If you had an one hour of tutoring

cheeseman92
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If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby cheeseman92 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:12 am

I signed up for one time tutoring with a professional tutor (my budget only allows one session). My weakness is weaken, strengthen (especially level 4 problems) and RC. Do you have suggestions how I could use this time wisely with a tutor? Thanks

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hillz
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby hillz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:22 am

I would ask to work on weaken and strengthen questions with the tutor. RC is one of those things that you kinda have to figure out on your own and there are a lot of tips on TLS that you can use w/o paying any money. I'm guessing that you and the tutor will work on some easier Weaken/Strengthen questions and then move up to more advanced questions so he can assess whether there is a problem with your current thought process. Perhaps the tutor will be able to help you find a strategy for weaken and strengthen questions that you just haven't found yet. An hour is really short but maybe something will click. Good luck!

kcdc1
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby kcdc1 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:52 am

If the $$ for one hour of tutoring is a big deal for you, I'd recommend not buying one hour of tutoring. This guy is unlikely to get to know you well enough to help you in such a short time. There's going to be confusion, and there won't be time to clear it up. Then you're back at square one with your books.

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stray
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby stray » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:27 pm

I agree with Kcdc1. I cant imagine one hour tutoring helping too much. What do you have as far as prep materials and how far into them are you?

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RCSOB657
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby RCSOB657 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:35 pm

If he already paid for it and cannot get refunded would this be a better use of his time? Being taught how to review answers. It's certainly something I wish I learned how to do and Kaplan didn't really help with this even with their full course.

BP Robert
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby BP Robert » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:29 pm

I'd definitely recommend steering clear of RC, just because an hour only offers you enough time to cover maybe four or five passages in depth. You could probably get a lot more out of a S/W review.

Best of luck,

Blueprint LSAT Prep

JJDancer
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby JJDancer » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:57 pm

Focus on strengthen/weaken - and ask for an approach to RC/share the approaches you've tried.

By approach I mean ask the tutor Qs like:
Should I read the questions first?
Any approach on how to answer specific types of Qs like line number questions?
Any tips on different types of passages (weird science-y ones etc)?
Hey, I read this passage and wrote the conclusion of each paragraph on the side, can you check that it's correct? Is this a waste of time?
What sorts of things do you suggest I mark up in the passage while I read?

I am/was an LSAT tutor and I'll share my quick tips here for you:
Logical reasoning: Make sure you identify the conclusion of the paragraph presented. If the question asks about "flawed reasoning" (parallel) then you should be able to IDENTIFY the flaw in the argument.
Logical Reasoning:
Assumption questions are equal to must be true questions because an assumption is NECESSARY to prove the argument.
If you can take an answer choice and ever make it NOT happen, but still make sense of the argument then it is NOT an assumption. Because without an assumption, an argument would fall apart.

REMEMBER TO WRITE A "W" FOR WEAKEN QUESTIONS AND ATTACK THE CONCLUSION OF THE ARGUMENT.

Remember to write "X" for questions that ask EXCEPT and pay attention to whether it is asking "Must be true" "could be true " cannot be true" etc.

Reading Comprehension:

There will be passages on History, Law, Science and usually a "politically correct" passage having to do with ethnic minorities. Remember that the LSAT will likely look favorably upon minorities.
Imo, do not read the questions first. Read the passage and highlight/underline as you go along.
Make sure you MARK names such as "zoologist Rohwer" or "Council of Basel" since they often ask questions about that.
Be sure to understand the TONE and STRUCTURE of the passage. If the passage is long/ convoluted then you should definitely write a few words next to each paragraph writing the main point of the paragraph and what it means for structure.
For example:
paragraph 1 - presents theory about herpesvirus
para 2 - says there are 2 explanations for why theory should be rejected (label 1 and 2 in the passage)

- When a question in Reading Comp refers you to "line #s" or anywords in quotation marks (from the passage) BE CAREFUL.
You will probably need to re read that whole paragraph or at least the sentence before and after to fully understand and correctly answer the passage.

HTH

PS: If anyone is interested in LSAT tutoring in the LA area - you can PM me. I have some down time before I start a Fellowship.

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stray
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby stray » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:08 pm

Also, someone sent me a fairly thorough RC study guide prior to the Dec test. I can send that to you if you'd like. Feel free to PM me your email address and I will get it to you.

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Jeffort
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby Jeffort » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:27 am

kcdc1 wrote:If the $$ for one hour of tutoring is a big deal for you, I'd recommend not buying one hour of tutoring. This guy is unlikely to get to know you well enough to help you in such a short time. There's going to be confusion, and there won't be time to clear it up. Then you're back at square one with your books.


I agree with this, especially after reading OPs post in Mike Kim's thread that describes his/her prep situation: has been prepping for over 6 months with the Trainer & 7Sage, started with 137 diagnostic and has improved score to 160 so far, and is shooting for 166.

Cheeseman92, I highly recommend that you save your limited available $$ and cancel the session since you most likely won't be taught/learn anything useful that you don't already know that'd help your score dramatically increase from a single one hour session with a tutor that doesn't already know a lot about your current prep situation/history and which specific types of things (that you should be figuring out and keeping track of by doing deep PT review) are causing you trouble/causing you to miss high difficulty level LR and RC questions.

One-hour one-off tutoring sessions are not very useful/beneficial for most students in most situations where they need help to improve more after have been prepping for a while simply because it's just not enough time to even evaluate your current processes and issues well enough to formulate any significant beneficial insight, let alone to teach you anything significant such as how to apply individualized advice based on a good evaluation of your current processes/approaches and specific weaknesses.

Most tutors mainly focus on teaching and reviewing the major concepts, methods/techniques, etc. that are taught in good prep books/classes, meaning stuff you've already learned and have already been working on getting better at applying to have increased your score by ~23 points already.

For tutoring to be worth the $$ and beneficial for you, it would have to be with a very experienced one with #5 LSAT teaching level skills and knowledge (described at the bottom of the quoted post below) and be at least 2 or 3 hours minimum to cover enough ground for a solid evaluation and formulation of specific advice/a going forward road-map of tailored things to do, things to stop doing, things to adjust, etc. for De-bugging and adjusting/partially restructuring/fine tuning your specific sets of processes that need improvement to break past the '160/low160s plateau' and increase to your target score.

Improving from ~160-165/6 is wayyy harder and requires a lot more detailed fine tuning than does improving from ~155-160 since you have to significantly increase your accuracy rate on high difficulty level questions because those are the points left that you need to get correct to increase into that score range due to the test specs required proportions of higher difficulty level questions per test and scaled range of raw scores for a 166 on modern/recent tests.

Unless you've formulated very specific questions and/or specific areas/methods/whatever that you want the tutor to evaluate and teach you how to improve/help you understand how to apply better live in action under test conditions, etc., then the tutor will probably just end up spending the hour covering the basics of strengthen and weaken questions with you, teaching you nothing new.

Have you talked to the tutor directly to screen him/her and to describe your situation in detail so that the tutor is prepared to focus on your specific prep situation and needs/current issues?

You should read this thread about LSAT tutors:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=236170

most notably the bottom of the last post in the thread about quality levels of tutors (quoted below):
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=236170&p=8027832#p8027832

LSAT Hacks (Graeme) wrote:
Brut wrote:tutors can help make the process a little more efficient by diagnosing problems and knowing how to resolve them
but again, it is not worth what people pay
for the most part, you won't learn anything you couldn't from a book
95% of it is contingent on the work students put in on their own anyways
if some hypothetical student has very ample financial resources and there's a reputable, experienced tutor in the area, sure, knock yourself out
but people think it will make more of a difference than it actually does


As a tutor, I agree. Mostly, it's the work you do as a student. Pricing is typically based on scarcity, rather than value. Most high scorers can go to T14 then work as a lawyer, so why would they tutor? And for someone like me, I do a lot of other business stuff that's higher value to me, so I just tutor one day a week. I charge more than I did when I went independent four years ago, but I doubt I'm much better.

Probably best value for money is to catch someone good on the way up, before they have other options. Rule of thumb is, if you've heard of someone independently (Steve from LSAT Blog, Nathan Fox in SF, Ben Olson in DC, me, Jonathan who works with 7Sage, and a few others) then they will be rather expensive. If you've heard of them, then LOTS of people have heard of them, so they have to raise their rates to cope with demand. Quality is likely good too, but it may not be as good as someone local charging $70 and who is a gifted natural teacher. On the other hand, someone who doesn't have a following is also more likely to suck. Being a known name sets a floor on quality: someone is likely to be at least pretty good, but you know nothing beyond that.

As a counterpoint to all this, I remember Mike Kim talking about seeing tutors generate an almost unfair advantage for students. I suspect he had some specific tutors in mind. LSAT expertise and teaching expertise are not the same thing.

Someone's who's systematized LR is worth their weight in gold. By this I mean someone who's figured out all the dozens of ways LR questions are tricky, and made practice sets for them. I'm not sure this person exists, but I'm sure there are some people who can produce pretty consistently good results because they've figured out some special way to teach.

Levels of teaching:

1. Doesn't understand test, can't explain concepts well
2. Understands test, can't explain concepts well
3. Understands test, can explain concepts well
4. Understands test, can explain concepts well, can diagnose what concepts are missing
5. Understands test, can explain concepts well, can diagnose what concepts are missing, can lay out a roadmap for learning those concepts

Level 5 is pretty damn rare, at least on certain sections. LG is easy, parts of LR are easy, parts are hard. RC is hard all around.


My suggestion is to use this board to post threads where you ask specific questions about whatever things you figure out are giving you trouble on PTs, during drilling, whenever through the review that you've been doing that's gotten you this far already. There are many good experienced LSAT tutors, myself included, that frequent this board and post detailed quality answers to well asked specific questions. It's best if you start your own threads in this main LSAT Study board so you can get the opinions and advice from hopefully several of the good LSAT tutors that are regulars on this forum, all for FREE!

Seriously, don't be shy, start threads and post specific questions you have (not the LSAT questions themselves obviously) about whatever, particular LR questions, general questions, etc. The better asked, more specific the questions are, the better the answers you'll get. LSAT test-taker volume is super low now and this is slow LSAT prep season so plenty of LSAT tutors that frequent this board probably have more free time now to freely answer questions, take advantage of it!

Also, concerning your issues with strengthen and weaken questions, are a lot of the ones that are kicking your arse arguments involving cause and effect?

If you describe the types of problems you're having with strengthen and weaken questions in some detail and/or ask questions about certain ones you had trouble with/got wrong, we can give you hopefully some good helpful answers.

cheeseman92
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby cheeseman92 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:36 am

Wow, are you guys amazing or what? I can't thank you all enough taking so much of your time to help me out. I really appreciate it.

@kcdc1, @ColumbiaBigLaw, thank you guys. Unfortunately, I cannot get a refund. But I understand where you guys are coming from. Thank you for your insight :)

@hillz, I will definitely ask the tutor to check on my process. Thank you

@RCSOB657, Thanks, I will take a PT that I blind reviewed and ask the tutor to check on the process.

@BP Robert, Thanks, I am planning to go through RC problem and make sure if I'm reading it the right way.

@JJDancer, thank you for those amazing tips. It really helped.

@Jeffort, I really appreciate your time. Unfortunately, I cannot cancel the session, but your comment really helped. I haven't posted too much on this forum, but just these replies alone that I got today sure overwhelm me. I am so glad and thankful that I have such a great community that is willing to help me out. And yes, I am having cause-and effect related weakening questions, I am always stuck with 2 answer choices and I can't seem to get the right answer.

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downbeat14
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Re: If you had an one hour of tutoring

Postby downbeat14 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:18 am

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