What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

pmchang51
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What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby pmchang51 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:02 am

As strange as this sounds, I actually enjoyed preparing for the LSAT (as compared to the SATs and most other exams). Depending on how I do on the February test, I might be interested in being an LSAT prep instructor to bank some cash for law school.

Can anyone share what it's like being an LSAT prep instructor? Compare/contrast different companies? What are the hours and pay? How flexible is the work and what is the commitment? Do you control your availability? Do you find it frustrating? What are the non-compete restrictions?

Finally, how do you do well in their interviews to get hired?

Thanks all.

markymark2
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby markymark2 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:21 am

For Kaplan you have to score at or above the 90th percentile. Powerscore requires the 99th percentile. I believe Kaplan pays more for those with higher scores. That said, once you qualify, your ability to effectively teach the material in line with the company's methods is most important. After months of preparing their own way, many people struggle with ditching their ideas of what's best and teaching what someone else has decided is best, especially if the two are mutually exclusive. As far as interviews, you'll probably need to demonstrate your comfortability in front of class. Kaplan makes you audition by teaching a short non-academic lesson of your choosing. It might be a bit late to get into a training program for the June test (which is the last test you could plausibly teach if you're planning on attending law school in the fall), but it's worth a try. I believe Kaplan's non-compete agreement says you cannot teach for anyone except Kaplan (including private tutoring) while employed there and for a year after leaving.

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SilverE2
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby SilverE2 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:44 pm

markymark2 wrote:For Kaplan you have to score at or above the 90th percentile. Powerscore requires the 99th percentile. I believe Kaplan pays more for those with higher scores. That said, once you qualify, your ability to effectively teach the material in line with the company's methods is most important. After months of preparing their own way, many people struggle with ditching their ideas of what's best and teaching what someone else has decided is best, especially if the two are mutually exclusive. As far as interviews, you'll probably need to demonstrate your comfortability in front of class. Kaplan makes you audition by teaching a short non-academic lesson of your choosing. It might be a bit late to get into a training program for the June test (which is the last test you could plausibly teach if you're planning on attending law school in the fall), but it's worth a try. I believe Kaplan's non-compete agreement says you cannot teach for anyone except Kaplan (including private tutoring) while employed there and for a year after leaving.


For A YEAR AFTER LEAVING? Can anyone confirm this as soon as possible please? (I have a Kaplan audition tonight)

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LawandOrder
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby LawandOrder » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:46 pm

What's it like? The bitches throw themselves at you.

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Catch22
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby Catch22 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:48 pm

SilverE2 wrote:For A YEAR AFTER LEAVING? Can anyone confirm this as soon as possible please? (I have a Kaplan audition tonight)


I'm in teacher training now, and I don't remember signing any contract that says you can't teach for a year after leaving. It may have slipped through contractually unnoticed, but I don't believe that's part of the agreement. Like I said, not 100% sure, though.

reallyreallyreally
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby reallyreallyreally » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:56 pm

It is part of the agreement

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bluejayk
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby bluejayk » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:17 pm

I've heard it's part of the agreement for most test prep companies. It varies by state, but generally, non-compete clauses are difficult or impossible to enforce once you're no longer employed with that company. They can hold you to that contract while you're still working for them, but once they stop paying you, you're a free man again. IANAL, so go research it for yourself before you sign anything, but this is my understanding after doing some research on it for one of my previous jobs.
Last edited by bluejayk on Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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yoni45
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby yoni45 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:18 pm

1 year is standard for a non-compete clause. TPR is the same, and all the major prep companies probably are as well. TPR had us sign them upon certification (after training), so that may be why one of you hadn't seen it with Kaplan as of yet.

As for the OP, it's by far the best job I've had thus far. The material and job itself is intellectually engaging and thus rarely boring. The 4 hours I spend per class don't feel like 'work' at all (as compared to any given non-professional job). The work is extremely flexible - of those you're offered, you get to choose which classes or students you want to take on (although once you take them on, you're obligated to those hours [with exceptions of course, one can always get a supply if necessary and with reasonable notice] ). Pay is amazing, but could be just a local thing as officially the starting pay for TPR is substantially lower - TPR usually starts at $15-$20 according to official pay policy.

As far as interview (/audition), you need to show you're comfortable (and competent) when teaching and speaking infront of people.

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SilverE2
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby SilverE2 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:43 pm

yoni45 wrote:1 year is standard for a non-compete clause. TPR is the same, and all the major prep companies probably are as well. TPR had us sign them upon certification (after training), so that may be why one of you hadn't seen it with Kaplan as of yet.

As for the OP, it's by far the best job I've had thus far. The material and job itself is intellectually engaging and thus rarely boring. The 4 hours I spend per class don't feel like 'work' at all (as compared to any given non-professional job). The work is extremely flexible - of those you're offered, you get to choose which classes or students you want to take on (although once you take them on, you're obligated to those hours [with exceptions of course, one can always get a supply if necessary and with reasonable notice] ). Pay is amazing, but could be just a local thing as officially the starting pay for TPR is substantially lower - TPR usually starts at $15-$20 according to official pay policy.

As far as interview (/audition), you need to show you're comfortable (and competent) when teaching and speaking infront of people.


Did they give you any sort of 30 second warning or anything during the audition? Or did you just sort of wing it to know when to wrap it up, or wear a watch or something?

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Catch22
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby Catch22 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:47 pm

SilverE2 wrote:Did they give you any sort of 30 second warning or anything during the audition? Or did you just sort of wing it to know when to wrap it up, or wear a watch or something?


They give you warning, but you best not run your presentation over...poor planning is seen very poorly in the Kaplan teacher training, so show them here you can hold to a time contraint.

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yoni45
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby yoni45 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:50 pm

SilverE2 wrote:Did they give you any sort of 30 second warning or anything during the audition? Or did you just sort of wing it to know when to wrap it up, or wear a watch or something?


Tbh I mostly just winged it - I guess it's possible that they would've given me a 30sec. warning, but it never really came up. You should have a pretty good idea of how long to run it though so it's not an issue (basically take however long you need to teach it, and it shouldn't be something that needs more than 5 min.).

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ihatelaw
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby ihatelaw » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:03 pm

It might be a bit late to get into a training program for the June test (which is the last test you could plausibly teach if you're planning on attending law school in the fall), but it's worth a try.


Eh, you still may be able to. I actually got hired today by Kaplan and they have a training starting this weekend. If you try out asap you can probably get a class for the June test. Also, there are classes that last from June - July that wouldn't interfere with law school.


Finally, how do you do well in their interviews to get hired?


Be a reasonable and competent person with a high lsat score. I've heard mixed things about the 90th percentile requirement at Kaplan - I knew a girl with teaching experience who got in with a low 90th percentile score but other than her everyone I know who got invited back to interview had 98th, 99th percentile scores. You don't need to blow anyone away at your interview, just show that you can speak comfortably and plan a presentation that is simple, clear, doesn't go over the time limit, and doesn't offend anyone.

They gave me a one minute warning. I didn't really "prepare" per say but I'm a decent public speaker so I kind of winged it. I just didn't go into great detail and made a conclusion/review when I got my one minute warning. Also, drawing on the board/calling on people is a good thing to do (especially when they do not raise their hand since a lot of lsat teachers do that in class).

Also, probably something that many of the fine people here would disagree with, don't help your competition. When the other person there auditioned for the LSAT began presenting I made sure to look bored and not pay attention/not raise my hand. I probably would have done that regardless of whether he was there but I did notice that the Kaplan administrator was looking around the room to see if people looked interested. Not saying you should sabotage or be really disrespectful or anything.

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SilverE2
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby SilverE2 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:57 pm

Thanks for the advice guys. Audition went well. Can anyone give me any information about the interview?

bigred13
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby bigred13 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:03 am

Same here... I just got called back after the audition, can anyone say what the interview was like? Where were you interviewing Silver?

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savagedm
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby savagedm » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:31 am

I just applied as a Kaplan instructor online. My score is a 167 from the December 08 LSAT and I included in the additional comments sections some stuff about how I originally scored a 152 on my practice exams and that I worked my butt off self-studying to get to where I ultimately ended up. I then went into further detail how I want to help others do the same and all that jazz.

Anyways, regarding hiring, what is the typical employment cycle for Kaplan? Do I have a good shot at present or might they be hiring later for December instructors?

Also, do I still have to take one of their LSATs or whatever to prove myself or would an LSAC score report suffice? It's been a while since I took the test so I'm kind of iffy on where I'll test.

Thanks in advance!

2011hopeful
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby 2011hopeful » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:16 pm


instructor@AtlasLSAT
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby instructor@AtlasLSAT » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:37 am

Atlas LSAT requires a 99% LSAT score and a minimum of two years teaching experience. After that:

1. A phone interview. We conduct phone interviews with about 20% of the candidates who submit resumes.

If you pass this stage you move on to:

2. An online audition. Here we ask you to teach several problems to us get our first sense of whether you know the content and how to teach. About 40% of candidates pass this stage.

If you pass this stage you move on to:

3. An in-person audition. We expect you to prepare a non-LSAT-related lesson, as well as a lesson on a logical reasoning problem. We'll put you in front of a real class and see what you can do. If you live outside of NYC, we'll fly you in. About 20% of candidates pass this stage.

If you pass this stage you move on to:

4. Atlas LSAT training. The typical teacher takes about three months to finish the training. This includes sitting through an entire course, completing all the homework, building a set of notes about how to teach each class and every problem, and completing several curriculum projects designed to push you deeper into the content. At the same time you'll work with a trainer to hone your teaching skills and make sure you're on track.

If you pass this stage you move on to:

5. The final assessment. Before you can stand in front of a real class, we put you in front of a class played by the senior teachers and curriculum developers. We're looking to see that you've mastered the content and have multiple ways of teaching.

If you pass this stage you move on to:

6. Teach a class. Only teachers who receive an overall average evaluation score of "outstanding" (5/5) are allowed to continue on to be Atlas LSAT teachers.

I know what you're thinking... who would go through all this? Those who are interested in working for a company that believes quality teaching is at the core of a good product, those who are teachers (not just presenters), and those who like to make $100 per hour!

Hope to see your resume in our mailbox!

dan

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fidesverita
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby fidesverita » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:23 am

How much does Kaplan or other companies pay during training?

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ec2xs
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby ec2xs » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:34 am

fidesverita wrote:How much does Kaplan or other companies pay during training?

About 7-8 bucks an hour, I believe. Though it may vary.

KaplanLSATInstructor
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby KaplanLSATInstructor » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:19 am

pmchang51 wrote:Can anyone share what it's like being an LSAT prep instructor? How flexible is the work and what is the commitment? Do you control your availability? Do you find it frustrating?


savagedm wrote:Anyways, regarding hiring, what is the typical employment cycle for Kaplan? Do I have a good shot at present or might they be hiring later for December instructors?

Also, do I still have to take one of their LSATs or whatever to prove myself or would an LSAC score report suffice? It's been a while since I took the test so I'm kind of iffy on where I'll test.


OP -- I've been with Kaplan almost six years, and I have enjoyed it immensely. The work is remarkably flexible. Basically, they create class schedules and teachers are asked to to fill those classes. You choose whatever fits your schedule.

The biggest commitment you need to make is that you will teach the entire course. It's not good to have somebody teach the first half and then somebody else teach the second half. We require teachers to choose classes for which they can be there for every session. (Although exceptions will be made if you need to miss a random session or two -- especially if they're just testing sessions.)

However, the classes you teach are entirely up to you.

Is it frustrating? I'll be honest -- it occasionally is. You will be faced with students of all skill levels. I've worked with people scoring in the 170s and I've worked with people scoring in the 120s. It can be very difficult when one person in a class is struggling mightily while others are clearly ready to move on to the next topic. I think a lot of teachers come in thinking they're going to be teaching people at their own skill level -- and that just doesn't always happen.

However, when you have that one student who starts out in the low 140s and suddenly breaks 160, or the student who barely breaks the 50th percentile and then scores his first 170 -- the feeling is incredible.The rewarding nature of the job more than makes up for any frustration that occasionally occurs.

Savagedm -- the cycle for employment is however long you want to stay for. Once you pass training, you are open to select any open and available classes. As for score qualifying, your official LSAT score will be sufficient. Although it wouldn't help to retest to refresh your memory a little and rebuild your confidence.

If you either of you (or anybody else) has specific questions, please feel free to PM me.

- Chris

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toolshed
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby toolshed » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:23 am

Powerscore is bomb.

LawandOrder wrote:What's it like? The bitches throw themselves at you.


And this.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:23 am

ec2xs wrote:
fidesverita wrote:How much does Kaplan or other companies pay during training?

About 7-8 bucks an hour, I believe. Though it may vary.


minimum wage for in class training and at home prep...

UTexas
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Re: What is it like being an LSAT prep instructor?

Postby UTexas » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:01 pm

What would those of you working for Kaplan estimate might be my starting pay as an Austin resident, a 178 scorer, and someone who's comfortable directing a classroom? What would I be looking at after teaching a couple of classes, provided I received good reviews? Kaplan is the only LSAT prep company in my city that won't even hint at pay levels prior to evaluation.

I'm guessing TestMasters pays the best here, but I'd like to know each company's rates before deciding.




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