Difference Between A- and an A

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forty-two
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby forty-two » Fri May 25, 2012 3:05 pm

goosey wrote:Also, the cases is good. I dont ever worry about cases or analogizing cases and maybe thats something to look into.

I think this is a good idea. Obviously all profs grade differently, but a lot of profs I've talked to said that they like seeing case analogies and that even one or two of them helps a student's test stand out because so few people do it.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sat May 26, 2012 1:10 pm

forty-two wrote:
goosey wrote:Also, the cases is good. I dont ever worry about cases or analogizing cases and maybe thats something to look into.

I think this is a good idea. Obviously all profs grade differently, but a lot of profs I've talked to said that they like seeing case analogies and that even one or two of them helps a student's test stand out because so few people do it.


I'll agree with this. The cases are important because, while you might know the BLL cold, the CASES are in the book to highlight how the BLL applies, and to explain narrow exceptions to the BLL. Most critically - they show you what fact pattern to look for that triggers a certain issue. A professor won't usually test on straight battery - it will be having to decide whether its transferred intent battery or not, for example. You can't issue spot well if you don't have a grasp of facts of the cases, IMO. I'm not saying memorize the case names - even being able to say "the court in that one case with the kid and the orange juice held . . . " or "the court in that one case where the guy got hit by a train while walking on the tracks held . . . ." That will get you points.

Familiarity with the cases can help in other respects if the professor straight up uses the fact pattern (or a modified version) on an exam. I still remember on my first semester 1L torts exam, the professor almost verbatim included a fact pattern from one of those "note" cases in the book - something we went over very briefly, and wasn't included as a main case, only a summary. It was a case about the kid who was having a diabetic psychosis, the cops threw him in the back of the cop car, and ignored his friend's (sister's?) statements that he needed orange juice because he was diabetic. Because I remembered the case, I knew what analysis the professor was looking for. Speaking with peers later on, it seems a lot of people didn't realize that case was directly covered in class.

wormhole
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby wormhole » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:57 pm

I'm having the same issue. I just finished 1L. The highest doctrinal grade I've had is an A- in Property. Every other doctrinal grade has been B+. The thing is, I was the most unsure about my Property exam -- before and after taking it. I studied my ass off for the other subjects, especially Contracts. I definitely thought I knew every "twist and turn" of the law in Contracts than I did for Property. The difference between the two is that the professor provided model answers for Property, but there weren't any for Contracts or any other courses. I did spend some time studying the model answer for Property, but honestly, it just freaked me out because I knew I could never write an answer like that. In the end, I didn't, but I still did better in that class than the others. The second thing is, I organized my exam answer by issue for Property, but by parties in Contracts and other classes (except Con Law). These are the only two differences I noticed about my Property exam-writing.

Minus the randomness of the curve, does anyone have advice, besides the ones given above, about how to approach exams without model answers? Is it always better to organize by issue than by party? I always thought some subjects (e.g. Torts) lent better to organizing by party than by issue.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:25 am

wormhole wrote:I'm having the same issue. I just finished 1L. The highest doctrinal grade I've had is an A- in Property. Every other doctrinal grade has been B+. The thing is, I was the most unsure about my Property exam -- before and after taking it. I studied my ass off for the other subjects, especially Contracts. I definitely thought I knew every "twist and turn" of the law in Contracts than I did for Property. The difference between the two is that the professor provided model answers for Property, but there weren't any for Contracts or any other courses. I did spend some time studying the model answer for Property, but honestly, it just freaked me out because I knew I could never write an answer like that. In the end, I didn't, but I still did better in that class than the others. The second thing is, I organized my exam answer by issue for Property, but by parties in Contracts and other classes (except Con Law). These are the only two differences I noticed about my Property exam-writing.

Minus the randomness of the curve, does anyone have advice, besides the ones given above, about how to approach exams without model answers? Is it always better to organize by issue than by party? I always thought some subjects (e.g. Torts) lent better to organizing by party than by issue.
Depends on the professor. I had an exam this quarter without model answers and the professor said explicitly to organize it by major issue (class was statutory interpretation). Whereas for big issue spotters (eg torts and crim) I can't imagine organizing it any way other than chronologically (so in crim, chronologically by victim or offense, and torts chronologically by incident or injury).

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AreJay711
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:26 am

I'm sure there is virtually no difference between an A and A-

legalmindedfella
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby legalmindedfella » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:24 am

I think of an A exam as seamless. You've demonstrated mastery of all the core concepts and every nuance you've explored on the exam, and it all hangs together. An A- exam has the same mastery of the core concepts, but a nuance or two is either missing where it should have been or is off in how you presented it. A B+ would be where the core concept mastery starts to get shaky.

No empirical way to prove this, but having stabilized at A- myself I think that's the big difference between the A and B tiers.

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kalvano
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby kalvano » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:37 am

AreJay711 wrote:I'm sure there is virtually no difference between an A and A-



For most exams, the difference is probably pretty minimal. Maybe one or two points missed. Once you're into that territory, I think it more comes down to luck.

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3|ink
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby 3|ink » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:50 am

It means you should kill yourself.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:53 am

kalvano wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:I'm sure there is virtually no difference between an A and A-



For most exams, the difference is probably pretty minimal. Maybe one or two points missed. Once you're into that territory, I think it more comes down to luck.


I doubt it comes down to luck. I've gotten an A or better on every written exam I've taken. (5 written exams and 1 multiple choice exam). If it's luck, then my good luck is oddly consistent.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:36 pm

nonprofit-prophet wrote:
kalvano wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:I'm sure there is virtually no difference between an A and A-



For most exams, the difference is probably pretty minimal. Maybe one or two points missed. Once you're into that territory, I think it more comes down to luck.


I doubt it comes down to luck. I've gotten an A or better on every written exam I've taken. (5 written exams and 1 multiple choice exam). If it's luck, then my good luck is oddly consistent.

Subtle brag, bro.

ajaxconstructions
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby ajaxconstructions » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:45 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
nonprofit-prophet wrote:
kalvano wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:I'm sure there is virtually no difference between an A and A-



For most exams, the difference is probably pretty minimal. Maybe one or two points missed. Once you're into that territory, I think it more comes down to luck.


I doubt it comes down to luck. I've gotten an A or better on every written exam I've taken. (5 written exams and 1 multiple choice exam). If it's luck, then my good luck is oddly consistent.

Subtle brag, bro.


It wasn't very subtle.

RPK34
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby RPK34 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:37 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
nonprofit-prophet wrote:
kalvano wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:I'm sure there is virtually no difference between an A and A-



For most exams, the difference is probably pretty minimal. Maybe one or two points missed. Once you're into that territory, I think it more comes down to luck.


I doubt it comes down to luck. I've gotten an A or better on every written exam I've taken. (5 written exams and 1 multiple choice exam). If it's luck, then my good luck is oddly consistent.

Subtle brag, bro.


Wait, one person with an Archer avatar criticizing another person with an Archer avatar of bragging. Mind blown.

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AreJay711
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:34 pm

nonprofit-prophet wrote:
kalvano wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:I'm sure there is virtually no difference between an A and A-



For most exams, the difference is probably pretty minimal. Maybe one or two points missed. Once you're into that territory, I think it more comes down to luck.


I doubt it comes down to luck. I've gotten an A or better on every written exam I've taken. (5 written exams and 1 multiple choice exam). If it's luck, then my good luck is oddly consistent.

Right but you are probably head and shoulders above most of your classmates. For someone strattleing the A/A- line there is not much that you can tell them to do except to get a few more points.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:57 pm

This is why schools should use a more granular curve. Say, a 155-186 curve.

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ilovesf
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby ilovesf » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:02 pm

legalmindedfella wrote:I think of an A exam as seamless. You've demonstrated mastery of all the core concepts and every nuance you've explored on the exam, and it all hangs together. An A- exam has the same mastery of the core concepts, but a nuance or two is either missing where it should have been or is off in how you presented it. A B+ would be where the core concept mastery starts to get shaky.

No empirical way to prove this, but having stabilized at A- myself I think that's the big difference between the A and B tiers.

As someone who has gotten everything between a A+ and a B, I can say there hardly a consistent difference. I felt really shitty about the B, but for some of the B+ classes I really thought I would get an A. I compared my exam to a friend's exam who got an A, and there really weren't many differences. Sometimes shit is just random. Sometimes it isn't about the mastery of a topic, but knowing to cite to a fucking notes case, as it was in my torts class.

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Sapientia
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby Sapientia » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:14 pm

Image

wormhole
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby wormhole » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:59 pm

ilovesf wrote:
legalmindedfella wrote:I think of an A exam as seamless. You've demonstrated mastery of all the core concepts and every nuance you've explored on the exam, and it all hangs together. An A- exam has the same mastery of the core concepts, but a nuance or two is either missing where it should have been or is off in how you presented it. A B+ would be where the core concept mastery starts to get shaky.

No empirical way to prove this, but having stabilized at A- myself I think that's the big difference between the A and B tiers.

As someone who has gotten everything between a A+ and a B, I can say there hardly a consistent difference. I felt really shitty about the B, but for some of the B+ classes I really thought I would get an A. I compared my exam to a friend's exam who got an A, and there really weren't many differences. Sometimes shit is just random. Sometimes it isn't about the mastery of a topic, but knowing to cite to a fucking notes case, as it was in my torts class.


Can you elaborate on that? Like what was an example of a difference or similarity? I felt really good about the exams that I received a B+ for, and like I said earlier, I felt like shit for the A- exam. But now I'm trying to rack my brain of what I could possibly have done right on that A- exam that I didn't do for my B+'s, because honestly, I did a WHOLE lot more for those B+ exams, and my word count was much higher as well. I'm starting to chock it up to luck, like maybe the curve really was that generous. But if I can figure out how to turn that A- into an A next time, I'd be in heaven.

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ilovesf
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby ilovesf » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:10 pm

wormhole wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
legalmindedfella wrote:I think of an A exam as seamless. You've demonstrated mastery of all the core concepts and every nuance you've explored on the exam, and it all hangs together. An A- exam has the same mastery of the core concepts, but a nuance or two is either missing where it should have been or is off in how you presented it. A B+ would be where the core concept mastery starts to get shaky.

No empirical way to prove this, but having stabilized at A- myself I think that's the big difference between the A and B tiers.

As someone who has gotten everything between a A+ and a B, I can say there hardly a consistent difference. I felt really shitty about the B, but for some of the B+ classes I really thought I would get an A. I compared my exam to a friend's exam who got an A, and there really weren't many differences. Sometimes shit is just random. Sometimes it isn't about the mastery of a topic, but knowing to cite to a fucking notes case, as it was in my torts class.


Can you elaborate on that? Like what was an example of a difference or similarity? I felt really good about the exams that I received a B+ for, and like I said earlier, I felt like shit for the A- exam. But now I'm trying to rack my brain of what I could possibly have done right on that A- exam that I didn't do for my B+'s, because honestly, I did a WHOLE lot more for those B+ exams, and my word count was much higher as well. I'm starting to chock it up to luck, like maybe the curve really was that generous. But if I can figure out how to turn that A- into an A next time, I'd be in heaven.

It's about what other people do, not just about how you do. The prof said we didn't need to cite to cases, so I didn't. My friend did, and that was the most noticeable difference. She didn't catch any issues I missed or anything that large. She just backed up what she said by referring to case law. Her exam was also slightly longer, but she didn't hit on more issues, she was just a little more in depth.

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queenlizzie13
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby queenlizzie13 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:50 am

The times I did better I definitely distinguished/analogized more cases. I wrote more too, to go more in depth. I always use headers and organize things depending on the format of the exam.

On my lowest grade, I legitimately missed a fairly big issue. I missed a couple of issues on another exam, but I am pretty sure the curve was more generous. Nearly everyone thought it was hard and I think almost everyone missed something. Also the issues might have been minor.

HOPEFORCHANGE
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby HOPEFORCHANGE » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:03 pm

It's your writing. I don't mean to sound rude or anything, but your grammar and English are poor for a graduate student. For example, you spelled professors "professor's." You also write in long, run-on sentences. Work on your writing and I think you will get the A if you're already pulling A minuses.

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piccolittle
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby piccolittle » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:29 pm

I think the difference for me between my A- exam and my A was the complete zen that came after. Leaving the A exam, I had no feeling about anything I could have written better, or anything I should have added or changed. In the A- exam, I knew my policy question wasn't strong, but I hoped the quality of my other answers would make up for it. Then again, that zen feeling could have been a result of it being my last exam and literally not knowing any of the relevant law, but it got to the point that I was actually kind of unsurprised when I saw my grade. That's just me, though. It seems pretty random.

My A- prof actually told me there was no difference between the A and A- exams. Pretty frustrating at the time, but whatever.

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JoeFish
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Re: Difference Between A- and an A

Postby JoeFish » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:37 pm

Just as it's very professor-sensitive, I also think that what you personally bring to the table has a lot to do with it. I was a math major in undergrad, really love working with rules and the like. My exam-taking style is basically "write as much information as possible." I really go for quantity when I can; things like paragraph transitions and perfect organization will be addressed if and only if I have time left over. So, when I was sitting in CivPro, and the professor was explaining how her test worked - "the highest grade will depend entirely on who includes the most information... there's no maximum, I'll just give a point every time you say something right..." - I basically started salivating. CivPro and Torts were the two classes with exams that emphasized quantity more than the others, and those were the two I got As on. Like every bloody other thing in law school, there are a dozen factors each way.




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