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harveyspecter993

How do people get A+ averages in law school?

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56 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

When you talk about wise course selection, do you mean picking courses which gunners wouldn't typically take?

No. Anybody smart enough to graduate with an A+ average isn’t going to need to have worried about avoiding certain classes. Think about it – to get an A+ average, you realistically need a mid to high A average in 1L. That means they’ve already gone up against the gunners in 1L and came out on top. 

I fully disagree with pretty much all the other factors @Toad suggested, too. It’s going to boil down to intelligence and exam/essay writing ability, plus a bare minimum level of work ethic. 

Asking “what does it take to get an A+ average” is really the same thing as asking “what does it take to get an A+“ a bunch of times. And the answer to the second question is intelligence plus exam or essay writing ability, plus the bare minimum level of work ethic needed to review a good summary or create your own. So logically, the answer to the first question is the same thing, but a bunch of times. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois

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This also really depends on school, many schools simply don't give out many A+'s. For example one of my good friends got a class award in evidence at Uvic with an A-. 

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McGill classes often have B+ as their highest grade given. It's actually very rare for an A to be given outside of a black letter 1L course. An A- average all but guarantees you the gold medal; normally the gold medalist has a GPA lower than that.

16 minutes ago, Mal said:

This also really depends on school, many schools simply don't give out many A+'s. For example one of my good friends got a class award in evidence at Uvic with an A-. 

Agreed.

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1 hour ago, pzabbythesecond said:

McGill classes often have B+ as their highest grade given. It's actually very rare for an A to be given outside of a black letter 1L course. An A- average all but guarantees you the gold medal; normally the gold medalist has a GPA lower than that.

Agreed.

So you pay peanuts for tuition and can get a course prize with a B+. Man I wish I could speak French.

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Just now, harveyspecter993 said:

So you pay peanuts for tuition and can get a course prize with a B+. Man I wish I could speak French.

Trust me. No one likes the classes with B+ as the maximum, because you don't have a chance to get an A while someone else in another class does. And at the end of the day your class ranking is based on a GPA scale, not how many class prizes you got.

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5 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

No. Anybody smart enough to graduate with an A+ average isn’t going to need to have worried about avoiding certain classes. Think about it – to get an A+ average, you realistically need a mid to high A average in 1L. That means they’ve already gone up against the gunners in 1L and came out on top. 

I fully disagree with pretty much all the other factors @Toad suggested, too. It’s going to boil down to intelligence and exam/essay writing ability, plus a bare minimum level of work ethic. 

Asking “what does it take to get an A+ average” is really the same thing as asking “what does it take to get an A+“ a bunch of times. And the answer to the second question is intelligence plus exam or essay writing ability, plus the bare minimum level of work ethic needed to review a good summary or create your own. So logically, the answer to the first question is the same thing, but a bunch of times. 

Eek, not sure what you mean by bare minimum work ethic, although you've perhaps elaborated a bit with your reference to "needed to review a good summary or create your own". But as someone who knows a few medalists (although not intimately), work ethic is a core component of their academic performance. It is certainly no where near what I would call "bare minimum". They're all absolutely among the hardest workers (not saying that there aren't students that work harder, there may be?). 

I think I may also disagree with the "greater interest in the work/law" hypothesis as well. I'm not sure I've noticed this having anything to do with it (re: what the other poster mentioned)

Edited by HouseOfPolycarbonate

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There's definitely ways to hedge your bets a bit if you want a better chance at getting A+ marks, but its still not a guarantee. At TRU the tenured profs rarely, as in I have never seen it happen, give out any A+ marks. Some of the sessional profs will hand out one or two per class. But those profs have also given out corresponding Ds in the class. There is also a chance to get an A+ if you take a course that is small enough that no curve is applied to it.

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53 minutes ago, HouseOfPolycarbonate said:

Eek, not sure what you mean by bare minimum work ethic, although you've perhaps elaborated a bit with your reference to "needed to review a good summary or create your own". But as someone who knows a few medalists (although not intimately), work ethic is a core component of their academic performance. It is certainly no where near what I would call "bare minimum". They're all absolutely among the hardest workers (not saying that there aren't students that work harder, there may be?). 

From personal experience, I don't think that's true. Work ethic was a core component of my undergraduate performance, but it's had literally no effect on my law school performance. If anything, the more I've sat back the better I've done. 

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7 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

From personal experience, I don't think that's true. Work ethic was a core component of my undergraduate performance, but it's had literally no effect on my law school performance. If anything, the more I've sat back the better I've done. 

Oh that's very interesting then. Maybe you're in the minority then? I'm not sure how their workloads compare to undergrad, but I certainly wouldn't call their work ethic bare minimum (it's far from that).


Edit, perhaps they'd do as well if they reduced their workload? I am not sure, but they don't seem to have tried that (at least on the surface from what I can see).

Edited by HouseOfPolycarbonate

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16 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

If anything, the more I've sat back the better I've done. 

I feel this. My best mark so far came from an exam I walked out of early because i just didn't want to write anymore.

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I don't know of A+ averages, but I know people got A averages.

But what I'm surprised no one mentioned, is that these are just simply smarter people. There's no secret they have. They probably work just as hard, or even less, than other students. They just grasp the material better, have higher intellect, can spot issues then analyze more efficiently and quickly then most, and are skilled at writing a law school exam. Its kind of just in them - they just intuitively have better competence. 

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1 hour ago, advantagepackage said:

I don't know of A+ averages, but I know people got A averages.

But what I'm surprised no one mentioned, is that these are just simply smarter people. There's no secret they have. They probably work just as hard, or even less, than other students. They just grasp the material better, have higher intellect, can spot issues then analyze more efficiently and quickly then most, and are skilled at writing a law school exam. Its kind of just in them - they just intuitively have better competence. 

Dude, I’ve said like 15 times that it comes down to intelligence. 

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I disagree that it comes down to intelligence. Yes, you need to have a certain level of intelligence in order to understand and apply complex concepts in the law, but working smart is the difference. What really matters is studying properly (i.e. making summaries and knowing the facts of each case inside out, making efficient frameworks that have all the information you need for an exam without having to refer to your summary but also ensuring there isn't too much information that you aren't able to regurgitate it on an exam in the allotted timeframe, etc.), being able to understand the professor's viewpoint and incorporating their view on the law subtly in your answer (yes, people have subconscious biases; if you conform to their views on the law, professors will have an easier time finding grades in your exam/paper), gaining those valuable participation grades if applicable, etc. Most of the people on the dean's list at my school don't spend all day in the library. They do put in a substantial amount of time into learning and synchronizing the material, but it's more important to study smart.

Edit: also recognizing where you need to spend the majority of your time on, since it is obviously limited. For instance, if you have an 81.5% in a class after December exams, chances are you won't be able to raise it to 84.5% which is the next shade of a grade. Put less time into this, because you can get away with getting a B+ on the final and still receiving an A-. Meanwhile, for that class you have a 78% in, you need to work hard to get that grade to an A-, which is entirely do-able with a relatively heavy final.

Edited by georgecostanzajr
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6 hours ago, georgecostanzajr said:

I disagree that it comes down to intelligence. Yes, you need to have a certain level of intelligence in order to understand and apply complex concepts in the law, but working smart is the difference. What really matters is studying properly (i.e. making summaries and knowing the facts of each case inside out, making efficient frameworks that have all the information you need for an exam without having to refer to your summary but also ensuring there isn't too much information that you aren't able to regurgitate it on an exam in the allotted timeframe, etc.), being able to understand the professor's viewpoint and incorporating their view on the law subtly in your answer (yes, people have subconscious biases; if you conform to their views on the law, professors will have an easier time finding grades in your exam/paper), gaining those valuable participation grades if applicable, etc. Most of the people on the dean's list at my school don't spend all day in the library. They do put in a substantial amount of time into learning and synchronizing the material, but it's more important to study smart.

Edit: also recognizing where you need to spend the majority of your time on, since it is obviously limited. For instance, if you have an 81.5% in a class after December exams, chances are you won't be able to raise it to 84.5% which is the next shade of a grade. Put less time into this, because you can get away with getting a B+ on the final and still receiving an A-. Meanwhile, for that class you have a 78% in, you need to work hard to get that grade to an A-, which is entirely do-able with a relatively heavy final.

I don't remember being this strategic. I just did the reading/work assigned until I felt that I knew the law in that area. I would take summaries already made but heavily modify them (I mostly just hated to work on formatting). Then twice a year I would write about what I learned. I also left every exam I ever took early (including the bar exam). 

I'm only saying this so that people who are reading this don't think there is some key to all of this that is anything more than doing what works for you. 

Edit: I should also say that I'm not even a practising lawyer anymore and havent been for years so if success for you is defined as being a lawyer then maybe being a medallist isn't necessarily important to that overall goal. 

Edited by Adrian
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5 hours ago, Adrian said:

I don't remember being this strategic. I just did the reading/work assigned until I felt that I knew the law in that area. I would take summaries already made but heavily modify them (I mostly just hated to work on formatting). Then twice a year I would write about what I learned. I also left every exam I ever took early (including the bar exam). 

I'm only saying this so that people who are reading this don't think there is some key to all of this that is anything more than doing what works for you. 

Edit: I should also say that I'm not even a practising lawyer anymore and havent been for years so if success for you is defined as being a lawyer then maybe being a medallist isn't necessarily important to that overall goal. 

Different people have different strategies, but if you want to be in the absolute top, it's in your interest to take advantage of every strategy to get the highest GPA possible. I strongly believe that being strategic makes a difference (perhaps not a huge difference, but enough to affect your overall GPA). But yes, I do agree with you that being a medalist is not very important for most people.

Edited by georgecostanzajr

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4 hours ago, georgecostanzajr said:

Different people have different strategies, but if you want to be in the absolute top, it's in your interest to take advantage of every strategy to get the highest GPA possible. I strongly believe that being strategic makes a difference (perhaps not a huge difference, but enough to affect your overall GPA). But yes, I do agree with you that being a medalist is not very important for most people.

I can assure you, no one who gets a medal is taking any strategy designed to maximize their grades other than picking courses that interest them with grading styles that suit them (mainly, paper vs exam courses). 

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4 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

I can assure you, no one who gets a medal is taking any strategy designed to maximize their grades other than picking courses that interest them with grading styles that suit them (mainly, paper vs exam courses). 

I can assure you, I know of at least two people currently doing exactly this.

If the means are there to get to a goal that is otherwise uncertain, there will always be people who take advantage of those means to get to their end.

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On 11/14/2019 at 9:34 PM, harveyspecter993 said:

Do they just have genius level IQ or is it a matter of working harder than everyone else. 

when i get home i study. its sad. i dont have a social life.

i have an A- average and property law is disgusting 

@AutumnBleed

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Complete aside, but Forensic’s recent push to make it look like they’re in law school after @Diplock called them out for appearing to have never gotten into law school is hilarious to me. 

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Good lord the debate here is ridiculous. Why is everybody arguing as if there's one possibility? I'm sure there's been at least one gold medalist who was a genius with perfect recall that didn't have to study once, one who was a moderately intelligent but incredibly diligent student who lived in the library, and one that was a crafty strategist who took the easiest courses and researched precisely what the profs were looking for. Plus any combination of the three. 

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