Tutoring questions

Can I really do well on the LSAT?

Yes.  The LSAT is a standardized test, that means that it has to be predictable, and if something is predictable then it’s learnable.  Your success is going to depend on the effort that you put in and the quality of teaching you get.  I’ve figured out the test’s secrets and can teach them to you, now it’s up to you to decide that you want to do well on it.


But why are you a better tutor than the others?

It’s been 8 years since I scored a 99% (172) and I’ve been teaching and developing my own materials since then.  That means that I’ve figured out what works.  I know how to communicate my knowledge to my students and I’ve written all of the prep materials that I use.  But don’t take my word for it, when you register you'll have access to all of my videos for 2 weeks and 5 hours of risk-free tutoring to see for yourself that I know what I’m doing.  And not only that, but my prep materials are very helpful in clearly explaining everything visually.


How does your tutoring work?

We’ll first meet to figure out what your class schedule’s going to look like and how much work you’ll be able to put in for homework and review.  When we start the course you’ll get access to my videos, which you can think of as comprehensive lectures – the kind that you have for your college classes – where you learn the essential concepts.  Each lecture is also followed by an exercise set that has that lesson's questions categorized by variation and difficulty.  The lectures are grouped into 16 lessons and after you’re done viewing each lesson we’ll have a tutoring session where we go over what you learned in the lessons and apply that to actual LSAT questions.  Our guide will be the exercise sets that you do so that I can pinpoint which variations you're strong in and which one's you're weak in.  After the tutoring sessions you’re assigned homework and in between tutoring sessions I answer any emails that you send me if you don’t understand anything – I generally answer by the end of the day.

I’ve set up my tutoring like this so that it’s most effective, convenient, and economical for my students.


What’s your basic approach to the different sections?

The LSAT essentially tests your reasoning skills.  Logical, verbal, and critical reasoning.  So there’s a unifying theme across the different sections, but with that being said I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out the test’s secrets and there are core elements to each of the different sections.

  • Games – I didn’t make any deductions when I took the test and I don’t teach you to do so either.  Deductions can be useful and they may be fun but they’re much more trouble than they’re worth.  Instead, I base my approach to the games on making test diagrams and following the rules where each question type is going to have a separate 3-step process that you’ll simply memorize.  This is far more effective because you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve made all the right deductions and instead you just focus on mechanically applying the different processes for the questions.
  • Arguments – In order to do well on the arguments you have to approach each one from the AAC perspective: Actors, Actions, and Characteristics.  It’s important to know the different question types and the approaches to doing them correctly, along with the reasons why the correct answers are correct and incorrect answers incorrect.  And the bulk of my material goes into in-depth discussions of just that, but to really do well on these questions you have to train yourself to approach the arguments with the following questions in mind – Who/What is it talking about?,  What are they doing?, and How are they described?  In addition, you have to have a thorough understanding of the different question types and their variations.
  • Reading Comprehension – To do well on the reading passages you have to use POTSPerspectives, Oppositions, Tone, and Structure.  The point of the passages isn’t to acquire information, it’s to evaluate the reasoning.  You can think of the passages as essentially extended arguments and you’re not reading for content, you’re reading for structure.  Each passage is going to present multiple perspectives that are generally in opposition, and you have to pay attention to the author’s choice of words in order to figure out their attitude.


What are your videos like?

I have dozens of videos covering every single aspect of the LSAT.  The videos are grouped into 16 lessons that progress from conditional reasoning, through games, arguments, and finally end with reading comprehension (learning in this sequence makes the most sense).  The videos are all animated (It’s not me standing in front a whiteboard reading from cue cards and drawing diagrams – our civilization has reached a point where we have animation software) and I talk you through the content with the animations providing clear visual explanations of what’s going on.  The basic structure in the videos is broken down into the following elements:

  1. An introduction and explanation of the concept/question type with basic information about it and how it functions within the LSAT
  2. The best way to approach that aspect of the test, what to look for, and what separates the right from the wrong answers.
  3. A detailed deconstruction of actual LSAT questions that applies the approaches and explanations already presented, with multiple LSAT questions to cover all the variations for a specific question type.
  4. Concluding points that give you the most essential information from the lecture


What are your tutoring sessions like?

The tutoring sessions are designed to be like workshops, where we go over actual LSAT problems together using the concepts that you learned in the video lectures.  A big part of my approach to this test is to have my students not only learn to pick the correct answer but learn WHY it’s the correct answer and WHY the others AREN’T.  For each session we’ll cover a range of questions and I will monitor your progress to make sure that you’re applying the correct approach and that you’re developing a good understanding of what the question requires of you, why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.  The questions will focus on the variations that you're having more problems with based on the exercise sets.  That way the course is tailored to your needs..  The actual lessons are done via an online interactive whiteboard with real-time audio/video.



LSAT questions

What’s the basic info that I need to know about the test?

Every LSAT has four scored 35-minute sections and one un-scored or experimental section; you won’t know which one’s the un-scored section.  The following are the scored sections:

  • 1 Analytical Reasoning section (colloquially referred to as “Games”) – contains four “games” or brain teaser type puzzles with each one followed by 5 to 7 questions for a total of about 22 – 24 questions
  • 2 Logical Reasoning sections (colloquially referred to as “Arguments”) – contain between 24 and 26 short arguments followed by a question, sometimes two
  • 1 Reading Comprehension section – contains four passages (3 long and 1 pair of short ones) each followed by 6 to 8 questions for a total of 27 – 28 questions

The un-scored section can take the form of any one of the scored sections.  And there is also an un-scored essay at the end where you’re asked to write an essay in support of one of two possible positions.


What does the LSAT essentially test?

The test essentially tests your reasoning abilities.  Specifically your abstract, analytical, and verbal reasoning abilities.  You’re going to need to be able to look at a scenario and figure out what has to be true and what can’t be true, or look at an argument and see whether the conclusion follows based on the premises, or follow a long chain of connected arguments and determine what role particular elements apply, etc.  The basic thing is that you’re tested on how logically and carefully you can think about something.  This is important because as it turns out those are the skills that are a big part of both law school and the practice of law.


How important is the test?

For most schools the LSAT is the most important of the four basic things (LSAT, GPA, Statement of Purpose, and Letters of Recommendation) that make up your application.  Generally your LSAT score and your GPA are the two most important.  You want to do your absolute best on the test, and I firmly believe that with the right practice virtually anyone can score well on the test.



About Me:

My name's Milan and I'm the LSAT tutor here at Total Test Prep.  My brother and I had initially started by working for the major test prep companies over 8 years ago, but then we quickly realized that those approaches were largely ineffective. So we ventured out on our own and re-designed test prep from the ground up.

Me?  I like the usual things: babies, whiskers on kittens, the spring breeze.  After graduating from Cornell 10 years ago with a degree in philosophy I spent a couple of beautiful years wandering Europe working as an English Teacher in Barcelona, Paris, and Marseillle (with occasional extra money hustled through onlike poker).  Back in the States and with a 99th% on the LSAT under my belt but a dampened desire to go law school teaching the test was the logical choice.  I've been doing it and making my own prep materials since.

When I'm not teaching I'm reading sociology textbooks and histories of the Spanish Civil War and making short animated movies to delight and instruct my fellow man.

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