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April 23, 2008

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Matt

_"I'm always curious what others do to make this task less onerous"_

Multiple Choice?

dwk

Oh my gosh, those exam instructions are amusing. Thanks for posting them. I wonder if students would appreciate them. I do have a long list of (real) exam instructions but I hand them out on the last day of class, as well as including them with the exam, so students don't have to spend exam time reading them.

grading is torture

Writing an exam is fun. The only problem with creating an exam is winnowing down the possibilities. However, this may be a problem that is peculiar to Constitutional Law.
Grading exams is torture. There is no way to make it less onerous. It's just a death march to the finish. To make it worse, there are only so many exams you can grade at one sitting. Your eyes begin to glaze, brain synapses short-circuit, and all thought begins to suspend after about five or six exams in a row. No choice, then, but to get up and take a walk, or play with the dog, and then resume the awful task.

grading is torture

Writing an exam is fun. The only problem with creating an exam is winnowing down the possibilities. However, this may be a problem that is peculiar to Constitutional Law.
Grading exams is torture. There is no way to make it less onerous. It's just a death march to the finish. To make it worse, there are only so many exams you can grade at one sitting. Your eyes begin to glaze, brain synapses short-circuit, and all thought begins to suspend after about five or six exams in a row. No choice, then, but to get up and take a walk, or play with the dog, and then resume the awful task.

Law Professors Are Lazy

Ugh. Get. Over. Yourselves.

I am a law student, and the thing I hate most is professors complaining about their hatred of exam grading. Face it, you all have relatively meager job responsibilities. Relative to what? Relative to professors of other subjects, and, more importantly, relative to the 80 hour weeks we'll all be pulling once we graduate.

It is unnecessarily inhumane to test on 4 months and hundreds of pages of reading in one 4-hour exam. If it truly tested command of a subject matter, it might be worth it, but the truth is that it's a total crapshoot, and it's unlikely to be a reliable indicator of knowledge of that subject. The only reason we follow the one-exam-per-semester rule is that law professors are lazy.

Oh, and we all know that you don't all of what we write anyway. My strategy, and it has yet to fail me, is to throw in as many $3 words in the first paragraph as possible. I usually see checkmarks in the margin near that paragraph and then a big A on the cover - the rest of my test remains unread, I'm sure.

draconismoi

I too am a law student, but unlike Law Professors Are Lazy - I would love these exam instructions. Particularly numbers 1 and 4. And 7. I will forever treasure the look on a couple classmates when our First Amendment professor put a 2 page limit on our exams....

But that would be my suggestion on how to make the exams less tedious. Require fewer pages. I had another professor who wanted out exams in outline form.

Molly

Another law student who'd love this---and, frankly, wouldn't be surprised by some of them, like #4. Oh, sure, they go on and on about the time pressure and the difficulty and blah de blah, but let's face it: exams just aren't that freaking hard. Thank goodness they let us leave early.

Plus, for those of us who aren't going to be law professors (Not That There's Anything Wrong With That), law school needn't be the focus of every moment of our days. It's not like it's job training. More like a let's-not-flood-the-market restriction. "Get through three annoying years at the cost of $90,000 and you, too, can sell your soul for $300 an hour!"

Thanks for the levity. Now, back to 5000 words on Why Trade Liberalization Sucks for the Poor (And Yes, You Should Care).

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