Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Choosing an LSAT Prep Course

There are basically 3 options for LSAT preparation:
1. Self-study;
2. A formal in-class prep course; and
3. Private tutoring.

(Please take note: failing to prepare and taking the LSAT cold are NOT options. See my guest blog post on this topic at integrated learning).

#1 - Self Study
Independent study for the LSAT works best for people who generally perform well on standardized tests - those near-perfect SAT scores tend to predict near-perfect LSAT scores. The best materials are using actual LSAT tests, and although I'm not an LSAT tutor I always recommend reviewing the answers to the questions you get right in addition to those you got wrong. (Often right answers as accidental....)

Also, preparing for the LSAT requires 2-3 months of consistent study. When you're consistently hitting within a range of 5-7 points on timed practice exams, then you're probably ready to take the exam and hit the score that is the correct measure of your aptitude. Remember - setting a goal score NEVER works; it only sets you up for disappointment.

#2 - Formal Prep Course
A formal in-class prep-course offers materials and benefit of discipline - someone gives you a study guide and a calendar and takes you through things step by step. Mostly, this makes you sit in a chair and think about the LSAT over a good 8-10 week period. You know all the big-gun companies: Testmasters, BluePrint, Powerscore, Kaplan, Princeton Review, yadda yadda yadda. I haven't participated in any of these, but the concept is the same. Pick one with a schedule that works for you, where the people seem customer service oriented, and go for it.

#3 - Private Tutoring
If your schedule prohibits the prep course, and/or you know you learn best with individualized tutoring and attention, then all the big companies offer this option, of course. There are a few other options also - Integrated Learning, and Test Prep NY are two that I'm familiar with.

Remember, if something smells fishy about an LSAT prep company, it probably is. See this post about Questionable LSAT Vendors.

I hope this helps!

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