A note of encouragement from our Academic Committee.
By LAURA BALAGUS of the ACADEMIC COMMITTEE
I’ll be honest with you: I did not do well on my first law school midterm exam. At all. Like me, many of you out there may also receive exam marks that are less than what you’d hoped for. But a bad midterm grade or two (or four) truly has no bearing on how you’ll do in the rest of the class, in the rest of law school, or out in the world as a lawyer. Grades do not matter as much as they might seem. Especially midterm grades.
While midterms might sound and seem scary, what they really are is practice. A (much more) formal practice exam. Treat them as an assignment, a learning exercise in exam writing. After you finish writing, take a moment to check in with yourself. What did you struggle with? What questions were you surprised by? Did you run out of time, or did you finish super early? When exams are returned, pay attention to your professors’ comments and make a mental note on what you need to improve on for the final. Take it from someone who’s bombed a midterm or two in their day, and don’t focus on the grade. Focus on the experience, and put that experience and that feedback to use on the finals.
Writing a law school exam is a skill, and like any skill, it takes some practice to get the hang of it. Don’t let a grade get you down – it will get better!
Laura Balagus (Academic Committee Representative)