Spring ’10 Midterm Grades (or, “@#$% Ks”)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 23, 2010 in NotFail

I promised y’all yesterday to post a review of midterms “some time this week,” so I’m getting it knocked out now — with the March UNCASG meeting this Friday-Sunday, I don’t want to risk getting caught up with something and then find people telling me I can’t keep my promises :P

Given my uninspiring performance last semester — seriously botching the final exam in Ks and doing poorly on the finals in both CivPro and Property after acing their respective midterms — I changed my study habits going into the midterm exams this semester.

Gone were the hours and hours and hours of studying with outlines as long as Congressional bills.  Instead I’d study for no more than 1-2 hours the night before, first skimming through the textbook pages we covered on the syllabus and then my class notes; after that, anything I read that was suitable for flash cards got written down and gone over on the drive to class (or in between exams).

As absolutely bass-ackwards as it probably sounds, that process appears to have been far more effective for me learning the material despite spending less time studying :beatup: Not sure if it’s a fluke or not; we’ll see in about a month.

Here’s the class-by-class rundown, alphabetically by subject…


Last semester in CivPro was focused predominantly on jurisdiction, notice, etc and this semester is covering the Erie Doctrine and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Most of the class (myself included) seemed to be of the opinion that the midterm could have been much harder… but even so, it was sufficiently difficult that the raw class average was 9 of 20 (e.g. a 45/F).

I missed 1 of the multiple choice questions because I apparently misread one of the cases in the textbook ((Relating to pay discrimination against women and what minimum contents were needed in the complaint to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss — apparently I read a dissent thinking it was the Court’s opinion instead :beatup:)) but I got the rest, and did fairly well on the essay despite running out of time on part of my Erie analysis.

Expected midterm grade: A-
Actual midterm grade: D+ (raw) / A- (curved)

Synopsis: Can’t complain about the grade, but now there’s so much material to be covered on the final that wasn’t on the midterm that I’m a little worried. We’ll see how it turns out…


This was the last grade to get returned to us, we got it late on Friday afternoon, and there was no feedback written anywhere on it — just the essay score on the essay, and our overall score on an index card.

And I did the exact same @#$%ing thing I did on the finals last semester :cry:

After freaking out all weekend over my worst grade to-date in this class, I met with Professor Ks on Monday to go over it. Turns out I only missed 3 multiples (safely above the class average)… the real torpedo to my grade was the essay.

The subject was a breach of contract relating to express and constructive conditions, substantial performance, damages, etc. I hand my essay to Professor Ks to review, and he barely gets past the first paragraph when he goes “I remember this essay, I don’t even have to read the rest. You did a phenomenal job on everything you wrote — you just didn’t talk about constructive conditions at all!”

I take my essay back, certain I had talked about constructive conditions somewhere, and sure enough… nothing. I don’t know if I was just in a zone or what, because unlike last time I even looked back through my essay before turning it in. Constructive conditions were nowhere to be found.

Expected midterm grade: B+
Actual midterm grade: D (raw) / C- (curved)

Synopsis: ::headdesk:: x2


The key issue I knew I missed on the essay cost me half a letter grade, but surprisingly I got all the multiples right. w00t.

Someone in the section also got a near-perfect score, so there was essentially no curve to the grades using Professor CrimLaw’s formula.

Expected midterm grade: B
Actual midterm grade: A- (raw) / A- (curved)

Synopsis: Nothing to really say here. Bring on the final exam :)


This class replaced Legal Reasoning & Analysis from last semester, and just like LRA the grade is made up from a bunch of assignments throughout the semester (culminating in a legal memo) instead of just a midterm and a final.

Everything has been straightforward so far… it just also hasn’t counted for much of anything :beatup:

Expected grade to-date: A
Actual grades to-date: A (exercises), A (BlueBook quiz #1), A- (BlueBook quiz #2)

Synopsis: Still have ~70% of this class to go… ::sigh::


Property II midterm raw grade distribution

This was our first exam, and honestly I can’t remember what was on it :beatup: Apparently no one else in the class did either because the grades were pretty bad. I put together a chart of raw scores at the right.

The Traveling Professor historically never curves, but I know at least 1 classmate who also got a grade in the A/A- range so my guess is grades were so bad she had to curve at least a little bit.

Expected midterm grade: A-
Actual midterm grade: A- (curved?)

Synopsis: Love the professor. Love the TAs. Hate the material :beatup:


Torts is proof that lucky guessing can pay off :spin:

I knew I got at least 1 multiple wrong right after I turned in the exam, but amazingly I didn’t miss much beyond that. The class average was 7 out of 15 — we had 6 A’s after the curve, 6 B’s, 24 C’s, and 18 in the D/F range. Somehow by the grace of God I had the top score and got to ride the curve.

Expected midterm grade: B-
Actual midterm grade: B- (raw) / A (curved)

Synopsis: This exam was intense. Hopefully the final will be at least somewhat easier.


Expected Semester GPA to-date: 3.311
Actual Semester GPA to-date: 3.511 (Law school median: 2.000)


So that’s the rundown through the first half of 1L Spring :) Need to avoid a repeat of last semester — doing well midway through and screwing up at the end — but so far I’m feeling pretty good :D

Heading back to the law school to give a speech for my SBA Treasurer candidacy, then to the gym for a 1L/3L basketball game! :) Forgot to mention that yesterday — the 1Ls beat the 2Ls in the annual 1L/2L game, on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Wish us luck, and have a great night!! :D


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