question about 1L grading

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lawschoolsplit1984
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question about 1L grading

Postby lawschoolsplit1984 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:23 pm

I was reading about the 1L grading curves...and had a few inquiries pertaining to grading procedures
Last edited by lawschoolsplit1984 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby RodneyRuxin » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:32 pm

1)Grades are curved but employers can roughly tell your percentage by looking at your grade scale.

2)Varies based on school.

3)Read any other arbitrary grade thread no one wants to talk about it.

4)Depends on the curve, schools are generally based around medians and percentages can differ.


/thread

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quiver
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby quiver » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:45 pm

RodneyRuxin wrote:1)Grades are curved but employers can roughly tell your percentage by looking at your grade scale.

2)Varies based on school.

3)Read any other arbitrary grade thread no one wants to talk about it.

4)Depends on the curve, schools are generally based around medians and percentages can differ.


/thread
Co-signed.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby Lacepiece23 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:48 am

i know your a 0L, but come one man. You used the word inquires sorry, bro but thats not going to help you come OCI time. Be normal go to school try to get good grades, and everything will be fine.

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guano
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby guano » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:15 am

1) the ranking is your relative ranking compared to the rest of the student body. If there are 200 students, the 20 with the highest GPA are top 10%; the next 30 are top 25%, and the next 50 top 50%. I understand law students are notoriously bad at math, but, come on

2) depends on the school and the curve. distribution also varies per year, so it's not set in stone. Some schools list on their website the GPAs that corresponded to different bands for the past year or several years. You're gonna be a lawyer, learn to do research.

3) you're going to be a lawyer, learn to do research. Seriously, though, grading isn't arbitrary, but it can seem that way. There is little correlation between those that study the most and those that get the highest grades (although, there is a correlation between not studying and getting bad grades) because some people have a knack for law school exams, while others don't. It does come down to the quality of your exam compared to your classmates (curve, see 4) but it just seems arbitrary and you cannot predict in advance whether or not you'll do well.

4) depends on the school. For example:
Some schools will say, e.g. 10-15% A, no more than 25% A- or higher, no more than 50% B+ or higher, 3-10% C
Another school will allow the professor that they can create their own curve, but the average grade must be B+
Furthermore, not all schools enforce the curves as strictly as others.

3&4 - what can make the grading arbitrary, is if we take an example that says there must be 5 As and 10 A-s. Then let's say the top 20 raw scores are:
87
86
86
85
84
84
79
79
78
76
75
75
74
74
69
68
68
67
67
67


As you can see, the top 6 students are noticeably better than the next 4 rounding out the top 10. But, because of the curve, only 5 are permitted to get an A, the next 10 get an A- and below get a B+ or worse. So, of the two students who have a raw score of 84, one gets an A, the other an A-. Sucks to be that person, who is clearly better than everyone else getting an A-. But, for the one student with a raw score of 69, s/he manages to sneak in an A- while actually being much closer to the students getting B+.

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Scotchandsoda
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby Scotchandsoda » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:35 am

guano wrote:1) the ranking is your relative ranking compared to the rest of the student body. If there are 200 students, the 20 with the highest GPA are top 10%; the next 30 are top 25%, and the next 50 top 50%. I understand law students are notoriously bad at math, but, come on

2) depends on the school and the curve. distribution also varies per year, so it's not set in stone. Some schools list on their website the GPAs that corresponded to different bands for the past year or several years. You're gonna be a lawyer, learn to do research.

3) you're going to be a lawyer, learn to do research. Seriously, though, grading isn't arbitrary, but it can seem that way. There is little correlation between those that study the most and those that get the highest grades (although, there is a correlation between not studying and getting bad grades) because some people have a knack for law school exams, while others don't. It does come down to the quality of your exam compared to your classmates (curve, see 4) but it just seems arbitrary and you cannot predict in advance whether or not you'll do well.

4) depends on the school. For example:
Some schools will say, e.g. 10-15% A, no more than 25% A- or higher, no more than 50% B+ or higher, 3-10% C
Another school will allow the professor that they can create their own curve, but the average grade must be B+
Furthermore, not all schools enforce the curves as strictly as others.

3&4 - what can make the grading arbitrary, is if we take an example that says there must be 5 As and 10 A-s. Then let's say the top 20 raw scores are:
87
86
86
85
84
84
79
79
78
76
75
75
74
74
69
68
68
67
67
67


As you can see, the top 6 students are noticeably better than the next 4 rounding out the top 10. But, because of the curve, only 5 are permitted to get an A, the next 10 get an A- and below get a B+ or worse. So, of the two students who have a raw score of 84, one gets an A, the other an A-. Sucks to be that person, who is clearly better than everyone else getting an A-. But, for the one student with a raw score of 69, s/he manages to sneak in an A- while actually being much closer to the students getting B+.



This was very helpful! Thanks!

lawschoolsplit1984
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby lawschoolsplit1984 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:22 pm

Thanks for all the insight and everyone that took time to answer the questions that I had. Just one additional one if anyone gets a moment:

I understand that studying hard doesnt necessarily correlate with stellar exam performance, but I have heard and read that one of the methods that is beneficial is working through the practice exams during the beginning of the semester and working through as many as possible. I know noone can give me a definate answer on here, but what percentage of students would you surmise, begin doing practice exams during the start of the semester? (less than 25 percent? less than 50)? Would welcome any thoughts....

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Bildungsroman
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:28 pm

lawschoolsplit1984 wrote:Thanks for all the insight and everyone that took time to answer the questions that I had. Just one additional one if anyone gets a moment:

I understand that studying hard doesnt necessarily correlate with stellar exam performance, but I have heard and read that one of the methods that is beneficial is working through the practice exams during the beginning of the semester and working through as many as possible. I know noone can give me a definate answer on here, but what percentage of students would you surmise, begin doing practice exams during the start of the semester? (less than 25 percent? less than 50)? Would welcome any thoughts....

Almost none, because doing a practice exam before you've learned any of the material is stupid.

lawschoolsplit1984
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby lawschoolsplit1984 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:34 pm

Sorry, I realize the way I phrased the question doesnt make very good sense. As you learn the material during the semester, and know the content well enough to work through practice exams, since every 1L is competing with one another, is it beneficial if you take as many practice exams as possible and likely begin doing so before 1 month before the exam, as I would think many students do?


In other words, would you say there was a strong coorelation to success on 1L exams, if you do many practice exams and begin that preparation as soon as possible?

envisciguy
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby envisciguy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:37 am

Working through as many practice exams as you can is always a good idea. You'll get a feel for the way the professor asks questions and hone your thought process for exams. It certainly won't guarantee success, but it can't hurt.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:48 am

Doing practice exams is one of the best methods to prepare for finals, especially if you can get feedback from the professor on your answers (or you have model answers to look at). It's also one of the most common study methods for most law students (and often best done in groups to make sure you catch as many issues as possible). It's more like if you don't do practice exams, you are more likely to fall behind other students, than that doing the exams will put you ahead of anyone.

(And especially first semester 1L, there really isn't much point in doing practice exams until you've covered most of the material for the semester, because exam questions can cover anything from throughout the whole semester all mixed together, and if you haven't done the material yet, you won't get those points, and it's a waste of the practice exam. However, supplements like the Examples & Explanations series give mini-practice hypos which you could look at.)

But again, none of these will guarantee you an edge up on other students. There are no magic methods that you're going to uncover here that other students haven't all already tried and that your classmates aren't going to be using. You just have to do your own work and figure out which methods help you learn the material, and not worry about how many other people in your class are doing what.

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spleenworship
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby spleenworship » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:43 am

quiver wrote:
RodneyRuxin wrote:1)Grades are curved but employers can roughly tell your percentage by looking at your grade scale.

2)Varies based on school.

3)Read any other arbitrary grade thread no one wants to talk about it.

4)Depends on the curve, schools are generally based around medians and percentages can differ.


/thread
Co-signed.

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laxbrah420
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:57 am

envisciguy wrote:Working through as many practice exams as you can is always a good idea. You'll get a feel for the way the professor asks questions and hone your thought process for exams. It certainly won't guarantee success, but it can't hurt.

Meh. Maybe my experience was different, but 3 of my 4 exams had 50% multiple choice and the essays weren't hard to actually write. And all law professors grade the wrting differently. One I got screwed on (A-, highest MC score so not that screwed) had a hard word limit, and the professor told me that labeling subheadings and writing intros were a huge waste because they didn't get me any points. I had made legit decisions to ignore discussing certain torts theories because I thought they were weaker arguments (literally not listing green's theories of negligence lost me a huge amount even though i covered the discussion points they might lead to), but other professors appreciated coherent, clear, and goal-directed writing.

If you read the back of the E&E's or look at a couple of model answers, and read a book/guide on exam writing, I think that's the most you can gain from taking practice exams. I would (and plan to this semester) spend way more time rote memorizing real rules and nuances of the law/theory/policy.


I'd be interested in hearing what people have to say about ripping through Q&As and Siegel's questions though

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spleenworship
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby spleenworship » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:12 am

laxbrah420 wrote:
envisciguy wrote:Working through as many practice exams as you can is always a good idea. You'll get a feel for the way the professor asks questions and hone your thought process for exams. It certainly won't guarantee success, but it can't hurt.

Meh. Maybe my experience was different, but 3 of my 4 exams had 50% multiple choice and the essays weren't hard to actually write. And all law professors grade the wrting differently. One I got screwed on (A-, highest MC score so not that screwed) had a hard word limit, and the professor told me that labeling subheadings and writing intros were a huge waste because they didn't get me any points. I had made legit decisions to ignore discussing certain torts theories because I thought they were weaker arguments (literally not listing green's theories of negligence lost me a huge amount even though i covered the discussion points they might lead to), but other professors appreciated coherent, clear, and goal-directed writing.

If you read the back of the E&E's or look at a couple of model answers, and read a book/guide on exam writing, I think that's the most you can gain from taking practice exams. I would (and plan to this semester) spend way more time rote memorizing real rules and nuances of the law/theory/policy.


I'd be interested in hearing what people have to say about ripping through Q&As and Siegel's questions though



I like practice exams because it gives me a chance to issue spot, flip through my outline and get used to finding where things are in my outline, practice typing the BLL quickly, etc. It was just nice to get the jitters/"where the hell did I put respondeat superior in my outline again?" out of the way.

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Rory19
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby Rory19 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:54 pm

This may be a ridiculous follow-up question that probably has been answered before but where do you get copies of practice or previous exams? Do the professors provide them at the beginning of the course typically?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Rory19 wrote:This may be a ridiculous follow-up question that probably has been answered before but where do you get copies of practice or previous exams? Do the professors provide them at the beginning of the course typically?

Some profs give them out, usually near the end of the semester (there's no point in looking at them at the beginning of the semester, you won't know what you're doing yet). At my school, there were also a few test banks - one of physical copies in the library, and then an electronic archive - you could get those any time. The profs who give them out are usually profs who don't let their tests be collected in the archive. There may be other sources, too - I also hear that at some schools, groups like LR have their own test banks (ours didn't).

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quiver
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby quiver » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:05 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Rory19 wrote:This may be a ridiculous follow-up question that probably has been answered before but where do you get copies of practice or previous exams? Do the professors provide them at the beginning of the course typically?

Some profs give them out, usually near the end of the semester (there's no point in looking at them at the beginning of the semester, you won't know what you're doing yet). At my school, there were also a few test banks - one of physical copies in the library, and then an electronic archive - you could get those any time. The profs who give them out are usually profs who don't let their tests be collected in the archive. There may be other sources, too - I also hear that at some schools, groups like LR have their own test banks (ours didn't).
While I agree with the fact that this will vary by school, I have to disagree with your statement that there is no point in looking at practice exams at the beginning of the semester. It completely depends on the person, but I found it extremely helpful to know the format and focus of an exam before the semester (even though I obviously didn't know the material).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:12 pm

quiver wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Rory19 wrote:This may be a ridiculous follow-up question that probably has been answered before but where do you get copies of practice or previous exams? Do the professors provide them at the beginning of the course typically?

Some profs give them out, usually near the end of the semester (there's no point in looking at them at the beginning of the semester, you won't know what you're doing yet). At my school, there were also a few test banks - one of physical copies in the library, and then an electronic archive - you could get those any time. The profs who give them out are usually profs who don't let their tests be collected in the archive. There may be other sources, too - I also hear that at some schools, groups like LR have their own test banks (ours didn't).
While I agree with the fact that this will vary by school, I have to disagree with your statement that there is no point in looking at practice exams at the beginning of the semester. It completely depends on the person, but I found it extremely helpful to know the format and focus of an exam before the semester (even though I obviously didn't know the material).

First semester 1L, too? After that, sure, that would make some sense.

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quiver
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby quiver » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:43 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
quiver wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Rory19 wrote:This may be a ridiculous follow-up question that probably has been answered before but where do you get copies of practice or previous exams? Do the professors provide them at the beginning of the course typically?

Some profs give them out, usually near the end of the semester (there's no point in looking at them at the beginning of the semester, you won't know what you're doing yet). At my school, there were also a few test banks - one of physical copies in the library, and then an electronic archive - you could get those any time. The profs who give them out are usually profs who don't let their tests be collected in the archive. There may be other sources, too - I also hear that at some schools, groups like LR have their own test banks (ours didn't).
While I agree with the fact that this will vary by school, I have to disagree with your statement that there is no point in looking at practice exams at the beginning of the semester. It completely depends on the person, but I found it extremely helpful to know the format and focus of an exam before the semester (even though I obviously didn't know the material).

First semester 1L, too? After that, sure, that would make some sense.
I've done it every semester of law school and I always found it helpful. Some people may not. I just didn't want any 0Ls reading this thread to think that everyone believes it is pointless to see practice exams before the semester.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: question about 1L grading

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:54 pm

quiver wrote:I've done it every semester of law school and I always found it helpful. Some people may not. I just didn't want any 0Ls reading this thread to think that everyone believes it is pointless to see practice exams before the semester.

You're way smarter than I am, practice exams scarcely made sense when I first looked at them ~week 10 of 1L first semester; they'd have made no sense at all the first week! :D




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