Improvement from Midterm to Final?

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Improvement from Midterm to Final?

Postby lawkools » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:48 pm

So far, things haven't gone the best and I've been median on the two graded assignments thus far. In both instances, after talking with the professor, minor tweaks would have gotten me an A. Should I be worried that I won't be able to shake median, or can one change their fate? What's weird is I hear a lot of older students talk about how their grades stayed consistent from midterm to exam, and I don't want that to be me. Anyone out there who learned from their midterm mistakes and did substantially better during their exam. Right now, I'm just extremely angry with myself, and hope to use this as fuel to work even harder.

On a side note, how much does a 10-20% grade actually factor (i.e. if I somehow got an A+ on the exam, would the midterm bring me down)?

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Re: Improvement from Midterm to Final?

Postby thewaterlanding » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:58 pm

I had this issue 1L year. I asked the professor if I could do practice problems and bring them to him to grade. He told me he would and it really gave me an opportunity to find out what he was looking for and how my answers were deficient. I did it like 4 times, until he told me I was giving "A" answers. This obviously depends on your relationship with the professor, but our professor encouraged us to do this, so I did.


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Re: Improvement from Midterm to Final?

Postby Boltsfan » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:09 pm

My own (anecdotal) experience is that mid-term grades didn't really correlate with my final grade in a class. I had several classes as a 1L where I was at or slightly above the median midterm grade but got the high grade in the class.

10-20% won't matter because you didn't get a 0 on the midterm and the high grade wasn't a 100: at most you are probably a couple percentage points on your final grade behind whoever got the high grade on the midterm. That theoretically conveys an advantage to that person, but in practice its likely a wash. Don't worry, other than in your legal writing class, you can't really get boat raced as a 1L. Pedagogically, the professor probably assigns value to the midterm so you don't blow it off.

A midterm is essentially a mandatory practice exam you take before you are ready to take it. You haven't even really started to study yet, so don't freak out. As an aspiration, try to have your outlines mostly finished before thanksgiving and start practice testing shortly thereafter. If you aren't quite there by then for all subjects, you'll probably still be fine, but if you do make it you'll be in a better position than a significant portion of your class. Prefer practice tests your professors give you (if any) to other sources. Make sure you go over the practice exams with other students. Remember that the high grade on many law school exams misses significant issues and points; sometimes a "raw" 50% is the high grade by a substantial margin.

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