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Messages - dsds3581

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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Testmasters LSAT prep course
« on: February 18, 2004, 01:10:35 PM »
I knew quite a few people who took Testmasters while I was in college and have met others since college who took it, and the score increases have been phenomenal (I can't recall anyone increasing less than 10 points that I know). I took Kaplan, and the advantages weren't the same (though I did well with Kaplan...but still haven't reached my ultimate goal whereas everyone I know who took Testmasters surpassed their goal). I've been told that Testmasters has big classes compared to other courses, but you still get more class time and more practice material (although for a higher price). After taking Kaplan and hearing all these great things about Testmasters, I would love to get my hands on their prep materials (I can't take Testmasters because there isn't one in my area--Kaplan is all we have, unfortunately).

I've never seen the film nor read the book...I've been advised several times not to because I've been told it gives an unrealistic view of what law school is now like. But I think that if you know that ahead of time and still want to watch it, then you might be okay.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Advise Needed
« on: February 04, 2004, 11:05:50 PM »
I wonder what you've tried thus far in terms of the LR section? Since not a lot of advice has been given concerning the LR section, I'll try to help because I know it's really frustrating.

This was my most problematic section, but I studied PR's "Cracking the LSAT" and Nova's "Master the LSAT" by Kolby. It took quite a while, but I slowly but surely got better and better at the LR section.

A lot of people don't like PR's book because a lot of them say it's too simplistic or common sense, but I found the simplistic nature of it to be what I liked. They put the techniques in a way that was easy to understand. Admittedly, it was stuff I did naturally know. But the fact that they put it all together in an easy-to-read manner is what helped make the difference and bring the tips more to my attention so that I could be more conscious of them while taking the test. Most people love Nova's book, though.

I just kept studying these two books the most, as well as working on real practice problems with my Kaplan workbooks, books from LSAC and the real LSAT problems in Nova's book without timing myself until I was really comfortable with approaching LR and then started timing myself more, saving the newer exams for last.

Whenever I timed myself while I was having trouble with this section, I could miss as much as 20-25 in both sections combined, even after I completed Kaplan. But when I didn't time myself, I could miss as little as 11 or 12 in both sections combined. I knew I needed to cut the latter in half or less under timed conditions to get the score I wanted, so I stopped timing myself until I got to that point. I also would stop studying for a few days and take my mind off it and usually would do better when I got back into it. I think studying too much can hurt after a while, so I sometimes felt the need to back off whenever I started doing worse (for example, by the end of Kaplan, I was down to missing 12 in all on the LR sections and then shot back up to missing 20 again within a month after the class...I feel I had been studying too much for too long).

You can send me a private message for tips if you need to.

« on: February 04, 2004, 10:46:45 PM »
I took Kaplan and had a good experience, and the people in my class who didn't--the reasons why, in my opinion, being their fault--easily got to retake the course, no problems. I'm not defending Kaplan here because I think the experience you have depends on the Kaplan near you. I know a lot of people have been unsatisfied with Kaplan, and so I can't speak for what happened there.

But some of the posts have pointed more to the low scores coming from something other than Kaplan. For example, the person who said they were getting a 167 by the end of the course and then took the test and got a low score. Okay, what does that have to do with Kaplan? That was YOU. That was maybe the nerves of it being the real thing the first time around. That was maybe conditions in the room. Who knows--you can't blame Kaplan. You could maybe have a case there if your Kaplan practice tests kept going down or if the practice tests they gave were fake and not real LSATs from the past. But the last Kaplan test was higher than with what PR gave you. So why blame Kaplan?

The original poster--never says what they were scoring on their practice tests from Kaplan. He/she doesn't give enough information.

Non-Traditional Students / How Many Years...
« on: January 31, 2004, 04:51:45 PM »
How many years do you have to be out of school in order to be considered a non-traditional student?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Kaplan: Isn't all that bad, is it?
« on: January 31, 2004, 03:12:47 PM »
Just because people tell you good things about Kaplan doesn't mean you're going to have a good experience, nor does it mean it should make or break whether you go ahead and take it. You got it for free, so go ahead and take it and see.

I also got the course for free. I took it, had a good experience...but I have also learned that A) there's not much difference in what the courses will teach you and B) there's not much difference in the material presented in the course books and the material presented in the store books (which kind of makes the prep courses a ripoff, in my opinion). I also had to put a lot of work into it, and I don't think most people in my class did...and I also don't think most of them saw any real improvement (I improved over 10 points). Whether or not you take a prep course, you will have to put a lot of time and effort into prepping, so you can probably get away with either/or. However, you've got the chance to take it for free!

The jump taking Kaplan has over just studying on your own is they give you access to pretty much all the old LSATs, give you practice on real LSAT questions and give you about 5 timed tests, score them and give you a detailed description of your problems. Even if you overall have a bad experience with Kaplan, that alone with help quite a bit if you take advantage of it.

I've also learned that the quality of the course differs all over this country. If you really want to get the best idea of what your experience will be like, you should talk to people who have taken the course where you're looking to take it and find out about instructors, also.

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