Applying to Law Schools is a lengthy and intimidating process. In addition to requesting your academic transcript (not to mention earning that transcript in the first place), obtaining recommendation letters, and writing your personal statement, it is also necessary to prepare for the LSAT. In the eyes of most admissions officers, your performance on the LSAT serves as a strong indicator of your future performance as a student of the law. Learning how to get a high LSAT score therefore increases not only your likelihood of being accepted, but also of receiving a generous scholarship. With this in mind, the question of how much to invest in LSAT test prep deserves serious consideration. Ultimately you might be wondering, should you hire an LSAT tutor?
Can you get a high score without an LSAT tutor?
Yes. You can self-study for the LSAT and obtain a high score without working with a tutor. As someone who managed to increase my score from 150 to 168 without paying a single penny, I can confirm that it is indeed possible to significantly improve your score using the free LSAT resources available online. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder how much higher my score could have been had I benefited from the personalized support an online LSAT tutor can provide. It’s also possible that it too me far longer to learn certain concepts than it would have had I worked with a private LSAT instructor. If you’re not sure which route to take, don’t worry. We’ve considered the pros and cons of hiring an LSAT coach to aid your decision-making process.
What are the benefits of working with an LSAT tutor?
The primary benefit of working with a private LSAT tutor is one-on-one attention and the individualized instruction that results. A book can’t respond to the specific obstacles you face or adapt to your preferred methods of learning, but a tutor can. Access to real-time feedback can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes you to master a concept, thereby making your study process much more efficient than it would be were you blindly surfing the internet for answers. The benefits of a personalized lesson plan are especially important as your test date looms closer on the horizon. Reviewing the results of timed practice tests with an experienced LSAT tutor who can spot your mistakes and redirect your LSAT study plan will empower you to streamline your study habits and use your limited time to the greatest effect.
The advantages of hiring a tutor are especially clear when compared to the alternative options provided by prep courses and self-directed study methods. Unlike the flexible schedule a tutor provides, LSAT prep courses run along a fixed timeline that does not respond to individual needs. Should you fail to master a foundational LSAT concept before the teacher begins to build on it, it will become exponentially more difficult to catch up. A self-directed LSAT study method, by contrast, allows for a more flexible schedule but provides less of a guarantee that you’ll adhere to it. If you lack the motivation to set a schedule and stick to it, keeping on top of your studies might prove to be particularly challenging. Whether you use an online program like Khan Academy or a test-prep book like Mike Kim’s LSAT Trainer (both of which I have used), the degree of personalized support you receive will be quite limited. Private LSAT tutors are clearly superior to both options because they can quickly identify the specific areas that require additional attention and correctly judge when you are ready to move onto the next topic.
Why not work with an LSAT tutor? LSAT tutor costs…
Considering all these benefits, why wouldn’t you choose to hire an LSAT tutor? I won’t mince words. The only significant drawback is that it’s expensive. As we’ve explored above, the decision to hire an LSAT can bring many benefits. But how much does an LSAT tutor cost? The range in average LSAT tutor pricing is wide:
- Here at MyGuru LSAT tutoring we charge less than $100 per hour for a 20 hour package of tutoring
- Blueprint LSAT tutoring prices are ~$150 per hour depending on the package chosen
- Kaplan charges ~$160 per hour for a 20-hour package
- Princeton Review LSAT pricing is ~$170 per hour for a 24 hour package
There are a variety of cheaper alternatives that, despite being less personalized, are nonetheless able to meet the needs of many students. I, for example, used Khan Academy’s free LSAT resources to improve my LSAT score by nearly 20 points in just one month. The algorithm was responsive enough to generate a study plan that prioritized my greatest weak points and supported my improvement through mini tests, full LSAT practice tests, informative articles, and video lessons.
So, should you hire an LSAT tutor?
Whether a private tutor is a worthy way to spend your hard-earned money therefore depends on your own needs as a student. You know yourself best. In what contexts are you most able to thrive academically? Do you prefer studying in the group setting that a prep course provides? Would you trust yourself to set your own study schedule if you were to choose the self-directed study method? Are you able to absorb written information more deeply with the aid of in person discussions that only a tutor could provide?
Finally, it is important to remember that working with an LSAT tutor is not an all-or-nothing scenario. If you know that you will benefit from a tutor but don’t have much money to spare, a compromise that won’t strain your wallet could involve a combination of all the aforementioned options. Indeed, a tutor is most useful when you've already established the foundational concepts a low-budget prep course can familiarize you with.