What's the best LSAT prep company?

michellejs
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What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby michellejs » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:46 pm

I've just been using books so far but I think I really need a class or tutor. Any suggestions?

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dpk711
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby dpk711 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:48 pm

michellejs wrote:I've just been using books so far but I think I really need a class or tutor. Any suggestions?


worst: Kaplan
best: self study

NYCLSATTutor
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby NYCLSATTutor » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:51 pm

Kaplan/Princeton review are terrible.

Testmasters/Powerscore/Blueprint/Manhattan LSAT are all decent/good classes.

For tutors, its sort of luck of the draw. If you are in NYC, feel free to contact me.

Best of luck.

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The Gentleman
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:55 pm

If you're set on a prep course, then Powerscore is probably your best bet. Each instructor is required to have scored in the 99th percentile on an actual administration of the LSAT, so you know they're not dumbasses.

dpk711 wrote:worst: Kaplan
best: self study


But ^^^ that is the best kept secret of LSAT prep. Self study w/ PTs and the Powerscore Bibles beats all.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby LSAT Blog » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:26 pm

If you're going for a course, what matters more than the company providing the course is the instructor you'd actually be working with.

You need someone who's knowledgeable, experienced, engaging, able to answer random questions on the fly, and go off-script to address the actual needs of the students.

You also need an instructor who can strike a balance between the needs of the "slower" and "quicker" students. Unfortunately, most classes contain students of all different ability levels (people shooting for simply 150+ and others shooting for 170+). In a class, you need an instructor who doesn't cater solely to one group or the other.

Ideally, if you take a course, you should be able to speak with the instructor before starting the class, get references, and sit in on a sample class actually taught by that instructor.

Good luck!

tomwatts
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby tomwatts » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:28 pm

The Gentleman wrote:Each instructor is required to have scored in the 99th percentile on an actual administration of the LSAT, so you know they're not dumbasses.

This (or 98th percentile, at least) is true of every major test prep company's instructors (with some occasional exceptions for short classes). And if anyone says that one company is hands-down the best, they're lying. It varies by location and by a lot of other things. You have to make this decision yourself. However, there are some factors that everyone should consider. Much of what I'm about to say is in strong agreement with the previous post.

I'm always fond of pointing out that it depends more on the instructor than on the company. If you call each company, you can find out who's teaching upcoming classes, and typically you can find out a little bit about their background. You want someone with a high real score (which they probably all have) and lots of teaching experience (ideally, at least a year). A law degree is irrelevant, but if there's anything else special about the instructor, that can be decisive. Instructor quality is the number one factor. The course is the teacher and the teacher is the course, to a very large degree.

Every class gives you access to all released LSATs, so that's not really a consideration. Several other things that some companies inexplicably advertise heavily are the same across all companies. Some things that do vary:
* how you get extra help outside of class (instructor office hours, telephone help line, etc)
* guarantees (if you don't do as well as you'd like, what does the company do?)
* on-site office staff to handle administrative things (vs. a headquarters somewhere far away)
* price (this doesn't vary by much, but it does vary a little)
* online content (some classes give you access to an entire recorded class online for review purposes; others have nothing)
* typical class size (some companies in some regions are known for packing 100 people into a lecture hall, so you can't really get all your questions answered, whereas others have 15-25 people per class)

Oh, and I definitely recommend the long (80+ hours) courses over the short ones.

If you're not near enough to a particular company to take an in-person class with them, consider an online class. The biggest difference there is that most companies only offer short classes online, though this is not universally true. The next biggest difference is that some classes are live (with an actual teacher talking to you and you can talk back, with a whiteboard on the screen, etc.) and some are recorded.

I teach for Princeton Review, so if there's anything you want to know about us, let me know.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby plenipotentiary » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:32 pm

Testmasters. Robin Singh is the god of the LSAT.

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ilovesf
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby ilovesf » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:36 pm

I also don't think there is a best, but I was really happy with testmasters. I took it in San Francisco to prepare for the June 10 exam. My teacher got a 178 (I think, but my memory is not perfect) and had been accepted to Harvard, I thought he knew the LSAT extremely well and he was helpful. I signed up for a course because I was having a hard time concentrating on the material and needed an extra push to spend so much time studying. I think the most important thing though is the extra time you spend outside of class studying. Regardless of any class you take, you need to do all of the homework and extra PTs on your own, otherwise it is just a huge waste of money. A lot of people in my class did not put in the extra effort, and they did not do very well on the LSAT.

hwaggone
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby hwaggone » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:01 pm

I took the powerscore full time class and I feel that it helped, I started with a 149 cold diagnostic(never seen any lsat problems with this score) took in june and I just took a bad test so this wont factor into my opinion. I retook in October probably spent like 10 hours refreshing and got a 159. But if I had to do it all again self study would be the way to go. The 1300 I spent on the class I dont feel was worth it. I would of rather spent it on self study stuff, especially in RC, PS reading comp sucks. I am scoring the same in RC as I started pre course. I am planning on taking it a third time either december or next june and delaying and doing only self study.

SupraVln180
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby SupraVln180 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:45 am

plenipotentiary wrote:Testmasters. Robin Singh is the god of the LSAT.



This.

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The Gentleman
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby The Gentleman » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:03 am

tomwatts wrote:This (or 98th percentile, at least) is true of every major test prep company's instructors (with some occasional exceptions for short classes).


I don't think this is true of Kaplan. Pretty sure they only require LSAT instructors to get 90th or 95th percentile. And I've heard that they can do this on a Kaplan proctored exam.

So theoretically, your Kaplan instructor may have never taken an actual LSAT.

Correct me if I'm wrong though.

5823
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby 5823 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:05 am

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Last edited by 5823 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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northwood
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby northwood » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:53 am

i used the princeton review live online course. My teachers were Gail and Chris. The course was fantastic. It was small enough ( 15 people) where you could ask questions if you liked, and really interact ( generally only 3-4 people raoutinly spoke up). It did go by slow, especially at first- where you learn basic strategies and parts of the questions and sections, but once you get past this, they did an excellent job at focusing on one or 2 main topics and really working them through, inside and out ( ex. 1 or 2 LR question types, rc, individual game types. There is a ton of homework that used all old lsat tests.

In addition i purchased the LGB and LRB. I foudn the LRB to be more helpful, as I spent more time reading and going over each question, although there isnt a lot of practice questions to help you solidify the concepts ( but the course had homework assignments of 20 quesitons to practice). I felt that the best investment was the LGB- as there were multiple games with explinitions that i could read and go over on scratch paper until i was blue ( im not a fan of online reading, i prefer paper and ink).

Whatever you do, make sure to have enough time to practice on your own, and solidify your own test strategy.

I f i were to do it again, I would take the course. There is usually a "sale" so if you have time and the means, you can save some money. Just make sure to purchase the most recent ( pt 50-61) tests, as it seems as though the tests are changing ( for the harder)

best of luck

tomwatts
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby tomwatts » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:40 pm

The Gentleman wrote:
tomwatts wrote:This (or 98th percentile, at least) is true of every major test prep company's instructors (with some occasional exceptions for short classes).


I don't think this is true of Kaplan. Pretty sure they only require LSAT instructors to get 90th or 95th percentile. And I've heard that they can do this on a Kaplan proctored exam.

So theoretically, your Kaplan instructor may have never taken an actual LSAT.

Correct me if I'm wrong though.

Again, there's the "with some occasional exceptions for short classes" caveat. I'm looking at their website right now, and their short (33-hour) class doesn't appear to advertise an instructor real score at all. Their Extreme (85-hour) used to advertise a 98th percentile instructor real score, but it appears that they've dropped it to 95th percentile. Their Advanced advertises a 99th percentile instructor real score.

So yes, depending on what you sign up for with Kaplan, you may end up with someone who scored in the 160's rather than the 170's, even for a long class. But that's the only exception, and it's a recent change, unless I'm mistaken.

mlhuggins
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby mlhuggins » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:36 pm

Stratus Prep is great! I had already studied with another big name company in LSAT Prep before coming to Stratus Prep, so I thought there was not much more for me to learn. However, from day one, the Stratus Prep LSAT course taught me new concepts I had never seen before, and showed me much more intuitive ways of tackling the LSAT!

jil2106
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby jil2106 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:40 pm

If you have not heard of Stratus Prep in NYC you should contact them if you want an intensive, serious program. It is a very in-depth approach to the LSAT (they also have private tutoring and application counseling services), which I've heard goes much deeper than the national companies from many of my classmates there who have tried other places. A lot of people in there are aiming in the 170+ range. For myself, I'm someone who has been out of undergrad and grad school for some time, and really benefit from this structure. I am regretful I did not find out about the company over the summer, and now I am cramming for the December test. If you have time take this course immediately so you can absorb all the great information. They have a fantastic reimbursement policy, re-sitting the classes, viewing videos, and the founder is very responsive. It has an intimate feeling without large class sizes and the entire staff is on-hand to help in any way. I am having a really positive experience, and even have Shawn (the founder) as my class instructor.

JOThompson
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby JOThompson » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:43 pm

Worst: Kaplan (I speak from experience here)
Best: PowerScore or Testmasters (Didn't take the course, but the PowerScore methods were excellent).

kehoema2
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby kehoema2 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:47 pm

tomwatts wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:
tomwatts wrote:This (or 98th percentile, at least) is true of every major test prep company's instructors (with some occasional exceptions for short classes).


I don't think this is true of Kaplan. Pretty sure they only require LSAT instructors to get 90th or 95th percentile. And I've heard that they can do this on a Kaplan proctored exam.

So theoretically, your Kaplan instructor may have never taken an actual LSAT.

Correct me if I'm wrong though.

Again, there's the "with some occasional exceptions for short classes" caveat. I'm looking at their website right now, and their short (33-hour) class doesn't appear to advertise an instructor real score at all. Their Extreme (85-hour) used to advertise a 98th percentile instructor real score, but it appears that they've dropped it to 95th percentile. Their Advanced advertises a 99th percentile instructor real score.

So yes, depending on what you sign up for with Kaplan, you may end up with someone who scored in the 160's rather than the 170's, even for a long class. But that's the only exception, and it's a recent change, unless I'm mistaken.


What do you mean by recent? My TM teacher taught the SAT for Kaplan when he was an undergrad. His qualifying test was basically unproctored and he took it with another Kaplan SAT teacher. I believe he is 28 or 29 now.

Besides teaching, I just think the methods of TM and powerscore >>>>>>>>>>> Kaplan and Princeton.

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lawandi
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby lawandi » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:38 am

I highly recommend blueprint and their methods.
Last edited by lawandi on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lisavj
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby lisavj » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:18 am

Wish wish wish I had paid attn to this sort of thing before I took the test the first time.

I only do books, I work 50+ hours/week at my current job so a course is out of the question, but I can say:
Kaplan - spent most of my time finding errors in their books. I'm pretty sure this lowered my score
Princeton Review - pretty decent info on LR. LG info was meh, RC actually made things worse.

So I used those two before my first test, reg. scored in the 166-172 range, actual LSAT of 165.

Then I discovered powerscore. Hands down better, PTing in the 172-178 range now.

motiontodismiss
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby motiontodismiss » Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:57 am

I found Atlas's methods to be better than Powerscore's. Especially on RC. There are way too many elements to keep track of with VIEWSTAMP.

I haven't actually seen Kaplan's methods but what I hear is that they're garbage.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby gbpackerbacker » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:18 am

PowerScore + Coffee

tomwatts
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby tomwatts » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:46 pm

kehoema2 wrote:What do you mean by recent? My TM teacher taught the SAT for Kaplan when he was an undergrad. His qualifying test was basically unproctored and he took it with another Kaplan SAT teacher.

SAT is totally different.

jhc2112
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby jhc2112 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:12 am

SPAM Prep is an LSAT prep company in Manhattan that often goes under the radar. But don't let that fool you- I'm SO glad that I decided to take the course. What I like best about SPAM Prep is its combination of excellent teaching and great customer service. Shawn is brilliant, dynamic, and funny. 5 hours in class with him goes by really fast. The curriculum is strong and targeted to get students to score in the high 160, and 170+ range. It'a also an added bonus that your peers in the class are very driven because it helps to create a culture of excellence and rigor. There's also a lot of individual attention, and you don't feel like you're just being shuffled through their class. Shawn also knows so much about the law school admission process (he got a JD and MBA at Harvard) that you can't help but pick up a ton of advice and tips.

MODS HAVE BANNED THIS SPAMMER. PWN3D.
Last edited by jhc2112 on Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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3|ink
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Re: What's the best LSAT prep company?

Postby 3|ink » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:14 am

jhc2112 wrote:We're sorry, help is not available is a small LSAT prep company in Manhattan that often goes under the radar. But don't let that fool you- I'm SO glad that I decided to take the course. What I like best about We're sorry, help is not available is its combination of excellent teaching and great customer service. Shawn, the founder of We're sorry, help is not available is brilliant, dynamic, and funny. 5 hours in class with him goes by really fast. The curriculum is strong and targeted to get students to score in the high 160, and 170+ range. It'a also an added bonus that your peers in the class are very driven because it helps to create a culture of excellence and rigor. There's also a lot of individual attention, and you don't feel like you're just being shuffled through their company.



Who didn't see this coming? At least they're getting wiser about it.




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