jawsthegreat wrote:If everyone is basically equal, what in your mind is going to separate the top 10% from the median etc.... luck, study skills, combination?
Are there any students who just mail it in and don't come to class or just seem to not care or do their work?
To answer your first question, it is definitely a combination of luck and how hard/well you study. Luck in how your professor grades the exams, luck in what material happens to appear on them - you learn a shit ton of stuff in every 1L class, but it can't all fit on a 3 hour exam, particularly all the more minor topics and cases, and asides your professor made. I think everybody is going to be well-versed in some of that stuff, but probably nobody all of it, so there is luck involved in which minor things end up being applicable to the exam. In the end, the difference between A/A- and high B+ is going to be very slight - an extra issue or two spotted, slightly more thorough analysis of something, etc. I'm sure, though, that people in the top 10% on the whole do study more, or more efficiently, than the rest. I think it is good to keep reviewing what you've learned as you go through the semester. Unfortunately, I didn't do that at all.
As for your second question, I skipped maybe 10 Civ Pro classes this semester if it makes you feel any better. I may have even violated the attendance policy.