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   Prometric Exam Experiences (cont'd)
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moleculegirl
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Prometric Exam Experiences (cont'd)
« on: Sep 26th, 2006, 10:05am »
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It appears that the original thread has reached its max limit, so I'm restarting here. Please continue to add your experiences, this is such a useful resource.
~~~
I just passed! I want to say a great big thank you to the entire 90 pages of this forum, and to pass on the tips that worked for me. This will be split into several posts b/c I keep getting errors.
 
Background
I have a Ph.D. in biophysics, and have been working as a patent scientist for a biotech company for about a year. What is tested on the exam is not really what you do in real life, so I don’t think this experience helped me except to be familiar with terminology. Also, studying for this exam was so different than what worked in grad school. Also, I’m a mom now (of a toddler) so my approach had to be adjusted to constant exhaustion, working full time, and being available to snuggle for ½ hour every night with a little blue eyed angel Smiley  
 
Initial Prep
I listened to all the PLI CDs during my 45 minute commutes to/from work each day. This took several weeks to plow through and no way did I remember most of it the first time, but it gave me a really good foundation. But them I’m totally an auditory learner so this may not work for everyone.
 
DO NOT, let me say this again, do NOT try to study by reading the MPEP. It is unnecessary, a waste of time, and is not a smart use of your effort and resources. Last summer I told myself that I’d read a chapter a week. I got through Chapter 100 and realized I’d rather be stabbed repeatedly with a dull pencil than read more entire chapters.
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moleculegirl
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Posts: 8
Re: Prometric Exam Experiences (cont'd)
« Reply #1 on: Sep 26th, 2006, 10:06am »
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Prep Course
PLI!!! I took this class about 6 weeks ago. Totally the best. I’d researched which prep class to take by asking colleagues, and they were split. My decision stemmed from the fact that I can spend the next 20 years of my life learning patent law, but right now my goal was to pass the exam. I’ve seen the other course materials, and PLI is by far the best, with the PatWare (more on that later) and focused study topics. The only thing I would have changed would have been more emphasis on appeals (see below).
 
Study Schedule
1.  PLI class (in person, you need the total immersion of a boot camp setting)
2. took the next week off of work, studied 40-50 hours that week
3. for the next several weeks, 1-2 hours per night
4. for the last several weeks, 3-4 hours per night
5. the last few days (Fri, Sat, Sun) I mimicked the exam schedule of 3 hr exam, break, 3 hr exam
 
Study Content
1. during the PLI class, every night after the homework I made summary notecards
2. the next week I re-read everything, made more notes, and took the mock final
3. advice – you can’t just expect to read the material and then take a test. You need to work practice problems. This means using the practice exams as homework fodder.
4. PatWare: started by taking 30 minute custom exams over each chapter individually, to get a feel
5. for the first several weeks, I took these exams in “practice” mode, that is, answer a question and then read the answer. You learn much better with immediate feedback.
6. Start taking 1 hour exams in simulated “real” exam mode, first by selecting only the heavily tested chapters (600, 700, 1200, 1800, 2100)
7. build up to 2 hours, and then 3 hour exams
8. no matter if you think you know the answer or not, look it up in the MPEP. You need practice at doing this since you will have to do it on the exam. No, you cannot keep it all in your head and trying to do so will make it explode. I’m serious. I’ve seen it happen.
9. Uninstall whatever Adobe Acrobat version you have on your computer and install 5.0 Reader. This is the most like what the exam is like.
10. read through the pages on this forum, at least the first 25 and last 25 pages.
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moleculegirl
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Posts: 8
Re: Prometric Exam Experiences (cont'd)
« Reply #2 on: Sep 26th, 2006, 10:07am »
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My exam content:
old friends:
Spanish phone, Jon Jones (although different answer choices than old exams), 147, Lancer toothbrush, sweet smelling paint, short but many (52) tables  
surprises:  
-@$$-load of Appeals! Seriously, like 20 questions out of 100. Know especially what happens if the Board upholds or reverses an examiner decision and what happens in different scenarios to any claims involved (if indep is rej but deps obj due to dependency, if indep is rej but deps reversed) –this is not intuitive
- 15-20 verbatim repeats from April 2003 and October 2003
- main focus: 1200, 2100, 1800, 600, 700
- 10-15 really arcane minutia that you HAVE to look up (which is why you need practice doing so during your practice exams)
- 10-15 really easy “which of the following is true” type
- 4-5 on RCEs
know:
- know when  it is/is not appropriate to file each of these: terminal disclaimer, 1.131 affidavit, 1.132 affidavit, 1.130 affidavit, or when you just plain have to amend the claim in question
- know the difference between objections and rejections
- use the MPEP tables in 706.02(f) for easy way to calculate the 102(e) date of anything
- use the MPEP tables for double patenting situations
- know what you can fax and what you can’t, tricky question on what gets a CoT fax filing date (CPA does not get that filing date, even though you can fax a CPA)
- 2 duplicate questions between the morning and afternoon sessions
- many with specific word phrasing that only appear in specific sections of the MPEP, so you could look up answers by key phrases if you knew the chapter to look in
- use the index!!! Search it first then jump to the specific sub chapter – saves scrolling through the chapters
- it was really annoying that the PDF reader closes each freakin’ time you go to the next question, also you have to keep re-zooming, and no Ctrl-F, you have to actually press the “find” button at the top
- pacing was slower than during my practice exams, I was doing 3 hour practice exams in 2 hours, but during the exam I made myself slow down and focus, and kept telling myself that I wouldn’t run out of time, to do it right the first time. I had ~20 minutes at the end of each session to double-check answers
- each question is worth the same amount! That means flag the long ones to do at the end, so you make sure to get the easy short points
- oh, and I put a drop of lavender oil on one wrist (calming smell) and a drop of rosemary oil on the other wrist (for clarity of thinking). Don’t know if it actually helped but a friend of mine recommended it and at least I smelled nice!
« Last Edit: Sep 26th, 2006, 10:08am by moleculegirl » IP Logged
guest47
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Re: Prometric Exam Experiences (cont'd)
« Reply #3 on: Sep 26th, 2006, 2:50pm »
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on Sep 26th, 2006, 10:05am, moleculegirl wrote:
It appears that the original thread has reached its max limit, so I'm restarting here. Please continue to add your experiences, this is such a useful resource.

 
Actually, there's just a bug where if a post requires a new page, it won't show up on that new page until the next post has also been submitted.  It's been around for a while. :>
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juancho
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Re: Prometric Exam Experiences (cont'd)
« Reply #4 on: Oct 10th, 2006, 8:25pm »
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moleculegirly ...
 
What's the SWEET SMELLING PAINT  question?? haven't seen  or read about that one , test is in 2 days!!
 
thanks!!
 
jmg
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