Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

asoularisen
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Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby asoularisen » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:13 am

I start training as an LSAT tutor Feb. 19th and was curious as to people's experience with this particular job; what you think of the training/work/materials/students etc.

I am also curious as to if being 19 will be a detriment as a tutor, since most students will be older than me.

tomwatts
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby tomwatts » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:51 am

Is this one of those "You're an SAT teacher already, so we'll train you for the LSAT and then pay for you to take the real thing under the assumption that you'll break a 170" deals, or have you already gotten a real score?

Either way, I've been teaching for TPR for 7 years, and I like it a lot. Prep for your first class is kind of insane, but it gets much easier if you make good notes for yourself to follow. The training is quite intense, and there's no guarantee that you will pass, even if you already teach some other subject first, so get in touch with your trainer early and see if you can do some advance prep (say, watching the recorded lessons). The students are quite a range; in almost all of my classes, I've had mostly people at or just past the end of college, but there's always been one person who's 40+. Their scores are also all over the map, from the 130's to the 160's to start out.

Let me know if you have any more specific questions.

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EarlCat
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby EarlCat » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:46 pm

Echo everything tomwatts said. I tutored for TPR for several years before law school. It was the best job I ever had, hands down. I had quit my day job cold-turkey and made teaching/tutoring my full-time gig. I starved for most of the first year while I built my client base and word-of-mouth. Eventually I was consistently working 6-12 hours everyday, and even longer in the few weeks before each test. I also got to travel a lot, which was a nice perk.

asoularisen
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby asoularisen » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:06 am

tomwatts wrote:Is this one of those "You're an SAT teacher already, so we'll train you for the LSAT and then pay for you to take the real thing under the assumption that you'll break a 170" deals, or have you already gotten a real score?

Either way, I've been teaching for TPR for 7 years, and I like it a lot. Prep for your first class is kind of insane, but it gets much easier if you make good notes for yourself to follow. The training is quite intense, and there's no guarantee that you will pass, even if you already teach some other subject first, so get in touch with your trainer early and see if you can do some advance prep (say, watching the recorded lessons). The students are quite a range; in almost all of my classes, I've had mostly people at or just past the end of college, but there's always been one person who's 40+. Their scores are also all over the map, from the 130's to the 160's to start out.

Let me know if you have any more specific questions.


To the first question, I've never worked for TPR up until now, I have 0 experience tutoring, but I got a 173 on the June 2010 LSAT.

As for the intensity of the training, what sorts of skills will the intensity be focused on? What will be the challenges to be overcome to get through training?

And as for the students, I guess I'll just feel a little awkward since even the youngest students will likely be at the end of college, thus a few years older than me. It's not a terribly big concern of mine, but it's in the back of my head.

teebone51
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby teebone51 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:53 am

i worked for the princeton review for about a year and a half before starting law school. i didn't teach LSAT, but the trainer was the same for ACT/SAT/GRE/GMAT/LSAT. the way the trainings work is that it is split between watching the teacher do the lessons that you'll actually be teaching, and then you'll basically be assigned to perform various bits and pieces and then receive on the spot feedback. biggest piece of advice for the training i have is to pay very close attention to the way the trainer presents the material, and try to closely emulate it. the trainers I've had were very keen on incorporating board work (i.e. diagramming things, setting up the letters and crossing through them as the students eliminate incorrect answers). also, i'm pretty sure you'll be assigned to do homework. DO IT. some people didn't and the trainers didn't take too kindly to the trainees' unpreparedness. do yourself a favor and do all the work for the training in pencil, as you'll probably be using the same book to teach your classes and it can get messy when you have to go back over and make prep notes over the marks you made in training.

all in all, tpr is a solid job, and in my opinion can help you start building skills that will be useful as an eventual lawyer.

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EarlCat
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby EarlCat » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:43 pm

asoularisen wrote:As for the intensity of the training, what sorts of skills will the intensity be focused on? What will be the challenges to be overcome to get through training?


Hardest part for me was handing difficult "students" during the teach-backs. The instructor (playing the role of the student) would hit me over and over again with "Wait, I don't get it," until I explained whatever teaching point I was making 3 different ways. So don't get married to just one way of teaching everything. Think of a few different angles, and be flexible when you're hit with questions.

Also, plan your board work. It should be neat and organized and you should never run out of space. Know exactly how the finished picture will look before you start drawing.

And as for the students, I guess I'll just feel a little awkward since even the youngest students will likely be at the end of college, thus a few years older than me. It's not a terribly big concern of mine, but it's in the back of my head.

Just come out swinging. 110% confidence. Make sure they understand from the first second of class that, regardless of your age, you know your stuff better than they ever will (because you do).

cubswin
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby cubswin » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:13 pm

teebone51 wrote: do yourself a favor and do all the work for the training in pencil, as you'll probably be using the same book to teach your classes and it can get messy when you have to go back over and make prep notes over the marks you made in training.


I also work for TPR. I love it and agree with pretty much everything that has been said here. I thought I'd highlight this little bit though, since my books used to look like a disaster until they updated the manuals and I got new ones.

EarlCat wrote:Hardest part for me was handing difficult "students" during the teach-backs. The instructor (playing the role of the student) would hit me over and over again with "Wait, I don't get it," until I explained whatever teaching point I was making 3 different ways. So don't get married to just one way of teaching everything. Think of a few different angles, and be flexible when you're hit with questions.

Also, plan your board work. It should be neat and organized and you should never run out of space. Know exactly how the finished picture will look before you start drawing.


Terrific advice. Your instructor will probably play dumb and try to steer you in the wrong direction. With an argument, you can probably figure out what he's trying to do to you, but if you don't know a game inside and out, you might think you legitimately slipped up somewhere and fall prey to his tricks. The people who didn't make it when I was trained were typically the people who got sunk by the instructor's "difficult student" questions.

Board work is indeed huge. Copy your instructor's board work down, because that's exactly what he wants to see when you teach that lesson.

Also, if you do make a mistake, don't make just a self-deprecating comment and stop teaching. Try to recover and get back on track. The instructor knows your first class isn't going to be perfect, so you need to prove that you're capable of keeping your composure and regaining the student's confidence after you screw up.

hornedfrog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby hornedfrog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:02 am

Of the big LSAT companies, TPR is the worst to work for. They pay less than Kaplan and much less than Testmasters and Powerscore. As a result, they have difficulty retaining quality instructors. Also, their popularity has declined dramatically in recent years and their LSAT student base is at an all-time low. This means there are fewer teaching/tutoring possibilities for the instructors they do employ.

I would take anything tomwatts says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He gets paid to do PR for TPR on this forum.

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EarlCat
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby EarlCat » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:08 am

hornedfrog wrote:Of the big LSAT companies, TPR is the worst to work for. They pay less than Kaplan and much less than Testmasters and Powerscore. As a result, they have difficulty retaining quality instructors. Also, their popularity has declined dramatically in recent years and their LSAT student base is at an all-time low. This means there are fewer teaching/tutoring possibilities for the instructors they do employ.

I would take anything tomwatts says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He gets paid to do PR for TPR on this forum.


I'm not paid a dime by TPR anymore (and was never paid for forum posting), and I'll tell you it was the best job I ever had. The pay was lower than TM or PS (but not Kaplan), but neither TM nor PS had a presence in my market that would give me enough hours to make a living. After about a year of drumming up business I was full-time and often had more hours than I could handle. I also had a lot of autonomy as far as scheduling and how I conducted my classes and how I promoted myself as a tutor. Overall it was a very positive experience.

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suspicious android
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby suspicious android » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:26 am

hornedfrog wrote:Of the big LSAT companies, TPR is the worst to work for. They pay less than Kaplan and much less than Testmasters and Powerscore. As a result, they have difficulty retaining quality instructors. Also, their popularity has declined dramatically in recent years and their LSAT student base is at an all-time low. This means there are fewer teaching/tutoring possibilities for the instructors they do employ.


Everything I've ever read suggests Kaplan pays the lowest salaries of any company, they're the McDonald's of the industry. I would be interested to see any reliable figures about how many locations Kaplan and TPR have; I see Kaplan locations pretty frequently, can't think of too many TPR shops I've seen around.

TM/PS/BP/Atlas all pay $50+/hr, so for most people, they seem like a much better choice. Kaplan and TPR seem to provide more opportunities to advance though, if you're thinking about doing it for more than a year or making it a full-time job.
Last edited by suspicious android on Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

hornedfrog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby hornedfrog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:53 am

EarlCat wrote:
hornedfrog wrote:Of the big LSAT companies, TPR is the worst to work for. They pay less than Kaplan and much less than Testmasters and Powerscore. As a result, they have difficulty retaining quality instructors. Also, their popularity has declined dramatically in recent years and their LSAT student base is at an all-time low. This means there are fewer teaching/tutoring possibilities for the instructors they do employ.

I would take anything tomwatts says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He gets paid to do PR for TPR on this forum.


I'm not paid a dime by TPR anymore (and was never paid for forum posting), and I'll tell you it was the best job I ever had. The pay was lower than TM or PS (but not Kaplan), but neither TM nor PS had a presence in my market that would give me enough hours to make a living. After about a year of drumming up business I was full-time and often had more hours than I could handle. I also had a lot of autonomy as far as scheduling and how I conducted my classes and how I promoted myself as a tutor. Overall it was a very positive experience.


In my market (Dallas-Ft. Worth), Testmasters pays $50, Powerscore pays $40, Kaplan pays $20, and TPR pays $16. So the only two I applied to were Testmasters a.k.a. Scoreperfect (got rejected) and Powerscore (didn't interview because they had no openings). I do 1-on-1 tutoring now for a local company and have enjoyed it, but I really wish I had more students.

I don't doubt that TPR doesn't pay you to post, but I've been reading this forum for months and I'm certain that tomwatts is a marketing agent for TPR.

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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby bp colin » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:07 am

As EarlCat said, getting enough hours, especially if doing test-prep is going to be your sole source of income, is a huge consideration. The hourly rate becomes a lot less relevant if you never actually get hours. When applying or interviewing for any given company, it's definitely worth asking how many class hours you can get, how much tutoring is available, if there are other ways to supplement the tutoring and teaching with other work, etc.

tomwatts
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby tomwatts » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:31 am

hornedfrog wrote:I would take anything tomwatts says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He gets paid to do PR for TPR on this forum.

No, I don't. I'm here because I think it's fun to talk about the LSAT and law school. I don't get paid one cent by Princeton Review to be here.

However, I do make substantially more money teaching for Princeton Review than I would teaching for anyone else. The starting rate is fairly low because you're also prepping during that time, etc. By the time you teach a few classes, you get promoted, and the rate goes up. You teach a few more classes, get promoted again, and the rate goes up again. And by that point, you're making more than you would for anyone else.

My situation is somewhat unusual (I wanted to teach a wide variety of test types, not just LSAT, so I couldn't teach for an LSAT-only company, alongside various other factors), but I'm in exactly the right place for me. It may not always be exactly the right place for everyone else.

EDIT: Our marketing agent is whoever's posting under the "ThePrincetonReview" handle, e.g. at the end of this topic.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:44 am

tomwatts wrote:
hornedfrog wrote:I would take anything tomwatts says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He gets paid to do PR for TPR on this forum.

No, I don't. I'm here because I think it's fun to talk about the LSAT and law school. I don't get paid one cent by Princeton Review to be here.

However, I do make substantially more money teaching for Princeton Review than I would teaching for anyone else. The starting rate is fairly low because you're also prepping during that time, etc. By the time you teach a few classes, you get promoted, and the rate goes up. You teach a few more classes, get promoted again, and the rate goes up again. And by that point, you're making more than you would for anyone else.

My situation is somewhat unusual (I wanted to teach a wide variety of test types, not just LSAT, so I couldn't teach for an LSAT-only company, alongside various other factors), but I'm in exactly the right place for me. It may not always be exactly the right place for everyone else.

EDIT: Our marketing agent is whoever's posting under the "ThePrincetonReview" handle, e.g. at the end of this topic.


I have to say, I prefer your posts to those of the guy under the TPR handle. Giving useful advice is much better than a empty statement like "Join a new generation of preppers today." Someone should tell TPR-handle-guy that his statement might better fit a billboard - it won't work in a forum. Don Draper would've rejected that one in a second.

Image

hornedfrog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby hornedfrog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:11 pm

tomwatts wrote:
hornedfrog wrote:I would take anything tomwatts says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He gets paid to do PR for TPR on this forum.

No, I don't. I'm here because I think it's fun to talk about the LSAT and law school. I don't get paid one cent by Princeton Review to be here.

However, I do make substantially more money teaching for Princeton Review than I would teaching for anyone else. The starting rate is fairly low because you're also prepping during that time, etc. By the time you teach a few classes, you get promoted, and the rate goes up. You teach a few more classes, get promoted again, and the rate goes up again. And by that point, you're making more than you would for anyone else.

My situation is somewhat unusual (I wanted to teach a wide variety of test types, not just LSAT, so I couldn't teach for an LSAT-only company, alongside various other factors), but I'm in exactly the right place for me. It may not always be exactly the right place for everyone else.

EDIT: Our marketing agent is whoever's posting under the "ThePrincetonReview" handle, e.g. at the end of this topic.


That's surprising, since you've made so many posts and almost all of them seem geared towards casting TPR in a positive light. I'm skeptical of what you say because the company has a bad reputation in my area and other folks I know in the industry say it's struggling (the stock price has plummeted, the owner Katzman got forced out, the course materials are weak, some of the instructors have never taken the real LSAT, etc.)

So you started at around $16 per hour and now make how much? Just curious.

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EarlCat
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby EarlCat » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:55 pm

hornedfrog wrote:the course materials are weak


This has been claimed on this and other LSAT boards for years, and not once has anyone making this assertion pointed to a single weakness in TPR's classroom materials.

hornedfrog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby hornedfrog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:38 pm

And there's a reason why you keep hearing that: the course writers for TPR (and also Kaplan) are second-rate and faceless. On the other hand, the guy who wrote the Powerscore course (David Killoran) also wrote the Powerscore bibles, which are by far the most respected books on the LSAT. I used them myself as a supplement to studying PTs and they were extremely helpful. And the guy who wrote Testmasters (Robin Singh) has a dozen perfect scores on the real LSAT and may know more about the test than anyone. I've met two people who went through his teacher training program in LA and had nothing but great things to say about it. I also heard that TPR had their head guy take the Testmasters course in New York a couple of years ago so he could learn their techniques and try to improve TPR's materials! I'm surprised that Testmasters even allowed him to take the course.

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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby tomwatts » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:40 pm

Image

hornedfrog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby hornedfrog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:42 pm

Is that what you really look like, tom?

hornedfrog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby hornedfrog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:44 pm

Oh, I get it, that's supposed to be a horned frog, haha.

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EarlCat
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby EarlCat » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:01 am

hornedfrog wrote:And there's a reason why you keep hearing that: the course writers for TPR (and also Kaplan) are second-rate and faceless.


You, like every other shill who mindlessly repeats the anti-TPR mantra, have again failed to point to one single inferiority in their class materials.

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Grond
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby Grond » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:45 am

EarlCat wrote:
hornedfrog wrote:And there's a reason why you keep hearing that: the course writers for TPR (and also Kaplan) are second-rate and faceless.


You, like every other shill who mindlessly repeats the anti-TPR mantra, have again failed to point to one single inferiority in their class materials.


As you and I have discussed previously, a lot of the negative vibe comes from the retail books, which, IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong) you have described as horrible. I don't know anything about the current version of the TPR course, but I know that throughout the 1990s the full length course TRP lecture on parallel questions consisted of the following: Don't work them. Read the question first, and when you see its a parallel, stop, guess and move on. :shock: Also, the course was 35 hours total and didn't use real LSAT questions, etc.. My point being that 15 years of bad course materials and lectures is going to leave a company with a bad reputation, no matter what improvements may have been made.

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EarlCat
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby EarlCat » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:40 pm

Grond wrote:As you and I have discussed previously, a lot of the negative vibe comes from the retail books, which, IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong) you have described as horrible.

'Tis true. Although I do like the games in The LSAT Workout, despite the odd page formatting.

My point being that 15 years of bad course materials and lectures is going to leave a company with a bad reputation, no matter what improvements may have been made.

That's true. People just repeat what they've heard without doing any investigation themselves. The curriculum was overhauled 6 or 7 years ago when they acquired Hyperlearning--all real questions, good diagrams, good categorization, good explanations. HL instructors as of '07 or '08 have to score in the 98th percentile on the real test. Yet people who have absolutely no personal knowledge about TPR insist on criticizing them without anything to back it up.

hornedfrog
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby hornedfrog » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:22 pm

Hmmm....the fact that the materials had to be "overhauled" is a concession that they sucked beforehand. Who exactly did the overhaul and what were their qualifications?

Hyperlearning was an MCAT company that TPR acquired in the mid-1990s. I can't see how its acquisition triggered a magical improvement in TPR's course materials almost a decade later.

I don't understand why TPR has the requirement for Hyperlearning instructors and not all of their other instructors. And Hyperlearning instructors can satisfy the 98th percentile "requirement" by taking a practice test, which is absolute baloney. Nowhere on TPR's website does it say the instructors are required to take the real thing.

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EarlCat
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Re: Anyone tutor for the Princeton Review?

Postby EarlCat » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:02 pm

hornedfrog wrote:Hmmm....the fact that the materials had to be "overhauled" is a concession that they sucked beforehand.

I fully concede that. So what? Do you criticize Atari for making games that were nothing but squares and rectangles?

Who exactly did the overhaul and what were their qualifications?

Why don't you look at the credits inside the books---oh yeah, you probably haven't ever seen their books. Again, I challenge you to find me just one thing wrong with them.

Hyperlearning was an MCAT company that TPR acquired in the mid-1990s. I can't see how its acquisition triggered a magical improvement in TPR's course materials almost a decade later.

I said when, not because. But I was under the impression the takeover was around '04. Perhaps I was mistaken. The LSAT Hyperlearning course (i.e. the new curriculum) didn't start until around then.

I don't understand why TPR has the requirement for Hyperlearning instructors and not all of their other instructors.

Because otherwise there would be no classes in Sh*thole, Tennessee.

And Hyperlearning instructors can satisfy the 98th percentile "requirement" by taking a practice test, which is absolute baloney.

Yes, your assertion is absolute baloney. It's on a real test.
We had to show our score reports.

Nowhere on TPR's website does it say the instructors are required to take the real thing.

Absence of evidence flaw. The PS bibles should have taught you about that.




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