Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

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General Tso
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Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby General Tso » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:55 am

Happen to anyone else? I barely read for one of my classes, started studying/outlining 3 days before the exam, and aced it. The 2 classes I studied my tail off for all semester were my lowest grades. Maybe I should slack off in them all next semester.

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youpiiz
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby youpiiz » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:57 am

perhaps arrow can answer your question. arrow is very wise.

jimmyd11011
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby jimmyd11011 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:57 am

correlation != causation

BobSacamano
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby BobSacamano » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:10 am

I got two B's this year and they were both in the classes in which I paid 100%, undivided attention and read every single case. They were both super Socratic and I was afraid of being called on, so I never let my attention wander during class. I got A's and A+'s in classes that I didn't really understand until a couple days before the exam. Law school is a funny place.

I don't disagree with any of my grades, though. The first was my very first exam and was an "easy" one (meaning nothing totally off the wall). I think I just missed a couple issues and got swallowed up by the curve. The second was just an unlucky exam - basically one issue, happened to be one of the topics that I was least comfortable with in the class.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby TheBigMediocre » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:19 am

BobSacamano wrote:I got two B's this year and they were both in the classes in which I paid 100%, undivided attention and read every single case. They were both super Socratic and I was afraid of being called on, so I never let my attention wander during class. I got A's and A+'s in classes that I didn't really understand until a couple days before the exam. Law school is a funny place.

I don't disagree with any of my grades, though. The first was my very first exam and was an "easy" one (meaning nothing totally off the wall). I think I just missed a couple issues and got swallowed up by the curve. The second was just an unlucky exam - basically one issue, happened to be one of the topics that I was least comfortable with in the class.


BobSacamano, if you don't mind revealing which classes they were, would you? As a future 1L it'd be good to know what subjects to watch out for.

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badfish
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby badfish » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:23 am

TheBigMediocre wrote:
BobSacamano wrote:I got two B's this year and they were both in the classes in which I paid 100%, undivided attention and read every single case. They were both super Socratic and I was afraid of being called on, so I never let my attention wander during class. I got A's and A+'s in classes that I didn't really understand until a couple days before the exam. Law school is a funny place.

I don't disagree with any of my grades, though. The first was my very first exam and was an "easy" one (meaning nothing totally off the wall). I think I just missed a couple issues and got swallowed up by the curve. The second was just an unlucky exam - basically one issue, happened to be one of the topics that I was least comfortable with in the class.


BobSacamano, if you don't mind revealing which classes they were, would you? As a future 1L it'd be good to know what subjects to watch out for.


Watch out for all of them. Every teacher and every class is different. Nobody's advice on which particular class is easier or harder will help you, even if they had your teacher last year.

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thesealocust
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:31 am

edit n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Miniver
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby Miniver » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:09 pm

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Last edited by Miniver on Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paichka
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby Paichka » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:45 pm

My torts professor shared a similar story first semester. He said that when he was a young law student, he studied his ass off for this advanced constitutional law class, and basically never went to admin law. He said he started outlining for admin law the night before the exam, and thought he was going to fail the class because he had no friggin' clue what was going on. He ended up with an A in admin law, and a not-so-great grade in the advanced conlaw class.

He said he ended up with an A in admin law because he started the exam like he was aiming for a D. He got the not-great grade in conlaw because he basically brain-dumped while aiming for the A. His advice to us was start every exam by aiming for the D -- the bare bones Rule-Explanation-Application. Then flesh out your answer a little more for the C (some easy to identify ambiguities), then for the B (more ambiguities, like circuit splits, and how you'd resolve them), and then for the A (higher order, really complex ambiguities and how you'd resolve them).

I have no idea if that's legit advice or not, but it stuck with me, and that's how I write all of my exams. I make sure to get all of the easy points first by pure rule regurgitation, then identify & flesh out the obvious ambiguities (forks, in GTM speak), then go after the more airy-fairy policy-type stuff that gets law professors all hot n' bothered.

OG Loc
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby OG Loc » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:51 pm

Paichka wrote:My torts professor shared a similar story first semester. He said that when he was a young law student, he studied his ass off for this advanced constitutional law class, and basically never went to admin law. He said he started outlining for admin law the night before the exam, and thought he was going to fail the class because he had no friggin' clue what was going on. He ended up with an A in admin law, and a not-so-great grade in the advanced conlaw class.

He said he ended up with an A in admin law because he started the exam like he was aiming for a D. He got the not-great grade in conlaw because he basically brain-dumped while aiming for the A. His advice to us was start every exam by aiming for the D -- the bare bones Rule-Explanation-Application. Then flesh out your answer a little more for the C (some easy to identify ambiguities), then for the B (more ambiguities, like circuit splits, and how you'd resolve them), and then for the A (higher order, really complex ambiguities and how you'd resolve them).

I have no idea if that's legit advice or not, but it stuck with me, and that's how I write all of my exams. I make sure to get all of the easy points first by pure rule regurgitation, then identify & flesh out the obvious ambiguities (forks, in GTM speak), then go after the more airy-fairy policy-type stuff that gets law professors all hot n' bothered.


Interesting, thanks.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:57 am

Paichka wrote:My torts professor shared a similar story first semester. He said that when he was a young law student, he studied his ass off for this advanced constitutional law class, and basically never went to admin law. He said he started outlining for admin law the night before the exam, and thought he was going to fail the class because he had no friggin' clue what was going on. He ended up with an A in admin law, and a not-so-great grade in the advanced conlaw class.

He said he ended up with an A in admin law because he started the exam like he was aiming for a D. He got the not-great grade in conlaw because he basically brain-dumped while aiming for the A. His advice to us was start every exam by aiming for the D -- the bare bones Rule-Explanation-Application. Then flesh out your answer a little more for the C (some easy to identify ambiguities), then for the B (more ambiguities, like circuit splits, and how you'd resolve them), and then for the A (higher order, really complex ambiguities and how you'd resolve them).

I have no idea if that's legit advice or not, but it stuck with me, and that's how I write all of my exams. I make sure to get all of the easy points first by pure rule regurgitation, then identify & flesh out the obvious ambiguities (forks, in GTM speak), then go after the more airy-fairy policy-type stuff that gets law professors all hot n' bothered.


I like this description, I may use this method. Sounds completely logical, and knowing how "brain dumps" can happen, I want to avoid that at all costs, and this seems like a great way to do so.

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dood
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby dood » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:12 am

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Last edited by dood on Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dood
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby dood » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:14 am

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Last edited by dood on Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Paichka
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby Paichka » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:21 am

dood wrote:My worst grade this semester was in Civ Pro II - where I went to class, read the cases, read the E&E, thoroughly studied my professors treatise/hornbook (Friedenthal), did the practice tests, and earned a B+.

For this reason (according to one of my other Profs.):
The more you know about a subject, the more you write about what YOU want to talk about (i.e. writing the majority of your answer on an Erie issue when the focus should have been on appeals). The less you know, you just answer the Prof's question relying on common sense, attacking things that just don't "seem fair" to you...which are often the main issues and lead to the best arguments.

For 0Ls - I would definitely memorize the black letter law, read E&Es to understand how to apply the law, but always remember that the outcome should still make sense...even SCOTUS doesn't blindly follow precedent when logic points otherwise. See Citizens United FTW.


You and I are totally in the same section, aren't we? That's hilarious.

nickwar
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby nickwar » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:25 pm

Similar story -- we had one class this year most students considered a joke. No one studied very hard for the final (or so they say) because it was extremely short as compared to our other exams (it took about an hour to finish vs three hours + for all our others.)

However, I was interested and actually worked. I went to every class, did all my readings, participated and did all my usual supplementing. I understood all the concepts and had no problem with practice problems of any sort. Get to the test and it's ALL policy questions. There might have been one substantive "law" section. Big deal, I said, it's too bad all the substantive stuff I know isn't on here but I can answer these no problem.

Final grade -- C+.

Worst part was hearing my classmates laugh because they got A-s and "didn't even study."


My other grades:

A (6 credits)
A- (6 credits)
A- (6 credits)
B (3-credit class)

....Sigh. The class absolutely wrecked my GPA on a roughly 3.0 curve.

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creamedcats
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby creamedcats » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:21 am

Interesting thread. I had a conversation with a lawyer the other night and she told me that she had severe time management issues as a 1L because of family commitments and a part-time job, and was constantly pushing aside this class or that...and then doing very well in the ones she didn't focus on, and not quite as well in some she knocked herself out on. I think this and the comments here reinforce what I've seen in many threads on here - if you're going to work hard, work for the exam, not just for the issues/what you're interested in. When you have no time whatsoever, I suppose the exam naturally becomes all you can possibly care about, and for some people this removes the bullshit barrier to just spitting out what you need and developing a somewhat boring but complete answer.

So the lesson is not 'don't study' but 'study in a utilitarian way'. This is something I'm trying to keep in mind, because my mind enjoys tangents and delving into tiny little issues, but that's not going to help me on an exam until I've covered all the fundamentals and built a complete response. This idea is guiding my 0L prep, which is quite minimal and mostly involves watching the World Cup.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:24 am

Signing in

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Kohinoor
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:25 am

creamedcats wrote:Interesting thread. I had a conversation with a lawyer the other night and she told me that she had severe time management issues as a 1L because of family commitments and a part-time job, and was constantly pushing aside this class or that...and then doing very well in the ones she didn't focus on, and not quite as well in some she knocked herself out on. I think this and the comments here reinforce what I've seen in many threads on here - if you're going to work hard, work for the exam, not just for the issues/what you're interested in. When you have no time whatsoever, I suppose the exam naturally becomes all you can possibly care about, and for some people this removes the bullshit barrier to just spitting out what you need and developing a somewhat boring but complete answer.

I guess that must be more comforting than thinking that it's random.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:38 am

General Tso wrote:Happen to anyone else? I barely read for one of my classes, started studying/outlining 3 days before the exam, and aced it. The 2 classes I studied my tail off for all semester were my lowest grades. Maybe I should slack off in them all next semester.


It happens. I've got the As in courses where I didn't do much of anything besides show up for class, and A-s in courses where I put in a lot of work and knew everything backwards and forwards. I think the curve has a lot to do with it. In general, for me at least, a tougher exam correlates to a better grade (because the grade is much more objective, and less on bullshit subjective stuff).

12262010
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby 12262010 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:40 am

best grade in the class I didn't attend once after spring break and hardly studied for. final was really easy, but I thought that meant I had missed issues. Guess not.

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APHill
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby APHill » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:42 am

The more you write, the heavier your exam is , the more the probability it will land near the bottom of the stairs.

Lighter exams travel closer to the top of the stairs.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:58 am

APHill wrote:The more you write, the heavier your exam is , the more the probability it will land near the bottom of the stairs.

Lighter exams travel closer to the top of the stairs.


LOL seriously, this HAS to be the only way some grading is done. Lazy, lazy professors.

farewelltoarms
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby farewelltoarms » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:46 pm

OP, doesn't it make perfect sense though that you studied the least for the class you felt the most confidant for, and thus, were subconsciously expecting to do well in?

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yinz
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby yinz » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:54 pm

farewelltoarms wrote:OP, doesn't it make perfect sense though that you studied the least for the class you felt the most confidant for, and thus, were subconsciously expecting to do well in?


Not a credited reponse. Visualization only took Michael Jordan so far; most of it was his unique talent to score obscene amounts of points.

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Rikkugrrl
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Re: Best grade in the class least studied for...and vice versa

Postby Rikkugrrl » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:08 pm

Lowly 0L chiming in, feel free to ignore.

Last year I took Calculus for a gen ed requirement, among lots of other classes for my majors. I worked so hard in that class, went to tutoring and office hours, and I got a C+. I was actually more proud of that C+ than I was of my As (lame I know). The reason I worked so hard is because I'm just plain not good at math; it's hard for me. I had to work harder than usual to even pass. On the flipside, I doodled through my English classes and got As because I'm good at English and those aren't as hard for me.

Maybe it doesn't apply to law school, but if I had to venture a guess I'd say everyone just has different strengths. Some people don't have to work as hard to get good grades in classes others struggle with and vice versa.

Again, if that doesn't apply to law school, feel free to ignore, it's just a guess.




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