Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

tomwatts
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby tomwatts » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:06 pm

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.

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glewz
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby glewz » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:43 am

tomwatts wrote: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.


If you read back, I didn't actually specify age as a criterion. The two statements were not entirely linked together. Sure, age probably has something to do with it. But more than that, Princeton Review and Kaplan have a pretty solid reputation (in the Bay Area & Los Angeles) for producing sub-par LSAT programs. This is why I said in my prior post, "I'd trust PS, TM, or BP to do a better job."


tomwatts wrote: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.


That's a fair statement - BP and your Hyperlearning course are obviously evolutions. But this fails to address my later point: BP's product is littered with errors (last when I saw their books). This is undoubtedly because they were, as you mentioned, a later evolution of LSAT prep.

Since Hyperlearning pretty much came out in 2006, I would assume that it is as underdeveloped as BP is (or was when I last viewed their materials). Because of this and other reasons I've mentioned, it is fair to trust a more established brand like TM or PS.

tomwatts wrote: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.

Kinda pointless for me to discuss this - I obviously wasn't saying age is the only thing we should look at. And it wouldn't make sense to me either way to recommend Kaplan if age were my "primary factor" because other things need to be considered.

tomwatts wrote:There is no best company.

Haven't read anything further, but yeah..."Everybody's a winner!" ...ok..

tomwatts wrote: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.


I actually agree with you here: having a good teacher is very important. But I disagree with saying that there isn't a best company. A company with consistent results and a solid reputation for LSAT improvement is what I would recommend to friends. This is because I know for a fact that companies differentiate themselves in the way they actually train their teachers.

Why do I trust TM or PS then? Because having actually been through a TM course, I know that they have high quality teachers & strong methods for approaching the LSAT. For PS, similar things can be said about their bibles (duno about teachers).

However, I have heard trash about PR and Kaplan. Something along the lines of: huge companies dominated LSAT market --> TM & PS came in to easily undercut PR & Kaplan's poor historic performance --> PR & Kaplan late-game competitive response due to losing market share.


So...I would obviously vouch for TM or PS over PR/Kaplan.

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EarlCat
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby EarlCat » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:25 pm

NYCLSATTutor wrote:Notice the period denoting separate sentences? When you specifically quote the second sentence, I foolishly, thought you were talking about the second sentence.

I was, but not in a vacuum. Is it now your position that two sentences in the same paragraph were entirely unrelated, and that the second was completely irrelevant to the subject of doing specific questions first? (I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that it isn't until told otherwise.)

NYCLSATTutor wrote:Care to point exactly where in your statement of "You know, it's funny how so many people can consistently answer all the games questions correctly in far less than the allotted time despite not "doing the (sic) right."" you said ~(S-->W). Good luck with that.

Logic fail. Not "doing it right" was what you concluded resulted from doing specific questions before general questions, because, allegedly, the ONLY reason for doing it was to see all the various hypos. Thus your argument was that doing it my way was doing it wrong: (S-->W). I pointed out that lots of people do the section perfectly doing it my way, which flat contradicts your silly conclusion that my way is wrong, i.e., ~(S-->W). Sorry I overestimated your reading comprehension skills and didn't spell it out for you.

See, the way translations work is that in order to get the variable S you actually have to SAY the word that S is referring too (ostensibly in this case "specific"). You didn't.

Apparently you haven't yet learned about inferences. Your students should get their money back.

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northwood
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby northwood » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:34 pm

Maybe im not that smart- but i dont see the point in this pissing contest between tutors/ companies. Each company and tutor/ instructor has a different approach and technique that they use. Its up to the students to decide if that teachign method works for them, or if they would be better off with self study. IMO as someone not affiliated with any company- the way you handle yourself online may have an influence amongst potential clients. Every company, and every tutor will believe their ways and strategies are the best. In all honesty- it is up to the student, and the students ability and work ethic that will decide their test day performance. Not everyone can score a 160 or better. Not every student is cut out for law school.

Just my 2 cents- but stay on topic- use this thread to explain your strategies, not to provoke an internet argument.

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EarlCat
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby EarlCat » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:43 pm

northwood wrote:Maybe im not that smart- but i dont see the point in this pissing contest between tutors/ companies. Each company and tutor/ instructor has a different approach and technique that they use. Its up to the students to decide if that teachign method works for them, or if they would be better off with self study. IMO as someone not affiliated with any company- the way you handle yourself online may have an influence amongst potential clients. Every company, and every tutor will believe their ways and strategies are the best. In all honesty- it is up to the student, and the students ability and work ethic that will decide their test day performance. Not everyone can score a 160 or better. Not every student is cut out for law school.

Just my 2 cents- but stay on topic- use this thread to explain your strategies, not to provoke an internet argument.

The thread topic was derailed long before I got here. :/

I don't represent a company either, but when someone acts like my way of doing things is detrimental, I feel a bit compelled to defend it. When some n00b both misunderstands a tried and true technique, then concludes based on that assumption that those of use who use it are doing something wrong (despite our success with said technique--WTF), I welcome the fight.

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:41 am

I hope the OP got the most out of the course.

I would like to see an LSAT tutor smackdown go down in this forum someday. Who would win?

tomwatts
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby tomwatts » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:43 am

It's always good sportsmanship to root for your team. It's usually bad sportsmanship to boo the other team. Some people in this topic were showing bad sportsmanship. (You'll note, by the way, that I was consistently saying, "My way works," not "My way is the best" or "Your way is bad." The casual reader might not notice the difference, but it's huge.)

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EarlCat
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby EarlCat » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:04 pm

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:I would like to see an LSAT tutor smackdown go down in this forum someday. Who would win?

Barnum.

Kurst
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Re: Kaplan course worth $1398 for high score

Postby Kurst » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:34 pm

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:I would like to see an LSAT tutor smackdown go down in this forum someday. Who would win?

tomwatts vs. bp colin, with officials from other prep companies throwing their hats into the ring: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=115200




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