How to improve next semester

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iliketurtles123
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How to improve next semester

Postby iliketurtles123 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:04 pm

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Last edited by iliketurtles123 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.

bdubs
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby bdubs » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:09 pm

Very possible that you did well but not stellar on the harder exam and got an A+. The other exams may have been easier, content-wise, and you got beat out by people who had better organization or clarity. Sometimes exam results are just weird.

Only thing you can do is go to meet with all 3 of your professors to review your exams. Figure out what worked well on the A+ one (even ask how you can improve) and figure out what didn't work so well on the B exams.

Overall you should feel pretty good about being top 1/3 at a T14. There are very few positions that you won't be in the running for come OCI if you keep that relative position next semester.

iliketurtles123
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby iliketurtles123 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:39 pm

bdubs wrote:Very possible that you did well but not stellar on the harder exam and got an A+. The other exams may have been easier, content-wise, and you got beat out by people who had better organization or clarity. Sometimes exam results are just weird.

Only thing you can do is go to meet with all 3 of your professors to review your exams. Figure out what worked well on the A+ one (even ask how you can improve) and figure out what didn't work so well on the B exams.

Overall you should feel pretty good about being top 1/3 at a T14. There are very few positions that you won't be in the running for come OCI if you keep that relative position next semester.


That might be it. I do have a problem with coherence and organization. The A+ exam was the most difficult. So that makes sense to a certain extent.

Also, for exam taking, can someone weigh in on my strategy?
Step 1. Take exam, timed.
Step 2. Read model answer. Highlight things (issues and analysis) I missed. I read over my own answer probably every other exam, since I knew what I wrote so i mainly just graded based on the model answer. When I did go over my own answers, I used a point system. Even with a conservative approach (being sparing on points for analysis), I always scored same or higher in my answers than the model answers. I have no idea how I got a B in my other two classes.


I'm planning on going over my exams with my professors but I don't understand how putting in 6-7 hours a day (8-12 on weekends) and increasing to 12 hours/everyday or so during the last 3-4 weeks only yielded top 30% (and with a bit of luck too).

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nickb285
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby nickb285 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:I'm planning on going over my exams with my professors but I don't understand how putting in 6-7 hours a day (8-12 on weekends) and increasing to 12 hours/everyday or so during the last 3-4 weeks only yielded top 30% (and with a bit of luck too).


Because probably 50-60% of the class put in at least that much time, and only 10% of the class can be top 10%.

This isn't undergrad, where if you study hard and you're smart, you'll get an A every time. You need both of those things, but you also need everyone else to not study as hard and not be as smart, and that's probably not going to happen.

bdubs is right--top 30% at a T14 is nothing to sneeze at just because you didn't get a 4.0. By all means, talk to your profs and see if you can improve, but 70% of the class would kill to be in your shoes right now.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby shifty_eyed » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:28 pm

nickb285 wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:I'm planning on going over my exams with my professors but I don't understand how putting in 6-7 hours a day (8-12 on weekends) and increasing to 12 hours/everyday or so during the last 3-4 weeks only yielded top 30% (and with a bit of luck too).


Because probably 50-60% of the class put in at least that much time, and only 10% of the class can be top 10%.


I'd be surprised if 50-60% of those ranked above her put in that much time. Efficient or even inefficient studying shouldn't take that long, unless English is your second language.

olive16
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby olive16 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:08 pm

Sucks. Go over the exams with your professors. Maybe it's just not in the cards for you.

iliketurtles123
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby iliketurtles123 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:51 pm

olive16 wrote:Sucks. Go over the exams with your professors. Maybe it's just not in the cards for you.


Yeah I plan on doing this since I'm totally confused.
I can see why I got a B in one class but the other, I was 100% sure my lowest grade would be an A-.

hm....how often do law schools/professors make mistake in grading or inputting grades?

arklaw13
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby arklaw13 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:59 pm

You're competing against a lot of smart people, many who are a lot smarter than you are. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I'll admit that your grades seem random, but the prof could just as easily have messed up when he gave you the A+. Don't feel entitled to high grades simply because you have a chip on your shoulder.

Evaluating your own exams with a quasi-point system is stupid because you have no idea how the professor actually does it. If you can't find anything wrong with your analysis of issues, then focus on getting faster. Increasing your word count will get you more points --> higher grades.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:00 am

Like everyone said, it's not just about what you do, but what everyone else in your class does. You have no control over that, and lots of people get a variety of grades that range from Bs to As. You also can't compare to the level of work and corresponding grades found in undergrad, because most undergrads aren't graded on a curve - everyone could get an A. Talk to your professors about what was lacking in your exams - it's highly unlikely there was an error, but you can learn more about how profs at your school want you to take law school exams.

iliketurtles123
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby iliketurtles123 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:23 am

arklaw13 wrote:You're competing against a lot of smart people, many who are a lot smarter than you are. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I'll admit that your grades seem random, but the prof could just as easily have messed up when he gave you the A+. Don't feel entitled to high grades simply because you have a chip on your shoulder.

Evaluating your own exams with a quasi-point system is stupid because you have no idea how the professor actually does it. If you can't find anything wrong with your analysis of issues, then focus on getting faster. Increasing your word count will get you more points --> higher grades.


Yeah that's true. However, the reason I think it's a mistake is that I worked so hard on this, and I'm not just someone who feels entitled to a good grade without the work. When everyone was going out on weekends (even early in the semester), I stayed in and studied. I literally took the Xeoh approach (or close to it). When I say 6-7 hours a day, I mean 6-7 hours outside of class. That means class + studying from 8am to 10pm.
My UG was graded on a curve (similar to law school curve) so I'm used to a curve (and it wasn't an "easy major" either).
Even if I misgraded my practice exams, I did compare my answers to model/peer answers and thought I was in a great position. I went to ALL TA sessions and I felt like I was so much more prepared than others.

I also wrote more words than anyone I know, around 8000 in a 3 hour period. My professor doesn't downgrade for wordiness or anything AFAIK.

I know mistakes in grading is rare (and I'm not counting on it) but the amount of preparation I did and my practice exams and comparing myself to others makes me think that it's a real possibility.

I literally do not know how I could prepare even more next semester. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong (for this class, at least. I understand why I got a B in my other class). It's difficult and I don't think I'll know until I go over my exams with my professor.

I'll report back and hopefully I can get to the bottom of this.

bdubs
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby bdubs » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:32 am

iliketurtles123 wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:You're competing against a lot of smart people, many who are a lot smarter than you are. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I'll admit that your grades seem random, but the prof could just as easily have messed up when he gave you the A+. Don't feel entitled to high grades simply because you have a chip on your shoulder.

Evaluating your own exams with a quasi-point system is stupid because you have no idea how the professor actually does it. If you can't find anything wrong with your analysis of issues, then focus on getting faster. Increasing your word count will get you more points --> higher grades.


Yeah that's true. However, the reason I think it's a mistake is that I worked so hard on this, and I'm not just someone who feels entitled to a good grade without the work. When everyone was going out on weekends (even early in the semester), I stayed in and studied. I literally took the Xeoh approach (or close to it). When I say 6-7 hours a day, I mean 6-7 hours outside of class. That means class + studying from 8am to 10pm.
My UG was graded on a curve (similar to law school curve) so I'm used to a curve (and it wasn't an "easy major" either).
Even if I misgraded my practice exams, I did compare my answers to model/peer answers and thought I was in a great position. I went to ALL TA sessions and I felt like I was so much more prepared than others.

I also wrote more words than anyone I know, around 8000 in a 3 hour period. My professor doesn't downgrade for wordiness or anything AFAIK.

I know mistakes in grading is rare (and I'm not counting on it) but the amount of preparation I did and my practice exams and comparing myself to others makes me think that it's a real possibility.

I literally do not know how I could prepare even more next semester. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong (for this class, at least. I understand why I got a B in my other class). It's difficult and I don't think I'll know until I go over my exams with my professor.

I'll report back and hopefully I can get to the bottom of this.


You may have totally over thought it. Lots of professors don't like word vomit and it sounds like you tried to write literally everything you know in your exam answer (the whole self-graded thing sounds exactly like this). My guess is the one A+ grade you got is the professor who literally used a checklist/point scale and found that you wrote the entire semester's content into your answer so you got a good grade even if the pattern might not have been analyzed especially well.

iliketurtles123
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby iliketurtles123 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:38 am

bdubs wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:You're competing against a lot of smart people, many who are a lot smarter than you are. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I'll admit that your grades seem random, but the prof could just as easily have messed up when he gave you the A+. Don't feel entitled to high grades simply because you have a chip on your shoulder.

Evaluating your own exams with a quasi-point system is stupid because you have no idea how the professor actually does it. If you can't find anything wrong with your analysis of issues, then focus on getting faster. Increasing your word count will get you more points --> higher grades.


Yeah that's true. However, the reason I think it's a mistake is that I worked so hard on this, and I'm not just someone who feels entitled to a good grade without the work. When everyone was going out on weekends (even early in the semester), I stayed in and studied. I literally took the Xeoh approach (or close to it). When I say 6-7 hours a day, I mean 6-7 hours outside of class. That means class + studying from 8am to 10pm.
My UG was graded on a curve (similar to law school curve) so I'm used to a curve (and it wasn't an "easy major" either).
Even if I misgraded my practice exams, I did compare my answers to model/peer answers and thought I was in a great position. I went to ALL TA sessions and I felt like I was so much more prepared than others.

I also wrote more words than anyone I know, around 8000 in a 3 hour period. My professor doesn't downgrade for wordiness or anything AFAIK.

I know mistakes in grading is rare (and I'm not counting on it) but the amount of preparation I did and my practice exams and comparing myself to others makes me think that it's a real possibility.

I literally do not know how I could prepare even more next semester. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong (for this class, at least. I understand why I got a B in my other class). It's difficult and I don't think I'll know until I go over my exams with my professor.

I'll report back and hopefully I can get to the bottom of this.


You may have totally over thought it. Lots of professors don't like word vomit and it sounds like you tried to write literally everything you know in your exam answer (the whole self-graded thing sounds exactly like this). My guess is the one A+ grade you got is the professor who literally used a checklist/point scale and found that you wrote the entire semester's content into your answer so you got a good grade even if the pattern might not have been analyzed especially well.


All the model answers for this class were 6000+, but most were 7000+ (some were ~8000). My TAs said that it's better to write as much as possible rather than holding back.
Sorry I know it seems like I'm trying to defend myself to the death but I really appreciate all your inputs.
I'm just trying to eliminate all the possibilities and I'm pretty sure word count isn't.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:41 am

iliketurtles123 wrote:Yeah that's true. However, the reason I think it's a mistake is that I worked so hard on this, and I'm not just someone who feels entitled to a good grade without the work. When everyone was going out on weekends (even early in the semester), I stayed in and studied. I literally took the Xeoh approach (or close to it). When I say 6-7 hours a day, I mean 6-7 hours outside of class. That means class + studying from 8am to 10pm.
My UG was graded on a curve (similar to law school curve) so I'm used to a curve (and it wasn't an "easy major" either).
Even if I misgraded my practice exams, I did compare my answers to model/peer answers and thought I was in a great position. I went to ALL TA sessions and I felt like I was so much more prepared than others.

I also wrote more words than anyone I know, around 8000 in a 3 hour period. My professor doesn't downgrade for wordiness or anything AFAIK.

I know mistakes in grading is rare (and I'm not counting on it) but the amount of preparation I did and my practice exams and comparing myself to others makes me think that it's a real possibility.

I literally do not know how I could prepare even more next semester. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong (for this class, at least. I understand why I got a B in my other class). It's difficult and I don't think I'll know until I go over my exams with my professor.

I'll report back and hopefully I can get to the bottom of this.

I think you need to let go of the idea that success is all about working hard. In fact, working too hard can make you burn out. And really, hard work may be necessary but it's not sufficient. When I taught, I used to get students telling me "but I worked so HARD on that paper!" like that meant they should get an A. They may well have worked really really hard, but it was still just flat out a B paper. Also, lots of people don't really like to show how much work they've done, or genuinely only "get" the material/exams later in the semester, so comparing yourself to others in TA sessions is not a good measure of how you're going to do.

I don't think you need to be thinking about preparing "more," just maybe "differently." (I think the point about word vomit is a good one, too - if you were shoehorning material in where it's not supposed to go, a lot of professors aren't going to give you any credit for that and it takes time away from analysis of what's supposed to be there. Feeling that your exams were better than the model answers may go to this - there's a reason the model answers are models, and you may need to emulate them rather than seek to exceed them.)

But again, you are still in a good position, and I'm sure if you take advantage of talking to your profs you can do better next semester.

iliketurtles123
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby iliketurtles123 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:46 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:Yeah that's true. However, the reason I think it's a mistake is that I worked so hard on this, and I'm not just someone who feels entitled to a good grade without the work. When everyone was going out on weekends (even early in the semester), I stayed in and studied. I literally took the Xeoh approach (or close to it). When I say 6-7 hours a day, I mean 6-7 hours outside of class. That means class + studying from 8am to 10pm.
My UG was graded on a curve (similar to law school curve) so I'm used to a curve (and it wasn't an "easy major" either).
Even if I misgraded my practice exams, I did compare my answers to model/peer answers and thought I was in a great position. I went to ALL TA sessions and I felt like I was so much more prepared than others.

I also wrote more words than anyone I know, around 8000 in a 3 hour period. My professor doesn't downgrade for wordiness or anything AFAIK.

I know mistakes in grading is rare (and I'm not counting on it) but the amount of preparation I did and my practice exams and comparing myself to others makes me think that it's a real possibility.

I literally do not know how I could prepare even more next semester. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong (for this class, at least. I understand why I got a B in my other class). It's difficult and I don't think I'll know until I go over my exams with my professor.

I'll report back and hopefully I can get to the bottom of this.

I think you need to let go of the idea that success is all about working hard. In fact, working too hard can make you burn out. And really, hard work may be necessary but it's not sufficient. When I taught, I used to get students telling me "but I worked so HARD on that paper!" like that meant they should get an A. They may well have worked really really hard, but it was still just flat out a B paper. Also, lots of people don't really like to show how much work they've done, or genuinely only "get" the material/exams later in the semester, so comparing yourself to others in TA sessions is not a good measure of how you're going to do.

I don't think you need to be thinking about preparing "more," just maybe "differently." (I think the point about word vomit is a good one, too - if you were shoehorning material in where it's not supposed to go, a lot of professors aren't going to give you any credit for that and it takes time away from analysis of what's supposed to be there. Feeling that your exams were better than the model answers may go to this - there's a reason the model answers are models, and you may need to emulate them rather than seek to exceed them.)

But again, you are still in a good position, and I'm sure if you take advantage of talking to your profs you can do better next semester.


Thanks that makes a lot of sense.
Yeah I think I might have had tunnel vision during exam week. Now that I can see my exams after a couple weeks off, I think I'll be able to see it from a different point of view.

olive16
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby olive16 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:18 am

One of the most brutal things about law school is that working hard =/= good grades. Chances are you're just not a great law school exam taker relative to your peers. Focus on learning what makes a good law school exam (and how to study for the exam). Don't worry about trying to work "more" or work "harder".

There is hope: (1) your performance on exams can be improved (re-read Getting to Maybe and talk to your professors) and (2) you have a good class rank that can be improved.



iliketurtles123 wrote:hm....how often do law schools/professors make mistake in grading or inputting grades?


Rarely.

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nickb285
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby nickb285 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:10 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:hm....how often do law schools/professors make mistake in grading or inputting grades?


Seriously?

PRO TIP: Everyone at a T14 is smart, and most of them work hard. Being smart and working hard don't entitle you to an A anymore. This seems to be really difficult for you to understand, but that's the way it is now. Get over it, try to repeat what you did well and change what you didn't, and stop whining about how the professor must have screwed up because you're "only" in the top 30% at one of the best schools in the country. Jesus dude.

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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby iliketurtles123 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:13 pm

nickb285 wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:hm....how often do law schools/professors make mistake in grading or inputting grades?


Seriously?

PRO TIP: Everyone at a T14 is smart, and most of them work hard. Being smart and working hard don't entitle you to an A anymore. This seems to be really difficult for you to understand, but that's the way it is now. Get over it, try to repeat what you did well and change what you didn't, and stop whining about how the professor must have screwed up because you're "only" in the top 30% at one of the best schools in the country. Jesus dude.


Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my grade and I'm not trying to sound like a douche or anything (sorry if I come across as one). My grades were a humbling to me and I get your point. I am satisfied with my grades.

The thing that concerns me though is that next semester, I'm not sure what to do. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong here.
Using my two grades as a benchmark, I would think I know what it takes to get an A or B. For my A+ class, I knew the material cold (enough to TA it), knew what the professors looked for in an exam, was prepped for the exam, etc. I basically mastered the class.
For my B class, it was similar but there were some factors that resulted in a lower score (I wrote about it in another thread).
Hence, using those two grades, my other B seems like it should have been higher. I would say it was along the lines of my A+ class: I knew the material cold and had mastered it.

Hence, I'm very concerned about the "arbitrariness" of this grading. How should I change my study habits if I'm not even sure it works or not?
I'm going to refrain from saying anything more until I speak with my professor but at this point, I'm missing something and I'm trying to figure out what it is. Ruling out everything that TLS suggests, it seems like a grading error would be a possibility (though remote). Of course I'm not saying it IS; rather, I'm saying that extrapolating from my other classes, I would say that a grading error is slightly MORE likely (but not likely).

Anyway I do appreciate all your feedback. I am extremely humbled by this, and I do realize there is a higher possibility that I'm just not cut out to have a higher GPA. I'm willing to accept that but before I do, I just want to rule out all other factors.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:57 pm

iliketurtles123 wrote:
nickb285 wrote:
iliketurtles123 wrote:hm....how often do law schools/professors make mistake in grading or inputting grades?


Seriously?

PRO TIP: Everyone at a T14 is smart, and most of them work hard. Being smart and working hard don't entitle you to an A anymore. This seems to be really difficult for you to understand, but that's the way it is now. Get over it, try to repeat what you did well and change what you didn't, and stop whining about how the professor must have screwed up because you're "only" in the top 30% at one of the best schools in the country. Jesus dude.


Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my grade and I'm not trying to sound like a douche or anything (sorry if I come across as one). My grades were a humbling to me and I get your point. I am satisfied with my grades.

The thing that concerns me though is that next semester, I'm not sure what to do. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong here.
Using my two grades as a benchmark, I would think I know what it takes to get an A or B. For my A+ class, I knew the material cold (enough to TA it), knew what the professors looked for in an exam, was prepped for the exam, etc. I basically mastered the class.
For my B class, it was similar but there were some factors that resulted in a lower score (I wrote about it in another thread).
Hence, using those two grades, my other B seems like it should have been higher. I would say it was along the lines of my A+ class: I knew the material cold and had mastered it.

Hence, I'm very concerned about the "arbitrariness" of this grading. How should I change my study habits if I'm not even sure it works or not?
I'm going to refrain from saying anything more until I speak with my professor but at this point, I'm missing something and I'm trying to figure out what it is. Ruling out everything that TLS suggests, it seems like a grading error would be a possibility (though remote). Of course I'm not saying it IS; rather, I'm saying that extrapolating from my other classes, I would say that a grading error is slightly MORE likely (but not likely).

Anyway I do appreciate all your feedback. I am extremely humbled by this, and I do realize there is a higher possibility that I'm just not cut out to have a higher GPA. I'm willing to accept that but before I do, I just want to rule out all other factors.


Law school grading is arbitrary. That's why its such bullshit (and its what do many 0Ls dont truly understand, including me a year ago). That's all there is to it, so the best thing to do is get over and accept it. You actually got lucky if B+ average lands you above median: 70% of the other kids could have been where you are, but your arbitrary grades were more generous than others.

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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby smaug_ » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:04 pm

You've only taken a handful of exams. You don't know what professors want. After three semesters, I'm still not sure what professors want.

Just talk to professors and calm down. If anything, it sounds like you might have overworked yourself and overthought things. Although you shouldn't ever write it in the exam, most law school exams are pretty simple. If you spot the issue correctly and argue both sides succinctly, you're probably in the A- range. You can destroy that by filling your exam with word spam, though.

I don't think you can tell how well you did on an exam in a vacuum. My 1L fall I was helping some friends learn the BLL of one course and they were dragging me kicking and screaming into (almost) understanding the BLL of another. They did better on the one that I "knew" and I did better on the one that they all taught me 24 hours before the exam. There isn't much doctrine to "master" for your 1L exams and until you sit down and take the test you don't know how you're going to perform.

I'm not trying to be too negative here. I just think that you likely can improve, but the first step in doing so will be to accept that you could have earned a B in a course you thought you knew well.

I know my grades improved markedly when I (1) chilled out and didn't treat each class as a monumental task and (2) pretended every aspect of each exam was important and difficult even if I thought the arguments to be made were asinine. (i.e. forcing myself to come up with some form of counter-argument rather than rushing to the conclusion)

Good luck with the new semester!

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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby PepperJack » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:16 pm

The things that people don't realize is -

1.) UG generally doesn't have a forced curve.
2.) For most programs in most UG's there is little to any correlation between GPA and jobs.
3.) Therefore, even if a forced curve is present -> students don't have the same motivation.
4.) Additionally, UG students generally lack the maturity to postpone immediate gratification for jobs.
5.) The curve at t-14 is normally composed of the highest performing college students.
6.) The concept that one can not know that much (by comparison) about the actual law being taught, but get a better grade because "they think in a better way" is difficult for most people to wrap their mind around at first.

If you want to improve, find out what you did right and double down on it. Find out what you did wrong, and get more motivated, not less.

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PepperJack
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby PepperJack » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:17 pm

smaug wrote:You've only taken a handful of exams. You don't know what professors want. After three semesters, I'm still not sure what professors want.

Just talk to professors and calm down. If anything, it sounds like you might have overworked yourself and overthought things. Although you shouldn't ever write it in the exam, most law school exams are pretty simple. If you spot the issue correctly and argue both sides succinctly, you're probably in the A- range. You can destroy that by filling your exam with word spam, though.

I don't think you can tell how well you did on an exam in a vacuum. My 1L fall I was helping some friends learn the BLL of one course and they were dragging me kicking and screaming into (almost) understanding the BLL of another. They did better on the one that I "knew" and I did better on the one that they all taught me 24 hours before the exam. There isn't much doctrine to "master" for your 1L exams and until you sit down and take the test you don't know how you're going to perform.

I'm not trying to be too negative here. I just think that you likely can improve, but the first step in doing so will be to accept that you could have earned a B in a course you thought you knew well.

I know my grades improved markedly when I (1) chilled out and didn't treat each class as a monumental task and (2) pretended every aspect of each exam was important and difficult even if I thought the arguments to be made were asinine. (i.e. forcing myself to come up with some form of counter-argument rather than rushing to the conclusion)

Good luck with the new semester!

I think it depends on the professor, but recognizing logical holes in your arguments and spelling them out is generally universally not penalized.

kykiske
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby kykiske » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:46 pm

The others posts in this thread echo my experiences quite well.

I've had classes where I took a commercial outline into the final exam, and received an A.

For other classes, I outlined the entire semester. Made a condensed attack outline from a big outline, and took a ton of practice exams, and ultimately received a B.

For Torts 1L year, I didn't even start outlining until 3 days before the exam, and escaped with an A-.

At times, it just feels like a crapshoot, and you cannot manipulate that in anyway.

And seriously, you're not in terrible shape. You're in the top 1/3 at a T14. Strive to get into the top 25% after your spring semester, and you'll be going into OCI in pretty good shape. Just remember to bid well; look into non-major markets where you may be more competitive, even if you remain in the top 1/3.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:50 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Law school grading is arbitrary. That's why its such bullshit (and its what do many 0Ls dont truly understand, including me a year ago). That's all there is to it, so the best thing to do is get over and accept it. You actually got lucky if B+ average lands you above median: 70% of the other kids could have been where you are, but your arbitrary grades were more generous than others.


*prints out this thread, passionately explains the concepts of random walk and small sample size to DLA Piper, receives 30th and final LOLDING of OCI*

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Nelson
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby Nelson » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:52 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Law school grading is arbitrary.

This is such a TLS myth.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How to improve next semester

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:06 pm

Nelson wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Law school grading is arbitrary.

This is such a TLS myth.


I'm not saying professors have no way of distinguishing between a good exam and a bad one. Im saying your grades will not necessarily reflect your confidence/mastery of the material, or how you felt about the class. I'm saying "studying hard" does not correlate to strong grades, as evidenced repeatedly, as in this very thread, and also in my own personal experience. The class I liked best and spent the most time on was my lowest grade, and the class I disliked and somewhat dismissed, I aced. It's far from myth. You cannot predict how you will do: it is arbitrary.

Of course, there are mistakes one can make on an exam that definitely hurt you, and ways yo improve performance by avoiding these errors. It's an exaggeration to say profs just blindly write random grades on random essays. When you get a B, obviously you did something differently from the kid who got an A. But at top schools where nearly everyone is putting in tremendous effort, you cant truly know or plan for where you will place in the class ex ante, you can only rationalize performance postmortem.




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