Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

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Should I try to improve my chances by emailing the registrar?

Yes, you should email the registrar. At least it will give the professor a heads up that the question could have been misunderstood, and that you knew the doctrine.
0
No votes
No, it's a waste of time, and you probably won't suffer significantly from the mistake.
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100%
 
Total votes: 10

delusional
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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

Postby delusional » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:40 am

(Slightly changed for anonymity)
So my torts professor loves policy arguments. He gives us two types of questions on the exam, a long issue spotter, and several shorter questions (In this case, three). On one of the shorter questions, he asked us to make policy arguments on several grounds, and also to use precedent.

Then on another shorter question, he gave a straightforward GTM type hypo and asked for "the arguments on both sides, and a conclusion". I assumed that he wanted the same type as the other question, and that is how I answered it - there was a lot of doctrine/precedent, but I crammed it into one paragraph and wrote about policy stuff for the rest. It turns out that it was really more of a doctrinal/precedent question.

Is there anything I can or should do now to improve my chances on this test? Or should I just be happy that I hit some precedent and hope that he'll be nice and give me some credit for the rest?

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ben4847
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Re: Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

Postby ben4847 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:49 am

I choose:
Yes, you should email the registrar because otherwise it will bug you that you didn't, but it isn't going to change anything.

delusional
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Re: Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

Postby delusional » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:56 am

ben4847 wrote:I choose:
Yes, you should email the registrar because otherwise it will bug you that you didn't, but it isn't going to change anything.

Noted. Thanks.
ETA: Anyone have any success getting anything done after an exam was complete? What sort of success?

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blurbz
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Re: Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

Postby blurbz » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:57 am

What are you hoping to get from telling the registrar that you misunderstood? I think that's the point of the curve: If some people understand what he's asking and others don't, it helps him distribute the grades. And, honestly, the curve might help you here if others struggled (and it sounds like this was just a small part of the exam! How'd you do on the rest?) One of the most important things I did 1L year was try to get inside my professor's heads so that I would know what they were getting at when they asked ambiguous questions. One grade 1L year won't break you, either. Just re-evaluate your methods and come back strong in the spring.

Also: Don't foreclose on the possibility that your prof grades fairly and will realize his question is ambiguous (assuming it is) and give you credit for the answer you gave.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:02 pm

No. Don't use the registrar as a means to try and add extra content or explanation to your exam after time has elapsed. Don't bother them with unfixable complaints about how you misread the question. The whole point of the exam is to grade you on your understanding of the law, your application of it, and even, yes, your ability to understand questions and craft responsive answers. We'd all love to go back and add explanations and justifications, but that's now how exams work.

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thesealocust
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Re: Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:17 pm

The correct answer is option 3: "No, don't email the registrar, and you might suffer significantly from the mistake"

You do not deserve any leniency for what you did. Whether or not it costs you in the eyes of the professor is completely unknown, but everyone took the same exam with the same stress and made piles of unique and not-so-unique mistakes on it. Suck it up.

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cinephile
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Re: Another neurotic exam postmortem Q

Postby cinephile » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:56 pm

We had a typo on one of our exams and many people lost time puzzling over the typo and some people addressed their answer as though the typo was not a mistake. And as far as I know, no one is emailing the registrar to explain that mistake.

So my answer is no, don't email the registrar because this was a mistake in your understanding of the question. Also, a lot of your classmates probably made the same mistake too.




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