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Author Topic: What constitutes "good grades"?  (Read 13197 times)

Specks

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What constitutes "good grades"?
« on: February 13, 2009, 01:50:04 PM »
My school hasn't ranked us yet as that won't happen until the end of the year, but I'm freaking out about staying in the top third of the class. I go to UNLV and they have a B curve. So in a B curve, what is considered a good grade/ very good grade? How much are B+ and A- really worth? It would be great if someone would tell me. I don't need specifics I just mean generally, if you were at a B curve school, what would grades mean to you? Also, what would be a very good GPA?

jbakguy

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 03:00:29 PM »
My school publishes the GPA cutoffs for top 5% 10% 50% etc. from the last 3 years on their website under "rankings and honors." Ask someone at your school what the cutoffs for certain percentiles were last year and you will get an idea of where you are at.

I was going to post a link from the UNLV Site, but there doesn't seem to be a search box. Weird.
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unlvcrjchick

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 04:34:36 PM »
My school hasn't ranked us yet as that won't happen until the end of the year, but I'm freaking out about staying in the top third of the class. I go to UNLV and they have a B curve. So in a B curve, what is considered a good grade/ very good grade? How much are B+ and A- really worth? It would be great if someone would tell me. I don't need specifics I just mean generally, if you were at a B curve school, what would grades mean to you? Also, what would be a very good GPA?

I went to UNLV (duh because of my user name), and they only rank those in the top one-third of the class.  Thus, you could take that to mean that only those who rank in the top one-third have "good" grades.  So for this reason, rank is considered more important than GPA, a fact that is reiterated by those legal employers who ask you to disclose your class rank as opposed to your GPA.  However, I have seen some employers who won't grant you an interview unless you have a GPA of at least 3.0.  This is a sobering fact, especially for us law students who were part time:  the part-time students are ranked together with the full-timers upon graduation.  This is inherently unfair because full-timers have higher GPA's as a whole because they don't have jobs during the day:  their only job is attending law school.  For this reason, I was ranked after my 2nd year of law school but was just shut out of the ranking in my last year.  UNLV really needs to reconsider this policy, as well as their policy of ranking only those in the top one-third:  everyone is entitled to know where he/she stands among his/her fellow students.

vap

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 05:18:21 PM »
http://www.nalplawschoolsonline.org/

MINIMUM GRADE REQUIRED TO ATTAIN (Based on May 2007 graduation class)
Top 10%:    3.39
Top 25%:    3.16
Top 33%:    3.06
Top 50%:    2.89
Top 75%:    2.64

vap

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 05:31:48 PM »
This is a sobering fact, especially for us law students who were part time:  the part-time students are ranked together with the full-timers upon graduation.  This is inherently unfair because full-timers have higher GPA's as a whole because they don't have jobs during the day:  their only job is attending law school.  For this reason, I was ranked after my 2nd year of law school but was just shut out of the ranking in my last year.  UNLV really needs to reconsider this policy, as well as their policy of ranking only those in the top one-third:  everyone is entitled to know where he/she stands among his/her fellow students.

1) Are you taking classes with full-time students?  It doesn't seem unfair if you're only taking classes with other people who are working full time jobs.  You're graded on a curve, so even though your exam might be worse than a day student's, you'll get a higher grades.  Roughly the top 10% from each group (full- and part-time) should make up the top 10% of the class.

2) Schools that don't rank generally offer better career prospects for their students.  (I remember reading a study on this, but I tried to Google it and can't seem to find it now).  Rather than asking to know where you stand, it would probably be better to rank no one or just top 10%.

Bizarro Jerry

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 06:00:36 PM »
the part-time students are ranked together with the full-timers upon graduation.  This is inherently unfair because full-timers have higher GPA's as a whole because they don't have jobs during the day:  their only job is attending law school. 

By the same logic, it could be argued that us full-timers shouldn't have your part-time grades mixed into our rankings, as it could be much easier for you to succeed since you're only having to take a couple classes at a time, whereas we take 5-6.

Alternatively, many part-time law students don't work full time - thus have benefits of both - a lighter load and more time to do the work. 

So are you saying part-timers should be ranked alone or that they should have separate rankings for part-timers who work full-time, part-timers who don't work, full-timers who work part-time, full-timers who don't work, etc...?

UnbelievablyTired

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 06:40:48 PM »
Good and Very Good are relative terms.  I'm also at UNLV, and a 1L.  As for the part-timer comment, wow.  Your tests weren't lumped together with full-timers, just other part-timers.  Be thankful for that. 

It is interesting that we aren't ranked after our first semester, and by interesting I mean retarded.  Good luck this semester! 

PS.  What section are you in?  I'm in section 1...peekaboo!

Rule of Reason

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 08:10:53 PM »
Here's my two cents:

If the average in a curved class is consistently a "B" (3.0) you should consider that combined with the relative weight of uncurved classes, and what you might speculate the approximate average is in those classes.

So if during your first year you have 24 hours worth of curved classes where the avg. is a "B" (3.0) and 6 hours of uncurved classes where the average is an "A-" /3.67, then the median is around a 3.13.

Those uncurved classes are kind of the oddball factor in class rank, in my opinion. 

And the fact that those classes tend to be somewhat controlled during the first year is probably a big reason why the OCI firms, for better or worse, judge students based on first year grades.  /rant

unlvcrjchick

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2009, 09:25:20 PM »
I'm saying part-timers should be ranked with only other part-timers.  The whole point of the ranking system is to be ranked with one's peers, and one's peers in the part-time program are other part-timers.  I don't find anything unfair about that.  Think about it:  full-time students have nothing else to focus on but law school, whereas the part-time students, most of whom do work full time and have familes, have to devote most of their time to the former priorities.  Thus, their grades tend to be lower than the full-timers, and this is true of those students in the part-time class who are the best performers among the part-timers.  For instance, the person who was ranked number 1 among the part-timers in my class (part-timers ARE ranked with just other part-timers throughout law school until the very last year) was ranked only in the top one-third of everyone (including the full-timers).  I find this to be inherently unfair. 

Someone above mentioned that it isn't unfair if part-timers are ranked only with other part-timers.  Well, like I already said, that IS the case at UNLV, until the very last year when EVERYONE is lumped together.  And you would think that the top 10% from the day and night students would be ranked in the top 10% of the entire class, but you would be wrong (see my example above about the student ranked number 1 who just made it into the top one-third).  There are only 2 or 3 other part-timers I know of in my class who were ranked in the top one-third upon graduation.

BTW, in response to someone's question about my current class status, I graduated in May 2008 and passed the NV bar exam in Oct. 2008. 

the part-time students are ranked together with the full-timers upon graduation.  This is inherently unfair because full-timers have higher GPA's as a whole because they don't have jobs during the day:  their only job is attending law school. 

By the same logic, it could be argued that us full-timers shouldn't have your part-time grades mixed into our rankings, as it could be much easier for you to succeed since you're only having to take a couple classes at a time, whereas we take 5-6.

Alternatively, many part-time law students don't work full time - thus have benefits of both - a lighter load and more time to do the work. 

So are you saying part-timers should be ranked alone or that they should have separate rankings for part-timers who work full-time, part-timers who don't work, full-timers who work part-time, full-timers who don't work, etc...?

jbakguy

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Re: What constitutes "good grades"?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2009, 10:03:04 AM »
I'm saying part-timers should be ranked with only other part-timers.  The whole point of the ranking system is to be ranked with one's peers, and one's peers in the part-time program are other part-timers. 

I disagree. The whole point of ranking (IMHO), at least following 1L, is to sort out how a group of students learning the same material, or in large part the same material as part timers at my school take 1 less class, and rank each students performance in comparison with others learning the same material.

Thus, (again IMHO) your 'peers' as a student are those learning the same material as you, not those with similar class scheduling. 

I have the utmost respect for the strength and focus it must take to work 40 hours, manage a family and find time to study. That being said, I don't think that someone who outperforms the 50 students in their section should have the same #1 as the person who beats out 200 students in several sections. Grades are grades.
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