LSAT prep course vs. Tutor

Tutors or Class?

Tutor
8
67%
Class
4
33%
 
Total votes: 12

choffm12
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:29 am

LSAT prep course vs. Tutor

Postby choffm12 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:06 pm

Hi everybody,
I really apologize if this is in the wrong section or this has already been asked (I searched but maybe messed up), but what are you opinions on studying with a personal LSAT tutor vs. enrolling in an LSAT class (a la Kaplan, etc.)?

Also, where do all the LSAT tutors hang out? I've looked up a few on craigslist but I've been kind of skeptical.

Thanks for your time. Looking forward to learning a lot here!

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boblawlob
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Re: LSAT prep course vs. Tutor

Postby boblawlob » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:41 pm

I have experience with both and I'll give you my personal thoughts.

LSAT prep courses are best if you are too damn lazy to do self-study and want a "quick" crash course on the LSAT. Good enough to get you at least a 5 point increase. They can get you more points if you do additional self-study and use the prep course as more of a supplement. DO NOT rely on the prep course entirely (i.e. only doing hw assigned for the class and/or taking PTs that weren't outside of class). You NEED to also do some serious drilling and review using Cambridge LSAT packets or individual PT sections (Blueprint books are sort of structured in a drilling way as well).

LSAT private tutoring is different across the board, both in terms of the tutors themselves and what they relay to the students (even with the same tutor). Just because a tutor helped someone get to the mid 170s doesn't mean the tutor can help you get there as well. It really depends on the questions that you bring to the tutoring session. I would never recommend an LSAT tutor if you are a brand new newbie to the LSAT because you could easily figure things out by reading PS bibles or the MLSAT guides. LSAT tutors are only there to sharpen your skills, but they are what you make of it.

LSAT self-study is the best way to go. Noodley's retake guide is the best thing out there to help guide self-studying (still good for 1st timers) especially in telling you what tools you will need to succeed on the LSAT. Learning the LSAT is not something a teacher could impart to you, but self study will help you much more in my opinion because you start recognizing the subtle tendencies and wording of the LSAT during self-study. In a prep course, they never really talk about subtle wordings and just say why this is the answer and why this is most likely the wrong answer. This is mostly due in part to the fact that the prep course teacher has to answer the questions of other students and so that limits the questions that you'd be to ask. The LSAT is a test where 1 word makes a world of difference and I can't tell you enough how not catching that word on a few questions has cost me greatly. That is only a skill that can be learned with constant prepping and exposure to the LSAT.

I have not taken Kaplan's prep courses, but I've taken a couple of other extremely reputable prep courses. I wouldn't not recommend taking Kaplan, but I would only use the Kaplan prep course as a LSAT 101 course and probably not take the LSAT immediately after the Kaplan course ends (probably would engage in 3 more months of self-study).

Craigslist is fine, but again its also sketchy and so you have to ask for their credentials. Hopefully you are in a metropolitan city or near one to have access to legit LSAT tutors that are vetted by a prep company (Blueprint, Manhattan, Testmasters, etc). Also look at online tutoring/prep courses as supplements (It seems like Velocity is doing things right with their LG curriculum as evidenced by Wormfather's raping of games).

If you suck ass at games, tutors and online prep courses focused on that will help you make strides.
If you suck ass at logical reasoning, tutors and prep courses may help you but self-study is where you make the biggest strides (using Noodley guide).
If you suck ass at reading comprehension, guess what? Everyone does as well and the best thing is to self study with Noodley's guide.

Best of luck.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:57 pm

Re: LSAT prep course vs. Tutor

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:42 pm

Where's self-study? Don't underestimate just buying the testing materials and going at it yourself, that's what all the cool kids do.

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epiphinous7
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Re: LSAT prep course vs. Tutor

Postby epiphinous7 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:36 am

Self-study is best +1 unless youre lazy as fuck
Powerscore Bible Logic Games
There's debate about this but I thought LR Bible was good
For RC you can search the forum.
Get the books. Do them.
Then take practice tests. Start slow. Then timed. Then 5 sections timed.
Youll score high and owe me later. Good luck 8)

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cahwc12
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:49 pm

Re: LSAT prep course vs. Tutor

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:35 am

If you can find a great tutor, I recommend looking into one at least to review your diagnostic with you and perhaps do 1-2 sessions. A good tutor will really get you motivated, and getting a tutor is not anything like a prep class. If you sign up for a prep class, it's because you're lazy. A tutor is just there to help facilitate the transfer of information from the LSAT to your brain. A good tutor isn't going to replace self-study, but encourage and supplement it.

important: Tutors aren't going to tell you anything you can't learn on your own, but they will save you hours and hours of your own time trying to figure out the best way to do X, Y, Z.

By contrast, a prep class is about the worst way you can spend your money if you want to do well on the LSAT. They are super expensive, don't move at your pace, and are very rigid in course flow. Your strengths and weaknesses are going to vary greatly from other students in your class, and that means if you're the brightest or fastest learner, then some/most of the time in that class is going to be wasted. You also run the risk of falling under the impression that simply doing homework assignments (or worse, simply showing up) will earn you a high LSAT.

I will say that if you're absolutely forced/committed to get a prep course, consider Manhattan, Blueprint, Testmasters or some similarly reputable company. Do not (DO NOT) get a Kaplan prep course. Their material is not designed to improve your score, but rather to promote their own material/courses. Even with a company like Manhattan, which has absolutely tremendous LSAT methods and instructors, is likely to leave you in a bad spot if you take a prep course and rely exclusively on the class. I stumbled into a meeting session with a review group from a class after it completed just before an LSAT, and it was depressing to watch this group of 4-5 course alumni struggle to solve a very simple game, and all they could do was copy the solution. I say this because Manhattan is one if not the best prep companies for the LSAT and even taking a course with them is putting your LSAT life in danger.


Anyway, the bottom line is, to echo others here--you can study on your own and learn anything and everything about the LSAT. A good tutor will enable you to learn faster, while just about any prep course you could take will likely slow your learning. You can still get to your goal through self-study, tutoring or a prep course, but if you have the ability to pay $1000 or more on a prep course, using that money to buy 10-20 hours of private tutoring would help you tremendously.

Every student except my newest one has come from a kaplan prep course and each was not only remorseful, but couldn't explain simple elements of questions.
Last edited by cahwc12 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Elston Gunn
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: LSAT prep course vs. Tutor

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:38 am

cahwc12 wrote:If you can find a great tutor, I recommend looking into one at least to review your diagnostic with you and perhaps do 1-2 sessions. A good tutor will really get you motivated, and getting a tutor is not anything like a prep class. If you sign up for a prep class, it's because you're lazy. A tutor is just there to help facilitate the transfer of information from the LSAT to your brain. A good tutor isn't going to replace self-study, but encourage and supplement it.

important: Tutors aren't going to tell you anything you can't learn on your own, but they will save you hours and hours of your own time trying to figure out the best way to do X, Y, Z.

By contrast, a prep class is about the worst way you can spend your money if you want to do well on the LSAT. They are super expensive, don't move at your pace, and are very rigid in course flow. Your strengths and weaknesses are going to vary greatly from other students in your class, and that means if you're the brightest or fastest learner, then some/most of the time in that class is going to be wasted. You also run the risk of falling under the impression that simply doing homework assignments (or worse, simply showing up) will earn you a high LSAT.

I will say that if you're absolutely forced/committed to get a prep course, consider Manhattan, Blueprint, Testmasters or some similarly reputable company. Do not (DO NOT) get a Kaplan prep course. Their material is not designed to improve your score, but rather to promote their own material/courses.

Every student except my newest one has come from a kaplan prep course and each was not only remorseful, but couldn't explain simple elements of questions.


As another LSAT tutor, +1 to all of this.




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