« on: October 22, 2009, 09:09:29 AM »
I don't think that it is fair to say that these classes are a rip off. Granted, I've been teaching for one of these companies for over a year now, so I do have a vested interest, but it is this experience which makes me so sure that the classes are not useless. I have personally seen students improve by over 20 points in an 8 week course--that's a move that takes you from a point to where it's questionable whether you will be able to go to law school at all to acceptance in a top 10 program. I will not deny that there is some level of inherent intelligence involved, but for many, many students the problem is not lack of ability, but that they have not ever been exposed to this type of thinking before and need a structure through which to consider these types of problems. Could they do it cheaper? Sure. Nothing that you will learn in a course is something that you couldn't have learned with the help of a couple of 50 dollar prep books and perhaps an Intro to Symbolic Logic textbook. I was in the 99th percentile when I took the test and hadn't taken a class--my prep consisted of 6 practice tests and a couple of hours looking through a crappy Kaplan book. But I was a philosophy minor and had spent two semesters studying formal logic. What classes provide to students is not, for the most part, "secrets" to the test. And this is not what most students are paying for. Instead, what we provide is a structure that moves progressively through logical concepts and question types. It can be analogized (although imperfectly) to a college education. Everything you'll learn for your 160,000 bucks at Harvard you could have learned by reading the material on your own, but would you argue that the only added value from a college education is that you get a degree at the end? Of course not. There are real advantages to the classroom setting and the structure provided by syllabi (especially when those syllabi are created by individuals who have already done all the reading).