Course Book Question - related to all courses.

islandjem
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Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby islandjem » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:34 am

For those of you who have taken courses, are the books helpful if you're not taking the course? Can you learn the material from the books alone or do you need to take the class? I know some books are basically blank when it comes to explanations/definitions etc., requiring that you go to class to fill in important information. But was the course you took like that? Asking because I can get some used coursebooks and save on lsat prep expenses.

What course did you take? Is it worth it to get the books used/can you learn the methods just using the books without the classes? Appreciate the answers.

you_were_driving
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby you_were_driving » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:25 am

I think that you could learn the methods from the Kaplan course books without additional instruction. It probably wouldn't be as efficient as the class, and would probably take longer because explanations aren't always with the problem, but its definitely doable.

The biggest concern with using used kaplan books is if the mastery books have been worked through. Those are really the most helpful because they order the problem by type and then offer explanations. If they're already marked it would be about as usefull as looking at a PT answer key.

I can't speak to any of the other courses, I would assume that the powerscore bibles are incorporated into their class, and those are useful without instruction, but again I cannot speak from experience.

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mottainai
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby mottainai » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:49 am

I imagine the answer to this question would depend on the course.

I took Testmasters. The course was heavily weighted towards out-of-class explanations and online supplements. There were almost no explanations in the books for LR and RC. There were occasional LG diagrams. It would pretty much be impossible to replicate the experience from textbooks alone, unless they've changed the books in the last few years.

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Jeffort
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby Jeffort » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:36 pm

In general, coursebooks for a live prep class are not designed to be complete self study guides. They are structured to be material the instructor uses to teach you important things, with the instructor being the one teaching you and explaining the concepts and strategies, not the books. If you are planning on doing the book self-study prep routine you should get books that are designed for doing that.

islandjem
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby islandjem » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:24 pm

Thanks for the answers!

The Princeton Review books don't have explanations of the method or answers. You'd need to take the course or get used books with good notes. The PowerScore course books (for the online course) explain the methods and the questions and answers. The regular coursebooks explain the methods but I don't recall if there were explanations of the questions and answers. I've been told the the Blueprint books explain the methods but not the questions and answers.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:07 pm

I'll add in my opinion about the Atlas (Manhattan :roll: ) books: You can work through them without the class, but the class adds a ton of value.

bp colin
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby bp colin » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:57 pm

islandjem wrote:Thanks for the answers!

The Princeton Review books don't have explanations of the method or answers. You'd need to take the course or get used books with good notes. The PowerScore course books (for the online course) explain the methods and the questions and answers. The regular coursebooks explain the methods but I don't recall if there were explanations of the questions and answers. I've been told the the Blueprint books explain the methods but not the questions and answers.


Our (Blueprint) books do explain the methods, making it easier to do review, but the first time through the books should really be in-class or online with the video lessons. As for the individual LSAT question explanations, those are mostly explained in-class and online, rather than in the physical books.

RockinJosh
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby RockinJosh » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:49 pm

I'd vote for the class as well.

If you're looking for a "books-only" study method, my best advice is to take real practice tests that include explanations. This will give you the hang of things pretty well, and then any specific game/question you are not understanding you can look up methods for in another book.

scoreitup
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby scoreitup » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:11 pm

I believe the reading materials would be very helpful even without lectures. However, I think most students would be missing out on a lot by not attending lectures as well. It's similar to a college course - whether it be Calculus, Shakespeare, or World History. One can get a lot out of just reading the books, but the professor's ability to highlight and amplify the reading material, if done well, is likely to significantly improve the learning process. At the end of the day, one's going to want to do a lot of practice on one's own as well - whether one attends lectures or relies on reading materials only.
Last edited by scoreitup on Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Course Book Question - related to all courses.

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:06 am

dextermorgan wrote:I'll add in my opinion about the Atlas (Manhattan :roll: ) books: You can work through them without the class, but the class adds a ton of value.

The class definitely helps, but we write the books to stand alone. You can also get recording of classes to watch, and that's obviously a lot less $ than a class.

Most people self-study, so give it a shot so you can save your money for law school. But start soon, that way you have time to change your mind in a month or so if you realize it's not working.

Good luck!




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