LSAT prep books you should avoid

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Dr. Dre
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LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri May 24, 2013 2:32 am

Poast which LSAT prep books (or companies) one ought to avoid, since many new poasters have admitted to using TTT prep materials. I'll go first:

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LSAT Blog
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby LSAT Blog » Fri May 24, 2013 10:38 am

This thread is a great idea. I've examined a few retail books that should be avoided. Reviews are below each book cover.

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Reasons to avoid it (Last time I checked, their "Cracking the LSAT" series also had similar issues.)



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Reasons to avoid it (Later editions likely have similar issues.)



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Reasons to avoid it (This year's edition will have new authors, so it might be a bit different. However, I'll be surprised if it's worth buying even then. We'll see.)

The LSAT Trainer
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri May 24, 2013 11:07 am

Thank goodness for Steve Schwartz --

I still can't figure out how to load an image, but the REA books sold on Amazon and in Barnes and Noble are some of the worst I have seen.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Fri May 24, 2013 11:21 am

My campus library has the Barron's one, and it is literally the worst thing I have ever read.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri May 24, 2013 11:46 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
REA books sold on Amazon and in Barnes and Noble are some of the worst I have seen.



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objection_your_honor
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby objection_your_honor » Fri May 24, 2013 12:31 pm

Early in my prep I checked out a Kaplan RC book from my library. If you think you're scoring a bit too high lately, try The Kaplan Method® — guaranteed to lower your score with convoluted non-strategies.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri May 24, 2013 12:45 pm

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LSAT Blog
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue May 28, 2013 12:15 pm

Oh, and here's a general rule of thumb: if a book comes with a CD or DVD, it probably isn't good.

(This guideline *may* not be as helpful once the LSAT becomes a computer-administered test, but that probably isn't happening anytime soon.)

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Gamine
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby Gamine » Tue May 28, 2013 12:26 pm

Since I live abroad I'm not likely to run into LSAT books in libraries or bookstores and so when I started my prep I had to do a LOT of online research (which led me to Steve's blog and TLS) to separate the trash from the good stuff. More people need TLS. I've never even heard of any of those other preptest companies except for Kaplan - but TLS made it clear that it was a no-go from the beginning.

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jwaters92
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby jwaters92 » Tue May 28, 2013 12:47 pm

deleted

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LSAT Blog
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed May 29, 2013 1:01 pm

Gamine wrote:Since I live abroad I'm not likely to run into LSAT books in libraries or bookstores and so when I started my prep I had to do a LOT of online research (which led me to Steve's blog and TLS) to separate the trash from the good stuff. More people need TLS. I've never even heard of any of those other preptest companies except for Kaplan - but TLS made it clear that it was a no-go from the beginning.


+1

It's when people blindly choose their books based simply on what's on the shelf that they're most likely to run into trouble.

I'd wouldn't be surprised if ~99% of Barron's LSAT book sales were bookstore purchases where the customer didn't do any prior research.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:20 pm

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Reviews suggest that it's full of typos and other errors, as well as unrealistic fake (non-LSAC-written) practice questions.



Image

Reviews suggest that it's full of typos and other errors, as well as unrealistic fake (non-LSAC-written) practice questions. More recent editions may have similar issues. (The descriptions of the 2013 and 2014 editions don't mention using real LSAT questions, which means they probably don't.)

RoaringMice
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby RoaringMice » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:33 pm

Before I knew any better, I did the Princeton Review book. It sooo didn't help me. If anything, I feel it made my score worse. I do not recommend it.

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Ambitious1
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby Ambitious1 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:35 pm

You should avoid just about anything from Kaplan, Barron and Princeton Review.

I would say Manhattan and Blueprint are in a class of its own. Powerscore books still have value. I assume that LSAT Trainer is up there as well, given the work of Mike and how brilliant the Manhattan series is.

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Ambitious1
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby Ambitious1 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:36 pm

Oh yeah and don't get McGraw Hill either. I've heard horrible things and that they don't even use real LSAT questions in their analysis. If true, that's a joke.

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patfeeney
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby patfeeney » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:45 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:Image

Reviews suggest that it's full of typos and other errors, as well as unrealistic fake (non-LSAC-written) practice questions. More recent editions may have similar issues. (The descriptions of the 2013 and 2014 editions don't mention using real LSAT questions, which means they probably don't.)


I used McGraw-Hill to start my prep back in January. I took their diagnostic test (they include 6 "tests" in the book). My score came to roughly a 145 (they don't even provide an accurate curve, they just give you ranges, like if you get 30-40 right you score between 140-150).

Their strategy for Logic Games is one of the most numbskulled approaches I have seen, and I could sense this from day one of LSAT prep. They suggest you write down every deduction/ clue for the game in all its numerous incarnations and breakdowns of each interrelation. If X Comes before Y but after Z, they want you to not only diagram Z-X-Y but also Z-X and X-Y and Z-Y, and not Y-Z, not Y-X, not X-Z... you get the idea. FOR EACH RULE. The end result is a list of "deductions" that is longer than your average reading comp section. You end up spending 6 or 7 minutes creating deductions. It's ridiculous.

Reading comp advice is equally ridiculous. Their examples show pretty much every word in the passage underlined.

To top it off, the stock model on the 2013 edition that I bought looks more like Drew Pickles than a law student.

All-around suckitude here.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:25 pm

Great thread, should be stickied. This issue is complicated for newbies because most of these books are actually decent choices for SAT, GMAT, GRE, etc. where the test makers haven't released many official tests.

RoaringMice
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby RoaringMice » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:32 pm

The worst thing about me for the Princeton Review book is that, not knowing how badly it sucked compared to others, I did the whole thing, taking up quite a bit of my limited prep time. If only I'd had the better prep books then. But I ended up wasting most of my prep time on the PR. It wasn't until I started one of the other books and instantly - I mean instantly - got concepts I was messing up with PR that I realized. I wish I could have that time back. My score on this June test would no doubt be higher.

nugnoy
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby nugnoy » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:45 pm

Manhattan's Reading comprehension is bad. Their analysis on the first law passage was way off. Also, their obsession of "weighing scale" is just inappropriate for many passages. Even the instructors in the RC forums end up awkwardly forcing the scale structure into passages for the sake of using the scale rather than for its having any utility.

Also, REA's lsat logic games is great. It has 100 original games, and they're really useful - they test concepts relevant for the lsat/tested on the lsat. And many of the games are harder than lsat games, making them helpful for people who want perfection.

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romanticegotist
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby romanticegotist » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:54 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:Image

Reviews suggest that it's full of typos and other errors, as well as unrealistic fake (non-LSAC-written) practice questions.



Image

Reviews suggest that it's full of typos and other errors, as well as unrealistic fake (non-LSAC-written) practice questions. More recent editions may have similar issues. (The descriptions of the 2013 and 2014 editions don't mention using real LSAT questions, which means they probably don't.)


That LG book fucked me over hard; I went through it before diving into the PTs and that basically meant that I lost a month of my life or more. Don't buy it.

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patfeeney
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby patfeeney » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:48 pm

I went to the local bookstore just to check out their prep materials shelf. My findings:
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An entire shelf of materials with five useful books. No wonder so many people fail to break 160 on the test. Who's going to buy Manhattan or Powerscore when they're inundated with so many volumes of crap?
I smell conspiracy.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:00 pm

patfeeney wrote:I went to the local bookstore just to check out their prep materials shelf. My findings:
Image
An entire shelf of materials with five useful books. No wonder so many people fail to break 160 on the test. Who's going to buy Manhattan or Powerscore when they're inundated with so many volumes of crap?
I smell conspiracy.


You mean literally five? Because I see multiple Manhattan guides, several books of PTs, the Blueprint LG guide (I believe), and Master the LSAT (not the best, but potentially worth purchasing). And a lot of crap. There is admittedly a lot of crap.

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CalAlumni
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby CalAlumni » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:08 pm

Anything with fake LSAT questions should be avoided at all costs, esp. since there are so many real PT's available.

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patfeeney
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby patfeeney » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:29 pm

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
You mean literally five? Because I see multiple Manhattan guides, several books of PTs, the Blueprint LG guide (I believe), and Master the LSAT (not the best, but potentially worth purchasing). And a lot of crap. There is admittedly a lot of crap.


Two manhattan guides and four official books, also Master the LSAT. 7 total; the Blueprint-looking one is actually REA.

steven21
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Re: LSAT prep books you should avoid

Postby steven21 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:33 pm

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Last edited by steven21 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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