Jump to content


Lawstudents.ca is Canada's largest and most comprehensive law school, legal education, and legal practice discussion forum.

To participate in discussions, you will need to register an account. If you already have an account, make sure you sign in.


Photo

Anyone here fail a final exam?


  • Please log in to reply
73 replies to this topic

#1 lulu52

lulu52
  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • LocationOntario

Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:35 PM

Title says it all. I'm a current 2L in an Ontario law school with decent first-year grades. But for the first time I did not complete an exam and the sections I "BS-ed" to have something on paper were worth the most points. I'm not looking for the repercussions of failing (I've read the policies), I would just like to know what it takes to actually fail a final worth 100% of your grade in law school.


Edited by lulu52, 10 December 2016 - 09:36 PM.


#2 Caracol

Caracol
  • Members
  • 340 posts
  • LocationLondon

Posted 10 December 2016 - 10:04 PM

I have no idea about the failing part... I've seen a few Fs in the grade distribution charts so it clearly happens, but it seems like it's pretty tough to do.

 

That being said, unless something happened and you either weren't prepared or you blanked, my guess is you're not the only person who didn't complete the exam. I had an exam or two in 1L that I thought I bombed, only to find out later that everyone bombed them too. In fact, one of my best marks was from an exam like that. That's when you're thankful for the curve  ;-)

 

I hope for your sake the curve saves you on this one! Good luck.


  • sunnyskies1992, beyondsection17, Uvspore and 2 others like this

#3 TheScientist101

TheScientist101
  • Members
  • 483 posts

Posted 11 December 2016 - 06:19 AM

I know of someone who did fail a final 100% exam at Ottawa U. There the policy was that the "F" stands on the transcript until the summer rewrite period at that time the student is permitted a rewrite and the grade obtained then is what appears on the transcript (with an astrix beside it noting the fail) you also are not allowed to graduate with Latin honours.

So it's really only a minimal amount of harm unless you fail a course in your last term. This is because of where the rewrite period falls which could delay graduation and would have consequential effects regarding the start of articling period.


I'm not sure if similar policies exist at other Universities.

Edited by TheScientist101, 11 December 2016 - 06:20 AM.


#4 lulu52

lulu52
  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • LocationOntario

Posted 11 December 2016 - 06:41 AM

I know of someone who did fail a final 100% exam at Ottawa U. There the policy was that the "F" stands on the transcript until the summer rewrite period at that time the student is permitted a rewrite and the grade obtained then is what appears on the transcript (with an astrix beside it noting the fail) you also are not allowed to graduate with Latin honours.

So it's really only a minimal amount of harm unless you fail a course in your last term. This is because of where the rewrite period falls which could delay graduation and would have consequential effects regarding the start of articling period.


I'm not sure if similar policies exist at other Universities.

 

Thank you for your insight! I am familiar with my school's policies with regards to rewrites, so I am familiar with the consequences. What I am wondering is how does one typically fail? Did they miss too many issues? Did they just not write enough information? Did they not finish the exam?

 

I know this is a vague question, especially given the fact that I have not provided very much information. I suppose I'm wondering how much truth there is to the bell curve being able to save you.



#5 maximumbob

maximumbob
  • Members
  • 6347 posts

Posted 11 December 2016 - 07:50 AM

*
POPULAR

Title says it all. I'm a current 2L in an Ontario law school with decent first-year grades. But for the first time I did not complete an exam and the sections I "BS-ed" to have something on paper were worth the most points. I'm not looking for the repercussions of failing (I've read the policies), I would just like to know what it takes to actually fail a final worth 100% of your grade in law school.


Short of writng a page full of Zs or writing something that makes it clear you're wholly unfamiliar with the relevant area of law, I'd imagine the worst case scenario is a "Gentleman's "D"".

Edited by maximumbob, 11 December 2016 - 07:51 AM.

  • conge, sunnyskies1992, 102mike103 and 7 others like this

#6 TheScientist101

TheScientist101
  • Members
  • 483 posts

Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:37 AM

Thank you for your insight! I am familiar with my school's policies with regards to rewrites, so I am familiar with the consequences. What I am wondering is how does one typically fail? Did they miss too many issues? Did they just not write enough information? Did they not finish the exam?

 

I know this is a vague question, especially given the fact that I have not provided very much information. I suppose I'm wondering how much truth there is to the bell curve being able to save you.

 

Well, understandably my friend did not go into too much detail regarding the failing - I think it was a testament to his character that he even admitted to it at all (going against that nasty law school culture where everyone feigns they have an "A" average). I'm betting he was well prepared (at least prepared enough for a "B"). I have no idea how much he answered - but I would imagine he put something down for every response.

 

I think it just turned out that this professor was very particular regarding what he wanted in response to his exam questions, and from what others have told me his questions were unexpected with a biased focus on a niche topic within the subject (and my friend was completely unprepared for this)

 

That's not to say the professor was to blame in this scenario because I also had several friends in that class who did quite well. 


  • sunnyskies1992 and lulu52 like this

#7 sonandera

sonandera
  • Members
  • 1934 posts

Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:42 PM

I took a class, for the time slot only, in an area of law that I was not interested in. I did not attend class. I picked up the textbook, read it, made my own outline. The only problem was that in class, the professor was pointing out the areas where the textbook was no longer consistent with a new statute. I'd say a "gentleman's D", as someone put it above, was well deserved.


  • Pyke, Hesse, 102mike103 and 3 others like this

#8 thegiggler

thegiggler
  • Members
  • 117 posts

Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:24 AM

Well, understandably my friend did not go into too much detail regarding the failing - I think it was a testament to his character that he even admitted to it at all (going against that nasty law school culture where everyone feigns they have an "A" average). I'm betting he was well prepared (at least prepared enough for a "B"). I have no idea how much he answered - but I would imagine he put something down for every response.

 

I think it just turned out that this professor was very particular regarding what he wanted in response to his exam questions, and from what others have told me his questions were unexpected with a biased focus on a niche topic within the subject (and my friend was completely unprepared for this)

 

That's not to say the professor was to blame in this scenario because I also had several friends in that class who did quite well. 

If that is, actually, a fair description of how that person ended up with an F, I'd say the professor was somewhat to blame for writing a shit exam.


  • admitme likes this

#9 StudentLife

StudentLife
  • Members
  • 147 posts

Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:50 AM

Not sure what you mean by failing an exam since classes are curved but you probably mean failing a class. People fail exams all the time but still pass the class with a C or D range grade.

Some exams are closed book which makes them 10 times harder. Other classes are filled with keeners. Other classes don’t have exams at all. Some instructors are incredible easy and generous, while some profs are incredibly picky, difficult and biased in marking. Others think God picked them to separate the wheat from the chaff, hence they give out Fs. They are the Gatekeepers.

Yes, people fail courses and most of the time it’s because the professor was an uptight jerk who handed out an F. It’s also possible to fail out by getting too many low grades like Ds or C-s and fail the year due to GPA requirements. In such cases students end up re-taking exams, re-taking entire courses, or having to complete something else. Or dropping out. Or being kicked out. Can you imagine having to choose between re-doing 1L or dropping out?

Teachers’ pets tend to do well generally but that’s only a few in each class.

Class attendance doesn’t seem to make much of a difference on the final exam in large lecture classes but it might depend on the exact prof. For seminars or paper/assignment based courses class attendance and participation are essential.


Edited by StudentLife, 12 December 2016 - 12:56 AM.

  • lulu52 likes this

#10 lulu52

lulu52
  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • LocationOntario

Posted 12 December 2016 - 06:51 AM

Not sure what you mean by failing an exam since classes are curved but you probably mean failing a class. People fail exams all the time but still pass the class with a C or D range grade.

Some exams are closed book which makes them 10 times harder. Other classes are filled with keeners. Other classes don’t have exams at all. Some instructors are incredible easy and generous, while some profs are incredibly picky, difficult and biased in marking. Others think God picked them to separate the wheat from the chaff, hence they give out Fs. They are the Gatekeepers.

Yes, people fail courses and most of the time it’s because the professor was an uptight jerk who handed out an F. It’s also possible to fail out by getting too many low grades like Ds or C-s and fail the year due to GPA requirements. In such cases students end up re-taking exams, re-taking entire courses, or having to complete something else. Or dropping out. Or being kicked out. Can you imagine having to choose between re-doing 1L or dropping out?

Teachers’ pets tend to do well generally but that’s only a few in each class.

Class attendance doesn’t seem to make much of a difference on the final exam in large lecture classes but it might depend on the exact prof. For seminars or paper/assignment based courses class attendance and participation are essential.

 

You're correct, I meant failing a class. I suppose I equated the two since the exam was worth 100%.



#11 pzabbythesecond

pzabbythesecond
  • Members
  • 613 posts
  • LocationMontreal

Posted 12 December 2016 - 06:58 AM

In what possible ways do teachers pets do better with anonymous exams? I mean, what?
  • Yogurt Baron, sonandera, Hegdis and 3 others like this

#12 Adrian

Adrian
  • Members
  • 2053 posts
  • LocationToronto

Posted 12 December 2016 - 10:08 AM

*
POPULAR

In what possible ways do teachers pets do better with anonymous exams? I mean, what?

 

Those assholes who show up to class and take notes.  Somehow they seem to know more information than I do.  Must be all the sucking up. 


  • Diplock, Pyke, Yogurt Baron and 19 others like this

#13 pzabbythesecond

pzabbythesecond
  • Members
  • 613 posts
  • LocationMontreal

Posted 12 December 2016 - 11:10 AM

Well I mightve just failed my torts exam. I noted there could be an issue but decided against it and followed another possible remedy instead. But I may have not read carefully enough and been wrong to not follow it. (I'm being purposefully vague so as to not share exam info).

God, and I thought I felt bad after contracts.

#14 Caracol

Caracol
  • Members
  • 340 posts
  • LocationLondon

Posted 12 December 2016 - 11:14 AM

Well I mightve just failed my torts exam. I noted there could be an issue but decided against it and followed another possible remedy instead. But I may have not read carefully enough and been wrong to not follow it. (I'm being purposefully vague so as to not share exam info).

God, and I thought I felt bad after contracts.


I'm sure you did not fail! Don't worry. It's very normal to feel like that after a 1L exam. Try not to think about it and get on with your other exam prep. I imagine you'll be pleasantly surprised when you get your grades!
  • sunnyskies1992, beyondsection17, pzabbythesecond and 1 other like this

#15 sunnyskies1992

sunnyskies1992
  • Members
  • 214 posts
  • LocationVancouver, BC

Posted 12 December 2016 - 11:20 AM

Well I mightve just failed my torts exam. I noted there could be an issue but decided against it and followed another possible remedy instead. But I may have not read carefully enough and been wrong to not follow it. (I'm being purposefully vague so as to not share exam info).

God, and I thought I felt bad after contracts.


I agree with Caracol! Wait until final grades actually come out. It's very rare to fail. My guess is that you'll end up somewhere in the B range :)
  • Caracol and pzabbythesecond like this

#16 pzabbythesecond

pzabbythesecond
  • Members
  • 613 posts
  • LocationMontreal

Posted 12 December 2016 - 11:58 AM

Thanks guys, we'll wait and see I guess. Appreciate the support :)
  • Caracol and sunnyskies1992 like this

#17 Luckycharm

Luckycharm
  • Members
  • 437 posts
  • LocationGTA

Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:02 PM

I just found out I am one of the asshole too

#18 lulu52

lulu52
  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • LocationOntario

Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:25 PM

Well I mightve just failed my torts exam. I noted there could be an issue but decided against it and followed another possible remedy instead. But I may have not read carefully enough and been wrong to not follow it. (I'm being purposefully vague so as to not share exam info).

God, and I thought I felt bad after contracts.

 

On my 1L contracts exam, there were 4 issues. I got one right (analysis and everything), part of one right (I identified the problem but I ended up explaining another concept) and incorrectly identified two issues (example: I said it was a problem with the offer when it was a problem with the acceptation). I completed my exam and my analyses were thorough. I ended up with an average mark. So failure to spot an issue might not necessarily mean the death of your grade. This outcome is dependent on other factors though (like the prof).


  • pzabbythesecond likes this

#19 StudentLife

StudentLife
  • Members
  • 147 posts

Posted 12 December 2016 - 11:37 PM

Because some profs tell students how to answer their questions or even tell them hints about the exam, usually only to those students who constantly go ask them questions or visit them at their office. Because some profs adjust final grades based on other factors such as class participation or impression of a student after exams are marked. Letter course grades are assigned after exams are marked and the exam mark does not determine the full grade. The prof has discretion in assigning individual letter grades and also who to fail or not to fail, or who to give an A to, based on a personal impression of the student. Of course some classes do not have 100% exams and nothing is anonymous when assigning final letter grades to individual students at the end. Marking anonymous exams and assigning individual course letter grades to students are two distinct phases.

And yes I consider students who go to all their 8AM classes diligently and write down word for word and regurgitate everything the prof says as gospel to be keeners. Or the ones who always go to talk to the prof after class, every class.

This forum is obviously self-selecting to there might be a skewed demographic on here of law keeners but what I said is still true.

Actually I have noticed that the uber keeners tend to take classes with older established tenure profs in large lecture sections in order to get self-validation about beating most of their classmates academically, and also to get those fancy reference letters. I never see the uber keeners in small more practical seminars with young practitioners who are not “distinguished” profs.

I’m not cynical, just practical. Plus saw what happens to others, the so called non-deans listers, who fall through the cracks every year. Law school should not be your whole life or total focus, but if it is, you (not you personally, but the typical law student) are missing the whole point of the school phase. Law school or university is more like a vacation or break from real life responsibilities most of the time, a time to self-reflect and explore other opportunities out there in a low risk environment, and of course meet new people and do whatever you want pretty much. As Jeff Spicoli would say, "Hey bud, let's party!"

Just enjoy it and don’t worry about grades or what others are doing. Just graduate and do your own thing because it’s your life after all.



#20 Adrian

Adrian
  • Members
  • 2053 posts
  • LocationToronto

Posted 13 December 2016 - 04:06 AM

To quote Jaggers: "LOL"
  • Dwarvishleaf and Hale like this

#21 maximumbob

maximumbob
  • Members
  • 6347 posts

Posted 13 December 2016 - 07:23 AM

Because some profs tell students how to answer their questions or even tell them hints about the exam, usually only to those students who constantly go ask them questions or visit them at their office. Because some profs adjust final grades based on other factors such as class participation or impression of a student after exams are marked. Letter course grades are assigned after exams are marked and the exam mark does not determine the full grade. The prof has discretion in assigning individual letter grades and also who to fail or not to fail, or who to give an A to, based on a personal impression of the student. Of course some classes do not have 100% exams and nothing is anonymous when assigning final letter grades to individual students at the end. Marking anonymous exams and assigning individual course letter grades to students are two distinct phases.

And yes I consider students who go to all their 8AM classes diligently and write down word for word and regurgitate everything the prof says as gospel to be keeners. Or the ones who always go to talk to the prof after class, every class.

This forum is obviously self-selecting to there might be a skewed demographic on here of law keeners but what I said is still true.

Actually I have noticed that the uber keeners tend to take classes with older established tenure profs in large lecture sections in order to get self-validation about beating most of their classmates academically, and also to get those fancy reference letters. I never see the uber keeners in small more practical seminars with young practitioners who are not “distinguished” profs.

I’m not cynical, just practical. Plus saw what happens to others, the so called non-deans listers, who fall through the cracks every year. Law school should not be your whole life or total focus, but if it is, you (not you personally, but the typical law student) are missing the whole point of the school phase. Law school or university is more like a vacation or break from real life responsibilities most of the time, a time to self-reflect and explore other opportunities out there in a low risk environment, and of course meet new people and do whatever you want pretty much. As Jeff Spicoli would say, "Hey bud, let's party!"

Just enjoy it and don’t worry about grades or what others are doing. Just graduate and do your own thing because it’s your life after all.

<shakes head sadly


Edited by maximumbob, 13 December 2016 - 07:24 AM.

  • Hale likes this

#22 Pyke

Pyke
  • Members
  • 8701 posts
  • LocationToronto

Posted 13 December 2016 - 07:56 AM

Because some profs tell students how to answer their questions or even tell them hints about the exam, usually only to those students who constantly go ask them questions or visit them at their office. Because some profs adjust final grades based on other factors such as class participation or impression of a student after exams are marked. Letter course grades are assigned after exams are marked and the exam mark does not determine the full grade. The prof has discretion in assigning individual letter grades and also who to fail or not to fail, or who to give an A to, based on a personal impression of the student. Of course some classes do not have 100% exams and nothing is anonymous when assigning final letter grades to individual students at the end. Marking anonymous exams and assigning individual course letter grades to students are two distinct phases.

And yes I consider students who go to all their 8AM classes diligently and write down word for word and regurgitate everything the prof says as gospel to be keeners. Or the ones who always go to talk to the prof after class, every class.

This forum is obviously self-selecting to there might be a skewed demographic on here of law keeners but what I said is still true.

Actually I have noticed that the uber keeners tend to take classes with older established tenure profs in large lecture sections in order to get self-validation about beating most of their classmates academically, and also to get those fancy reference letters. I never see the uber keeners in small more practical seminars with young practitioners who are not “distinguished” profs.

I’m not cynical, just practical. Plus saw what happens to others, the so called non-deans listers, who fall through the cracks every year. Law school should not be your whole life or total focus, but if it is, you (not you personally, but the typical law student) are missing the whole point of the school phase. Law school or university is more like a vacation or break from real life responsibilities most of the time, a time to self-reflect and explore other opportunities out there in a low risk environment, and of course meet new people and do whatever you want pretty much. As Jeff Spicoli would say, "Hey bud, let's party!"

Just enjoy it and don’t worry about grades or what others are doing. Just graduate and do your own thing because it’s your life after all.

 

I have multiple A's on my transcript. I honestly can say at no point in law school did I ever get hints about what was on the exam or be the type of student you're describing.

 

I also have a C+ on my transcript, in a class where, the professor (a) liked me, (b) talked with me about it afterwards, and © actively took steps to assist me in mitigating the grade. If so much discretion existed, you'd think they'd have given me a better score.


  • Hale likes this

#23 DarKnight

DarKnight
  • Members
  • 571 posts

Posted 13 December 2016 - 09:12 AM

Because some profs tell students how to answer their questions or even tell them hints about the exam, usually only to those students who constantly go ask them questions or visit them at their office. Because some profs adjust final grades based on other factors such as class participation or impression of a student after exams are marked. Letter course grades are assigned after exams are marked and the exam mark does not determine the full grade. The prof has discretion in assigning individual letter grades and also who to fail or not to fail, or who to give an A to, based on a personal impression of the student. Of course some classes do not have 100% exams and nothing is anonymous when assigning final letter grades to individual students at the end. Marking anonymous exams and assigning individual course letter grades to students are two distinct phases.

And yes I consider students who go to all their 8AM classes diligently and write down word for word and regurgitate everything the prof says as gospel to be keeners. Or the ones who always go to talk to the prof after class, every class.

This forum is obviously self-selecting to there might be a skewed demographic on here of law keeners but what I said is still true.

Actually I have noticed that the uber keeners tend to take classes with older established tenure profs in large lecture sections in order to get self-validation about beating most of their classmates academically, and also to get those fancy reference letters. I never see the uber keeners in small more practical seminars with young practitioners who are not “distinguished” profs.

I’m not cynical, just practical. Plus saw what happens to others, the so called non-deans listers, who fall through the cracks every year. Law school should not be your whole life or total focus, but if it is, you (not you personally, but the typical law student) are missing the whole point of the school phase. Law school or university is more like a vacation or break from real life responsibilities most of the time, a time to self-reflect and explore other opportunities out there in a low risk environment, and of course meet new people and do whatever you want pretty much. As Jeff Spicoli would say, "Hey bud, let's party!"

Just enjoy it and don’t worry about grades or what others are doing. Just graduate and do your own thing because it’s your life after all.

 

1. You pay to be there and you pay to learn. I don't know why you have to be a keener to want to make good on the investment.

 

2. Must be a pretty big crack, if 90% of the class manages to fall through.


Edited by DarKnight, 13 December 2016 - 09:17 AM.

  • epeeist, beyondsection17, healthlaw and 1 other like this

#24 Hale

Hale
  • Members
  • 78 posts

Posted 13 December 2016 - 09:47 AM

Because some profs tell students how to answer their questions or even tell them hints about the exam, usually only to those students who constantly go ask them questions or visit them at their office. Because some profs adjust final grades based on other factors such as class participation or impression of a student after exams are marked. Letter course grades are assigned after exams are marked and the exam mark does not determine the full grade. The prof has discretion in assigning individual letter grades and also who to fail or not to fail, or who to give an A to, based on a personal impression of the student. Of course some classes do not have 100% exams and nothing is anonymous when assigning final letter grades to individual students at the end. Marking anonymous exams and assigning individual course letter grades to students are two distinct phases.

And yes I consider students who go to all their 8AM classes diligently and write down word for word and regurgitate everything the prof says as gospel to be keeners. Or the ones who always go to talk to the prof after class, every class.

This forum is obviously self-selecting to there might be a skewed demographic on here of law keeners but what I said is still true.

Actually I have noticed that the uber keeners tend to take classes with older established tenure profs in large lecture sections in order to get self-validation about beating most of their classmates academically, and also to get those fancy reference letters. I never see the uber keeners in small more practical seminars with young practitioners who are not “distinguished” profs.

I’m not cynical, just practical. Plus saw what happens to others, the so called non-deans listers, who fall through the cracks every year. Law school should not be your whole life or total focus, but if it is, you (not you personally, but the typical law student) are missing the whole point of the school phase. Law school or university is more like a vacation or break from real life responsibilities most of the time, a time to self-reflect and explore other opportunities out there in a low risk environment, and of course meet new people and do whatever you want pretty much. As Jeff Spicoli would say, "Hey bud, let's party!"

Just enjoy it and don’t worry about grades or what others are doing. Just graduate and do your own thing because it’s your life after all.

 

Yeah no, sorry. I'm not paying 20k+ a year in tuition to treat law school "more like a vacation" or a "break" or to party. It doesn't have to be a full-time job, but believe it or not, some of us are here to get our money's worth and because, well, we actually want to learn the law (even if that requires us to be "uber keeners" in your books by simply going to class and taking notes).

 

Also your correlation between seminars and uber-keeners is completely untrue, as is your tin-foil hat conspiracy theory that profs somehow go back and adjust marks based on who their favourite students are (forget the many academic rules that are in-place to prevent that from happening). But since your whole post seems completely uninformed and suggestive of some sort of chip on your shoulder, I'm not going to spend time debunking obvious mis-truths and will just assume no one will take your post seriously.


  • epeeist, DarKnight, beyondsection17 and 2 others like this

#25 bananasamana

bananasamana
  • Members
  • 76 posts

Posted 13 December 2016 - 11:43 AM

A friend of mine thought the character count on the exam software was the word count (500-2000 word limit on all questions). Thus, for essay questions he wrote just a couple of sentences. I'm going to guess this won't end well. 

 

 

I will update on if this constitutes a failure on a final or not. 


Edited by bananasamana, 13 December 2016 - 11:43 AM.

  • Eeee and Dwarvishleaf like this