A competitive LSAT score increases your likelihood of being accepted into the best law schools, receiving generous scholarship offers, and snagging the most coveted jobs after graduating. Working with a tutor is one of the most surefire ways to improve your score, so hiring one is clearly a wise investment. Considering that there are no universal standards to which LSAT tutors must adhere, it’s your responsibility to make sure you hire someone who is sufficiently qualified. To aid you in your search, we’ve compiled five key tips.
1. A good LSAT tutor is more than a good LSAT score
It may be tempting to determine prospective tutors’ efficacy based on their LSAT scores, but it’s important to remember that performing well doesn’t necessarily equate to teaching well. In other words, a good score is necessary, but it’s certainly not sufficient. Instead, you would be well advised to place equal (if not more) emphasis on an LSAT tutor's teaching qualifications. The length of time they’ve been working as an online LSAT tutor and the number of students they’ve worked with, for example, serve as fundamental indicators of a tutor’s credibility. And while it’s certainly not required, it doesn’t hurt if your prospective tutor has real-world legal experience—as the LSAT measures the kind of critical thinking legal professions require.
2. Assess the materials the LSAT instructor uses
Not all LSAT prep materials are created equal. Despite the seeming redundancy of LSAT questions, they are not easy to replicate. This is because they are designed with very specific intentions that aren’t immediately obvious to the untrained eye. You should therefore be suspicious of any practice materials that do not contain official LSAT questions. And while it is easy to simply download former LSAT questions online, professional tutors will give you access to comprehensive manuals designed not only to familiarize you with the questions, but to develop a deeper understanding of what kind of strategies they require. Access to these kinds of tools will give you the competitive edge necessary for a stellar performance on test day.3. Evaluate LSAT tutor flexibility
A skilled tutor knows that effective studying is not a one-size-fits-all practice. Every student has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses, and understanding them is a key component of crafting an effective study plan. You should therefore hire a tutor that demonstrates a keen interest in your brain. In other words, your tutor ought to be asking a lot of questions about your past test-taking experiences, study habits, and academic goals. Flexibility is one of the most valuable qualities to look for in a tutor, and since you will be paying for their personalized attention, you shouldn’t settle for anything less.4. Don’t be shy about taking a potential LSAT coach for a trial run
You have every right to practice a few problems with potential tutors before you give them your money. Any professional tutor will be prepared to give you a taste of their teaching style to help inform your decision. As you get to know a prospective tutor, pay close attention to their teaching methods and ask yourself whether they are aligned with your needs as a student. If you need additional information, don’t hesitate to ask for references from previous students. Despite the fact that tutors will obviously put you in touch with the students who are most likely to say good things about them, speaking with someone who was recently in your shoes is nonetheless a great way to orient yourself.5. Measure the LSAT teacher's passion for the subject matter
Do not underestimate the difference between a teacher who cares deeply about the subject matter and a teacher who doesn’t. Passion is infectious. You likely know from experience how much easier it is to absorb information when the person relaying it is clearly excited about it. The same applies to the LSAT. Believe it or not, there are indeed people in the world who are genuinely passionate about standardized tests. More specifically, the best tutors are passionate about empowering others to maximize their potential. You will intuitively know whether that passion is present or not. A tutor that makes themselves accessible to you sends the message that they are dedicated to your success. We need good lawyers in the world, and your LSAT tutor should believe that you can be one of them.