lulu52

Anyone here fail a final exam?

74 posts in this topic

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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

Is it any wonder why you are so cynical.  

 

This "advice" is so unbelievably wrong, biased and problematic for so many reasons that I don't even know where to start.

 

Honestly, what your post reeks of is someone who couldn't figure out how to do well in law school, so rather than take responsibility for your actions or attitude, you blame the system.  I really didn't want to post this but I feel that these forums have to be a source for students on how they can improve and not to instruct people to jump to conclusions about the system, the integrity of their professors and the legal education system as a whole.  Your experience with what you call keeners and uber keeners is not something that I have seen, however I am not ignorant enough to say that something like that is not taken into account by students.  I would suggest an alternative interpretation.  Perhaps, students are keen to learn from more established professors.  Or, perhaps, the more senior professors are the ones who teach the more advanced semesters and are an authority on the subject.  In reality, there are a wide variety of possibilities to account for your "conclusion."

 

I can't even begin to address your post about self-validation of beating everyone else.  Truly I wish the mods would just delete this post.

 

 I'm not going to spend time debunking obvious mis-truths and will just assume no one will take your post seriously.

 

I totally agree with Hale.  However, I think that people are too willing to take the easy way out and blame others or the system rather than look inward to improve at whatever task you have in front of you.  I hope I have debunked some of these mis-truths that Hale talked about.

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Because some profs tell students how to answer their questions or even tell them hints about the exam, usually only to those students who...go to all their 8AM classes diligently...

 

[portion only quoted, to change message]

 

Fixed that for you.

 

If you go to classes regularly, ask questions and/or pay attention to answers to other people's questions, aren't updating your social media while in class but are paying attention, do the readings ahead of class so that you understand what the prof is talking about, etc., of course you're going to have an advantage and pick up hints about what may be dealt with on the exam, because the prof makes clear that certain topics are particularly important! It's because teaching what's important in the law taught in that course also tends to teach you what is more likely to be tested in the exam. So everyone who bothers attending class and pays attention has an advantage, in that sense, because they're learning more.

 

I can think of some profs who also had optional pre-exam study sessions announced well in advance and open to all, including e.g. running through a past exam with what sort of answers would be expected to those questions, or even just a basic Q&A session, and yet many students didn't bother attending. And I can even recall some being upset later, that those who did attend had an advantage...

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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.

 

No offence but is this satire? I'm not trying to be offensive, I just can't honestly tell because of the last part... a vacation or break from real life responsibilities? That is one expensive vacation. I feel like we might be missing the joke.

Edited by drankcoffee
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Sorry...for lack of proper quoting. Typing this on my phone.

 

Lulu52: "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've failed a couple of people. Usually it is a combo of missing issues and not writing enough (in terms of not enough detail on the law or incorrectly stating the law and not invoking the facts enough).

 

Studentlife: I generally try to be kind here and not harsh with students, but several things you said are total bullshit. You sound like a bitter whiner.

 

"Some exams are closed book which makes them 10 times harder."

This doesn't make sense. First, it is clearly an exaggeration. Expectations are adjusted for closed book exams. Also, the curve means that even if it were harder, that isn't really to the detriment of the class.

 

"Some instructors are incredible easy and generous, while some profs are incredibly picky, difficult and biased in marking."

This is only true to a certain extent. The curve allows some wiggle room but not all that much.

 

"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."

This is ridiculous. Some students just deserve an F. The last student I failed cited 3 cases on an entire exam and identified about 30% fewer issues than the next lowest mark--a C. The entire exam was 3.5 pages typed. The next shortest was 7. I think an F was totally appropriate. I have been on the grade appeal committee many times and the failed exams are usually equally terrible.

 

"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."

This doesn't really make sense. Either participation is a stated component of the grade or it isn't. Participation is more likely to be a part of the grade for seminars as compared to large classes, but not always.

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Sorry for the two part post. I didn't want to lose the first half.

 

"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."

This is ridiculous. I am not saying it has never, ever happened, but it is not the case that exam hints are given in office hours. Anecdotally, I can also say that the highest grades often don't go to those who come to office hours (and vice versa).

 

"Because some profs adjust final grades based on other factors such as class participation or impression of a student after exams are marked."

This is o generally false. It is nearly impossible at some schools (depending how anonymous the anonymous grading is and how grades are reported).

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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 think I posted this in another thread, but this is an important reason to have a road map to your answer in its first paragraph. If you list out the issues, and your preliminary conclusions, and then spend time explaining your reasoning, you won't have to worry about completely blowing an issue, because you noted it and then didn't write it down, for example.

 

 

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. 

 

 

Hah, I hope this actually happened. If so, there would almost certainly be an allowance for a rewrite - but what an awful thing to have to explain to an administrator. Also, as I read it, I thought your story was going an entirely different direction, with your friend thinking the character count was the word count in a positive variance (i.e. "bros, check it out, I wrote 12,000 words on that exam. Naiiiiled it. etc.").

 

As another exam anecdote, I once beat the curve on an exam based on a one-line response that got me points that most others didn't get. I had brought two outlines into an exam - one that I made personally, and one that was a few years old, and that I assume few people risked placing reliance on it. It was a mixed mid-length and long answer exam, and I don't think anyone left early. I had pretty confidently answered most of the questions and there wasn't much time left to go. I started flicking through the seven-year-old outline to see if it had anything on some case I wanted to refer to, in order to bolster an answer. I happened to flip by a page that had a couple of asterisks buried in a corner, which alerted me to the fact that that one of my lengthier answers was plain wrong (plainly wrong to the same extent that the judge in the Vader trial was wrong about the murder conviction). I had about 3 minutes to go, so I copied nearly word-for-word the one sentence and case name (no citation of any kind) from the old outline and thought "at least I didn't look like a fool for getting the answer so obviously wrong, even if my answer was short and barely reasoned". I got full marks on that question, as it turned out, and beat mean by 5% or something, so got into the good part of the curve. All based on a one-line throw-away statement of law. Moral of the story: don't worry about the length of your answer - sometimes a concise, correct, statement of law can be equally as effective as a long-winded, and partially correct (or plainly wrong) answer.

 

ETA: Thinking back on my law school exam career, I am tempted to author an exam writing guide. I'd call it "Be Plus - sonandera's Guide to Consistently (but ever so narrowly) Beating the B-Curve*"

 

*(except that one time)

Edited by sonandera
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Just generally to StudentLife: Are you actually a law student? Because it doesn't sound like it.

 

I should also add that, at Osgoode anyway (and I'm told it's similar at some other schools), most assignments and all exams are anonymous. The prof doesn't know who you are when he/she is marking and your grade gets entered in by other people so the prof never knows what grade you ended up with. By this system, there's no way 95% of how you propose grades are earned is possible. It's a pretty objective way of getting evaluated -- far more merit-based than undergrad or even grad school.

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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.

 

This defeats the purpose of marking exams anonymously. At UBC, marking is double blind - at no point does the professor know which student received which mark/grade (in 100% exam courses, paper courses are obviously different, though some are also marked blind). I find it very disheartening that profs at the U of A are changing their students grades after the exam based on their subjective feelings towards that student, that is horrible. 

Edited by beentheredonethat4

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This defeats the purpose of marking exams anonymously. At UBC, marking is double blind - at no point does the professor know which student received which mark/grade (in 100% exam courses, paper courses are obviously different, though some are also marked blind). I find it very disheartening that profs at the U of A are changing their students grades after the exam based on their subjective feelings towards that student, that is horrible.

It's also not true

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Just generally to StudentLife: Are you actually a law student? Because it doesn't sound like it.

 

 

 

"Grades don't really matter/law school is a vacation compared to practice" is a pretty common attitude for lawyers.

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It's also not true

 

My statements or the statement I was responding to? To the best of my knowledge, my statements about UBC's grading policies are correct. My apologies if I am mistaken!

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My statements or the statement I was responding to? To the best of my knowledge, my statements about UBC's grading policies are correct. My apologies if I am mistaken!

 

I meant the post you were responding to.

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Hah, I hope this actually happened. If so, there would almost certainly be an allowance for a rewrite - but what an awful thing to have to explain to an administrator. Also, as I read it, I thought your story was going an entirely different direction, with your friend thinking the character count was the word count in a positive variance (i.e. "bros, check it out, I wrote 12,000 words on that exam. Naiiiiled it. etc.").

 

Is that actually an allowable reason for a retake? Since we write 500-200 word papers quite often, and it says "character count" right next to the character count, while I feel kind of bad, I honestly do not see how this mistake was made. Exam stress maybe? 

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Is that actually an allowable reason for a retake? Since we write 500-200 word papers quite often, and it says "character count" right next to the character count, while I feel kind of bad, I honestly do not see how this mistake was made. Exam stress maybe?

I wasn't clear about what I was saying. If the person failed because of that, they would likely be given the opportunity to write a supplemental exam, just like everyone else who fails an exam.

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Last year I misread my exam schedule and thought I had an Insurance law exam that day. So I prepared for the Insurance law, and brought my Insurance notes to the trust exam. I wrote my open book trust law exam without any notes, textbooks or even studying for it. Seriously the only thing that i could remember without my note was saunders v vautier...

but I still somehow passed.... don't worry you won't fail.

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