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(Last updated: 07/19/2002 03:37 PM)
Administrative information for the final exam
Administrative information for the midterm exam
Old exams with answers
Administrative information for the final exam. The final examination will be a self-scheduled take-home essay exam, which you can pick up in Room 107 at the beginning of exam period. The exam is due 24 hours after you pick it up, or by the end of exam period. Please note that Room 107 is open only between 10 am and 4 pm on Monday thru Friday, and that you may not take the exam over a weekend. For more details, see the official examination schedule published by Academic Services.
The exam will be completely open-book and will cover all the material in the course, including statutory material covered on the midterm. It will contain either two or three questions. At least one question will be a conventional issue-spotter, and at least one will ask you to advise parties planning a transaction. 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.
Each question will have a specified word limit; and answers exceeding the limit will be penalized by reducing their score in proportion to the extent of the excess. Any attempts to use shorthand or nonstandard abbreviations will be counted as if full words were used; you may not use any leftover space from one question in answering the other. To ensure compliance with these rules, you must provide a word count for each question. The easiest way to do this is to have your word processor program perform the count, but if you do not use a word processor, you may make a good faith estimate by counting the words in a sample paragraph or page and extrapolating to the length of the entire exam.
Remember also that the midterm exams is worth 20% of your final grade, and that class participation (or lack thereof) also enters into grading on the margin.
Administrative information for the midterm exam. In order for you to get to the point where you can exercise the higherorder 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 on the syllabus and in the first class meeting, there will be an in-class midterm exam worth 20% of your final grade.
This exam will be completely 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 midterm 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/false. In my experience, the midterm is 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 20% 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 reuse 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 midterm 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.
As a guide to the format of the midterm and the kinds of questions that might be asked, you should look at the quizzes from my spring 1995 course in sales and secured transactions and from my spring 1997 course in sales, all of which are posted on this page. None of the specific questions from these quizzes, however, will be re-used; and some of these questions deal with material that we will not cover until later in the class, if at all. Conversely, because of differences in coverage from year to year, there might be questions on this year's midterm that cover substantive material not reflected on the older quizzes. If you have questions about coverage, please ask.
Old exams with answers. Here are copies of previous years' exams, along with a feedback memo for each exam that sketches out my view of a good answer. The exams and memos are in HTML format, although in some cases the HTML code was produced using WordPerfect's translator and hence is formatted somewhat sketchily.
Some of these exams were given in courses that covered both sales and secured transactions, and some were given in courses that covered sales alone. The sales exams include material on the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods; the sales/secured transactions exams do not. Conversely, you are responsible for some material that we covered in this class but that were not covered on some of these past exams.