Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

What's my best option?

Self Study
Prep Course
Private Tutor
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Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

Postby b33eazy » Sun May 15, 2011 8:02 pm

I JUST started to study for my LSAT this October. And I would like to have some tips on the best type of study and the materials. I bought Powerscore Bibles, but that's all I have at the moment. And right now, I just looked at the the Logical Reasoning, and I'm trying to figure that out, and I'm confused on the Logic Games, and I haven't even looked at the Reading Comprehension yet. So, as I said, what would be the best methods to study? My range is to AT LEAST score into the high 160s or low 170s.

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Re: Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

Postby HWS08 » Sun May 15, 2011 8:08 pm

I think it depends on the person. I did the PowerScore bibles on my own, no tutor or prep course. I went from low 150s (if I remember correctly) on my cold diagnostic test to a 169. I took the LSAT twice; I was sick the first time and scored about 6 points below my practice tests, so I retook and ended up with the 169. I was very disciplined about studying on my own- I got up early and studied before work, studied for a few hours at home after work, took my bibles to work and studied on my lunch breaks, and of course did practice tests and studied more on the weekends. I've heard the prep courses are good if you need some sort of external motivation to study or you study better in a group setting.

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Re: Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

Postby northwood » Sun May 15, 2011 9:04 pm

I think it depends on where you are starting. if you are starting out in the high 150s or better, then self study with the powersore bibles and maybe a tutor will be a good way to go. If you are starting out lower you can go with a tutor or course. BUt it all depends on how you learn best, and how much money you want to spend. Courses are great- but most are designed for people who are scoring in the low 150s or worse. Tutors depend on quality and price, and how many hours you want to work with them. Just like a course, you need to do your due diligence and get references and hear what former students liked and didnt llike, and take a session to see if you mesh with the tutor or course. However- you will have to do all of the work they give you and pay attention- or else you might as well burn your money.

If you learn best by doing it yourself- then you can go with the powerscore books and all of the official prep tests you can handle. But you will have to stay on top of yourself and make and follow a set routine. This way works for al ot of people on TLS, but if you are finding it difficult to get motivated than maybe you need a course or tutor to motivate you( although you should want to do this if you want to go to law school). Whatever you decide to do- make sure to do as many prep tests as possible, and only work with official LSAC material. Other prep material is a waste of time, as only LSAC is authorized to make and distribute the LSAT. Everyone wants to score in the 170s or better. However, what it will come down to is how well and effective you prep- and how long you do it. . SO if you have a lot of work ahead of you to get to your goal of 170+, be ready to put in long hours and make this your top life priority. Best of luck. You have about 5 and a half months to start prepping for OCtober, which is a good amount of time to maximize your potential.

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Re: Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

Postby b33eazy » Wed May 18, 2011 2:21 am

Thanks for the tip!

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Re: Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

Postby bhan87 » Wed May 18, 2011 2:36 am

Try self-studying first, but if you work better with a structured schedule, courses can be very beneficial. However, do note that courses are not magic bullets, as they also require significant preparation outside of the classroom to be truly useful.

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Re: Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

Postby glewz » Wed May 18, 2011 2:50 am

Depends on your discipline & starting score. If you are disciplined & 155ish+, then self study might be a good idea.

I think the safe bet is to take a course, but obviously self study is the cheapest option.

I don't think private tutor is the best choice (cost/benefit), but it can be the most effective one.

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Re: Prep course, Private tutor or self study?

Postby DaisyLafayette » Wed May 18, 2011 1:14 pm

as previously mentioned, if you are starting with above like a 158 and if your weakness was mainly LG and LR, I would suggest skipping the prep class unless the money and time involved are not a problem. Since you are starting so late, maybe a weekend one would be best after you have reviewed the material.

I took a testmasters course and kind of regret it. My instructor was great but I am really a self-learner and found that a large part of the focus of the class was on question types I was already confident about. It didn't really go into the RC enough to really help those aiming for 172+

That said, my first diag was 165 and I know I would have felt like I was missing out on a big part of prep that might help my score. Most students aiming for a 170+ probably have taken one, and it might help to be exposed to the same advice and analysis of recent trends provided by a good company.
good luck!

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