Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

felicity
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby felicity » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:55 am

Princeton it is!!!

tomwatts
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby tomwatts » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:12 pm

Cool! What was the tipping point? Why did you decide that way?

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toolshed
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby toolshed » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:21 pm

Powerscore is TCR.

purplehearts11
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby purplehearts11 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:04 pm

I took a Princeton Review course and I think their materials were better then what I looked over from the Kaplan course my roommate took at the same time. From what she told me, her class was lacking in areas where it shouldn't have been and her instructor was very unprofessional for how much money she put out for the course.

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skynet
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby skynet » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:12 pm

Given your sked, you might be better off with private tutoring.

cubswin
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby cubswin » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:13 pm

tomwatts wrote:
felicity wrote:My depression has sunk in and had left as of midnight. Since then, I have been researching the programs you have recommended and I've come down to these two, primarily because of the schedules they have available.

Princeton
Kaplan

Which of these two do you recommend?

Take us (Princeton Review), of course!

It probably does depend on the teacher. If you call us and the course has already been staffed (likely at this point), ask if the teacher is a tutor. If so, ask for the tutor bio. The tutor bio will have all the relevant information. Though lots of LSAT students care a lot about a real score, it just doesn't matter as much as people think. If you're taking the 84-hour (Hyperlearning) course, the teacher has to have scored 98th percentile or above, and a 171 vs. a 175 just isn't that big a difference as far as teaching quality. Years of experience teaching (at least 1 is nice) and whether the teacher has extra qualifications (being a tutor is a plus, being a high-end [Master or Premier] tutor is a BIG plus, being a Master Trainer is a BIG plus) do matter a little.

Even if the teacher isn't a tutor and therefore the office can't say much about who the teacher is (the person who actually hired and trained the teacher and the person you're talking to on the phone are often different, and the person you're talking to on the phone may have no clue about the teacher), I have enough confidence in our training methods to say that the teacher is good, but there's less proof to back it up at that point.

I imagine that questions for Kaplan would go along similar lines. And then you can compare the teachers.


TPR over Kaplan any day of the week. I echo everythig tomwatts says. If you can figure out which course is being taught by a Master Trainer, that's really your best bet. For someone like you who wants the classroom experience, the system you are being taught isn't going to matter as much as the quality of your instructor.

eaters333
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby eaters333 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:17 pm

my score went up 15 points with KAPLAN

skip james
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby skip james » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:23 pm

eaters333 wrote:my score went up 15 points with KAPLAN


you are an anomaly.

felicity
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby felicity » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:21 am

skynet wrote:Given your sked, you might be better off with private tutoring.



Good idea but not so good on the budget.

felicity
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby felicity » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:31 am

tomwatts wrote:Cool! What was the tipping point? Why did you decide that way?


One of the accelerated classes fit my schedule almost perfectly

98th percentile tutors vs Kaplan's, who, according to the rep I spoke with, score in top 10 percentile. He said Kaplan's emphasis is on the ability of the tutor to instruct and not necessarily on the tutor's score. Really a turn off for me because I am more comfortable relying on numbers.

felicity
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby felicity » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:35 am

I signed up for an accelerated class. The rep said the teacher has at least 1 year of experience tutoring.

felicity
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby felicity » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:43 am

Finally, my program starts in early April vs Kaplan's programs that start May. Starting as early as possible will allow me to learn from structured instruction sooner. Therefore, I can curb any bad habits in answering questions and learn new good habits much earlier in the game.

Sorry for the staggered posts. Typing on iPhone, screen not wide enough.

tomwatts
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby tomwatts » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:52 am

These sound like good reasons. Be aware that the Accelerated course is, well, accelerated. You'll be expect to do a LOT of work outside of class.

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kaydish21
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby kaydish21 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:40 am

The problem with Kaplan is that the whole course is just designed to get you into the 160s, for most people this is a good thing since a 160 is still like 80% or something close to that. If you are in the NYC area try Testwell NY. It is a fantastic course and has the highest independently verifies score increase of ~10 points. I took the class and went up 12 points.

--LinkRemoved--

It really is superior to some of the other classes. If you want more info just PM me.

felicity
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby felicity » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:55 am

kaydish21 wrote:The problem with Kaplan is that the whole course is just designed to get you into the 160s, for most people this is a good thing since a 160 is still like 80% or something close to that. If you are in the NYC area try Testwell NY. It is a fantastic course and has the highest independently verifies score increase of ~10 points. I took the class and went up 12 points.

--LinkRemoved--

It really is superior to some of the other classes. If you want more info just PM me.


Thanks. I am in the Dallas area though I go to NYC every week for work.

felicity
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby felicity » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:55 am

tomwatts wrote:These sound like good reasons. Be aware that the Accelerated course is, well, accelerated. You'll be expect to do a LOT of work outside of class.


I kinda figured that. Thanks tomwatts.

JasonR
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby JasonR » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:04 pm

felicity wrote:
tomwatts wrote:Cool! What was the tipping point? Why did you decide that way?


One of the accelerated classes fit my schedule almost perfectly

98th percentile tutors vs Kaplan's, who, according to the rep I spoke with, score in top 10 percentile. He said Kaplan's emphasis is on the ability of the tutor to instruct and not necessarily on the tutor's score. Really a turn off for me because I am more comfortable relying on numbers.


Kaplan will let someone who scored in the 90th percentile (164, or from -19 to -22 on the last 2 LSATs) teach a course? That's even worse than I thought. What a disgusting company.

mjs92983
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby mjs92983 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:12 pm

Ace Test Prep. acetestprep.com

KaplanLSATInstructor
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby KaplanLSATInstructor » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:19 pm

skip james wrote:
eaters333 wrote:my score went up 15 points with KAPLAN

you are an anomaly.


From a teacher who consistently sees this happen, I can wholeheartedly confirm that eaters333 is NOT an anomaly.

kaydish21 wrote:The problem with Kaplan is that the whole course is just designed to get you into the 160s.


This is just wrong. Period. Our course is fully adaptable to people at any level. We have Advanced classes and we have out-of-class workshops, available to all students, that are designed to provide extra assistance to high scorers.

I was just talking to one of our students the other day who got a 172 on the February exam. I've seen many students score in the upper 160s and 170s with our course. Obviously a bulk of our students are going to be scoring in the 150s and 160s -- but that's representative of the general LSAT scale. And for some of those people, the 155-160 is far superior than the 130s and 140s they start out with.

JasonR wrote:Kaplan will let someone who scored in the 90th percentile (164, or from -19 to -22 on the last 2 LSATs) teach a course? That's even worse than I thought. What a disgusting company.


Really? Disgusting? The 90% is merely a MINIMUM. You can't assume that every teacher only gets that score. Of the Kaplan LSAT instructors I work with and communicate with across the country, they are all capable of consistently scoring much higher than 90%. That doesn't mean we don't hire people who score just 90%, but -- unless they show a strong grasp of the content during training -- they are far less likely to be hired than higher scorers.

Yes, we focus on the ability to TEACH rather than the ability to SCORE. Obviously, we're not going to let anybody teach who doesn't know what he or she is talking about. Our teachers MUST understand the material. That being said, if a person could score 180 on every test but was boring as dirt, I would cut them from training in a heartbeat.

- Chris

JasonR
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby JasonR » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:00 am

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:Really? Disgusting?


Yes, really.

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:The 90% is merely a MINIMUM. You can't assume that every teacher only gets that score.


Yeah, I think all of that's obvious. And would you mind showing me where I made such an assumption? Thanks.

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:That doesn't mean we don't hire people who score just 90%, but -- unless they show a strong grasp of the content during training -- they are far less likely to be hired than higher scorers.


That's lovely. The fact that it's even possible for someone who missed 22 questions on his or her LSAT to teach a prep course reveals Kaplan for the slimy, low-integrity company it is.

SweetnessUVA
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby SweetnessUVA » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:01 am

Should I, a successful book publisher, take Testmasters?

I had to...

KDLMaj
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby KDLMaj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:23 am

JasonR wrote:
KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:Really? Disgusting?




KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:That doesn't mean we don't hire people who score just 90%, but -- unless they show a strong grasp of the content during training -- they are far less likely to be hired than higher scorers.


That's lovely. The fact that it's even possible for someone who missed 22 questions on his or her LSAT to teach a prep course reveals Kaplan for the slimy, low-integrity company it is.


And the fact that you feel that way shows how little you understand about what makes a good teacher. First, you're assuming that the 90% instructor (which means missing approximately 17 questions on the exam, depending on the test) never once improved in their understanding of the exam from training or teaching- which is ridiculous.

Secondly, there's zero evidence that someone who scores a 164 does worse in the classroom than someone who scores a 170. In fact, Kaplan has analyzed this carefully, and the score requirement is set at 90% precisely because there IS no distinction in terms of student satisfaction.

It is absolutely about your ability to teach. The answers and explanations are all provided by Kaplan. The methods are provided by Kaplan. The individual instructor isn't designing their own material on the spot- their job is to convey it in an accessible way to their class. A 90% score is more than enough to understand the methods. And a 99% score will in no way ensure that the instructor can actually help their students score better.

Students care about those cutoffs because they don't know any better. Professionals care about teaching ability because they DO know better.

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typ3
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby typ3 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:51 am

Yea 165 can probably teach strategies to the general public as well as a 180 does. But I can guarantee that a 165 can't teach strategies to score 172+ as well as someone who has scored 180. They aren't mutually exclusive, but different beasts. Sure your driver's ed. instructor can teach you to drive as well as Dale Earnhardt could.. but Earnhardt would probably be the better instructor for teaching you how to race.

KDLMaj
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby KDLMaj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:09 am

typ3 wrote:Yea 165 can probably teach strategies to the general public as well as a 180 does. But I can guarantee that a 165 can't teach strategies to score 172+ as well as someone who has scored 180. They aren't mutually exclusive, but different beasts. Sure your driver's ed. instructor can teach you to drive as well as Dale Earnhardt could.. but Earnhardt would probably be the better instructor for teaching you how to race.


Typ, while I understand where your opinion on this is coming from- you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, I happened to have scored right around there, and I have taken MANY of my students to scores into the 170s- including taking a 165 to a 180. How? Because I am not the person I was when I took the LSAT. People confuse a person's LSAT score with the final instructor product, and in reality it's just the beginning. A certain score tells a trainer that there's material to work with. But if the training program is worth its salt, the student is going to walk out better at the test than when they walked in and better able to help their students help themselves. At Kaplan, for example, every instructor undergoes 6 weeks of training. That's a lot of time spent mastering the course material- a sizable chunk of classes only last that long or less.

And after having worked with those methods for a class or two, the instructor is undoubtedly going to be twice the LSAT test taker they were before they took the job. The initial LSAT score matters more for companies like Test Masters and BluePrint who don't have many full time, long-term instructors. At a company like Kaplan where you actually have these instructors, the initial LSAT score is irrelevant as it is likely years outdated. What would you rather have? 3 additional years of teaching experience or someone who got 7 more questions right on their test? If you choose the latter- you deserve what you get.

Now let's talk about what a high test score WON'T buy you. Everyone is clamoring for a 180 LSAT Instructor- who probably never struggled with the exam once and found everything to be relatively pain-free in the prep process. In short- they are so far removed from their students that their problems are likely enigmas to the instructor. It takes an amazing instructor to be able to routinely step outside of themselves to put themselves in their students' shoes, and most LSAT Instructors have never had to walk in those shoes. Do you want an instructor who can empathize with you and offer workarounds, or do you want an instructor who can't fathom why you don't understand or can't work fast enough?

Now I'm not saying that one should run out and find themselves someone who doesn't know what they're doing, but it's time students started realistically assessing their instructors. There is a HUGE advantage to having an instructor who has fought with this test and is aware of the issues most students face- and who has dealt with them. To be blunt- I put far more stock in the ability of a brand new high 160s instructor to relate to their students enough to help them than I do in a brand new high 170s instructor for this very reason. It's not like either of them has access to different materials to give their students, but one of them is more likely to have access to relevant experiences that they can impart to their students.

Case and point: ever wonder why so few prep companies do any substantial work in section management strategies? Because most of the people who write the curriculum never had to worry about it. How many LSAT Students can make the same claim? How well are they served by the situation?

Just some food for thought.

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:43 am

KDLMaj wrote:
typ3 wrote:Yea 165 can probably teach strategies to the general public as well as a 180 does. But I can guarantee that a 165 can't teach strategies to score 172+ as well as someone who has scored 180. They aren't mutually exclusive, but different beasts. Sure your driver's ed. instructor can teach you to drive as well as Dale Earnhardt could.. but Earnhardt would probably be the better instructor for teaching you how to race.


Typ, while I understand where your opinion on this is coming from- you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, I happened to have scored right around there, and I have taken MANY of my students to scores into the 170s- including taking a 165 to a 180. How? Because I am not the person I was when I took the LSAT. People confuse a person's LSAT score with the final instructor product, and in reality it's just the beginning. A certain score tells a trainer that there's material to work with. But if the training program is worth its salt, the student is going to walk out better at the test than when they walked in and better able to help their students help themselves. At Kaplan, for example, every instructor undergoes 6 weeks of training. That's a lot of time spent mastering the course material- a sizable chunk of classes only last that long or less.

And after having worked with those methods for a class or two, the instructor is undoubtedly going to be twice the LSAT test taker they were before they took the job. The initial LSAT score matters more for companies like Test Masters and BluePrint who don't have many full time, long-term instructors. At a company like Kaplan where you actually have these instructors, the initial LSAT score is irrelevant as it is likely years outdated. What would you rather have? 3 additional years of teaching experience or someone who got 7 more questions right on their test? If you choose the latter- you deserve what you get.

Now let's talk about what a high test score WON'T buy you. Everyone is clamoring for a 180 LSAT Instructor- who probably never struggled with the exam once and found everything to be relatively pain-free in the prep process. In short- they are so far removed from their students that their problems are likely enigmas to the instructor. It takes an amazing instructor to be able to routinely step outside of themselves to put themselves in their students' shoes, and most LSAT Instructors have never had to walk in those shoes. Do you want an instructor who can empathize with you and offer workarounds, or do you want an instructor who can't fathom why you don't understand or can't work fast enough?

Now I'm not saying that one should run out and find themselves someone who doesn't know what they're doing, but it's time students started realistically assessing their instructors. There is a HUGE advantage to having an instructor who has fought with this test and is aware of the issues most students face- and who has dealt with them. To be blunt- I put far more stock in the ability of a brand new high 160s instructor to relate to their students enough to help them than I do in a brand new high 170s instructor for this very reason. It's not like either of them has access to different materials to give their students, but one of them is more likely to have access to relevant experiences that they can impart to their students.

Case and point: ever wonder why so few prep companies do any substantial work in section management strategies? Because most of the people who write the curriculum never had to worry about it. How many LSAT Students can make the same claim? How well are they served by the situation?

Just some food for thought.


all i hear is 'blah blah blah i didn't do so hot on the lsat, yet i teach it'.




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