Chicago 2L Takings ?s

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UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby UChicagoStudent » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:37 pm

remotelyfeasible wrote:
UChicagoStudent wrote:Thanks for the info.

While I'm picking your brain, do you have any idea where to look to determine the approximate breakdown of around where I am ranked in the class. I still can't figure out how tight the numerical distribution of grades is.

I understand that a 177 (maybe 177.1 with LRW factored in) is the median. To the best of my knowledge, a 178+ the top 40%, 179.5+ is top 20%? Accordingly a 176 would be bottom 40%, and a ~174.5 is bottom 20%?

That seems a lot looser of a distribution than I originally anticipated, with only 40% of the class is within the 176-178 range.


Well, they changed the grading of LRW for c/o 2011 onwards, and I don't really know the curve for that, in terms of how many A's they give out.

I would estimate median is actually more like 177.2-177.5. The median for any given class is 177, but the mean will tend to be higher than that, with something like 45% of grade being above a 177 and 35% of grades being below a 177. Also, the fact LRW's mean is probably more like 179 would skew class GPA up about 0.2.

My guesses: (These are for after 1L only. All numbers will get larger when transfers are added, in 2L/3L seminar grades get mixed in.)
Bottom 20%: 175
Bottom 40%: 177
Top 40%: 178
Top 20%: 179.4
Top 10%: 180


Wow, that's interesting. Almost half of the grades are 178 or above? Where did this information come from?

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:48 pm

UChicagoStudent wrote:Wow, that's interesting. Almost half of the grades are 178 or above? Where did this information come from?


As I said, it's a bit of guessing, but I think it's reasonably close.

There was an old faculty memo that used to be on the internet that told visiting faculty the grading curve. It contained the following grading curve, for courses (seminars were easier):

183-186: 4%
180-182: 15%
177-179: 42%
174-176: 26%
171-173: 10%
168-170: 2%
167 and below: 0.2%

So, 61% of grades are 177 and higher, and despite what your transcript may say, there are about 50% more A's than C's.

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doyleoil
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby doyleoil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:53 pm

remotelyfeasible wrote:
UChicagoStudent wrote:Wow, that's interesting. Almost half of the grades are 178 or above? Where did this information come from?


As I said, it's a bit of guessing, but I think it's reasonably close.

There was an old faculty memo that used to be on the internet that told visiting faculty the grading curve. It contained the following grading curve, for courses (seminars were easier):

183-186: 4%
180-182: 15%
177-179: 42%
174-176: 26%
171-173: 10%
168-170: 2%
167 and below: 0.2%

So, 61% of grades are 177 and higher, and despite what your transcript may say, there are about 50% more A's than C's.


this memo can't be a good estimate for 1L rank - no way 19% of a 1L class is getting a 180 (and no way 4% is getting a 183+)

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:56 pm

doyleoil wrote:this memo can't be a good estimate for 1L rank - no way 19% of a 1L class is getting a 180 (and no way 4% is getting a 183+)


And what do you cite as evidence of this assertion?

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doyleoil
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby doyleoil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:59 pm

remotelyfeasible wrote:
doyleoil wrote:this memo can't be a good estimate for 1L rank - no way 19% of a 1L class is getting a 180 (and no way 4% is getting a 183+)


And what do you cite as evidence of this assertion?


that the cutoff for kirkland scholar for this year's 1L class was 180.5 at the highest (and was likely a little lower than that)

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby UChicagoStudent » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:18 pm

doyleoil wrote:
remotelyfeasible wrote:
UChicagoStudent wrote:Wow, that's interesting. Almost half of the grades are 178 or above? Where did this information come from?


As I said, it's a bit of guessing, but I think it's reasonably close.

There was an old faculty memo that used to be on the internet that told visiting faculty the grading curve. It contained the following grading curve, for courses (seminars were easier):

183-186: 4%
180-182: 15%
177-179: 42%
174-176: 26%
171-173: 10%
168-170: 2%
167 and below: 0.2%

So, 61% of grades are 177 and higher, and despite what your transcript may say, there are about 50% more A's than C's.


this memo can't be a good estimate for 1L rank - no way 19% of a 1L class is getting a 180 (and no way 4% is getting a 183+)


I do think that memo is pretty accurate for individual grading, but you need to remove a few of the outliers. There will be some 183-185's given out in the class. And there will be some below 170's. However, the odds of repeating these grades is very difficult, so it would be easier to assume that 19% of the class is above a 179, and 12.2% is below a 174. That makes it a bit easier to believe, and correlates better with the 19% of class gets honors if you get a 179 average or better on our transcripts.

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:47 pm

doyleoil wrote:that the cutoff for kirkland scholar for this year's 1L class was 180.5 at the highest (and was likely a little lower than that)


Top 5% = 180.5+ is right about where you would expect if top 10% was 180+, like I said earlier.

20% of the class can get an A in any given class, but there are relatively few people who get straight A's.

As for the 183 ~= 4% figure, I personally knew someone who received a 183 in a large 1L class and was not one of the three model answers. This strongly implies that at least 4 people received 183+ in that class.

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doyleoil
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby doyleoil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:50 pm

remotelyfeasible wrote:
doyleoil wrote:that the cutoff for kirkland scholar for this year's 1L class was 180.5 at the highest (and was likely a little lower than that)


Top 5% = 180.5+ is right about where you would expect if top 10% was 180+, like I said earlier.

20% of the class can get an A in any given class, but there are relatively few people who get straight A's.

As for the 183 ~= 4% figure, I personally knew someone who received a 183 in a large 1L class and was not one of the three model answers. This strongly implies that at least 4 people received 183+ in that class.


yeah i agreed with your earlier numbers - was just skeptical of the memo - and i know someone whose 181 was the top grade in a 1L class - so that kinda skews my perspective (just like your 183 non-model answer skews yours)

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:51 pm

UChicagoStudent wrote:I do think that memo is pretty accurate for individual grading, but you need to remove a few of the outliers. There will be some 183-185's given out in the class. And there will be some below 170's. However, the odds of repeating these grades is very difficult, so it would be easier to assume that 19% of the class is above a 179, and 12.2% is below a 174. That makes it a bit easier to believe, and correlates better with the 19% of class gets honors if you get a 179 average or better on our transcripts.


It's a different subject, but the estimates for honors on the back of our transcripts are a bit low. Roughly 30% of the class graduates with honors or better. (However, grades go up after 1L, and transfers are disproportionately likely to get honors, so this doesn't means 30% of students have 179+ after 1L.)

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doyleoil
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby doyleoil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:53 pm

remotelyfeasible wrote: Roughly 30% of the class graduates with honors or better.


I heard that honors was the usual number (~20%) this year but that high honors was a little higher than usual (~8%)

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:54 pm

doyleoil wrote:yeah i agreed with your earlier numbers - was just skeptical of the memo - and i know someone whose 181 was the top grade in a 1L class - so that kinda skews my perspective (just like your 183 non-model answer skews yours)


In a big 1L class? That's really surprising, unless Mortara or someone similar was teaching it. The highest grade in a big 1L class is almost always going to be 183-186. Most commonly, the highest grade with be a 184 or 185, I believe.

From my 1L year, I knew of someone with at least a 182 in all my classes, and in at least half of the other section's classes.

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doyleoil
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby doyleoil » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:57 pm

remotelyfeasible wrote:In a big 1L class?


yup (at least according to what the professor told that person)

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:11 pm

doyleoil wrote:I heard that honors was the usual number (~20%) this year but that high honors was a little higher than usual (~8%)


Pretty much, yes. Although, the numbers of the back of our transcript seem to be on the absolute low end of the actual number of honors or high honors.

2010: 19% Honors, 9% high honors, 1 highest honors
2009: 24% honors, 7% high honors, no highest honors
2008: 20% honors, 6% high honors, 1 highest honors.

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:12 pm

doyleoil wrote:yup (at least according to what the professor told that person)


Weird, that's very unusual for a 181 to be the highest grade in such a class. I'm not sure I've even heard of a 182 being used as a model answer in a 1L class, even when they post three.

iwantawhiteiphone4
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby iwantawhiteiphone4 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:29 pm

doyleoil wrote:
remotelyfeasible wrote:In a big 1L class?


yup (at least according to what the professor told that person)


Which class/prof? (if you don't mind sharing)

I'm also skeptical of the 4% & 15% figures. I would think that high test scorers are likely enough to repeat that more people would then get high honors/highest honors. Otherwise, I'm not too surprised by rf's distribution memo. It's still consistent with the median being 177 (which I imagine profs adhere to pretty closely), as long as at least 12 percent of the class gets 177 (and I would guess the percent is even higher).

And what's with the "my friend got a xyz"? Do people really talk about grades? I'm not a hermit, but I don't think anyone knows my grades, nor do I know anyone's grades.

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remotelyfeasible
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby remotelyfeasible » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:02 pm

iwantawhiteiphone4 wrote:And what's with the "my friend got a xyz"? Do people really talk about grades? I'm not a hermit, but I don't think anyone knows my grades, nor do I know anyone's grades.


I had some friends who would simply and flatly refuse to discuss any grades, ever. I had other friends who would freely share their grades, if you asked. I would freely share my grades with those that shared theirs, unless I felt like it would make one of us feel bad to discuss grades.

For what it's worth, more of my friends were willing to share grades once the stress of 1L had ended, and especially when we were 3Ls and had jobs lined up, so grades didn't seem to matter as much, if at all.

pehaigllleises
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby pehaigllleises » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:26 pm

I'm also curious which big 1L class prof gave out 181 as the highest grade.

I AM a hermit, and two of my closer friends and I know each other's grades. After the first round of exams we compared our answers to each other's and to the models. Model exam answers are great and all, but I found it helpful to see what could differentiate a median, model, and something in between.

marburger06
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby marburger06 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:49 am

if i remember correctly it was Buss's Civ Pro I class.

oh, and in response to an earlier comment, only 10% of people can have As in any given class, not 20%.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:33 am

Hell, I got a model answer with a 181 in a freaking seminar (pissed about that). I got the highest grade in two classes with 183s (pissed about that too--on a scale that goes to 186, the highest grade should be 185 or 186, no exceptions).

Also, why do people insist that the 2L/3L classes are easier? They're not. The large classes are on exactly the same curve as the 1L classes, and the seminar professors don't just hand out straight 180+s (in fact, with the exception of evidence, my lowest grades are from classes off the curve). Further, the 2L/3L classes are significantly more difficult as far as subject matter goes. Fed. Reg of Securities/Bankruptcy/Secured Transactions/Fed Jur vs. Civ Pro or Torts? Seriously?

But yes, transfers do screw with the honors numbers.

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doyleoil
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby doyleoil » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:42 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Hell, I got a model answer with a 181 in a freaking seminar (pissed about that). I got the highest grade in two classes with 183s (pissed about that too--on a scale that goes to 186, the highest grade should be 185 or 186, no exceptions).

Also, why do people insist that the 2L/3L classes are easier? They're not. The large classes are on exactly the same curve as the 1L classes, and the seminar professors don't just hand out straight 180+s (in fact, with the exception of evidence, my lowest grades are from classes off the curve). Further, the 2L/3L classes are significantly more difficult as far as subject matter goes. Fed. Reg of Securities/Bankruptcy/Secured Transactions/Fed Jur vs. Civ Pro or Torts? Seriously?

But yes, transfers do screw with the honors numbers.


I don't think anyone seriously thinks the content of those classes is easier. Everyone's still stuck in pre-2008 mode, when it was common knowledge that "nobody tried" after 1L because it didn't matter for anyone except clerkship gunners. I never experienced it, so I don't know if that was ever true, but it's hard to imagine people at UC just giving up. And post-2008 we KNOW people don't give up.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:52 am

doyleoil wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Hell, I got a model answer with a 181 in a freaking seminar (pissed about that). I got the highest grade in two classes with 183s (pissed about that too--on a scale that goes to 186, the highest grade should be 185 or 186, no exceptions).

Also, why do people insist that the 2L/3L classes are easier? They're not. The large classes are on exactly the same curve as the 1L classes, and the seminar professors don't just hand out straight 180+s (in fact, with the exception of evidence, my lowest grades are from classes off the curve). Further, the 2L/3L classes are significantly more difficult as far as subject matter goes. Fed. Reg of Securities/Bankruptcy/Secured Transactions/Fed Jur vs. Civ Pro or Torts? Seriously?

But yes, transfers do screw with the honors numbers.


I don't think anyone seriously thinks the content of those classes is easier. Everyone's still stuck in pre-2008 mode, when it was common knowledge that "nobody tried" after 1L because it didn't matter for anyone except clerkship gunners. I never experienced it, so I don't know if that was ever true, but it's hard to imagine people at UC just giving up. And post-2008 we KNOW people don't give up.


Something like 80 people tend to apply for clerkships out of UC--so ~45% of the class are gunning for clerkships :lol: All that you would need is 20% or so to completely tank the idea that 2L/3L classes aren't competitive. The ones gunning for clerkships are the ones who did well 1L--they're the competition.

UChicagoStudent
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby UChicagoStudent » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:10 am

marburger06 wrote:if i remember correctly it was Buss's Civ Pro I class.

oh, and in response to an earlier comment, only 10% of people can have As in any given class, not 20%.


That seems more reasonable, but I remember hearing about that memo that remotelyfeaslible alluded to, that says that 19% get an A. I think that requirement may be only for visiting professors. I also believe that memo is ~5 years old.

I think that the current curve is that the number of 180+'s has to equal the number of 173-'s. (I would like to see some official school memo on this as well) I heard Dixon only gives out 2 A's and 2 C's in 1L Elements (can someone verify this). Most professors probably do not want to give too many C's. Each professor has his or her own grading scale, but I assume that the mean is actually closer to 177 for 1L year than we would think. I think what primarily changes is how tight the bell curve is around the 177 average.

Does anyone have any evidence as to why professors would give more 178's+179's instead of more 174's - 176's (besides the visiting faculty memo)?

d34d9823
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:13 am

Interloper here, but I'm getting some amusement out of the fact Chicago's grading system is easily confused with very high LSAT scores. The top of their class even scores better than 180! Take that, Yale! Any chance this was intentional?

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doyleoil
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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby doyleoil » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:16 am

d34dluk3 wrote:Interloper here, but I'm getting some amusement out of the fact Chicago's grading system is easily confused with very high LSAT scores. The top of their class even scores better than 180! Take that, Yale! Any chance this was intentional?


The story is that the "1" wasn't always there. But at some point the school realized that a median of "77" was hurting their students, because employers were thinking of a traditional numerical scale where a 77 is a high C. So they added the "1" so that people would stop thinking everyone at the school had shitty grades. I mean, I suppose they could have added a "0" to the end instead, so the decision to go with a "1" could have had something to do with the LSAT. But I doubt it.

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Re: Chicago 2L Takings ?s

Postby miamiman » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:34 am

I understand how this grading system cuts both ways and I understand the arguments for and against it, but I couldn't help but find it uninviting when I first learned of it. Even now, I'm somewhat ambivalent about how I feel and I'm sure those feelings will be magnified during the heart of my 1L.




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