LSAT Prep Courses vs. Private Tutoring

LSAT Blog Prep Courses vs. Private TutoringReaders frequently ask me, "Should I take an LSAT prep course or get a private tutor?"

The LSAT Blog Manifesto already lays out several areas where big prep companies are lacking, so it's no secret that I'm not a fan of prep courses.

Since I'm an LSAT coach, it's no surprise I recommend coaching over prep courses. However, I have several reasons for this.

Individualized help is more effective
Self-study combined with private tutoring is more effective. If you need extra help, you'll learn best with individualized tutoring and attention.

A private tutor can focus on your personal needs and create a schedule based on exactly what you need to cover. A private tutor can explain things for you without having to balance your needs with those of other students.

Prep classes cater to two main groups:
1. Students who lack the motivation and discipline to self-prep. However, while an LSAT class may force you to do some work in class, it won't make you do the homework. See more on this in LSAT FAQ.

2. Students who struggle with the basics. This group would benefit from the LSAT prep books I recommend.

Unfortunately, prep course instructors can't give individualized attention or flexibility to those who need it most. If you fall behind and don't do the homework, or if you can't go to class one week, you lose out. Even if you attend a make-up class, it may be taught by an instructor you dislike. Many prep courses don't have the most stringent hiring standards, either.

Even if you attend every class, you may not experience the consistent instruction that you need. Test prep companies experience a high instructor turnover rate due to low pay and the part-time nature of the job.

Which instructor would you prefer:
1. A college kid tutoring for a prep company on the side for $25-$50/hour (maximum) who might not have even taken an LSAC-administered LSAT. There's a correlation between pay, experience, and quality of instruction.

2. A seasoned professional who loves the LSAT and has what some might call an unhealthy obsession with it? In case you haven't guessed, I devote more time to this site (and to coaching) than I should.

As a full-time LSAT coach, I spend several hours each day thinking about the LSAT. I'm familiar with the techniques taught by the major test prep companies. I've also developed several of my own approaches that are more effective than anything you'll find elsewhere.

Several approaches
I'm not limited to showing you one particular approach. Prep course instructors are. Even if they knew other techniques, they wouldn't be allowed to teach them.

If companies let instructors admit their techniques didn't work for everyone, they'd hurt their company's brand. On the other hand, I have the freedom to show you a variety of techniques and approaches to the LSAT until we find the one that works for you.

One-on-one tailor-made LSAT coaching
See this page for details about my LSAT coaching.

Photo by mofle


  1. Can some one out there help me with this question? I am studying for the Logic Games section (Analytical Reasoning). I am getting confused with the putting together the patterns for the Logic Chains. How can I get help with that? Feedback Please

  2. Hi,

    I am wondering what I can do to prepare for the Feb. 2010 LSAT. I am familiar with the LSAT and tackling the different sections(I took a prep course). My reading comprehension and games sections are not that great (partly because of the time constraint). I am scoring in the high 140's. I need/ want to score 20+ points higher than this. Any ideas? Maybe a study timetable (additional materials?) ? I have ordered about 20 of the most recent prep tests and should be receiving those next week. Help!

  3. Steve,

    I am proud of the work we have done. You have been key to my understanding the core elements. I am happy that I have had the fortune to participate in such a wonderful process. You always have a place to crash in Atlanta.

  4. Private tutoring via phone. :) Sounds doable. Details requested over email. Thank you!

  5. I wanted to personally thank you. I followed your 3 month study schedule and went from a 153 to a 168. I was going nowhere in my studies prior to stumbling across your blog. I even took a 3 week class, which did almost nothing. Thank you for producing the most helpful resource I have encountered.

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