Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

2011hopeful
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Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby 2011hopeful » Fri May 29, 2009 8:21 pm

This is a continuation of the thread started here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=73505

KaplanLSATInstructor said that he didn't want to continue the thread because it wasn't fair to the OP. Understandable.

However, a couple of us raised some valid points, and I think it's reasonable to request a response from Kaplan about them. Students should know about the quality and experience of their instructors before dropping $1000+ on a prep course.

For this reason, it's worth creating a new thread to discuss, imo. Hope KaplanLSATInstructor decides to respond.

Here's where the discussion left off...

2011hopeful wrote:
KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:
ealwcml wrote:You have no control over whether people have already seen the tests.


While this may be true, it's entirely unfair of you to accuse us of letting teachers see tests before taking them. You're basically accusing our teachers of being unethical, of which you have absolutely no verification. You can't assume that just because we can't 100% control teacher's prior knowledge that teachers will take advantage of that.

I think it would be unwarranted to assume that any Kaplan teacher with any sense of ethics would stoop to such a level. And I think it's equally unwarranted to suggest that any of our teachers actually do this.

Also, it should be noted that merely acheiving a qualifying score is no guarantee that the candidate will be allowed to teach for Kaplan. There's still a lot every candidate has to go through before ever setting foot in front of paying students.

----
Furthermore, you're also assuming that it's common for LSAT instructors to come to Kaplan having never taken a real LSAT. I don't have the definite statistics, but based on the people in my center and all of the people I've worked with, I'm confident that a vast majority of Kaplan instructors HAVE taken a real LSAT and score acceptably well. So, this whole concept of score qualifying on a previously released LSAT is only applicable in a small proportion of cases. In fact, I have never seen an LSAT trainee come to Kaplan directly having never taken an official LSAT before. The only teachers I know of that have never paid the LSAC fee for the test are ones that have spent time teaching other exams and crossed over to the LSAT after score-qualifying.



Oh boy, here goes:

Chalking it up to a moral issue is ignoring the reality.

It's a question of incentives. You have a responsibility to your customers to do what's within your power to prevent resourceful job applicants from being able to ask friends and/or look around online in forums such as this one to find out which PrepTest is given for the "score-qualifying" aspect of the hiring process.

KaplanLSATInstructor - with regard to whether or not teachers "pay the LSAC fee", you're committing a straw-man fallacy here.

It's not about paying the LSAC fee.

It's about not having previously seen the exam for which one's score will play a role in the hiring process.

It's also about the thoroughly stressful experience of taking a real LSAC-administered LSAT exam in real test center conditions. Being left alone in a room to time oneself can't compare (I'm referring to anecdotes I read about this in a previous thread, can't find it now).

Also, does the score-qualifying exam contain 4 sections or does it have a 5th spliced in (to simulate the experimental)? There's a big difference in terms of fatigue/endurance.

If you're not going to make teachers take an LSAC-administered exam, why not at least rotate which PrepTest you use for the score-qualifying exam? You can make it one of those "secret PrepTests" so it'd be less likely that applicants have seen it.

You suggest that most instructors who haven't taken an LSAC-administered exam already taught other exams (and are therefore qualified to teach the LSAT just by virtue of their general teaching experience???).

Do you have any hard data on this?

At the very least, if an LSAT applicant hasn't taught other exams before, require that they've taken an LSAC-administered exam. Otherwise, what kind of LSAT experience do they actually have?

I wouldn't want to be taught by someone who had less LSAT experience than I do.

Look forward to your response.


crombot wrote:100% agree. IMO the most important things that I can learn from my instructor have nothing to do with the materials that I can learn in a book myself. It is the experience of having gone through the same intense prep that they are teaching us, the emotional ups and downs, the plateaus, attitude going into test day, strategies that worked for them, etc.

And if KaplanLSATInstructor's postings were flaw in the reasoning questions, his flaw would be that he takes for granted that taking a non-LSAC administered test is comparable to taking a real LSAT. Not so my friend. How many people who take the real test succumb to test day nerves and score significantly lower?

And I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who take Kaplan and end up doing extraordinarily well on test day. BUT, I believe that is causal mistake--people who score 160+ on their diagnostics are going to do well regardless of Kaplan's instruction methods.

I personally don't mind if more people take the Kaplan course--to each their own. It just means higher scores for the rest of us and better scoring scales. 8)

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mallard
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby mallard » Fri May 29, 2009 8:24 pm

I'm sure there are many great Kaplan instructors, some of whom I know from these forums, including KaplanLSATInstructor, who is pretty much always credited. That said, many of my students have come to me after making no progress with Kaplan or losing points from their diagnostic. I don't get the sense that it's consistently helpful.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri May 29, 2009 8:58 pm

:D
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tomhobbes
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby tomhobbes » Fri May 29, 2009 8:59 pm

Does anyone know how much the tutors for the various companies earn?

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Cleareyes
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Cleareyes » Fri May 29, 2009 9:01 pm

whataboutbahb wrote:Kaplan instructors generally get paid less than their counterparts who teach for powerscore/testmasters/blueprint. The requirement % wise is also decently higher. It's a pretty fair judgment then, that on the whole, the teachers are of a lower quality. That is not to say there are no excellent Kaplan teachers- I'm sure there are (actually I know there are, I've met some myself). And that is not to say there aren't terrible ps/ts/bp teachers- I'm sure there are. When you have less positions to fill which in turn allows you to have stricter requirements and higher pay for the teachers, then that will have an effect.

Subtle small class law school troll?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri May 29, 2009 9:08 pm

:D
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mallard
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby mallard » Fri May 29, 2009 9:19 pm

tomhobbes wrote:Does anyone know how much the tutors for the various companies earn?


Kaplan and PR are around $20/hr, PowerScore is $30/hr, TestMasters is $50/hr. If I remember correctly.

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tomhobbes
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby tomhobbes » Fri May 29, 2009 9:44 pm

Thanks. That's pretty respectable, although probably not enough to make me go for it.

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JustCallMeJoe
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby JustCallMeJoe » Fri May 29, 2009 10:46 pm

mallard wrote:
tomhobbes wrote:Does anyone know how much the tutors for the various companies earn?


Kaplan and PR are around $20/hr, PowerScore is $30/hr, TestMasters is $50/hr. If I remember correctly.


Powerscore is $50/hr.

KaplanLSATInstructor
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby KaplanLSATInstructor » Sat May 30, 2009 11:51 am

2011hopeful wrote:However, a couple of us raised some valid points, and I think it's reasonable to request a response from Kaplan about them. Students should know about the quality and experience of their instructors before dropping $1000+ on a prep course.


Fair enough. However, I don't come here to argue or nitpick or debate with people about Kaplan vs. other companies. I'm sorry if my comments in the previous thread ruffled any feathers -- it was not my intention. My initial intention was only to correct some false statements made against Kaplan.

Primarily, I'm here to help and answer questions whenever I can. But, when it's necessary, I will also correct false information or deny false accusations against Kaplan.

2011hopeful wrote:It's a question of incentives. You have a responsibility to your customers to do what's within your power to prevent resourceful job applicants from being able to ask friends and/or look around online in forums such as this one to find out which PrepTest is given for the "score-qualifying" aspect of the hiring process.


Fine. Point taken. I'll talk to people and see if we can do anything to make the score-qualifying test a little more secretive, as you say. I still think this is a non-issue since the only reason we would have to do this is if people honestly thought that teachers DID try to cheat to get hired. Not only would that be unethical, but people like that would probably get caught once they started training.

What you have to remember is that a qualifying score is merely one component to being hired. It's not like we say "oh, you got a 170 -- here's a teacher's book. Good luck with your students." You still have to go through auditions, interviews, and a five-week training program where we gladly weed out people who can't teach or who don't really understand the test. More on that later.

2011hopeful wrote:It's not about paying the LSAC fee.

It's about not having previously seen the exam for which one's score will play a role in the hiring process.


You can't tell me this is not a subtle accusation that we have teachers who do this. It's not fair and unwarranted.

2011hopeful wrote:It's also about the thoroughly stressful experience of taking a real LSAC-administered LSAT exam in real test center conditions. Being left alone in a room to time oneself can't compare (I'm referring to anecdotes I read about this in a previous thread, can't find it now).


Here, I'll have to disagree a little. Yes, it's terrific when students can learn from someone who's been in the trenches. However, just because an instructor has never been in that scenario doesn't mean he/she can't prepare people for the exam. While the mental aspect of the exam can never be underestimated (and is frequently addressed in our course), you don't HAVE to actually experience it yourself in order to prepare others for it. Would it help? Possibly. However, the goal of a course is to get you confident with the test and know what to expect on Test Day.

Look, every prospective student has a right to ask about the instructor for a course. If you absolutely, positively MUST have an instructor who has taken the LSAT before -- ask. Ask the office; ask the instructor. It's your right and you can't just assume that Kaplan teachers didn't take the exam. As I said before, there's a good chance your instructor HAS taken the exam.

However, having lived through the test does not necessarily qualify someone as a good teacher. You have to be able to present material to students in an engaging way and you have to be able to answer student questions efficiently and effectively. You have to know what you're talking about. There's much more to being a good teacher than scoring high or taking the exam under the LSAC's watch.

2011hopeful wrote:Also, does the score-qualifying exam contain 4 sections or does it have a 5th spliced in (to simulate the experimental)? There's a big difference in terms of fatigue/endurance.


The exams we give are 5-section exams.

2011hopeful wrote:You suggest that most instructors who haven't taken an LSAC-administered exam already taught other exams (and are therefore qualified to teach the LSAT just by virtue of their general teaching experience???).


No -- they are not qualified to teach the LSAT JUST by virtue of teaching experience. They still have to prove their ability to score extremely well on the test. They still have to learn the methods and go through training again to prove that they can teach the material. They still have to prove that they know what they're talking about and not just some random person who happened to get a lucky score.

2011hopeful wrote:At the very least, if an LSAT applicant hasn't taught other exams before, require that they've taken an LSAC-administered exam. Otherwise, what kind of LSAT experience do they actually have?


In other words, you're suggesting that we require LSAT teacher applicants to write for an exam and sign a document stating their intent to use that exam for law school application purposes, despite the fact that this is technically illegal? Not going to happen.

2011hopeful wrote:I wouldn't want to be taught by someone who had less LSAT experience than I do.


Back to the point I made before -- if you want to know this for sure, then ask. However, it's unfair to assume that someone who hasn't gone through the actual Test Day experience is unqualified to prepare you for the exam.

Here's my final point. Kaplan has been doing this a long time, and we've had many, many satisfied customers. Have there been people who have had bad experiences? Unfortunately, yes. It happens at every company. If you've ever taken a Kaplan course and had a bad teacher, then tell us. If a teacher is not doing his or her job well, we want to know immediately so that we can either (a) fix the issues and get that teacher back on the right path; or (b) fire that teacher.

We put all of our teachers through a full training program. We do our best to only let the best teachers in front of a class. Trust me, I have personally cut high-scoring applicants from training because they couldn't properly explain a contrapositive or couldn't keep a class awake with a megaphone. However, it does happen that somebody is fantastic in training but fails to deliver in a classroom. We regret it, but if it is brought to our attention, we act swiftly to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

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Veritas
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Veritas » Sat May 30, 2009 12:26 pm

I thought this non-issue was resolved with the fact that all companies will have poor teachers. It's your responsibility to do research an ensure that your instructor has a good track record.

Go with what works for your schedule and your learning style. People have been successful with all the test prep companies, and other have had negative experiences with them, also.

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bluejayk
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby bluejayk » Sat May 30, 2009 1:47 pm

I think Kaplan gets somewhat of a bad rap on this forum. It's true that while reading these forums, I've read more complaints about Kaplan classes than any other company's classes; but Kaplan is a much bigger company, I think. So you'd expect to see more complaints even if they were slightly better.

I am surprised to see how much less Kaplan pays their instructors though, and noticed that KaplanInstructor left that out of his otherwise pretty good rebuttal to the criticisms of Kaplan. If true, it makes me wonder why a good instructor would teach for them if he had the chance to earn twice as much with PS/TM/BP. Any response to that?

Also, "every company has some bad instructors" is just a bromide. The point at issue, I think, is if any particular company has qualities (lower standards, lower pay?) that would suggest that on average it has a lower quality product.

mcm17
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby mcm17 » Sat May 30, 2009 2:06 pm

I was kind of a Kaplan LSAT instructor too, but I quit during training. The way I see it (and actually, the way the company sees it too) is that you're not really paying for the teacher when you pay for a Kaplan course. You're paying to learn the Kaplan method. That's why people who are already consistently scoring above, say, 165 or so aren't really helped by a Kaplan course, because they already have their own method that works well for them. Kaplan courses are most beneficial to people who really don't understand the test and need a systematic way of approaching the questions.

And yes, I did take a real LSAT, and I scored in the 98th percentile--but like I said, it doesn't really matter. I didn't use the Kaplan method to score that high and I honestly couldn't grasp it after having another way of approaching the questions so ingrained in my mind, so I didn't make it through training. This isn't to knock the Kaplan method or anything, I know it works for some people. It just didn't make sense to me.

JJim1919
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby JJim1919 » Sat May 30, 2009 2:19 pm

Why does this even matter? Many people criticize Kaplan for not using good LG diagraming and not helping their students improve. That is a valid criticism. Of course, I'd rather have an instructor who took a real lsat and aced it, all thing sbeing equal, but if the guy knows his stuff and can help me improve I really wouldn't care how he got to where he was. If I take the course and I dont improve, that's a problem. If I take it and improve 15 points, then I dont care how the instructor gained his knowledge. As long as I'm improving that's all that matters. Its possible to understand the LSAT really well, but freak out under the pressure of a real test and blow your score. But, if the guy can teach me really well, why should I care what he scored?

The converse is also true. There are plenty of teachers that naturally scored quite high and they just arent very good tutors because for them the stuff comes naturally and they cant udnerstand why youre stuck. Take baseball, for example, some of the best managers were not very good players at all. By not being good players, they really had an eye for fundementals that other great players just did naturally.

So, scoring high does not automatically make you qualified for teaching. Nor should it be a necessary condition.

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wiseowl
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby wiseowl » Sat May 30, 2009 3:04 pm

bluejayk wrote:I think Kaplan gets somewhat of a bad rap on this forum. It's true that while reading these forums, I've read more complaints about Kaplan classes than any other company's classes; but Kaplan is a much bigger company, I think. So you'd expect to see more complaints even if they were slightly better.

I am surprised to see how much less Kaplan pays their instructors though, and noticed that KaplanInstructor left that out of his otherwise pretty good rebuttal to the criticisms of Kaplan. If true, it makes me wonder why a good instructor would teach for them if he had the chance to earn twice as much with PS/TM/BP. Any response to that?

Also, "every company has some bad instructors" is just a bromide. The point at issue, I think, is if any particular company has qualities (lower standards, lower pay?) that would suggest that on average it has a lower quality product.


For me it went back to the "Kaplan is a much bigger company". Kaplan was hiring in my city. The others either didn't exist in my city or weren't hiring.

By the way, pay varies by location. I don't even make 20/hr.

There is room for growth, though. I'm expecting to get a raise in the next month or so, and Kaplan has instituted a program where you can make upwards of $50/hr once you get enough positive performance reviews from students and your bosses.

That's how it should be - not making $50/hr out of the gate when you haven't taught before. TM/BP could both probably offer less $$$ to their teachers, be able to cut the price of their classes, and expand into more markets, but they've decided not to. I won't tell them how to run their business :)

Rock of Love
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Rock of Love » Sat May 30, 2009 3:14 pm

wiseowl wrote:
bluejayk wrote: I am surprised to see how much less Kaplan pays their instructors though, and noticed that KaplanInstructor left that out of his otherwise pretty good rebuttal to the criticisms of Kaplan. If true, it makes me wonder why a good instructor would teach for them if he had the chance to earn twice as much with PS/TM/BP. Any response to that?

Also, "every company has some bad instructors" is just a bromide. The point at issue, I think, is if any particular company has qualities (lower standards, lower pay?) that would suggest that on average it has a lower quality product.



By the way, pay varies by location. I don't even make 20/hr.

There is room for growth, though. I'm expecting to get a raise in the next month or so, and Kaplan has instituted a program where you can make upwards of $50/hr once you get enough positive performance reviews from students and your bosses.

That's how it should be - not making $50/hr out of the gate when you haven't taught before. TM/BP could both probably offer less $$$ to their teachers, be able to cut the price of their classes, and expand into more markets, but they've decided not to. I won't tell them how to run their business :)



TM/BP pays their instructors $50 an hour for teaching, but $0 for prep. Kaplan pays around $20 an hour and around minimum wage for prep. Prep time varies depending on if it's a teacher's first course or 50th course, but that difference in being paid/not being paid for prep time in the beginning equals out the difference between the companies.

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bluejayk
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby bluejayk » Sat May 30, 2009 6:56 pm

wiseowl wrote:

That's how it should be - not making $50/hr out of the gate when you haven't taught before. TM/BP could both probably offer less $$$ to their teachers, be able to cut the price of their classes, and expand into more markets, but they've decided not to. I won't tell them how to run their business :)


A teacher with an extremely rare skill set who can generate $100k a year in revenue should be paid $20 an hour? God, you must be a dream employee.

I'm just ball-parking the $100k figure but... $1000 per student, maybe 20 students per class, maybe 6 classes per year, sounds like $100,000 is conservative. You guys should get a union. Seriously, all joking aside.

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wiseowl
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby wiseowl » Sat May 30, 2009 8:00 pm

well, my wife is a schoolteacher. coming from that perspective, $20/hr to teach and $8-10 to prep is massive.

i just know i wasn't worth $50/hr to my students when i started teaching. i am now, and would happily accept it at this point :P

2011hopeful
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby 2011hopeful » Sun May 31, 2009 12:44 am

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:What you have to remember is that a qualifying score is merely one component to being hired. It's not like we say "oh, you got a 170 -- here's a teacher's book. Good luck with your students." You still have to go through auditions, interviews, and a five-week training program where we gladly weed out people who can't teach or who don't really understand the test. More on that later.


Understandable. I never said that the qualifying score is a sufficient condition, but it's certainly a necessary one. Besides, 170 isn't the minimum qualifying score to teach for Kaplan - the minimum qualifying score is the 90th percentile, which is a much lower score than it sounds like. 90th percentile is a 163/164.

I know, I know...scoring above a 163 isn't a sufficient condition to be an LSAT instructor, but it's a necessary one. Most prospective students probably wouldn't call a 163/164-scorer an "LSAT expert", no matter his/her teaching ability.

2011hopeful wrote:It's not about paying the LSAC fee. It's about not having previously seen the exam for which one's score will play a role in the hiring process.

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:You can't tell me this is not a subtle accusation that we have teachers who do this. It's not fair and unwarranted.


If the means are available, and there's a motivation to use those means, to assume that no one would do this is to stick your head in the sand.

2011hopeful wrote:It's also about the thoroughly stressful experience of taking a real LSAC-administered LSAT exam in real test center conditions. Being left alone in a room to time oneself can't compare (I'm referring to anecdotes I read about this in a previous thread, can't find it now).

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:Here, I'll have to disagree a little. Yes, it's terrific when students can learn from someone who's been in the trenches. However, just because an instructor has never been in that scenario doesn't mean he/she can't prepare people for the exam. While the mental aspect of the exam can never be underestimated (and is frequently addressed in our course), you don't HAVE to actually experience it yourself in order to prepare others for it. Would it help? Possibly. However, the goal of a course is to get you confident with the test and know what to expect on Test Day.


For $1000+, students deserve someone who's been in the trenches. While those of us on TLS are more knowledgeable than most about LSAT prep options, it's not quite fair to suggest that LSAT instructors have an actual LSAT score (as your marketing materials imply) when they haven't taken a real LSAC-administered LSAT.

Again, a score-qualifying PrepTest to teach for Kaplan is not taken under real-life Test Day conditions. The stress of taking an exam for the law school admission process is arguably greater. Being surrounded by students and distractions - such as several proctors pacing around the room does a number on many students' scores. I've had friends whose test day scores were several points lower than their practice exams taken in the final week. A non-LSAC-administered LSAT score doesn't mean much.[/quote]


KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:Look, every prospective student has a right to ask about the instructor for a course. If you absolutely, positively MUST have an instructor who has taken the LSAT before -- ask. Ask the office; ask the instructor. It's your right and you can't just assume that Kaplan teachers didn't take the exam. As I said before, there's a good chance your instructor HAS taken the exam.


A lot of prospective students simply don't know enough to ask. It's similar to the issue of the fact that many LSAT retail books (such as those put out by your company) don't contain real LSAT questions. People assume that practice LSAT questions in a book are real LSAT questions. Similarly, people assume that an LSAT instructor "who scored in the 90th percentile" obtained that score in a real LSAC testing environment.

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:However, having lived through the test does not necessarily qualify someone as a good teacher. You have to be able to present material to students in an engaging way and you have to be able to answer student questions efficiently and effectively. You have to know what you're talking about. There's much more to being a good teacher than scoring high or taking the exam under the LSAC's watch.


I'd be impressed with an instructor who'd been "scoring high." The LSAT requires concentration, and rocking the LSAT while on Mary Jane qualifies an instructor in my book. Just kidding.

Seriously, though, scoring well and taking the exam under LSAC's watch are both necessary conditions, imo.

2011hopeful wrote:Also, does the score-qualifying exam contain 4 sections or does it have a 5th spliced in (to simulate the experimental)? There's a big difference in terms of fatigue/endurance.

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:The exams we give are 5-section exams.


Glad to hear it.

2011hopeful wrote:You suggest that most instructors who haven't taken an LSAC-administered exam already taught other exams (and are therefore qualified to teach the LSAT just by virtue of their general teaching experience???).

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:No -- they are not qualified to teach the LSAT JUST by virtue of teaching experience. They still have to prove their ability to score extremely well on the test. They still have to learn the methods and go through training again to prove that they can teach the material. They still have to prove that they know what they're talking about and not just some random person who happened to get a lucky score.


Methods and training are all good, but a large part of being a good instructor is being able to improvise and respond to random questions not covered in the instruction manual. Teachers who haven't been through the prep experience themselves simply aren't familiar with a large enough body of PrepTests. The first time they see a particular LSAT question shouldn't be in the middle of class when a student asks about it.

2011hopeful wrote:At the very least, if an LSAT applicant hasn't taught other exams before, require that they've taken an LSAC-administered exam. Otherwise, what kind of LSAT experience do they actually have?

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:In other words, you're suggesting that we require LSAT teacher applicants to write for an exam and sign a document stating their intent to use that exam for law school application purposes, despite the fact that this is technically illegal? Not going to happen.


Not at all. I'm suggesting that you only hire LSAT teacher applicants who've been through the LSAT process themselves for the purpose of applying to law school.

I can already anticipate your response:

"We wouldn't get enough applicants if we made our standards that stringent."

If you responded with that, you'd probably be right. The reason, however, is not that there aren't enough qualified instructors out there. It's that your average hourly pay (~$20/hour) is less than half of what Powerscore and Testmasters pay (~$50/hour). It's only natural that more qualified/experienced LSAT instructors would look (again, incentives).

Raise your hourly pay, and you'll be to raise the quality of your applicant pool without necessarily decreasing the number of applicants.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sun May 31, 2009 1:02 am

I'm not getting the point of this thread. You seem to be addressing KaplanLSATinstructor as if he has some power and influence over the decision makers that be at Kaplan. I doubt he does. Most on the board seem to agree that PS and TM may have a better product, but beyond that, students have had success with their Kaplan courses as well. It is also agreed that some students who took PS and TM did not have as successful of outcomes that they had hoped.

Whatever the criteria Kaplan uses to choose its instructors seems to be working and there doesn't seem to be any trouble in finding instructors to meet those criteria and take those jobs, (at least here in LA), regardless of the lower salary. It has also been mentioned, that depending on how well a Kaplan instructor does in regards to his class reviews, he/she can earn raises that puts them in line with their competition.

With all that being said, what more would you like him to say?

I'd just like to take this last moment to thank KaplanLSATInstructor for his many credited responses to questions posed in this LSAT forum. It is these contributions that makes TLS a valuable tool for us self studiers. If by chance he/she were able to pick up some tutoring work on the side because of it, more power to them!

EDIT: One last thing. As long as their instructors have knowledge of the material and are able to teach it, I personally don't give a damn if my instructor had taken the LSAT in an actual testing situation.

2011hopeful
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby 2011hopeful » Sun May 31, 2009 7:56 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:Whatever the criteria Kaplan uses to choose its instructors seems to be working and there doesn't seem to be any trouble in finding instructors to meet those criteria and take those jobs, (at least here in LA), regardless of the lower salary. It has also been mentioned, that depending on how well a Kaplan instructor does in regards to his class reviews, he/she can earn raises that puts them in line with their competition.


Kaplan's hiring criteria is less stringent than that of Powerscore and Testmasters in several ways. I've already mentioned them above.

Yes, Kaplan instructors can earn raises after receiving positive reviews. However, one could quite easily argue that more qualified instructors will successfully seek out positions at other companies that pay those higher (~$50/hour) salaries off the bat.


Mr. Matlock wrote:I'd just like to take this last moment to thank KaplanLSATInstructor for his many credited responses to questions posed in this LSAT forum.


Yes, I appreciate his participation in the forum too.

Mr. Matlock wrote:EDIT: One last thing. As long as their instructors have knowledge of the material and are able to teach it, I personally don't give a damn if my instructor had taken the LSAT in an actual testing situation.


There are varying degrees of "knowledge of the material." Someone who's been through the entire LSAT prep process themselves (and taken an LSAC-administered LSAT) is much more likely to have better knowledge of the material.

Suppose two LSAT instructors have equal teaching ability and rapport with students. One has a 90th percentile score on a Kaplan-administered LSAT and never studied for the LSAT prior to training. The other has a 95th or 99th percentile score on a real LSAT (as the other major companies require) and studied for the LSAT prior to training. Which would you pick?

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bluejayk
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby bluejayk » Sun May 31, 2009 10:37 pm

wiseowl wrote:i just know i wasn't worth $50/hr to my students when i started teaching. i am now, and would happily accept it at this point :P


Sorry, I can't just let this go by without comment. I've never heard of anyone working for a company who was cool with being paid so much less than other people in different companies doing the same work. I used to be a lifeguard when I was in high school, I quit one pool to go another for two bucks an hour; I can't imagine how pissed I'd be at someone making $50 an hour if I was making $20-25 for the same job, especially I knew that my employer was making money hand over fist (as Kaplan does).

You weren't worth $50 an hour to your students? Well, you sure were worth that much to Kaplan, and it's not like your students got a discount for having a newbie teacher. If you have experience and live near any decent size city or major suburb, you can get work with a company that pays better to start and doesn't make you jump through bureaucratic hoops to make a decent wage.

Full disclosure: one of my best friends owns a private SAT prep center whose main competitor is Kaplan, and I used to work for him. Also, I almost worked for Kaplan a few years back, to tutor SAT and GRE, but never started training since I got a "real" job offer at about the same time. So it's true I do have somewhat of an axe to grind. But seriously, don't you think you deserve more for an extremely profitable product for which you are the key component?

lsatbobby
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby lsatbobby » Sun May 31, 2009 10:46 pm

Try being worth $15 an hour. Knowing that the company is making a crazy amount of profit from your services and that you could be paid greater elsewhere definitely contributes to a lack of effort put forth by some teachers. This is probably Kaplan's main problem but one I don't think they care to address (supply/demand thing)

bluejayk wrote:
wiseowl wrote:i just know i wasn't worth $50/hr to my students when i started teaching. i am now, and would happily accept it at this point :P


Sorry, I can't just let this go by without comment. I've never heard of anyone working for a company who was cool with being paid so much less than other people in different companies doing the same work. I used to be a lifeguard when I was in high school, I quit one pool to go another for two bucks an hour; I can't imagine how pissed I'd be at someone making $50 an hour if I was making $20-25 for the same job, especially I knew that my employer was making money hand over fist (as Kaplan does).

You weren't worth $50 an hour to your students? Well, you sure were worth that much to Kaplan, and it's not like your students got a discount for having a newbie teacher. If you have experience and live near any decent size city or major suburb, you can get work with a company that pays better to start and doesn't make you jump through bureaucratic hoops to make a decent wage.

Full disclosure: one of my best friends owns a private SAT prep center whose main competitor is Kaplan, and I used to work for him. Also, I almost worked for Kaplan a few years back, to tutor SAT and GRE, but never started training since I got a "real" job offer at about the same time. So it's true I do have somewhat of an axe to grind. But seriously, don't you think you deserve more for an extremely profitable product for which you are the key component?

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sun May 31, 2009 10:47 pm

bluejayk wrote:
wiseowl wrote:i just know i wasn't worth $50/hr to my students when i started teaching. i am now, and would happily accept it at this point :P


Sorry, I can't just let this go by without comment. I've never heard of anyone working for a company who was cool with being paid so much less than other people in different companies doing the same work. I used to be a lifeguard when I was in high school, I quit one pool to go another for two bucks an hour; I can't imagine how pissed I'd be at someone making $50 an hour if I was making $20-25 for the same job, especially I knew that my employer was making money hand over fist (as Kaplan does).

You weren't worth $50 an hour to your students? Well, you sure were worth that much to Kaplan, and it's not like your students got a discount for having a newbie teacher. If you have experience and live near any decent size city or major suburb, you can get work with a company that pays better to start and doesn't make you jump through bureaucratic hoops to make a decent wage.

Full disclosure: one of my best friends owns a private SAT prep center whose main competitor is Kaplan, and I used to work for him. Also, I almost worked for Kaplan a few years back, to tutor SAT and GRE, but never started training since I got a "real" job offer at about the same time. So it's true I do have somewhat of an axe to grind. But seriously, don't you think you deserve more for an extremely profitable product for which you are the key component?

Same work... basically yes. However, the other companies have higher LSAT qualification standards to teach. If you meet those standards, apply to them. If not and you still want to teach, take the Kaplan gig. Nobody forces these people to take the jobs. They accept it and hope they can move up in as quickly as possible, or move on. Market forces at work. I guess I really don't see it as being that bid of a deal.

ealwcml
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby ealwcml » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:13 am

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Last edited by ealwcml on Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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