Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: kill me on April 28, 2009, 10:02:33 AM

Title: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: kill me on April 28, 2009, 10:02:33 AM
It was a three-part, three-hour exam.  First part had a time-suggestion of one hour, second had a time suggestion of 1.5 hours.  Third part had a time suggestion of 1 hour.  Only wrote 1 sentence in response to the third part.  The parts I did complete were pretty lackluster.  Anyone have this experience?  How many fails does a student typically get before he can't retake the courses anymore and gets booted?  I feel like crap.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: Dr. Balsenschaft on April 28, 2009, 10:06:54 AM
That sucks.  I know this sounds lame, but see if you can complain because the time suggestions threw you off.  Last time I checked 1 + 1.5 + 1 = 3.5, not 3.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: RobWreck on April 28, 2009, 10:11:46 AM
Only wrote 1 sentance for 1/3rd of the exam? Things are not looking bright for you, my friend... whether you've taken a hit for the rest of your classmates by volunteering to suck up an 'F' will depend alot on how well you answered those other 2 questions. Of course, the performance of your classmates will really determine your overall mark, but not all those potential points you forfeited will be hard to overcome.
Regardless, your school's student handbook, which is usually available online, should explain their particular policy on failing grades and retakes...
Best of luck,
Rob

PS: Assuming that this wasn't your last final, you really need to figure out what went wrong. Did you blank on that last question? Run out of time answering the first two? Whatever was the problem, you CANNOT repeat it on your next exam. Don't worry about this one's grade right now... you'll have plenty of time after finals to worry about your grade. For now, just focus on your remaining exams since this one is now beyond your ability to influence it...
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on April 28, 2009, 10:55:38 AM
Eh. Hard to say. Also depends where you go to school.

On my civ pro exam as a 1L, after spending 45 minutes pondering what to write/crying in the bathroom for the third question (the one allocated the most time), I got down 7 or 8 sentences before time was called, and I did just fine. It could go either way, depending on the performance of the rest of your class, etc. When I looked at the sample answer he posted for the question the following year in our exam bank, he noted that it was not a successful question. Maybe everyone else had a hard time with it, too.

It's pretty much impossible to judge what grade you'll get on an exam after the fact. Chances are it wasn't as bad as you thought - take this as a learning experience and try not to let it get in your way on your other exams.

That sucks.  I know this sounds lame, but see if you can complain because the time suggestions threw you off.  Last time I checked 1 + 1.5 + 1 = 3.5, not 3.


This...would not really accomplish anything, and just make you look silly/whiny/childish.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: Dr. Balsenschaft on April 28, 2009, 11:09:11 AM
That sucks.  I know this sounds lame, but see if you can complain because the time suggestions threw you off.  Last time I checked 1 + 1.5 + 1 = 3.5, not 3.


This...would not really accomplish anything, and just make you look silly/whiny/childish.

In the off chance that the professor might reconsider how the exam is graded, it's worth looking stupid (who cares what the professor or dean of students thinks?)  For instance, the professor could decide to count only two of the three parts.  I've never complained about an exam myself, but I've benefited twice in my law school career from what I thought were silly exam complaints made by classmates.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on April 28, 2009, 11:24:35 AM
Perhaps. But everyone was operating under the same instructions. I have a hard time seeing a professor saying anything but "oh, sorry." Maybe I'm wrong.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: Dr. Balsenschaft on April 28, 2009, 11:33:36 AM
Fair enough.  But shooting off an email to the professor and copying the dean of students would take 5 minutes.  Maybe other students ran into the same time-crunch as a result of the time suggestions. 
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: jack24 on April 28, 2009, 11:35:44 AM
I've been graded on 5 finals, so I'm not really an expert, but the harder the test, the better I seem to do.  The easier or more straitforward tests seem to trip me up just a bit because I spend too much time thinking when I should be typing.

It's possible to totally bomb a test, but it's more likely that there will be quite a few people in the same boat you're in.   I've heard a lot of people talk about screwing up on a test and so far all of them end up with a grade good enough to count toward graduation.

Sorry if that doesn't make sense.  I just finished an absolutely brutal Contracts II test (UCC)
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: SASS on April 28, 2009, 12:07:22 PM
Two Things:

1) My first year I thought I did really poorly on Civ Pro. In fact I was praying for at least a C. I ended up with the high grade in the class. I never speculate about how well I perform anymore.

2) I would challenge the format of the exam. But make sure you follow the school's policy for a challenge. I would ask the dean or the records office the proper way to challenge an exam so you don't breach anonymity. I have had see students successfully complain about much less. Here, you followed the rules which were completely misleading. I think it is at least worth being brought to someones attention.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on April 28, 2009, 12:24:32 PM
I don't think time suggestions constitute rules - they are suggestions, and indications of the relative weight of the portions of the exam. These are the kinds of things you should notice at the beginning of the exam, at which time you can probably ask that the professor be contacted for clarification. I just have a really hard time seeing how this is particularly unfair, or problematic to the point that it should be challenged. Everyone had the same instructions and the same suggestions. If it is really such an issue, then I don't think it's unreasonable to presume that many other students were impacted similarly, so (assuming a forced curve)...it shouldn't actually significantly impact grades.

I get that exams are high-stakes, particularly IN THIS ECONOMY, so I guess I can understand wanting to challenge it on the chance it helps, presuming anonymity is maintained. I just personally think it's whiny bull.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: SASS on April 28, 2009, 12:30:54 PM
I don't think time suggestions constitute rules - they are suggestions, and indications of the relative weight of the portions of the exam. These are the kinds of things you should notice at the beginning of the exam, at which time you can probably ask that the professor be contacted for clarification. I just have a really hard time seeing how this is particularly unfair, or problematic to the point that it should be challenged. Everyone had the same instructions and the same suggestions. If it is really such an issue, then I don't think it's unreasonable to presume that many other students were impacted similarly, so (assuming a forced curve)...it shouldn't actually significantly impact grades.

I get that exams are high-stakes, particularly IN THIS ECONOMY, so I guess I can understand wanting to challenge it on the chance it helps, presuming anonymity is maintained. I just personally think it's whiny bull.

Yeah, fair enough, time allocations are suggestions but I still think it is worth a challenge. I think it is a little unfair that the professor would put questions on an exam that s/he doesn't expect could be done in 3 hours. Like I said, I think it is at least worth being brought to someone's attention. Although, I have never challenged rules myself.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: bl825 on April 28, 2009, 12:44:29 PM
I agree that raising the issue of the time suggestions will be unproductive, at best.  And since it's all on a curve, it's hard to know how well you did.  It's perfectly possible that most people had the same issue.

Best to just see how it turns out rather than angsting about it.  :)
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on April 28, 2009, 12:49:38 PM
Cady is right, perhaps as usual.  On my Property exam, virtually everyone ran out of time for the third question.  People did fine, regardless.  It's a curve.

I would be worried only if everyone else got to the third question, and talks about their ample time in answering it.  Even then, I would be suspicious of what people say, and wouldn't let it affect me.

Also, let this be a lesson about taking time suggestions seriously; I make sure to take practice exams so I know how long it takes me to get through questions.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: jacy85 on April 28, 2009, 03:16:30 PM
I haven't read the entire thread, but need to respond to a person's suggestion that you email the professor.

DO NOT under any circumstances email the professor.  If you have a problem, go to the dean of students.  Your exam should be anonymous, and if you email the prof about any problems before grades are out, you may be violating the honor policy.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: DCLabor25 on April 29, 2009, 07:39:26 PM
I just want to second the notion that you should try not to panic too much.  I know that's hard -- and if I was in your shoes, I would probably panic.  So, I am better at giving this advice than following it myself!  But the bottom line is that the grade will be on a curve and it's just impossible to know what your classmates did.  And that's all that matters.  It's entirely possible that they didn't write much more for this question 3 or that they missed a lot of stuff on the first two questions.  I agree that not writing much is usually not a wise strategy, but if you struggled a lot with the test and you knew the material, then its very possible that everybody else struggled too.

Last semester, the test where I was sure I failed ended up being my best grade.  The test where I thought I did great ended up being my worst one.  And I think a lot of law school students have had the same experience......

Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: lawtransfer22 on May 02, 2009, 03:37:00 PM
While you shouldn't panic, you should be realistic. This is not a problem regarding your perception of how you did or whether you had a quality answer for the last question, it is a problem of not completing the exam. Have you talked to other students did they finish it or make substantial headway? If the majority did, you're probably in a bad spot. Fact is you gave away close to 1/3 of the possible points on the exam and meaning your max total is around 66-70% (if your first two answers where perfect, if you got say only 90% of the possible points on the 1st 2 you are looking at a max of about 59%) where even students who only got half the points on the last Q will be shooting for a max of 84%.
Title: Re: did I fail my civ pro exam?
Post by: jack24 on May 02, 2009, 07:11:09 PM
While you shouldn't panic, you should be realistic. This is not a problem regarding your perception of how you did or whether you had a quality answer for the last question, it is a problem of not completing the exam. Have you talked to other students did they finish it or make substantial headway? If the majority did, you're probably in a bad spot. Fact is you gave away close to 1/3 of the possible points on the exam and meaning your max total is around 66-70% (if your first two answers where perfect, if you got say only 90% of the possible points on the 1st 2 you are looking at a max of about 59%) where even students who only got half the points on the last Q will be shooting for a max of 84%.

You may have a good point, but this guy is talking about failing and asking about retaking classes.  If he is planning on an A, he might want to panic, But if he's okay with getting a  C, he's probably got a good shot.