Help me distinguish the two and choose

fut1l
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Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby fut1l » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:24 pm

Greetings ,

I am totally new to this whole process. Currently , I am getting ready to complete my last year of undergrad and would then like to take time off to study for the lsats

I have rummaged this forum narrowing down to two of the best lsat prep courses. ( I have definitely decided to take a course because i can not do this on my own)

I am struggling between BLUEPRINT or POWER SCORE... They both seem to produce fantastic results. Blueprint seems to have more practice , instruction , and costs less. But , powerscore (from what i hear) has the best books and their teachers all scored in the highest mark.

Keep in mind : I am entering a course knowing nothing about the lsat question because i have never studied. My goal is to take the course , study intensively in it , and then go and take the LSAT

Please list which course is better/worse. If anyone has taken any of these courses in NYC especially , please let me know.

ps: im also familiar that one of these prep companies stole the ideas or teaching style from the other( not to accurate with the history here) , but i do not mind.

thanks

pwyoung
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby pwyoung » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:43 pm

I'd actually like to hear the answer for this too, I know the generic response on TLS is Blueprint/Powerscore/Testmasters for what prep course is best, and I hear a lot about Powerscore, but was wondering how they stand next to Blueprint, because they're cheaper where I'm at too.

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby kennethellenparcell » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:04 am

Sure. I'll give my two cents - and hopefully help you choose wisely. I've taken both Blueprint the movie and Testmasters. I don't recommend taking both - it's definitely a waste of money. I only did it because I work crazy hours and the courses forced me to sit down and practice pretty much every day. The methods both courses teach you are generally pretty similar - so I think you'll be good with either if you want to take a prep course.

Blueprint Pros:
Presents material in entertaining way. They are really good at this. I found myself laughing quite a few times at the things they did to make the LSAT more interesting.
Decent RC method, which Testmasters seems to lack. But RC is kind of difficult to acquire anyway.

Testmasters Pros:
Gives you pretty much every question in existence.
Presents the material in such a way that you absorb it through sheer repetition.

In hindsight, if I had to choose, which one would I go with? Probably the TM longer summer course and then a period of self-study. I think self-study is key, because a prep course can help you figure out your weak spots, but self-study will help you fix them. If Blueprint offered a class where I live, I might have opted for Blueprint instead. If Blueprint doesn't offer a class near you, I would recommend Testmasters over the online movie. However, you should try to make sure you get a good instructor who has some experience, whichever class you end up taking. I had a great instructor - made a world of difference.

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby kennethellenparcell » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:06 am

Wow, I just realized you guys wanted a comparison between Powerscore and Blueprint, not TM and Blueprint. Fail.

Sorry, I can't really help there - but for anyone who is choosing between TM and Blueprint, hopefully I helped some.

dtubin
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby dtubin » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:10 am

BP is entertaining with a lot of material.

Outside studying is what will get you the highest score.

fut1l
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby fut1l » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:15 am

No worries Kenneth. A sincere thanks for the info you provided on your experiences. Those nuggets of information will supplement a decision with other LSAT prep titles. Thanks



If anyone else has input , experience between the two , please partake in the discussion. I'm especially interested whether anyone has information regarding these two course in NYC. But, that's not absolutely necessary

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2014
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby 2014 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:50 am

They all are fundamentally similar, and the real distinguishing factor is the teacher, which is about far more than just signing up for a class with someone who has a 175+.

If you are already in NYC I would suggest that you ask to sit in on a class with each company, and if possible do so with the teacher you would be with. See if you are comfortable with their style and you think you will learn.



Also the materials Powerscore uses are all reasonably priced and readily available. Consider taking Blueprint and supplementing that with the PS bibles?

SupraVln180
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby SupraVln180 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:01 am

TM can be a really great prep course, IF YOU DO ALL OF THE HOMEWORK. It is alot, but they present the material to you in ways you can really master it. Especially the LR, it really allows you to master each question type one at a time.

Powerscore is a great course as well, but with any class, I would supplement it with the LGB and LRB anyway, so I would rather get a different approach for my prep course.

Blueprint, on TLS, at least, I hear great things about. Cannot vouch for it myself though.

islandjem
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby islandjem » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:25 am

@kennethellenparcell, not to change the topic, but is it worth it to get the BP books (used) without taking the course? Do the books include the explanations without needing to go to a class?

I took a PS class, and it was great. But it has some weaknesses. I wouldn't say reading comp was a weakness, but assumption questions on LR and some question types on LG needed more explanation. I'd bought the LG and LR bibles before taking the course, and there was a lot of overlap between those and the course.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:29 am

I've heard & read mixed reviews about BP, but PowerScore consistently receives high praise.

fut1l
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby fut1l » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:28 pm

I was actually wondering myself. If i were to take a blueprint course and supplement it with power score bible , are the books explanatory? is the book presented in the form : Intro -->QUestion--> explanation --> wrong answer explanation ... etc

Because , then i could get the best of both. A great instructor and a great course , supplemented with books from another great course. (so long as these books are thorough and comprehensive)

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby kennethellenparcell » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:00 am

islandjem wrote:@kennethellenparcell, not to change the topic, but is it worth it to get the BP books (used) without taking the course? Do the books include the explanations without needing to go to a class?

I took a PS class, and it was great. But it has some weaknesses. I wouldn't say reading comp was a weakness, but assumption questions on LR and some question types on LG needed more explanation. I'd bought the LG and LR bibles before taking the course, and there was a lot of overlap between those and the course.


Sorry I can't really compare between Blueprint's and Powerscore's approach to LR. But I can tell you this. Blueprint books contain good explanations of how to approach different question types, but not really explanations for wrong answers or questions. I'm not sure what Powerscore's approach for assumption questions is, but between Blueprint and Testmasters, I found Testmasters lessons on assumption questions to be better. Blueprint's approach to these questions is pretty similar to TM's though. What distinguishes Testmasters is what happens after they give you the method, they give you a bajillion questions to practice with. Also their list of logic flaws is much longer and more comprehensive than Blueprint, which I found to be very helpful. In essence, they do some of the hard work for you. I guess with the Blueprint books - you could get the books for the approach (TM books don't have the approach in them for the most part) and then try to compile a bajillion LR assumption questions on your own for practice. And then go here to understand your mistakes: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/. Or post your question on TLS - the LSAT smarties can help you.
More effort on your part, but less expensive.

I did go through the Powerscore LG Bible, and the one thing I really liked about Blueprint's approach versus Powerscore was the slow and methodical way Blueprint forced me to go through the games when I watched their video explanations. But that's just me - and they may have done that in your course already. I tend to do a lot of stuff in my head, but that simply doesn't fly with LG because you make a lot of stupid mistakes. That was the only real difference in my opinion though. With LG, I think you just have to practice practice practice once you've got the basics down - which Powerscore gives you a good basis of. If you've got questions about specific question types, let me know and I'll tell you if Blueprint's method was better because I can't remember off the top of my head right now.

Like I said above, one thing you don't get if you don't go with the course is explanations for wrong answers. I think a couple of things are absolutely key to getting a really good LSAT score: (1) understanding your mistakes; (2) if you take a course, give yourself some time at the end to properly digest the material and apply it to actual practice tests. I took the December test and I don't think I did enough of these two, so we'll see what my score turns out to be. I might be joining you guys to prep for a re-take next year. We'll see. This test is an evil beast, so let me know if you have more questions on Blueprint v. TM. I'll try to help.

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby kennethellenparcell » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:04 am

fut1l wrote:I was actually wondering myself. If i were to take a blueprint course and supplement it with power score bible , are the books explanatory? is the book presented in the form : Intro -->QUestion--> explanation --> wrong answer explanation ... etc

Because , then i could get the best of both. A great instructor and a great course , supplemented with books from another great course. (so long as these books are thorough and comprehensive)


I think you should definitely get a copy of the Powerscore LG Bible - it gives you an excellent basis for logic games.

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kkklick
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby kkklick » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:09 pm

kennethellenparcell wrote:
fut1l wrote:I was actually wondering myself. If i were to take a blueprint course and supplement it with power score bible , are the books explanatory? is the book presented in the form : Intro -->QUestion--> explanation --> wrong answer explanation ... etc

Because , then i could get the best of both. A great instructor and a great course , supplemented with books from another great course. (so long as these books are thorough and comprehensive)


I think you should definitely get a copy of the Powerscore LG Bible - it gives you an excellent basis for logic games.

While it may provide a solid base, it is not the end all to master LG. A ton of PS LG bible users bombed 2/4 games in December. You have to not only understand how to set up games and how to look for inferences but also have a focused mind to eliminate 2 or 3 AC's that wouldn't make sense. Otherwise you'll be sitting there for an hour doing 5 hypos on a bunch of questions.

fut1l
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby fut1l » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:05 am

All great answer and replies everyone. This is very helpful. Please continue posting in this thread and encourage others. We can use more information. any Ny'ers that cane vow the course they took and their opinions on it? That would be helpful as well

Revolver066
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby Revolver066 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:29 am

I also highly recommend the PS LG Bible, thought it was an great resource and helped me quite a bit with learning how to set up games, and how to increase my speed, etc. However, it is true that the two games I had the most trouble with in Dec fell outside the typical games the Bible presents, so def. a good idea to supplement your resources. (Also thought it was funny PS occasionally "trashed" other companies in their book)

bp colin
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby bp colin » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:52 pm

I'm actually a New York Blueprint instructor, so I thought it'd be worthwhile to throw my two cents in.

I wasn't sure if this was clear or not, but just so it is, there's tons and tons of practice for all question types. We use every single released LSAT question (all the major companies do this).

Most students I've talked to who used two different sets of books from the start found it more confusing than anything else. If I were you, I'd go with just one or the other (at least to start). I myself took BP back in undergrad, and I do think we're the best, but of course I'm biased.

As for sitting in on classes, we're glad to allow that. If you're planning on taking the June LSAT, though, there won't be any classes for you to sit in on in New York before it starts in late March, but I'm always glad to meet up with students and talk about what Blueprint offers, and just so you can get to know your potential future instructor. PM me if interested.

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cardinals03
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby cardinals03 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:58 pm

I took the online Powerscore class. I really liked the fact that I had so much material to work on, but asides from that, the instruction was not that great. Read the PS books and you basically have what the instructors do. I did gain from the methods, but not to the extent I wanted. I spent so much time on the homework, I skipped doing timed pt's. For me, the key to excelling on the LSAT is to do as many strict timed pt's as possible and review all answers afterwards (right and wrong) - there is no substitute for self study when done right.

dtubin
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby dtubin » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:05 am

To let you guys know, BP has ALOT of homework as well. Sometimes I can't finish it, and I'm the type that always has done the homework..plus the schedule is very very good. it forces you in a sense to finish what they assign..

but overall, there are a lot of practice problems for h/w and my instructor arrives 30 minutes before class starts to review any material that may be ambiguous.

in terms of what they do, BP is similar to powerscore in the methodology (in some ways!)

hope that helps.

fut1l
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby fut1l » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:07 am

Actually these replies do help. I am now starting to see that these courses are very similar to each other. A since thank you to all the helpful replies submitted. This is very helpful among my additional research.

2011Law
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby 2011Law » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:48 am

I don't understand how you can know that you cannot study for the LSAT on your own if you have never even seen a question. If I were you, I'd get all three bibles and 10 More, do all that, and see how you do.

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby kennethellenparcell » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:00 pm

Just want to clarify my earlier post - Blueprint is awesome and they did give you a ton of practice problems as well. But I thought the way Testmasters presented assumption question lessons was better. If I remember correctly, TM gave me more lumped together assumption question sections to practice with than Blueprint, which was helpful because I have problems with that question type. With that said - if Blueprint offered a class in my state, I would have chosen it over TM. The way they present the material is so much more entertaining, and I think instructors are key. Blueprint instructors all seem to be awesome.

Also, regarding self-prep, I would say be honest with yourself about what you can achieve on your own. For me, I thought I could get a 170+ on my own because I've always been a good test taker. Reading TLS made me even more hopeful that I could accomplish this, given the number of people who are able to get amazing scores through self-prep on here. So, I went through the Bibles and got a 161 on my first test. That's when I decided to take a prep course. I think studying on your own is great if you can do it, but 170 is 98th percentile for a reason. My opinion is that prep courses do help. Why not give yourself that potential advantage if you can afford it?

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The ASSET
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby The ASSET » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:54 pm

I took Powerscore in NYC for last June's test but I did not take the test. I overloaded myself with the classes, my last semester at school, and an internship. If you are going to take this course, take the one that is spread out over the longest period of time. It's just hard to do all of the homework in two months.

As for the material: They do push RC to the side and the Assumption questions are not great but other then that the material is good.

I also took Blueprint the movie recently. It seemed good, but I didn't finish it. I got shingles and stopped studying. Now, I don't have the 200-400 dollars to get my access turned back on so I'm SOL. Yeah so I paid 800 for almost nothing. The part I did do seemed good though. They give you every single question.

For those keeping track, I paid for two courses and have not taken the test yet. Awesome!!

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TLSanders
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby TLSanders » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:23 pm

fut1l wrote:Because , then i could get the best of both. A great instructor and a great course , supplemented with books from another great course. (so long as these books are thorough and comprehensive)


I don't know enough about these two particular courses to respond specifically in that context, but generally speaking "supplementing" is a VERY bad idea. The minor differences from one course to another can have the opposite impact of what you're looking for--instead of filling in gaps they create bumps and detours in what was designed to be one seamless process.

fut1l
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Re: Help me distinguish the two and choose

Postby fut1l » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:04 am

The Asset : Sorry , that is terrible you were sick and circumstances inhibited your progression towards the exam. I hope you take it and do well on it. Thanks for your point of view


Tl Sanders : You make a very good point about supplementing and its effect to produce to negate progress. I am going to secure a decision on one course and go with that. Now , I do not know which course to take though. PS or BP... From everyone's input , it sounds like both courses have their benefits.

I guess i will have to sit in on a class to make my decision. Does anyone know if you can sit in on any random ongoing course? Or , do i have to wait for a new one to begin to sit in ?




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