Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

MichelFoucault
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Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby MichelFoucault » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:07 pm

My lsat average was in the low 170's. Has anyone practicing in the high 160's or low 170's utlizied tutoring to break the 99th percentile?

Has anyone employed a tutor after a first score in the high 60's low 70's?

tomwatts
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Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby tomwatts » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:21 pm

I've tutored a few students from high 160's up to mid 170's. I always think it's fun, because it's very different from trying to take someone from a 150 to a 160 or from a 145 to a 155.

Uh, I'm not sure there was a question in there.

cubswin
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Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby cubswin » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:23 pm

If you are in the 170s, I think all the work you have left to break 99th is going to be stuff you do on your own.

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Princess_T
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Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby Princess_T » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:15 am

I worked with a tutor to get my score from low 160's to high 160's - I would say it's worth it to meet once or twice at least with a good tutor as they can help you zone in on the specific areas where you are losing points. In my case LGs was my problem area so I worked with my tutor almost exclusively on that.

Where are you located? I am in Mpls, I worked with a guy here who I really liked. Check around the chat boards and craigslist for an independent person wherever you are before resorting to the ones from the national companies like powerscore. You can usually find some who are just as good and much much cheaper.

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ConMan345
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Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby ConMan345 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:18 am

I was in a class near the Stanford campus that got me from mid-160s to low 170s. It was mostly for Stanford students, but it wasn't restricted. Maybe ask around your school for something similar for high-scorers.

bblobber
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Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby bblobber » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:28 am

IMO, if you are already in the high 160's / low 170's then you already know how to correctly answer every question on the LSAT, given enough time. You just have to practice over and over again: improve your times, recognize the question types, get better at diagramming for LG, get better at recognizing faulty logic for LR, get better at reading for "why" instead of "what" for RC. I don't think that tutoring would really do you much good unless you find yourself consistently failing on a particular section or type of question. If you're scoring a 170 with -11 all in LG, well then yes, get a tutor. But if your 170/-11 breaks down to -3 LG, -3/2 LR, and -3 RC, well, you've got yourself most of the way there, and chances are that the questions you're missing aren't any harder than some of the ones you're getting right.

I went from a Sept 164 to a Dec 177 through self-study. Mostly I concentrated on LG's, but what I learned there carried over to LR, and I guess I just got lucky on RC. I also think that I built up some endurance by sometimes doing 3 hours straight of LG.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:42 am

bblobber wrote:IMO, if you are already in the high 160's / low 170's then you already know how to correctly answer every question on the LSAT, given enough time. You just have to practice over and over again: improve your times, recognize the question types, get better at diagramming for LG, get better at recognizing faulty logic for LR, get better at reading for "why" instead of "what" for RC. I don't think that tutoring would really do you much good unless you find yourself consistently failing on a particular section or type of question. If you're scoring a 170 with -11 all in LG, well then yes, get a tutor. But if your 170/-11 breaks down to -3 LG, -3/2 LR, and -3 RC, well, you've got yourself most of the way there, and chances are that the questions you're missing aren't any harder than some of the ones you're getting right.

I went from a Sept 164 to a Dec 177 through self-study. Mostly I concentrated on LG's, but what I learned there carried over to LR, and I guess I just got lucky on RC. I also think that I built up some endurance by sometimes doing 3 hours straight of LG.


Very helpful advice. What would you say about the 175+ ---> 180 question, assuming errors are distributed and primarily on questions that one thinks could go either way (those questions where you put a question mark in the margin)?

bblobber
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Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby bblobber » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:00 am

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:Very helpful advice. What would you say about the 175+ ---> 180 question, assuming errors are distributed and primarily on questions that one thinks could go either way (those questions where you put a question mark in the margin)?


I would say the best thing to do (of course you're talking about LR and RC here) is work on your pacing and improve your reading speed. For all of the LSAT problems, there is a clear right answer; on easier questions, it usually sticks out like a sore thumb, and it matches your own "pre-phrasing" of what the right answer should be, based on the stimulus. But for the harder questions, finding the right answer mostly involves showing that all of the other answer choices are flawed. Even on the hard questions, it is usually fairly easy to narrow it down to 2 choices; now you've got to show that one of them is flawed in some way. It's the old Sherlock Holmes formulation: Once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be correct.

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure this is what pulled me through on the December RC. There were a lot of questions where I thought the answer choices were really stupid, and I had a *very* hard time choosing the right answer; but I would go through, eliminate the clearly wrong ones, and even if I didn't happen to feel so good about the lone remaining answer, obviously it had to be right. I had a -1 on the December RC, and I'd say that this strategy is what kept me from getting a -5. I remember multiple times during the December RC: sitting there, shaking my head in frustration, looking at the one remaining choice and thinking that it was an absolutely crap answer, but looking at the 4 crossed-out choices and knowing that I had to go with the remaining one. I think that several times I literally threw up my hands in resignation at bubbling in an answer that I derived in this way.

Of course, it can take a LONG time to go through all of the answer choices and prove them wrong, which is why I recommend improving your speed so that you can breeze through the easy ones and have plenty of time to spend on the harder ones.

One last thing: if you haven't yet, learn your Formal Logic, and when you get to the Formal Logic question on each of the the LR sections, don't hesitate to write it out in full, because there is no reason to get those questions wrong. My strategy is to use my pencil and write over the top of the actual paragraph. If the stimulus reads "All dogs are mammals, and all mammals are warm-blooded" then I will write a big, upper-case "A" right on top of "dogs", and a big upper case "B" on top of "mammals" etc. so that I end up with a sentence reading "All A are B, and all B are C". I then make the same substitutions all throughout the stimulus. Then I re-write the stimulus in simplified language in the bottom margin of the page. Next, I go through each of the answer choices one by one and do the exact same thing. Write A, B, C over the top of the key words in each choice. After you do this, the right answer will stick out like a sore thumb, no matter how confusing the actual wording is. This whole process takes some time, but it will get you the right answer, guaranteed, and you should be fast enough on the easier questions that it's worth it to spend the right amount of time to get the right answers on the FL questions. Actually, now that I think about it, you really don't even have to know FL to get these answers right. The wording is usually pretty much the exact same formulation. The wrong answers will often involve an extra entity (stimulus has relationships between A, B, C, while wrong answer has a D thrown in) or miss a relationship between two entities that are linked in the stimulus (stimulus forms a relationship between A and C for the conclusion, while the wrong answer never creates a link between A and C) -- or vice-versa. If you do the "A B C" marking trick, then these discrepancies will pop right out at you. But learning FL will still help you get used to thinking in these terms and writing in shorthand.

ConsideringLawSchool
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:28 am

bblobber wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:Very helpful advice. What would you say about the 175+ ---> 180 question, assuming errors are distributed and primarily on questions that one thinks could go either way (those questions where you put a question mark in the margin)?


I would say the best thing to do (of course you're talking about LR and RC here) is work on your pacing and improve your reading speed. For all of the LSAT problems, there is a clear right answer; on easier questions, it usually sticks out like a sore thumb, and it matches your own "pre-phrasing" of what the right answer should be, based on the stimulus. But for the harder questions, finding the right answer mostly involves showing that all of the other answer choices are flawed. Even on the hard questions, it is usually fairly easy to narrow it down to 2 choices; now you've got to show that one of them is flawed in some way. It's the old Sherlock Holmes formulation: Once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be correct.

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure this is what pulled me through on the December RC. There were a lot of questions where I thought the answer choices were really stupid, and I had a *very* hard time choosing the right answer; but I would go through, eliminate the clearly wrong ones, and even if I didn't happen to feel so good about the lone remaining answer, obviously it had to be right. I had a -1 on the December RC, and I'd say that this strategy is what kept me from getting a -5. I remember multiple times during the December RC: sitting there, shaking my head in frustration, looking at the one remaining choice and thinking that it was an absolutely crap answer, but looking at the 4 crossed-out choices and knowing that I had to go with the remaining one. I think that several times I literally threw up my hands in resignation at bubbling in an answer that I derived in this way.

Of course, it can take a LONG time to go through all of the answer choices and prove them wrong, which is why I recommend improving your speed so that you can breeze through the easy ones and have plenty of time to spend on the harder ones.

One last thing: if you haven't yet, learn your Formal Logic, and when you get to the Formal Logic question on each of the the LR sections, don't hesitate to write it out in full, because there is no reason to get those questions wrong. My strategy is to use my pencil and write over the top of the actual paragraph. If the stimulus reads "All dogs are mammals, and all mammals are warm-blooded" then I will write a big, upper-case "A" right on top of "dogs", and a big upper case "B" on top of "mammals" etc. so that I end up with a sentence reading "All A are B, and all B are C". I then make the same substitutions all throughout the stimulus. Then I re-write the stimulus in simplified language in the bottom margin of the page. Next, I go through each of the answer choices one by one and do the exact same thing. Write A, B, C over the top of the key words in each choice. After you do this, the right answer will stick out like a sore thumb, no matter how confusing the actual wording is. This whole process takes some time, but it will get you the right answer, guaranteed, and you should be fast enough on the easier questions that it's worth it to spend the right amount of time to get the right answers on the FL questions. Actually, now that I think about it, you really don't even have to know FL to get these answers right. The wording is usually pretty much the exact same formulation. The wrong answers will often involve an extra entity (stimulus has relationships between A, B, C, while wrong answer has a D thrown in) or miss a relationship between two entities that are linked in the stimulus (stimulus forms a relationship between A and C for the conclusion, while the wrong answer never creates a link between A and C) -- or vice-versa. If you do the "A B C" marking trick, then these discrepancies will pop right out at you. But learning FL will still help you get used to thinking in these terms and writing in shorthand.


Thank you so much, bblobber--this advice is among the most helpful I've seen! Thanks :-)

aether
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby aether » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:14 am

bblobber wrote:Of course, it can take a LONG time to go through all of the answer choices and prove them wrong, which is why I recommend improving your speed so that you can breeze through the easy ones and have plenty of time to spend on the harder ones.

Great advice. I had the good fortune to get a prep class instructor who taught me this exact thing. I had been struggling to get faster on the HARD questions, and he told me to switch my strategy and get faster on the EASY questions so that I would have extra time to spend solving the hard ones.

Everything on the LSAT is solvable, given enough time. Bank time on easy questions and spend it on hard ones.

Ishotthedeputy
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:03 pm

Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby Ishotthedeputy » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:08 pm

If somebody wanted to get a tutor how should I find them. Also what type of tutoring are you talking about, private or Professional Pret Test company.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby tomwatts » Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:58 pm

Well, you could just do online tutoring with me. :P

In all seriousness, your first decision is whether to go with a company's tutor (trained, sometimes backed by various guarantees, usually materials are included) or a private tutor (cheaper). I tend to think the former is safer, but then, I am one of the former. Then you either choose a company (for the former) or go on Craigslist (for the latter).

Cale39
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:34 pm

Re: Tutoring for high lsat scorers?

Postby Cale39 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:13 pm

bblobber wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:Very helpful advice. What would you say about the 175+ ---> 180 question, assuming errors are distributed and primarily on questions that one thinks could go either way (those questions where you put a question mark in the margin)?


I would say the best thing to do (of course you're talking about LR and RC here) is work on your pacing and improve your reading speed. For all of the LSAT problems, there is a clear right answer; on easier questions, it usually sticks out like a sore thumb, and it matches your own "pre-phrasing" of what the right answer should be, based on the stimulus. But for the harder questions, finding the right answer mostly involves showing that all of the other answer choices are flawed. Even on the hard questions, it is usually fairly easy to narrow it down to 2 choices; now you've got to show that one of them is flawed in some way. It's the old Sherlock Holmes formulation: Once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be correct.

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure this is what pulled me through on the December RC. There were a lot of questions where I thought the answer choices were really stupid, and I had a *very* hard time choosing the right answer; but I would go through, eliminate the clearly wrong ones, and even if I didn't happen to feel so good about the lone remaining answer, obviously it had to be right. I had a -1 on the December RC, and I'd say that this strategy is what kept me from getting a -5. I remember multiple times during the December RC: sitting there, shaking my head in frustration, looking at the one remaining choice and thinking that it was an absolutely crap answer, but looking at the 4 crossed-out choices and knowing that I had to go with the remaining one. I think that several times I literally threw up my hands in resignation at bubbling in an answer that I derived in this way.

Of course, it can take a LONG time to go through all of the answer choices and prove them wrong, which is why I recommend improving your speed so that you can breeze through the easy ones and have plenty of time to spend on the harder ones.

One last thing: if you haven't yet, learn your Formal Logic, and when you get to the Formal Logic question on each of the the LR sections, don't hesitate to write it out in full, because there is no reason to get those questions wrong. My strategy is to use my pencil and write over the top of the actual paragraph. If the stimulus reads "All dogs are mammals, and all mammals are warm-blooded" then I will write a big, upper-case "A" right on top of "dogs", and a big upper case "B" on top of "mammals" etc. so that I end up with a sentence reading "All A are B, and all B are C". I then make the same substitutions all throughout the stimulus. Then I re-write the stimulus in simplified language in the bottom margin of the page. Next, I go through each of the answer choices one by one and do the exact same thing. Write A, B, C over the top of the key words in each choice. After you do this, the right answer will stick out like a sore thumb, no matter how confusing the actual wording is. This whole process takes some time, but it will get you the right answer, guaranteed, and you should be fast enough on the easier questions that it's worth it to spend the right amount of time to get the right answers on the FL questions. Actually, now that I think about it, you really don't even have to know FL to get these answers right. The wording is usually pretty much the exact same formulation. The wrong answers will often involve an extra entity (stimulus has relationships between A, B, C, while wrong answer has a D thrown in) or miss a relationship between two entities that are linked in the stimulus (stimulus forms a relationship between A and C for the conclusion, while the wrong answer never creates a link between A and C) -- or vice-versa. If you do the "A B C" marking trick, then these discrepancies will pop right out at you. But learning FL will still help you get used to thinking in these terms and writing in shorthand.


Awesome advice, really great stuff.




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