albanach wrote:I took a course with a choice between the exam and a paper. I switched from the paper to the exam at the last minute and did okay - I guess mostly because the class was interesting and I'd been paying attention.
If I was to guess, I'd expect those that did papers would have been further toward the A side of the curve than those who took the exam.
Papers are a miserable time-suck, but if you elect to write a paper, you can almost guarantee a better grade by putting in more effort, whereas with an exam spending more time studying isn't necessarily going to keep you from getting median-pwned. I think a paper/exam option class (and opting to write the paper) would be a good decision for 1L Spring, as long as you don't procrastinate and front-load work on the paper. If you can get the paper written by, say, March and give yourself all of April to study for 3 exams, you'll be in a better position than many of your peers.