#LSAT tutoring vs. LSAT prep course – how to get the most out of both together http://t.co/j0cHpjKX
— LSAT PREParation (@LSATPreparation) February 1, 2013
Most people associate tutoring with two ideas.
First, that by using a tutor they will have a one-on-one (or private) session. This may or may not be true. Some tutoring sessions operate with small groups. We have made some effort to organize “small group” tutoring sessions that focus on specific LSAT question types. Many LSAT test takers actually benefit from having another student in the discussion. In general, “LSAT tutoring” will be in an environment with fewer students that you will find in “Live LSAT Preparation Courses”.
Second, that they will be able to use a tutor to focus on the LSAT question types that are of most concern to them. This may be true. But, is this of value? In my experiences many LSAT tutoring sessions unfold by a student showing the tutor a number of “problem questions”. The tutor will then explain the questions and why the answer is what LSAT says it is. This may be of limited value (although you will feel better). There is a difference between understanding an explanation to a question and being able to answer the question yourself. You need to learn how to answer the question yourself. All LSAT question types need to be understood in terms of the structure of the test and how the question furthers the “R.E.A.D. Objective”. There is a difference between explaining the answer to an LSAT question and teaching the “approach” that will teach you to answer the question on your own.
Again, you do NOT need the tutor to demonstrate the answer to the question. You DO need the tutor to assist you in generating the answer on your own.
Choosing An LSAT Tutor or LSAT Course Instructor
The specific LSAT teacher or tutor is the most important factor in your LSAT improvement. The importance of a good LSAT tutor or teacher What should you look for? Everybody has their own idea of what makes a good teacher/tutor. In my opinion you should look for:
1. A skilled teacher;
2. Who has the ability to motivate you and bring you to the top of your game.
Talk to them. Meet them. Be aware of how you feel around them. Is this somebody who you would like to work with? The issue is how YOU feel and NOT how somebody else feels. Therefore, the personal meeting is more important than specific recommendation (although the recommendation can be used for the initial contact).
How To Use LSAT Tutors
In many cases you will need to learn to read LSAT questions more effectively.) That is different from understanding an explanation to a question. Therefore, I would NOT go a tutor and say:
“Please explain the answers to the following questions.”
You should say:
“I am having trouble with these particular types of questions. Can you diagnose my problem. Can you then construct a series of tutoring sessions that will teach me the skills that I am missing?”
A good LSAT tutor will provide some structured assistance, that should include:
– help on understanding the specialized language of the LSAT;
– help on how to read LSAT questions more effectively;
– emphasis on how to simply LSAT passages and arguments;
– help you to better choose LSAT answers
– make sure you understand and can apply the basic principles of LSAT logic;
– understand the fundamental and essential skills of LSAT logic games;
Many LSAT test takers try to understand the LSAT in terms of the categorization of LSAT questions. This may or may not be helpful to you. This is something that you should discuss with your tutor. A good LSAT will be able to help you either way.
This will help provide the structure that characterizes LSAT preparation courses, but is missing from most LSAT tutoring
The Ultimate Form Of LSAT Tutoring
Have a quality LSAT preparation course delivered to you privately. This would be the most expensive, but ultimately the most effective. You will get the benefits of the structure of an LSAT course. Furthermore, you will be able to work at your own pace.
LSAT Preparation Courses
LSAT courses are about structure. There is a defined beginning. A defined end. There are skills taught in between. People tend to think of courses as being “group” oriented. Although that is usually true. It does not have to be true. See above.
In Closing …
I do not do private LSAT tutoring. I do teach live LSAT preparation courses in Toronto. I also run small group – topic specific – Toronto LSAT tutoring sessions.
I am also the author of Law School Bound (see above) which is a complete law admissions manual (including law school personal statements) for both the U.S. and Canada.
Copyright (c) John Richardson 2011. All Rights Reserved.