Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

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iliketothinkiamcool
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Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby iliketothinkiamcool » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:59 am

How does it actually work? I know it depends on the school. Do professors have a certain amount of A's, B's, etc?? The thing I wonder about is when you see they grade on a 2.0 curve or 2.5 curve...


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underdawg
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby underdawg » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am

iliketothinkiamcool wrote:How does it actually work? I know it depends on the school. Do professors have a certain amount of A's, B's, etc?? The thing I wonder about is when you see they grade on a 2.0 curve or 2.5 curve...

1. depends on the school
2. you're right, it does depend on the school
3. it depends on the school
4. it depends on the school

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NewHere
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby NewHere » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:55 pm

Do professors have a certain amount of A's, B's, etc??


Yes, exactly.

For example, if the curve is (I'm making something up now)
A 5%
A- 10%
B+ 25%
B 25%
B- 10%
C 5%

That means that if there are 100 people in the class, 5 of them will get an A, 10 will get an A-, etc. If there are only 50 students, then 2 or 3 will get an A, about 5 will get an A-, etc. I think the above would be called a B+/B curve (meaning that the median lies between B+ and B).

when you see they grade on a 2.0 curve

That usually means that 2.0 is the median. (This seems very low for a curve by the way.)

huckabees
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby huckabees » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:14 pm

NewHere wrote:
Do professors have a certain amount of A's, B's, etc??


Yes, exactly.

For example, if the curve is (I'm making something up now)
A 5%
A- 10%
B+ 25%
B 25%
B- 10%
C 5%

That means that if there are 100 people in the class, 5 of them will get an A, 10 will get an A-, etc. If there are only 50 students, then 2 or 3 will get an A, about 5 will get an A-, etc. I think the above would be called a B+/B curve (meaning that the median lies between B+ and B).

when you see they grade on a 2.0 curve

That usually means that 2.0 is the median. (This seems very low for a curve by the way.)


Thanks, NewHere.

Can you tell me what the curve for CLS is like, during 1L and also post-1L?

(Will move this question to the CLS thread if you prefer.)

Thanks!

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Wahoo1L
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Wahoo1L » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:54 pm

Not all schools require a certain percentage of students to get one particular grade, at Virginia, professors are free to give whatever distribution of grades they want so long as it averages out to a 3.3. Thus, the following grades are theoretically possible:

Professor A
A: 0
A-: 10
B+: 80
B: 10
B-: 0

Professor B
A: 20
A-: 20
B+: 20
B: 20
B-: 20

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NewHere
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby NewHere » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:15 pm

Can you tell me what the curve for CLS is like, during 1L and also post-1L?


here.

huckabees
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby huckabees » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:57 pm

NewHere wrote:
Can you tell me what the curve for CLS is like, during 1L and also post-1L?


here.


Thanks!

How much more lenient are post-1L grades? And how so? E.g., is the bulk of the leniency in the increase in B+ grades or A grades, etc.

Thank you!

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:45 pm

Then there are the profs that have just been at the school forever and just do whatever the hell they want with grades and tell the school to fuck off with their mandatory grade curve (i.e. my civ pro prof).

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twenty
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby twenty » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:42 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:Then there are the profs that have just been at the school forever and just do whatever the hell they want with grades and tell the school to fuck off with their mandatory grade curve (i.e. my civ pro prof).


This happens a lot more than people realize, especially for upper division classes.

What 0Ls don't immediately realize is that median =/= average. An A- median could be B+, B+, B+, A-, A-, A-, A-, or alternatively, A-, A-, A-, A-, A, A+, A+.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:07 pm

At HLS it's 40% H 60% P and then 0-8% LP depending on the professor for 1L grades. Upper level classes and seminars have easier curves.

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thesealocust
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:09 pm

Code: Select all

[quote="gondar5678"]This seems very low for a curve by the way.
[url=https://www.9gclub.com/casino-online/][color=#DCE1E5]คาสิโนออนไลน์[/color][/url][/quote]



Spammer/SEO optimizer bumping a thread after 6 years. Nice.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:11 pm

thesealocust wrote:

Code: Select all

[quote="gondar5678"]This seems very low for a curve by the way.
[url=https://www.9gclub.com/casino-online/][color=#DCE1E5]คาสิโนออนไลน์[/color][/url][/quote]



Spammer/SEO optimizer bumping a thread after 6 years. Nice.


Lol didn't even notice the age

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Leonardo DiCaprio
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Leonardo DiCaprio » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:04 pm

if the required median is a B, can't the prof just give AAA B BBB and not below-median pwn anyone. or am i not understanding wtf a median is or how the curve works

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thesealocust
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:10 pm

Leonardo DiCaprio wrote:if the required median is a B, can't the prof just give AAA B BBB and not below-median pwn anyone. or am i not understanding wtf a median is or how the curve works


(1) Assuming a sufficiently difficult exam, the scores will all but inevitably follow a normal distribution (bell curve). Nature is freaky like that. As a consequence, it would require a rather dodgy grading scale with a hard B/A cutoff right in the most populated area of the curve to yield the "AAA B BBB" result.

(2) The median grade is the grade in the middle, so your example would work, but the median isn't how curves are established. Most schools with explicit polices use a mandatory mean/average - otherwise even less severe distortions than the one you proposed could still result in dramatic differences between professors, when the intent is to impose rigid set of constraints on professors to allow students to be somewhat evenly ranked and compared. The alternative to a system involving means/averages is a mandatory distribution of some kind, which again wouldn't work for your median-pwnage-avoiding example.

(3) You hear the phrase "median-pwned" or "below median" thrown around a lot, and it's not incorrect, but it's referring to the result of the curve (i.e. what grade is in the middle and what is above or below it) and not the method for imposing it (which, as noted, will look at the mean/average or at least distributions around a median instead of just taking the median however derived).

Paul Campos
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:11 pm

It depends completely on the school. At CU there's a required median, which means the median grade in a class has to be that grade, and that's literally the only requirement. So you could in theory give no grades above the median, or no grades below it. (There's a "suggested" distribution but I don't think people pay a lot of attention to it).

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Leonardo DiCaprio
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Leonardo DiCaprio » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:28 pm

thank you for the above comments.

last q. when profs say that participation can boost your grade a smidge, how does this work? i thought grades were all done anonymously? how would the prof know where to add that 0.01 extra point to your grade if prof doesn't know what grade you got?

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rnoodles
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby rnoodles » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:32 pm

Leonardo DiCaprio wrote:thank you for the above comments.

last q. when profs say that participation can boost your grade a smidge, how does this work? i thought grades were all done anonymously? how would the prof know where to add that 0.01 extra point to your grade if prof doesn't know what grade you got?


I think it's just that they grade the exam anonymously. But when they're inputing grades they will know who got what and be like "Oh, yeah Mr. DiCaprio did well participation wise. Let's bump him."

I am a 1L, though, so don't take my word for it.

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Leonardo DiCaprio
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Leonardo DiCaprio » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:34 pm

rnoodles22 wrote:
Leonardo DiCaprio wrote:thank you for the above comments.

last q. when profs say that participation can boost your grade a smidge, how does this work? i thought grades were all done anonymously? how would the prof know where to add that 0.01 extra point to your grade if prof doesn't know what grade you got?


I think it's just that they grade the exam anonymously. But when they're inputing grades they will know who got what and be like "Oh, yeah Mr. DiCaprio did well participation wise. Let's bump him."

I am a 1L, though, so don't take my word for it.


that doesn't sound very anonymous at all. in theory some vindictive boomer asshole can just say "oh i gave him an A- on the exam? fuck him. I'm gonna give him a B+" while inputting grades

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thesealocust
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:35 pm

Leonardo DiCaprio wrote:thank you for the above comments.

last q. when profs say that participation can boost your grade a smidge, how does this work? i thought grades were all done anonymously? how would the prof know where to add that 0.01 extra point to your grade if prof doesn't know what grade you got?


Mechanically, professors assign grades based on blind grading numbers and submit them to the school. The school reports back to the professor the student and the grades. From there, the professor can apply adjustments for participation. Yes, that means blind grading is not completely "blind" - but it is what it is, neh?

In my experience, it's done exceedingly rarely, but the threat is used to encourage participation. Even professors that admit to adjusting grades often caveat that it's reserved for students who were right on the edge between two grades.

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Leonardo DiCaprio
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Leonardo DiCaprio » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:44 pm

based TSL, you da real MVP

Paul Campos
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:45 pm

Again, this is school-specific. At my school, you grade exams anonymously, get back a grade sheet, and then are allowed to make adjustments based on "participation." The specific policy for any class is supposed to be announced at the beginning of the year. In recent years I've told first years I wouldn't adjust grades on the basis of "participation," since this seemed to undermine the whole point of an anonymous grading system. This has led to various complaints on student evaluations that I'm not penalizing people for non-participation.

BTW there's an actual ABA rule that requires schools to enforce a policy of "regular and punctual" attendance as a condition of accreditation. A lot of schools have adopted a sort of common law gloss on this called the 20% rule, which is that you're supposed to automatically fail if you miss 20% of a class's meetings. The extent to which this rule is actually adhered to tends to correlate inversely with a school's status.

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Leonardo DiCaprio
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby Leonardo DiCaprio » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:57 pm

Paul Campos wrote:Again, this is school-specific. At my school, you grade exams anonymously, get back a grade sheet, and then are allowed to make adjustments based on "participation." The specific policy for any class is supposed to be announced at the beginning of the year. In recent years I've told first years I wouldn't adjust grades on the basis of "participation," since this seemed to undermine the whole point of an anonymous grading system. This has led to various complaints on student evaluations that I'm not penalizing people for non-participation.

BTW there's an actual ABA rule that requires schools to enforce a policy of "regular and punctual" attendance as a condition of accreditation. A lot of schools have adopted a sort of common law gloss on this called the 20% rule, which is that you're supposed to automatically fail if you miss 20% of a class's meetings. The extent to which this rule is actually adhered to tends to correlate inversely with a school's status.


hmmm interesting. thanks for that insight bro.

grizz20
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby grizz20 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:48 pm

Bell curve, normal distribution. Highly unlikely to have anything else since it needs to be based around the school's curve. Plus, non-normal distributions can be a sign of outside influences like cheating - would really only happen for MC tests though.

For your final question see TSL's post.

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IWantT6
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Re: Explain to a 0L how the law school curve works?

Postby IWantT6 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:12 am

I'm confused as to how this works into class rank. Let's say there are 5 sections. Does each section have its own curve? If so, how is rank determined? If the top student in each section got an A, how would it be determined who is #1 v. #5?




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