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Seatown42

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Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« on: February 28, 2010, 08:15:37 PM »
First off wanted to say thanks to everyone on this board.   I am just beginning the application process, and while I am a first time poster, I have gained valuable advice from people on this board.

As for the question, I am taking a year off before law school working at the Department of Justice next year on a year internship.  Am going to be there in June, where I will work and study for the  October LSAT.  But my questions are...

1.) Is it too difficult to study and work full-time?
2.) Am already planning on taking a Powerscore course, but was wondering if it would be worth the money to hire a tutor on top of the course?  I have saved the money needed, and in the past tutors have really seemed to help me personally (SAT, etc).

Any advice/recommendations would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

Thane Messinger

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 03:16:48 PM »
1.) Is it too difficult to study and work full-time?
2.) Am already planning on taking a Powerscore course, but was wondering if it would be worth the money to hire a tutor on top of the course?  I have saved the money needed, and in the past tutors have really seemed to help me personally (SAT, etc).


Seatown -

First, your thoughts are in exactly the right place.  You're thinking about how much you can do to prepare for the LSAT, rather than how little.  (This is not to be disparaging to anyone, as this certainly applies to me as well.  Human nature being what it is, "what needs to be done" often devolves to a code for doing the least possible.  The LSAT should be done eagerly, with a hearty insistence upon The Max rather than Good Enough.)  

This makes the specific advice almost superfluous.  That written, if I'm reading your post correctly you will have some three months in preparation for the bar.  The answer is that this is possible, of course, but with a full-time job you will truly need to focus much of your after-hours time toward the LSAT.

(It's possible, of course, to being practice exams now, giving an additional three months' time.  This will not "take away" from the effectiveness of the course, but will instead enhance it.  So, again if I'm reading your post correctly, the time to start preparing is now.)

An interesting thing about the LSAT books.  It's natural to think that we'll prepare by having done a question that will re-appear, which of course would give us the advantage.  Score!  While possible, it's unlikely--and less likely that we would remember the question, plus the right answer.  More to the point, it's beside the point.  The key for LSAT study is in going over, repeatedly, the logical patterns tested.  After all, there are only so many basic patterns that can be devised before we start seeing them repeated.  It's not the question but the pattern that's important.  THAT'S what will be helpful when the real LSAT comes.

So, taking a dozen exams is likely to have a significant impact.  Much of this is simply in the motivation and mental exercise to do well.  The next dozen, a more modest impact . . . but almost certain still a positive one.  The next dozen, and the dozen after that?  Still postive, even if only a point or two.  But we cherish each of those extra points, with reach schools especially.

To all:  As to a course, that's almost certainly a requirement.  I was too poor to afford one, way back when, but if you can at all swing it (again this is written for others), assume that this is a "cost of doing biz."  Expensive, true.  But even an extra half-dozen points will make a big difference.

As to a tutor, I'd be inclined toward the opposite.  Unless you have someone with significant credentials, and unless you've exhausted every practice LSAT there is . . . unlikely, of course . . . the added value of a tutor is probably marginal.  Still, I hesitate to recommend against it, so if you are so inclined, give that person a try.  But remember that the key is not some "inside secret," but rather the mental exercise that comes with practice test after practice test.

Best of luck . . .

Seatown42

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010, 03:29:54 PM »
Hey Messenger,

Thanks for the response.  I will definitely start looking over some exams now, though I am still taking 18 credits so my workload is big as it is.  Thanks for the help!

Seatown

elsattutor

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 04:09:29 PM »
First off wanted to say thanks to everyone on this board.   I am just beginning the application process, and while I am a first time poster, I have gained valuable advice from people on this board.

As for the question, I am taking a year off before law school working at the Department of Justice next year on a year internship.  Am going to be there in June, where I will work and study for the  October LSAT.  But my questions are...

1.) Is it too difficult to study and work full-time?
2.) Am already planning on taking a Powerscore course, but was wondering if it would be worth the money to hire a tutor on top of the course?  I have saved the money needed, and in the past tutors have really seemed to help me personally (SAT, etc).

Any advice/recommendations would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

here's my input on your questions.

1) i do not think it is too difficult to study while working, though you have to be pretty disciplined about sticking to a regular study schedule. it's too easy, when you're working, to just curl up and the end of the day and do absolutely nothing. but there have been many people who have done it, and done it successfully, so take that for what you will.

2) personally, i would forgo the powerscore class (since their stuff is essentially already in their published books) and just read the books yourself. i think it is generally wise to hire a tutor as opposed to taking a class not only because i am a tutor myself, but because you can get significantly more value from each dollar through tutoring. you can hone on your individual strengths and weaknesses, rather than learn with 'the herd', so to speak. word of warning though, be very careful in selecting a tutor, it is a sizable investment and there are definitely some bad tutors out there. most tutors offer the first hour free, so i would recommend shopping around and choosing a tutor that you like. you'll be happier, you'll get more out of it, your score will likely reflect these things.

hope this helps.

elsattutor

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 04:12:56 PM »

As to a tutor, I'd be inclined toward the opposite.  Unless you have someone with significant credentials, and unless you've exhausted every practice LSAT there is . . . unlikely, of course . . . the added value of a tutor is probably marginal.  Still, I hesitate to recommend against it, so if you are so inclined, give that person a try.  But remember that the key is not some "inside secret," but rather the mental exercise that comes with practice test after practice test.

Best of luck . . .


i disagree with this bit here. i think a tutor isn't really worth it if you are acquiring a tutor through a major prep test company (like testmasters, kaplan, or something) since it will cost probably over 100 an hour, but if you find a tutor through craigslist (or a friend) then you can find a decent tutor in the neighborhood of 40 to 50 dollars an hour. at that cost, i believe it is silly to take a class, when you could probably get the entire class taught to you individually in significantly less time than a 20-30 person class.

Seatown42

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2010, 12:56:25 AM »
Thanks for all the responses.  I guess my question is a bit subjective hence it relies much on personal preference.  But again thanks for the ideas!   

LSAT TUTOR

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2010, 04:56:47 PM »
PROFESSOR/ATTORNEY WITH OVER FIFTEEN YEARS OF LSAT TUTORING EXPERIENCE IS AVAILABLE TO TUTOR. I TEACH ALL THREE SECTIONS OF THE TEST INCLUDING TIMING AND STAMINA. I TAILOR MY TEACHING TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS. I HAVE A FORMULA TO ANSWER EACH TYPE OF QUESTION ON THE TEST WITHIN THE TIME GIVEN. I STRUCTURE THE HOMEWORK AND STUDY PLAN. I ALSO TEACH YOU HOW TO LEARN FROM AND CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE ON THE HOMEWORK. I PROVIDE A STRATEGY FOR THE DAY OF THE TEST THAT IS ALSO TAILORED TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS. I TAKE THE TEST ONCE A YEAR TO STAY CURRENT. THE MAJORITY OF MY STUDENTS RECEIVE SCORES OF 160 AND ABOVE. I MAY BE REACHED AT []

--post edited by EC

mabbas

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 05:04:15 PM »
why are you shouting?

Julie Fern

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 05:58:10 PM »
it one of those nigerian send-me-money things.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Question regarding LSAT class/tutor
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2010, 11:18:05 PM »

i disagree with this bit here. i think a tutor isn't really worth it if you are acquiring a tutor through a major prep test company (like testmasters, kaplan, or something) since it will cost probably over 100 an hour, but if you find a tutor through craigslist (or a friend) then you can find a decent tutor in the neighborhood of 40 to 50 dollars an hour. at that cost, i believe it is silly to take a class, when you could probably get the entire class taught to you individually in significantly less time than a 20-30 person class.


What follows isn't exactly a disagreement, but points instead to one of the main problems in this area:  these are not either/or scenarios.  It's possible to avoid both tutors and prep classes.  It's possible to avoid both and get a 180, or something close to that.  Possible, but for most, not likely.  As a matter of mathematics, a 180 or close to it?  On one's own?  Realistically?  Improbable.  Moreover, while possible (even if unlikely), the real question is whether a given applicant might have gotten a higher score with a more structured approach.  Answer?  Probably yes.  If you've a 173 and were hoping for Yale, without something else those extra points would have come mighty handy.

As between a class or a tutor, again there are numerous variables.  If the "class" is something that's a haphazard outreach program offered by someone who couldn't know or care less about helping students, then that time is worse that wasted; it will set bad habits in motion, almost certainly hurting.  Likewise with a tutor.  I would assume most are not like this, but the challenge for anyone is to know the difference.

Thus, in seeking a program, you want something with a structure (and, unfortunately, cost) that rivals a graduate course.  A hard graduate course.  In seeking a tutor, if that's your wish and you have the money for it, even greater care is needed.

Honestly, I see this as a effort cascade of sorts:  

Everyone should spend a LOT of time with self-study, even if they take a course.

Everyone should take a course, even if it's a financial stretch.  If it helps even just a little, in most cases it's well worth it.  In most cases, it's well worth it.

Finally, even if one hires a tutor, one should also do a LOT of self-study, and ALSO take a course.  This might seem a bit over-the-top, but if there is strong advice in here, this is it:  there is no such thing as too much preparation for the LSAT.  Neither a class nor a tutor should be seen as the solution, but rather as one or two of three tools in the LSAT toolchest.  The most important tool: taking LSAC practice tests until you can see them in your sleep.

And you thought the LSAT would be no fun at all.