I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

calmike
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I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby calmike » Wed May 06, 2015 4:25 pm

I was already scoring 167-169 on preptests before I signed up for Testmasters. Honestly, I feel like it was a waste of $1500 because I have not improved per se because of the course. I already had access to drills and preptests. The only reason why I signed up for Testmasters because I was feeling like perhaps by taking the course I would increase to the 170's and would not be missing out on any LSAT preparation techniques. I should have invested that money on a private tutor to be able to answer all Necessary questions accurately.

Rant Over.

sandwhich
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby sandwhich » Wed May 06, 2015 4:27 pm

Mine was $800 and the biggest waste of time. I wish I knew how to really study then. After now having gone through 1L, the LSAT seems like a joke.

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Poldy
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby Poldy » Wed May 06, 2015 4:41 pm

What on Earth could they teach that would even be worth showing up for, let alone spending hundreds of dollars?

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whacka
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby whacka » Wed May 06, 2015 4:43 pm

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Last edited by whacka on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shakawkaw
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby Shakawkaw » Wed May 06, 2015 4:55 pm

calmike wrote:I was already scoring 167-169 on preptests before I signed up for Testmasters. Honestly, I feel like it was a waste of $1500 because I have not improved per se because of the course. I already had access to drills and preptests. The only reason why I signed up for Testmasters because I was feeling like perhaps by taking the course I would increase to the 170's and would not be missing out on any LSAT preparation techniques. I should have invested that money on a private tutor to be able to answer all Necessary questions accurately.

Rant Over.


I hear the Blueprint tutors are pretty good... 8)

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Clyde Frog
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby Clyde Frog » Wed May 06, 2015 4:55 pm

calmike wrote:I was already scoring 167-169 on preptests before I signed up for Testmasters. Honestly, I feel like it was a waste of $1500 because I have not improved per se because of the course. I already had access to drills and preptests. The only reason why I signed up for Testmasters because I was feeling like perhaps by taking the course I would increase to the 170's and would not be missing out on any LSAT preparation techniques. I should have invested that money on a private tutor to be able to answer all Necessary questions accurately.

Rant Over.


I'd just invest $20 for a copy of Manhattan LR on ebay. Go through the first six (assumption family) chapters thoroughly and drill all questions from PTs 1-40.

calmike
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby calmike » Wed May 06, 2015 5:04 pm

Shakawkaw wrote:
calmike wrote:I was already scoring 167-169 on preptests before I signed up for Testmasters. Honestly, I feel like it was a waste of $1500 because I have not improved per se because of the course. I already had access to drills and preptests. The only reason why I signed up for Testmasters because I was feeling like perhaps by taking the course I would increase to the 170's and would not be missing out on any LSAT preparation techniques. I should have invested that money on a private tutor to be able to answer all Necessary questions accurately.

Rant Over.


I hear the Blueprint tutors are pretty good... 8)


I don't doubt that either. My teacher scored perfect on logical reasoning, my worst section. But I feel like I need more advanced information than just what an average scorer needs.

calmike
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby calmike » Wed May 06, 2015 5:05 pm

whacka wrote:Seriously, prep courses are for chumps. Rich chumps.


I work full time now so I was able to afford it.

calmike
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby calmike » Wed May 06, 2015 5:05 pm

Clyde Frog wrote:
calmike wrote:I was already scoring 167-169 on preptests before I signed up for Testmasters. Honestly, I feel like it was a waste of $1500 because I have not improved per se because of the course. I already had access to drills and preptests. The only reason why I signed up for Testmasters because I was feeling like perhaps by taking the course I would increase to the 170's and would not be missing out on any LSAT preparation techniques. I should have invested that money on a private tutor to be able to answer all Necessary questions accurately.

Rant Over.


I'd just invest $20 for a copy of Manhattan LR on ebay. Go through the first six (assumption family) chapters thoroughly and drill all questions from PTs 1-40.



Thank you! I will do this right now! I need so much help with strengthening and Necessary assumptions questions.

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KMart
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby KMart » Wed May 06, 2015 5:12 pm

The prep courses, IMO, are an expensive way to learn the basics. I took a prep course for ~$1,200 and improved, but I think it's because I went from knowing nothing to having a basic understanding of the test.

The real improvement came later with self-studying. I really don't think anyone should take a prep course. The guides here are much better and are free. Learning basics is not worth $1,200.

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Smoking Gunner
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby Smoking Gunner » Wed May 06, 2015 5:16 pm

Yeah, Princeton review course was literally the biggest waste of time and money of my life. Everyone in the course was basically shooting for 155-160, I was the only person aiming for 170+. People would ask dumb questions every two seconds and we'd end up getting through like 1 LG and 1 RC section in the course of 3 hours. After the first two courses about games I didn't learn a single thing and wanted to blow my brains out every second I was there.

Seriously, DO NOT sign up for a prep course. There's so many free resources online. I just wish I knew about them before I blew $1500.

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KMart
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby KMart » Wed May 06, 2015 5:18 pm

Plunder the Lox wrote:Seriously, DO NOT sign up for a prep course. There's so many free resources online. I just wish I knew about them before I blew $1500.

This bears reiteration for everyone in the future reading this thread.

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PhilippeStandingOnIt
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby PhilippeStandingOnIt » Wed May 06, 2015 5:20 pm

I got a 7 point raise out of the Blueprint class, and consider it worth the investment, as my resulting scholarship has more than paid for the class. However, it is entirely possible I could have achieved the raise on my own.

I would call the classroom instruction "decent, but not great." In my mind, I was really paying less for the instruction than for the discipline afforded by having a set schedule. I knew that as long as I showed up for every class, I would get 8 to 12 hours of practice every week. I knew that they were providing me with a proven study plan/schedule, and that if I followed it, I was unlikely to fail to cover anything.

That said, I'm miserable at time management and scheduling/organization. If you are good at these things, and are reasonably logically minded (some students in the class NEEDED the instruction in basic things like formal logic), you could probably do just as well with a $50 book.

k5220
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby k5220 » Wed May 06, 2015 6:10 pm

PhilippeStandingOnIt wrote:I got a 7 point raise out of the Blueprint class, and consider it worth the investment, as my resulting scholarship has more than paid for the class. However, it is entirely possible I could have achieved the raise on my own.

I would call the classroom instruction "decent, but not great." In my mind, I was really paying less for the instruction than for the discipline afforded by having a set schedule. I knew that as long as I showed up for every class, I would get 8 to 12 hours of practice every week. I knew that they were providing me with a proven study plan/schedule, and that if I followed it, I was unlikely to fail to cover anything.

That said, I'm miserable at time management and scheduling/organization. If you are good at these things, and are reasonably logically minded (some students in the class NEEDED the instruction in basic things like formal logic), you could probably do just as well with a $50 book.

Took TestMasters and got a 15 point raise. I agree that the structure/discipline provided by a course is really valuable (it ensures that you work and that you hit all of the information that you need to hit), but I also got a lot of value out of the experience of the tutors (and the institution as a whole). The LSAT is a learnable test and they really have it boiled down to a science. There are a few question types that are really not worded in an intuitive or common sense way, and they can tell you what those questions are looking for and how to attack them. There are a lot of things like that that I don't know if I would have figured out on my own because they weren't problems I knew existed until I had them broken down for me.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Wed May 06, 2015 6:28 pm

calmike wrote:
I don't doubt that either. My teacher scored perfect on logical reasoning, my worst section. But I feel like I need more advanced information than just what an average scorer needs.


This. I've taught courses. They're really not aimed at the crowd here.

The typical course registrant had a diagnostic around 140-150, and wanted to know the basics about the LSAT. They'd end somewhere around 150-160. The average course registrant is, well....average. So you have to teach to that.

If you're aiming for 168+, you are by definition far from average in your aims. And if you can motivate yourself to study on your own, you've already got 80% of what a course offers.

Courses are just a start, and they're mostly for those who wouldn't start without a course. If you've actually had the wherewithal to register for an LSAT forum and post here, you can probably manage to study on your own.

-------

As a corollary, it's worth remembering that TLS is a very unrepresentative demographic. I do think some people benefit from courses. External structure is a huge motivator for a lot of people. Personally, I can't stand it, and do way better on my own. I imagine most people on here are the same. But if you're advising someone offline it's worth considering their learning style before recommending self-study as the best option. Just because someone could study better and more cheaply using the guides here doesn't mean they will.

(I'm not saying that out of personal interest, I don't teach courses anymore)
Last edited by LSAT Hacks (Graeme) on Wed May 06, 2015 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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anyriotgirl
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby anyriotgirl » Wed May 06, 2015 6:39 pm

I wish testmasters had stratified sections based on what you got on your diagnostic so they didn't have to waste my 1.5k teaching to the lowest common denominator.

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RZ5646
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby RZ5646 » Wed May 06, 2015 6:52 pm

whacka wrote:Seriously, prep courses are for chumps. Rich chumps.


Totally agree. Furthermore, courses seem to target the least common denominator, so their goal is to convert really bad scores into kinda bad scores. I don't think it's a good thing that we have these companies helping 140 kids "beat the test" and get 155 so some TTT can take their money.

k5220
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby k5220 » Wed May 06, 2015 11:17 pm

anyriotgirl wrote:I wish testmasters had stratified sections based on what you got on your diagnostic so they didn't have to waste my 1.5k teaching to the lowest common denominator.

Eh, it's not that hard tuning out when people are asking dumb questions and instead thinking about things like the similarities and differences between causation and the necessary/sufficient relationship or whatever other thing you personally need to internalize. I didn't have a problem with the instructor spending too much time on dumb questions, or not spinning them into larger / more generally beneficial lessons.

(Also, getting the basics down pat is pretty important. I don't think TestMasters has the same problems that companies like Kaplan have, where they teach strategies that are counterproductive if you are good. TestMasters/Blueprint/Manhattan just teach the test, instead of stupid counterproductive shortcuts, and paying attention to how they teach the test was pretty productive for me)

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banjo
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Re: I regret taking a LSAT preparation course

Postby banjo » Fri May 08, 2015 7:54 pm

PhilippeStandingOnIt wrote:In my mind, I was really paying less for the instruction than for the discipline afforded by having a set schedule. I knew that as long as I showed up for every class, I would get 8 to 12 hours of practice every week. I knew that they were providing me with a proven study plan/schedule, and that if I followed it, I was unlikely to fail to cover anything.


This. I got a 176 by gunning a 2-month Testmasters course. I went to every session, asked questions, did all of the homework, did every diagnostic and extra section, and listened to all the mistakes people made. If you have poor time management or a tendency to procrastinate, a prep course can be key.




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