William and Mary Law School

Exam Writing

by John Satira, 1LJohn on Exams

Law School Success: A Guide to Studying Law and Taking Law School Exams (2nd ed.)

Ann M. Burkhart and Robert A. Stein
KF283 .B871 2008

Law School Success is an "in a nutshell" guidebook, with all of Chapter 12 dedicated to law school exams. The chapter offers a chronological view of how to handle a law school exam from preparation to post-assessment. The "during the exam" section is easily the strongest aspect of the chapter, as it details how to properly take a law school exam while also offering common errors to avoid. Another strength of this guidebook is its twelve distinct sample exam questions and answers to ensure plenty of practice.

Mastering the Law School Exam

Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus
KF283 .D37 2007

Neatly organized and very in-depth, Mastering the Law School Exam has it all. The entire book is dedicated to law school exams, and the introduction at the beginning practically explains which chapters of the book to read at certain points in your law student career. Each extremely detailed chapter explains a different aspect of law school exams, with topics such as preparation, exam taking, and IRAC writing structure. Each chapter is equally as impressive and informational as the last. The final chapter includes a variety of helpful practice exams with guided instructions on how to produce a proper answer.

Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just Survive) (3rd ed.)

John C. Dernbach
KF283 .D47 2010

With entire chapters dedicated to each part of taking a law school exam, Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just Survive) aptly instructs new students on how to succeed with exam writing. Standout chapters include “Chapter 1: Your Reader,” which describes the theory of law school exams and illustrates the method to the madness, and “Chapter 5: Explaining Your Answer,” which offers very detailed instructions on how to best present your legal knowledge for maximum points. Also, throughout the chapters, the author included intermitted questions and examples to clearly illustrate his points. At the end of the book, the author also offers sample exam answers and frequently asked questions.

Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams

Richard Michael Fischl and Jeremy Paul
KF283 .F47 1999

With over 300 pages dedicated to how to take a law school exam, Getting to Maybe is one of the most impressive books on exam writing available. The organization of the book begins with a brief introduction, and then moves to a variety of chapters on legal issues. While not directly related to exam writing, these chapters detail how to manage concept that will show up on a law school exam, such as rules vs. counter-rules and policy analysis. Later standout sections include the chapter on issue spotting, the chapter on writing exam answers, and the chapter on common mistakes to avoid. The book covers every aspect of exam writing imaginable, and if the reader cannot find something in the chapters of the book, a handy FAQ covers miscellaneous questions. Lastly, at the end of the book, there are four different sample questions and answers for the reader to utilize.

The Law Student's Pocket Mentor

Ann L. Iijima
KF283 .I35 2007

"Doing Your Best on Exams," Chapter Five from the Pocket Mentor, offers an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on how to succeed on law school exams. The chapter is neatly organized and contains charts, bulleted lists, and tips for an easy read. The tips actually have their own header, and explain useful, quick information for test taking. Though its information is much more brief when compared to other exam-writing books, the book succinctly details all of the major aspects of taking an exam. Standout parts include a section on strategies to apply to different exams and a section on organization. The chapter ends with a brief practice exam question to apply the suggestions from the book.

Hard-Nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor: How to Succeed in Law School

Austen L. Parrish and Cristina C. Knolton
KF283 .P37 2010

Chapter six of Hard-Nosed Advice is dedicated to helping the reader navigate law school "Final Exams." After a humorous introduction from the "cranky law professor" narrator, the book jumps into a slew of advice, broken down into sections on what to do before, during, and after the exam. The exam writing section is perhaps the most helpful, as it lists great tidbits of advice with brief but informative explanations. The book's advice covers a variety of exam elements ranging from organization to word choice, and even offers sample exam answers that the narrator critiques for the reader's benefit. At the end of the book, there is an appendix that includes a practice exam question with a sample answer.

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades

Alex Schimel
KF283 .S335 2012

Though only 100 pages, Law School Exams covers every aspect of exam taking. The most directly helpful chapter is section three: "Taking the Actual Exam," which outlines four requirements for good exam taking. The book also shines with "The Finishing Touches," as that chapter shows the reader how to use smaller details to greatly improve the overall quality of his or her exam. With other standout chapters on test preparation and law school time management, Law School Exams is a brief, digestible guidebook on how to improve exam performance.

Strategies and Tactics for the First Year Law Student: Maximize Your Grades

Kimm Alayne Walton and Lazar Emanuel
KF283 .W35 2010

With its longest and most detailed chapter dedicated to test taking, Strategies and Tactics takes a step-by-step format in helping the reader prepare for a law school exam. Chapter eight: "Test Taking" begins with a sample exam question and answer, therefore introducing the reader to exactly what constitutes a law school exam. Then the step-by-step guide follows. The guide instructs the reader how to take the exam chronologically and includes charts and diagrams to visualize its points. The chapter even helpfully includes a list of things not to on an exam. Though the test-taking chapter is solid, the book also has the seventh chapter dedicated to exam preparation to further strength he reader's understanding of law school exams.

The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School (2nd ed.)

Charles H. Whitebread
KF283 .W48 2008

As its title states, this guide breaks down the giant topic of exam writing into eight digestible lessons to improve exam performances. Each "secret" focuses on a specific aspect of exam writing, and the lessons help advance a student's understanding of exams to the next level. The book does not cover the basics of exam taking though, so these secrets are perhaps best read after perusing another exam writing guide. The book ends with a very helpful appendix filled with sample exam questions and answers. The answers have the author's own critiques and suggestions for the reader to best understand how to apply his secrets to exam taking.