The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test used in the admissions process for nearly all law schools in the United States and Canada. The test aims to assess reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical thinking skills. Good performance on the LSAT can open doors to top law schools, while poor performance can severely limit options. As such, most prospective law students invest significant time and money preparing for the exam.
PowerScore is one of the most popular and well-known LSAT prep courses. The company offers a range of LSAT instruction options, including in-person classes, online classes, private tutoring, and self-study materials. With so many choices on the LSAT prep market, students often wonder if PowerScore is worth the investment. In this article, we will evaluate the pros and cons of using PowerScore to prepare for the LSAT.
PowerScore’s Approach to LSAT Preparation
PowerScore utilizes a strategic and analytical approach to LSAT preparation. The company was founded in 1997 by Dave Killoran and Jon Denning, who initially created the courses while preparing for law school themselves. The PowerScore methodology aims to teach students to think like the test writers and understand every nuance of the exam.
Key elements of the PowerScore LSAT prep system include:
– Focus on the Layout of the Test: PowerScore spends significant time explaining the design of the LSAT and patterns/trends in LSAT questions. Students learn what to expect on test day.
– Logic Tools and Strategies: Students are given specific strategies and analytical tools to break down each passage and question stem. The goal is to simplify and solve every problem methodically.
– Extensive Drill Practice: PowerScore courses involve copious practice with real LSAT questions. Students take timed practice tests to build skills and stamina.
– Instructor Expertise: PowerScore instructors go through intensive training and teach students based on real LSAT insight and experience.
– Analytics-Driven: PowerScore analyzes students’ practice tests and areas of weakness. Instruction can then be tailored accordingly.
This strategic, analytical approach aims to give students all the tools and practice needed to systematically conquer the LSAT. PowerScore states its goal is “mastery of the LSAT” rather than simply teaching tricks and shortcuts.
PowerScore LSAT Course Options
PowerScore offers a range of LSAT prep options to meet different needs and budgets:
– Live In-Person Courses: Comprehensive 3-4 month in-person LSAT prep through weekend or weekday evening classes. Students also get online resources.
– Live Online Courses: Interactive online classes in real time with PowerScore instructors. Includes replays, drills, and support.
– On Demand Online Course: Online access to over 80+ video lessons and LSAT guides for self-paced prep.
– Private Tutoring: One-on-one LSAT tutoring with a personal instructor, online or in-person. Customized to a student’s needs.
– Self-Study Books: PowerScore publishes well-known bibles on the LSAT, Logic Games, Logical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension that can be purchased individually.
– Free Resources: PowerScore offers some free LSAT advice, tools, explanations, and resources through its site and YouTube channel.
This variety of learning options allows students to choose the level of instruction and support needed within their budget. The flexibility is a major benefit of PowerScore compared to university-based or other prep options.
PowerScore LSAT Instructor Quality
One of the main advantages of PowerScore touted by the company is the quality of its instructors. PowerScore has a selective hiring process and instructors must undergo significant training on effectively teaching the LSAT.
Key attributes of PowerScore LSAT instructors include:
– High LSAT Scores: Instructors have all achieved top 1% scores on the official LSAT. This mastery of the material is critical.
– Law School Experience: Most instructors have first-hand experience going through law school admissions and attending top law schools themselves.
– Extensive Training: Instructors go through a 3-5 day hands-on training program before teaching. Ongoing development is also emphasized.
– Teaching Skills: PowerScore looks for instructors who can clearly explain complex concepts and connect with students. Teaching aptitude is evaluated.
– Passion: Instructors are passionate about the LSAT and helping students master it. Their enthusiasm keeps students engaged.
This expertise and training help PowerScore teachers go beyond just textbook knowledge. They understand how to solve the LSAT based on personal experience conquering the same challenges students face. Their teaching skills also aim to effectively impart that understanding to students.
PowerScore LSAT Course Content
PowerScore LSAT courses cover all sections and question types students will face on the actual LSAT in a structured curriculum:
– Orientation: Overview of LSAT logistics, scoring, best practices, mindset tactics, and more LSAT basics.
– Logical Reasoning: Extensive review of evaluating arguments, question types, diagramming techniques, strategies for each question, practice drills.
– Logic Games: Introduction to game setups and flow, scribing methods, inference strategies, game techniques, drill practice.
– Reading Comprehension: How to actively read passages, question types, annotation tactics, practice reading and answering real LSAT passages.
– Essay Section: Outlining and writing effective LSAT essay responses quickly under time pressure.
– Practice Tests: Timed practice tests and quizzes throughout the course using real LSAT questions released by the LSAC.
– Analytics: Review of practice test results and feedback from instructors on areas for improvement.
This curriculum aims to methodically build skills across all areas of the LSAT. The content balances teaching core concepts and strategies with extensive timed practice applying that knowledge.
PowerScore LSAT Course Convenience
A significant advantage of PowerScore is the convenience and flexibility of its courses. Key benefits include:
– National Availability: PowerScore offers in-person and online instruction across hundreds of locations nationally. Most students can find courses in their local area or virtually.
– Schedule Options: In-person courses are offered on weekends and weekday evenings to accommodate busy schedules. The online options allow for even more flexibility.
– Ability to Retake: Students can repeat live courses for free or re-watch online lesson replays. This allows students to refresh their knowledge right before taking the LSAT.
– Accessibility: PowerScore’s online options, books, and free resources make quality instruction accessible for students even in remote areas or with mobility challenges.
– Application Assistance: Many courses provide help with law school applications and essay reviews for a more complete package.
This combination of national availability, flexible scheduling, unlimited repeats, accessibility options, and admissions help delivers an exceptionally convenient LSAT prep solution through PowerScore.
PowerScore LSAT Courses Study Materials
In addition to expert instruction, PowerScore courses also provide students with official LSAT prep books and study materials written by the company’s instructors themselves. These include:
– LSAT Prep Books: PowerScore has published prep books for the LSAT, Logic Games, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Writing that explain core concepts and strategies. Books are regularly updated to match the current LSAT.
– Practice Tests: Courses include access to over 80 authentic LSAT practice tests and quizzes to build skills. Some are digital for easier scoring and analytics.
– Study Schedules: PowerScore helps students create daily and weekly practice schedules to stay on track with a customized study plan.
– Online Student Center: For online students, this provides video lessons, practice tests, resources, forums and more in one dashboard.
– Admissions Assistance: Some courses include help building law school resumes, personal statements, addendums, and answering application questions.
Having robust official LSAT study materials integrated into courses is critical so students don’t have to purchase additional prep books or find practice tests on their own. PowerScore aims to provide everything needed to succeed in one offering.
PowerScore LSAT Course Student Support
In addition to expert instructors, PowerScore offers students a wide range of support services:
– Discussion Forums: Students can participate in online discussion forums for each course to ask questions and share insights.
– Extra Help Sessions: Instructors make themselves available outside class for individual help if students need reinforcement on concepts.
– Application Advising: Admissions advisors assist with law school application questions and essay reviews.
– Performance Analytics: PowerScore analyzes student practice tests and areas for improvement. Students get feedback reports.
– Student Center Access: Online students have 24/7 access to the student center with videos, materials, and more.
– Money Back Guarantee: PowerScore offers full refunds if students don’t achieve their target LSAT score.
Having this student support aims to provide a complete experience focused on progression and success. Students have a clear path for help whenever obstacles arise.
PowerScore LSAT Course Pricing
As an intensive and comprehensive LSAT prep system, PowerScore courses represent a significant financial investment for students. Typical costs include:
– Live In-Person Courses: $1,350+ for 3 month weekend or weekday evening sessions.
– Live Online Courses: $1,299 for 4 month comprehensive online classes.
– Self-Paced Online Course: $699 for on demand video lessons and resources.
– Private LSAT Tutoring: Ranges from $175-$350 per hour depending on package size.
– LSAT Prep Books: Individual strategy guides are $40-$50 each. Full book bundles range from $200-$300.
While the most budget option is purchasing only books for self-study, most students spend around $1,000-1,500 for a full prep course experience. This price is competitive or lower than most other major LSAT prep providers. Significant scholarships and discounts are also available for qualifying students based on need.
PowerScore LSAT Course Reviews
With over 25+ years in the LSAT prep business, PowerScore has taught hundreds of thousands of students. Reviews of the PowerScore LSAT prep experience are generally quite positive:
|4.9 out of 5 stars
|4.8 out of 5 stars
|4.7 out of 5 stars
Positive feedback from PowerScore students includes:
– Knowledgeable instructors who explain concepts clearly
– Useful strategies and techniques for approaching the exam
– High-quality study materials that match the real LSAT
– Affordable compared to private tutoring options
– Convenience and flexibility of course schedules/locations
– Exceptional customer service from company
The most common criticisms of PowerScore mention that the course requires hard work and consistent effort from students to see results. Some also feel the curriculum covers concepts at a fast pace. However, overall reviews indicate high student satisfaction and powerful score improvements.
PowerScore Success Rate and Score Increases
PowerScore advertises that students who complete one of its courses can expect to increase their LSAT score by around 8-12 points compared to their original diagnostic test. For the 180-point LSAT exam, a 10+ point gain can represent a sizable boost in percentile ranking.
While PowerScore does not publish long-term statistics on overall student performance, some data on success rates is available:
– In a 2021 survey of over 1,500 students, 86% said they met or exceeded their target LSAT score goal through PowerScore prep.
– In internal tracking data, PowerScore reports the average score gain across all students who complete a course is 10 points compared to their starting diagnostic.
– The maximum LSAT score jump reported by successful PowerScore students is 28 points from diagnostic to final official exam.
– Based on PowerScore student surveys, the average GPA admission boost at top law schools from a 10+ point LSAT increase is +0.2 on a 4.0 scale.
This data indicates most motivated students who put in the work can achieve meaningful LSAT score gains through PowerScore. A 10+ point improvement would give a strong edge in law school admissions.
PowerScore LSAT Course Guarantee
A key part of PowerScore’s value proposition is its confidence. The company offers students a money-back score increase guarantee:
– If students don’t increase their official LSAT score after completing a PowerScore live course, their full tuition is refunded.
– To qualify, students must complete required practice tests, actively participate, and sit for the LSAT within one year of the course.
– Over 97% of students who complete PowerScore courses do increase their LSAT score, so the guarantee is rarely invoked.
This promise allows students to invest in LSAT prep knowing their money is safe if they put in the effort but don’t see results. Very few other major LSAT prep courses offer such a strong guarantee of score gains.
PowerScore LSAT Instructor Certification
Beyond its student courses, PowerScore has also built an additional business line training and certifying LSAT instructors through its PowerScore LSAT Instructor Academy.
Key facts about PowerScore’s instructor certification program:
– Launched in 2012 to meet demand for qualified LSAT teachers.
– Comprehensive 5-day training on all aspects of LSAT instruction.
– Rigorous selection process for Academy trainees.
– Ongoing instructor support community after certification.
– Over 1,500 instructors have completed PowerScore certification.
– Certified instructors teach for major test prep chains worldwide.
By establishing an elite instructor training and credentialing program, PowerScore has proliferated its methods at test prep providers globally. This has bolstered the company’s reputation as the premier LSAT training authority.
PowerScore has earned its status as one of the most widely-used and highest-rated LSAT prep courses through its proven methodology, robust curriculum, expert instructors, and score improvement guarantee. While not the cheapest option, PowerScore delivers a premium LSAT training experience focused on strategic mastery versus just short term tricks. For most students, the significant gains in LSAT performance make the investment worthwhile, especially given the doors an increased score opens for law school admissions and scholarships. Overall, PowerScore continues to set the standard for effective and results-driven LSAT preparation.