Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

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ipsojure
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Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby ipsojure » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:40 pm

I wanted to know if anyone has ever felt like their exam was a complete mess and wound up doing better than expected. Is it possible to get like a B/B- even if you thought your exam was a total shitshow? [Yes, I know it's over stop worrying about.. does anyone follow that advice?]

BearsGrl
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby BearsGrl » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:42 pm

ipsojure wrote:I wanted to know if anyone has ever felt like their exam was a complete mess and wound up doing better than expected. Is it possible to get like a B/B- even if you thought your exam was a total shitshow? [Yes, I know it's over stop worrying about.. does anyone follow that advice?]


Tons of 2Ls/3Ls on TLS have said they left their exam feeling bad and then outperformed where they thought they would. The opposite can also be said. There are people who felt confident in an exam and then did worse than they thought.

I know someone who booked her Crim law, but then got a C in Ks. It's all arbitrary.

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quiver
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby quiver » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:54 pm

BearsGrl wrote:It's all arbitrary.
It's not all arbitrary but I'll leave it at that.

Law school grades are tough to predict because you're graded against each other. So if you had a hard time then everyone probably had a hard time and vice versa. So if you did terrible but everyone else did worse, you can still snag an A. This has happened to me and pretty much everyone I know. Try to relax and move on, not worth dwelling over.

Gorki
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby Gorki » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:55 pm

I have done worse than I thought, and usually when I feel like I bombed I just got medianed.

waxecstatic
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby waxecstatic » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:59 pm

However you think you did will have no effect on the outcome. You can assume you aced it, or you can assume you failed, and it won't matter...but of course you already knew that. Yes, but there have also been times when I thought I did much better than I actually did. Sometimes, unless you're taking a multiple choice exam, it is just a total crapshoot. Grades in law school are definitely arbitrary to an extent.

ipsojure
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby ipsojure » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:04 pm

It was torts so that's sort of why I really don't know. Everyone said it was just about writing and typing as much as you can and I don't know that I wrote enough. This is really the first test I walked out of where I just have no conception what so ever of the outcome. It could be disasterous or just median. I wish I wrote more I guess.

MinEMorris
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:06 pm

confidence level after leaving an exam is hardly a good indicator of how you performed. Part of this is the simple fact that you don't know what you don't know: you may assume you didn't properly understand a lot of the material, but you might be wrong. Likewise, you might assume you understood everything but you might be wrong.
Another part of it is that it doesn't matter how well you did or think you did if your classmates did better or worse. Remember, this stuff is on a curve.
Finally, it's no secret that factors like stress and pressure distort a person's memory of an experience. It's not uncommon to think you wrote totally incoherent blabber and get your exam back later and find out that what you wrote was pretty clear and concise.

I had one funny experience where I had a long conlaw hypo that was clearly meant to be a near-exact replica of the Affordable Care Act, which was being considered by the Supreme Court at the time of the exam. I'm such a dunce and so behind on current events that I didn't even notice the parallel, and I only knew vaguely about the affordable care act debate anyway.
Anyway, I spent spent only about 15 minutes on the commerce clause and spent half of my exam arguing that the mandate equivalent part of the act in the hypo could be upheld under congress's tax power. When I finished the exam everyone started talking about the commerce clause debate over the affordable care act, and how they could hardly type out all of the commerce clause arguments in time. I asked around and virtually no one brought up the tax power. I was sure I failed and felt like a complete idiot. A month later, though, the Supreme Court upheld the mandate on the basis of the tax power instead of the commerce clause. Vindication baby. I also got an A on the exam.

Point is, weird stuff happens with exams, and as painfully tempting as it is, it really is a waste of your time to try to figure out how well you did before you get your grade back.

waxecstatic
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby waxecstatic » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:08 pm

ipsojure wrote:It was torts so that's sort of why I really don't know. Everyone said it was just about writing and typing as much as you can and I don't know that I wrote enough. This is really the first test I walked out of where I just have no conception what so ever of the outcome. It could be disasterous or just median. I wish I wrote more I guess.


Whatever happens, make sure you can meet with your professor afterwards. Last year, I walked out of a corporations exam thinking "that was one of the best exams I've ever taken." I ended up with a B-. I e-mailed the prof and he never responded. Then, I found out everyone in the class got some kind of B. Not sure if anyone got an A or a C. This is what really sucks about law school. Good luck.

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20130312
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby 20130312 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:13 pm

Wanted to tag this thread based on the title to feel good about myself, but it seems like TLS's negative nancies have already infected it.

ipsojure
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby ipsojure » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:14 pm

We can meet with them but I'm sure that I'd know where I went wrong. It was really a timing thing. It was a crazy long question and you had to be very diligent about where you spent your time so it was a hard exercise and unlike any of the practice exams/ other exams she's given. Does it ever help to email a professor and let them know how your feeling after an exam? I know they can't change grades once they're in and some of mine put in the syllabus that they have the discretion to factor in participation, I don't know if it's worth it to reach out. Has anyone done that or recommended it?

waxecstatic
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby waxecstatic » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:17 pm

ipsojure wrote:We can meet with them but I'm sure that I'd know where I went wrong. It was really a timing thing. It was a crazy long question and you had to be very diligent about where you spent your time so it was a hard exercise and unlike any of the practice exams/ other exams she's given. Does it ever help to email a professor and let them know how your feeling after an exam? I know they can't change grades once they're in and some of mine put in the syllabus that they have the discretion to factor in participation, I don't know if it's worth it to reach out. Has anyone done that or recommended it?


I don't think so. You shouldn't discuss the exam with your professor until after you've gotten your grade. They are pretty anal about the grading being truly anonymous and that no one has any special advantage. I wouldn't do it.

071816
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby 071816 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:19 pm

I have. I've also done much, much worse.

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20130312
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby 20130312 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:20 pm

chimp wrote:I have. I've also done much, much worse.

Image

MinEMorris
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:20 pm

We can meet with them but I'm sure that I'd know where I went wrong. It was really a timing thing. It was a crazy long question and you had to be very diligent about where you spent your time so it was a hard exercise and unlike any of the practice exams/ other exams she's given. Does it ever help to email a professor and let them know how your feeling after an exam? I know they can't change grades once they're in and some of mine put in the syllabus that they have the discretion to factor in participation, I don't know if it's worth it to reach out. Has anyone done that or recommended it?


They have this discretion only after they have figured out exam grades and locked them in, AFAIK. Honestly I don't see how letting a professor know how you feel after an exam is supposed to help you and not puzzle or annoy the professor. 1Ls are really intense and neurotic, and I think if you can avoid giving that impression to your professor you have a leg up over much of the student body.

If it was really unlike other exams the professor had given, everyone else was equally surprised. Really, don't sweat it, it's out of your hands now.

071816
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby 071816 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:23 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
chimp wrote:I have. I've also done much, much worse.

Image

Image

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20130312
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby 20130312 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:27 pm

So depressing :lol:

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thesealocust
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:57 pm

Two big problems: One has been pointed out, that you never know how you did relative to your peers, and that's really what your grade is.

More importantly, the overwhelming majority of 1Ls have no idea what the difference between spotting an issue and getting just a few points and spotting an issue and getting several points is. Which means two people who saw the exact same issues and attempted to analyze them could get wildly different grades without "feeling" any different. And as is more commonly reported, one person can walk out of two exams having felt the same level of success spotting issues but get much different grades based on how they analyzed them.

The real skill isn't figuring out "oh, I should talk about [issue] here" - though if you fail to do that you'll fail to get a good grade. The real skill is once you see an issue how artfully you weave law, policy, and the facts together into arguments - and lots of arguments - which you an evaluate the relative merits of.

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20130312
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby 20130312 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:01 pm

thesealocust wrote:Things that are irrelevant

Yeah but I felt like I got an A.

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thesealocust
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby thesealocust » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:03 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Things that are irrelevant

Yeah but I felt like I got an A.


Search your feelings. You know this to be true.

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swtlilsoni
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby swtlilsoni » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:05 pm

u guys should read this, it made my day
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155268

BearsGrl
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby BearsGrl » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:22 pm

swtlilsoni wrote:u guys should read this, it made my day
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155268


Best thing ever.

LSATNightmares
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Re: Anyone ever done better than they thought on an exam?

Postby LSATNightmares » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:50 am

Yes. On my Con Law final. I left the exam crying, because people were talking about how they had troubles keeping within the word limit when I only got to 50% of the word limit. Ends up those students actually knew the questions beforehand, because the professor told them and word got around to about 10 students. Someone alerted the administration, and they investigated it and cancelled 20% of the exam. I'm really surprised the news never hit ATL. But it just shows you never know...




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