glewz wrote:Please explain why it's a silly line of reasoning --> If test prep companies (such as TM/PS) have had more time to perfect their already top-notch products, wouldn't they be more likely to have a better course than a PR hyperlearning course that launched itself in 2006? (BP is obviously an exception because it was founded by an ex-TM instructor..)
Well, at the time, I was saying that it's a silly line of reasoning because the Hyperlearning course is about as old as the Blueprint course is, so if you're simply using the criterion of age, that criterion doesn't apply in the way that you're saying that it does. But now that you've changed the story a little bit and are allowing for BP to be an exception, then I think it would only be fair to concede that the Hyperlearning course as it is right now is just an evolution of the somewhat older Hyperlearning course that we've been running since something like 2002 or 2003, which in turn is just an evolution of several previous course models themselves, dating back to 1988, when the founder of TM was either working for Kaplan or about to start with Kaplan, making us much older than TM or PS. For that matter, Kaplan has been doing LSAT courses since time immemorial, and I don't actually know when the last time they revised the course was, so really, if age is your primary factor, then recommend Kaplan whole-heartedly, since they're much older than all the rest of us.
But forgive me for pointing out that this whole discussion is irrelevant. There is no best company. What does the company actually provide? A set of questions in a particular order (these are the lessons) and a framework approach, along with the number and length of the classes (which, frankly, doesn't vary that much among the full-length classes, at least the in-person ones). If you do real LSAT questions, the order may sort of matter, but obviously not very much — and besides, the sequence in games, where it does matter, is pretty similar across all companies. And the framework approaches are, again, quite similar. There are the obvious differences of columns vs. slots, stem-first vs. argument-first, and a few other such things, but while I will always argue for columns over slots and stem-first over argument-first, it turns out that it's possible to do these things either way and get not just a high score but actually a perfect score.
So what does matter, then? What the teacher does with these questions and the framework approach. A teacher can have you do a whole bunch of questions and can manage to teach you nothing out of those questions, which leaves it up to you to learn from the practice (and you might as well have self-studied). A teacher can lead you through those questions and show you the patterns and strategies that apply not only to those questions but also to all other similar questions and give you tons of extra information that you never would've gotten even from the clearest and most complete written explanations.
The company is easier to point at, but the teacher is what actually matters.
NYCLSATTutor wrote:The only reason specific questions would help you for general questions is if you prefer to answer the games just by looking at your previous work and checking to see all the various hypos. If you are doing the games just by doing heaps of hypos then you aren't doing the right.
I think the whole problem that you and EarlCat are having is that this paragraph doesn't really make sense to begin with. The first sentence seems fine; yes, answering General questions by looking back at previous work done to answer Specific questions — which, obviously, will be specific situations presented in the question stems and, just as obviously, count as hypos for the General questions — is exactly what I like to start with. Check your deductions and check your previous work. Between the two of them, most of the time you can get the answer. Sometimes the deductions are the crucial factor — here I'm thinking of, say, the stores on Oak Street game from PT 33, in which the third question can be answered by simply looking at your deductions and choosing the one that matches — and sometimes previous work is greatly helpful — for example, the books on shelves from PT 37, in which the work for the fourth question basically answers the third question for you without you having to visualize or write down anything. But sometimes neither of those is all that great, and you're stuck doing a bunch of hypos.
Then the second sentence, by itself, it more or less fine — heaps of hypos are probably bad in general. But what does that have to do with the first sentence? Clearly, you write out some stuff to answer Specific questions. Just as clearly, I'm arguing that this is to avoid doing hypos on the General questions. So how does the first sentence connect to the second? I don't think it does.
Note also that I'm not arguing that the way that I advocate in my classes is the only way to do things. However, I am arguing that it does work, and the proof is in the perfect score, so to speak. One of the reasons that I don't like students mixing and matching techniques is that sometimes an approach is more than the sum of its parts. You need not just one part of the approach but the whole thing working together to see why the steps are there. It's possible that the way that you work games questions generally and General questions in particular is so different from the way that I work them that you can't see why I find it useful to do them the way that I do. It's possible that whatever it is that you do is also fast and efficient. What I'm saying is that what I do is also fast and efficient, and there's nothing wrong with it.