Law School Discussion

LSAT Prep Courses: Study before, or no?

LSAT Prep Courses: Study before, or no?
« on: January 03, 2011, 05:07:29 PM »
Okay, question here for those people who have taken any kind of LSAT prep course- Kaplan, Testmasters, Princeton Review, etc.  Is it a good idea to hold off on studying actual LSAT material before enrolling in such a course?  I was on the Testmasters (.net) site and it very clearly tries to dissuade customers from practicing on their own before starting a class.  They say that this is because of the possibility of developing bad test-taking habits.  I imagine it also has something to do with wanting to scare potential customers away from looking elsewhere for LSAT help.  My test date is probably going to be Oct. '11, and I'm itching to start studying now.  The Testmasters course in my town doesn't start until July 19.  So LSAT prep alums, any perspective on this matter?   

Re: LSAT Prep Courses: Study before, or no?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 11:17:55 AM »
Can you find another class in your area that starts earlier? A few of my friends who used Testmasters didn't get great results from it, so if there is a class with another company starting sooner, I would definitely consider that. I don't think studying on your own beforehand is always a bad idea, but if you're going to pay for a whole course, you don't want to waste time unlearning bad habits when you could be learning how to raise your score.

Re: LSAT Prep Courses: Study before, or no?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2011, 04:11:14 PM »
I would suggest not, for several reasons:

-Every prep course operates a little differently.  While some people think they can "supplement" with other materials, it often does more harm than good--learning one method to the point that it comes automatically and sticking with it is critical.

-You'll burn material, and that might impact how much good you get out of the course and what study/testing materials are available to you later (when it really counts)

-Practicing can hurt if you're doing something wrong over and over again; you could be ingraining bad habits that will be hard to break when you start prepping formally

-LSAT skills "rust" if you don't use them regularly, and most people just can't maintain a regular practice schedule for ten months.  Better to start closer to the actual test date and be consistent from beginning to end

Any reason you aren't planning to take the test in June?