Monday, October 09, 2006

Third Dumbest Idea Ever

I've always thought the practice exams that our school makes 1Ls take were stupid. Then I talked to someone who is a 1L at Nova and she told me that not only do they take a practice exam, they also are required to turn in an outline with their midterm. An outline of one of their classes! That's crazy. Why do they make things even more stressful for 1Ls?

Thanks for the comments to the last post. It's made me think really stop and think about things...


At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's a good idea, actually. At my school, the only purpose of the practice exam is to flag who needs help and who is on track/ off track. Outlines are (in my opinion) a big indicator of how you're doing. Making outlines IS studying - so if someone isn't doing well, perhaps the reason is that their outline and/or outlining process is flawed? It seems like perhaps it would be better to only review the outlines of those who do poorly, but perhaps that proves to be difficult to track down. Perhaps it destroys anonyminity?

I just think it makes sense, and is likely designed to help students - not stress them out.

At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with Zuska that outlines are a good indicator of how you're doing because many students get outlines from students who had the class in the past or many 1Ls work in study groups and create a group outline. What's the point if 5 people in the class turn in the same outline? Furthermore, I've done well in classes without even making an outline and just studying from my casebook/class notes. I was too lazy to make an outline and reasoned correctly that the test would be based exclusively on what the professor said in class and the problem sets we went over at the end of every chapter.

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Dangerous Mind said...

We actually had a "practice exam" in our small-group class last fall to see who needed help and who didn't. The professor then never graded them, and if you went into his office to talk about them, he would just argue your points with you without providing any actual feedback about exam writing (which is what most 1Ls need help with).

I know that's not the point, it's just a great story to tell...

The outline thing is nice because it forces people to form good study habits (and helps in case they wrote something down wrong in their notes), but I could see that stressing so many 1Ls out that they flip out about three weeks before they actually should.


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