TDot’s Tips: 1L Midterms “Quick Hits” Edition

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 11, 2010 in TDot's Tips | Subscribe

This entry is devoted primarily to my 1L colleagues at the N.C. Central University School of Law, so if you’re not a Legal Eagle you can probably skip it :)

And if you’re not a 1L you can definitely skip it ;)

I also planned on making this a longer and more-detailed entry, but I didn’t realize the midterm schedule got switched up this year: instead of 2 days of regular class followed by double-stacked exams on Wednesday and Thursday, 1Ls this year get one midterm a day at 8:00am :surprised:

So with CivPro behind y’all and most of you asleep already heading into Ks tomorrow, here’s a few quick points to keep in mind:

  1. Get the 1L Stuff. If you haven’t already, make sure to download the 1L Stuff ZIP archive I put online for y’all. This is basically a collection of every 1L outline and brief I could get my hands on last year; it includes everything from the 1L folder folks pass around, along with stuff other folks gave me. There are probably quite a few duplicate files, but there’s also a wide breadth of outlines to study from1 :)
  2. Focus on the multiple choice. We use a strict-C curve at NCCU Law, which means (i) the median grade has to be a C2 and (ii) professors usually have to use some kind of subjective criteria to ensure that distribution. That subjective component is unavoidably your essay, since multiple choice answers are either right or wrong. And because it’s subjective it means a stellar essay may not net you as many points (comparatively speaking) if everyone else in the class does well on the essay too. So if you can ace the multiple choice, you’ll have a significant advantage before your professor even grabs your essay for grading.
  3. Watch the clock. Hopefully you’ve read the Final Exam tips and you’re knocking out the multiple choice questions first. If you’re not — or if the multiples seem to be taking longer than you think they should — make sure to keep checking the clock sporadically so you know how much time you have left. Otherwise you’ll end up like me on my CivPro II final :beatup:
  4. Sleep! For some unknown reason, 1Ls seem to think law school is like college and all-nighters are an effective way to do test prep. Don’t do it! You need to be able to decipher complex hypos on the multiple choice, spot the issues in an even longer hypo for the essay(s), and write coherently about it as well. You’re only going to be able to do that on a decent night’s sleep, and ideally a good breakfast before you head to the test.
  5. Read the Final Exam tips too. The same stuff I mentioned then applies to midterms too ;)

Oh, and be prepared to not get your grades until the end of the month :beatup:

That’s it from me y’all — GOOD LUCK on your exams!! :D

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Past TDot’s Tips entries:

  1. And if you happen to be a Mac user like me, having this folder indexed by Spotlight makes it easy to pull up case briefs on the fly later in the semester ;) []
  2. See the bar graphs in some of the older grade-related entries for distributions from my 1L year. []

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