An important consideration for prospective law students seeking a private LSAT tutor is whether to pursue online or in-person lessons. Both have the potential to contribute significant value, but there are some important differences to bear in mind. Only you can decide which format is best suited for your individual journey, based on your unique preferences, needs, and learning style. Here are some of the key differences to consider:
Advantages of In-Person LSAT Tutoring Lessons
Many students instinctively will prefer in-person lessons. There are some considerable advantages to meeting your tutor one-on-one. The first and most obvious is that, as convenient and advanced as applications like Skype and FaceTime have become, there is nothing quite like meeting in person to form a human connection. You will be spending a fair amount of time with your LSAT tutor, and there is something to be said for the intangible human element of the learning process that can only be captured in a live setting.
Beyond the general intangible value of being in the same place at the same time, there are some specific, practical advantages to in-person tutoring that might not immediately come to mind. For instance, it’s a bit easier for in-person tutors to pick up on subtle nonverbal cues about how a student is processing the material, and if you’re someone who tends to get easily distracted, it can be easier to focus when you’re in the same room as another person who is focused on the exact same material.
All of this together brings us to the most important advantage of in-person versus online tutoring: accountability. There is simply more pressure to perform your best when your tutor is in the same room as you going through the problems on the board. This extra pressure (or “incentive,” depending on how you look at it) can be a helpful boost when you feel like taking your foot off the gas. For whatever reason, positive affirmation tends to be more palpable in person than it is over a video call, and many students will benefit from the extra “nudge” that comes with being accountable to a person they see in real life one-on-one. And, of course, this can be an additional motivator for the tutor as well.
Advantages of Online LSAT Tutoring Lessons
So, if there are so many advantages to in-person tutoring, why would anyone choose an online LSAT tutor? Well, there are several very good reasons. First of all, the best tutor for you may not live where you do. This is particularly true if you don’t happen to live in New York City, and even more so if you also don’t live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, or Washington DC. Especially if you are aiming high, you really want to make sure that your tutor is someone who achieved (and preferably exceeded) the goals you have set for yourself. They also need to be someone whom you get along with well and feel you can learn from. In other words, they should be a good fit. It’s easier to find this fit if you aren’t confined to the LSAT tutors in your particular city, town, or campus community.
Moreover, the convenience factor is truly substantial. Even if you live in the same city as your tutor, it can take a lot of time to get from your house or from work to your lesson. If you are a busy professional, one or two hours of extra commuting every week can be taxing – especially when you are already filling up so much of your time outside of work studying for the test! The convenience of logging on for an online lesson from home can be a huge benefit, and tutors often tend to be more flexible about their schedules when lessons are online. The time savings also benefits the tutor, and independent tutors who would otherwise travel to you may be more flexible in their prices as well as their schedules when tutoring online, since they don’t have to factor in a commute to the cost of their time.
Online and in-person LSAT tutoring both have their advantages and it’s up to you to decide which format is best for you. If you are an undergraduate at a university that either has an exceptionally strong law school and is situated in a major American city, or both, then in-person tutoring may make the most sense. Similarly, if you have a relatively flexible and relaxed schedule and feel that you would really benefit from the accountability boost of seeing your tutor face-to-face, in-person is probably the way to go. On the other hand, if you are a self-starter and live in a smaller community, or if you are a busy professional who wants to get the most value out of your time and money, online LSAT tutoring may be the smartest option.
Whether you choose online or in-person tutoring, the most important thing is to set goals, give yourself the proper amount of time to achieve them, and select a tutor who is a great fit to help you get there.