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Author Topic: Test Prep Company Study Advice-- True or False!?  (Read 486 times)

rgsai

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Test Prep Company Study Advice-- True or False!?
« on: July 12, 2010, 04:58:40 PM »
Hey guys,

So I'm taking an extended PR review course for the October LSAT, and as you can imagine, the course started out slow and is starting to pick up the pace. However, I wanted to do additional studying aside from the class material and the homework they assign--e.g. using the Bibles or doing practice tests by myself, or even following the advised study schedules one can find online. However, my PR instructor clearly voiced out to us multiple times that outside prep is not only unnecessary, but could also end up hurting our learning curve through PR. The reasoning for this was that all legitimate sources of prep use the same questions from the same sources-- previously released LSATs. Therefore, previewing these questions and learning strategies by yourself from another book could potentially ruin the strategy the company has set out for that question type.

I wanted to get outside input on this. What do you guys think about this advice? DO you think its better to just stick with the prep company and follow their strategies in order to get their average point increase, or do you think aside from the material test prep companies offer, outside material is necessary and helpful? What have some of your experiences been with test prep companies--have their point increase averages been true?

Thanks!

Jeffort

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Re: Test Prep Company Study Advice-- True or False!?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 11:26:39 PM »
Hey guys,

So I'm taking an extended PR review course for the October LSAT, and as you can imagine, the course started out slow and is starting to pick up the pace. However, I wanted to do additional studying aside from the class material and the homework they assign--e.g. using the Bibles or doing practice tests by myself, or even following the advised study schedules one can find online. However, my PR instructor clearly voiced out to us multiple times that outside prep is not only unnecessary, but could also end up hurting our learning curve through PR. The reasoning for this was that all legitimate sources of prep use the same questions from the same sources-- previously released LSATs. Therefore, previewing these questions and learning strategies by yourself from another book could potentially ruin the strategy the company has set out for that question type.

I wanted to get outside input on this. What do you guys think about this advice? DO you think its better to just stick with the prep company and follow their strategies in order to get their average point increase, or do you think aside from the material test prep companies offer, outside material is necessary and helpful? What have some of your experiences been with test prep companies--have their point increase averages been true?

Thanks!

You have chosen your prep source/program, signed up for and paid for it, indicating that you believe their course has merit/value.  Therefore you should go with it, learn from the course and your teacher rather than trying to second guess things and re-invent things yourself.  Remember, you are the student not the teacher. 

Mixing and matching prep methods/sources is a bad idea.  Different companies/sources present things in their own ways (different verbiage to refer to similar/same things/concepts/etc., varied methods/strategies/techniques, etc.) and it can get confusing trying to figure out how to mix and match the different variations.

You must be in the early process of starting to prep for the LSAT since you seem to have a few misconceptions about it:


However, I wanted to do additional studying aside from the class material and the homework they assign

Don't worry, you will have more than enough materials and assigned homework to keep you busy and depending on your life schedule/demands will probably have trouble finding time to keep up with and do most of it.

DO you think its better to just stick with the prep company and follow their strategies in order to get their average point increase, or do you think aside from the material test prep companies offer, outside material is necessary and helpful?

YES, stick with ONE, take advantage of it with everything they provide and ask lots of questions.  Take advantage of your instructor! that is part of what you are paying to be allowed to do.

The PR full length courses include all available LSAT questions making outside sources of real LSAT questions superfluous.  Pretty much all reputable/well known LSAT prep course companies supply each student with a full set of all available previously administered LSAT questions as part of the cost of the class.  You don't sign up and pay $$1K+ for a full length live prep class just to get a set of books with the questions  and some outlines of concepts and strategies (you can purchase all available LSAT questions on your own for less than $200), you are paying to be taught how to perform well on the test step by step by a human you can interact with.

Hopefully your instructor is good and knows what he/she is talking about.  If your instructor sucks and/or the class turns out to suck/not help you for some other reason, then you explore other options.   

RE:
...and follow their strategies in order to get their average point increase...

I don't like the point of view of focusing on an advertised/claimed average score increase, and not just because they are largely unverifiable.  An average represents a group, not any particular individual of a group.  Nobody, no company, no teacher, no matter how good they are can guarantee that if you do XYZ like they tell you that your score will increase according to their average. 

Mileage varies per person, with a lot of it having to do with how hard and PROPERLY you prepare while in the class, meaning what you do inside and outside of class along the way to ultimately be prepared to give the test your best shot on test day.  Forget about averages (some people don't improve much {like people that don't study, do HW, practice or review outside of class}, others improve up to 20+ points), no class or book will do the work and take the test for you, that is your job. 

If the course curriculum and your instructor are both good, the rest of the final outcome is in your hands. 


EarlCat

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Re: Test Prep Company Study Advice-- True or False!?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 06:35:10 PM »
I second everything Jeffort just said.  I also taught for TPR.  Their methods are solid and they give you all the questions you'll ever need (and then some).  No need to supplement.* 

Also, if you haven't done all your homework at least three times, you haven't done it.  No, really.  Do it, erase it, do it again, erase it, do it again.

*Actually, if (and only if) you're breaking 165 consistently I recommend The LSAT Workout for the games and RC (skip the arguments).  It follows TPR's methods but gives you harder material than you'll find on the LSAT.