online or by phone
I have been designing reasoning questions that actually go on tests like the LSAT for over fifteen years; I’m currently not writing for the LSAT (if I were, I’d be prohibited from tutoring), but I received my initial training in test item writing at LSAC, near Princeton, and wrote questions for the LSAT for about 5 years. Also, I’m the author of a critical thinking textbook that is used in critical thinking courses across the U.S. and Canada (Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason, Routledge 2011). Furthermore, I’ve been teaching for over 20 years, and tutoring exclusively for the LSAT for over 5 years.
– M.A. (Philosophy)
– B.A. (double major in Literature and Philosophy; minor in Psychology)
– B.Ed. and twenty years’ teaching experience
– ESL certification and five years ESL teaching experience
Once you develop the basic reasoning skills required, the best way to prepare for the LSAT is to do practice test after practice test after practice test… That way, you become familiar with the LSAT-type questions, you develop your mental stamina, and you increase your speed — all of which lead to a better score.
Unless you’ve already done a lot of prep and know which areas you want to work on, we’ll start with LR, partly because two of the four sections are LR and partly because LR is sort of halfway between RC and AR (more commonly called LG), skill-wise. We’ll go through several LR questions, as slowly as needed for you to completely ‘get’ the reasoning, for you to understand the architecture of the argument (to understand that they are arguments and not just mini-discussions). I’ll work through a few out loud so you can hear my reasoning — so you can hear what parts of the question you need to emphasize, what parts are irrelevant, what connections you need to make, what missing premises or unstated assumptions you need to articulate, etc. You need to know the right answer, but, more importantly, you need to know how I got to the right answer. Then I’ll explain exactly why the right answer is right, and why each wrong answer is wrong. And then, when you’re ready, you’ll go through a few out loud, and I’ll interject if you miss something important or make an incorrect inference…
Then we’ll repeat the process for RC, and then AR/LG.
Alternatively, as I imply above, we can just work on the question type that is giving you most trouble.
I can also help with the Writing section: I can give you tips about how best to approach this section, and I can give you extensive feedback on your practice essays.
We need to be on the same page, literally, so we just need to make sure we have the same practice books. (The ones published by LSAC are the best, in my opinion, because those questions are ‘approved’ by them as being truly representative of what will be on the test.)
Some students (especially those who aren’t Philosophy majors and haven’t taken a critical thinking course) (and so, typically, haven’t developed the basic reasoning skills required) choose, in addition, to purchase a copy of my critical thinking text and work through the relevant sections (the introduction to argument, the two logic chapters, the sections on principles, analogies, causal reasoning, relevance, and so on). When I wrote the text, I had in mind typical critical thinking classes which tend to be very large and taught by the professors with the least experience, so I wrote a very extensive ‘Answers, Explanations, and Analyses’ section, which makes the book a very ‘do it yourself’ enterprise.
Having the text is also helpful because when, for example, we get to an LSAT question that involves, say, sufficient and necessary conditions, I can just refer you to the relevant section in my text, and you can read it, do the exercise, then check your work with my ‘Explanations’ section — in addition to, or perhaps instead of (depending on what it is), having me explain the concepts during one of our sessions. And I can, of course, to go over any material in the text that you get stuck on.
We use the actual LSATs of years past, so you’ll need to buy one or more of the books published by LSAC (available here, though you may be able to get a better price elsewhere); you should also have the more recent tests (from #63 onwards, which are sold individually).
Also, especially if you’ve never taken an informal logic course before, I do recommend (but don’t require) my text (or any other good informal logic textbook). As mentioned above, it will save us some time during the sessions if I can just refer you to a section in the text that applies to what we’re working on if you’re having trouble with it. Many previous tutees have found it very helpful.
As often as you like. That said, I see best results when people start with 2-3x/week: after 5-10 weeks, they are typically at their target accuracy, then they reduce to 1x/week, to keep on target and to go over problem questions, while they work on increasing their stamina (by increasing the number of questions they do at one sitting) and their speed (primarily by practice, but also by trying a few different strategies).
I can call you on my landline ( the call’s on me). Or we can connect by online (by skype, googlechat, etc. — audio only).
No. LSAT tutoring sessions are always one-on-one.
$95/hr if you commit to 10 hours; otherwise, $100/hr
By e-transfer or PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) is accepted.
I have not taken the LSAT. I have designed questions that go on the LSAT. (So this is sort of like asking someone who wrote a book whether or not they’ve read it.) This means that I know premises, conclusions, strengtheners, weakeners, assumptions, apparent paradoxes, etc. inside-out and upside-down.
Nor am I a lawyer. The LSAT is not about the law. The LSAT is about reasoning skills: understanding an argument, recognizing premises and conclusions and the relationships between them, understanding what assumptions are or must be made, determining what’s relevant and what’s not, knowing what would strengthen or weaken an argument… Hence, the relevance of my M.A. in Philosophy (philosophers are all about argument; that’s why Philosophy students tend to do quite well on the LSAT), as well as, of course, the fact that I used to be one of the people who write the LSAT questions, and the fact that I wrote a textbook all about reasoning.
The LSAT is also, to some extent, about reading skills. Hence, the relevance of my B.A. in Literature.
Lastly, note that although some people who score well on the LSAT can teach others how to do the same, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they can do so. Hence, the relevance of my B.Ed. (and my extensive teaching experience).
I was also a little hesitant, but given my location, it’s really my only option. That said, I’ve discovered an unexpected advantage to phone/online tutoring: the visual doesn’t distract and the body language doesn’t intrude–we’re both focusing completely on the text in front of us, on the arguments presented and the questions asked. The sessions are, thus, very intense; as many of my tutees have remarked, you get your money’s worth!
Even so, yes, it can be a bit awkward at the beginning–I will never call you rude for interrupting (because you don’t have body language to depend on), and, in fact, I encourage interruption.
The AR/LG section is a little challenging, but I’m carefully articulate about describing exactly what my set-up diagrams look like.
Several of my previous tutees were similarly hesitant, but, I believe, completely changed their mind once they started. Please feel free to contact them and talk about this part of the process (see the references below).
Lastly, if it doesn’t work out, and you are more comfortable with in-person sessions, you can just quit. I don’t require a contract.
You can contact the following former tutees with any questions you might have (most recent at the top):
Ryan Holland email@example.com
Nic Baldwin firstname.lastname@example.org
Hailey Boutin email@example.com
Rebecca Kirby firstname.lastname@example.org
Maddie Pearlman email@example.com
Pete Baldwin firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-326-6521 (PST)
and read some testimonials here
I limit my active roster to 10 tutees.
Requests to reschedule or cancel a session must be made by phone (just leave a message) twenty-four hours in advance; otherwise, you’ll be charged for the session. (Please don’t just send an email, as I often don’t check my email until it’s too late; however, I see the red flashing light on my answering machine throughout the day.)
- "Peg is amazing! Her extensive experience both as a former writer of LSAT questions and as a teacher of critical thinking at the university level positions her perfectly to coach students as they prepare to take the LSAT...[more] In addition, her wit and sense of humour made the tutorials very enjoyable. I highly recommend her as a tutor to anyone preparing to take the LSAT!" Claire H.
"Have you done all the courses and feel like you have been studying for months, but still aren’t satisfied with your LSAT mark? This is how I felt. After writing my December 2016 LSAT, I knew I needed to find help understanding the LR more. I started working with Peg a week after my December LSAT, and achieved A 17 POINT INCREASE when I re-wrote in February. This is how quick and efficient Peg’s work is. She is passionate and actually wants to see you succeed. I just wish I found her sooner." Taylor, Wilfrid Laurier University
"Peg does not simply prepare you for the LSAT; she teaches you the how to think critically at a very high level. This is a skill that is absolutely necessary for scoring well on the LSAT and for the study of law. ... Peg is always enthusiastic and energetic during sessions. These are contagious qualities. ... I came to Peg scoring in the 148-152 range and increased to 160-168, writing 12 prep tests in a row, scoring in the 160s every single time! I was able to duplicate this success on test day and walked out with a 161." [more] N.B.
"… Once I learned that she wrote a book about critical thinking and reasoning (Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason, Routledge 2011) and that she was a previous writer for LSAC employed to write questions for the LSAT exams, I was intrigued. After speaking with her on the phone, I was sold. … Peg Tittle is a brilliant teacher. Please consider her before purchasing any of the crash courses. After just a couple months of intensive work with Peg, I scored a 169 on my first practice test..."[more]" Pete Baldwin, President, Platinum Realty Network, Law School Candidate
"Hearing Peg think out loud is priceless!" [more]" C.L., LSAT tutee
"Tutoring sessions with Peg are amazing! When I first read that Peg's tutoring sessions were over the phone (or Skype in cases of bad phone connection), I was hesitant as to how it would work out. After our first session, however, this concern was put right to bed! Peg explains and articulates her process so well. Along with hearing her verbalize her thought process, she makes sure you really understand the question, what it's asking for and why a certain answer is the correct one. [more]" Ryan Holland, Dalhousie Law
"Just started law school this week and … in my first lecture, critical thinking was brought up (of course). Really brought me back to our very first tutoring session … What a life long skill I now have, thanks to you." T.C. first year law
"Initially, I was wary of hiring someone with whom I would be communicating only by phone, but my initial call with Peg was so excellent I hired her on the spot and only wish that I had done so sooner. The program that Peg takes her students through is exceptional: she breaks down the sections and progresses at a pace that is practical, her approach is customized to her students, and she had specific methods to improve my weaknesses. I would not have improved as substantially as I did without Peg's help." E. G.
"I began tutoring sessions with Peg in early August, after having done a little preparation myself (I was getting scores in the high 140s and low 150s, and was struggling to improve). Her approach to LSAT tutoring, from the early stages to the week of the test, was incredibly effective and manageable. [more] After working through my weaknesses and implementing her plan for stamina-building and taking full, 5-section timed tests, I went very calmly into the LSAT and walked away with my target score of 167: a whole 20 points higher than when I was studying independently! I would recommend her to anyone preparing for the LSAT." Jaime M., legally-blonde-wannabe
"I wish I'd found you sooner! Without you, I was lost! You're the best thing...[more]" Hailey B., law-school-student-wannabe
"I received tutoring from Peg for several months and the effect was outstanding... [more] With Peg's help, I was able to improve my score by more than 15 points and gain admission to the University of Pennsylvania Law School..." K. P., LSAT Tutee, U of Penn Law School
"Peg is a fabulous tutor. Patient, animated, and very thorough, phone tutoring sessions with Peg were extremely helpful in preparing for the LSAT. ... She was always willing to answer all of my questions, and took time to ensure that I really understood the whole of the question… Without a doubt, I came a long way with Peg, and I am really thankful...[more]" Maddie P., LSAT tutee
"No gimmicks or '10 steps to LSAT success' here, just good, solid guidance from a very experienced and effective LSAT tutor... [more] With Peg, you are actually learning about logic, not just trying to find a way to hack through the test. This made the tutoring sessions much more interesting, and helped me to remember what I learned through understanding, not just by rote." Daniel G., LSAT Tutee, Melbourne, Australia
"I chose Peg because of her history of writing LSAT questions and teaching background...[more] I absolutely recommend her and her no-nonsense approach." Emily
"I just received my LSAT score … 11 whole points higher than my previous score!! This is well beyond what I thought I would get, and I would not have been even close to achieving this if it had not been for your help. Just wanted to take the time to extend my gratitude to you, especially for the patience it took to work with me. If anyone ever asks if I know any good tutors, I will absolutely be recommending your services." Anthony L., law school bound
"I’m really grateful that I found your book. It is an invaluable resource. I have read other books about logic in my attempt to master the LSAT, so I have a frame of reference when comparing your book to others. Your book and the LSAT fit like a key and lock; the concepts and logic discussed are so perfectly matched to my needs for understanding the LSAT. I find the logic can be challenging, but your book is written in manner that is very accessible; it’s entertaining and informative. Like the SuperPrep explanations, this book is 'straight from the horse's mouth' so to speak." Catia L., student
"Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason gives students an extremely clear explanation for difficult logical arguments. This book is significantly easier to understand than other logic books I have read in the past." Josh D., student
“As a student who has previously taken a critical thinking course using another textbook, I found this particular textbook extremely helpful and easy to understand. The way it breaks down how to recognize and understand an argument allows any reader to comprehend what the book is explaining.” Brittany F., student