One question that we often receive concerns how LSAT tutoring works. The answer is actually different for each person because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t give you a sense of how the process would typically work. To that end, let’s consider a hypothetical student, Judy. Judy is a great reader, and so Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning are her strengths. Her weakness is Logic Games, and after studying on her own for a while, she’s decided she needs additional help to break through her scoring plateau. How would we help someone like Judy?
While Judy knows she struggles with Logic Games, we don’t yet know what is causing her problems. So, at the first meeting, we want to watch Judy work through a few games so that we can get a sense of how fast she works, how she diagrams, what inferences she makes, and so on. But watching her work doesn’t mean the tutor is simply a silent observer! Instead, we want to know what Judy is thinking, so the tutor will ask her questions about the steps she is taking and what she is thinking throughout the process. That gives us a better idea of where she is having difficulty and what needs to be improved. In some cases, it is very clear what needs to be fixed, and in other cases it takes longer to diagnose.
Once we have a better sense of where Judy needs to improve, we will begin to outline the steps she will need to go through to improve over time. That might mean just a small amount of work, or it might mean creating a study plan that covers a period of months. Each person is different, and the plan for each person changes accordingly. The advantage here is that the study plan is created specifically for Judy, and it is tailored to eliminate her weaknesses while at the same time further improving her strengths. And, because the tutor will likely work with Judy several more times during her preparation, we can re-configure the plan if Judy improves more quickly (or more slowly) than anticipated.
Let’s say, for example, that Judy is improving steadily, and after being weak on all Logic Game types, she has progressed so that she is solid with Linear Games (including Basic, Advanced, and Sequencing games), but still struggling with Grouping games. She understands the concept, but after about six weeks of practice she still cannot complete them in the required 8 minutes and 45 seconds. At this point, her tutor would likely let Judy work on the other game types on her own, and try to focus exclusively on solving the problem she has with Grouping. That would include looking at the various types of Grouping games to make sure that it is not a specific segment of Grouping games that is causing the issue (because sometimes that is the problem–a student might be just fine with Defined Grouping games, but terrible at Undefined Grouping games). After making that determination, the tutor would work to further refine Judy’s game process, in order to make sure that when she encounters a Grouping game she takes the correct steps in the correct order to solve that game type. Judy and her tutor would look at multiple real LSAT Grouping games, walking through each step-by-step, and then slowly speeding up until Judy could complete the games in the allowed time. In each case they would discuss the game, compare it to other games Judy has completed, and try to distill the lessons learned from each game into two or three easy-to-remember points.
Essentially, a tutor serves as a reliable guide to LSAT, there to assist when you need it, able to confirm you are on the right path, and sometimes swooping in and showing you that you were about to walk off a cliff. Does everyone need a tutor? No, definitely not, but a tutor can typically solve the problems you are having much faster than you can solve them on your own, and that time savings (and peace of mind) can be incredibly valuable.
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