Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

ivylucky
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Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby ivylucky » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:57 pm

Hello All,

I am going to retake my LSAT (maybe this December or next Feb). Has anyone taken princeton review class around Newton MA? I work full time and it is a headache for parking in Boston. Newton is a better location for me (close). So...I prefer princeton review course over the others so far. I know, usually the value of a course really depends on the instructor. So I'd like to know if anyone think the course in Newton area is worthy.

Or, anyone thinks a private tutor a better idea? I am OK with my game part. My weak point is RC, only able to finish 3 passages. The time of LR is tight too. Anyone can recommend a tutor in Boston?

Thanks.
Last edited by ivylucky on Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

njgal
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor

Postby njgal » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:05 pm

I would highly recommend testmasters. I also was fine with games but struggled with the other two and I raised my score 12 points from my initial diagnostic. I do not know boston too well but one of the classes is taught at Amherst as well. That being said I also found just reading a lot no matter what it was helps with getting through the RC passages. Whatever you do DONT take Kaplan. Having heard stellar reviews about PR.

Also...if your only weakness is timing (the questions you get to you do fine) then plain old practice might be the biggest help of all.
Last edited by njgal on Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:06 pm

Most courses spend a good amount of time on Logic Games (since test-takers often have the most initial trouble with this section).

However, when you say you're "okay" on Logic Games, what exactly do you mean? How many are you missing, on average, and do you feel that you have a solid understanding of them and a consistent, systematic approach that you can adapt when LSAC throws a twist into a familiar game type?

If so, then you probably don't want a class that will spend a large chunk of time on them.

If not, then you will probably still benefit from spending time on them in a class.

I don't know of any class that skips or minimizes Logic Games entirely, but it might be worth sitting through just to solidify your understanding and to get to the other portions of the class on LR and RC.

If you really don't want to sit through LR and RC, you may want to find an option (such as private tutoring) that allows you to focus specifically on your areas of weakness.

If you do decide a course is the way to go, try to sit in on a sample class with the instructor you'd have for the course.

ivylucky
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor

Postby ivylucky » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:28 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:Most courses spend a good amount of time on Logic Games (since test-takers often have the most initial trouble with this section).

However, when you say you're "okay" on Logic Games, what exactly do you mean? How many are you missing, on average, and do you feel that you have a solid understanding of them and a consistent, systematic approach that you can adapt when LSAC throws a twist into a familiar game type?

If so, then you probably don't want a class that will spend a large chunk of time on them.

If not, then you will probably still benefit from spending time on them in a class.



Well, well, well, it is good point. In most of my pre-tests, I was able to finish them around 27-30 min with 0-3 missing. But the real day was very bad. I did not finish the game (-3). So maybe my game part has some problem too. Some problem I did not notice during my preparation. (I thought I am good at those games since teenage...well, sometimes when getting older, the brain gets slower...).

So do you also think testmaster course is better than others?

ivylucky
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor

Postby ivylucky » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:33 pm

njgal wrote:I would highly recommend testmasters. I also was fine with games but struggled with the other two and I raised my score 12 points from my initial diagnostic. I do not know boston too well but one of the classes is taught at Amherst as well. That being said I also found just reading a lot no matter what it was helps with getting through the RC passages. Whatever you do DONT take Kaplan. Having heard stellar reviews about PR.

Also...if your only weakness is timing (the questions you get to you do fine) then plain old practice might be the biggest help of all.



No, not really. I am not fine with the questions I answered. I saw my improvement. But I think I still have space to improve. So I am thinking about a course. (as some friends said maybe I need some further explanation about the material). So you really think testmaster is better than others? Thank you.

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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:36 pm

Sorry to hear Test Day didn't go as well as your practice. Some good advice here about preparing for Test Day: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=122227

You were doing Logic Games as a teenager?

As for your other question, I've never sat in on one of their classes and don't have direct experience with them.

You're best off asking those who've taken multiple courses, as they're in a better position to compare.

ivylucky
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor

Postby ivylucky » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:40 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:Sorry to hear Test Day didn't go as well as your practice.

You were doing Logic Games as a teenager?

I've never sat in on one of their classes and don't have direct experience with them.

You're best off asking those who've taken multiple courses, as they're in a better position to compare.


haha, there were lots of logic game competitions i used to attend as a teen. It was really fun. (well, they were in Chinese). So...I really think my English comprehension has problem although I have been here for almost 10 years.

njgal
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor

Postby njgal » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:46 pm

I really do recommend testmasters. I averaged -0 to -2 on games and I still was stumped on some games in class. Just the reinforcement of practice helped. I got -0 on test day. Plus the logic games first couple of tests I was getting -14 to -16 and had no idea why. By the end I was averaging -5 to -4 on both sections. My sister took PR and said it was most helpful for games which you do not seem to need the most help with. Kaplan I have heard horror stories and threads on this site tend to agree. The only class I do not know anything about is powerscore but I have heard good things. That being said no matter what class you take if you don't put the time into it do not expect to see results. Also the sheer amount of material testmasters provides is amazing (and unlike some other courses they use only actual questions from previous tests and do not make up any). But I have only really taken testmasters. There are some other threads about what classes to take, search those boards for insights about other courses.

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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:49 pm

njgal wrote:unlike some other courses they use only actual questions from previous tests and do not make up any


Which courses currently use made-up questions for their course materials?

njgal
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby njgal » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:02 pm

Most courses use at least some real lsat questions but companies like PR and Kaplan use a combination (and from what I have heard people that have done enough practice can tell the questions are slightly off).
Blueprint, Powerscore, and testmasters use only real lsat questions

But do not quote me on that.....courses might be different from prep books and courses are always being updated. I do know that testmasters requires instructors to get at least a 170 and powerscore requires 99% on real tests. Kaplan instructors just take simulated tests (once again I do not know about PR but I am sure you can find out that info relatively quickly).

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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:09 pm

PR and Kaplan have both published retail books that contain non-LSAC questions, but my understanding is that when it comes to their prep courses, they give their students access to every released LSAT question.

Don't see why the courses would resort to fake LSAT questions when they're already giving their students every released LSAT question. Perhaps those who teach for them can chime in.

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deneuve39
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby deneuve39 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:14 pm

Although I didn't use either of them, Powerscore or Testmasters are definitely the way to go. A lot of people at CLS used them and did very well.

tomwatts
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby tomwatts » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:11 pm

I think like 15 years ago when there weren't very many released tests we (Princeton Review) may have used some spiraled (simulated) LSAT questions, but for as long as I've been teaching (6 years), we've only used real questions and so has everybody else.

The book we have in bookstores has spiraled questions in order to be cheaper than the Bibles, etc, but that's totally different.

Oh, and we have the same 98th percentile instructor score requirement as most everyone else, too.

If you have any specific questions about the PR course or want to check on an instructor, feel free to let me know.

KaplanLSATInstructor
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby KaplanLSATInstructor » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:56 pm

As LSATBlog pointed out, Kaplan does not use fake questions in the course. I've been teaching for six years and it's been real questions the whole time. Same goes for all in-class exams.

Audio Technica Guy
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:08 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:PR and Kaplan have both published retail books that contain non-LSAC questions, but my understanding is that when it comes to their prep courses, they give their students access to every released LSAT question.

Don't see why the courses would resort to fake LSAT questions when they're already giving their students every released LSAT question. Perhaps those who teach for them can chime in.


Both use a couple of fake questions here and there to make minor points. The reason is because sometimes you don't want the student to do a whole game, you just want the setup. However, LSAC licensing agreements require you to print the thing in full if you use it. Also, there aren't enough published comparative reading passages to give adequate prep, so a couple of those are fake. Finally there is some consideration of adding a few fake questions because there is a new games question type that is showing up, but there are only 3 on released tests (the question that asks "which one of the following could replace the rule"blah blah blah" with no discernible change to the game").
Last edited by Audio Technica Guy on Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomwatts
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby tomwatts » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:38 pm

Audio Technica Guy wrote:Also, there aren't enough published comparative reading passages to give adequate prep, so a couple of those are fake.

Oh, yeah. I forgot about those. I tell my students not to do those at this point anyway, because they're going to get plenty of practice on real questions, so they're not part of my course, even if they're part of the materials. :P

(It is also true that we'll spend a few minutes looking at a fake games setup every now and then just to point out differences in things before we look at a real games setup, but that's maybe 5 minutes every three or four classes, really, and I'm starting to cut those out when I teach, too.)

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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:52 pm

tomwatts wrote:
Audio Technica Guy wrote:Also, there aren't enough published comparative reading passages to give adequate prep, so a couple of those are fake.

Oh, yeah. I forgot about those. I tell my students not to do those at this point anyway, because they're going to get plenty of practice on real questions, so they're not part of my course, even if they're part of the materials. :P

(It is also true that we'll spend a few minutes looking at a fake games setup every now and then just to point out differences in things before we look at a real games setup, but that's maybe 5 minutes every three or four classes, really, and I'm starting to cut those out when I teach, too.)


I really like the passengers on the subway fake game with the stop where nobody gets off.

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Atlas LSAT Teacher
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Re: Need suggestion on LSAT Class or Private Tutor (boston area)

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:20 pm

I think I was that guy just yesterday, stuck on a crowded 6 train forever.

If you're shopping around, a class is starting in Cambridge right after the fourth of July weekend and you can attend the first session as a trial student to see if it's a good fit. http://www.atlaslsat.com/boston-classes.cfm You could also check out the teacher there to see if he'd be a good tutor for you.

Good luck!




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