Prep advice plz

BenFLaw22
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:54 am

Prep advice plz

Postby BenFLaw22 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:39 pm

Hi everyone. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to begin studying for the LSAT. I am planning on taking the test for the first time in October/December. Please answer the following if possible...

1) Best Books

2) Best Classes

3) Best Tutors

4) Additional Comments..(extremely thankful)

Money is not to worry about...please any and all advice is much appreciated,

Ben

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FuManChusco
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:56 pm

Re: Prep advice plz

Postby FuManChusco » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:11 am

BenFLaw22 wrote:
1) Best Books
Powerscore bibles. Logic Games and Logical Reasoning. These are the best. I also like the ExamKrackers RC book a decent amount. There aren't any great RC books though.

2) Best Classes
No clue. I hear Kaplan blows, haha.

3) Best Tutors
No clue.

4) Additional Comments..(extremely thankful)
A lot of people on here are big believers in self study. I most certainly am. Get every PT you can get your hands on, especially the most recent ones (43-59). After you have completed and scored an exam, review every single question you got wrong or were unsure about. This is the best way to improve once you have the basics down.


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

Re: Prep advice plz

Postby tomwatts » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:53 am

1) Best Books: I liked Cracking the LSAT when I used it years ago. It explains strategy. Then you go and get the 10 Actual series and all the rest of the LSAC-made PrepTests, and work through a LOT of those for your actual practice.

2) Best Classes: The 80+ hour ones. Most companies have short and long forms, and you want the long ones. If someone claims that one company or another is the best, he or she is lying. It depends more on the teacher than any other one factor, though (as a recent debate with a BP teacher correctly brought up) other relevant factors include class size, availability of the instructor for additional help vs. a help-line, and several other things. That varies a little by company but also by location.

3) Best Tutors: Me. :P More seriously, this depends considerably more on the individual than on the company. One neat thing that we (Princeton Review) do is separate tutors by experience level, so the most experienced and most qualified tutors cost a bit more but you're guaranteed a rock star tutor. Obviously, independent tutors exist, but you have to check up on them even more thoroughly than you would a tutor from a test prep company.

4) Additional Comments..(extremely thankful): There's no one right way to prepare for the LSAT. The first thing that people usually decide is the level of structure and kind of help, if any, they'd like from outside themselves. That's the book vs. class vs. tutor decision. Then we can get a little more specific about what you need to do.

However, every right way to prepare for the LSAT involves working through a lot of real LSAT questions. If you sign up for a class or for tutoring with a major company, it's likely you'll get that as part of the package, so there's no need to buy anything else on the side. If you prepare on your own, though, make sure you get your hands on a lot of real materials.

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Always Credited
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:31 pm

Re: Prep advice plz

Postby Always Credited » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:57 am

BenFLaw22 wrote:Hi everyone. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to begin studying for the LSAT. I am planning on taking the test for the first time in October/December. Please answer the following if possible...

1) Best Books
59 or so practice tests.

2) Best Classes
Don't pay anyone to watch you take prep tests, just do it yourself.

3) Best Tutors
Find your own mistakes, and figure out WHY you got them wrong. Find your own strengths, and figure out WHY you get those questions right. Repeat.

4) Additional Comments..(extremely thankful)
It doesn't take money to do well on the LSAT. It takes balls and motivation, neither of which can be granted to you by a tutor or classroom.

Money is not to worry about...please any and all advice is much appreciated,

Ben

bp colin
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:08 pm

Re: Prep advice plz

Postby bp colin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:02 am

There are a ton of different threads about people's experiences with different companies that you might want to sift through, some fairly recent. And yeah, because teachers are so important, ideally you want to learn about the specific instructors in your location. One of the best ways to do this would be to sit in on a class, which I know we at Blueprint and some (maybe all?) other companies allow. Also, if you live in a major market, TLSers would probably be more likely to have had experience with some of the instructors in your area, so you might want to include that piece of info in your query.

As for logistical questions, there are a number of company reps on the boards you can PM. I work for Blueprint, and you've met Tom from PR. There's also someone from Kaplan floating around, and Atlas, a new branch of Kaplan, is pretty active on the board as well. Haven't seen anyone from PS or TM in a while, but you can of course just call them.

And yeah, balls and motivation for sure. I do think a class can help add to the motivation quite a bit, but at the end of the day it's all about how much work you put into it.

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

Re: Prep advice plz

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:08 am

tomwatts wrote:1) Best Books: I liked Cracking the LSAT when I used it years ago. It explains strategy. Then you go and get the 10 Actual series and all the rest of the LSAC-made PrepTests, and work through a LOT of those for your actual practice.

2) Best Classes: The 80+ hour ones. Most companies have short and long forms, and you want the long ones. If someone claims that one company or another is the best, he or she is lying. It depends more on the teacher than any other one factor, though (as a recent debate with a BP teacher correctly brought up) other relevant factors include class size, availability of the instructor for additional help vs. a help-line, and several other things. That varies a little by company but also by location.

3) Best Tutors: Me. :P More seriously, this depends considerably more on the individual than on the company. One neat thing that we (Princeton Review) do is separate tutors by experience level, so the most experienced and most qualified tutors cost a bit more but you're guaranteed a rock star tutor. Obviously, independent tutors exist, but you have to check up on them even more thoroughly than you would a tutor from a test prep company.

4) Additional Comments..(extremely thankful): There's no one right way to prepare for the LSAT. The first thing that people usually decide is the level of structure and kind of help, if any, they'd like from outside themselves. That's the book vs. class vs. tutor decision. Then we can get a little more specific about what you need to do.

However, every right way to prepare for the LSAT involves working through a lot of real LSAT questions. If you sign up for a class or for tutoring with a major company, it's likely you'll get that as part of the package, so there's no need to buy anything else on the side. If you prepare on your own, though, make sure you get your hands on a lot of real materials.


^ This is pretty spot on.

I would add that Powerscore Bibles (especially Logical Reasoning and Games) are excellent books to help prep. The top prep companies are usually listed as powerscore, bluebook, and testmasters, but like Tom says, a lot of it comes down to the individual teacher. Make sure the teacher for your class has scored in the 99th percentile and has been teaching for at least a year (there is a high turnover rate at a lot of companies since many people just teach for a short amount of time before beginning law school--try to make sure you are not the first or second class that a teacher will be teaching).

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Mr. Smith
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:51 pm

Re: Prep advice plz

Postby Mr. Smith » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:45 am

FuManChusco wrote:
BenFLaw22 wrote:
1) Best Books
Powerscore bibles. Logic Games and Logical Reasoning. These are the best. I also like the ExamKrackers RC book a decent amount. There aren't any great RC books though.

2) Best Classes
No clue. I hear Kaplan blows, haha.

3) Best Tutors
No clue.

4) Additional Comments..(extremely thankful)
A lot of people on here are big believers in self study. I most certainly am. Get every PT you can get your hands on, especially the most recent ones (43-59). After you have completed and scored an exam, review every single question you got wrong or were unsure about. This is the best way to improve once you have the basics down.



+1 on all this

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tartugas
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:43 pm

Re: Prep advice plz

Postby tartugas » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:02 pm

I think it's always important share a little about who you are and why a particular approach works for you. There are a lot of people who will get practically abusive in their pushing for self study for all. just because someone is passionate about something that works for them does not mean that their method is universally effective.

So that said, here's my background and perspective (FWIW).

Background: 35yo, 3.5 GPA (from back in the day), first practice test 163. Spent Jan til March self studying with PS Bibles and Prep Tests.

Perspective: I found that it helped clear some things up for me, and certainly helped my confidence in LG, but it wasn't really imporving my score consistently.

So now I'm 3 weeks into the BP online class and I have to say I think it's really helping me a lot. I found the flexibiliy of the online program to work well with my needs (it's impossible for me to commit to a class schedule with my job). The support I received has been great (Colin is my official BP email "study buddy" and has been very quick to respond to questions). The format of the course suits me to a T and the delivery is engaging and keeps me moving forward and excited.

I will also say that, for me, the regimen of a course has been extremely helpful as it's helping me to get back in the habit of studying for hours at a time. Lastly, I really think that BP offers some fantastic diagnostic tools (the online score analyzer for instance) that really adds to the value of the course and helps save me a lot of time (it would take hours (days really) for me to break down each Q by type and see where I need to focus my attention.

All that said, I think you should get as many perspectives and stories as you can, but most importantly spend the next month or so looking at the prep materials from different sources and see if anything jumps out at you. I will say that I do think a steady, organized approach and a focused discipline are essential to success no matter what you do in the end.

Best of luck.




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