1. Which LSAT test prep company, in your humble opinion, is the best for breaking through to the highest scores in the LSAT?
In my humble opinion, I think it's PowerScore.
2. How did you come to this opinion? Have you taken any other Prep courses (classroom setting) to compare? Did your friends (who have unbeatable scores) recommend it?
I took TestMasters and also looked at the PowerScore Bibles. The latter was far more comprehensive and as I said in another thread the biggest drawback with TestMasters is that you will have to attend every class and be capable of taking good notes because the techniques are taught almost soley from the lectures.
The course books you receive contain almost no notes. They're filled with LSAT questions.
3. Is it worth dropping the money? $1200? $1600? $2000? Could I get the same strategies by using a $60 book I bought at the local name brand bookstore?
It depends on how motivated you are to study on your own and how far you are from attaining the score that you want. I'm broke right now but I would pay for a course without batting an eyelash because it's an investment on my future and my career. Considering my career goals, it would be highly advantageous for me to get into a highly ranked law school.
Here are the names of companies:
- Princeton Review
- Powerscore - http://powerscore.com/
- Test Well - http://www.testwell.com/
What gives with [enter company name here] and ...?
- the price (do you get the bang for your buck?)
- the materials (books they include)
- class size (initimate ratio of instructor:student; one-on-one setting)
- outside class help (time outside of class with an instructor)
- their strategies (Ex: Strong on LR questions; Weak on setting up games section)
- catering the lesson to each type of student (strong scorer v. average scorer) OR Visual learner v. Audio learner (<<< this may be a moot point)
- after doing all the homework, and after all is said and done, did you honestly feel prepared? Did you not do all the assignments, do you think with further exposure you could have reached your goal?
- satisfaction guaranteed (i.e. Free v. paying a small amount to retake the course, % increase in scoring)
- Testimonials (after reading the website, they seem a little pumped up-- can you really take them seriously?)
I don't know the answers to many of the above questions (I think most of them can be found from the test companies' websites), but I'll try to share my thoughts on the little I know.
There were several former Princeton Review students in my classes, and they all agreed that Princeton Review was nowhere as good as TestMasters. But then again, I wouldn't read too much into this because they wouldn't be taking TestMasters if they were satisfied with Princeton Review.
Since TestMasters relies heavily on class lectures, I'm guessing it requires more auditory learning than PowerScore because the latter has the techniques and lecture notes on their books.
I didn't feel prepared when I took the LSAT (I got a 158 on the actual and a 145 on my first diag.), but this is my own fault, not the test company's. There's only so much a test prep company can do for anyone. In the end, it's about how effectively you prepare and how much you're willing to put into it.
Btw, the class sizes will vary depending on where you take your classes. I imagine that major cities like NYC , LA, ansd SF will have bigger classes than say Las Vegas or Oklahoma City.
Hope this helped.