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. What do the terms openbook, closedbook, secure, and non. Succeeding on exams from the first day of law school. 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. 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. The most typical form of an exam question is an issuespotter. I can assure you that you will either run out of time to finish them, or you wont.
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. Knowing how to approach these unique exams will make yourread more. Even though the exam may be open book, the professor. A concise, highly accessible guide to exam success. The unfortunate trap that many law students fall into is underpreparing for open book law school exams. Here are four suggestions to make sure you are ready to ace it. Under the law school rules, students must take exams at the scheduled time unless there are extraordinary or compelling circumstances. 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.
The preferred method of writing inclass exams is on computer. However, unless a faculty member specifically announces an open book exam, you should assume the exam is closed book. After closed book exams in law school, i remember postexam discussions focusing on what was remembered vs. 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. One of the most frequently debated issues concerning law school exams is a professors decision to make the exam open book or closed book. 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. Open book exams, on the other hand, are sat remotely by students on their own usually in their own homes. Secure is examsofts term for closedbook law school exams. 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. 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. Taking law school exams the 8020 way its a truism that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. Law school exams are all about applying the law to the facts. Alexandra brill rated it it was amazing jul 26, 2017.
For example, a student scheduled to take two exams on the same day may postpone one of the exams for up to one week. 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. Past exams prepare for hls exams research guides at. Instead, you will have the information in front of you, but what you will be asked is typically quite involved. 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. 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. Succeeding on exams from the first day of law school barry friedman, john c. When i attended law school, all of my exams were open book. While this might have been true a few years ago, australian law students are no longer guaranteed to have open book exams. There are various different versions here are a few. Feb 19, 2020 getting good grades in law school therefore depends on just a handful of tests at the end of each semester. The law school is not responsible for any computer hardwaresoftware problems that may arise, or any damage which may occur to student property. It really captures what it means to think like a lawyer.
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. Law school exam tutor extraordinaire lee faller burgess of amicus tutoring is back with advice on preparing for an openbook law school. You cannot bring in any kind of electronic device, such as an electronic dictionary, even into open book exams. Apr 08, 2020 every semester at about this point i have students asking me about how to study for open book exams. If you are prepping for an open book exam you should do the following. In the case of law school exams, this is absolutely true. 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.
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. Law school honor code violation is a basis for denying bar. Open book exams tend to be more difficult and time consuming than closed book exams. Nov 09, 2019 an openbook exam is a test that lets you bring your books or notes in with you. The use of computers on exams is governed by policy. In law exams, the bits that the open books are meant for are just statutory technicalities that. 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. 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. Even though the exam may be open book, the professor may choose to not allow open mode in the exam software. How to succeed on an open book law school exam jd advising, llc. 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. Open book exams allow you to take notes, texts or resource materials into an exam situation.
In an open book exam, the focus is not on memorizing information but applying that information. Compare your answer to the model answer and take notes on areas you need to work on. Resist the urge to transcribe its not going to help. Go to class and take notes on the professors key phrases, terms, and analysis. The same wretched way you would study for a regular, closedbook exam. Law school registrar fordham university school of law office of the registrar. 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. Basically, when you study for and take a law school exam, you are entering gladiatorial combat with 100 orread more.
May 20, 2012 i discuss my method for doing well on law school exams. This will show you what additional work you need to do to prepare for the exam. 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. 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. Find out what to focus on and get some tips for organizing your thoughts in a useful manner. Nonsecure is examsofts term for openbook law school exams. 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. Open book is going to rely a lot less on actually knowing things perfectly and a lot more on analysis. The coronavirus and remote law school exams jd advising. In open book exams, students are allowed to bring notes, texts, andor other resources into the exam room. Like virtually every other law school in the country, yales required firstsemester classes procedure, torts, contracts and constitutional law conclude with exams. How much do you actually open the casebook for an open. 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. 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.
Open exams are meant to teach students how to take information and apply it in a thoughtful, deep manner. Assuming you need to write your exam in an hour, give yourself one hour and see how the exam writing process goes. An insiders view of what professors look for in exam answers and how exam taking connects to good lawyering. Open or closed book, the law you need to know should be in your head. Provides a really good overview of the law school exam process. 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. Mar 20, 20 best law school prep books getting to maybe a great guide on how to do well on law school exams. 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.
One of the most frequently debated issues concerning law school exams is open book or closed book. 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. Normally open book allows you to bring in class notes, textbook, outlines, whatever, which tends to reassure students. Open book exams post by areasonableman sun jan 25, 2015 4. 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. Nov 07, 20 second, you need to have great legal analysis. Studying for law school exams study guides for law student. In reality, the basic approach to both an open book law school exam and a closed book exams is quite similar. 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. In contrast, open book exams, takehome exams and research. This type of questions makes up the bulk of most 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. Jan 24, 2017 i study the same for open and closed book tests. How to study for an open book testexam in law school quora.
What i didnt expect, however, was the variety of options available for receiving a grade in my courses at law school. So i decided this is a good opportunity to discuss some strategies for success on open book 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. 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. Apr 10, 2008 what i didnt expect, however, was the variety of options available for receiving a grade in my courses at law school. These exams may allow you to bring in your outline, a codebook, your textbook. I dont need to study much for my exam because the information will be right there for me to look up. This is one of the dumbest law school exams ever but at. You will also understand how and why topics are linked. 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. Every time you have to look something up during the exam, you arent writing. You need to study for open book exams just as you would for any exam.
Theres a lot written on preparing for openbook and closedbook exams, but not a lot about the other type of law school exam. Nov 03, 2017 five tips for doing well on an open book exam. With obvious problems like cheating, timing, and openbook vs. Leews law essay exam writing system the law school. 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. You are allowed to bring in your own notes and outlines. Here is a look at the differences between and benefits of open and closed book law school exams. Go study law they said every exam is open book they said. This style of learning equips you well for exams and real life experiences. Best law school prep books getting to maybe a great guide on how to do well on law school exams. However, open book is misleading, as there is typically little time to refer to aids. Openbook exams generally are not much different from regular exams. What do the terms openbook, closedbook, secure, and nonsecure exam mean.
Closedbook exam generally means that the only source of information you may rely on is your brain. Id recommend to not be too reliant on your booknotes during the exam and use them simply for reference. Professor asks exam questions from book available on the net for an open internet exam. One bad grade will not sink you, your legal career, or your gpa, as long as you dont let it. In reality, the answer to this question demonstrates why openbook exams are traps for the unwary.
An open book exam is one where you can bring all of your notes, books, and study aids into the exam room. Preparing for openbook exams unsw current students. For these classes, perhaps looking at the book is more practical, but you should annotate and cross reference the shit out of it. Obviously, it makes sense to put your best efforts into these exams. The effort a law student puts into studying should be identical regardless of whether the exam is open book or closed book. How to prepare for an openbook exam you knew this was coming. Under law school category, click the university of wisconsin law school link. 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. And since most exams are open book, is there much memorization involved. If you missed her post on preparing for a closed book exam, check it out, too.
Without the right kind of preparation, you might do worse on an open book exam than a closed book exam. They test your ability to find and apply information. Preparing for law school suggested reading for law school. Love it, hate it, but odds are youll have one eventually. Now in an expanded second edition, the book explains in a clear and easygoing, conversational manner what law professors expect from their students both. More and more law schools are offering the openbook exam.329 1046 1073 1441 1233 468 1499 1250 1499 1572 1240 325 728 540 1270 475 745 591 1508 1315 604 1280 302 1119 851 405 234 52 1000 293 1511 1488 716 1130 281 1474 1382 227 737 1341 315 16 1105