Part 2 of my blog post series highlighting what’s new and great in the land of LSAT prep features LSATDemon, by popular ThinkingLSAT podcast hosts Ben Olson and Nathan Fox. I’ve known these guys almost a dozen years through their respective companies, Strategy Prep and FoxLSAT.
- What are the biggest technological break-throughs in LSAT prep right now?
1. Whoa, you really set us up here. We’re biased, but that bias doesn’t necessarily make us wrong. (The LSAT tests this flaw regularly.) The biggest breakthrough in LSAT prep right now is our very own LSAT Demon. You can do LSAT questions on your phone, tablet, or PC—every LSAT question ever released. The Demon learns from your mistakes. You can drill individual questions targeted specifically at your weaknesses, at just the right difficulty, or do official timed sections at 35, 53, or 70 minutes. You can attend full proctored practice tests with Demon users around the world. And when you need help, you get immediate video and written explanations from us. We’re insanely proud of it.
- Should we be moving away from the traditional in-person prep class, and if so – why?
There are drawbacks to a live class for sure—a fixed schedule and fixed location, for starters—but a live class offers camaraderie that’s hard to replicate online. Your colleagues, teacher, and TAs offer an element of accountability. Live classes are surprisingly fun (yes, really) and you can ask your questions and get feedback instantly.
That said, now that the LSAT is tablet-based, it makes a ton of sense to be studying on a tablet or laptop. Ben and I are already incorporating the Demon into all our live classes. Students take timed sections and full tests in the Demon, which provides immediate instruction on mistakes. In the live class, you can ask questions from a flesh-and-blood human. In the Demon, you hit the “Ask” button and wait for an email response. We normally respond within 24 hours.
It just depends on how self-motivated a student is and on how well the live schedule and location fits with their life. There are tons of reasons to study online. You can do it any time, any place. You can start immediately. There’s no parking, no commuting. Ultimately, the LSAT is a battle between you and the test; there’s no reason not to study 100% online.
3. What are the advantages of online based, software-based prep/tutoring for the LSAT? The most important thing to consider when choosing LSAT prep is your teacher. You need someone who can explain things in a way that makes sense. When you study with the LSAT Demon, you’re getting instruction from me and Ben—two career LSAT teachers who have hosted 200+ episodes of the Thinking LSAT Podcast, written a half dozen LSAT books, and who are only successful to the extent that our students are successful. When you study with a big chain, your teacher is an hourly employee who could be amazing—or terrible. If you’re considering a live class, insist on seeing your teacher teach before you pay. Make sure you’ll be able to ask your teacher questions outside of class. Will you have your teacher’s phone number? Email? If those things aren’t possible, it’s not worth the thousand dollars or more you’re going to pay for prep.