4 Types of Law School Exams & the Horrors they Spawn

Posted on 11-24-2014 by
Tags: Law school , law students , Latest Headlines & Stories

Multiple choice, essay, take home, in-class- there are various forms of exams these days. Depending on the career path you choose, the kind of exams you take (and the frequency you take them) will change. Here are 4 types of exams you’ll find throughout law school and the problems that are often associated with them, according to BitterLawyer.

1. The 2-3 hour Issue Spotter
This is the typical law school exam that usually shows two types of questions:

A. Four-paragraph fact-pattern whose answer accounts for less than 20% of the total exam grade

B. One-paragraph fact pattern from which you will be expected to pull five pages of legal analysis responsible for nearly 85% of your final grade.

A tricky professor will start off with the lower-value one, causing you to wonder if you put enough down for the first one as you start writing the more-valuable question. One can only hope that you will come away with a passing grade if you use the “spray & pray” method to take your test.

2. The 24-Hour Take-Home
This was the “holy grail” of tests back in high school, however that is not the case come college, especially in law school. The professor will assume that the 24-hour take-home exam will allow us to work at a leisurely pace. However, a significant portion of the remainder of the class will panic and spend 12-18 hours on their papers. Plan on putting in at least 8 hours on this exam.

3. The 8-Hour Take-Home
These are not bad tests, but the problem comes to those who don’t live close to the university. The two choices you have are to drive back and forth to pick-up, complete and then return the exam or you can pick it up at the school and complete it there.

4. The 2-3 Hour Short Answer
This is the best kind of exam in law school, but rarely seen. The problem with this kind of test is that the professor will always see the short-answer questions as being an excuse to include specialized knowledge points on the exam. This type of exam is a way to call out every little thing you missed in your outline.

So to all you students who are studying for exams, good luck and may the odds may be ever in your favor!


Posted on : 26 Nov 2014 1:38 AM

I never thought these exam types were good tools to evaluate whether some student had the chops to succeed.

Posted on : 5 Dec 2014 12:49 AM

No mention of all-multiple-choice exams?

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