(Last updated: 16 April 2006 )
Administrative information for the midterm quizzes
Administrative information for the final exam
Old exams with answers
Administrative information for the midterm quizzes. In order for you to get to the point where you can exercise the higher–order skills that are the point of the course, you must first have under your belt a significant amount of relatively technical but straightforward doctrinal material. Accordingly, as indicated in the registration materials and in the syllabus, there will be two in-class quizzes, which in combination are worth one-third of your final grade. These are scheduled for Wednesday, February 22 and Wednesday, April 12.
These quizzes will be open-book, in true/false format and machine-graded. (Laptop computers may not be used, however; any notes that you wish to use must be printed out in hard copy.) Its purpose is to test you and to give you feedback on your command of basic statutory provisions. Accordingly, I try to make the quiz questions straightforward; I do not ask about provisions that are ambiguous or that present close interpretative questions, and do not give credit for answers other than true or false. [To illustrate, here are some sample questions of the sort that might appear on a quiz.]
In my experience, the quizzes are very effective in helping students to learn the basic material and to prepare for class; students regularly score well and the variance of the scores is substantially lower than on essay exams (so that in practice, they wind up counting somewhat less than one-third of the final grade for most students).
In order to make a true/false exam as fair and accurate as possible, it is necessary to re–use questions in successive semesters. This allows me to remove or reword ambiguous questions, as well as to check statistically to see whether the questions are a good predictor of students' overall grasp of the material. This method requires, however, that the quizzes be administered on a security basis, in order to prevent unauthorized circulation of the questions before or afterwards. Similarly, it will not be possible to circulate a set of official answers. Instead, I will post the numerical scores by exam ticket number, along with statistical information about the distribution of scores. While I expect this information will be adequate feedback for most students, I will be happy to schedule an individual conference for anyone who wishes a more detailed assessment of their performance.
Administrative information for the final exam. The final examination will be an proctored in-class exam, to be given on Monday, May 1, at 3 pm. For more details, see the official examination information published by Registration Services.
The exam will cover all the material in the course, including the statutory material covered on the quizzes. It will contain either two or three questions, more likely three. At least one question will be a conventional issue-spotter. You should also plan on being asked to interpret statutory text, as well as applying it. There may also be a question, or part of a question, that asks you to evaluate an actual or proposed rule of law in policy terms, or that asks you to advise parties planning a transaction.
Remember also that the midterm quizzes are worth one-third of your final grade, and that class participation (or lack thereof) also enters into grading on the margin.
Old exams with answers. Here are copies of previous years' exams for my Payments and Commercial Transactions classes, along with a feedback memo for each exam that sketches out my view of a good answer. Each of the Commercial Transactions exams included one question dealing with the law of payment systems; however, each of these courses also covered material on secured transactions. Obviously, you are not responsible for the secured transactions material except as it may relate to this class. Conversely, you are responsible for some material that we covered in this class but that were not covered on some of these past exams.