Open Book Exam

Welcome to LearnLawBetter. Are you going to take an open book exam? Do you know the right way to prepare for one? Stay to the end for five tips that will help
you write better, and help you become more successful. By the way, if you like this video, don’t
forget to hit the share button below. Hi, this is Beau Baez, and today I want to
provide you with five tips for succeeding on an open book exam. An open book exam is one where you can bring
all of your notes. Your books, your study aids, your practice cards, flash cards, into the exam room. When I attended law school, all of my exams
were open book. And do you know what, I didn’t get all A’s
because I didn’t understand how to take open book exams. Here is the lie, which I believed at the time, and
which many of you watching this video believe. “Hey, its an open book exam. I’ll have my notes, so all I have to do is look it up if I need anything to help me during the exam.” Guess what, because of that attitude I didn’t
prepare long or well enough. Also, during an exam you really don’t have
much time to look anything up. Tip #1: treat an open book exam like a closed
book exam. If you don’t do this, you’re going to let your
guard down and you will get a lower grade. By preparing for a closed book exam you will
learn the material at a deeper level, which is what you need for better grades. Tip #2: use the three note method when preparing
for your exam. The three note method, which I covered in
a prior episode, includes your notes, your rule outline, and then a one page outline. This third outline is what you memorize. Memorize you say? Why would I do that for an open book exam? You need to do this so that you can
recall the information quickly on exam day. Otherwise, you”ll fumble around looking
for through your notes, when you could have learned the material long before exam day. Remember, you have more time before an exam
to prepare than during the examination time. Tip #3: create flashcards using the Leitner
box approach. This approach, which I discussed in an earlier
episode, is a way for you to learn the rules better. In a nutshell, you create three boxes, or
stacks. All your cards start in box, or stack number 1. As you learn a card, it goes to the next stack,
which you review less often. When you review the items in stack 2, you do the same thing, moving the card up to stack 3 or down to stack 1 if you didn’t really learn the card well. Tip #4: create your own outline. You might be tempted to skip writing an outline
since you have your notes. But law school outlines are much more about
the creation process than they are about the content. When you create your outline, and then revise
it, you’re going to begin to understand the law better. You’re going to see those connections that you missed the first time around. Failing to write your own outline will almost certainly keep you from getting the highest grades in the class. Now if you’re okay with B’s or lower, grab
a commercial outline or some upper classman’s outline who aced the class. Now keep in mind, the reason that upper classman
aced the final is because he or she made their own outline. Tip #5: pre-write the essay exam before you
show up for the final. As I discussed a few weeks ago, a typical
law school essay exam is made up of predictable issues and sub issues. You can create the perfect paragraph for each
issue and sub-issue, and even decide in advance how you’re going to deal with a particular
issue. For instance, in a criminal procedure final
create a paragraph discussing the warrant requirement. Then create another paragraph for each of
the many exceptions to the warrant requirement. And, since this is an open book exam you can
just copy directly from this exam outline that you created a few weeks before, which is going to save you lots of time on exam day. That additional time can then be used on the
analysis portion of your essay. If you’d like to see more episodes that
can help you succeed, hit the subscribe button. Also, don’t forget to check out
where you will find more resources to help you get ahead, including my blog, newsletter,
and exam bank. Thanks for watching.

10 thoughts on “Open Book Exam

  1. What law school did you attend that gave you all open book exams? Am so shocked. By the way thank you so so much for these tips, I have a 50 questions midterm coming up in Psychology next week and it’s open book.

  2. tip number 1is the most important, in my opinion….My first OBE was at Kansas State in Constitutional Law. At that time, I dint know wht an OBE was. It was my first time i had heard about it. As a foreigner student, I got scared of it. So I was prepared well…very well. That saved me. Just a few students and I got an A+. No laptops back in 1989 😉 Only notes and text books. In zero time I could find any info I needed, because I was well prepared. A well prepared student can get an A in an OBE. This cannot happen in all exams. And must not forget that professors do not treat an OBE the same way like a CBE. Naturally, they do not give good grades in OBExams easily. Professors expect more from a student in an OBE, dont they? Greetings from northern Greece, Pella-the heartland of Makedonia. 🙂

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