Law School Discussion

LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN

Victor

Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2004, 12:56:15 PM »
Its still great for everything besides the Logic Games, which IMHO were tougher on the old tests. The Logic Games for the last 3 or 4 tests and 10 more LSATs were closer to what I feel I saw on the actual LSAT. Oh yeah I also picked up 3 or 4 recent LSAT tests (within the last year or so) in addition to 10 LSATs and 10 more. They cost 8 bucks a pop though. I heard LSDAS is releasing the newer tests in a 3rd LSAT book though, so that should be cheaper. Those logic games in the last couple of tests were much closer to the new "style".

Still all you need to study on your own is under 100 bucks.

what did you get on your vist diagnostic without ever studying?

blizzard of ozz

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Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2004, 07:48:43 PM »
I remember the first real (NOT Kaplan) LSAT I took cold under rigidly timed conditions was a 152 (in the summer before my senior year of college). I didn't look at the test again until after I graduated. When I did begin studying again, I was averaging around 151-153 for a couple of tests, then gradually began improving. I studied for @3 months.

Eventually after taking a ton of tests, you start to think like the LSAT and the answers just start to manifest themselves. I'd probably have done better if I had studied for another month, though.

Before I took the Kaplan course (well for that one class, before I got a refund) over my winter break junior year (my UG had a very long winter break, several months long) I tried to take a (practice) LSAT cold, but damn near broke down crying on the Logic Games and didn't finish. That first test was probably high 140s if I scored it, but I didn't. Considering the fact I've never scored below the top 2 or 3% on a standardized test before, taking the LSAT was a pretty humbling experience.

I think my Kaplan diagnostic was around low 150s but for some reason I remember it being a lot easier and quite different than the actual LSATs I took. I think it was a 154 or 155, which was nonindicative of my actual mean score distribution at the time. I'm sorry I really don't remember exactly. I just remember it was @2 points higher than my initial mean. I only started keeping decent score distribution charts once I started studying on my own.

I think Kaplan uses a diagnostic test that they can point to in the first class and say "oh but these questions are so easy with the Kaplan method". I remember they had a circle diagram, which I've never seen on any other LSAT and other things that were wildly atypical of the exam in general. I think this is part of the course's problem, they generally don't use real questions in their own materials since it's cheaper than licensing them.

Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2004, 08:51:39 AM »
i actually had a good experience with kaplan.  my diagnostic was a 158, and my score on the actual lsat was a 167.  i have heard of some folks who fell below their diagnostic on the actual exam, but the guy who posted a drop from mid-160's to mid-140's shocked me.  just seems like there should have been some warning that something was going on.  as i recall, the progression from diagnostic test through the remaining practice tests is stuctured so that the tests are increasingly difficult.....the thought being that a test from 1995 is less challenging than one administered in 2000.  it would seem like scores would begin to show reasons for alarm if a twenty point drop n performace was on the way.

Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2004, 09:58:07 AM »
10 lsats IS outdated...i was taking tests from 96...but the bonus of taking classes is they give u more recent tests :)

i think u can buy more recent exams somewhere...maybe on lsac...

its a rip off though

don't do fake q's either, they screwed me up, doing real questions is so much better

blizzard of ozz

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Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2004, 02:17:43 PM »
they sell recent tests on LSAC and amazon (that's where I bought them). 10 LSATs is fine except for Logic Games, which have changed since the first couple of LSATs, I'd still recommend it though. The RC and Arguments are still exactly the same. 10 more LSAT's is better though.

skotval

Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2004, 01:06:25 PM »
It's all about Testmasters, people!  My score improved 14 points.  My brother improved 8 points.  My best friend improved 12 points.  And we all scored above the 96th percentile.  Also, the reason we chose Testmasters in the first place was because it was highly recommended by others.  Their methods, their instructors, and their materials are superior

LawEcon

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Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2004, 10:43:45 PM »
I've been reading through this thread, and I just want to set the record straight regarding a few comments.

First, Hookem Law mentioned that the Kaplan method for logical reasoning involves having students do questions 1-10, then 21-25, and then 11-20.  This is entirely incorrect.  At no point in the course does Kaplan recommend this strategy. 

Since the bulk of questions that test-takers find most difficult (as determined by LSAC)are found in the 11-20 area, Kaplan suggests that, if time is running down, students scan the 21-25 section for easier questions, rather than spend inordinate amounts of time answering more difficult questions.  As all questions are worth 1 point, this is mere common sense.

Second, Blizzard of Ozz indicates that his/her instructor scored a 156.  If true, this is contrary to Kaplan policy.  The requirement that instructors score at or above the 90th percentile is enforced quite strictly at my center, and I know of definite cases where individuals were not allowed to teach the LSAT with a sub-163 score.  In any event, teaching with a 156 is not standard procedure, and I'm glad it was brought to someone's attention.

Third, Blizzard of Ozz mentions, after taking one class, that Kaplan's method for diagramming games was "insanely long," and that Kaplan's method for arguments was "just plain wrong."  It's not clear what this means.  The first class covers sequencing games, which are among the easiest to diagram.  I simply don't understand how writing several dashes in a row can constitute "insanely long" diagramming.

Again, with regard to arguments, the first class covers the most basic ideas regarding assumptions and their role in logical reasoning.  In what manner could this be "just plain wrong?"  Perhaps this can be explained somewhat further.

Fourth, Blizzard of Ozz indicated that Kaplan "uses a diagnostic test that they can point to in the first class and say "oh but these questions are so easy with the Kaplan method"."  I'm not sure what to make of this.  The diagnostic exam is simply a recent LSAT PrepTest with an experimental section thrown in.  Kaplan does not write the questions for this or any other test administered in class.  Is the suggestion then that LSAC creates tests that are entirely amenable to Kaplan's methods?  If so, that's not exactly a damning indictment.

Finally, the same author mentions that Kaplan "generally [doesn't] use real questions in their own materials since it's cheaper than licensing them."  This is also entirely false.  Every question used in the Kaplan lesson book is from a real LSAT.  While some questions in supplementary materials are written by Kaplan, all questions presented in the course are real.

Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2004, 06:57:50 AM »
do you work for kaplan? lol :)

blizzard of ozz

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Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2004, 11:07:00 AM »
LawEcon = Kaplan Troll.

Apparently, according to you, despite the fact my Kaplan experience involved outright fraud (along with the 40 other people in my class), I'm supposed to chalk it up as atypical when tons of other people have had similarly bad experiences with incompetent "teachers" - doubtful, especially since last I hear Kaplan hasn't even fired the guy who was teaching my class, despite repeated complaints.

Kaplan's diagramming method is significantly longer than other methods, esp. the one from the Logic Games Bible, PR and virtually every other testprep company. The Kaplan chart barely fits on a real testpage, and the LSAT doesn't have scrap paper. It's impractical and unnecessary.

Regarding the non-LSAT derived questions:

"This is also entirely false"

Do you see the contradiction here?

"While some questions in supplementary materials are written by Kaplan, all questions presented in the course are real"

How can all the questions be real if, by your own admission, some aren't. That's a logical gem.

Apparently according to you I'm completely wrong and all the questions are real. Yet you readily admit some aren't. Which is it?

And yes Kaplan does pick unrepresentative tests initially, specifically ones with easily teachable and recognizable problems and more difficult ones as they go on. The circular seating problem appeared but twice on the modern LSAT, yet that's on their diagnostic.


Re: LSAT TAKERS! DO NOT USE KAPLAN
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2004, 11:09:43 AM »
kaplan is evillllllllllll evil evil evil i tell you!