Kaplan LSAT

NaturalLawyer
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Kaplan LSAT

Postby NaturalLawyer » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:49 pm

Hi everyone,

I've seen a lot of posts with very negative comments about Kaplan LSAT courses, but when I ask what exactly is bad about the courses, nobody seems to provide an answer.

Can anyone who has actually taken their course tell me why their system/methods are bad?

Thanks!

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Angrygeopolitically
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby Angrygeopolitically » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:04 pm

I have not actually taken their course but I looked through their material and I tutor students who have....
Most people on here did not take the course because they did their research first, so it might be hard finding someone who has.

They don't distinguish between assumption and justify. They miss some other question types completely.
Their method for games takes too long.
It cost more than a grand.
They give you one of the hardest lsats as a diagnostic and then say you did a good job when you improve your score by 10 points/You don't actualize your potential.
You are being taught by teachers that did not necessarily score well on the lsat.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby bport hopeful » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:08 pm

Angrygeopolitically wrote:
Their method for games takes too long.
They give you one of the hardest lsats as a diagnostic and then say you did a good job when you improve your score by 10 points/You don't actualize your potential.
You are being taught by teachers that did not necessarily score well on the lsat.

I took a Kaplan course.

I was regularly scoring -1s and -0s on LG.
They actually give you the four most recent published tests as you 4 PTs.
My teacher scored a 177 twice, and was the man.

The difference between my diagnostic was a +9, but this was a huge reading fuckup and was on the low side. I know a lot of people who put on 11 or more points and kids that scored in the mid 170's after going through Kaplan.

I know way more people IRL that liked Kaplan than didnt like it.

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Angrygeopolitically
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby Angrygeopolitically » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:23 pm

I guess I also get a biased sample because obviously the students that seek me out as a tutor where not happy with their prior experience. However, I improved by 20 points on my 157 diagnostic. And I think the minimum requirement for a lsat tutor in kaplan is a 165 or something.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby bport hopeful » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:43 pm

Angrygeopolitically wrote:I guess I also get a biased sample because obviously the students that seek me out as a tutor where not happy with their prior experience. However, I improved by 20 points on my 157 diagnostic. And I think the minimum requirement for a lsat tutor in kaplan is a 165 or something.

I actually think its a 164. And yeah, thats not good. I dont think that your chances at getting someone below a 170 are very good.

You are an extreme case, because most people dont bump that much, no matter how they learned.

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Angrygeopolitically
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby Angrygeopolitically » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:58 pm

bport hopeful wrote:
Angrygeopolitically wrote:I guess I also get a biased sample because obviously the students that seek me out as a tutor where not happy with their prior experience. However, I improved by 20 points on my 157 diagnostic. And I think the minimum requirement for a lsat tutor in kaplan is a 165 or something.

I actually think its a 164. And yeah, thats not good. I dont think that your chances at getting someone below a 170 are very good.

You are an extreme case, because most people dont bump that much, no matter how they learned.


I don't know about most people or what methods they use. But most of my students make big jumps. I really think the idea that you can't improve that much is something reinforced by these test prep companies. But maybe i'm idealistic and just get wonderful students. I really can't speak for things outside my immediate experience, of course.

NaturalLawyer
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby NaturalLawyer » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:44 am

Thanks for the replies. There is a Kaplan center very close to my place and I was interested in their program, and wanted to know why everyone seems to hate them so much. What I haven't been able to find much of was actual criticisms of their approach or method, but mainly the complaint that their instructors do not always have really high scores: +170.

I'm not quite sure why that exactly matters if they teach the Kaplan material effectively, and they help students get higher scores. Is it just the fact that if a teacher has a lower score, there is a greater likelihood that the teacher will be less effective as an LSAT teacher? Perhaps that's true. But what I'm interested in, at the end of the day, is whether or not their program will help me to improve my score. All else, in the end, seems irrelevant.

If anyone else has an insight, please post it. Thanks in advance!

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Moomoo2u
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby Moomoo2u » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:56 am

I know someone who took it and they basically said that while the teacher was good, they focus on getting you from 150-165, not higher. That is, they focus a lot on basic concepts and often overemphasize general rules for question types. WHen you ask why specifically this question is right or wrong, the teacher's answer may have no relation to that general rule.

Also you only take like 3-4 timed PT's.


The one good thing is that I saw him come home with 4 massive books full of ?'s, so the pure practice could be good. I think if you're testing around 155-150 you should take powerscore or testmasters or one of the others.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby bport hopeful » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:03 pm

Angrygeopolitically wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:
Angrygeopolitically wrote:I guess I also get a biased sample because obviously the students that seek me out as a tutor where not happy with their prior experience. However, I improved by 20 points on my 157 diagnostic. And I think the minimum requirement for a lsat tutor in kaplan is a 165 or something.

I actually think its a 164. And yeah, thats not good. I dont think that your chances at getting someone below a 170 are very good.

You are an extreme case, because most people dont bump that much, no matter how they learned.


I don't know about most people or what methods they use. But most of my students make big jumps. I really think the idea that you can't improve that much is something reinforced by these test prep companies. But maybe i'm idealistic and just get wonderful students. I really can't speak for things outside my immediate experience, of course.

Not for nothing, but you tutor people. You are gunna see more improvements with one on one attention than with a class with 5 or 6 people in it that meets twice a week in the evening after work.

Moomoo2u wrote:I know someone who took it and they basically said that while the teacher was good, they focus on getting you from 150-165, not higher. That is, they focus a lot on basic concepts and often overemphasize general rules for question types. WHen you ask why specifically this question is right or wrong, the teacher's answer may have no relation to that general rule.

Also you only take like 3-4 timed PT's.


The one good thing is that I saw him come home with 4 massive books full of ?'s, so the pure practice could be good. I think if you're testing around 155-150 you should take powerscore or testmasters or one of the others.

I agree with a lot of this. I always got really good explanations, but I diagnostic'd at 157 and really was extremely bored in the class. They do have a higher class though that you need to PT a 164 to get into. I would suggest self practicing to a 164 and then doing that if you had the time. If I knew what I knew now back then, I would have done that. Alas....

You actually get 6 huge books of study stuff, and a ton of online supplements including taped class sections for more advanced student.

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Angrygeopolitically
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby Angrygeopolitically » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:45 pm

bport hopeful wrote:
Angrygeopolitically wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:
Angrygeopolitically wrote:I guess I also get a biased sample because obviously the students that seek me out as a tutor where not happy with their prior experience. However, I improved by 20 points on my 157 diagnostic. And I think the minimum requirement for a lsat tutor in kaplan is a 165 or something.

I actually think its a 164. And yeah, thats not good. I dont think that your chances at getting someone below a 170 are very good.

You are an extreme case, because most people dont bump that much, no matter how they learned.


I don't know about most people or what methods they use. But most of my students make big jumps. I really think the idea that you can't improve that much is something reinforced by these test prep companies. But maybe i'm idealistic and just get wonderful students. I really can't speak for things outside my immediate experience, of course.

Not for nothing, but you tutor people. You are gunna see more improvements with one on one attention than with a class with 5 or 6 people in it that meets twice a week in the evening after work.

Moomoo2u wrote:I know someone who took it and they basically said that while the teacher was good, they focus on getting you from 150-165, not higher. That is, they focus a lot on basic concepts and often overemphasize general rules for question types. WHen you ask why specifically this question is right or wrong, the teacher's answer may have no relation to that general rule.

Also you only take like 3-4 timed PT's.


The one good thing is that I saw him come home with 4 massive books full of ?'s, so the pure practice could be good. I think if you're testing around 155-150 you should take powerscore or testmasters or one of the others.

I agree with a lot of this. I always got really good explanations, but I diagnostic'd at 157 and really was extremely bored in the class. They do have a higher class though that you need to PT a 164 to get into. I would suggest self practicing to a 164 and then doing that if you had the time. If I knew what I knew now back then, I would have done that. Alas....

You actually get 6 huge books of study stuff, and a ton of online supplements including taped class sections for more advanced student.



Yes I thought we were talking about the best possible study method? Is kaplan better than nothing, yes.

You can also get all of those kaplan books by going to half-priced books. :) They are a lot cheaper there.

tonycw
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby tonycw » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:27 pm

NaturalLawyer wrote:Hi everyone,

I've seen a lot of posts with very negative comments about Kaplan LSAT courses, but when I ask what exactly is bad about the courses, nobody seems to provide an answer.

Can anyone who has actually taken their course tell me why their system/methods are bad?

Thanks!



I'm taking the course right now...I'd probably say I wasted 2 weeks of my study time just by doing Kaplan's LSAT course. I switched to Powerscore (Self study, LG/LR/RC Bible's) now and TBH that helped me a lot more.

Reason for that is because their methods for LG and LR's don't make much sense, and also when you do LR questions, their explanation is kinda on the lines of "It's incorrect because its just...well incorrect". Instead of "WHY is it incorrect?"

The only Kaplan course books I'm actually using right now is "Kaplan Mastery". Basically a whole book of LSAT questions, which categorizes different types of LG/LR/RC and sorts them by difficulty. Easier for me to do practice on them.

The other benefit from the Kaplan course is that you get access to all PrepTest (yes, all). So you won't have to spend extra $ to buy Preptests outside...

Hope that helps.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:36 pm

They give you one of the hardest lsats as a diagnostic and then say you did a good job when you improve your score by 10 points/You don't actualize your potential.


If you tutor the LSAT you should know why this wouldn't work.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby bport hopeful » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:37 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
They give you one of the hardest lsats as a diagnostic and then say you did a good job when you improve your score by 10 points/You don't actualize your potential.


If you tutor the LSAT you should know why this wouldn't work.

bahahaha such a good point.

bball1997
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby bball1997 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:45 pm

I took a Kaplan course and it took me from a 162 to consistently scoring mid-high 170's (174 on June test). I liked the way they taught LR. I also liked the way they diagrammed LG. I ended up just sitting down over spring break and rolling through games until I got them down. I think I went from -5 to -7 to -0 or -1 in just 3 days of hard studying. I don't think I would have been able to do that without good examples of how to diagram the games.

Their RC method isn't very good though IMO. They want you to do way too much stuff and it never left much time for questions. I ended up just using my own method with RC and did well enough.

Overall I would definitely recommend the course though.

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billywalsh
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby billywalsh » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:52 pm

Kaplan consistently receives negative reviews simply because of the amount of students who take the Kaplan course. More students go to law school after taking a Kaplan course than all other test prep companies combined. It gives you access to every old LSAT question, and gives you basic strategies to solve them- the amount of improvement is based solely on the individual. Also, often times the short (one month) long classes simply don't allow enough time to practice while managing school/jobs. Overall, it's definitely worth the investment considering how much money a legal education will cost.

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JoeFish
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby JoeFish » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:18 pm

I think the very best idea possible is to find someone who mauled the LSATs, worked at Kaplan or another Test Prep company, did well as a teacher but quit to go to Law School or move or something, and is willing to tutor you for $40 an hour. That would be ideal.

I think the responses on this thread are indicative of the population at large: Kaplan works really well for some people and really poorly for others. I do agree that Kaplan is absolutely more geared towards getting you from 145 to 155 than from 160 to 170. How much you improve from a given diagnostic score depends on a ton of factors like how much you put into it, how natural you find the methods, how good your teacher is, and the like.

THAT BEING SAID, I don't think that ANY LSAT Prep class is worth $1500 or so. First, the resources on here are free and extremely helpful. Second, I have no idea why anyone would ever join a class of 5-15 people when they could get a one-on-one tutor. I've always thought an hour with a tutor was worth two or three in the classroom. Again, I guess, it all comes down to personal preference, and I guess if you view the investment as part of the total LS expense it's pretty inconsequential. But I think there are a ton of more cost-effective methods.

NaturalLawyer
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Re: Kaplan LSAT

Postby NaturalLawyer » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:25 pm

These comments are all helpful. Thanks guys! :D




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