Getting Extra Practical Training Out of Performance Tests with Spin-Off Exercises
Posted: 24 Jul 2018
Date Written: Summer 2015
This short article explains how to use one performance test ("PT" or practical component of bar exam testing) for a variety of law school classroom assessments using “spin-off exercises,” meaning mean a new drafting task(s) using essentially the same facts and law as in a previously completed PT. PT spin -off exercises require students to envision how their “answer” would differ, if, for example, the students:
a) Represented a different party (for example they were writing the same document but acting as counsel for the other side); or
b) Were asked to perform a different task, or to draft a similar document but for a different audience (if for instance the task were changed from drafting a brief to the court to drafting a fact-gathering plan to a private investigator, or from drafting a settlement offer to opposing counsel to preparing a counseling letter urging one’s own client to propose or accept a settlement. Students are then encouraged to reflect on differences they would employ in tone, presentation, analysis or argument, and strategy.
Keywords: bar exam, performance test, PT, bar prep, bar review, ASP
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