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Why might you want to work with a LSAT tutor?

Students generally choose to work with a LSAT tutor in one of two situations:

  • As a primary means of preparing to take the LSAT the first time
  • After studying for a time, either independently or after taking a prep course and not getting an ideal score
If you are just starting out, working with a LSAT tutor can immediately get you off on the right foot. You’ll learn methodologies effectively the first time because you have a personal coach to make sure you understand every concept before moving on.
When a student has already taken a class or self-studied and not done well, it can be incredibly frustrating. One of the biggest challenges is that students often don’t know what they don’t know. Some problems can be self-diagnosed, but others are more challenging. A LSAT tutor can help you figure out why you’re getting stuck, and help you overcome score plateaus.

What do you actually do with an LSAT tutor?

Here’s a sample of what a LSAT tutoring session looks like. (We do tutoring both online via video conference and in person, but it sure is easier to tape an online session!)

At nearly all sessions meeting with a LSAT tutor, you’ll accomplish three things:

  • You’ll have a short discussion on your overall progress. This allows you to make sure you’re focusing on the right areas. Generally, this is the result of your most recent practice test scores. You’ll also be assigned very targeted homework to focus on weak areas and to make sure you’re doing the right number of complete timed Preptests (15+ during the course of your studies).
  • You’ll learn and actively practice methodology. Depending on where you are in your LSAT studies, this can be a bigger or larger portion of your activities. If you are just starting out, several initial sessions will likely be going over methods for each question type, then drilling on those concepts to make sure you understand them. (If you’ve been studying for a while, you already know the basics). You will go over specific questions from the homework
  • Discuss any questions you have on your homework. This can be incredibly valuable. A great tutor doesn’t just explain the right and wrong answers (although for a lot of students that’s helpful). A great tutor goes the extra mile to make sure you understand the patterns in your mistakes so you can identify those same logical structures later on.
One of the common misconceptions is that a LSAT tutor just answers your questions about particularly difficult problems. While that’s part of it, it’s definitely not all the tutor does. His or her job is to take responsibility for walking you through the entire prep process, guiding you at every step. (This is why we never sell one or two hours of tutoring — that’s not enough to meaningfully create a relationship and move the needle on your LSAT score.)

What’s the difference between LSAT tutor and a class?

Students have vastly different experiences in prep classes versus tutoring. A prep class is pretty much like a college course; there’s one instructor and 10-30 students. Generally it’s lecture+question — meaning that it’s a lecture but the instructor will ask super-specific questions. (At big prep companies, the teacher’s book details exactly when to ask a question, what to ask, what the answer is, what do do if a student says a particular wrong asnwer, etc). While you can ask a question or two before or after class, you are mostly there to watch a pre-programmed lecture that’s presented identically to tens of thousands of LSAT students accross the country.

Working with a LSAT tutor is completely different. First, it’s paced for your needs. Every student is better with some concepts and has trouble with others. Your LSAT tutor makes sure that you understand every concept before moving on. Maybe more importantly, you can come back to concepts that are difficult down the road. (Even if you understand sufficiency vs. neccessity the first itme you hear about it, you may miss subtleties when you see those concepts on the hardest LR questions on a practice test).

You also get to form a partnership with someone highly invested in your personal success. Most prep course instructors are  great people who want their students to improve, but there’s only so much you can do for 25 students. Your  tutor, however, is a coach and a partner. They help keep you on track with your homework, can address your concerns about any issue, and generally help you manage the entire LSAT process.

Should you take a class and get an LSAT tutor?

Honestly – no. Nearly every student who does this ends up wishing they would have just done their tutoring. The reason is that a tutor can help you learn all the same basics as the class — but then goes well beyond those basics to give you personal guidance as you move forward. While lots of students take just a class and do fine, if you’re considering both you should definitely consider your LSAT tutor to be a primary prep mechanism.

Next Step Test Preparation provides complete courses of one-on-one LSAT tutoring for about the price of a crowded lecture-style prep course. Email us or call 888-530-NEXT (6398) for a complimentary consultation.

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