Law School Discussion

Can't shake the bad feelings after first exam .... help?

Can't shake the bad feelings after first exam .... help?
« on: December 12, 2007, 11:17:48 AM »
Hey everyone.  Just finished my first exam this morning - torts.

Set-up - 6 "short" answer questions in 3 1/2 hours.

Now, torts has been my absolute favorite subject all semester, and I studied and felt like I knew everything, but I thought the exam was VERY hard.  Everyone agrees that it was difficult, and seemed to have some random things in there, and NOT some things that we had studied a lot in class.  Blah.

I felt it was hard, but I gave it my all, and finished in time.

But now I just feel so AWFUL about it.  Probably b/c I couldn't help but overhear others post mortem-ing and realized that not only had I missed a couple things (which I assumed I would), but I think I got a couple things WRONG (just due to stress and not reading correctly ... stupid contractor/subcontractor respondeat superior thing that I do NOT want to go into!)  But, on the other hand, a couple people didn't even finish the exam ... so ... I don't know.

And now I just feel super depressed and like I want to cry, but I've got to get ready for civ pro, con law, and contracts (you know the deal!)

How can I shake this feeling?

I keep telling myself that it doesn't matter ... and even if you are in the bottom percentage of the class you can still be a lawyer, but ... you know, it's just so hard, b/c none of us are used to failure (in terms of grades).  I'm afraid that I will do horribly (like ... below the gentleman's C even).

Am I just freaking out too much?  How do I shake this feeling and get over it?  I'm never usually like this ... usually I'm like "it's out of my hands, so oh well!"  .... ughhhhh.



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Re: Can't shake the bad feelings after first exam .... help?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2007, 11:46:46 AM »
Just remember, you've got 3 more chances to rock out!  You can do it.  :)

Re: Can't shake the bad feelings after first exam .... help?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 11:48:30 AM »
umm... its tough, ive been there myself many times.  I am a 2L this year, and have had serious breakdowns after about half of my exams first year.  The best thing is to try really really hard not to talk about issue spotting stuff after the exam.  Also, think of yourself as smart and just accept that you did your best.  you probably spotted issues others didnt and they probably did the same.  I was just discussing an exam with my buddy yesterday.  we are both at the top of our class with great jobs lined up with big firms.  Anyway, we both took completely different approaches at analyzing two of the major issues on the exam.  We actually applied completely separate rules of law to each.  Not because one of us is stupid, but because the law is like that.  The great thing about being a lawyer is that two people can argue each thing differently.  There really are no right or wrong answers.  So, you are probably hard on yourself with respect to whether you were right or wrong.  Also, if everyone agrees it was hard, which torts exams typically are (too many issues, too little time) then you are all in the same boat.  Brush it off and move on.  law school is full of disappointments and you cannot let it get to you.  you compete with very intelligent people (at most schools anyway) and your best will not always be good enough regardless of how intelligent/hardworking you are. 

So, get to studying for those next exams and dont ever think about that exam again.  Its over.  you did your best, you studied hard, you missed issues, but that is that is the way all torts exams are.  everyone misses something. 

its hard to shake it, but you dont really have time to dwell so brush it off. 

Re: Can't shake the bad feelings after first exam .... help?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2007, 11:53:11 AM »
Thanks a bunch :)

Re: Can't shake the bad feelings after first exam .... help?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2007, 12:10:53 PM »
Everybody has those feelings. You CAN'T let them affect your performance! Instead of one "off" exam (assuming it was off, which you don't know), you can have 4. You're probably on a forced curve, so how you did gradewise depends on how everybody else did. If you prepared you did all you could do anyway.

I remember, way back 1L year, my property final was 100% objective questions, I think 50 or so. It was HARD! I went in thinking I knew property back and forth, and after that exam I had full confidence in maybe 10-15 answers. I spent the whole Christmas break thinking about how I was going to get an F on property. I got an A, with only around 80% correct. And on my Crim final, where I was sure I spotted every issue, argument and defense, and was patting myself on the back for a sure-fire A, I got a B+ (was still happy with that, you can do alot worse at my school). The property exam was hard for EVERYBODY, and the Crim exam was straightforward for just about EVERYBODY.

So let yourself off the hook, and for goodness' sake don't screw up the rest of your exams by worrying too much about one that's ALREADY OVER anyway.

Good luck.


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Re: Can't shake the bad feelings after first exam .... help?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2007, 11:20:54 PM »
Listening to others (even accidentally) = a bad idea.

Even the 4.0 student will always miss some issues and always get some things wrong on an essay exam...without exception.  I can't tell you how many times I've overheard others' post-mortems and began freaking out only to realize later that they were wrong.  Just relax and be glad that you're done with it.  It is what it is now and there's nothing you can do.  Also, whether it was easy or hard typically won't change grades that much because it's easy/hard for everyone.