Testmasters vs. Blueprint (Irvine, CA)

courtleigh24
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Testmasters vs. Blueprint (Irvine, CA)

Postby courtleigh24 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:30 pm

I'm taking the June 2015 LSAT and am torn between taking a live classroom course with Testmasters or Blueprint. I live in Orange County and would take either course in Irvine--Testmasters is taught by Dorothy Moneymaker and Blueprint is taught by Jay Donnell.

FYI I took cold diagnostic in January and scored 164. I've used the LR and LG Powerscore bibles on my own for the past 7 weeks and am now scoring around 168. My goal is a 175 on the actual exam (which is why I think taking a course would be beneficial).

While it seems most people think Blueprint is better in terms of material (esp. on LR), online resources and having "engaging instructors," I am worried that they cater to students who are scoring lower (i.e. 150s wanting to get into 160s). Anyone else think this is true? Any advice would be appreciated!

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nlee10
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Re: Testmasters vs. Blueprint (Irvine, CA)

Postby nlee10 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:21 pm

courtleigh24 wrote:I'm taking the June 2015 LSAT and am torn between taking a live classroom course with Testmasters or Blueprint. I live in Orange County and would take either course in Irvine--Testmasters is taught by Dorothy Moneymaker and Blueprint is taught by Jay Donnell.

FYI I took cold diagnostic in January and scored 164. I've used the LR and LG Powerscore bibles on my own for the past 7 weeks and am now scoring around 168. My goal is a 175 on the actual exam (which is why I think taking a course would be beneficial).

While it seems most people think Blueprint is better in terms of material (esp. on LR), online resources and having "engaging instructors," I am worried that they cater to students who are scoring lower (i.e. 150s wanting to get into 160s). Anyone else think this is true? Any advice would be appreciated!

As a former BP student, I would agree with the bolded. If your true diagnostic really is a 164 I would recommend going the self-study route. No need to spend $1000+ on a course if you're already doing pretty well. I'd check out 7Sage (online) if you feel like you must take a course.

Blueprint Ben
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Re: Testmasters vs. Blueprint (Irvine, CA)

Postby Blueprint Ben » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:18 pm

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Jeffort
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Re: Testmasters vs. Blueprint (Irvine, CA)

Postby Jeffort » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:04 pm

nlee10 wrote:If your true diagnostic really is a 164 I would recommend going the self-study route. No need to spend $1000+ on a course if you're already doing pretty well.


^this. If you're already performing at that level (it was a true strict test day timed conditions PT 164), an expensive prep course would be a waste of your time and $$. Scoring that high at the beginning of your prep journey demonstrates that you already have a good grasp of the underlying logical concepts the LSAT tests and really good critical reading and logical analysis skills.

While good prep courses with a good experienced instructor can be very helpful to many people that need to learn the foundational logical concepts the LSAT revolves around to get their score into a respectable score range, it's important to understand that they are meant and designed to teach enrolled students everything (the LSAT basics, question types, commonly tested concepts, techniques, etc.) from the ground up under the assumption that most of the students don't already have much knowledge about the LSAT or proficiency with the concepts and skills the LSAT is designed to test/measure. They are most helpful for people that need to build a good LSAT knowledge and conceptual understanding foundation in order to significantly increase their score to get it into a respectable range, such as the 160s, which you are already scoring in.

A 164 score is the 89.7th % of everyone that's taken an official LSAT in the last three years, meaning that your diagnostic score already puts you almost in the top 10%! While you might get a few little semi-helpful tips and information from a prep course that could help you a little bit, most of the class time will be spent on things you probably already know/are already pretty good at, or could quickly pick up from a good prep book that costs around $50-70.

There are no 'silver bullet' LSAT secret tips/tricks/'magic wand' to guarantee a high score strategies/etc. that are only available from taking a prep course. Good classes with an experienced knowledgeable instructor can be valuable and worth the $$ for many people that need to learn the important foundations and stuff since good classes make the learning the basics/building a solid LSAT foundation part of prep much more pleasant, faster and less frustrating than self-study spending hours alone with books and nobody to ask questions for clarification or whatever if/when you get confused/frustrated/hit a brick wall/etc. A big part of what you're paying for is the live interactive instruction where the information is pretty much spoon fed to you in a live interactive environment (rather than you having to read 100's of pages of prep books by yourself hoping that you're understanding the stuff correctly), being able ask the teacher questions to get clarification, etc. of things as you progress to make sure you're learning and applying things correctly, help you fine tune things, keep you on track with a set schedule and HW assignments, etc. Good prep courses with a good instructor are a great service alternative to solitary self study where you need to be really self disciplined to learn the basics and build a good conceptual foundation, but most of the time spent and work you'll need to do to increase your score, whether you take a class or not, will be drilling and review HW practice, timed practice, etc. you'll have to do by yourself somewhere outside of class time. The score improving skills building magic mostly happens during solitary homework drilling, practice and review time, not during the learning the basics/building your LSAT foundation first phase of LSAT prep.

For context and perspective, with a 164 score you could get a job teaching LSAT prep classes for Kaplan!, since it's pretty much a top 10% score.

If $$ and time isn't an issue and you want to/feel that you'd be more comfortable taking a prep course to play it safe, be prepared to end up spending a lot of your in class time explaining the concepts and questions covered to your classmates that don't 'get it' right away once they figure out that you're already a high performing student and understand and learn the stuff really fast and well. Seriously, over the many years I used to teach full length live LSAT prep courses, on the rare occasions that I ended up with a student in a class that started with a 160+ starting score/score range, those students ended up helping me keep the really low scoring/slow learning students in the class up to speed since as the instructor I had to keep the class moving to finish the lesson plan for each class session in time and couldn't hold the rest of the class back to give extra extended personal attention to the much lower scoring students that weren't able to keep up with the pace of the class and needed certain things explained to them many times to get it to click.
Last edited by Jeffort on Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

jinxpoem4
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Re: Testmasters vs. Blueprint (Irvine, CA)

Postby jinxpoem4 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:41 pm

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com
I think this blog contains most of what I learned in my Test Masters course mostly for free.
I improved 9 points w/ Testmasters, but, given where you are already, I think you'll find the above helpful.
Good luck!




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