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Author Topic: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan  (Read 4259 times)

tcwhat

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2008, 08:20:14 PM »
And they say kaplan has trolls on this board. Could this perhaps come from a TM/PS person?

I teach for Kaplan and I'm proud to admit it. We don't intersperse our own problems in the lesson plans. I have taught the full classroom class for a while now and I've seen one made up problem in an exercise that was created to incorporate all of the variations on IF/THEN rules. No instructor would ever say otherwise, unless they were mentally deficient.

As for TM v PS v Kaplan, I'd say stick with what you've already paid for. I have seen all three programs, each has its merits (except TPR... muahahahahhaaa) but Kaplan has the best online stuff, test explanations for every question and the Higher Score Guarantee. My question to you is have you been using the Pacing/Endurance/Mastery books? How much work have you put into the class?



That really doesn't mean much - I mean these guys guarantee a 10 point increase.

Peacock

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2008, 02:29:11 PM »
As for TM v PS v Kaplan, I'd say stick with what you've already paid for. I have seen all three programs, each has its merits (except TPR... muahahahahhaaa) but Kaplan has the best online stuff, test explanations for every question and the Higher Score Guarantee. My question to you is have you been using the Pacing/Endurance/Mastery books? How much work have you put into the class?

I'll try to ignore your cheap shot at TPR (although I don't believe I've ever taken one at Kaplan...tsk tsk)

Couple questions, however, that I'd like to hear from a real instructor. 

What makes their online stuff "the best"?
What do you like about their test explanations?
What does the score guarantee entail?
Does Kaplan rearrange the order of questions in their games?
Does Kaplan require their instructors to take the real LSAT?
Does Kaplan train instructors of different subjects together?

I was joking about TPR... I know absolutely nothing about their program. Online wise, Kaplan has all of the lessons with subtitles online, advanced lessons for the 165+ crowd, workshops for about every concept imaginable, and of course the new smart reports, which breaks down every practice test by question type and difficulty, the students score on each question type, direct links to the other online materials that are relevant to the questions that they are missing, and custom created assignments for the student to work on to increase their biggest weaknesses on the most frequent question types. Although a student could look up all of these things on their own, prep time is all about efficiency and it saves tons of time

The test explanation, while occasionally riddled with corny jokes, are well thought out and usually very well written. I would definitely say that they are a necessary component to any course, as missing questions won't help the student unless they can review the explanations for what they got wrong with the teacher and on their own time. The fact that Kaplan has them written for every question and has them linked into smart reports so that the student doesn't have to search for them is great.

Score Guarantee- Readiness, Satisfaction, etc. If the student hates the class, they can get a refund (I've honestly never seen a student request one.) If they aren't ready for test day, then they can repeat the class for free. If they aren't happy with their test score, they can repeat the class for free. I am pretty sure Kaplan's the only one with this guarantee.

Do they rearrange the order of the games in the test? Not that I know of, but I've never analyzed the order of the diagnostics versus the released tests. Why would they want to?

Do they require their instructors to take the real LSAT? Debatable. Released tests are real LSATS. Are they required to take it at an official LSAT administration? I don't think so. I did. However, it is against LSAC regulations to take an administered test unless you have the intention of using the score for admission to Law School. So, taking the administered test in order to teach a prep class actually requires you to breach the contract (don't hold me to that, I enter law school in the fall 8-P)

Does it matter? I was trained with an SAT teacher, a GMAT teacher, a MCAT teacher, etc. I was trained by an LSAT teacher. Bottom line, you are still required to teach LSAT lesson plans to students from different backgrounds (the MCAT students are the toughest to teach). You are also required to know the test forwards, backwards, left and right. Training is tough and the standards are high. They also have fellow teachers occasionally monitor your class and the likewise is true also in order to make sure that the lesson plans are taught correctly and that new teachers have an experienced model to watch for when they get in front of the room.

And they say kaplan has trolls on this board. Could this perhaps come from a TM/PS person?

I teach for Kaplan and I'm proud to admit it. We don't intersperse our own problems in the lesson plans. I have taught the full classroom class for a while now and I've seen one made up problem in an exercise that was created to incorporate all of the variations on IF/THEN rules. No instructor would ever say otherwise, unless they were mentally deficient.

As for TM v PS v Kaplan, I'd say stick with what you've already paid for. I have seen all three programs, each has its merits (except TPR... muahahahahhaaa) but Kaplan has the best online stuff, test explanations for every question and the Higher Score Guarantee. My question to you is have you been using the Pacing/Endurance/Mastery books? How much work have you put into the class?



That really doesn't mean much - I mean these guys guarantee a 10 point increase.

Guaranteed point increases are crap. 10 points? That's also not much of an increase for students that start out in the 130s and 140s, the ones that need improvement the most.
Future 1-L (entering fall of '08)
Kaplan Instructor
3.2/171 (retaking in June '08)

cr008k

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2008, 06:42:38 PM »
I originally signed up for Kaplan but it keeps getting negative press on these boards so I'm looking at going to a TM or PS class. Here is the issue though: neither of them are available in my city and I'd have an hour drive to get to either. Are the additional instructional materials and hours worth it? Is there anybody there that will tell me Kaplan is worth it? I can tell you right now I'm leaning towards PS b/c I already have the LGB and the course is just plain cheeper.  ;D Let me know what you think.

i really really hated kaplan.  i took them for sat's and my score actually went down! and then for lsat i went to this free thing they had on campus and they kinda sucked.  i looked at some testmasters stuff and it seemed ok, but they had a lot of emphasis on stuff i thought was silly and not helpful, like putting labels on questions.  i took expertlsat and i thought they were super helpful, but they are only in certain areas (buffalo, rochester, niagara falls) so that may not help everyone b/c they aren't as national as some of these other companies.  they were less expensive though.  but definitely, whatever you do, don't take kaplan!!!

EarlCat

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2008, 09:26:23 PM »
Score Guarantee- Readiness, Satisfaction, etc. If the student hates the class, they can get a refund (I've honestly never seen a student request one.) If they aren't ready for test day, then they can repeat the class for free. If they aren't happy with their test score, they can repeat the class for free. I am pretty sure Kaplan's the only one with this guarantee.

TPR's is similar.  Score increase from either the first diag or a previously administered test or your money back.  They guarantee score satisfaction or you can retake the class over and over for up to a year or get several hours of private tutoring (which I think might differ per local office).

Quote
Do they rearrange the order of the games in the test? Not that I know of, but I've never analyzed the order of the diagnostics versus the released tests. Why would they want to?

Dunno.  A friend of mine dating a new Kaplan teacher said they did on some.  Weird.

Quote
Do they require their instructors to take the real LSAT? Debatable. Released tests are real LSATS. Are they required to take it at an official LSAT administration? I don't think so. I did. However, it is against LSAC regulations to take an administered test unless you have the intention of using the score for admission to Law School. So, taking the administered test in order to teach a prep class actually requires you to breach the contract (don't hold me to that, I enter law school in the fall 8-P)

We had a bunch of instructors leery of this when we started requiring it.  I heard LSAC is compromising on this because of demand from prep companies, but that's just hearsay and I don't know details.

Quote
Does it matter? I was trained with an SAT teacher, a GMAT teacher, a MCAT teacher, etc. I was trained by an LSAT teacher. Bottom line, you are still required to teach LSAT lesson plans to students from different backgrounds (the MCAT students are the toughest to teach). You are also required to know the test forwards, backwards, left and right. Training is tough and the standards are high. They also have fellow teachers occasionally monitor your class and the likewise is true also in order to make sure that the lesson plans are taught correctly and that new teachers have an experienced model to watch for when they get in front of the room.

I would think it matters.  I learned so much in my training that I can't imagine any of the time being dedicated to another subject's teachbacks.

weymo001

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2008, 11:36:38 PM »
Hi everyone,

Last year, I made an unwise decision to take the Kaplan LSAT prep. The Kaplan approach was not effective for me. Recently, after buying instruction books for each prep company that does LSAT prep (eg PR, PS, TM, Kaplan, and Bluprint) via current law students and online venues, I have concluded Kaplan has the least effective approach. Since these companies will not let you sit in on a class, the best approach to making a wise purchase is to get the books and ask former students. Based on this analysis, I would rank these companies on LSAT prep as follows:

1) PR or TM
2) BP
3) PS
4) PR
5) Kaplan

Why do I feel Kaplan is so ineffective?

1) Kaplan's Lesson books are just confusing. They constantly interwine different aspects of the LSAT test in muliple lesson books. For example, a chapter on an aspect of RC is followed by a chapter on an aspect of LG and then followed by an aspect on LR. This confusing layout is continued throughout the lesson books. To make matters worse, my Kaplan instructor skipped between sections.

2) The PS and TM approaches to the LG are concisely described, laid out logically, and have been boiled down to a formula like approach. The Kaplan approach is confusing and not well illustrated with real LSAC EXAMPLES.

3) The PS and TM LG approaches are illustrated with PREVIOUS LSAT test questions released by the LSAC. PS has a liscensing agreement with LSAC to use released exam questions published in the TESTPrep released exams.

4) Both PS and TM approaches to LG and LR are logical and supported with real released exam questions. Most likely, Kaplan didn't want to pay the liscensing fee to LSAC; thus, they make their own questions for their own prep books. Thus, they don't stimulate the rigor of the actual exam and tap into the potential use of previous exam questions or versions of previous questions.

5) Based on student opinions, there is a higher standard for PS and TM teachers.

6) PS has a database of solutions to almost all the released exam questions by LSAC.

Overall, I think PS and TM are the best prep classes in terms overall effectiveness and quality of instruction if you work dilgently. The sage approach is to buy the books via alternative resources and make an intelligent decision on which approach will work best for you. Don't get fleeced! Often students will just given them away for free or you can get them at a half price bookstore then resell them back.

Start by buying the PS prep books for LG and LR online. Great prep tools!!!!!

My food for thought. Curious, what would these companies tell you if you asked to view the prep books at their office before signing up for the exam? Maybe a few forum readers should call these companies and report back to the forum as to what their answer was.

Shouldn't you know what you are getting for your money.....maybe these companies should be more transparent in what they are selling and its quality? Online eopinions and blackmarket selling of recent lesson books are a great equalizer that help you make a wise investment and weed out the least effective companies by shaping their reputation.

Best of luck to all.


EarlCat

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2008, 11:46:51 PM »
3) The PS and TM LG approaches are illustrated with PREVIOUS LSAT test questions released by the LSAC. PS has a liscensing agreement with LSAC to use released exam questions published in the TESTPrep released exams.

Everyone uses real LSAT questions in their classes now.  And they're called PrepTests.

I would rank these companies on LSAT prep as follows:

1) PR or TM
2) BP
3) PS
4) PR
5) Kaplan


weymo001

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 12:53:39 AM »
EarlCat,

After your post, I looked  at the previous exams and lesson books for 2006-2007. The Kaplan diagnostics exams use LSAC released questions; however, the lesson books don't. Thanks for the clarification. Prelaw students should buy up the lessons and then make a wise purchase. There is quite a difference in quality between Kaplan and other companies.


Don't work for a prep company.

EarlCat

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2008, 11:06:22 PM »
The Kaplan diagnostics exams use LSAC released questions; however, the lesson books don't.

I'm no fan of Kaplan, obv, but I don't think that's accurate.  How old are these books??

BikePilot

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2008, 12:56:08 AM »
I did Kaplan, it worked really, really, really well for me. Got me a score sufficient that I had my pick of schools and I'm typically quite bad at standardized tests. A lot of folks here don't like Kaplan, but that seems mostly a fashion statement unique to this board. Lots of my classmates were happy with kaplan and obviously it worked for them too. Look at the course, talk to an instructor if you can and pick the program that best fits your needs. Don't pay too much attention to some random person on the internet:)
HLS 2010

Julie Fern

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Re: TestMasters v. Powerscore v. Kaplan
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2008, 12:58:33 AM »
exactly, mr. random person.