March 20, 2016

Law School Midterms

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Not for a Grade (mostly)

My school requires all of my professors to give a midterm as a check up to see that the class isn't struggling. My Contracts professor gave an easy, 10-question online quiz. My Civ Pro professor gave us a dumbed down version of his multiple choice/short essay final. My Torts professor gave us an old full version of his final. Aaaand my Property professor made his midterm over future interests that was 10% of our final grade. 

Because 3/4 of these classes only had the final as the only grade in the class, it can be stressful. I mean, 100% of your grade comes from one test. That is a part of a marathon of tests. And the whole time you never know if the curve will push you down or pull you up. I think this is single-handedly the most stressful part of law school because it's such a big unknown.

Related: All about the law school curve

A Few Things

If you're unsure about how intense a test will be, look to Rate My Professor for advice from past students. Luckily, a lot of students had discussed the test style for my professors so I knew what to study for and expect.

At this point you should definitely be working on your own outline.  Every person that's ever given me advice has stressed not to waste money on a commercial outline. Both my professors and other students have said that either the outlines will make you waste time learning things that aren't on your test or will over-simplify so you don't study all of the information you would have if you studied your own. 

Related: How to make a law school outline

The best way to make an outline is basically just summarize your notes. The number one thing to remember when taking notes is to first listen and then write down. Write your notes as if you're explaining them to someone else and don't just copy word for word what your professor says.

Even if Quimbee isn't within your budget, they do offer a free week trial. There are videos within cases and addition videos with supplemental quizzes for each class. If your midterms are more influential towards your grade, you might consider using your free week now. If you like it, then you can just buy it for a month or two to help with finals. Of course, you could also wait until finals to use your free trial.

Related: Quimbee review

The Results

I did pretty great in Contracts, but no surprise because I think everything in that class in interesting.

My Civ Pro professor gave me a ":/" because I kept forgetting to refer to the federal rules that I was using to come up with my answers. 

My Torts grade ended up being spot-on for how my final grade was (more of that later). Apparently this specific professor was known for giving confusing tests and the curve ends up helping out a lot. 

As for my Property graded midterm.......not so hot. This ended up giving me some anxiety because I kept thinking that if I wasn't stellar on the midterm then I'd fall on my face during the final. But I was just forgetting that this subject was so hard that my professor purposefully removed it from the final so that we wouldn't struggle trying to learn it.


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