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GeraltofRivia

What is considered a good grade?

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Hey 1L here...

Just got my first paper back and it's a B+.  Definitely accustomed to higher in my past experiences, especially given the professor's feedback.  I was told that law profs are very difficult graders, so I just want to know how a B+ is perceived, and what extra effort would be needed to cross the A threshold.

Thanks!

Edited by GeraltofRivia

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4 minutes ago, GeraltofRivia said:

Hey 1L here...

Just got my first paper back and it's a B+.  Definitely accustomed to higher in my past experiences, especially given the professor's feedback.  I was told that law profs are very difficult graders, so I just want to know how a B+ is perceived, and what extra effort would be needed to cross the A threshold.

Thanks!

B+ should be above course average. 

Edited by Luckycharm
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4 hours ago, GeraltofRivia said:

and what extra effort would be needed to cross the A threshold.

Thanks!

That's something to ask your prof

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5 hours ago, GeraltofRivia said:

Hey 1L here...

Just got my first paper back and it's a B+.  Definitely accustomed to higher in my past experiences, especially given the professor's feedback.  I was told that law profs are very difficult graders, so I just want to know how a B+ is perceived, and what extra effort would be needed to cross the A threshold.

Thanks!

 That is a tough one. 

If there is an A curve at your school, you're probably not looking too good. 

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All law students are used to getting As in undergrad. But they can't all get As in law school. It's much more difficult to get high grades when you're only competing against other high achievers.

You should expect your law school grades to be lower than your undergrad grades. Law professors are very difficult graders. Indeed, one of my law professors gave a big speech to the class justifying grade deflation, and he stated flat-out that "your law school grades will not reflect the hard work you put in."

A B+ is fine, and there's probably nothing you could have done to get an A.

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7 hours ago, prohacvice said:

All law students are used to getting As in undergrad. But they can't all get As in law school. It's much more difficult to get high grades when you're only competing against other high achievers.

You should expect your law school grades to be lower than your undergrad grades. Law professors are very difficult graders. Indeed, one of my law professors gave a big speech to the class justifying grade deflation, and he stated flat-out that "your law school grades will not reflect the hard work you put in."

A B+ is fine, and there's probably nothing you could have done to get an A.

You are doing really good if all your grades are B+

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Look at it this way. 

At Ottawa U a B+ is a 7.0 and an A- is an 8.0. An A is a 9.0. 

Anything above an 8.0 is Magda Cum Laude. At my graduation I think there were less than 15 students who graduated with those honours. Less than 15 students, out of 300, had an A- average. I think less than 5 graduated with Summa Cum Laude which is over 8.5. 

Also at Ottawa U, generally 7.5 is top 10%. So, about 30 students have an average between a B+ and an A-. 

All of that to say that getting an A in any course at Ottawa U is extremely difficult (in fact, in several of my courses the highest mark given out was an A-). At Ottawa U a B+ is a good grade. Generally it means that you have done better than your colleagues.  

Edited by TheScientist101
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3 hours ago, TheScientist101 said:

Look at it this way. 

At Ottawa U a B+ is a 7.0 and an A- is an 8.0. An A is a 9.0. 

Anything above an 8.0 is Magda Cum Laude. At my graduation I think there were less than 15 students who graduated with those honours. Less than 15 students, out of 300, had an A- average. I think less than 5 graduated with Summa Cum Laude which is over 8.5. 

Also at Ottawa U, generally 7.5 is top 10%. So, about 30 students have an average between a B+ and an A-. 

All of that to say that getting an A in any course at Ottawa U is extremely difficult (in fact, in several of my courses the highest mark given out was an A-). At Ottawa U a B+ is a good grade. Generally it means that you have done better than your colleagues.  

I want to say that about 1/3rd of my class at graduation a few years ago had at least cum laude which is a GPA of 7.5.

That could be more of a felt reality though, since the names with latin honours stood out a bit more than those without. I would kinda like to see the actual numbers on that.

Edited by lluzifer

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19 hours ago, GeraltofRivia said:

"I was told that law profs are very difficult graders"

This isn't the issue.  The issue is that law professors are generally expected to apply a B curve to a group of generally very strong students.  What would have warranted a much higher grade in undergrad by necessity becomes a B in law school.

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1 hour ago, lluzifer said:

I want to say that about 1/3rd of my class at graduation a few years ago had at least cum laude which is a GPA of 7.5.

That could be more of a felt reality though, since the names with latin honours stood out a bit more than those without. I would kinda like to see the actual numbers on that.

Cum laude is 7.0 - 8.0. It's a massive gap that always rubbed me the wrong way (i.e - my average was between 7.5 - 8.0 and I would have liked the bar to be set at 7.5 so as to not "lump too many people in" so to speak). 

So, when you think about it your experience makes sense - generally I've heard that B+ is about top 25% of the class, I would say 30% is a little high but not out of the realm of possibility. At my convocation I would guess it was also between 25-30% of students who received Latin honours.  

 

Edited by TheScientist101
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1 hour ago, ProfReader said:

This isn't the issue.  The issue is that law professors are generally expected to apply a B curve to a group of generally very strong students.  What would have warranted a much higher grade in undergrad by necessity becomes a B in law school.

I always wondered what would happen if a group of students got together and uniformly decided to do poorly on an exam. Would it mean by default we all got a B? (I tried to conspire that strategy in my first year small group class - but my colleagues weren't as resolute as I was in implementing the scheme). 

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24 minutes ago, TheScientist101 said:

I always wondered what would happen if a group of students got together and uniformly decided to do poorly on an exam. Would it mean by default we all got a B? (I tried to conspire that strategy in my first year small group class - but my colleagues weren't as resolute as I was in implementing the scheme). 

Not in law school but first degree, one math prof was asked by a student about the curve something like, so if we all do terribly, we'll still get okay marks because of the curve?

To which his reply was something like (not an actual quote, approximate): "No, I had a class of 30 students once I failed everyone. They were lazy and didn't do the work they needed to pass. So I just told the administration they were lazy and all deserved to fail, that was all I needed to do."

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3 hours ago, TheScientist101 said:

I always wondered what would happen if a group of students got together and uniformly decided to do poorly on an exam. Would it mean by default we all got a B? (I tried to conspire that strategy in my first year small group class - but my colleagues weren't as resolute as I was in implementing the scheme). 

If it was a midterm or something, I would fail them all in hopes that they would be scared straight.  If it was a final, it would be trickier, but you can still explain to the faculty why you should be able to deviate from the curve and they can grant permission.

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On 11/6/2018 at 5:51 PM, GeraltofRivia said:

Hey 1L here...

Just got my first paper back and it's a B+.  Definitely accustomed to higher in my past experiences, especially given the professor's feedback.  I was told that law profs are very difficult graders, so I just want to know how a B+ is perceived, and what extra effort would be needed to cross the A threshold.

Thanks!

It’s my understanding that Ottawa is always curved to a B

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4 minutes ago, Progress12345 said:

It’s my understanding that Ottawa is always curved to a B

I thought it was B-

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Just now, Luckycharm said:

I thought it was B-

It's a B.  They don't even have a B- to my knowledge.

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2 minutes ago, ProfReader said:

It's a B.  They don't even have a B- to my knowledge.

You are right, they have A- but no B-

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13 hours ago, Progress12345 said:

It’s my understanding that Ottawa is always curved to a B

If we're being picky some courses are curved to a B others a B+  it depends on how many students are in the course (the smaller classes are curved to B+ and I think that Dispute Resolution is also to a B+). For classes of 4 or less there is no curve (so, for instance, Directed research projects, moots etc.)

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When applying to jobs through OCI and such, do they just see our letter grade? It seems weird that a student with a 70 in a course has the same grade on paper as a student with a 75.

Edited by chaboywb

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15 minutes ago, chaboywb said:

When applying to jobs through OCI and such, do they just see our letter grade? It seems weird that a student with a 70 in a course has the same grade on paper as a student with a 75.

Tons of schools work this way.  Not just law schools, but many, many undergrad programs only show letter grades.  At most schools a 70 and a 75 aren't the same grade though.  A 75 is generally a B+.   But if we say a 70 and a 74, which are both Bs, there is generally very little difference between those two exams in law school.

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