Kaplan LSAT Private Tutoring: In-Person or Online Reviews
I prepared for the LSAT with Kaplan Test Prep, specifically their Private Tutoring for 15 hours. I had used Kaplan when I prepared for the SAT, and I had a good experience and raised my score significantly between the two times that I took the test. I only wanted to take LSAT once, as most law schools would average an applicant's scores, rather than taking the highest testing score as colleges generally do with the SAT. So I wanted to make sure that my test score was the best performance I could give.
Since my study period was abbreviated (less than one month), I did not have enough time to take a group course. I also prefer one-on-one attention for test prep, and this might be a good time to splurge. Although the cost up front is high, Kaplan guarantees a higher LSAT score or your money back. That is a pretty great guarantee, and it shows how confident Kaplan feels about their ability to raise your score.
Kaplan has been in the test preparation business for years, and the class/tutoring fee comes with a giant stack of very helpful books. These books have advice on taking the test and how to deal with the various 5 topics on the LSAT. I did repetitive drills on each subject until I improved both my speed and accuracy. My lack of speed in test taking was my primary concern going into the LSAT, and when I began studying with Kaplan, I took one practice Reading Comprehension test and only completed 3 of 4 passages before the time passed. Now I could have written an essay on those passages because I had read them so thoroughly, but that is not the best way to take the LSAT. By the end of he course, I was completing most sections in the amount of time allowed, and I had increased my efficiency dramatically.
I took an abbreviated practice test at the beginning of the course, and indicated a score range that I would receive if I took the LSAT that day. It will also tell you what score range you could expect at the end of the course if you study and practice diligently.
I met with my tutor twice a week, for 15 hours total, during which time we would go over the homework assignments and practice tests. She taught me how to analyze questions the "Kaplan way" which was counter-intuitive to me, but proved quite effective. By using this method, I increased my speed in answering LSAT questions, while retaining accuracy. I learned how to narrow down the answers and choose the best answer. I know this sounds obvious, but it really is helpful to talk to someone who has taken the test, and who is aware of how the LSAT is structured and what is being tested. I learned not to over read the questions, and to consider what the test makers were thinking when they wrote the question. I learned what my strengths and weaknesses were on the test. I learned all the examples of logic games, and what was the likelihood of each type appearing on the LSAT. I had someone to review my essays and give me thorough constructive criticism. That was so valuable and something friends and family may not be able to do for you.
I treated my studying like a full time job for three weeks straight. I rarely saw my friends. I did not go out. I did not job hunt. I just studied. I like the opportunity to focus on something intensely, and this worked for me. However, I would have appreciated a bit more time to think about the test and prepare for it in a bit more relaxed setting. I would wake up in the morning and do a small practice test before lunch. Then I would take a break and do a second and third practice test before dinner. I took multiple practice tests, and the only one I was able to take uninterrupted by friends or family was the one that I took at the Kaplan center. My score was actually higher than the practice test that I took at Kaplan, so that was a pleasant surprise. I really appreciated having a tutor who was focused on how I learned best, and what way I could improve my score. I think everyone can raise his or her score through repetitive practice and becoming more familiar with the test, but with individual tutoring, one has the opportunity to focus on the test with tailored advice. I think my investment more than paid for itself with scholarships I received over three years of law school and with admission to my first choice of law school.