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Anyone here fail a final exam?


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#26 fangle

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 12:47 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.

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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#27 epeeist

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 01:02 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...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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#28 drankcoffee

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:30 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.

 

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, 13 December 2016 - 06:30 PM.

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#29 ProfReader

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 08:39 PM

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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#30 ProfReader

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 08:50 PM

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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#31 sonandera

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 12:54 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 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, 14 December 2016 - 12:58 AM.

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#32 Ryn

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 06:26 AM

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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#33 beentheredonethat4

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 11:58 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.

 

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, 14 December 2016 - 12:00 PM.


#34 DarKnight

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 12:10 PM

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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#35 Eeee

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 12:10 PM

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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#36 beentheredonethat4

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 01:01 PM

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!



#37 DarKnight

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 01:44 PM

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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#38 bananasamana

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 02:20 PM

 

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? 



#39 sonandera

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 04:27 PM

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.

#40 Xabi14

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:39 PM

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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#41 theVelvetFog

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 03:52 PM

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.


As a U of A alumnus, I'm frankly embarrassed by StudentLife's shenanigans on these boards. His/her posts are generally filled with baseless conjecture and outright falsehoods. Fortunately, she/he isn't typical of the people I went to law school with.

His/her comments about U of A's marking practices are false. Like most (all?) Canadian law schools, exams are marked blind. The raw grades and letter grades are then reviewed and approved by the Dean to make sure they conform to the Faculty's grading policies. There is no opportunity for the professor to fiddle with the grades if it is a 100% exam course.

Paper courses and others are not marked blind and often contain significant participation elements, so I suppose students that attend class regularly and substantively contribute to the class will end up with higher grades there. This shouldn't be surprising to anyone.

All of this can be found on the Faculty's website, but I suppose it's too much to expect StudentLife to familiarise him/herself with the Faculty's actual policies and processes. Bald assertions and conjecture seem to be the order of the day.
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#42 StudentLife

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:47 AM

As a U of A alumnus, I'm frankly embarrassed by StudentLife's shenanigans on these boards. His/her posts are generally filled with baseless conjecture and outright falsehoods. Fortunately, she/he isn't typical of the people I went to law school with.

His/her comments about U of A's marking practices are false. Like most (all?) Canadian law schools, exams are marked blind. The raw grades and letter grades are then reviewed and approved by the Dean to make sure they conform to the Faculty's grading policies. There is no opportunity for the professor to fiddle with the grades if it is a 100% exam course.

Paper courses and others are not marked blind and often contain significant participation elements, so I suppose students that attend class regularly and substantively contribute to the class will end up with higher grades there. This shouldn't be surprising to anyone.

All of this can be found on the Faculty's website, but I suppose it's too much to expect StudentLife to familiarise him/herself with the Faculty's actual policies and processes. Bald assertions and conjecture seem to be the order of the day.

 

I suppose you were pretty embarrassed about Alberta’s (provincial politics) shenanigans too so ran off to BC. It's amusing that you graduated from U of A and actually think that the official policy of the university on the website is what actually goes on in reality. I mean how naïve and gullible is that. Some of these law-school-is-nothing-but-sweet-roses-everyone-does-well-the-university-is-here-to-support-you perceptions need a reality check and counter-argument. It’s also doubtful you knew all 500+ classmates in any given academic year. More likely that you were friends with several dozen similar like minded people. Also you do realize that some students almost never go to class while others take classes outside of the regular day schedules so you would literally never see them.

Perhaps I exaggerated and what I said doesn’t apply in every circumstance, but far from baseless conjecture and outright falsehoods.

Here is an example from a 100% exam course, there are no participation marks, yet in the syllabus (I use direct quotes):

"All exams will be marked "blind".  This means that you will be using pseudonyms when you write …your exams.”

 

BUT, very next line, wait for it:

 

“I reserve myself the right at the end of the year to increase a student's mark ...if I feel a student's classroom participation merits such an increase.”

Once again, this was a 100% exam course with no participation marks. The same professor had very specific exam questions which he hinted at what they would be about to some of his favourite students who participated and talked to him lots, "individuals who might display insight and understanding and contribute to the relevant topic at hand from time to time during the course of the year". They got a significant grade boost by the end. The same prof admitted to once failing a student because the individual annoyed the heck out of him as the student “was really asking for it".

Most classes are not 100% finals in upper years, and are extremely subjective. There is no anonymous grading for papers and assignments based classes which is most upper year classes. Definitely lots of subjective grading that goes on which can be used to ones’ advantage of course (pardon the pun).

The Dean (actually the Vice Dean) just rubber stamps submitted class grades lists to make sure they are not too high and to conform to various curving distribution requirements, not too many As, class average within set range, etc.


Edited by StudentLife, 30 December 2016 - 11:59 AM.


#43 StudentLife

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:31 PM

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.

 

This is exactly then the problem with some profs. You're saying that someone who probably tried very hard (but admittedly did not have the answer you were expecting yet did their best on the exam) should get an F, the same grade as someone who let's say never wrote the exam or bothered showing up in the first place. Profs like this who basically give 0 to someone who did their hardest, the same 0 as for someone who didn't even bother showing up for the exam or wrote nothing. That tuition pays for your salary by the way. I think the lowest anyone should get is maybe a D, unless they actually leave the exam blank and don't write it in which case F. D is also technically a fail as is a C- so the effect would be the same on their GPA. They still "failed". Some students have no trouble failing their year without ever getting an F, ironically getting an F makes it easier to have the grade successfully replaced with something higher via re-write or appeal.

 

Closed book exams tend to be given by profs who also tend to give out Fs and Ds rather easily and without too much remorse. This was a correlation I have noticed. Closed book exam can be harder because some students have anxiety issues with exams so blank out or just are not very good at memorizing things and so are at a big disadvantage. While other students are good at memorizing. This creates the unfairness between different learning styles when it's closed book. Not to mention that closed book has nothing to do with reality as do most academic exams. Here there is an argument to be made about reducing the number of expensive professors and increasing the number of sessional instructors who are practitioners in order to make the class content and evaluation methods more similar and relevant to real life work. That means factums or written/oral assignments on practice topics, versus exam questions about academic theorizing. The last problem with closed book is that closed book profs tend to ask memorization specific questions such as what is this one case about from class, or name case x. Lastly, closed book sections of the same class tend to have more Fs and Ds given than the same class with an open book prof. This difference in profs and sections is explained by the point I made above. Student X could have Prof D in closed book class section and get a D while with Prof B the same student would have gotten a B in the open book section due to different exam types, and also Prof B tending not to give out the lowest grades as easily. Lastly, with open book exams the student has an opportunity to write down far more points from the notes they have thus ensuring a higher mark than if they were blanking out on a closed book exam or worse writing down incorrectly remembered wrong points. It's also amusing to see some closed book profs (who tend to be poor lecturers) practically read off directly from their notes or casebook during the whole lecture, and whenever they don't stick to their script, they ramble on about some side topic confusing themselves, and of course never finish the class on time.


Edited by StudentLife, 30 December 2016 - 12:39 PM.


#44 StudentLife

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:44 PM

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.

 

I'm shocked, shocked to find that I am close to finishing law school!

Don’t worry about me, sitting at about a B+ average this year and finding it easy and fun. The last year is probably the easiest by far, the first the hardest. In fact the first and last years have almost nothing in common.

But like I said, some have not been so fortunate. I don’t see them posting on here though.

In their honour. For those forgotten and left behind law students and former law students.

 

See my reply to theVelvetFog above for the counter to your post. U of A is not U of T or Osgoode. If it was we'd probably have pass/fail courses by now.


Edited by StudentLife, 30 December 2016 - 12:49 PM.


#45 Hegdis

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 07:42 PM

StudentLife, no one gets a gold star for effort. Expecting that kind of grading for a law school exam is silly.

You need to know the material so you can represent your clients competently. Not so you can get recognition for whether or not you "tried your best". If my lawyer screws up my real estate transaction I don't care that they really really tried when the guy the office over who would have done it properly never cracked open a textbook. I want competence. Not effort.
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#46 erinl2

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 07:49 PM

StudentLife,  I just had a long reply that disappeared and I honestly can't be bothered to type it all out again. So, all I have to say is that I think you are in for a shock when you actually get out into the working world and start practicing.  Effort is not what clients, or employers, are looking for in a lawyer.


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#47 pzabbythesecond

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:43 PM

Didn't fail torts. But I did get beat by the average of the class though (average being B-).

On the plus side, I somehow managed an A- too.

Has anyone went from such variable grades to being more consistent come the final? If so, what strategies did you take?

#48 neymarsr

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:48 PM

Adderall...jk

I went from A's and B's to almost all A's. Pretty much all I changed was that I made sure to be at school at 8 am every morning to review CANS and my notes on the classes I had that day so that I was prepared for what we would be learning in class.

Sadly I took on more commitments and didn't have time to do that this semester. Back to the B's :(
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#49 Diplock

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 02:50 AM

How did I miss this awesome thread until now?

 

@StudentLife - Go read Death of a Salesman. Seriously. There's almost no point trying to refute your viewpoint, which is both the absurdity and the enduring power of it. If you insist on just believing that there are mysterious forces at work all over the place, and nothing actually works the way anyone claims it works, and that secretly the entire world runs on favors, nepotism, and sucking up ... there's really no way to argue with you. Because no matter what rule or policy or norm we point to, you'll just turn around and call us all suckers for believing it.

 

All that's really left is observable reality. And that's exactly the tragedy at the heart of Death of a Salesman. In the end, our "hero" is left utterly baffled by a world that doesn't make sense to him. He thought he knew what it takes to get ahead, but he finds he isn't ahead, and that his son isn't ahead, and that people he always considered to be suckers are out there achieving things while he's just stuck. And you can call it bad luck or put it back on the theory that everyone else has a secret "in" that you lack. But at some point you can also, just maybe, confront the possibility that you were wrong in the first place.

 

I work with rules and systems for a living. So does every lawyer here. And you know what I've found to be true? The large majority of the time, systems and rules work the way they say they work. And the minority of the time when they don't, it isn't because people have secret favorites, it's usually just that things are screwed up. Absolutely it helps to cultivate relationships and to not be a douchebag. But that comes after you do things right, and work within the system. It's the cherry on top of being good at the job in substantial ways - it isn't the whole job.

 

Dude. Learn. There's a reason Death of a Salesman is a heart-rending tragedy.


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#50 providence

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 12:52 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.

 

I had one friend in law school who got Fs and had to re-write.

 

My suspicion is that the friend had some undiagnosed medical issues.  I don't think this was ever verified but it seemed obvious to me from my layperson's perspective.

 

The friend essentially did not study at all, asked me for a summary the day before the exam because they hadn't done their own, and didn't seem to understand even the basic cases.  ie. for admin, if you knew Baker and Dunsmuir, you weren't going to fail.  You could get a D if that's all you knew, but if you at least knew those and applied them half-decently, that was a pass.  This person didn't know Baker and Dunsmuir.  They had missed a lot of class, never done the readings and tried to learn everything from my notes.

 

A prof also told me when I was in law school that they had failed someone who left the exam an hour early.  The prof suggested they sit down and write more because it wasn't possible to finish that fast, but they insisted that they were done.  The prof had one F grade.  They didn't know who it was, but then the person came to their office complaining that they got an F, and it was the person who left early.