Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

negligee
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Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby negligee » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:59 am

I'm pretty confident that I can score in the mid- to high 160s currently. I aim to improve that score as much as I possibly can, but I'm wondering if a private tutor or a prep class will be of any benefit for someone who is already scoring in the 90 something percentile. I think I primarily need to work on consistently acing LR (sometimes I do really well and sometimes I score abysmally) and ensuring I can finish LG on time. Are these all achievable if I simply self-study?

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jetsfan1
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby jetsfan1 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:16 pm

negligee wrote:I'm pretty confident that I can score in the mid- to high 160s currently. I aim to improve that score as much as I possibly can, but I'm wondering if a private tutor or a prep class will be of any benefit for someone who is already scoring in the 90 something percentile. I think I primarily need to work on consistently acing LR (sometimes I do really well and sometimes I score abysmally) and ensuring I can finish LG on time. Are these all achievable if I simply self-study?


Absolutely. Don't waste your money on a private tutor. Start identifying your weaknesses and drilling by Q type for LR, and make your way through the Manhattan guide if you haven't already. Use 7sage and the Manhattan forums for questions you need explained. IMO tutors - when/if useful at all - are for those pushing through the 150s and below who lack a fundamental grasp of the test. Then maybe its worth it. But you seem to be above that and are just perfecting your skills. No need for a tutor to do that.

ETA: Also, you should be taking significant amounts of study time to be reviewing your LR sections.

negligee
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby negligee » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:35 pm

jetsfan1 wrote:
negligee wrote:I'm pretty confident that I can score in the mid- to high 160s currently. I aim to improve that score as much as I possibly can, but I'm wondering if a private tutor or a prep class will be of any benefit for someone who is already scoring in the 90 something percentile. I think I primarily need to work on consistently acing LR (sometimes I do really well and sometimes I score abysmally) and ensuring I can finish LG on time. Are these all achievable if I simply self-study?


Absolutely. Don't waste your money on a private tutor. Start identifying your weaknesses and drilling by Q type for LR, and make your way through the Manhattan guide if you haven't already. Use 7sage and the Manhattan forums for questions you need explained. IMO tutors - when/if useful at all - are for those pushing through the 150s and below who lack a fundamental grasp of the test. Then maybe its worth it. But you seem to be above that and are just perfecting your skills. No need for a tutor to do that.

ETA: Also, you should be taking significant amounts of study time to be reviewing your LR sections.


I see. Makes sense. Thanks for the tips and the reassurance! :)

themoose90
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby themoose90 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:45 pm

Yeah just purchase the cambridge drill sets and all 3 of the bibles and just drill each question type until you're confident enough to do the full length PTs. Wish I did this at the beginning instead of paying testmaster for the full length course and save a ton of money. Just make sure you're dedicated and set out a weekly schedule.

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Clearly
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Clearly » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:03 pm

I wouldn't rule a private tutor out, but I'd self study until you really get truly stuck, then consider it

ChillTomG
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby ChillTomG » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:36 am

The major reason in my opinion why it is not all that useful to have a tutor if you are already scoring in the high 160s or higher is that the tutors aren't likely to be all that much better at LSAT questions than you are.

It is rare to find a tutor who could routinely score 179+ and could really be of much use.

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Generally
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Postby Generally » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:54 am

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ChillTomG
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby ChillTomG » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:05 am

Seamus887 wrote:
ChillTomG wrote:The major reason in my opinion why it is not all that useful to have a tutor if you are already scoring in the high 160s or higher is that the tutors aren't likely to be all that much better at LSAT questions than you are.

It is rare to find a tutor who could routinely score 179+ and could really be of much use.


Mike Ross could do it


Fair enough, but tutors in that stratum are rare and extremely expensive.

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texasellewoods
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby texasellewoods » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:16 am

I really liked the bibles - really helped me with cutting time on the LG. Honestly the more you practice those and the LR questions the better you will get. I found some free, printable games from Cambridge here http://www.cambridgelsat.com/resources/ ... -practice/ that helped drilling right up to the test! I self-studied from a base PT of 163 to a PT average of 174 in three months using the bibles and doing every PT I could get my hands on. Good luck!! :D

179orBust
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby 179orBust » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:34 am

I think the Starter Package that 7sage offers is just $189. Well worth it in my opinion, and could give you the boost/structure you're looking for.

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Generally
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Postby Generally » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:37 am

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Clearly
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Clearly » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:48 pm

You realize that a tutor that consistently scores 175 is going to help someone in the high 160s right? The difference in those scores is huge. you're getting half as many questions wrong, aka you're twice as good.

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Oskosh
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Oskosh » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:21 pm

I took a class, but because it provided me with structure (it gave me the opportunity to take 4 5-section tests). That being said, I think it is in one's interest to take the course, and still have about a month left for *additional studying* before the test. I say this because a course covers the fundamentals. That is, almost all the material that will be on the test. In spite of the course covering most of the material, it could be that the material has not congealed in your understanding, and you may be missing instinctual things under testing conditions. For example, you may have learned about numerical distribution in logic games, but being exposed to it through one lesson and homework supplements alone won't benefit you in testing conditions. My suggestion is that if you are unstructured, you take a course, but give yourself some extra time to take practice tests (up to 5 more for a total of 10), as long as you review them with fidelity (i.e, seeing why all answers are incorrect/what mistake you made, as opposed to why one answer is correct).

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Clearly
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Clearly » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:32 pm

Oskosh wrote:I took a class, but because it provided me with structure (it gave me the opportunity to take 4 5-section tests). That being said, I think it is in one's interest to take the course, and still have about a month left for *additional studying* before the test. I say this because a course covers the fundamentals. That is, almost all the material that will be on the test. In spite of the course covering most of the material, it could be that the material has not congealed in your understanding, and you may be missing instinctual things under testing conditions. For example, you may have learned about numerical distribution in logic games, but being exposed to it through one lesson and homework supplements alone won't benefit you in testing conditions. My suggestion is that if you are unstructured, you take a course, but give yourself some extra time to take practice tests (up to 5 more for a total of 10), as long as you review them with fidelity (i.e, seeing why all answers are incorrect/what mistake you made, as opposed to why one answer is correct).

Up to ten whole tests?!

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Oskosh
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Oskosh » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:46 pm

Clearly wrote:
Oskosh wrote:I took a class, but because it provided me with structure (it gave me the opportunity to take 4 5-section tests). That being said, I think it is in one's interest to take the course, and still have about a month left for *additional studying* before the test. I say this because a course covers the fundamentals. That is, almost all the material that will be on the test. In spite of the course covering most of the material, it could be that the material has not congealed in your understanding, and you may be missing instinctual things under testing conditions. For example, you may have learned about numerical distribution in logic games, but being exposed to it through one lesson and homework supplements alone won't benefit you in testing conditions. My suggestion is that if you are unstructured, you take a course, but give yourself some extra time to take practice tests (up to 5 more for a total of 10), as long as you review them with fidelity (i.e, seeing why all answers are incorrect/what mistake you made, as opposed to why one answer is correct).

Up to ten whole tests?!

Sorry, I meant to say as a minimum. I also say up to ten tests because, having been in a course myself, you really don't have time for more than those, since you have homework and sessions. So if you're taking a course, better to do it a good six months before your LSAT, and then purely do tests/blind review/timed sections. However, this luxury is not afforded to him.

There is also no reason to be a jerk on the internet, buddy.

ETA: Up to ten whole tests also isn't terrible advice. Taking tests 65-75 and properly reviewing them could be very beneficial to his studies.

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Clearly
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Clearly » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:32 pm

Oskosh wrote:
Clearly wrote:
Oskosh wrote:I took a class, but because it provided me with structure (it gave me the opportunity to take 4 5-section tests). That being said, I think it is in one's interest to take the course, and still have about a month left for *additional studying* before the test. I say this because a course covers the fundamentals. That is, almost all the material that will be on the test. In spite of the course covering most of the material, it could be that the material has not congealed in your understanding, and you may be missing instinctual things under testing conditions. For example, you may have learned about numerical distribution in logic games, but being exposed to it through one lesson and homework supplements alone won't benefit you in testing conditions. My suggestion is that if you are unstructured, you take a course, but give yourself some extra time to take practice tests (up to 5 more for a total of 10), as long as you review them with fidelity (i.e, seeing why all answers are incorrect/what mistake you made, as opposed to why one answer is correct).

Up to ten whole tests?!

Sorry, I meant to say as a minimum. I also say up to ten tests because, having been in a course myself, you really don't have time for more than those, since you have homework and sessions. So if you're taking a course, better to do it a good six months before your LSAT, and then purely do tests/blind review/timed sections. However, this luxury is not afforded to him.

There is also no reason to be a jerk on the internet, buddy.

ETA: Up to ten whole tests also isn't terrible advice. Taking tests 65-75 and properly reviewing them could be very beneficial to his studies.

As someone who's taught several classes for several companies, I can tell you that people scoring 164+ don't need to be taking a course. Also I'm not being a jerk lol

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Oskosh
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Oskosh » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:46 pm

They don't need to be, but that's probably because they are more structured. I am saying that it could help if you need the structure. I didn't say it was necessary. To each their own.

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Blueprint Sam
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Blueprint Sam » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:06 pm

negligee wrote:I'm pretty confident that I can score in the mid- to high 160s currently. I aim to improve that score as much as I possibly can, but I'm wondering if a private tutor or a prep class will be of any benefit for someone who is already scoring in the 90 something percentile. I think I primarily need to work on consistently acing LR (sometimes I do really well and sometimes I score abysmally) and ensuring I can finish LG on time. Are these all achievable if I simply self-study?


There are definitely pros and cons to each.

Self studying is clearly cheaper than taking a class or paying for a tutor. For many people that is where the discussion ends, and that is perfectly understandable (and seemingly unfair, but that might be for another thread/discussion :shock: ). Some people also are able to absorb and assimilate somewhat difficult concepts very well on their own and simply from reading and practicing (plus these boards are an incredible support system and community!). In those cases, there is no real added value to having another person explain those concepts in person.

On the other hand, taking a class/tutor is the more risk averse proposition for most people. It can be expensive, but it's also a proven method for increasing your score. The class provides you with structure, course progress, and a comprehensive review of everything you will need to know for the LSAT. I took Blueprint and increased my personal score by 11 points. It's hard to imagine I would have done that without the structure of a class motivating me (but that is a totally personal reason).

What I would suggest if you are still on the fence is to study on your own and see how the next month goes. Before deadlines to sign up approach, I would take another PT in a full exam mode setting, and see where that gets you in terms of increased score. If you are satisfied with the improvement, it seems like self study can be totally sufficient (and clearly cheaper) than taking a class for you. If, on the other hand, your improvement is not what you were looking for, it might be wise to consider a class or tutor.

I do want to emphasize that every single extra point you can get on the LSAT is important to increasing your odds of admissions. And, the law school you go to does have a major impact on your job prospects coming out of law school and beyond. If you are scoring in the mid to high 160s, increasing your score by 5 to 10 points could mean the difference between Harvard/Yale/Stanford and being outside of the top-14 altogether. I don't want to sound like the bearer of bad tidings, or in any way add pressure to an already stressful situation, but this test is important enough that you should consider all options thoroughly. I remember when I was signing up, I asked myself, if I am going to invest 250K into my law school education (which is where my loans are at right now...), does it make sense to spend a thousand dollars to help me get into the best law school I possibly can? (And this question was personal to me - I knew I would need a class to have the best chance).

Hope this helps and pleas let me know if you have any other questions about the LSAT (generally or specifically!).

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unsweetened
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby unsweetened » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:07 pm

I decided to sign up for a class (Score It Up), and it was helpful in keeping me on task and developing a schedule. There was a lot of drilling and many proctored tests, which helped reduce stress when going into the actual test. The downside to taking a class as opposed to a tutor was that the class moved as quickly as the slowest person. I didn't have the money for a tutor, although that would have been helpful.
A couple extra points is a huge deal, especially with the level you're at - it'll make the difference between getting into a good school at sticker and getting into a good school with a ton of scholarship money.

StandupPaddler
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby StandupPaddler » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:14 am

Clearly wrote:
Oskosh wrote:
Clearly wrote:
Oskosh wrote:I took a class, but because it provided me with structure (it gave me the opportunity to take 4 5-section tests). That being said, I think it is in one's interest to take the course, and still have about a month left for *additional studying* before the test. I say this because a course covers the fundamentals. That is, almost all the material that will be on the test. In spite of the course covering most of the material, it could be that the material has not congealed in your understanding, and you may be missing instinctual things under testing conditions. For example, you may have learned about numerical distribution in logic games, but being exposed to it through one lesson and homework supplements alone won't benefit you in testing conditions. My suggestion is that if you are unstructured, you take a course, but give yourself some extra time to take practice tests (up to 5 more for a total of 10), as long as you review them with fidelity (i.e, seeing why all answers are incorrect/what mistake you made, as opposed to why one answer is correct).

Up to ten whole tests?!

Sorry, I meant to say as a minimum. I also say up to ten tests because, having been in a course myself, you really don't have time for more than those, since you have homework and sessions. So if you're taking a course, better to do it a good six months before your LSAT, and then purely do tests/blind review/timed sections. However, this luxury is not afforded to him.

There is also no reason to be a jerk on the internet, buddy.

ETA: Up to ten whole tests also isn't terrible advice. Taking tests 65-75 and properly reviewing them could be very beneficial to his studies.

As someone who's taught several classes for several companies, I can tell you that people scoring 164+ don't need to be taking a course. Also I'm not being a jerk lol


Which companies have you taught classes for and where?

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Clearly
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Clearly » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:53 am

I'm not gonna post my full work experience on a semi-anonymous message board, but major companies, NY.

StandupPaddler
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby StandupPaddler » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:02 am

That sort of calls your credibility into question. Everyone else who works/worked for a company says which one.

Seems weird you worked for "several" in a short period of time. Was thinking your views might be biased if you got canned repeatedly.

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Clearly
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Clearly » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:41 am

StandupPaddler wrote:That sort of calls your credibility into question. Everyone else who works/worked for a company says which one.

Seems weird you worked for "several" in a short period of time. Was thinking your views might be biased if you got canned repeatedly.

Hahaha, or maybe I went to law school and I don't like outting myself. Also I don't recall specifying a time frame. Plenty of people here will vouch for me, don't worry. Which course did you take? I really couldn't care less who does or doesn't take an LSAT class, chill... Also find me an instructor here that thinks taking a typical group LSAT class with a 164 diagnostic is a good idea please.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby AReasonableMan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:41 am

If you're able to push into the mid-160's through self study, a tutor is only worth it if there's a particular question/game type you're struggling with. A class isn't going to be worth it unless it's tailored to people in your score range, assuming you're comfortably in the 160s.

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Jeffort
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Re: Self-Study Entirely or Tutor/Class?

Postby Jeffort » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:08 am

StandupPaddler wrote:That sort of calls your credibility into question. Everyone else who works/worked for a company says which one.

Seems weird you worked for "several" in a short period of time. Was thinking your views might be biased if you got canned repeatedly.


Meh, no need to be adversarial or suspicious of people that are trying to be helpful and giving good advice. Clearly gave solid advice and he's a legit LSAT teacher with a lot of experience teaching LSAT classes and tutoring students and was never canned by any prep companies. I know him and vouch for him. His post history alone speaks for itself about his LSAT expertise so I don't see the need for him to post his private personal work history information here like one would do on LinkedIn. It's not like he's trying to sell or promote anything or trying to get another LSAT teaching job, he's currently a law student at a T14 law school.

Anyway, taking an LSAT prep class would be a waste of time for somebody already scoring ~165+ range on fully timed test day conditions PT's. It's the 90th+% score range and one has to already know and have a solid grasp of all the LSAT fundamentals prep courses teach to score that high on timed PT's.




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