Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

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worldtraveler
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:22 am

I think if people are really concerned about teacher quality, you should go with a private tutor, be it through a company or just someone on their own. You can be a lot pickier this way and find someone that works well with you. If you find someone on craiglsist, you can often get 10, 20 or more hours of private tutoring for the same price as a course. You can also quiz them about their score, what they did to prep, and about teaching methods and they will answer honestly.
Some companies have restrictions on teachers actually giving out their scores, or you can't say you prepped with something else if it wasn't your own method. You don't have that problem if you just find a solo private tutor.

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mallard
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby mallard » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:25 am

I agree with wt above; private tutors are a much better value. Many of my students have already tried a prep course and it didn't work for them.

nat10005
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby nat10005 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:07 am

As a Kaplan LSAT instructor I would like to add that there is a lot more required of an instructor besides a qualifying score. In order to become an instructor for Kaplan one must display knowledge about the LSAT, the ability to give over the material tested on the LSAT to students and be able to answer student questions on the material tested. Additionally, at Kaplan instructors are constantly monitored and evaluated by both students and Kaplan staff. It would be impossible to maintain a position at Kaplan as a Lsat Instructor without actually being able to reach the threshold required for employment regardless of whether or not one did already reach that threshold.

cubswin
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby cubswin » Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:38 am

nat10005 wrote:As a Kaplan LSAT instructor I would like to add that there is a lot more required of an instructor besides a qualifying score. In order to become an instructor for Kaplan one must display knowledge about the LSAT, the ability to give over the material tested on the LSAT to students and be able to answer student questions on the material tested. Additionally, at Kaplan instructors are constantly monitored and evaluated by both students and Kaplan staff. It would be impossible to maintain a position at Kaplan as a Lsat Instructor without actually being able to reach the threshold required for employment regardless of whether or not one did already reach that threshold.


Wow, I'm convinced.

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

Postby 2011hopeful » Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:39 pm

ealwcml wrote:If Kaplan believes that LSAT score is a relevant factor in evaluating a candidate's potential for instruction, then they shouldn't administer tests which people could have already seen.


+1

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tomhobbes
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby tomhobbes » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:35 pm

You can't +1 someone who is essentially +1'ing you.

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

Postby Mr. Matlock » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:41 pm

tomhobbes wrote:You can't +1 someone who is essentially +1'ing you.

Is there some kind of penalty shot involved with an infraction such as this?

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tomhobbes
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby tomhobbes » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:49 pm

You lose the original +1.

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

Postby Mr. Matlock » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:54 pm

tomhobbes wrote:You lose the original +1.

Sweet.

BTW, nice PT today. If you're bummed about a 176, I think you're well on your way to knocking it out of the park next week!

Good luck.

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tomhobbes
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby tomhobbes » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:05 pm

lol thanks, I always feel bad when I post about how I'm feeling bad about a high test score.

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

Postby 2011hopeful » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:57 am

I didn't "+1" the content because it agreed with me. I "+1-ed" it because it summed-up a major point more succinctly than I did.

Whether or not it was appropriate to +1 it is irrelevant to the arguments made in the thread.

The fact remains that no one, including KaplanLSATInstructor, has successfully countered the critiques of Kaplan's hiring standards.

scooterj2003
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby scooterj2003 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:18 pm

Can anyone widdle down this conversation in order to tell me what a typical qualifying prep test score is?

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wiseowl
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby wiseowl » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:28 pm

you need whatever 90th percentile was on that given test.

could be anywhere from 163-166 depending on the test.

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tomhobbes
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby tomhobbes » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:23 pm

2011hopeful wrote:I didn't "+1" the content because it agreed with me. I "+1-ed" it because it summed-up a major point more succinctly than I did.

Whether or not it was appropriate to +1 it is irrelevant to the arguments made in the thread.

The fact remains that no one, including KaplanLSATInstructor, has successfully countered the critiques of Kaplan's hiring standards.


Relax. My criticism of your +1ing was never intended to be a criticism of your argument.

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

Postby 2011hopeful » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:21 pm

No prob. It's sometimes hard to determine the tone of the written word.

KDLMaj
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby KDLMaj » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:06 am

wiseowl wrote:you need whatever 90th percentile was on that given test.

could be anywhere from 163-166 depending on the test.


Most Centers prefer a 95% score, however. Kaplan allows lower scores because Kaplan firmly believes (and I agree) that what is important is teaching ability. Just because you have a good score does NOT mean you have any concept of how to teach anyone else to do it nor that you are engaging, entertaining, and enthusiastic about your work. People who are stuck on the score qualifications are, in my opinion, <insert kinder, gentler word than idiots here>.

Sadly, most consumers are in this category- with the mistaken notion that their instructor's LSAT score (which was likely years before they started training to be an instructor and wholly unrepresentative of the instructor's knowledge at the time of class) somehow dictates how effective they are as an instructor.

Frankly, instructors aren't writing their own lessons here folks- the lessons are written by people who know the LSAT well enough to work with LSDAS and write them. The strategies are implemented and tested by these folks, and the instructor's job is to follow the teaching notes. I doubt many here have seen Kaplan teaching notes, but they're incredibly comprehensive. It's extremely daunting to get through them all for your first class. While one certain wants someone with some exposure to the exam, you don't need a 99% score to get that exposure.

Frankly, any student who would actually sacrifice even an ounce of teaching skill for higher LSAT scores (beyond the 90% rank) deserves what comes out of such misplaced priorities. Personally, I don't have a high enough score to teach for Test Masters (for example), but I have a 91% excellence rating from my students. You're more than welcome to pass me up for someone with a 99% score because you think they know more about the test than I do (and somehow think that means they know more about getting YOU a higher score), but I reserve the right to laugh at you for it. My score from 4 years ago has absolutely no bearing on what I know *now*. Students would do well to keep that in mind when choosing a company and/or private tutor.

In terms of cross-training instructors at Kaplan, though this has been beaten to a pulp at this point- this is an option offered ONLY to instructors who have demonstrated that they are exceptionally talented as teachers. The company makes a judgement call and decides that this person is worth putting in front of more students. The instructor still has to score qualify, still has to train for the new exam, and they still have to do teachbacks in front of experienced LSAT instructors prior to being officially accepted. Again, someone who is bright and who has immense teaching talent would be an asset to any LSAT class once they've trained. And if you think it's more important that the person in front of the classroom have been mortally terrified of the LSAT at some point than for them to be rockstar instructors- well, again, more laughing in your face.

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

Postby 2011hopeful » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:16 am

I admire your (misguided) loyalty to your employer.

However, you neglect virtually all the points I raised.

If you're serious about defending Kaplan, do a line-by-line rebuttal of my arguments on page 1 of this thread. No one else has yet.

They're here and here.

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wiseowl
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby wiseowl » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:38 am

2011hopeful wrote:I admire your (misguided) loyalty to your employer.

However, you neglect virtually all the points I raised.

If you're serious about defending Kaplan, do a line-by-line rebuttal of my arguments on page 1 of this thread. No one else has yet.

They're here and here.


I think s/he addressed most of your concerns.

No one is going to do a line-by-line rebuttal of your previous posts because there is no need - either the points have been addressed or things you said are just silly and are not worth responding to. For example:

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.


Really?

It almost seems like you and ealwcml are plotting to go together and take a test for Kaplan while somehow knowing what test it was and then "expose" it to the world.

As Mr. Matlock said two weeks ago, what more do you want said? Everyone has been upfront about what it takes to work for Kaplan. You'll notice no one working for any of the other companies have provided this information. I'm sorry if you don't like some of their policies.

Connelly
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Connelly » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:37 pm

Sorry for bumping an old thread, but it was linked to on another thread, and the internet is all about me, since I am a special snowflake. :lol:

bluejayk wrote: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).


This is not always valid, mainly for the reasons wiseowl mentioned. If you work in a major city, then yes, your comparison may be accurate, but I worked in a smaller market, and the higher-paying companies rarely ever offered classes there. So what is better when you need money - $50/hr for 2 hours or $20/hr for 10 hours? At Kaplan, I could teach the LSAT 4-5 days a week (3-4 hours of class time at a time) and get paid a little more for prep work on the side. Beyond that, I also taught the SAT, GRE, and GMAT, and I was a teacher trainer. There was just a lot more work available from Kaplan. Had one of the other companies had this volume available, I would have qualified and taught for them.

Also, many of the classes offered by Kaplan's competitors were much further from my home/office. My commute time to Kaplan was about 2 minutes. Let's say I started teaching weekend courses for another company paying $50/hr. With even a 30 minute commute, my real rate drops to $33/hr. With an hour commute, it drops to $25/hr. So in some circumstances, Kaplan is enticing to teachers that could teach elsewhere.


To the original question about whether Kaplan teachers have taken a real LSAT, I can only speak to my experiences and what I saw at my center. We never had anybody just show up on our doorstep and ask to take a practice LSAT to qualify to teach it. People who came in off the street to teach the LSAT had always taken it before - that is usually what makes people think they can teach it to begin with. However, many of our teachers qualified to teach the LSAT with Kaplan by taking a full-length and timed practice test. This is a slightly better situation in that they have scored high on other standardized tests. While this is NOT LSAT experience, it does make up for part of what would be missing from a teacher who had taken the exam, as my experience is that people who can score in the 90+ percentile on multiple standardized tests, along with a practice LSAT, generally have the skills to teach the LSAT. Again, just anecdotal.

I started teaching the LSAT without having taken a "real" one, and I subsequently took a real LSAT. Taking an LSAC-administered exam helped me as a teacher, although I don't think I was massively deficient to begin with. As a teacher of multiple tests, my plan was always to take a real version of the test when possible so that I could speak to test day conditions and the like. However, even this is not completely sufficient, as taking the LSAT under LSAC conditions to get the experience for Kaplan is not nearly as stressful as taking it to have it show up on your permanent record for law school admission.

I have also found that my current experience in law school would help me as a teacher. I feel I could answer more of the students' questions about school and admissions, and I would have an easier time explaining why the LSAT has any kind of purpose for evaluating law students.

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bluejayk
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby bluejayk » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:39 pm

Connelly wrote:
This is not always valid, mainly for the reasons wiseowl mentioned. If you work in a major city, then yes, your comparison may be accurate, but I worked in a smaller market, and the higher-paying companies rarely ever offered classes there. So what is better when you need money - $50/hr for 2 hours or $20/hr for 10 hours? At Kaplan, I could teach the LSAT 4-5 days a week (3-4 hours of class time at a time) and get paid a little more for prep work on the side. Beyond that, I also taught the SAT, GRE, and GMAT, and I was a teacher trainer. There was just a lot more work available from Kaplan. Had one of the other companies had this volume available, I would have qualified and taught for them.


Yeah, that makes sense, Kaplan pays less, but in some situations that's okay because it works out being more money for you with Kaplan. But my response was to someone's statement that was basically "Yeah, Kaplan pays me only $20 an hour, but I'm not worth $50 an hour like PS/TM/BP/etc. pay. Also, I'm pretty broke anyway, so $20/hr is fine." Which is just low-self esteem, or Stockholm syndrome, or something.

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wiseowl
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby wiseowl » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:59 pm

bluejayk wrote:
Connelly wrote:
This is not always valid, mainly for the reasons wiseowl mentioned. If you work in a major city, then yes, your comparison may be accurate, but I worked in a smaller market, and the higher-paying companies rarely ever offered classes there. So what is better when you need money - $50/hr for 2 hours or $20/hr for 10 hours? At Kaplan, I could teach the LSAT 4-5 days a week (3-4 hours of class time at a time) and get paid a little more for prep work on the side. Beyond that, I also taught the SAT, GRE, and GMAT, and I was a teacher trainer. There was just a lot more work available from Kaplan. Had one of the other companies had this volume available, I would have qualified and taught for them.


Yeah, that makes sense, Kaplan pays less, but in some situations that's okay because it works out being more money for you with Kaplan. But my response was to someone's statement that was basically "Yeah, Kaplan pays me only $20 an hour, but I'm not worth $50 an hour like PS/TM/BP/etc. pay. Also, I'm pretty broke anyway, so $20/hr is fine." Which is just low-self esteem, or Stockholm syndrome, or something.


i think you're putting words in my mouth a little bit. i won't lie - my primary job is to be a law student. i spend a great deal of time on my Kaplan students and I feel I am paid fairly. Would I like more? Sure. But with more money almost certainly comes more responsibilities and fewer opportunities. It's simple economics. Does TM pay $50 an hour? Sure. Can you get a job as a tutor at TM easily? No. And if you do, you'll have Robin Singh breathing down your neck all the damn time, which I don't view as a positive.

its like what Connelly said - I can get 12 hours a week at $20 plus prep time at $8/hr, or I could get 2-3 hours a week at $50. Your hourly salary never tells the whole story.

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bluejayk
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby bluejayk » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:05 pm

wiseowl wrote:
bluejayk wrote:
Connelly wrote:i think you're putting words in my mouth a little bit. i won't lie - my primary job is to be a law student. i spend a great deal of time on my Kaplan students and I feel I am paid fairly. Would I like more? Sure. But with more money almost certainly comes more responsibilities and fewer opportunities. It's simple economics. Does TM pay $50 an hour? Sure. Can you get a job as a tutor at TM easily? No. And if you do, you'll have Robin Singh breathing down your neck all the damn time, which I don't view as a positive.

its like what Connelly said - I can get 12 hours a week at $20 plus prep time at $8/hr, or I could get 2-3 hours a week at $50. Your hourly salary never tells the whole story.


Your statement that I responded to was almost exactly "TM/PS/BP shouldn't pay $50 an hour, I wasn't worth $50 when I started". That's just a crazy statement, man, no offense. I have no problem with Kaplan, nor people who work for Kaplan, but I think you're painting too rosy a picture. I'm sure there are definitely markets where you can get way more hours with Kaplan than you could with one of these.. boutique? prep companies. And for those situations, it would make sense to consider working for Kaplan instead of TM or whoever. However, look at their websites, they've got dozens and dozens of instructors teaching 18/week classes at $50/hour, plus tutoring. I have a hard time believing many of these guys would trade their jobs for a position at Kaplan.

nStiver
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby nStiver » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:35 pm

I know this is a very old thread, but I found the information in it quite interesting, as I am sure others might, so I resurrected it. The thing that struck me most was that Kaplan's instructors did not actually have to take the real LSAT. Does anyone know whether the other prep companies have a similar system? Do TM/PS/BP require a real LSAT score or do they do the same thing as Kaplan. LSAT instructor brought up a good point, that is when people take the LSAT, they sign a waiver stating that they are taking the test for the SOLE purpose of application to law school. If the other companies require a real LSAT score, how do they get around this?

Hell, I have taken so many PT's that I could easily waltz into a test prep center and role with a 175 if it was one of the tests I had taken + reviewed. lol.

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DaveBear07
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby DaveBear07 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:58 pm

This is interesting. I just interviewed with Kaplan today and was invited to training. (Selfish disclaimer: I scored in the 98th% but only Kaplan has classes in my college-town.)

I think we can all see the danger in unqualified applicants gaming the qualifying test. Kaplan must see this too. But if they take their training seriously then they should be able to spot the pretenders.

And the employees I've talked with/interviewed with have all been great, for what it's worth.

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Always Credited
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Re: Kaplan LSAT Instructor - Score-Qualifying PrepTests

Postby Always Credited » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:20 pm

My buddy taught for Kaplan (I went for Powerscore) and was the last man standing out of his 8-person training course. Anecdotal at best, but apparently they cut without mercy.

Sort of like the Biglaw model - bring in a larger than needed class, weed 'em out, the best (or good enough) remain.




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