Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:54 am

KDLMaj wrote: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.


I have yet to encounter a person who scored 170+ cold. You're making a huge assumption here that the high 170 scorers did not make significant gains to get there, while the high 160 scorers did.

Sky'stheLimit
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby Sky'stheLimit » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 am

I tend to agree with the Kaplan guys on this one, for the average LSAT student. Going from 150 to a 160 is completely different ball game than going from 160+ to a 170+. What you practice, the things you're struggling with, and the test-taking strategies you use are drastically differentin those two score brackets. The average student, scoring in the 150s, I think would gain more from someone who had to master the skills necessary to get out of the 150s. A battle that most 170+ test takers did not have to deal with. The instructor would more than likely would simply be in better touch with his students struggles. Additionally, most 164+ testers can answer all of the questions on the LSAT correctly given enough time. In reality, the amount an instructor can help you in overcoming the time barrier is limited to innate abilities and tremendous amounts of practice, once he has taught you the most effective ways to tackle the test as whole and the individual questions.

Im obviously not discrediting 170+ LSAT instructors, there are definitely plenty of positives to argue on their behalf. However, I simply dont see an issue with 90%+ scorers teaching the basic Kaplan course. FYI, Kaplan recommends students with a diagnostic over 157 to take the advanced course, which is taught by an instuctor who has scored in 99%.

skip james
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:53 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby skip james » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:38 am

Sky'stheLimit wrote:I tend to agree with the Kaplan guys on this one, for the average LSAT student. Going from 150 to a 160 is completely different ball game than going from 160+ to a 170+. What you practice, the things you're struggling with, and the test-taking strategies you use are drastically differentin those two score brackets. The average student, scoring in the 150s, I think would gain more from someone who had to master the skills necessary to get out of the 150s. A battle that most 170+ test takers did not have to deal with. The instructor would more than likely would simply be in better touch with his students struggles. Additionally, most 164+ testers can answer all of the questions on the LSAT correctly given enough time. In reality, the amount an instructor can help you in overcoming the time barrier is limited to innate abilities and tremendous amounts of practice, once he has taught you the most effective ways to tackle the test as whole and the individual questions.

Im obviously not discrediting 170+ LSAT instructors, there are definitely plenty of positives to argue on their behalf. However, I simply dont see an issue with 90%+ scorers teaching the basic Kaplan course. FYI, Kaplan recommends students with a diagnostic over 157 to take the advanced course, which is taught by an instuctor who has scored in 99%.


you have a valid point, but by your logic (and all other variables being equal) wouldn't a teacher who went from 150 to the high 170s be better than a teacher who went from 150 to the high 160s?

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

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby tomwatts » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:36 pm

Man, am I glad we don't have to do this dance anymore.

There was a time, years ago, when we (Princeton Review) had similar flaky score requirements. I began a PR teacher before I ever took the LSAT because I got a 180 on the qualifying exam (which was PT 43 or something at the time). After about a year of teaching, the requirements changed: all PR instructors had to get real scores in the 98th percentile or above to continue teaching, and all new teachers needed those scores in the first place. So I went in and got a 176. Then I got to go back a month ago and got a 180.

Now, did I spontaneously become a better teacher after I took the test the first time and got a 176? I doubt it. I don't think I spontaneously became a better teacher a few weeks ago when that 180 arrived in the (e-)mail, either. However, it does give me instant credibility: I can speak from personal experience about how to do really well on the test, and you know that I'm not just parroting the company line.

So the way I look at the score is that it's proof. If I really do understand the test as well as I'm claiming, I'd damn well better be able to prove it, and there's no better proof than a really high score. We'll take people into training who've scored in the 160's in a PT for the reasons the Kaplan guy described, but to teach for us, after the training, they have to prove that they really got it by taking the test for real and scoring the score. Saying, "I got a 165, but I could do much better now after all this stuff I learned with this company," is weak. Saying, "I got a 165 first, but I did much better after all the stuff I learned with this company, since I went back and scored a 175," is much stronger.

On the issue of whether someone who scores that high can relate to incoming students: I've scored a 180, but that 180 was hard-earned. I started from a 154. Now, I did that in basically 2 months of studying on my own, but I still did it. I don't trust people who scored a 170 or above on an initial diag, either. I look at those people really, really carefully when I train them, because I want to make sure that they're really learning the methods by which everyone else has to take this test, even if they have some magical thing that works for them and is not at all replicable. But some of them still can teach, because some of them do get it.

KDLMaj
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:07 pm

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby KDLMaj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:53 pm

tomwatts wrote:Man, am I glad we don't have to do this dance anymore.

There was a time, years ago, when we (Princeton Review) had similar flaky score requirements. I began a PR teacher before I ever took the LSAT because I got a 180 on the qualifying exam (which was PT 43 or something at the time). After about a year of teaching, the requirements changed: all PR instructors had to get real scores in the 98th percentile or above to continue teaching, and all new teachers needed those scores in the first place. So I went in and got a 176. Then I got to go back a month ago and got a 180.

Now, did I spontaneously become a better teacher after I took the test the first time and got a 176? I doubt it. I don't think I spontaneously became a better teacher a few weeks ago when that 180 arrived in the (e-)mail, either. However, it does give me instant credibility: I can speak from personal experience about how to do really well on the test, and you know that I'm not just parroting the company line.

So the way I look at the score is that it's proof. If I really do understand the test as well as I'm claiming, I'd damn well better be able to prove it, and there's no better proof than a really high score. We'll take people into training who've scored in the 160's in a PT for the reasons the Kaplan guy described, but to teach for us, after the training, they have to prove that they really got it by taking the test for real and scoring the score. Saying, "I got a 165, but I could do much better now after all this stuff I learned with this company," is weak. Saying, "I got a 165 first, but I did much better after all the stuff I learned with this company, since I went back and scored a 175," is much stronger.

On the issue of whether someone who scores that high can relate to incoming students: I've scored a 180, but that 180 was hard-earned. I started from a 154. Now, I did that in basically 2 months of studying on my own, but I still did it. I don't trust people who scored a 170 or above on an initial diag, either. I look at those people really, really carefully when I train them, because I want to make sure that they're really learning the methods by which everyone else has to take this test, even if they have some magical thing that works for them and is not at all replicable. But some of them still can teach, because some of them do get it.



All a high score proves is that you can get the score- it doesn't prove that you can help anyone else get it. And, frankly, unless you write the curriculum yourself (and the average instructor should NOT), then it doesn't matter if you pulled a 180. The person who wrote the curriculum better be able to pull a 180, but the person who teaches it better be able to make it accessible to everyone else. That's the crux of teaching.

Advertising gimmicks shouldn't be put before quality of teaching, and unfortunately many companies right now priorities the former over the latter (to the detriment of their students). But to change this, students need to start being savvier. For every student who actually asks the all-important question, "How long have you been doing this?" 10 will ask "What was your LSAT score?". That's why prep companies focus so heavily on scores.

And in all reality, the vast majority of Kaplan instructors are well above the 95%. The two primary reasons why the 90% cutoff exists at all are 1. For Centers in the middle of nowhere (where no other prep company can afford to operate- most companies operate only in the biggest markets. Kaplan is one of the few that can bring test prep to folks who would otherwise have no access) where finding quality teachers in the 99%+ range may be virtually impossible and 2. because we learned a long time ago that quality teaching is worth far more than a few extra questions on a test.

Students need to realize this as well.

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

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby tomwatts » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:23 pm

KDLMaj wrote:All a high score proves is that you can get the score- it doesn't prove that you can help anyone else get it.

This is true — as far as it goes. I used to say, "The question you should ask me is not, 'How did you score?' but 'How do your students score?'" I was glad when I got to stop saying this, though, because if they really did ask me that, I would say, "All over the freakin' map." None of us — not PR, not Kaplan, not TM/PS/BP — have enough statistical data to talk about the distributions of our students' real scores on the test. So there is no statistically significant data that you, or I, or any other test prep teacher can help anyone else get the score. (We have anecdotes, but that's not the same thing.)

KDLMaj wrote:And, frankly, unless you write the curriculum yourself (and the average instructor should NOT), then it doesn't matter if you pulled a 180.

I somewhat disagree. I will grant that I teach Princeton Review methods. But frankly, I teach Tom-style Princeton Review methods. My methods come from the family of PR methods that differ in style from Kaplan methods or PS methods or whatever, but I've had students take courses with other PR teachers and then take mine (more commonly, just make up a few classes with me) and comment on the different styles. It's not a completely different procedure; PR is question-stem first on LR, always, always, always. But where I advocate symbolizing "G is to the left of R" in one way, another teacher might use a different symbol to mean the same thing (well, there are really only two out there: G — R and G ... R). Where I might emphasize counting elements and considering how they fit into a diagram on a certain game, another teacher might emphasize testing possibilities, or whatever.

So to some degree, I am writing part of the curriculum myself. For that matter, all instructors choose what to emphasize and what to de-emphasize, and to that extent, all instructors write part of the curriculum. And what you choose better make sense. So it I think it does matter that the teacher be able to score well on the test.

Now, in certain courses, this is not so. We have an Accelerated course that has 28 hours of total class time. In that kind of rush, you're going to skim the surface of the LSAT and pretty much say the same thing as any other teacher would. Heck, in the regular Kaplan classroom course (short), the same thing might be true. In that case, the teacher's own ability with the test isn't terribly relevant; the teacher is going to say the same things, regardless. But in an 80+ hour course, in which you're getting into as much detail of the LSAT as you can, well, that's where it matters.

KDLMaj
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:07 pm

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby KDLMaj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:10 pm

Everyone makes the course their own- by adding personal touches and such. But whether or not you are successful at that depends entirely on your teaching experience and skill, NOT your LSAT score. Anyone who thinks someone makes better decisions in this regard because they scored higher is missing the point entirely.

Shrimps
Posts: 271
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:04 pm

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby Shrimps » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:14 pm

Tomwatts: may I ask a personal question? If you got 180 on the LSAT, why are you tutoring for Princeton Review instead of being a big shot lawyer or at least running your own tutoring company?

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:10 pm

Shrimps wrote:Tomwatts: may I ask a personal question? If you got 180 on the LSAT, why are you tutoring for Princeton Review instead of being a big shot lawyer or at least running your own tutoring company?


? 180 on the LSAT does not translate automatically into business savvy or automatic success in law school.

The better question is did Tom considered teaching for powerscore, blueprint or testmasters, since they are known to pay more than PR and kaplan, and why he ended up staying with PR. This question is more based on the past though rather then the future since it's prob pointless to consider switching before starting law school in the fall.

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

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby tomwatts » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:19 pm

If you've paid attention to other of my posts around here (no reason you should have, I suppose), you'll know that Princeton Review paid for me to take the test (both times), because I was already a PR SAT teacher and used Cracking the LSAT to prepare and did well in preliminary training.

I probably will use one of my various scores eventually (the LSAT is not the only test I did well on), but not yet.

Also, as I've said a million times, starting hourly wage can be misleading. I DEFINITELY make more money with Princeton Review than I would with anyone else, because I've been promoted multiple times, etc, etc.

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:52 pm

tomwatts wrote:If you've paid attention to other of my posts around here (no reason you should have, I suppose), you'll know that Princeton Review paid for me to take the test (both times), because I was already a PR SAT teacher and used Cracking the LSAT to prepare and did well in preliminary training.

I probably will use one of my various scores eventually (the LSAT is not the only test I did well on), but not yet.

Also, as I've said a million times, starting hourly wage can be misleading. I DEFINITELY make more money with Princeton Review than I would with anyone else, because I've been promoted multiple times, etc, etc.


Ah, makes sense. Good luck when you do end up applying (whether it be to b-school, law school, etc).

User avatar
OneKnight
Posts: 429
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby OneKnight » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:04 pm

Speaking from personal experience, Princeton Review is a crapshoot. I have friends that swear by it and loved their instructors, but I had the WORST tutors you can imagine (weren't at all familiar with the current LSAT, had no idea about comparative reading comp, etc.). Actually, I'll just indict PR in D.C., no need to take down the whole organization :P
Also - I've only heard good things about Blueprint
and only terrible things about Kaplan

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby typ3 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:20 pm

OneKnight wrote:Speaking from personal experience, Princeton Review is a crapshoot. I have friends that swear by it and loved their instructors, but I had the WORST tutors you can imagine (weren't at all familiar with the current LSAT, had no idea about comparative reading comp, etc.). Actually, I'll just indict PR in D.C., no need to take down the whole organization :P
Also - I've only heard good things about Blueprint
and only terrible things about Kaplan



I had a great kaplan instructor. I think all live LSAT prep depends on who you have more so than what company you choose.

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

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby tomwatts » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:36 pm

typ3 wrote:
OneKnight wrote:Speaking from personal experience, Princeton Review is a crapshoot. I have friends that swear by it and loved their instructors, but I had the WORST tutors you can imagine (weren't at all familiar with the current LSAT, had no idea about comparative reading comp, etc.). Actually, I'll just indict PR in D.C., no need to take down the whole organization :P
Also - I've only heard good things about Blueprint
and only terrible things about Kaplan



I had a great kaplan instructor. I think all live LSAT prep depends on who you have more so than what company you choose.

This. Always. :)

johnwic11
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:42 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby johnwic11 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:15 pm

Just signed my wife up for the Kaplan private tutoring. I was going to go with the princeton review at first but my wife would have had to meet them half way being that they are in dc and we are in Newport News. From one of the posters above it seems like this was a good decision to save the drive and stay in Norfolk, Va. for the tutor, but i will let you know in the next two months how it turned out.

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby typ3 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:28 pm

I would recommend doing PT's and Pscore along with your private tutoring. If she is taking the june exam and hasn't started she should start tomorrow as there is only 81 days until the exam. With 60 PT's out there she would need to complete about 75 LSAT questions a day to stay on track from now until June 7th.

johnwic11
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:42 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby johnwic11 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:35 am

She is starting to take her first practice on sunday. We are not looking for a dramatic rise in her score. Due to us having a child and me still being in the military during her first year of law, we would like her to go to school around family which the schools around family are 3rd tier. We are trying to raise the score to try and receive scholarship money to offset the gi bill payment. We will see.

johnwic11
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:42 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby johnwic11 » Sun May 02, 2010 4:11 pm

she is about 3 weeks into her private tutoring. So far it has been great. the tutor is a real professional, and practicing lawyer. He only scored a 165 on the LSAT, but he has been teaching the lsat for over 4 years now. I will update once she takes the test, but so far we have no complaints.

rachelst
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby rachelst » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:50 pm

To anybody looking to receive tutoring from Get Prepped: DO NOT UTILIZE THEIR SERVICES! Their refund policy (or lack thereof) is terrible. I received the same score after paying $1200 for private tutoring and was screwed over when I asked for a partial refund. Other companies have clearly outlined their financial compensation or classroom compensation for not receiving a higher score, but their policy for tutoring is basically "TBD." I don't want to throw my tutor under the bus because he was very helpful and my practice scores improved by around 12 points, but if you're looking to get LSAT tutoring, GO WITH ANOTHER TEST PREP COMPANY!

03152016
Posts: 9189
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 am

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby 03152016 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:54 pm

.
Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

tangelo
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Best LSAT Classroom Prep Course

Postby tangelo » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:43 pm

Has much changed in all these recommendations over the years? I'm finding a lot of suggested courses in TLS but most were stickied years ago. Just double checking that all these suggestions still hold true today, in 2014. Thanks!




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cherrygalore, jonny27, smashbash and 7 guests