Thursday, February 15, 2007

phase four: cocky

For the past week, ever since I finished outlining my last of sixteen separate subjects (ok, a couple of those are actually combined, so it's only really fourteen separate subjects, but still... that's a lot of subjects...), I've been spending my study-time working through the sample essay book.

The sample essay book is really helpful and contains seven to ten sample essays for each subject, with an answer outline and a complete answer for each question. I have found doing these sample essays (with my outlines, mind you, not just off the top of my head) has been a great way to help me think through the problems and then cement the info from my outlines into my mind in a way that just reading can't do.

I don't know about you, but I'm not a memorizer. I tend to understand concepts in a more broad, general way. I'm much more likely to remember how issues fit together rather than the specifics of the issues themselves. Which is why studying with the sample essays is great. It puts the issues into a context and helps nail down the details.

However, now I'm starting to feel a little cocky about the sample answers. I mean, come on! Sometimes they're WRONG! I know it is dangerous and probably incorrect for me to assume that I'm right about this, but what else can it be? I look in my notes, I look in the prepbooks, I look into my own memory and sometimes I find answers that contradict those offered as the sample essay answers. And that's just frustrating.

Part of it is the malleability of the law. Everything is nuanced and qualified and there are a thousand exceptions to everything, so you can quite legitimately come down on completely opposing sides to any given conflict and be right either way. But that's frustrating! I want the info in the prepbooks to match up to the info in the sample answers, is that so wrong??

This thing is less than two weeks away. Is it too early to be this restless? Waspy? Shelley? Any thoughts?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Shelley said...

I don't know if I ever got cocky about the exam, but I did reach a point where I knew I was ready to take it. I was much more worried about the MBE than the essays, and so toward the end, I would focus on the MBE and only do four or so sample essays a day.

I think the best thing you could do for yourself at this point is take the entire weekend off -- both days! -- and have fun. Make Monday (or Tuesday, if you take the whole three day weekend off) a sample test day and see where you're at. And if you want someone to read things over and make suggestions, I'd be more than happy to help out. :)

And I think being confident walking into the test is worth a LOT. You're smart, you did well in school, and you're studying for this exam like you want an A, when you really only need to get a D-. You'll do great!

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Shelley said...

PS: I don't want to freak you out, so let me add that I wouldn't write all those essays out -- just the issues, the rule of law, and the probable results/defenses. :)

8:41 PM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

thanks shelley. first i want to say, please don't worry about freaking me out. i don't think i could possibly ever get as freaked out as i did last time again. that was a special occasion.

second, i'm not so much cocky about how i'll do on the exam, i'm more cocky about thinking my answers to the essays are better than the sample answers. i'm not feeling so excited about the performance test (seems like so much pressure and when i read fast, i don't understand anything) and the mbe. i mean, jesus, 100 multiple choice? multiple choice??? law and multiple choice just don't mix.

thanks again. you're sweet.

9:36 PM  

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