Rule of Law Exams
Every semester it’s the same thing. On the last day of class the professor talks for a couple of minutes about the exam, explains the format of the test, what materials you may use, etc. Then s/he makes a gigantic mistake: s/he asks a room full of law students if they have any questions about the test.
It usually starts innocently enough, perhaps with some clarifying questions. Then it starts to get a bit silly, as students ask questions that have already been answered, or fish for information about particular topics on the exam. Within just a few minutes it has turned downright ridiculous. Students start asking what material they should focus on. Or they want to know the exact number of questions on the test. “Exactly what is the format of the multiple choice questions,” they might want to know. “What kind of answer gets a HH?” “Can you make all exams dating back 20 years available to us?” "Would you say that Chapter 7 is particularly important?" Every class I’m tempted to ask, “Can you please tell me all the questions on the exam as well as give me all the answers? Because that would make my studying much easier.”
Professors are under no obligation to give us any more information than absolutely necessary, which so far as I can tell consists of the type of test (multiple choice or essay), a very general idea of format, and clear guidelines about allowable materials. Any further information that’s withheld is withheld from all of us, so no one is unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged. None of us are entitled to anything more than the most basic information about the exam, so quit asking 40 questions in order to gain some sort of perceived advantage. If you need to ask clarifying questions that’s fine, but otherwise just study what you need to study, and take the exam as it comes.