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newlawgirl124

Law School Grading - Explanation

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Hi everyone,

I know this is kind of a dumb question, but I'm aiming to apply to law school in the fall and don't really understand the grading. In my undergrad none of our classes were graded on a curve (I know some business classes were). 

As someone who doesn't have a business background and isn't fantastic with numbers, I'm hoping someone here can explain to me in simple terms how the curved grading in law school works.

Also, I know different schools have different medians (B, B+), what is good vs. bad to have as a median?

Thanks in advance!!

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The curve has to do with grade distribution. The admin will decide for example:

in a class of 50, you can expect there to be

2 or 3 A+ grades

7 or 8 A grades

10 B+ grades

20 B grades 

10 grades of C+ or lower 

Profs would need admin’s permission to deviate substantially from this (I believe - @ProfReader please correct me if I’m wrong.) 

Different schools will determine the categories differently. Some schools will have the majority of grades be B+ (B+ curve), some will have the majority be B (B curve), etc. 

So professors have to find out a way to distinguish the top 10% or so for As or A+s or HHS, whatever the top grade is, which can be minute distinctions, and then everyone else is tiered down from there.

It means that if you get 90/100 on an exam, you don’t automatically get an A or A+. It could be a C if most of the rest of the class got 91 or higher. Conversely, 60/100 on a tough exam could be an A if most of the class got 59 or lower. Your performance is relative to that of your peers.

Edited by providence
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11 hours ago, providence said:

The curve has to do with grade distribution. The admin will decide for example:

in a class of 50, you can expect there to be

2 or 3 A+ grades

7 or 8 A grades

10 B+ grades

20 B grades 

10 grades of C+ or lower 

Profs would need admin’s permission to deviate substantially from this (I believe - @ProfReader please correct me if I’m wrong.) 

Different schools will determine the categories differently. Some schools will have the majority of grades be B+ (B+ curve), some will have the majority be B (B curve), etc. 

So professors have to find out a way to distinguish the top 10% or so for As or A+s or HHS, whatever the top grade is, which can be minute distinctions, and then everyone else is tiered down from there.

It means that if you get 90/100 on an exam, you don’t automatically get an A or A+. It could be a C if most of the rest of the class got 91 or higher. Conversely, 60/100 on a tough exam could be an A if most of the class got 59 or lower. Your performance is relative to that of your peers.

Yes, you generally need permission (everywhere that I've worked anyway).

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