First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

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curve difficulty after first semester

Tougher
10
42%
Same
11
46%
Easier
3
13%
 
Total votes: 24

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General Tso
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First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:45 pm

For upper class law students -- in your experience does it become harder to make good grades in subsequent semesters after the first one? I am wondering if some people get their ass kicked 1st semester and then resolve themselves to work harder in the future.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:55 pm

Well, the curve itself stays the same throughout 1L (changes in 2L/3L at some schools for some classes.) I certainly know people whose performance changed--inevitably, some people who did well first semester lucked out, or they grew overconfident, and went down second semester. On the same token, some people who didn't do well figure out why, and they claw their way up.

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General Tso
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:57 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Well, the curve itself stays the same throughout 1L (changes in 2L/3L at some schools for some classes.) I certainly know people whose performance changed--inevitably, some people who did well first semester lucked out, or they grew overconfident, and went down second semester. On the same token, some people who didn't do well figure out why, and they claw their way up.


Yeah I mean I know the curve is fixed, I am just wondering if it becomes harder to maintain or improve upon your past performance once others start to figure out the LS game.

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Cavalier
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:12 pm

No one who did poorly in the first semester has ever improved their grades. If your grades are bad, your situation is hopeless. Start packing for debtor's prison.

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General Tso
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:13 pm

Cavalier wrote:No one who did poorly in the first semester has ever improved their grades. If your grades are bad, your situation is hopeless. Start packing for debtor's prison.


Is there some way to ban you from my poll threads? I am looking for legit advice here..your sarcasm isn't amusing to me.

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A'nold
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby A'nold » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:15 pm

I just don't understand these kinds of threads about the curve......the curve is the curve, it is always the same, how can it be more difficult or easier? So, basically you are asking if students either tend to slack off or work harder the next semester?

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thesealocust
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:19 pm

Cavalier wrote:No one who did poorly in the first semester has ever improved their grades. If your grades are bad, your situation is hopeless. Start packing for debtor's prison.


Alley-oop!

Image

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nahgems
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby nahgems » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:21 pm

The curve *is* the curve, but in many (especially TTTT) schools, a significant portion of 1Ls are failed out. If the bottom 15% of the class fail out, then the individuals you compete against are "better". In addition, many people who do poorly their first semester realize that they need to work harder (or differently) to pass. While there is little pressure on the top students to improve, there is a lot of pressure on the bottom students. If you put in the same amount of effort that you did during 1st semester but other students put in more effort, it may be more difficult to achieve the same grades.

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General Tso
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:23 pm

A'nold wrote:I just don't understand these kinds of threads about the curve......the curve is the curve, it is always the same, how can it be more difficult or easier? So, basically you are asking if students either tend to slack off or work harder the next semester?


Yup that is what I am asking. Does the level of competition increase over time as students become more and more accustomed to law school. Eg - a student who slacked off and got median the first semester figures he can slack off again 2nd semester. Only this time the bottom half has wisened up and has worked harder. Now this student finds himself in the bottom 25% in the 2nd semester.

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lishi
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby lishi » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:17 pm

Motivation by a lot of students will decrease each semester. If you can stay as motivated as you were your 1st semester of law school then I think you have an ok chance of moving up. A lot of people start cutting corners and not doing everything they did when they first started and were terrified of law school and exams.

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thesealocust
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm

lishi wrote:Motivation by a lot of students will decrease each semester. If you can stay as motivated as you were your 1st semester of law school then I think you have an ok chance of moving up. A lot of people start cutting corners and not doing everything they did when they first started and were terrified of law school and exams.


The strong impression I get is that as time goes on, understanding of how to study for and take law school exams goes up on average, while enthusiasm and stamina go down on average. The end result being that the class curves itself nicely, just for different reasons each semester.

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A'nold
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby A'nold » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:54 pm

lishi wrote:Motivation by a lot of students will decrease each semester. If you can stay as motivated as you were your 1st semester of law school then I think you have an ok chance of moving up. A lot of people start cutting corners and not doing everything they did when they first started and were terrified of law school and exams.


This would be my guess, although I haven't received my grades yet. I figure that if I am 1/3 or below, my motivation will be severely crushed and I'll just go with the flow in the second semester. If I am in the top, say, 20% but not top 10%, I might still lack motivation. However, if I am top 10%, I will likely say game on.

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lishi
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby lishi » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:55 pm

thesealocust wrote:
lishi wrote:Motivation by a lot of students will decrease each semester. If you can stay as motivated as you were your 1st semester of law school then I think you have an ok chance of moving up. A lot of people start cutting corners and not doing everything they did when they first started and were terrified of law school and exams.


The strong impression I get is that as time goes on, understanding of how to study for and take law school exams goes up on average, while enthusiasm and stamina go down on average. The end result being that the class curves itself nicely, just for different reasons each semester.


The knowledge of how to study may go up, but I'm sure with my knowledge of how to take an exam if I had done as much as I did my first semester my grades would have been a bit higher than they were. I think the first semester you are so afraid and you keep going and studying late into the night based on fear. When you lose that, I find that some people become lax in their studying or overconfident. Just like some people are in the top 10% the first semester, so instead of saying game on they think they have the second semester is in the bag, which it isn't. Of course this isn't everyone, but I think you could definitely skip up a couple people (depending where you are) if you keep going as strong as you did before.

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20160810
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby 20160810 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:44 pm

If you can pinpoint where you went wrong and actually follow through on making the necessary improvements, then it stands to reason that you can improve your grades from one semester to the next. The trick is the "actually following through" part. See e.g., the fact that 95% of the people I know resolved to stop using the Internet in class (myself included) and I bet most break that resolution before February.

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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:47 pm

SoftBoiledLife wrote:If you can pinpoint where you went wrong and actually follow through on making the necessary improvements, then it stands to reason that you can improve your grades from one semester to the next. The trick is the "actually following through" part. See e.g., the fact that 95% of the people I know resolved to stop using the Internet in class (myself included) and I bet most break that resolution before February.

That's stupid.

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General Tso
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby General Tso » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:48 pm

SoftBoiledLife wrote:If you can pinpoint where you went wrong and actually follow through on making the necessary improvements, then it stands to reason that you can improve your grades from one semester to the next. The trick is the "actually following through" part. See e.g., the fact that 95% of the people I know resolved to stop using the Internet in class (myself included) and I bet most break that resolution before February.


I was really looking for upper-class commenters, but thanks for your input!

Ignatius J. Reilly
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby Ignatius J. Reilly » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:08 pm

Maybe my school is different than other schools, but the curve is different for first year classes and second/third year classes. For example, I don't think D's and F's are required in upper level courses, whereas they were in first year courses. I also think the average grade is higher in upper level courses than first year courses. So it should be easier to get better grades in upper level classes. However, the same goes for everyone, so it's not necessarily going to help your class rank.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: First-year 2nd Sem. Curve: Tougher, Easier, or Same?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:54 am

In my experience the curve got hasher, but easier from 1st to 2nd semester. 2nd semester for us covered literally 3 times the material (or more in one class) as first semester, and there was some moderately more complex material (is there anything actually hard or confusing in law school ever?). The result was a lot of people that couldn't hang and did really shitty. Also many of the profs pushed down the curve as much as possible on the low side, which meant a lot of shitty grades but made it easier to have an overall higher class rank (e.g. getting one or two A-s 2nd semester wasn't nearly as hard of a hit on class rank as it was 1st semester).




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