Your 159 is not a terrible score by any means with its corresponding percentile rank if you are not seeking admission to a first tier Law School. How it bodes for your admission chances to wherever greatly depends on the Law Schools you are seeking admission to.
An LSAT score of 164, had you achieved that, is significantly (by large amounts) higher in percentile rank than a 159 and would dramatically change the range of LS's you have a chance of admission to.
Since it seems that you have decided to re-take, the prep method to choose greatly depends on your learning style and time availability. Some people learn better in a classroom environment, others do better by hibernating alone with a bunch of books.
If you sign up for a classroom course and miss classes and/or do not keep up on doing the homework to put it all together you likely will not benefit as much.
You have to decide which of those ways works best for you or if a combination is appropriate, all things considered. There is no 'one size fits all' strategy for achieving a highly ranked score on the LSAT.
No matter the way you do it the most important part for your future re-take score is you spending time reviewing the substance of the instruction you are given, applying it to the sections of the test, identifying your errors as you go, working to correct for them, and then lather rinse repeat.
Well I am not looking at going to any school below a tier 1 law school. Thus my interest in retaking the test. My number one choice law school is UCLA. Which has a 25th-75th of 164-168. My GPA is kind of strong (currently 3.56), so it is my LSAT score I am more concerned about. I was also looking at Loyola Law School which has a 25th-75th of 159-163, since I was hoping to get around 164 I wasn't that worried about it, but now that I am down at 159, I am concerned.
The main reason I am considering taking a class is because my first time around I self-studied and didn't do as well as I wanted. Perhaps I was missing something with it. I used the SuperPrep Book, individual prep tests, and a third party LSAT study book that had decent reviews. I studied for 3 months.
I'm in class or work all day Monday-Thursday and am unavailable until 8pm at night. So I'm wondering if paying for a class will also keep me on track as well as give me reason to study at night. Do you feel that just buying the powerscore or testmakers books can give me the same experience? I am usually very good at self-study so classroom vs. books is pretty much the same to me.
My main hope is to increase my score to the 164 minimum.
Ok, with tier 1 schools as your goal, especially UCLA and others in the Socal area, you definitely need a higher LSAT score to be competitive in the admissions race. As a USC LS grad I will try to refrain from commenting about those silly Bruins that like to wear blue!
Since you are looking at good Socal LS's, your GPA is pretty good and in range for UCLA, Loyola, or USC.
To prep properly for your December re-take, since you sound pretty busy, you need to have available and commit a good amount of time for prep many days and hours each week both for class time and homework/study time
I cannot emphasize this enough: Time spent in an LSAT prep course receiving instruction is typically not enough. You need to and should spend at least
double that amount of time doing outside of class LSAT homework. That entails applying, practicing, reviewing, and refining your understanding of what a course taught you about how to do well on the test. Many students that take a prep class mistakenly think that just attending class is enough. It is not. Class and/or books supply you with the concepts of what is tested and techniques to use when attacking the questions, then it's up to the student to apply the knowledge and practice it by working and reviewing questions.
With your busy schedule/time constraints I'm wondering how you would be able to fit in the necessary homework/practice time.
Which 3rd party book did you use before? On this board and from various other sources, the Powerscore Bibles are renowned as the best affordable commercially available LSAT prep books. The Superprep book from LSAC is also very good but not nearly as comprehensive in terms of providing detailed strategies and such.
Given your busy schedule, if you decide to take a class instead of doing self study again, with your two options I would go with the Powerscore Virtual course. You can review each lesson anytime you want at will as well as access the other included online resources whenever you want.* No-Shill disclaimer * : I have been teaching LSAT prep courses and tutoring students seeking Law School Admission for about 9 years and currently work for Powerscore.