Many students wonder how to choose an LSAT tutor. An LSAT tutor can be a great resource. A lot of students find LSAT tutors to be more helpful than LSAT classes. A tutor can keep you accountable, they can explain things in an easy-to-understand fashion in a one-on-one setting, and they can directly tailor their LSAT tutoring sessions to your specific needs.
However, not all LSAT tutors are equal! It is important to ask key questions not only to distinguish the “good” tutors from the “bad” tutors but also to find a tutor that fits your needs. All LSAT tutors should have basic qualifications – such as experience tutoring the LSAT, and a high LSAT score themselves. They should also be flexible enough to fit your schedule and tutor at a time and place that is convenient for you. However, you also need to consider what you need. Ask yourself what you are looking to get out of your LSAT tutoring sessions. Do you just want LSAT strategies explained? Or do you also want someone to help you with time management, accountability, and a study schedule? How do you learn? Does this match up with how the LSAT tutor teaches? Thus, even before asking your LSAT tutor the below questions, ask yourself what you are really looking for!
Once you’ve determined what you are looking for, ask your LSAT tutor the following questions. The first five questions are key to make sure that they have the basic skills necessary to be an LSAT tutor. The last five questions are ones you should ask to see if the LSAT tutor will be a good fit for you personally.
Ten Key Questions to Ask when you Choose an LSAT Tutor
1. How long have they tutored for the LSAT? Someone who has tutored for longer will likely be more well-versed in explaining the material to students than someone who has tutored for less time. You may also ask if they have any testimonials available from past students.
2. What was their LSAT score? This is important. You do not want to find someone who only did average on their LSAT to tutor you. Do not be shy about asking prospective tutors their scores and percentile rankings. They should know their score right off the bat and not hesitate to tell you.
3. What scores they have helped students achieve? How many points is the student usually able to improve by? Not all LSAT tutors keep exact statistics on their students. However, your LSAT tutor should be able to give you an approximate and realistic idea of how they may be able to help you.
4. Do they feel comfortable with all areas of the LSAT? Some LSAT tutors specialize in “games.” Others are not so good at the logic games sections but excel in other areas. When you choose an LSAT tutor, you want to make sure they are proficient in all areas.
5. What resources do they use or recommend? Do they have specific books they recommend you buy or do they provide their own materials? Make sure that your LSAT tutor suggests that you acquire actual real LSAT questions (rather than just using questions that they or some course made up!).
6. How much they charge and how do they calculate their rate? Is it an hourly rate or do they have discount packages available? How many sessions do they expect to spend with you? Do they charge for materials or time spent outside of the tutoring session? The tutor should be very upfront with how they calculate their rate. You also should ask if they expect to be pre-paid or if you pay by the session.
7. Where is the tutor located? Do they do online or in-person sessions? Online sessions are surprisingly successful and helpful in that they cut down on any driving time! However, some students prefer to meet in-person. Think about what you want and if they are able to accommodate those needs.
8. What is the tutor’s flexibility and availability? If you have a demanding schedule then this will be more important to you than if you are taking time off to study for the LSAT. Still, when choosing your LSAT tutor, it is a good idea to know exactly when the LSAT will be available.
9. What will you do during each session? What is your tutor’s style? Do they give you homework to prepare prior to each session? Do they explain strategies then go over concepts? Ask your tutor how each session will be structured and how to best prepare for each session. Ask what their teaching style is to see if it matches your learning style.
10. Do they provide guidance on time management, scheduling, etc. or just LSAT tips? Some LSAT tutors only provide LSAT advice. Others serve as mentors and will help you not only with the LSAT but also with creating a study schedule, time management, etc. Whether you are looking for just a tutor or more of a mentor is a personal choice. But it is something to inquire about when you choose an LSAT tutor.
Choose your LSAT tutor Carefully – Buyer Beware!
Beware of the following when choosing an LSAT tutor:
- Beware of LSAT tutors who do not emphasize the importance of taking actual official LSATs. Some tutors write their own questions or use questions from courses that are invented by the courses. This does not make any sense as there are plenty of real questions available! There is no need to use fake questions! And in fact, using these “invented” questions often ends up hurting students more than helping them as the actual LSAT questions tend to be more challenging than the invented questions.
- Beware of LSAT tutors who, immediately without asking anything else, say that you are required to have several sessions and pay thousands of dollars. Some LSAT tutors will tell you “how behind” you are in studying when you call them (even though you call months ahead of time!) then they go on to recommend that you meet with them two or three times a week at a high hourly rate. Beware of these LSAT tutors. It is true that some students need a lot of assistance and may need to expend a lot of money and meet often − but not everyone does. Some students only need to meet once a week. Others only meet for assistance on particular sections (such as the logic games section). If an LSAT tutor recommends a blanket amount of high-cost sessions to everyone without even inquiring as to your personal needs, you should be wary of them.
- Beware of LSAT tutors who claim to have “tricks” or “shortcuts” that will increase your score without much preparation. LSAT tutors can teach you strategies or “tips and tricks” but there is no magical shortcut that will help you conquer the test. It is too hard of a test to be that easy to beat!
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