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Kaplan vs Princeton Review LSAT
Our side-by-side comparison of the Kaplan and Princeton Review LSAT prep courses
Choosing between LSAT prep courses can be difficult – especially when the two courses you’re considering are as similar as Kaplan and Princeton Review. Both companies have been around for decades, give you stacks of tried and tested study material, and have nearly identical price points. So how do you decide? We help you make an informed decision in this detailed review comparison.
Above, please find our video comparing the Kaplan and Princeton Review LSAT prep courses, where we cover how these prep packages stack up on pricing, quality of study materials, and other features. If you’re looking for a more in-depth analysis, keep reading for more detail.
The Princeton Review course options, while similar to Kaplan’s, do take a slightly different approach. Princeton Review offers 3 basic course options:
The Self-Paced course is priced right around $800, which is right on par with Kaplan’s analogous On Demand Course. So for students seeking an affordable and flexible self-study program, this will make the decision a little tough.
The Fundamentals class prices in at around $1,100, while the LSAT 165+ course, which is a more robust prep option designed for students targeting a very high score, costs around $2,100. It is worth noting that Princeton Review also offers an immersion program, though it costs a crazy $4,000.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Princeton Review Lessons and Coursework
In terms of quality, Princeton Review offers some very high-end coursework. Their course isn’t the most modern or new age approach to teaching LSAT prep, but one thing you can’t say about Princeton Review is that their package isn’t robust.
The Princeton flagship live online class (the Fundamentals course) offers 30 hours of live lessons with an LSAT expert, which is supplemented by over 150 hours of additional video lessons and online content.
Personally, I found the Princeton Review lessons, both live online and on demand, to be highly effective. The lessons were thoughtfully designed and provide incredible levels of detail. I suppose that’s a byproduct of having taught to the LSAT for 30+ years. Your material is highly streamlined.
Though, while I found the on demand video lessons to be effective, the lack of onscreen instructor was a little bit of a letdown. Without a face to connect a voce to, the lessons felt a little cold and as a result, unengaging at times. They just weren’t my favorite from a format or delivery perspective.
However, Princeton Review’s coursework around the video lessons was top tier. While you don’t get quite the same level of study material with Princeton Review as you get with Kaplan, there is plenty to go around.
Between the assigned homework, practice problem sets, drills, prep book material and explanations, I never ran out of material to work on. Both Princeton Review and Kaplan each boast 8,000+ practice problems taken from real, past LSATs.
Excellent Problem Explanations
In case you didn’t know, just about every LSAT prep company on Earth leverages a subscription to LSAC to get access to past official official LSAT problems. Thus, the playing field is more or less level in terms of quality of practice questions.
As such, the big difference between prep companies revolves around the answer solutions that each company crafts for these problems. And I think Princeton Review’s are really good.
Every problem comes with a detailed explanation, including a breakdown of the optimal way to approach the question type, as well as analysis of both correct andincorrect answer choices. I think is super important.
By analyzing each component of the question and the accompanying answer choices, it will help you start to recognize patterns and keep you from falling into potential traps on future problems. So overall, Princeton gets two big thumbs up in this department.
The Digital Platform
The Princeton Review dashboard and user experience is, well, a little Plain Jane. While other test prep companies have snappy and modern interfaces, Princeton Review’s is not – but that’s to say it’s bad.
For most everyone, the Princeton Review dashboard and user experience will get the job done – it’s simple, clean and effective, though a little outdated.
What Princeton Review lacks in user experience, it makes up for in its prep books. The Princeton Review LSAT books that accompany its course are super high quality.
They provide detailed explanations of concepts and strategies, well placed practice problems that exemplify points being made, and an abundance of prep material to help reinforce what you’ve learned. We found their books to be an awesome complement to the lessons, and on the whole, better than Kaplan’s books.
Kaplan provides four course options for its LSAT prep:
On Demand Course
Live Online Course
In Person Course
All four course options track the same core curriculum designed by Kaplan’s experts; it is just the format of the course that generally changes. For those students that prefer to learn at their own pace and at various times, the On Demand Course will obviously be best. It costs $800.
For other students who need structure or the benefit of watching an instructor teach a course live, one of the other three formats will likely be more fitting. The Live Online Course runs for around $1,300, the In Person class costs nearly $1,500, and the Bootcamp option costs an eye-watering $4,000.
On average, these price points are pretty close to what you’ll find with Princeton Review.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Quality and Quantity of Kaplan Study Materials
Kaplan piles on the study materials with its LSAT course. It just feels like the materials and resources never stop, almost to the point of being overwhelming.
Combined, Kaplan provides over 200 hours of video lessons (including its LSAT Channel videos), 80+ practice tests and thousands of practice problems. And that doesn’t even include the drills, explanations and material in the prep books. There is no doubt that the quantity is worth the price.
Similarly, the quality of its coursework also rates out pretty high. Not Blueprint or LSAT Lab high, but Kaplan holds its own.
The lessons are detailed and provide actionable strategies for attacking problems. The lessons work methodically though LSAT sections in a logical fashion, oscillating between topics so not to become too dry. And all of the various problem types and concepts are covered throughout the coursework.
That said, while the instructors are extremely knowledgeable, they weren’t the most enthusiastic or engaging bunch I have seen throughout other course reviews. They just had a sort of corporate, big company feel and dry jokes. In other words, they were sterile, sort of going through the motions.
In addition, the onscreen digital whiteboard could be become cluttered at times, making it hard to follow the lesson. Otherwise though, the quality and quantity of the coursework for the Kaplan LSAT course is rock solid.
The Kaplan LSAT Books & Classroom Component
Kaplan’s flagship live online course provides roughly 32 hours of core instruction. While negligible, that is 2 more hours than Princeton Review’s comparable live online class.
The Kaplan instructors are knowledgeable and do a great job of breaking down complex subject matter. While it was our experience that they weren’t the most enthusiastic or fun people we’ve ever learned from, they were nonetheless effective.
To follow the course lessons, Kaplan provides each student with a set of hardcopy prep books. The books track with the lessons, and provide strategies, practice problems, and drills.
We found these books to be thorough and very helpful overall in working through the core lessons, though not quite as good as those from Princeton Review. The books follow a similar structure, but we prefer Princeton’s content.
After testing each course, Kaplan and Princeton Review both rate out well and get decent grades in our book. No one course stands head and shoulders above the other.
In the end though, we rate Princeton Review as the better overall course. When considering the factors that truly matter, we prefer their prep course, particularly the live online package.
If you’re still unsure of which one to go with after reading, here is a final review of some of the main deciding factors:
Study Materials: This is a close call, as both Kaplan and Princeton Review provide excellent – and very similar – lessons and coursework. Between the video content, problem explanations, drills and everything in between, there is not a huge difference between what you’re getting with both of these courses. All in all, we’d give the edge to Princeton Review.
Price: If you’re taking a self-paced, on demand course, this is a tie. Both companies come in at about the same price point and make it a hard call for preppers. As for the other offerings, Princeton Review offers slightly better value (especially considering that they build in the cost of your LSAC subscription).
Books: We found the Princeton Review prep books to be a hair better than the Kaplan books. Though similar in quality and length, we just found the writing style and layout of the books more effective. Edge: Princeton Review.
Practice Tests:Both companies have access to all past official LSATs through the LSAC LSAT Prep Plus program that every student must purchase. Tie.
User Experience and Interface: While not the best we have seen, Kaplan’s user experience and interface are a notch above the Princeton Review dashboard and experience. Easily navigable and intuitively designed, it is clean, professional and well structured. Edge: Kaplan.
Extra Resources:Both courses were a little thin on the extra resources. While other test prep companies provide some nice bonus resources, neither Kaplan nor Princeton Review go that extra mile. They stick to the tried and true material, and it works. Tie.
Online Content Access Period: With Kaplan coming in at 4 months for online access and Princeton Review at 120 days, this one is a tie (well, just about).
Refund Policy and Score Guarantees:Princeton Review and Kaplan both have higher score money back guarantees. The terms are a little different for each and somewhat technical, but at the end of the day, if your LSAT score doesn’t increase with the course, you’ll get your money back (assuming you follow the steps in their fine print). Also, each company does have a refund policy. If you change your mind about the course or if it isn’t for you, Princeton Review generally gives you 7 days to get your money back and Kaplan 3 days (subject to their conditions, which you should check out).
Which LSAT prep course costs more – Kaplan or Princeton Review?
Both companies offer comparable pricing for their prep courses. The self-paced options are about the same at around $800 all in, while Princeton Review offers slightly better prices on their live courses.
Do Kaplan and Princeton Review LSAT courses each come with hardcopy books?
Yes, both companies’ prep courses come with a set of their signature hardcopy lesson books.
Which company has better instructors, Kaplan or Princeton Review?
Both Kaplan and Princeton Review each employ top notch instructors. While it is not clear if their instructors must score in a certain percentile to teach at each company, it is clear from our experience that they are LSAT experts and great communicators.