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To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams


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144 replies to this topic

#51 secondchance

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:58 PM

Never indulge in the exam post-mortem!
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#52 Pheasant

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

On Wednesay, the second the exam ended, everyone got up and immediately turned to eachother and started comparing answers. I put my coat on and left the room ASAP, haha.


This is the WORST! It honestly serves no purpose, and is so anxiety-inducing. I have no idea why people do it. How you feel about an exam and what your friend wrote means very little when you're being graded on a curve.

#53 HoFChaos

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:35 PM

This is the WORST! It honestly serves no purpose, and is so anxiety-inducing. I have no idea why people do it. How you feel about an exam and what your friend wrote means very little when you're being graded on a curve.


One purpose is that I am in school to learn, and discussing the exam with my friends is one (albeit small) part of that. It doesn't affect my stress level, as I'm pretty much a no-stress individual, and I find a collective discussion/bitch fest over a beer or two to be totally fine.

#54 Gogol

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:44 PM

YMMV but I would strongly advise against post-exam discussions.
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#55 secondchance

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:30 PM

A collective discussion over beer? We've gone from an autopsy to a necrophiliac orgy... A bitch fest can be cathartic but I don't find post-exam discussions very useful.

#56 visualpurple

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:46 AM

My tip is to bring headphones to the exam, listen to music until the proctor starts reading instructions, then turn it on again immediately after the exam ends. I hate listening to people discuss exams right after the finish.

#57 Adrian

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:13 AM

I miss post-exam beers and breakdown. Best part of April exams.

#58 Pheasant

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:00 AM

One purpose is that I am in school to learn, and discussing the exam with my friends is one (albeit small) part of that. It doesn't affect my stress level, as I'm pretty much a no-stress individual, and I find a collective discussion/bitch fest over a beer or two to be totally fine.


It's good that you can handle that, but the vast majority of people will come away from those decisions more freaked out because of something that their friend put down that they didn't. In my experience, most people in law school aren't no-stress individuals (although I'm quite jealous that you are). And there's absolutely no point in dwelling on that until you get your mark back, because missing one issue probably won't dramatically affect your grade in any way (your friend probably missed an issue you spotted, for example).

Plus, by the time the exam is over, most people are in such a post-exam haze that they can't even accurately remember what they wrote anyway. I guess if you have your exam papers with you you can go through it with your friends after the exam, but I think for the average person would find that really painful. I'd definitely advise 1Ls not to do it since the nature of the curve is such that your position relative to the class is the only thing that matters for what grade you'll get (and let's be real, that's what most 1Ls care most about at this point, since it has such a huge bearing on future jobs and opportunities). Dwelling on things you missed on an exam you've already written is pointless and just takes up energy you could be using to study for the next one (although I'm currently dwelling right now...do as I say not as I do ;)).
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#59 visualpurple

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:04 AM

Discreetly speaking with a friend to compare answers is one thing - shouting across the room to your buddy about whether it was a subjective or objective mens rea 30 seconds after the exam ended while everyone is still packing up is another.
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#60 Adrian

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

Which one is the wrong one to do?

#61 Mal

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:56 PM

Which one is the wrong one to do?


Well played sir.

It doesn't really bother me to talk after an exam about it (there have been 3-4 exams in law school that I knew right away that I didn't do a good job on and talking after them did bother me a bit). I don't see it as useful though because you don't have the exams in front of you to accurately gauge what you saw/didn't see. Any value you get from this exercise you'd get 10x more from doing a practice exam with a friend (and 20x if you then had the Professor look over an exam with you).

In answer to the question about the importance of grades: Basically what pheasant said. 1L grades are really important but most people that want articling jobs get them. So certain doors will be closed forever but over time you can have a great career. I'd rather be a well rounded, balanced person with poor grades than have average grades without personality.

Final comment is that there are a lot of times that you just have a bad day and write a poor exam despite knowing the subject quite well. I would also keep in mind how great your peers are (my mind was absolutely blown in 1L when people discussed their past accomplishments), getting below average in a class can be just a combination of these two facts.
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#62 secondchance

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:11 AM

I don't see it as useful though because you don't have the exams in front of you to accurately gauge what you saw/didn't see. Any value you get from this exercise you'd get 10x more from doing a practice exam with a friend (and 20x if you then had the Professor look over an exam with you).


So true. I indulged in the exam autopsy a few times in 1L. By the end of it I was just thoroughly confused with no way to sort it out. It was like Rashomon....

#63 Uriel

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:26 AM

I always chatted about exams afterwards with friends I knew would be into doing the same. I actually found it was both cathartic and de-stressing, though maybe not at that very moment. I'd find some things I missed and other things other people missed and generally had a sense afterwards of about where I fell. I could roughly predict if I was closer to a C+ or a B+ after those discussions, which actually helped me out in the long term, stress-wise.

I remember coming out of Admin Law and finding out I did badly after talking to my friends. Certainty. End of stress, although some disappointment sunk in. Still, better that than wondering for a month and then being shocked and horrified to see all the grades at the same time, no matter what the result was. I don't know about you guys, but I can see "B+, B+, B+, B+, C+, B+" and think, "NO! WHAT HAPPENED?!" You get all the negative feelings from the bad mark and none of the good. Chatting with friends afterwards in that term, I had a sense that I did great job in Trusts and Evidence but a bad job in Labour. So when the marks came back something like "B+, B+, B, C+" I was like, "Hey! A "B" in Labour, sweet!" rather than "What?! No! What went wrong in Admin?! A C+?!"

That's just me.

#64 Gogol

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:56 AM

Bah.... I need to stop visiting these forums.
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#65 serdog

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:25 PM

I went from a C to a B in Consitutional so it can be done :D
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#66 Mal

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:25 PM

I don't know whats worse, getting grades all at once or having them trickle in one by one constantly checking... I am leaning towards the latter. One more grade in law school huzzah!

#67 sonandera

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:53 PM

I don't know whats worse, getting grades all at once or having them trickle in one by one constantly checking... I am leaning towards the latter. One more grade in law school huzzah!


Definitely option 2. I feel like I'm waiting for the LSAT to come back again. It's been 17 days since the exam I'm waiting on. Maybe it'll come after the weekend? PLEASE!?

#68 Sanada

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:35 PM

I wish mine were coming on the weekend, from what I'm told I've still got a good 3 weeks to wait...

#69 Catalyst

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:10 AM

'tis the season!

Bumping a "holiday classic".

Also: http://isitgoingtobeok.com/
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#70 iheartbooks

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

Maybe we should just sticky this, so we don't need to bump it again next year. :)
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#71 HoFChaos

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

Maybe we should just sticky this, so we don't need to bump it again next year. :)


It means more when you bump it :)

#72 iheartbooks

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:28 PM

But what if one year no one bumps it? That would be a shame, it really is a very helpful post.

#73 Catalyst

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:55 PM

I second the motion for a sticky.

I access LS.ca from the "New Content" page, so I'd still have bumped it for others who do that too, but it was a bit tricky to find via search.

#74 Radfahrer

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:08 PM

I won't lie, facing the first set of exams is pretty nerve-racking, especially as these exams count at Osgoode, so getting a C can't be improved upon next semester.

My consolation is that only 1/3 of our grades are set in stone in the first semester, so performing below expectations isn't the end of the world.

#75 Gogol

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

1/3 of your grades are this semester?

PS Urel is a baws.