Before I first started working with John, everything I knew about the LSAT had come from taking one practice test several months earlier. I had done absolutely no preparation for this practice test, and I think I had scored somewhere around the mid-150s. John quickly familiarized me with basics of the test, and soon I was scoring in the low to mid 160s-range. My best section quickly became the Logic Games, thanks to John’s efficient teaching of it. However, what stumped me over and over again was dealing with uncertainty in the Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension sections, with picking the best answer out of an entire set of mediocre answers and with questions that didn’t seem to fit into neat patterns that the majority of LSAT questions and answers fell into.
Luckily, I had found a fantastic tutor to help me. John was always extremely patient and meticulous. He made sure to give me thorough explanations for questions that I had difficulty fully comprehending to make sure I had a complete understanding of why the right answer was correct. He did not give up even when I would say, “Uh…ok” to his initial explanation when he heard the hesitation in my voice. John gave me weekly assignments specifically tailored to my progress. He worked very hard to mold my brain to be the best LSAT-conquering brain that it could be. He even requested that I email him my Word document of LSAT notes every time I updated it. At the same time, he was not at all a grim and harsh tutor, and freely gave me encouragement whenever I expressed my fears that I was just not smart enough to score as high as I wanted to on the LSAT.
John was always flexible and understanding about my schedule–I first studied for the LSATs while juggling a summer internship and conducting interviews for a senior thesis, then again during my winter break and then during the first few weeks of my senior spring semester. John never demanded that I work around his schedule. He even travelled to China during the summer, but made sure to make time for our lessons that took place effectively over video chat.
Alas, I improved but did not score as well as I wanted to the first time I took the LSAT. The second time around, along with my usual weekly assignments and lessons, John instructed me to start making flashcards of all my wrong answers from practice exams and to use the Leitner flash card review technique to study my cards. (This technique involves: (i) separating flash cards into 4 boxes, with each card getting promoted to the next box when the correct answer is given or moving the card back to Box 1 when an incorrect answer is given, and (ii) using a schedule of which boxes should be studied on which day of the week.) During lessons, John and I would fill out new flash cards. John made sure that I not only wrote down why the right answer was right and my wrong answer was wrong, but also precisely what to look out for with these questions and answers, so that I would not miss these traits or clues the next time I encountered them in other questions. I am almost certain this technique was one of the main reasons I scored a 171 the second time I took the LSAT. Before I used the Leitner system, I did not review my old answers nearly as much as I should have, certainly not every day. With the Leitner system, I was forced to constantly keep reviewing concepts that I had missed previously so that I would not do so again, which helped me stay on top of my personal challenges. Toward the last couple of weeks before the second time that I would take the LSAT, I consistently scored 170 or more on practice exams.
It was also helpful that John and I got along very well on a personal level. He was considerate and polite but also witty and funny–I was very lucky that our senses of humor meshed so well. It was a huge bonus that even our tastes in sci-fi and fantasy were highly compatible as well.
I owe my 171 score to John. He is a patient, precise, professional, perceptive, and entertaining tutor who knows the LSAT inside and out and wants to make sure that all his students do as well. Anyone hoping to defeat the LSATs would be lucky to have him as their tutor.