Effective LSAT tutoring

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;

and more.

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.