lfc4life189
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HiI'm averaging 70% in my essays and exams, and now that I'm in my final year I wanted to push myself and see if I could get 80% in an essay. So my question is, has anyone received 80% in an essay or exam, and if so, could you give me any tips or advice?
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Pythian
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Hello lfc4life189

I am in my second year LLB, and I got an 88% for contract law and 82% for criminal law in my 1st year.

In my opinion, the difference between 70-79% and 80%+ is whether it can be published. To be publishable, it needs to be "outstanding". From my experience, this is achieved through (1) a scholarly, authoritative and stylish register of prose; and (2) a v. detailed, thorough and consummate knowledge and understand of the issue (especially including the more obscure & esoteric references and material).

It needs the elements of the 70-79%, including:
- Free from all spelling and grammar mistakes (you need to proof read at least 10 times.)
- Structure. The essay must be like walking along a path. You start at the beginning and move towards the end. I always use conjunctions for flow and headings.
- Quote the justice and not just the case. Go deeper.
- In essays, be original. Look for a different point of view, a different jurisdiction, academic argument etc... You need to go beyond the recommend books. This point sounds a bit more difficult, but it really isn't. After a while, with enough reading, you can easily identify a point of controversy or dispute. You can then draw on these things in your discursive essay.

- In relation to problem question; in my opinion, you should treat it like a medical dissection. Every single fact and facet - even the most trivial and innocuous. You need to demonstrate that you have examined everything in the PQ - and entertained some counter-factual (what if it was X instead of Y in the question). As above, try to apply law that most students wouldn't have noticed or wasn't part of the recommended reading. For example, in a contract law problem question: I made reference to EU regulations on some contractual issues which I felt sure no-one else would have said because it wasn't in the textbook.
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by lfc4life189)
HiI'm averaging 70% in my essays and exams, and now that I'm in my final year I wanted to push myself and see if I could get 80% in an essay. So my question is, has anyone received 80% in an essay or exam, and if so, could you give me any tips or advice?
may unis don't give 80% no matter how good you are
if ur after a high first u should probably focus on the steps above. also u should basically read everything there is on the topic.
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lfc4life189
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(Original post by Pythian)
Hello lfc4life189

I am in my second year LLB, and I got an 88% for contract law and 82% for criminal law in my 1st year.

In my opinion, the difference between 70-79% and 80%+ is whether it can be published. To be publishable, it needs to be "outstanding". From my experience, this is achieved through (1) a scholarly, authoritative and stylish register of prose; and (2) a v. detailed, thorough and consummate knowledge and understand of the issue (especially including the more obscure & esoteric references and material).

It needs the elements of the 70-79%, including:
- Free from all spelling and grammar mistakes (you need to proof read at least 10 times.)
- Structure. The essay must be like walking along a path. You start at the beginning and move towards the end. I always use conjunctions for flow and headings.
- Quote the justice and not just the case. Go deeper.
- In essays, be original. Look for a different point of view, a different jurisdiction, academic argument etc... You need to go beyond the recommend books. This point sounds a bit more difficult, but it really isn't. After a while, with enough reading, you can easily identify a point of controversy or dispute. You can then draw on these things in your discursive essay.

- In relation to problem question; in my opinion, you should treat it like a medical dissection. Every single fact and facet - even the most trivial and innocuous. You need to demonstrate that you have examined everything in the PQ - and entertained some counter-factual (what if it was X instead of Y in the question). As above, try to apply law that most students wouldn't have noticed or wasn't part of the recommended reading. For example, in a contract law problem question: I made reference to EU regulations on some contractual issues which I felt sure no-one else would have said because it wasn't in the textbook.
Hi,

Thank you so much for replying. The highest I've been able to achieve is 74% but I really wish to push myself this semester, your advice is appreciated and I will hopefully implement this in my next submission. If you don't mind me asking, what university do you go to?
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lfc4life189
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
may unis don't give 80% no matter how good you are
if ur after a high first u should probably focus on the steps above. also u should basically read everything there is on the topic.
Thanks for replying. I'll definitely take on board pythian's comment. You might be right tbh, it's pretty uncommon at my uni for anyone to receive above 76% but it has happened in the past so here's to hoping!
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Pythian
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(Original post by lfc4life189)
Thanks for replying. I'll definitely take on board pythian's comment. You might be right tbh, it's pretty uncommon at my uni for anyone to receive above 76% but it has happened in the past so here's to hoping!
It's very uncommon at my uni. I think I was the only student among my cohort to get anything in the 80%+ category. And so it should: there should be a dearth attached to that superlative.

Contact your law school and tutors. They should have a marking rubric and score breakdown. Find out for yourself, and ask your academic tutors.

Good luck.
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niknakkpd
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(Original post by lfc4life189)
HiI'm averaging 70% in my essays and exams, and now that I'm in my final year I wanted to push myself and see if I could get 80% in an essay. So my question is, has anyone received 80% in an essay or exam, and if so, could you give me any tips or advice?
Literally no one on our course ever gets over 70% :'( what uni do you go to??
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Joleee
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(Original post by niknakkpd)
Literally no one on our course ever gets over 70% :'( what uni do you go to??
it’s different at my uni as well. well it’s impossible to get a 70 because you either get a 68 or a 75; no such thing as a grade in between based on school policy. also virtually impossible to get a first in first year at my uni and almost unheard of to get up to 80 by third year. just goes to show how not universal the grading system is :dontknow:
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Lawschoolhack
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The standards across law schools are not universal. The quality of work required to achieve a first class grade at say, Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Uni of Nottingham etc., will be higher than at other unis.

It isn't impossible to achieve at mark of 80%, but as noted by Pythian, the work would have to be outstanding and worthy of publication. Experienced academics work on articles for months before they are submitted for publication. Obviously, students are not expected to achieve the same standard as experienced academics, but it gives you an indication of what 'exceptional' work is.

Yes - some law schools will award more higher grades than others and the same piece of work may fail at one institution and pass at another. It depends on the standards set by your particular law school. Grade inflation over the last few years means that the percentage of students achieving 'first class' grades has increased dramatically. Academics are under increasing pressure to award higher grades. This hasn't necessarily been as a result of higher achievement by their students. This pressure may be stronger in some unis than others. So some unis may regularly award 80%; others may not. I have written many references for students and employers are increasingly asking for the student's ranking within their cohort. This, in my view, is what really matters. If you are 1st or 2nd within your year with an overall grade of 72% that may say a lot more than if you are 20th with an overall grade of 81%!

Push yourself as hard as you can and achieve the best grades that you can at your institution. However, don't be disheartened if you don't achieve 80%+.

Good luck

p.s. Please don't shoot the messenger!
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Catherine1973
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At my uni 4% get an 80 but first is from 70 upwards and you can get 72/75/78 and 85.

I actually got my first 85 this week for equity essay. I don’t know what got me it to be fair, I miles prefer a problem question where I know I am answering the right thing (and the skill is looking for lots of well it could be this or you can read the facts as that. Ie assume nothing. There is usually an answer that is the standard one (similar to a case) so do that one then the opposite.

So one can do a good essay and have no clear idea how you did it. Our university had published 4 of the essays they say are very good which is handy to see different styles.

Oh I still got comments to say I could have mentioned xyz and also sone of my references were not 100% oscala compliant so even at 85 it wasn’t perfect!
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Pythian
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(Original post by Joleee)
it’s different at my uni as well. well it’s impossible to get a 70 because you either get a 68 or a 75; no such thing as a grade in between based on school policy. also virtually impossible to get a first in first year at my uni and almost unheard of to get up to 80 by third year. just goes to show how not universal the grading system is :dontknow:
May I ask if your uni has grade classification tables?

At my uni, they are included in the module handbook. It should be transparent and clear to everyone what the required standards are to be met to fall within a certain category.
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