LSAT Courses; Yay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by CalBoy, Dec 10, 2007.

?

LSAT Prep Classes worthwhile?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    28.6%
  2. Somewhat, but it can be done without them

    6 vote(s)
    42.9%
  3. No

    4 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #1
    So I'm wondering what you guys (especially those of you who recently took the LSAT) think of LSAT prep courses. Are they worth while? I'm honestly quite worried about taking the test without having taken a class.

    Any thoughts and opinions appreciated. :)

    Edit: Made it a poll too (but posted replies will obviously be better ;) ;) ;) ).
     
  2. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #2
    They could help, but so can just taking a bunch of practice tests. However, I don't know anyone that did as well on the real lsat as they averaged on practice tests they took. As long as you do well enough to get in, it doesn't matter.
     
  3. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #3
    The thing that worries me the most are those darn logic puzzles...I suck at those :eek:

    I think the other parts of the test would be fine. I was hoping that the course would teach how to get around them or deal with them faster.

    Besides, I'm not sure how well I'd study if there was no one to force me into it. :eek:
     
  4. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #4
    The LSAT is by far the most important part of your application. Anyone that tells you it isn't is wrong. It was by far the weakest aspect of my package, and my admissions were highly predictable based on the LSAT score alone.

    With that said, the LSAT prep courses are, in and of themselves, completely replicable. It all depends on what your motivation is. You have to realize that it's just someone one year ahead of you at the front of the room reading off of a script. Is that worth $1,000? Not if you have the diligence to take practice exams on the weekend. But if you're the kind of person who isn't going to be able to set 3 or 4 hours aside at least 5 to 10 times (and more if at all possible) between now and when you plan to take the test, then you should probably take the prep course since it should make you feel a little more obligated to do the prep work.

    As the previous poster said, it's all about taking practice exams, though. If logic games are your weakness, get the Logic Games Bible I found it amazingly helpful, as this was my weakest section.

    And by the way, I'd have to disagree with what the last poster said about people not scoring as high as they did on the practice exams. It's all about taking them under REAL test conditions... set aside the full 3 hours and don't allow yourself any breaks that you wouldn't have in the real thing. My final LSAT score corresponded to the highest score that I got taking practice tests.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I took the LSAT last June and got 164. I did about 7 practice tests in all, and I wish I had done twice as many.
     
  5. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #5
    Yeah, I'm thinking that the course would be a good idea. I probably would get distracted or simply find an excuse not to study, and then end up getting a 5 on the test (that can't happen right? :p :eek:).

    Thanks for that tip on the logic puzzles book. I might get that and use it in addition to the class. Anything to save me from those logical puzzles. :eek:
     
  6. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

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    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
  7. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #7
    Read the title more carefully. ;)
     
  8. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #8
    The logic puzzles suck. They definitely favor people who have taken advanced mathematics courses, and they're totally unlike the kind of analytical process that goes on at law school, so for that reason they're frustrating.

    Definitely get the book and work your way through the ENTIRE thing. Logic games are easier for some people than they are for others, but you CAN LEARN the methodology. There's about 5 or 6 variations of logic games that repeat themselves throughout the various problems. Once you can spot what kind of a game you're working on, you can approach them in a certain manner that makes them more manageable. There's definitely a skill to it. My scores on the logic sections increased drastically. Don't neglect the rest of the sections, though, because you also need to get adept at the amount of time that you have to work through problems so that you read at exactly the right speed when you go in and take the real thing.
     
  9. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #9
    Yeah I figured there was a way to attack them. I think I'll get the book for Christmas break and go through it, and then sign up for a March course anyways so I'm forced to go through the proper timing and get a feel for the test (I think they offer 4 simulated tests total).

    What'd you eat for breakfast the day of? Sounds crazy, but cornflakes always do the trick for me and standardized tests. :eek::p:D
     
  10. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #10
    I didn't vote because it depends on way too many factors. Do you naturally test well? If you do, don't bother--just get one of the test prep books and work your way through. If you don't, it might be worth it.

    I've taken it twice--once in 1987 and once in 2000, after the scoring system changed. Did well both times. I didn't really study in 1987, since I was in college (yeah, yeah, I'm old.... ;) ), but did work through one of the workbooks before the 2000 test.

    And while the LSAT is important, it's not the end of the world. It also doesn't seem to correlate with success in practice, at least not that I or my friends have seen . . .

    Good luck!
     
  11. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #11
    I normally test ok, but I've tried some of those logic puzzles, and they are an obstacle for me. I think for that, the class might be worthwhile, but I'll try that workbook that desenso recommended first, and see if I still need the class.

    And I know it isn't the end of the world, but something tells me Stanford won't take anything below a 175 ;) :eek:
     
  12. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #12
    That's OK, Chicago won't either . . . ;)
     
  13. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #13
    *snaps finger* Well if Chicago's out, then Columbia definitely won't take it!:p

    Though I'm not really putting Chicago on top...my friend goes there and while it's a nice city, the school sounds a bit too...nerdy for me:p;)
     
  14. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #14
    LOL! Wow, is 175 the cutoff for schools like that these days?
     
  15. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #15
    Well not a cutoff per se, but I think it's the average. I think the range for Boalt is something like 169-180 with the average being 174 or something. And o/c the GPA average is 3.8+, so yeah...that's going to be an uphill battle.:eek:
     
  16. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #16
    :eek: Good thing I went when I did! And my GPA wasn't 3.8+, so it was a good thing I've used more than "harsh language" in a war!

    More seriously, if you're going for schools like that, do everything you can. Anything that gets you a point or two can make a difference. And, needless to say, do "interesting" stuff--fight a war (j/k!), volunteer, publish something, etc.
     
  17. IanF0729 macrumors regular

    IanF0729

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.
    #17
    I haven't posted in a long time, but as I wind down from my first semester in law school, I felt motivated to participate.

    I highly recommend the book that desenso mentioned over the course. The logic games are arguably the hardest part of the exam, but I think the vast majority of people can handle them after they've got a bit of practice.

    If cost is an issue at all, then I recommend the book over the course.
     
  18. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #18
    Yeah it's real tough these days. The worst part is, I think I'm perfect for law school itself. The Socratic method doesn't bother me one bit.

    And o/c I learned that very important IRAC method recently...very nice.

    So how has it been?
     
  19. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #19
    IRAC? Isn't that the country we're fighting a war in? ;) You know the funny thing? You don't use it in practice. Once you crack the law school nut, you'll know what you need to get out of a given case. Oh, and don't sweat law school itself--getting in is the hardest part. After that it's just an endurance contest. (IanF--take note!)

    Might be worth joining the Peace Corps, or doing something similar, for a couple years after you graduate--makes you a MUCH more compelling candidate. It also gives you some perspective on what law school really is.
     
  20. IanF0729 macrumors regular

    IanF0729

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.
    #20
    I'm not going to a top notch law school or anything, but it's not been so bad. I cracked the legal writing code early and that helped a lot.

    After you get in, just work hard, and you'll do fine. One thing I've noticed is that I now proofread everything I write/type and I can no longer speak without thinking.

    As far as I can tell, law school has been nothing like the LSAT, but the LSAT is the primary component of the law school application.
     
  21. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #21
    Yeah, I figure I'll apply first anyways, and then if I don't get in (which I probably won't) I'll do Teach for America or teach English overseas (France here I come:cool:) for a couple years.

    Well it's good to know that law school will be right up my alley.

    And for the LSAT...it reminds me of Calculus. Completely useless for 99% of us, but they still make us do it.
     
  22. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #22
    Hey, why France? The UK clearly needs education in English. . . ;) [ducks!]

    Hey, you're IN law school, when MANY people who wanted to be are not. Hopefully you're there because you always wanted to go. It says a lot that you're there--regardless of where your school may rank in the (greatly overblown) US News rankings.
     
  23. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #23
    Yeah, x2.

    Only go if you REALLY want to go. And that means you really want what law school will give you. Think long and hard before you go. Don't end up like me. I'm just floating along in law school, not because I particularly want to graduate, but because I don't have an exit strategy. It sucks. It's very hard to work hard, if you don't give a damn about the results.
     
  24. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #24
    Yea :p It had "S-A-T" in it so I figured it was along the same lines....Some crappy test you had to stress out about and take to get into some sort of institution of higher education.
     
  25. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #25
    lulz...

    fail.
     

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