KAPLAN (&@#($

User avatar
Geetar Man
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:13 am

KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:33 pm

Does anyone have any REAL advice on what course to take?

I am paying 650 dollars for the Kaplan course starting in July and ending right before the October LSAT. Although, I have been reading up on Kaplan and many people are against it...

Any advice on what course to take?
Some people say Testmasters, some say Princeton... Who knows anymore...

Side note** I read the LGB and found it very helpful, but I want to get the best course for my money's worth. ALL FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED!!!!

WestOfTheRest
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:10 pm

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby WestOfTheRest » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:36 pm

You didn't need a new thread for this topic.

Don't take Princeton review. Kaplan is better than Princeton, but not by much.

Testmasters is good. Blueprint and Powerscore both got their methodologies from TM, so they are equally as good. There are also a few smaller ones that people like.

User avatar
Geetar Man
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:13 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:42 pm

Fuck it, Im just going to do the Kaplan course. If I'm not hitting the scores I want come mid-September, Im just going to finish the Kaplan course and take a different prep course for the December test.

WestOfTheRest
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:10 pm

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby WestOfTheRest » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:05 pm

Geetar Man wrote:Fuck it, Im just going to do the Kaplan course. If I'm not hitting the scores I want come mid-September, Im just going to finish the Kaplan course and take a different prep course for the December test.

This is what I would do. Go through the bibles, then assess where you are at and if you need additional assisstance then take a class. This is the best route for you IMO.

User avatar
3|ink
Posts: 7331
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby 3|ink » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:15 pm

Geetar Man wrote:Does anyone have any REAL advice on what course to take?

I am paying 650 dollars for the Kaplan course starting in July and ending right before the October LSAT. Although, I have been reading up on Kaplan and many people are against it...

Any advice on what course to take?
Some people say Testmasters, some say Princeton... Who knows anymore...

Side note** I read the LGB and found it very helpful, but I want to get the best course for my money's worth. ALL FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED!!!!


Testmasters is good for classroom learners. I hear Blueprint is good for those who learn better on their own. I've only heard negative feedback about Kaplan. Kaplan comes off as a 'quantity before quality' kind of company. That's always a bad sign.

mst
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:01 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby mst » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:22 am

Stick with your Kaplan course. 650 for it is an AWESOME price. Any other course will run you around 1400 and will be marginally better at best. For 650, your getting about 300 dollars worth of books and material... and so many online resources and human resources at your disposal that they might actually be losing money on you.

Kaplan is a great way to improve your score at least 5-8 points in a structured way that reduces a lot of stress on your part and gives you the organizational tools to make the most of your studying. Take the class, stop reading these lousy comments from the assholes on this forum who would say something negative about anything mainstream, and enjoy your awesome investment.

Just as a note: I wouldn't hesitate to say that the majority of the people on this forum would jump at the opportunity to use the kaplan books to study, but they are not available for a reasonable price. 650 is an awesome deal just for the books, smart reports and the test-center proctoring.

1991
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:29 pm

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby 1991 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:09 am

I took Princeton Review and found it immensely helpful. But then again, no basis for comparison on my end.

The Princeton Review course used only real test questions (except a few split reading passages because there aren't that many out there yet), and as for the tests that were not included in the course books, they were available to print from my Student Tools on PrincetonReview.com. (Wish I knew that earlier, because I wouldn't have had to pay for the 10 real tests books, etc.).

User avatar
lebob
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:25 pm

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby lebob » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:56 am

Geetar Man, yea the whole test prep choosing thing can be stressful.
that 650 price is pretty good. i can't give you a definitive answer, but here's my experience:

i took Kaplan first, didn't get much out of it, and took Testmasters afterwards, and saw great improvements. many people here on TLS self study, but i know that i don't have the dedication/self-control to really force myself to study. i needed the class.

Kaplan:
- Kaplan's RC tactics are just horrible - they actually set me back. BAsically they tell you to underline this, box that, circle this, put a small note next to this, blah blah blah...it's this long, complicated, confusing system that they do. the biggest problem i had with this (apart from memorizing the complexities of when to underline, box, star, use parenthesis) was that it TOOK TOO MUCH TIME. honestly, you don't have to time to sit around and mark the ENTIRE passage + jot notes for every paragraph + sit back and admire your artwork. it took me forever to UNLEARN this and focus instead on reading and understanding the text. people do mark stuff, and people do jot small things down, but no one does the complex mix of underlining/boxing/paranthesis/writing that Kaplan suggested to me.
-Kaplan's LR falls short to TestMaster's LR lessons. TM breaks down sufficient/necessary, some vs most vs all, and conditional reasoning a lot better than Kaplan. TM also distinguishes between 2N and 2S question types ( dont wanna explain this right now ). Kaplan DID NOT make this distinction for me, but in hindsight this is a pretty big deal.
- Kaplan's games, umm, I guess their games lessons were alright. then again, this section is all about practicing tons of problems and it's the most learnable anyway.
-the teachers were great! ultimately, the problem is with the entire system and approach that they take to the LSAT (unnecessarily complex). it's a shame, b/c some of these teachers are really great, but they're stuck teaching a crappy method.

Overall, my biggest problem with Kaplan was it's unnecessary fluff. you're not only studying for the LSAT...you're actually studying an unnecessarily confusing Kaplan system, with its terms, code names, order of operations, methods of underlining/bracketing, and all of these random names they stick to stuff. you end up memorizing useless titles and terms, when you should be focused on the content of the LSAT.

TM was better because overall, there was less fluff. it felt like they were teaching me how to think and approach problems -- not make shortcuts, but actually learn the logic behind the problems.

Lastly - i feel like it's more important how committed you personally are to studying. if you take TM but eff around, you'll probably do poorly. if you sacrifice your life studying for the LSAT but take Kaplan, you'll still probably do well. ultimately it depends on how much you put into it (so cliched i know). just, for me, TM was much, much better.

i hope that helps you man, and i really hope things work out
i took both, so i just wanted to make that suggestion to you - PM me if you have any personal questions about my Kaplan or Testmasters experience

User avatar
Geetar Man
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:13 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby Geetar Man » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:31 am

mst wrote:Stick with your Kaplan course. 650 for it is an AWESOME price. Any other course will run you around 1400 and will be marginally better at best. For 650, your getting about 300 dollars worth of books and material... and so many online resources and human resources at your disposal that they might actually be losing money on you.

Kaplan is a great way to improve your score at least 5-8 points in a structured way that reduces a lot of stress on your part and gives you the organizational tools to make the most of your studying. Take the class, stop reading these lousy comments from the assholes on this forum who would say something negative about anything mainstream, and enjoy your awesome investment.

Just as a note: I wouldn't hesitate to say that the majority of the people on this forum would jump at the opportunity to use the kaplan books to study, but they are not available for a reasonable price. 650 is an awesome deal just for the books, smart reports and the test-center proctoring.


Yeah, I have already received my books. I haven't looked at any of them yet, as i am still reading the LGB, RCB, and LRB.

As you said though, 650 dollars is probably the best price for a test prep course. With that said, that is what I want to do. Its already paid for anyways and it fits my schedule perfectly.

They sent me 6 books, including all three "mastery books" and some others for endurance and what not. Plus, I can take a proctored test at any time. Thanks for this advice! It definitely makes my choice easier.

mst
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:01 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby mst » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:48 am

I'm really surprised they moved up to 3 mastery books. I finished my course a few weeks back and we had 1 mastery, 1 endurance, 1 pacing, and 1 lesson book. I can see why they did it though: the sizes of the books were a bit out of hand. Hint: don't touch endurance until your closing in on the end of the course (otherwise you're wasting valuable practice tests before you have the lessons down... and do them backwards so that the newest ones are saved for later)... during the course, hit pacing like a beast. mastery is great for both during the course on assignments, and also as the test nears and you're identifying specific question types you want to improve on.

brasil
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:16 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby brasil » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:03 am

I took the Kaplan course that started in May for the June LSAT so I only had about a month to study for it. I think it worked well for me, considering I had never seen an LSAT before and had limited time to study for it. I only had time to do 7 PTS: 153 (cold diagnostic), 150 (score dropped bc I was still learning the Kaplan methods), 153, 158, 160, 160, 170 (big jump? -10).

Their RC method didn't help much; I decided to just read the passage and not mark anything for my last PT and only missed 4 (I was missing at least 8 before that).

I don't think there is anything wrong with Kaplan's methods for LG; I was constantly missing 1 or 2 at most on my pacing exercises, scoring 100% several times.

They cover LR pretty well, but I still think there were some weird question types on the June LSAT that Kaplan failed to cover.

All in all, I would recommend Kaplan, although I would take a class that started at least 2 months before the LSAT; I'm probably gonna retake it in October (unless I get 170+ [unlikely]) because I started getting better the week of the LSAT.

s419
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby s419 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:20 am

I'd second what lebob said about practice time out of class and about teacher quality. I actually took two Kaplan courses (one Feb - May for June 09, one July - Sept for Sept 09) and both of my teachers were very strong (first one wrote curriculum for all Kaplan LSAT courses), but the second one really went above and beyond, teaching additional workshops, intensely and correctly drilling formal logic into our brains, handing out homemade flashcards to help us study, really giving us way more than the book and set curriculum offered. If your teacher basically just repeated what's in the books, I can see how you wouldn't get much out of the course.

First course, I improved about 7-8 points (160 -> 167/8), but I will admit that I became a lot less dedicated in about the last 1/3 of the class on my own because I knew I had rescheduled from June to Sept. When I got to the second class, that's when I really began intensely studying on my own (at least 15 hrs/week, and then towards the last 1/2 of the course about 3-4 tests/week) which helped me get my next 8 point increase (167 -> 175 on the actual LSAT). I don't have any experience with the Bibles, other test prep companies, etc, since I was able to take my Kaplan course for free I didn't investigate any other options. It worked for me, but, like I said, I really lucked out with teachers and I spent a lot of time on my own studying. Good luck!

User avatar
ModestExplosion
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:04 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby ModestExplosion » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:22 am

Just want to throw my two cents in here as a Kaplan graduate: I hated it. I was struggling with LR and their method really wasn't helpful at all. After taking the course, I threw out my books and started fresh on my own with the LR Powerscore Bible ($60) and two books of practice tests ($100 something dollars). Just for comparison, my Kaplan p-test scores were around 160 and never fluctuated more than 1 or 2 points from that base number. After powerscore I was easily scoring above a 170. The difference in my opinion is that Kaplan doesn't teach the methods required to tackle the more difficult problems. On top of this imo they don't teach you how to do the question types well either. I say save the money and do it yourself, or pay more for one of the other courses.

Hope this helps and good luck!

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:20 am

Listen, i'm currently a week into the kaplan advanced class. I am doing lsat blogs four month study program concurrently with the kaplan advanced class. I can honestly say that I don't think the actual teaching during class will help me much. But I think that the extra materials along with the required homework to keep me busy and the ability to see multiple methods and decide on my own what to use is good. Also, the smart reports are great. I scored 160 on my cold diagnostic. And I was able to see exactly what types of questions I missed. And what I needed to work on my quest to a 170+.

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

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby FuManChusco » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:24 pm

Geetar Man wrote:Fuck it, Im just going to do the Kaplan course. If I'm not hitting the scores I want come mid-September, Im just going to finish the Kaplan course and take a different prep course for the December test.


What are the scores you want? If they are anything above a 165 then I would ditch the class and self-study.

User avatar
Geetar Man
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:13 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby Geetar Man » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:04 pm

FuManChusco wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:Fuck it, Im just going to do the Kaplan course. If I'm not hitting the scores I want come mid-September, Im just going to finish the Kaplan course and take a different prep course for the December test.


What are the scores you want? If they are anything above a 165 then I would ditch the class and self-study.


Well, like I said before I am doing a ton of self-studying averaging about 3-4 hours a day on my own. The class was only 650 so I figure if it keeps me busy and focused on the LSAT, I really have nothing to lose. Im shooting for a 170. With that being said, if im not hitting PT's around there, I will move my LSAT date to December and take a different course. But as of right now, I am just going to do the Kaplan thing. I feel like the proctored tests are going to help me the most. I plan to take a SHIT load of them throughout the course.

nireca
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby nireca » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:26 pm

No one can make this decision for you. It's entirely based on your preferences and your learning style. Both of the programs that I've experimented with (Kaplan, TestMasters) cater to different learning methods and use their own unique strategies to achieve LSAT mastery. That being said, your best bet is to introduce yourself to a few different approaches and see which one suits your style. Don't be afraid to combine elements from one system with those of another and above all, find out which approaches you like early and stick with them until test day.

For me, I thought TestMasters was unnecessarily complex in their LR strategies and that they made things more difficult than they needed to be. Kaplan, on the other hand, emphasized a more straightforward, common-sense approach that worked well for me. Obviously though you will see other people saying just the opposite. Although I used the Kaplan method for most of the test, I would always rely on the Testmaster's "Some train" for doing formal logic inference questions, despite my distaste for the rest of Testmaster's LR strategies.That is why I stress the importance of experimenting with both to see which aspects of each are most useful to you. In the end we all have our own distinct learning styles and its unlikely that these styles are going to directly coincide with any one test prep company's strategies. So just try them all out and keep what you like and discard the rest.

User avatar
Geetar Man
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:13 am

Re: KAPLAN (&@#($

Postby Geetar Man » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:46 pm

nireca wrote:No one can make this decision for you. It's entirely based on your preferences and your learning style. Both of the programs that I've experimented with (Kaplan, TestMasters) cater to different learning methods and use their own unique strategies to achieve LSAT mastery. That being said, your best bet is to introduce yourself to a few different approaches and see which one suits your style. Don't be afraid to combine elements from one system with those of another and above all, find out which approaches you like early and stick with them until test day.

For me, I thought TestMasters was unnecessarily complex in their LR strategies and that they made things more difficult than they needed to be. Kaplan, on the other hand, emphasized a more straightforward, common-sense approach that worked well for me. Obviously though you will see other people saying just the opposite. Although I used the Kaplan method for most of the test, I would always rely on the Testmaster's "Some train" for doing formal logic inference questions, despite my distaste for the rest of Testmaster's LR strategies.That is why I stress the importance of experimenting with both to see which aspects of each are most useful to you. In the end we all have our own distinct learning styles and its unlikely that these styles are going to directly coincide with any one test prep company's strategies. So just try them all out and keep what you like and discard the rest.

Thank you for the advice! This is what I was kinda thinking as well, I mean, I have nothing really to lose I guess except for my future, right? lol jk Thanks!!!




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cherrygalore and 7 guests