REVIEW GUIDE – THE 2017 TAFT BAR EXAM
Everything there is to know about the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION!
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It’s time to ramp up your review for the Taft Bar Exam on Thursday/Friday, Rocktober 12-13. Use this page as a guide, young Constitutional scholars!
WHAT MATERIALS SHOULD I STUDY? How about …
- The Preamble – notes
- Federalism – diagram and notes from class activity
- The Constitution – Analysis of the great document – check for the starred icons in the margins!
- The Legislative Branch – pink notes
- How a Bill Becomes a Law – handout
- The Executive Branch – blue notes
- The Electoral College – pink notes
- The Judicial Branch – yellow notes
- The Bill of Rights – readings, class notes, activities
- The Amendment Process / Checks and Balances – handout
- Terminology – remember those terms posted on the board
WHAT TARGETS ARE ON THE TEST? Here they are …
- I can provide examples of federalism in our current society.
- I can discuss the powers and roles of the three branches of government and how they interact with each other.
- I can describe and give examples of the structure, powers, and lawmaking process of Congress.
- I can describe and give examples of the many roles of the President.
- I can explain, apply, and evaluate the Electoral College.
- I can describe the structure and jurisdiction of the Federal Court System, including the Supreme Court.
- I can describe and apply the protections and limits of the Bill of Rights to actual situations.
- I can explain how the Constitution can be formally and informally changed.
- I can apply the Constitution to current society.
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC TOPICS AND QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP ME STUDY? Here’s a huge gift:
Structure of the Constitution – What is a constitution? Why do we like constitutions (why should we make a Constitution snuggie, or at least a pillow)? What is THE Constitution? You should know the basic outline of the Constitution (Article I, II, II, V,). What are the goals listed in the Preamble (yup, memorize)? How do Constitutional topics and current events match up with these goals?
Federalism – How is power divided between the national government and the state and local governments? Exclusive, reserved, and concurrent powers – what are they? Be able to give real world examples of each! Why is federalism a successful system in the US? Why does it make sense (according to Taft)? What is “Full Faith and Credit” of the states?
The Legislative Branch – Where is it established? Be able to compare and contrast both houses (Senate and House of Reps.) What are definitions and examples of the delegated or enumerated, implied, and non-legislative powers of Congress? Can you chat a bit about the commerce power and the power of the purse? How is Congress organized by party? Who leads?
How does a bill become a law? – What are the basic steps of the legislative process? What can the President do in the process? How is it an example of checks and balances?
The Executive Branch – Where is it established? What are the qualifications for the President? You should be able to identify, describe, and give examples of the roles or “hats” of the President. What do the Vice President and Cabinet do? What else makes up the Executive Branch?
The Electoral College – Why was it created? How did it work? How does it work today? You should be able to analyze actual election results and determine the outcome, as well as make observations about the process. Should we keep it? Why or why not?
The Judicial Branch – Where is it established? What is the jurisdiction of federal courts? What do District Courts, Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court do? What is judicial review? How can a Supreme Court decision be changed? What is a precedent?
Checks and Balances – Be able to give specific examples of legislative, executive, and judicial checks on each branch of government – it’s guaranteed to be on the test. Yup, guaranteed. Seriously – that’s a promise, not a hint.
The Amendment Process – How does it work? How is a constitutional amendment different than a federal law? Why is the amendment process so important?
The Bill of Rights – What is the Bill of Rights? Why do we have a Bill of Rights? What are the “Five Freedoms” in the First Amendment? What other rights and protections do Americans have? Where does the 14th Amendment fit in? How are our rights protected? How are our rights limited?
The Bill of Rights in School – Why does the Bill of Rights apply to public schools? What has to be balanced in public schools? How does the Bill of Rights affect students in public schools? What precedents have been set?
The Constitution Today – What are some examples of constitutional issues in the news today? Why do we need to know this stuff? You should be able to apply the Constitution and Constitutional topics to specific situations.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE? Hopefully you have already started!
- Ask questions. Search for answers. Push yourself to learn, because learning is cool.
- The terminology is a great place to start – but don’t focus on just memorizing definitions. Be ably to apply the terms to the real world!
- Pester Taft into having a large review session during Community Time. It will definitely help!
- Check out some Bar Exam graphics!
- Discuss discuss discuss discuss with your parents and friends – don’t just stare at terms.
- Use various review activities and videos available online.
- Don’t think about how many questions are on the test, or how many pages – those factors don’t matter.
- Keep checking back here for more review trinkets.
PRESOS FROM CLASS!