Finding the best LSAT prep course is a crucial steps towards a successful launch of your legal career. Although your ideal choice will depend on various factors and personal preferences, the following overview of the best LSAT prep courses for 2016 are a great way to start your search
- Live Course: From $1199
- Interact (video-based): From $375
- Private Tutoring: From $2450
Pro: Top instructors
Con: Limited locations
Manhattan LSAT is offered by Manhattan Prep, a company that expanded from a small boutique to one of the nation’s test prep powerhouses, covering a variety of standardized tests (including one of the best GMAT pre courses). It’s special approach and methodologies also led Manhattan Prep to become the provide of one of the very best LSAT preparation courses.
What makes Manhattan LSAT prep special? In some ways, they remind us of Blueprint. Although they are not focused only on the LSAT, their main selling points are a particularly rigorous curriculum and, above all, their strong instructors. Manhattan Prep is known for being extremely selective when it comes to hiring tutors, and this translates into positive results for its clients.
The most popular option, Manhattan’s Live Course (which, despite the somewhat misleading name, can be taken in a classroom setting or online), offers 10 sessions (for a total of 30 hours of live instruction), over 50 interactive video lessons, and the opportunity to practice with all previously released official LSAT prep tests. A highlight are the interactive lessons, which combine video tutorials with questions/drills that you can tackle or, if you are unsure, elect for the program (through the video-based instructor) to walk you through until you fully understand each concept. This program is designed to be adaptive, that is it becomes progressively more difficult as your knowledge and grasp of LSAT topics increases.
The purely video-based course offers the same features minus the live instruction and is thus best for those who need flexibility or simply prefer self-study over in-person or live online instruction by tutors. It is also possible to enrol in a video-based course that focuses only on one or more specific areas, with a choice of courses that concentrate on either Logic Games, Logical Reasoning, or Reading Comprehension.
- In Person: $1399
- Live Online: $1199
- Self-Paced: $799
- Private Tutoring: $2599
Pro: Established; extensive course options; personalized study
Con: Not a ’boutique’ provider
Kaplan is among the most trusted and established names in the standardized test prep industry. Not surprisingly, therefore, Kaplan LSAT prep has one of the best LSAT prep courses currently available on the market, used by thousands of prospective test takers each year.
The most noteworthy feature of Kaplan’s LSAT prep course is the ‘LSAT Channel’, an innovative new feature that is available as part of each package (except for the self-paced program). Tune in to the LSAT channel any day of the week for both live and recorded instruction by Kaplan’s expert tutors, covering every imaginable LSAT topic. During live episodes, you – and other participants – can even ask the tutor questions in real time, share notes, and make comments. Thus, in terms of technology, Kaplan offers (almost) everything a test-taker could wish for. In addition to live episodes, you can browse 27/4 the extensive archive for video recordings of lessons on the topic(s) that you wish to focus on at that time.
Additionally, further noteworthy features include access to a customizable question bank with thousands of authentic LSAT questions; “Smart Reports” that analyse your performance and progress; and higher score (money back) guarantee. Note that Kaplan uses its own LSAT prep books as a basis for the courses – they are good but should be supplemented with additional materials.
Kaplan lets you pick the precise teaching approach that works best for you (and fits your budget). Pick the In Person option if you prefer the traditional classroom experience; get Live Online if you wish to study from home and attend the ‘classroom’ through your laptop or mobile device; go for the Self-Paced option if you want to watch recorded lessons whenever it’s convenient for you; or choose Private Tutoring if you respond best to one-on-one instruction.
- Comprehensive or $1395 (classroom)
- Comprehensive: $995 (live online)
- Intensive: $395
- Advanced: $395
Pro: The strongest prep materials
Con: Technology not cutting edge
It’s probably safe to say that anybody studying for the LSAT is familiar with PowerScore’s printed study materials. After all, PowerScore LSAT books, namely their LSAT Bible Trilogy, are among the highest rated LSAT study books.
It doesn’t come as a surprise therefore that PowerScore also offers some of the best LSAT prep course options, known for their high success rates (in terms of scores that test-takers achieve) and ability to deliver the relevant material/instruction within short periods of time if necessary.
First, prospective test-takers have to decide if they want to go with a Comprehensive course; Intensive course; or the Advanced offerings. The Comprehensive course is delivered in two versions, either in a classroom setting or live online. The Full-Length Classroom option is the most comprehensive option and recommended as the ultimate option to boost your score. It includes over 60 hours of in-person instruction, supplemented with over 45 hours of online lessons and 16 hours of practice realistic LSAT practice tests.
Those who need to cram the material in a short amount of time, PowerScore offers intensive weekend courses that offer over 35 hours of instruction. Again, there are options to take the course in person in a traditional classroom setting or live online. Both options come at the same cost, so it’s really just a matter of personal preference. It’s obviously not an ideal way to learn everything there is to know about the LSAT but present an excellent opportunity to practice, deepen pre-existing knowledge, or perhaps even jumpstart one’s LSAT prep at the outset of a longer study program. Additionally, those who want to excel at Logic Games and Logical Reasoning, PowerScore offers advanced course packages that focus exclusively on each of these areas.
Whichever option you choose, with PowerScore you can be certain that you are taught by the real LSAT masters. This is particularly true in the case of the company’s Advanced packages. Both options (Logic Games/Logical Reasoning) are only available online, but taught by PowerScore’s legendary (in LSAT circles) founder and LSAT Bibles author David M. Killoran.
- Classroom: From $1399
- Online: $179/month (plus initial fees)
Pro: Experience and track record
Blueprint is notable for its exclusive focus on one test: the LSAT. Perhaps given this focus, they are among those companies that enjoy a special reputation in the LSAT prep community. Most importantly, according to test-takers, Blueprint LSAT prep has the skills and expertise necessary to push its clients into the top percentiles, helping them to score particularly high (the company refers to a 11 point score increase that many of its student experience after working with them). Former clients rave about Blueprint instructors and their abilities to convey the material in an effective and yet entertaining manner.
Blueprint LSAT preparation is available in classroom and online versions. The classroom version is particularly impressive, with extensive instruction (currently over 100 hours), multiple proctored practice tests and supplemental practice tests; all available official LSAT questions; and additional video tutorials. All this is delivered using a study plan that’s been tested over and improved over the course of a decade. Add to this some of the country’s highest performing LSAT specialists (the requirement for all instructors is an LSAT score of at least 170) that have undergone extensive training, and you have what’s clearly one of the best LSAT prep courses available anywhere. B
oth options – online and classroom – come with access to the Blueprint LSAT app. The app is beautifully designed, intuitive, and – most importantly – is loaded with content. This includes practice assignments (“homework”) that’s geared towards your personal skill level and weaknesses, LSAT practice sets, nifty “photo scoring” of practice tests; and drills that let you deepen your knowledge and reinforce concepts that your instructors have presented in class/during the video tutorials.
- LSAT Premium: $49 (early access)
- LSAT Premium: $99 (regular)
Pro: Unbeatable price; quality instruction
Con: Track record still developing
Magoosh, based in Berkeley/CA, have in recent years emerged as one of the top online test prep providers. Now, they have also developed one of the best online LSAT prep courses, with all the characteristics that already made Magoosh immensely popular with prospective GMAT and GRE test-takers. Early access to the LSAT Premium program is now available.
Magoosh’s platform offers a straightforward, highly intuitive, and easy to use interface. Of course, desktop and mobile support for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS are standard. This platform gives users access to excellent substantive content, which is primarily delivered through video lessons. The video library is continuously expanding and currently stands at almost 300 videos (lessons as well as explanatory videos covering the major sections of the LSAT, i.e. Logic Games, Reading Comprehension, and Logical Reasoning). Additionally, users have access to expert tutors who will answer questions and provide additional assistance to users via email.
Of course, one of Magoosh’s major selling points is that it manages to combine quality of content with remarkable pricing/affordability. Indeed, Magoosh’s pricing is – as they rightly point out – ‘unbeatable’ and amounts to only a fraction of prices charged by the competition. There is also no monthly fee as a one time payment will provide you with one year access to the online learning platform.
Despite the highly affordable prices, Magoosh is a quality LSAT test prep provider with a dedicated following and high user satisfaction. It is the ideal solution for: those looking for a video based solution; those in need of a flexible study schedule; or simply those looking for additional practice. Still, just in case you should be unhappy with Magoosh, the company offers a 7-day ‘no strings attached’ money back guarantee should you for any reason wish to discontinue your studies.