Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: Showtyme5 on September 27, 2004, 01:37:21 PM

Title: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Showtyme5 on September 27, 2004, 01:37:21 PM
Whats up people?  I've been visiting this board for a while now and am scheduled to take the Oct. test, but am postponing to December so I can study more than 3 weeks ;)  I've read most of the posts about how you guys prepared for the LSAT, but I'm wondering if any of you have taken this course and recommend it or if you would recommend Kaplan instead?  Seems like most people use the materials from Powerscore (LR bible, etc.) so it would make sense that maybe thats the better course?  Plus, some of you have stated that Kaplan instructors are almost worthless.  I'd have to drive about an hour for the powerscore class and the kaplan is in my hometown.  So, should I go with kaplan or powerscore OR neither?  Seems like if you take the class you are FORCED to study and that kind of motivation is something I definitely need right now.  But, are the instruction and tips/strategies worth the $1095 or can I get the same advice if I simply buy the books?  Thanks for the input in advance.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Once & Again on September 27, 2004, 01:51:18 PM
i am in the same exact situation you, PS is one hour away, but no way i would take kaplan which is near me.

after studying the LRB and LGB I started thinking, hey i can do this on my own...

however, i am not going to take a chance here, as this is my one shot in december due to my age...

so powerscore it is!
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: _EKC_ on September 27, 2004, 04:14:05 PM
Consider the Powerscore weekend course, and take it as early as possible. For me, the 8 week course wouldn't have been worth it, because I need stuff condensed like it was for the  weekend course, and then to practice on my own.

Maybe a Combo of the LGB & LRB with the weekend course would work for you two?
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: gobears on September 27, 2004, 05:24:16 PM
I'm in PowerScore now.  In retrospect, and although my instructor is totally great, I wish I would've just gotten the LRB, LGB, and lots of real LSATs from the LSAC, and studied on my own.  That would've saved me a $1000.  I think if you're self-disciplined and motivated, and have no probleming learning from books, that's the way to go.  But if you aren't as self-disciplined about studying as you should be and/or you feel like it'd be better for you to have someone explain concepts to you, then it'd be worth it to sign up for either PowerScore or TestMasters (both are pretty much exactly the same as far as material and resources provided, from what I've heard). 

Also, I've never taken Princeton Review or Kaplan, but most people seem to highly prefer PowerScore and TestMasters to either of those two.  Of course, since so much of the prep courses depend on having a good instructor, it "might" be worth it to take Princeton Review or Kaplan if the instructor is far better than the PowerScore or TestMasters instructor in your local area.  (Sorry, I know it's borderline blasphemous for me to say so on these boards, since so many people here love PowerScore and TestMasters.  But most the "best" instructors seem to go to PowerScore or TestMasters anyway, so what I said hopefully isn't as bad as it might sound.)  Anyhow, I recommend you try calling up the prep course companies in your local area and asking them if it's possible to sit in on a class for free before you commit?  I know PowerScore has no problem doing this.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Showtyme5 on September 27, 2004, 05:45:05 PM
Thanks for the replies.  I finally decided my course of action is going to be buying the Logical Reasoning Bible and the Logical Games Bible and then I'm taking a Powerscore weekend course on the weekend of Nov. 21st.  I think this should be sufficient enough for me.  I do have one last question though.......

Since I bought the Logical Games Bible, is it necessary to also get the LG setup guide????  I'm not planning on ordering it b/c I haven't really seen it recommended, but if anyone has great things to say about I'd be interested in hearing.  Thanks again everyone.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: stinkyfoot on November 12, 2004, 07:43:48 PM
If you can afford to throw away $1,100 go ahead and take the Powerscore class.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: AaronJ on November 12, 2004, 07:52:42 PM
If you can afford to throw away $1,100 go ahead and take the Powerscore class.

Do you realize you've been posting in threads that are over a month old?
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: wfd on November 12, 2004, 08:28:59 PM
Powerscore definetely sucks ass!
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: scurred1 on November 15, 2004, 10:24:21 AM
I just took the Powerscore weekend course and I found it to be really helpful. The instructor gave us a lot of shortcuts and tips that I would have never found out on my own during self-study (which is mostly what I did for the Oct. test.) I would highly recommend it if you don't have the time or the money to put into the 8-week course. 
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Once & Again on November 15, 2004, 12:48:38 PM
yes, i am currently enrolled in it and i have learned things from the instructor that i would not have learned anywhere else.

some people can study on their own and get through this.

I am not one of those people, and i want every possible chance to be successful on december 4.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: marketster on December 01, 2004, 07:02:20 PM
Powerscore does not offer proctored tests!!!
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Mrs Malaprop on December 02, 2004, 05:54:38 AM
Powerscore does not offer proctored tests!!!

Uhhh... yes it does. Four of them.

(That's in the full-length course. Not sure about the weekend.)
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: twoguys on December 02, 2004, 08:10:10 PM
Quote
Uhhh... yes it does. Four of them.

Are they really proctored ones? I have heard you enter your answers yourself on the Internet, you don't actually hand your answer sheet to your instructor ...
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Mrs Malaprop on December 02, 2004, 09:43:02 PM
Quote
Uhhh... yes it does. Four of them.

Are they really proctored ones? I have heard you enter your answers yourself on the Internet, you don't actually hand your answer sheet to your instructor ...

Well, proctored just means that someone is timing you strictly in class, simulating real test conditions. It doesn't mean that they have to score the test for you. I don't see why it makes any difference who scores it. I suppose you could cheat and put in more time or whatever before you enter your answers in on the internet, but then you wouldn't get an accurate idea of your current level of skill, so what would be the point?

The internet scoring thing gives you your scaled & raw scores, plus breaks the test down by question type so that you can see what your strengths/weaknesses are. You then can print the whole report out and bring it to the next class for the test review. The instructor has the class's statistical information from the test available (from the online system) - mine used this data to go over the questions the class as a whole seemed to have trouble with, then went over other questions upon request.

I thought that these exercises were very helpful - I wasn't very good about being strict with timing with the preptests I took in my own. (I didn't let myself go into overtime per se, but I'd hit "pause" if the phone rang, or if I got interrupted, etc.) Not that doing my own preptests was useless - but the in-class ones were what really prepared me for the time pressures of test day.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: gentoo on December 02, 2004, 11:25:14 PM
Err, I know this response might be kind of late, but maybe it'll help future test takers who are interested in a prep class.

Powerscore does offer proctored tests. The syllabus offers 4 tests, but our instructor went out of his way to give us 5 more tests, recent ones at that. So we had a total of 9 proctored tests, plus the 15-20 tests on our own out of the "10 LSAT" books. The internet scoring was great, and like Mrs_Malaprop said, it would be pointless to change your answers. You can print your a 4-page report that lists your strengths and weaknesses, and the percentage of how many others picked the various answer choices. It's EXTREMELY helpful, especially on LR.

I recommend a PS (or TM) course, worlds above Kaplan or PR. Not to mention its cheaper, but it's far superior in its methods. What I would recommend more though, is at least trying to LR and LG bibles first, at least 3 months before class. Take a practice every week to gauge your progess, and study for at least 3 hours a day. I say this because the class is extremely pricey, and the same results are possible with the bibles. My teacher was great, but my only complaint is that we read the material straight out of the book, verbally, page-by-page, and then we proceeded to work on practice problems for an hour. The only material my instructor ever went in depth into was LG. This has made me think that I could have saved $1,000 by studying on my own, because with the exception of LG, that is essentially what I did on LR and RC. Think of it this way, it won't hurt for you to at least try the bibles. If you don't improve in 3 months, then take the class. If you improve 10 points, but want a little boost, take the weekend class as a supplement. If you find the bibles to be sufficient, then you just saved yourself $1,000.

Either way, the structure of PS and TM is far superior over Kaplan or PR. I reviewed the Kaplan study guide, and it was utter crap. Not to mention their dumbed-down, intellictually insulting "free interactive CD" (which I now use as a coaster) made me feel like a child. I was so lost and hung up on all their "strategies", it was mind-boggling. That is one of the reasons why people tend to score lower after the PR and Kaplan class because it's just all too much to absorb in such a short amount of time. The LSAT is stressful as it is, why would you want to bog yourself down with more time-comsuming strategies? PS and TM focuses on "thinking" like the LSAT, not finding easy shortcuts around it. Both are also known for their loads of coursework, but once you master "thinking" like the LSAT, the sky's the limit.

From what I hear, its not uncommon for people who either do the bibles or take the courses along with craploads of practice tests, to improve their score 15-20 points. I have yet to hear someone who's improved by that much by using Kaplan or PR "strategies".

Here's my recommendation: try the bibles 3 months prior to the next prep class. If it helps, keep on truckin' and maybe take the PS weekend course. Don't forget to take timed practice tests at least 3 times a week, this is crucial. It's pointless to learn to "think" like the LSAT if you never apply it. If you feel you need the motivation, have the money, and the location is nearby, sign up for the course. If you don't have the money, or don't live near a location, work on the bibles and practice tests and keep the weekend course in mind.

I improved from a diagnostic of 141 to the high of 153. An acquaintence of mine took PR, and had a diagnostic of 154, and her most recent practice test was a 152. Her head is about to explode right now. :(

HTH...If anyone has any more questions about PS, PM me.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: IsleOfMan on December 07, 2004, 06:33:49 PM
 
Quote
Well, proctored just means that someone is timing you strictly in class, simulating real test conditions. It doesn't mean that they have to score the test for you. I don't see why it makes any difference who scores it. I suppose you could cheat and put in more time or whatever before you enter your answers in on the internet, but then you wouldn't get an accurate idea of your current level of skill, so what would be the point?

The point would be that you'd look a bit smarter in front of your instructor ... the ethos, especially in Powercore classes (yanno that 99% requirement) is that low LSAT scores are stupid people ... would you like to be seen as stupid?
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: The Name's Dali on December 07, 2004, 07:07:02 PM


Here's my recommendation: try the bibles 3 months prior to the next prep class. If it helps, keep on truckin' and maybe take the PS weekend course. Don't forget to take timed practice tests at least 3 times a week, this is crucial. It's pointless to learn to "think" like the LSAT if you never apply it. If you feel you need the motivation, have the money, and the location is nearby, sign up for the course. If you don't have the money, or don't live near a location, work on the bibles and practice tests and keep the weekend course in mind.


I would think it would be better to take the weekend course first.  That way you would have an instructor teach you the material and you could apply the lessons on the LGB and LRB, plus practice tests.  What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Mrs Malaprop on December 07, 2004, 10:00:29 PM
The point would be that you'd look a bit smarter in front of your instructor ... the ethos, especially in Powercore classes (yanno that 99% requirement) is that low LSAT scores are stupid people ... would you like to be seen as stupid?

Any test prep company is most unlkely to hold the view that a low LSAT score indicates stupidity - after all, if it were not possible to improve with practice and technique, the test prep companies wouldn't be in business. A couple of people from my class made HUGE leaps in score - like 20 points or so. PowerScore didn't make them smarter than they were when they started the course - PS just prepared them to do well on the test.

I didn't find PS to be elitist at all. We had a wide range of people - from people who were really having trouble with the material to those who were just trying to get a top score. The class helped all of us - the people who had been struggling most of all. Our instructor treated everyone like intelligent adults, and no one was ever made to feel like any question was stupid. I felt like the class also really tried to help each other out. I know I was just as excited when other people started making huge improvements as when I finally started to "get" games.

I don't think it's a bad thing that PS and TM require a 99% LSAT score from their instructors - it just means that the intructors have a strong handle on the material they will be teaching. It doesen't mean that they will look down on anyone who doesn't score in that range. My instructor seemed to care very much about helping each person in the class - the people whose goal was in the mid-150's as much as those shooting for 180 - and was genuinely psyched when people started making improvements.

As far as worrying what your instructor will think, the instructor doesn't know who exactly scored what (at least, when I scored a 180 on the last in-class exam, he knew that someone had done it, but he didn't know which of the likely suspects it was). Otherwise, you're the only one with a real breakdown of your exam, which you print out for yourself and don't have to share with anybody if you don't want to. The instructor gets statistical data, so he knows where the class as a whole is having trouble - then takes individual questions as well. If anyone decided to "cheat" with the scoring, they'd just be cheating themselves.

I guess it all comes down to the instructor and the class, but I really enjoyed my experience, and believe that it boosted my confidence and my skills significantly.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Julie Fern on December 08, 2004, 08:15:18 AM
give julie eight weeks, and she make you pretty like her as well as good at lsat.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: laframboise on February 17, 2005, 04:35:02 PM
LOL Powerscore indeed does not proctor the tests it gives ya! It allows to do it by yourself at your home, if you want! Powerscore is pulling your legs! HAHAHA!
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: JD_Wolf on February 17, 2005, 05:28:32 PM
The point would be that you'd look a bit smarter in front of your instructor ... the ethos, especially in Powercore classes (yanno that 99% requirement) is that low LSAT scores are stupid people ... would you like to be seen as stupid?

Any test prep company is most unlkely to hold the view that a low LSAT score indicates stupidity - after all, if it were not possible to improve with practice and technique, the test prep companies wouldn't be in business. A couple of people from my class made HUGE leaps in score - like 20 points or so. PowerScore didn't make them smarter than they were when they started the course - PS just prepared them to do well on the test.

I didn't find PS to be elitist at all. We had a wide range of people - from people who were really having trouble with the material to those who were just trying to get a top score. The class helped all of us - the people who had been struggling most of all. Our instructor treated everyone like intelligent adults, and no one was ever made to feel like any question was stupid. I felt like the class also really tried to help each other out. I know I was just as excited when other people started making huge improvements as when I finally started to "get" games.

I don't think it's a bad thing that PS and TM require a 99% LSAT score from their instructors - it just means that the intructors have a strong handle on the material they will be teaching. It doesen't mean that they will look down on anyone who doesn't score in that range. My instructor seemed to care very much about helping each person in the class - the people whose goal was in the mid-150's as much as those shooting for 180 - and was genuinely psyched when people started making improvements.

As far as worrying what your instructor will think, the instructor doesn't know who exactly scored what (at least, when I scored a 180 on the last in-class exam, he knew that someone had done it, but he didn't know which of the likely suspects it was). Otherwise, you're the only one with a real breakdown of your exam, which you print out for yourself and don't have to share with anybody if you don't want to. The instructor gets statistical data, so he knows where the class as a whole is having trouble - then takes individual questions as well. If anyone decided to "cheat" with the scoring, they'd just be cheating themselves.

I guess it all comes down to the instructor and the class, but I really enjoyed my experience, and believe that it boosted my confidence and my skills significantly.

Wrong about instructors not knowing the practice scores of their students (at least for both PowerScore and TM)
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: wstaffor on February 17, 2005, 06:04:25 PM
LOL Powerscore indeed does not proctor the tests it gives ya! It allows to do it by yourself at your home, if you want! Powerscore is pulling your legs! HAHAHA!

Considering I am an instructor for PS, and PERSONALLY proctor the tests, I have to disagree with you on that one.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Mrs Malaprop on February 17, 2005, 08:00:27 PM
Wrong about instructors not knowing the practice scores of their students (at least for both PowerScore and TM)

Interesting. As I said, I only based my assumption on the fact that my instructor didn't seem to know who exactly had scored what. He may have been pretending not to know, in order to make certain people feel more comfortable. Most of us shared that information with each other anyway - but there were a few who seemed reticent about sharing any score information, to the point of not wanting to enter their answers into the online site. The instructor might have been subtly trying to get them to enter it, by fostering the belief that he wouldn't know which member of the class was which.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: gingernfred on February 20, 2005, 05:46:34 PM
Quote
Considering I am an instructor for PS, and PERSONALLY proctor the tests, I have to disagree with you on that one.

Now you're lying to us, fella! I've taken one of your classes amd the student does not turn in the answer sheet to you, i.e., the instructor! He enters himself the answers on the Internet! What kind of f-ing stupid proctored test is that?!
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: Losses on February 20, 2005, 08:40:58 PM
Quote
Considering I am an instructor for PS, and PERSONALLY proctor the tests, I have to disagree with you on that one.

Now you're lying to us, fella! I've taken one of your classes amd the student does not turn in the answer sheet to you, i.e., the instructor! He enters himself the answers on the Internet! What kind of f-ing stupid proctored test is that?!

I really don't see how this is a contradiction. He said that he proctored the test, meaning he made sure of all the timming and the working on each section. The scoring of the test is a different matter. Personally, I think the idea of scoring the test yourself makes a lot of sense. If you decide to fake your scores so that they are better than they are, then you are only hurting yourself. By the way, I haven't taken the class but I've bought the full course books. When you input the scores on the internet you get a nice information sheet showing what kinds of problems you scored wrong and what you need to improve.

I honestly don't understand what benifit could having the teacher grade the tests would do except to burden the instructor with paper work and imply that the student is an idiot and a liar.  I think by taking the class and paying the money, it is fair to assume that the student has some responsibility and treating them like children does nothing to advance their scores.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: desacration on May 25, 2005, 07:51:28 PM
I just can not understand when people ask whether Powerscore and Testmasters and the like are worth it or not. You are acting like you're believing that the money you pay will get you in a class where you'll actually learn something. Well, you are dead wrong! Just like with law school classes themselves you'll not learn anything in class, or from the professor, they simply get the money from you and you're supposed to do anything that you can do about that particular class yourself. This is so simple that it doesn't have to be said twice. Likewise, when you become a lawyer you are not supposed to actually help your clients out, you just take their money and leave them in the exact same position you found them in, or worse off. It simply is natural for the law school training and profession to do nothing, or worsen things even more, for the people who come in contact with it. Once you go through the process yourself and learn to change position from prey to predator, you begin to apply these same principles in your own work. It takes a while, and a bit of effort, actually.
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: The Name's Dali on May 25, 2005, 08:43:25 PM
Are you able to input preptests that you have taken on your own into the PS or TM website, in order to get a breakdown of your strengths/weaknesses?
Title: Re: Is the 8 week Powerscore class worth it?
Post by: bruin on May 25, 2005, 08:45:21 PM
generally not for Powerscore, though I think there were a couple where you could.