Powerscore ^ Kaplan

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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby forward » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:34 am

Nikrall wrote:
Sparkz1920 wrote:Ok, so how r Testmasters and Powerscores online courses?

Thats my only option. My schedule wont fit anything else.


Eh well you can try a tutor. I don't know how the online courses are, but in general their courses are good. I think blueprint has an online course I've heard good things about.


TITCR.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby Geetar Man » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:36 am

Thanks guys! All very good responses.

I have concluded that, at the price of 650 for the course, its a worthwhile investment. Although, the course may not be the best, others cant compare much significantly.

I am going to finish my bibles and then go from there. I will let everyone know how my experiences go and what not.
Wish me luck!

Cheers!

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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby KaplanLSATInstructor » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:59 am

OP -- you asked for some back up to why I support Kaplan. I will provide some while responding to a few claims.

Nikrall wrote:I don't follow what they do religiously. However there are a few reasons why I dislike Kaplan. A lot.

They allow little to no flexibility in their teaching.


This just isn't true. Yes, we do not allow teachers to teach their own or other methods. After all, Kaplan has spent a lot of time and effort developing our methods and students pay for Kaplan's method. Period. However, while you do have to follow a lesson plan, there's room for interpretaion (which I'll get to in a minute). And excellent teachers HAVE to be flexible to adapt to different students.

Teachers are encouraged to emphasize any points they feel beneficial to the class. They decide how to present the material to the class, sticking to the teaching guide merely as an outline -- NOT a script.

Nikrall wrote:Kaplan only requires teachers get in the 90th percentile to teach the test... Now I suppose in a sense its alright since all they want you to do is essentially read out of a book, but a good teacher should be able to answer questions as well.


This point has been beaten to death. 90th percentile is merely a MINIMUM requirement. And it's just that.. a requirement, not a guarantee. We don't just hire someone based on score. And, as it has been argued countless time, high score does NOT mean good teacher. All applicants MUST complete training to make sure they can actually teach the material and know what they're talking about. Otherwise, they're cut. We only hire about 1 in every 6 teachers who apply.

And while 90th percentile is a minimum, a vast number of our teachers FAR exceed that minimum. I don't know of anyone in our offices in Long Island who can't score in the 170s.

Nikrall wrote:Furthermore the methods that Kaplan uses are, frankly, horrible. They are not teaching people the skills necessary to understand the test, they are teaching people how to get questions right without knowing the skills necessary to understanding the test.


This is just wrong. We teach formal logic (conditional statements) -- a significant skill. We teach analyzing arguments -- separating arguments into evidence and conclusion, and using that information to determine the assumption -- a vital skill. We teach making deductions, combining statements to make inferences, using keywords to recognize tone and structure of arguments and passages. In short, most of our course is about developing skills -- not tricks to avoid understanding those skills.

Nikrall wrote:And scope? Really? I have to beat it out of all my students (many who are Kaplan refugees) that just because something is not mentioned in the stimulus does not make it necessarily the wrong answer.


That is NOT what scope is about. Scope is about the core of what the argument is discussing. Consider this: "I dug a flower garden last night. This morning, the flowers were dug up. My neighbors have a dog that loves digging. Thus, it was their dog that dug up my flowers."

The scope of the argument is about what dug up the flowers. Consider these two ways to weaken that argument.

(A) My neighbors also own a cat.

This doesn't really weaken the argument because the argument is about what dug up the flowers, not what kind of animals the neighbor owns. What makes this answer out of scope is its lack of direct relevance to the scope of the argument. Not because it mentions a cat (something not mentioned in the argument), but because it doesn't address the argument.

(B) My neighbors also own a cat, which is also fond of digging up flowers.

NOW we address the scope. By tying the cat to digging up flowers, it offers an alternate explanation to the situation. Even though the cat is a new piece of information, the context of the answer is within the scope of the argument.

Nikrall wrote:Oh. And don't get me started on the money back guarantee. That is a scam of the first order.


Seriously? It's a scam that we offer people money back if their score doesn't increase from the diagnostic? And it's a scam that we allow students to repeat the course, for free, if they didn't get a score they wanted -- regardless of that score? And it's a scam that we allow students to repeat the course, for free, if they're not even READY to take the exam? (That's right -- they don't even have to TAKE the exam to repeat the course for free.) Give me a break.

----
Listen, Kaplan's methods may seem confusing to some. However, I have been teaching them for six years. I see them work. You just have to understand what they're saying, and a good teacher should be able to do that for you.

This test is very pattern driven, and Kaplan recognizes that. That's why our course is designed to exploit those patterns and teach students the SKILLS to recognize those patterns and answer the questions.

OP -- if you want more information, PM me. I'll answer any question you have honestly and openly.

Sparkz1920
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby Sparkz1920 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:58 am

Interesting

Well, ill be beginning Kaplans course this evening, as it goes with my schedule. No doubt in my mind that the others are better. Not even up for debate. But ill be doing plenty on my own and also in this course. Ill see how it fares out.

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Nikrall
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby Nikrall » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:36 am

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:OP -- you asked for some back up to why I support Kaplan. I will provide some while responding to a few claims.

Nikrall wrote:I don't follow what they do religiously. However there are a few reasons why I dislike Kaplan. A lot.

They allow little to no flexibility in their teaching.


This just isn't true. Yes, we do not allow teachers to teach their own or other methods. After all, Kaplan has spent a lot of time and effort developing our methods and students pay for Kaplan's method. Period. However, while you do have to follow a lesson plan, there's room for interpretaion (which I'll get to in a minute). And excellent teachers HAVE to be flexible to adapt to different students.


And this is part of why Kaplan sucks. Students aren't paying for your method. They couldn't give 2 shits about what method they are taught so long as it works for them. They don't care whether its Kaplans/Powerscores/Testmasters/Blueprints/some dude off the streets, as long as it WORKS.

But thanks for the company line. I remember that line from when I was trained. "Students pay for the Kaplan method". No, no they don't. They pay because they want to do well.

Teachers are encouraged to emphasize any points they feel beneficial to the class. They decide how to present the material to the class, sticking to the teaching guide merely as an outline -- NOT a script.


Oh, well, they get to decide how to present the script. That doesn't allow for flexibility. The only Kaplan teachers I've ever heard anything good about were those who said "so...Kaplan says to do it X way, but thats pretty shit, so you should do it Y way".

This point has been beaten to death. 90th percentile is merely a MINIMUM requirement. And it's just that.. a requirement, not a guarantee. We don't just hire someone based on score. And, as it has been argued countless time, high score does NOT mean good teacher. All applicants MUST complete training to make sure they can actually teach the material and know what they're talking about. Otherwise, they're cut. We only hire about 1 in every 6 teachers who apply.

And while 90th percentile is a minimum, a vast number of our teachers FAR exceed that minimum. I don't know of anyone in our offices in Long Island who can't score in the 170s.


Who woulda thought that a Kaplan teacher would confuse sufficient and necessary?

A high score is necessary to be a good teacher. It is not sufficient to be a good teacher, but it is necessary. Its pretty basic that the person teaching the materials should understand them on a pretty fundamental level. Now that understanding doesn't mean that you are a good teacher, but if you lack that understanding you are definitely a bad teacher.

Kaplan pays what....$22 an hour? At that crappy rate, its not wonder they have to lower their standards to teachers who only scored in the 160's.

This is just wrong. We teach formal logic (conditional statements) -- a significant skill. We teach analyzing arguments -- separating arguments into evidence and conclusion, and using that information to determine the assumption -- a vital skill. We teach making deductions, combining statements to make inferences, using keywords to recognize tone and structure of arguments and passages. In short, most of our course is about developing skills -- not tricks to avoid understanding those skills.


Well yes you have to teach SOME skills, but you definitely don't teach enough. Thats why its so hard to score in the 170's from taking a Kaplan course.

That is NOT what scope is about. Scope is about the core of what the argument is discussing. Consider this: "I dug a flower garden last night. This morning, the flowers were dug up. My neighbors have a dog that loves digging. Thus, it was their dog that dug up my flowers."

The scope of the argument is about what dug up the flowers. Consider these two ways to weaken that argument.

(A) My neighbors also own a cat.

This doesn't really weaken the argument because the argument is about what dug up the flowers, not what kind of animals the neighbor owns. What makes this answer out of scope is its lack of direct relevance to the scope of the argument. Not because it mentions a cat (something not mentioned in the argument), but because it doesn't address the argument.

(B) My neighbors also own a cat, which is also fond of digging up flowers.

NOW we address the scope. By tying the cat to digging up flowers, it offers an alternate explanation to the situation. Even though the cat is a new piece of information, the context of the answer is within the scope of the argument.



Yeah, well you guys might want to rethink how you teach that since pretty much every Kaplan refugee I've ever taught doesn't understand that at all.

Seriously? It's a scam that we offer people money back if their score doesn't increase from the diagnostic? And it's a scam that we allow students to repeat the course, for free, if they didn't get a score they wanted -- regardless of that score? And it's a scam that we allow students to repeat the course, for free, if they're not even READY to take the exam? (That's right -- they don't even have to TAKE the exam to repeat the course for free.) Give me a break.


Yes, its a scam. I explained how before. Pretty much everyone goes up from their first diagnostic, just by taking preptests. You guys could sit up there and speak latin the entire fucking time and with the amount of tests you make people take/questions you make them answer to get the money back guarantee, 99% would improve.

And yes. Its also a scam that you let them take the course again for free. Hardly anyone does I bet. Why the hell would you want to re-take a course that didn't help you?

Its a scam when you offer something that sounds really good, but when it actually comes down to it, is an incredibly unattractive offer.

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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby sluguy14 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:06 pm

I've gotta side with KaplanLSATInstructor on this one. I recently finished the Kaplan Advanced Online course and I feel it helped me quite a bit. It wasn't perfect- we could have used far more discussion on stress management (which might have been my downfall on the June test- we'll see) and more in-class tests- but I saw my score improve significantly on preptests from using the Kaplan methods.

I found their LR techniques to be particularly effective, their RC techniques to be kinda meh, and their LG techniques to be just as effective as Powerscore (I worked through the Logic Games Bible before the class). I'm really not sure why everyone bashes their methods, but to each his own I guess.

And aren't teachers required to have at least a 99% score to teach the Advanced course? I know this was true of my teacher, though I was under the impression that it's true of all Advanced teachers.

Speaking of which, my instructor was awesome. I'm not sure what all this talk about a strict script is about, but my instructor interjected quite a lot of his own advice and tips into the lessons. And he was incredibly helpful in answering questions. But again, the Kaplan methods (minus RC, more or less) helped me a lot in mastering the test.

As for the guarantee... I'm not sure what you want. They tell you right upfront what it is: you do worse than your diagnostic, you get your money back. You have any other reason for wanting to take the class again, you take the class again. Seems like a good deal to me.

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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby suspicious android » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:06 pm

Nikrall wrote:Kaplan pays what....$22 an hour? At that crappy rate, its not wonder they have to lower their standards to teachers who only scored in the 160's.


I always wonder about this.. There are 4-5 major prep companies that pay $50+ an hour. Why does anyone work for Kaplan? There are some areas where they're the only game in town, but for other places, they pay half as much as the competition, it's hard to see them attracting the best talent.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:42 am

Well, this is all very useful dialogue for myself as well as others. I guess I will just have to find out for myself because both arguments are very appealing. I will not commit the fallacy of appeal to popularity and agree that Kaplan is terrible because the majority of people say so. With that being said, I still think its a matter of subjectivity.

suspicious android wrote:
Nikrall wrote:Kaplan pays what....$22 an hour? At that crappy rate, its not wonder they have to lower their standards to teachers who only scored in the 160's.


I always wonder about this.. There are 4-5 major prep companies that pay $50+ an hour. Why does anyone work for Kaplan? There are some areas where they're the only game in town, but for other places, they pay half as much as the competition, it's hard to see them attracting the best talent.


Although, I have a problem with this argument. I don't think that pay should be the basis of judging how well a certain company's instructors will be.
Thats almost like saying the manager at Mcdonalds is a better worker/smarter than the manager at Burger King because he gets paid more; this surely cannot be the case.

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suspicious android
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby suspicious android » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:20 am

Geetar Man wrote:Although, I have a problem with this argument. I don't think that pay should be the basis of judging how well a certain company's instructors will be.
Thats almost like saying the manager at Mcdonalds is a better worker/smarter than the manager at Burger King because he gets paid more; this surely cannot be the case.


Uhm, if the two jobs are substantially the same, the one that pays better will usually have more highly skilled workers. If company A is hiring teachers at $50, and B at $25, all things being equal it's completely reasonable to suspect that the company A is going to have its first choice. Now not all things are equal, but that is a big pay gap.

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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby eandy » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:32 am

There are different score requirements to teach the different levels of Kaplan courses. In addition, 90% percentile scores can, in theory, be high enough to get the job, but the chances are slim.

As to repeating the course, it isn't so much the benefit of repeating the course as it is continued access to the materials. If you take a Kaplan course, you have access to all of the prep tests (proctored!) at the center or online.

Kaplan isn't any better or worse than a lot of the other companies. In a lot of areas, Kaplan is the only place around. Maybe Princeton Review. So, the employee pay competition argument doesn't apply there. Kaplan also has a very friendly, positive work environment for its employees.

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suspicious android
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby suspicious android » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:37 am

eandy wrote:Kaplan isn't any better or worse than a lot of the other companies. In a lot of areas, Kaplan is the only place around. Maybe Princeton Review. So, the employee pay competition argument doesn't apply there. Kaplan also has a very friendly, positive work environment for its employees.


In a lot of places, Kaplan's probably the only option. However, everywhere TM/PS/BP/Atlas exist, there is an option to get paid substantially more than for Kaplan. So in those areas, Kaplan is unlikely to be able to recruit the best teachers.

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Nikrall
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby Nikrall » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:31 am

Geetar Man wrote:Well, this is all very useful dialogue for myself as well as others. I guess I will just have to find out for myself because both arguments are very appealing. I will not commit the fallacy of appeal to popularity and agree that Kaplan is terrible because the majority of people say so. With that being said, I still think its a matter of subjectivity.


Ugh, logic gone wrong. Be very careful about using the flaws/logic you learned in real life. Logic makes things absolutely true or absolutely false. If something doesn't do that, well then its a logical flaw. But if a bunch of people with experience with Kaplan says it sucks, they are probably worth listening too. Especially absent any other information since, unfortunately, there is no ranking system for the courses.

Although, I have a problem with this argument. I don't think that pay should be the basis of judging how well a certain company's instructors will be.
Thats almost like saying the manager at Mcdonalds is a better worker/smarter than the manager at Burger King because he gets paid more; this surely cannot be the case.


The manager at burger king/mcdonalds isn't an entry level job like a LSAT tutor is.

Think about it for a second. If you had a choice between a job that paid $22 an hour, or a job that paid $50, $60, or $100 an hour, which one would you apply too? Why would you apply to the $22 an hour job unless you had been rejected from the others?

I've been teaching the LSAT for almost 5 years now. I guarantee you I damn sure wouldn't accept a $22 an hour job to teach it. Nor would anyone else who is experienced in teaching the test.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Powerscore ^ Kaplan

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:24 pm

^ I hear that. Well, as I said, I will find out on my own. I hope Kaplan will help and if not, oh well. I will just take another course and take the December LSAT.




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