Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: iexcite on February 23, 2005, 09:40:36 PM

Title: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: iexcite on February 23, 2005, 09:40:36 PM
Do I pay $1,200 for a Kaplan full course or not take any class at all. Kaplan is the only one offered in my area.  I've stared to work through LGB and will do LRB.  Is Kaplan better than nothing or will it atleast help with my timing? Thanks!
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: Geddon187 on February 23, 2005, 09:49:10 PM
Where do you live? A course is not necessary if you are self motivated.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: shari on February 23, 2005, 09:54:51 PM
It depends on you.  A friend of mine imporved his score by 16 or more points by taking
the Kaplan course.  You must do the homework, online tutorials etc.  And lots of
practise tests.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: lawbuddy on February 23, 2005, 09:56:59 PM
I say yes
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: holle012 on February 23, 2005, 09:57:30 PM
Frankly, I figure it's more a function of hard work than anything else. I figure that if you work your ass off studying, then you're going to be in good shape.

If not and you don't study or just breeze through, you're probably in big trouble.

I don't know, maybe there are some people smart enough to just look at it for the first time and make a 170 plus, but I know I'm not one of them, and I highly doubt any others are either.

Regardless of it you take Kaplan, just study hard and  you'll be okay.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: Jennaye on February 23, 2005, 09:58:46 PM
I would say that you're better off without Kaplan.  I took it, and think that my time could have been spent much more wisely.  I would suggest just getting LSAT prep books and taking lots of practice tests.  (basically Kaplan is just some shmuck reading out of their intstruction manual anyway...)


Had I known then what I know now, I would not have signed up for the damn course.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: iexcite on February 24, 2005, 01:03:13 AM
Where do you live?

I attend University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  Kaplan is the only full course within reasonable driving distance.  I would love to take a Powerscore course because the Bibles are awesome. The only other course close is over 2 hours away in Kansas City, a weekend course by Testmasters.

Thanks to everyone for your replies and imput!
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: SanchoPanzo on February 24, 2005, 05:25:10 AM
I say yes

I second. Anything that helps you study is better than nothing. As to whether that thing is worth $1200 bucks is a different question.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: Tristana on February 24, 2005, 07:36:05 AM
Have you taken any practice tests? What I did was take one totally blind (which you can't do at this point) to see where I stood. Since the score was high enough, I decided to study on my own instead of taking a course. So, if you are good at studying on your own and are already doing well, I would suggest the "DIY" approach. If you need more structure or are unhappy with your scores thus far, go for the prep course. But I would certainly keep studying the LRB and LGB and take a lot of practice tests.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: BenRoberts on February 24, 2005, 11:43:54 AM
Also, Kaplan and Powerscore have different methods of approaching games and LR.  Kaplan's method may not gel well after studying Powerscore.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: SuperMoni on February 24, 2005, 12:03:12 PM
I took Kaplan in DC.  I think the online resources and access to all of the tests in the center are vey useful.  I didn't find class useful at all.  Just my 2 cents.

EDIT: I think you can get the online stuff and access to the center for cheaper then the regular class room price.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: finko on February 24, 2005, 12:06:12 PM
took Kaplan, when up 9 points. Just don't be the jackass who treats it like an 1st year undergrad class.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: JasonJD on February 24, 2005, 12:09:06 PM
Kaplan helped raise my score and now I have two acceptances with probably more on the way.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: DodgerLaw on February 24, 2005, 12:27:31 PM
Personally I liked Kaplan for the Games, the resources at the center and onliine. I'm not so sure about the appraoches to LR and RC. If you need help mainly in one area, you might consider a Kaplan tutor.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: Jennaye on February 24, 2005, 08:51:37 PM
Better be worth it!  I'm signed up and ready to roll :D.

Nnnnnooooooo
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: SanchoPanzo on February 24, 2005, 09:14:14 PM
After reviewing PS "stuff" for weeks, I've started looking at the Kaplan books. My initial impression is that the Kaplan material is not as bad as some ppl suggest they are. While I'm signed up for PS and am eagerly waiting to start the course, I think I can say that if Kaplan was my only option I'd seriously consider it based on what I've seen in their books. Especially since I believe I need a review course.

Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: Jennaye on February 24, 2005, 09:32:36 PM
Better be worth it!  I'm signed up and ready to roll :D.

Nnnnnooooooo

You're makin' me nervous :-\!


Sorry, I hate Kaplan.  I show up on the first day of "class" and who's the instructor?  Some kid from my class.  I mean, sure he's smart and nice and all but for $1200 I'd like someone with a bit of experience under their belt.

And their materials suck.  The pace is very slow in the classroom as well.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: SanchoPanzo on February 24, 2005, 09:46:02 PM
The instructors always make a big difference.

Jennaye: Did you get a refund?
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: Jennaye on February 24, 2005, 09:52:14 PM
The instructors always make a big difference.

Jennaye: Did you get a refund?

No, because I did score better on the actual LSAT than on the diagnostic.  Only because the diagnostic was the first LSAT I had ever seen, so obviously after seeing the format anyone's score would improve.  But throughout the course, my score did not improve after the second test.

If you really want to do the Kaplan course, my advice would be to take a couple practice LSATs just to familiarize yourself with it so that your score "improvement" isn't just the result of seeing the test more.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: SanchoPanzo on February 24, 2005, 10:10:14 PM
No. I'm taking PS. But reading Kaplan books to "pass the time".
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: BAFF213 on February 24, 2005, 10:15:42 PM
I definitely agree with Jennaye here - Kaplan was pretty much a waste of time (and money).  The only thing they were good for was their test center (which I studied at a lot), although I easily could have done this at the library.  I really don't think it's worth the money.

The thing is that taking a prep course (at least Kaplan) is not really as helpful as you think it might be because you are going to have to work your ass off regardless.  I thought a prep course (i.e. Kaplan) would be helpful because it would force me to go to class, do work, etc., but 99% of your prepping is going to be outside of class anyway, so you're going to have to suck it up and study either way.  Spend your money on something worthwhile - buy the LGB, LRB and all the prep tests.

I would say that you're better off without Kaplan.  I took it, and think that my time could have been spent much more wisely.  I would suggest just getting LSAT prep books and taking lots of practice tests.  (basically Kaplan is just some shmuck reading out of their intstruction manual anyway...)


Had I known then what I know now, I would not have signed up for the damn course.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: SanchoPanzo on February 24, 2005, 10:18:13 PM
I definitely agree with Jennaye here - Kaplan was pretty much a waste of time (and money).  The only thing they were good for was their test center (which I studied at a lot), although I easily could have done this at the library.  I really don't think it's worth the money.

The thing is that taking a prep course (at least Kaplan) is not really as helpful as you think it might be because you are going to have to work your ass off regardless.  I thought a prep course (i.e. Kaplan) would be helpful because it would force me to go to class, do work, etc., but 99% of your prepping is going to be outside of class anyway, so you're going to have to suck it up and study either way.  Spend your money on something worthwhile - buy the LGB, LRB and all the prep tests.


Did your score improve with Kaplan?
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: BAFF213 on February 24, 2005, 10:22:15 PM
You can get your money back if the course hasn't started yet (or even if it has).

Better be worth it!  I'm signed up and ready to roll :D.

Nnnnnooooooo

You're makin' me nervous :-\!
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: BAFF213 on February 24, 2005, 10:27:08 PM
My score improved, but not from Kaplan.  I studied my ass off outside of class using the LGB and other prep books and did 19 prep tests.  My score improved from 151 (diagnostic) to 161 (last two tests) but on test day (this past October) I kind of messed up - I got really nervous, etc.  I plan on retaking in June and possibly re-applying next year if my score goes up enough.  I'm studying again now using just prep tests and I'm scoring around 160.  My current study routine is pretty much just to retake every single preptest in the next 3 months.

I definitely agree with Jennaye here - Kaplan was pretty much a waste of time (and money).  The only thing they were good for was their test center (which I studied at a lot), although I easily could have done this at the library.  I really don't think it's worth the money.

The thing is that taking a prep course (at least Kaplan) is not really as helpful as you think it might be because you are going to have to work your ass off regardless.  I thought a prep course (i.e. Kaplan) would be helpful because it would force me to go to class, do work, etc., but 99% of your prepping is going to be outside of class anyway, so you're going to have to suck it up and study either way.  Spend your money on something worthwhile - buy the LGB, LRB and all the prep tests.


Did your score improve with Kaplan?
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: SanchoPanzo on February 24, 2005, 10:34:39 PM
My score improved, but not from Kaplan.  I studied my ass off outside of class using the LGB and other prep books and did 19 prep tests.  My score improved from 151 (diagnostic) to 161 (last two tests) but on test day (this past October) I kind of messed up - I got really nervous, etc.  I plan on retaking in June and possibly re-applying next year if my score goes up enough.  I'm studying again now using just prep tests and I'm scoring around 160.  My current study routine is pretty much just to retake every single preptest in the next 3 months.


Nice. my study plan is similar to yours + PS.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: BAFF213 on February 24, 2005, 10:45:17 PM
good plan - if you're feeling really motivated, maybe even take some of the tests twice (you might have to buy another prepbook).

My score improved, but not from Kaplan.  I studied my ass off outside of class using the LGB and other prep books and did 19 prep tests.  My score improved from 151 (diagnostic) to 161 (last two tests) but on test day (this past October) I kind of messed up - I got really nervous, etc.  I plan on retaking in June and possibly re-applying next year if my score goes up enough.  I'm studying again now using just prep tests and I'm scoring around 160.  My current study routine is pretty much just to retake every single preptest in the next 3 months.


Nice. my study plan is similar to yours + PS.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: helendemilo on February 24, 2005, 11:18:37 PM
I know myself.  I'm not the type to start well in advance and study just because I should.  Unless someone is making me do homework and checking on me, I won't do it.  If I said I would study on my own, I would just be lying to myself. 

So Kaplan was great for me because it's only one 3-hour class a week.  I would have burnt out on more.  The homework assigned in class and online kept me on task.  I did do all the homework.

My score improved quite a bit.  Not necessarily due to any secret Kaplan method but just due to my studying (which I wouldn't have done without the class). 

Also, since I work, the money wasn't a big deal.  A good LSAT score will be worth much more.  It was an "investment" ;-)

I was happy with Kaplan.  The instructor does just read out of the materials.  Also, the people in the class are regular average students - scoring anywhere from 140's to 160's.  Take that for whatever it means.

All in all, I really liked it.  Also, I travel, so I did attend classes in 3 cities.  That was handy for me, otherwise I would have had to miss quite a few classes.
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: iexcite on February 25, 2005, 12:06:15 AM
it just frustrates me that Kaplan doesn't get their program straightened out and stop ripping people off that don't have other courses to choose from.  I hate it when teachers just read the material to you.  Don't insult my intelligence, I can read and to save $1,200 I can read very well! But I am signed up for Kaplan to improve my timing and for the adminstered "fake" tests where they help you analyze where you need to improve. so, we'll see...
Title: Re: Is Kaplan better than nothing?
Post by: sublimation on February 25, 2005, 02:04:41 AM
kaplan isn't all that bad. it just really depends on your instructor.  they have the best online resource, as compared to Princeton Review and Powerscore.  And they're the only one with a money-back/retake the course if not pleased policy.  Honestly, i don't think it's what course you sign up for that makes the difference, it how much commitment you give to studying the material, whatever their methodology may be.

approach it like a job.  practice practice practice.  and take advantage of all of kaplan's stuff: the test bank, online, do all the homework.  chin up!  you'll be fine.