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MCAT and LSAT tutoring services are worth the cost

Published: Monday, July 11, 2011

Updated: Monday, July 11, 2011 06:07

When it comes to planning one's future, many will go to any extent to achieve their goals. For students, post-graduation aspirations such as law school or medical school come with high expectations on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) or MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). In fact, test scores are a necessity for a top law or medical program.

Yet, some may question if the expensive private tutoring and preparation courses are worth the large fees and time spent, when simple methods such as intensive home preparation yield positive results as well.

For 35 hours of private, one-on-one LSAT tutoring, Kaplan lists its prices as three installments of $1,499.67, with lower prices coinciding with fewer tutoring hours. In a classroom setting, prices run about $1,400 in full for the course. MCAT prices run similarly.

Surely, these stiff prices may scare potential test takers from enrolling in these courses. What is more frightening, however, is the importance of these tests in students futures and the detriment of lacking proper preparation.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, the LSAT is the "most important part of getting into a top-tier law school."

The LSAT is an accurate tool when measuring the ability of a student to excel in law school and, as such, is considered heavily when assessing applicants.

For such a large amount of weight placed on a student's success on the LSAT, it is fair to say that a monetary value should not deter students private tutoring or prep courses, if the means are available.

Different sections such as the logic games portion are sometimes unfamiliar to students, as logical analysis is often uncharted territory not typically required for a high school or undergraduate degree. Here, one can understand where private tutoring and classes may be of use, helping the test taker analyze and strategize the best ways to conquer these difficult areas of expertise.

The MCAT puts every student on a level playing field. Regardless of where they received their undergraduate degree, the MCAT gives all students an equal opportunity to prove themselves and get accepted to the medical school of their dreams.

With stakes so high, the extra time and money spent on private tutoring or prep courses may give any student an edge over other applicants.

With the LSAT and MCAT holding so much weight toward one's successful admission and future in these careers, preparation courses and private tutoring should be considered a promising investment instead of a waste of money.

Tara Petzoldt is a junior majoring in political science.

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