We’re excited to initiate a series of interviews with various LSAT prep companies, exploring their approach and getting some tips for success. (If you’d like to be featured, let me know.)
Today, we’re talking with Manhattan LSAT, which prides itself on top-notch instructors and a 170+ focus.
Find out more below!
Could you talk a bit about Manhattan LSAT: What’s your philosophy? What type of instruction do you offer?
At Manhattan LSAT, our core philosophy is that other than your own hard work, the #1 factor that will affect your learning experience is the quality of your instructor. For that reason, we have put quality of instruction and prep materials at the forefront of what we do at Manhattan LSAT.
How do we ensure we’re doing that?
- We start by paying all of our teachers the highest hourly rate in the industry, $100/hr. This ensures that we get our pick of the LSAT teaching talent out there.
- We also require that applicants have at least two years of teaching experience and a 99th percentile score on a real, LSAC administered LSAT.
- Next, we put all candidates through an incredibly rigorous, multi-stage hiring process that culminates with final stage candidates being flown to NYC for a live, in-person teaching audition in front of our executive staff.
Overall, less than 9% of our 99th percentile, experienced applicants are hired.
We want to make sure that we are only hiring those instructors that are going to provide the type of educational experience that will leave students overwhelmingly satisfied with their learning experience, and enthusiastically recommending us to their family and friends.
The process of becoming a Manhattan LSAT teacher doesn’t end with that final audition in NYC. If deemed worthy, candidates are provisionally hired on the condition that they complete our 100+ hour training program and pass a final teaching assessment at the end of their training. Then and only then are they put in front of students.
This is a far more rigorous training than any other company that we know about uses.
How are you different from other LSAT prep courses?
There are three key differences between our programs and the programs of others in the industry:
- First, our aforementioned rock star teachers.
- Second: our curriculum. Our entire approach to teaching the LSAT is predicated on teaching students how top LSAT scorers attack the LSAT. Our curriculum focuses on building within students the real skills that the LSAT is meant to measure. We teach flexible thinking strategies for solving all problems on the test, instead of using tricks or gimmicks that are only applicable depending on specific question types.
- And third, our small class sizes are unique to our company. In order to teach the flexible thinking strategies that we believe are essential to dominating the LSAT, it’s important that there’s a high level of student-teacher interaction. This can only be achieved through small class sizes, and for this reason, we cap all in-person courses at 18 (and online we cap at 25 since we have two teachers).
What type of student is most likely to benefit from taking a Manhattan LSAT course?
Any student who is serious about rolling up their sleeves and maximizing their potential on the LSAT!
There is a perception of Manhattan LSAT that we’re the “grad school” of LSAT prep, or that you need to have some prior knowledge of the LSAT to benefit from our 170+ approach — this is not true!
We’ve helped hundreds of students who knew nothing about the LSAT work their way to the upper percentiles on exam day.
Who would your course not be a good fit for?
Anyone who is looking for quick tricks and gimmicks to help them achieve a ‘decent’ score.
We believe that you can only gimmick or “trick” the LSAT to a certain extent, and that extent is typically somewhere in the mid 150s — maybe the 160s if you’re bright.
If you’re really aiming for an LSAT score that will set you apart and put you in the conversation for top schools, you need more than that, which is why we do what we do.
Other than that, there may be folks out there that prefer a lecture-style course (we’re not sure why), and those folks should look elsewhere — our teachers are going to get everyone in the room thinking, talking, and working.
I’m getting ready to choose an LSAT course. What should I look for to ensure the one I select is a good fit?
There are many things that are important to consider when selecting an LSAT course, but consideration 1A should always be the teacher.
Next, I’d take a look at the curriculum and materials that are associated with the course — are they comprehensive? Do they use real LSAT questions?
And finally, I would take a good hard look at class sizes and decide whether or not you’re the type of learner that enjoys lecture style courses as opposed to more interactive class room settings.
How much time do you suggest students spend to prepare for their first LSAT? Can it be done on top of school/work?
It’s extremely common for students to underestimate the beast that is the LSAT, put in a cursory prep effort, and then be disappointed with their results.
MOST students — the overwhelmingly majority — should budget at least 2.5-3.5 months of intensive prep in order to reach their potential on this exam.
What are your three best tips for doing as well as possible on the LSAT?
- Structure your prep. It’s easy to waste a couple of months by prepping ineffectively. Classes are an obvious way to address this, but they may not fit everybody’s schedule and wallet. If you’re not taking a course, I highly recommend getting some LSAT prep books (ours are amazing, but I might be slightly biased) and then structuring your plan of attack. For those of you who choose this self study route (which can be very effective!), we’re happy to provide you with a free study plan; just email us (StudentServices@ManhattanLSAT.com) to request one.
- Bump, set, spike. The LSAT is usually the toughest standardized test that folks have seen, and it can be humbling. While your end goal might be a 170, if you’re starting at a 155, first set a goal of hitting a 157, nail that, celebrate, and then set your eyes on 160. This is particularly important because the LSAT has a way of punishing those who try to “game it” to score extra points.
- Learn from mistakes and near mistakes. When reviewing a practice LSAT, it’s tempting to review only the questions you got wrong. But, there’s a lot to be learned from the questions you got right but struggled with, just as there’s a lot to learn from the answer choices that you couldn’t quickly eliminate (discover exactly how the LSAT made you stumble so that it won’t happen next time). Just because you got it right doesn’t mean you got it right quickly or for the right reasons. Study all your work, considering what you should have done, how you should have thought, where you could have moved faster.
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Thanks for all the useful info!
Learn more about Manhattan LSAT:
Manhattan LSAT is a boutique provider of elite LSAT prep, offering in-person programs in Austin, Boston, Boulder, Dallas, DC, Irvine, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, and San Francisco. Its virtual classes, books, and self study programs are available worldwide. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for free news of the latest free LSAT prep events, promotions, and pre-law news.
Want more LSAT prep info?
Do you have questions about a specific LSAT prep company? Let me know and I’ll ask for more info! Here’s who we’ve talked to so far: