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Author Topic: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?  (Read 15911 times)

HaveYouHeard1

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It seems like Third Tier law schools can do nothing right. In this semester’s Drake University Law School Business Associations exam taught by Professor Dore’s, the pages in the exam packets were so woefully out of order that students taking the exam were completely unaware of the last two and most heavily weighted questions on the exam. The pages preceding the last two pages containing those questions were actually a repeat of the “instructions page” (incompetently inserted into some students packets at least three times) making it appear that the students were almost finished when there were actually 2 more pages waiting for them. In other words, as the students were looking through the pages and saw the repeat of the instructions they assumed the torture was almost over. By the time Dean Henin and other students realized the error, the students had an hour to answer questions with suggested times totaling an hour and half. Not big deal if it happened to everyone right? Think again. In another stroke of Third Tier School genius, 2L and 3L exams are self-scheduled—never mind the concerns about cheating because that would be too obvious—so only a few (un)lucky ones were affected while everyone else gets to pleasure of taking the exam without having to play scavenger hunt for questions.
 
The Deans haven’t issued a resolution to problem but it wouldn’t be surprising if they blamed the error on a Third Tier copy machine.
 
In this economy—filled with associate deferrals, layoffs, and forced pay-cuts—students at smaller Third Tier schools like Drake are already at a disadvantage in a secondary market like Iowa.  Let’s hope the Deans don’t punish the responsible students who prepared diligently for the exam to take it early while letting procrastinating members of the course enjoy the benefit of a correctly proctored exam earned on the backs of an unlucky few, like myself.
 
-Anonymous

Miss P

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 10:00:04 PM »
I'm sorry this happened to you, but as exam mishaps go, this is nothing. I've heard about proctors whose timing is off by an hour, lights and electricity going out, and other total disasters.

In any case, I learned early on to skim the entire exam before starting to write, and I urge you to do the same next time. 

Finally, people who take a self-scheduled exam later than you aren't "procrastinators."  They may be taking other exams, and they may be diligently studying for an exam you rushed to get out of the way.  I feel sorry for someone so filled with bitterness that she needs to put her classmates down like this.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

PILOFOLO_REGIL

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 10:15:18 PM »
In fairness, you probably wouldn't see this as "nothing" if it were affecting your career instead of OPs. 

IMHO:  when profs f*ck up exams and it can be shown that not all students experienced the same degree of f*ck up, this should be taken into account.  Law school exams are timed for a reason.  It is not fair for some to have less time than others because of an administrative snafu.


Susan B. Anthony

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 10:25:14 PM »
They didn't actually have less time, though.

If the instructions don't include the number of questions and how they're weighted/how you should distribute your time, I can't imagine any reason you wouldn't page through the exam to figure out how you should do so. Administrative errors happen (I sincerely doubt this was actually an error on the part of the professor, unless the professor really loves writing instruction pages or has an itchy copy/paste finger), and, while the school has a responsibility to provide students with accurate and complete exams, it is also true that each test taker is in a position to make sure that they have a complete exam.

Also, I really don't understand why seeing repeat pages would make you think the exam was almost over, rather than make you think there was something wrong with the copy job that should probably be addressed.

ToTransferOrNot

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 10:27:57 PM »
This certainly sucks, but for christ's sake. You're in law school.

I learned in 3rd grade to skim through an entire test before I started on the first question. Gives you an idea of which question is testing what so that you don't get off track, and avoids things like this happening. 3rd grade. No one had to teach me to do it- I learned it myself, and thought it kind of odd when teachers started suggesting this as a strategy later in life. How can you have taken enough tests to get you to law school, but not know to skim through the whole test?

Doesn't make the snafu any less awful, but what exactly do you expect them to do? Give you all a bump in your grade? Ignore the last question in calculating grades for the class? Have everyone take a new exam? Not fair, certainly agree, but you should have a suggestion for how to handle the situation.

2LandBACK

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 10:32:21 PM »
It's easy for us to say that you should skim through the exam but in the heat and stress of a law school exam something like that could really mess you up. I don't know how confusing it was but if it was confusing enough no question it would throw you off. If it's fixed for everyone else, there is no way you could say the exam was fair

Miss P

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2009, 10:39:20 PM »
In fairness, you probably wouldn't see this as "nothing" if it were affecting your career instead of OPs. 

Luckily for me, it wouldn't affect my career because I would have read through the entire exam and figured out how to allot my time.

IMHO:  when profs f*ck up exams and it can be shown that not all students experienced the same degree of f*ck up, this should be taken into account.  Law school exams are timed for a reason.  It is not fair for some to have less time than others because of an administrative snafu.

There's no indication that the professor screwed up the exam or that some students had less time than others.  The OP spent less time than other students on the last question(s).  She also presumably spent more time than the others on the first question.  That's too bad.

I do agree that a generous professor would take into account the OP's experience when evaluating her answer to the last essay question(s) and perhaps give her a bit of a bump.  Some professors add a few points for "overall exam quality" or something, and this might be a fair place to adjust for the OP's difficulty with the poorly copied exam.  But that's it.  It's not as if the exam was missing pages or had incomprehensible gibberish inserted in the middle (as one of mine did).  The pages were out of order and there were a few extra instruction sheets.  I would definitely classify this as more of a bummer than a tragedy.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Susan B. Anthony

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 10:42:46 PM »
What in life is fair?

Things like this happen. There are things that you can and should do to make sure the impact on you is minimal when they do. It makes sense to do those things. If you don't do those things, and something like this does happen, there is no way of going back and making things perfectly fair. There may be ways to mitigate the damage, but you're not going to make it perfectly fair.

At my school, the proctors tell us how many pages there should be and have us check the page numbers at the bottom of the page before we begin to make sure we have all of the pages and that they're in the correct order. Perhaps, in light of this incident, the students should suggest that the school institute such a policy.

PILOFOLO_REGIL

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 10:47:36 PM »
LOL.

I was going to add a snarky comment to my previous post about how learning to be a lawyer has to do with eliminating your sense of empathy for others and using every possible advantage for your own personal gain. 

Glad to see I didn't have to bother.

Miss P

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Re: Drake Law Faculty Bumbles Writing Exams, Will Students Suffer?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2009, 10:51:09 PM »
LOL.

I was going to add a snarky comment to my previous post about how learning to be a lawyer has to do with eliminating your sense of empathy for others and using every possible advantage for your own personal gain. 

Glad to see I didn't have to bother.

It's rich to classify me and SBA as lacking in empathy when the OP insulted her fellow students for doing nothing more than scheduling their exams at a different time.

Frankly, I have trouble working my empathy up for someone who is so bitter and competitive, especially when she had opportunities for self-help that she didn't take.  That said, I readily admitted that this was a bummer and that a generous professor would somehow account for the administrative error in the grading.  What more do you want?
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.