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LSATMax vs Kaplan LSAT
A comprehensive comparison of the LSAT prep courses from Kaplan and LSATMax
When it comes to LSAT courses, there may not be any two prep options as dissimilar as Kaplan and LSATMax. On the one hand, you have Kaplan, which offers the old school, tried and true approach. Then there’s LSATMax, the LSAT prep company focused on modernizing prep with its digital-first approach. So which one is better? We answer just that question in this side-by-side comparison.
We’ve added some helpful jump-to links above so you can easily navigate this lengthy article.
Video Review: Which LSAT Prep Is Better?
In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team (a 170 LSAT scorer) covers the pros and cons of the LSAT courses from Kaplan and LSATMax. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full comparison below.
To best compare and contrast these two courses, we’ve split out our analysis based on where we think each company wins. Let’s start with the categories we see Kaplan winning.
Without a doubt, Kaplan provides superior video lessons to LSATMax. While LSATMax takes a less engaging approach of using PowerPoint-style slides with instructor voiceover, Kaplan’s videos are much more dynamic.
Your instructor appears on screen in the bottom corner, and as they deliver their lesson, notes, key points and graphics fill the digital whiteboard around them.
It’s a very cool delivery that holds your attention and keeps you engaged. Plus, they rotate different instructors in and out, so nothing gets stale.
This is a slam dunk win for Kaplan as they provide live LSAT classes, while LSATMax does not. This shouldn’t come as a shock, since LSATMax bills itself as a flexible, on demand study course where you can study at anytime.
To be clear, LSATMax does provide drop-in office hour-style sessions, but they are nothing like Kaplan’s live classes. These drop-in classes cover topics somewhat sporadically, though when you do catch a session that makes sense for you, they are helpful.
Kaplan delivers a set of regularly scheduled classes, where you methodically work your way through the material in a group setting.
On average, when considering the self-paced courses from both companies (LSATMax doesn’t have a comparable live online class option), Kaplan wins in terms of pricing.
LSATMax provides a month-to-month content access package for around $250/month and a 180-day package for close to $900, while Kaplan’s standard DIY course (with four months of access) comes in at around $800.
Plus, you can almost always find the Kaplan course on sale for up to 10% off, making it the more affordable option. Along with their wider range of options (allowing you to select from self-paced, live online and in-person classes), Kaplan gets the win on pricing.
LSAT Prep Books
Interestingly enough, despite being a mobile-first company that prides itself on its modern, digital nature, LSATMax actually offers students four hard copy prep books. However, we didn’t find them to be a useful component of the study plan. They felt more like a last minute add-on.
In contrast, Kaplan’s books contain lesson notes and assigned readings, and are packed with most of the same insightful strategies and high-quality practice material that you find in the online platform.
They have a nice mix of content, while not being overly detailed or burdensome. I just think Kaplan does a better job incorporating their books into the course and making them a key component, rather than as an add-on supplement.
Bottom line, the Kaplan books add true value and shouldn’t be overlooked as a resource.
When it comes to the extra resources that these prep companies provide to their students (i.e., alternative tools outside the scope of the main coursework), there is no debating that Kaplan wins. This is in large part due to their LSAT Channel.
This feature is more or less what it sounds like—a channel you tune into nightly (if you want) to catch a deeper dive into a particular topic.
One of Kaplan’s national instructors leads a session that gets way into the weeds on one specific type of logic game or important key concept. These live sessions add a ton of value, as you can ask questions in real time, chat with other students, and drop in and out as you want.
For the subjects where you’re weak, these nightly sessions can have a significant impact.
Score Increase Guarantees
One category where we just can’t call a winner is score increase guarantees. And that’s because both companies offer nearly identical promises.
Essentially, if you use either company’s prep course and don’t get a higher score on the LSAT than when you started, you get your money back. Now, there is some fine print, but by and large, this is a nice insurance policy from both prep providers.
The LSATMax course is neatly organized into digital modules that attack the various sections of the LSAT.
Each study unit contains a video lesson, as well as assigned reading pages, answerable flashcards, problem sets, and drills to work.
Between the content (which we found to be spot on) and the helpful course structure, we just think LSATMax offers one of the better bundles of coursework in LSAT prep.
Practice Question Explanations
One thing a lot of students getting ready to start prepping for the LSAT don’t know is that every LSAT company uses the same practice material. That’s right. No matter which company you go with, they all make you buy a subscription to LSAC so that you can practice on official LSAT questions used on past exams.
In turn, this means the big differentiator is the practice problem explanations that accompany the material, which each prep company must craft itself.
And while this was a close call, our team slightly prefers the answer solutions drafted by LSATMax.
They’re written in plain English and provide just the right amount of detail without being too treatise-like. Plus, they tie in many of the actionable tips and tricks they teach you throughout the course, so you’re always learning under the same framework of material.
One of the greatest strengths of the LSATMax course is their digital platform, giving them an easy win over Kaplan in the category of user interface. Their dashboard is sleek and modern, but more importantly, really easy to navigate.
You work your way through your learning modules and can jump around from resource to resource without getting lost. Plus, this is the biggest selling point of all—LSATMax uses the same platform across all devices.
This means you can jump from your smartphone to the computer, then over to your tablet, and you’re always looking at the same layout and material.
Though a very close call, in the end, our team believes Kaplan beats out LSATMax in this head-to-head comparison of LSAT prep courses. While we love LSATMax’s streamlined curriculum and modern, digital-first approach, Kaplan simply offers the more effective all-around course.
Kaplan uses a very comprehensive approach to LSAT prep that we loved. With high-quality video lessons, detailed problem explanations with keen insights and strategies, optional live classes, and stacks of prep books and practice work, we just think Kaplan offers the better overall prep package.
Which LSAT prep course is better, Kaplan or LSATMax?
After thoroughly reviewing the LSAT prep courses from both Kaplan and LSATMax, our team believes that Kaplan provides the more effective overall course. This is largely driven by their video lessons and in-depth answer explanations.
Will LSATMax or Kaplan get me a better LSAT score?
If you compete the full study plan offered by either company, you’ll almost certainty raise your LSAT score. We rate both prep courses very highly and think they will do the job for most every student. It really comes down to individual learning style.
Which LSAT prep is cheaper, Kaplan or LSATMax?
While both prep companies offer self-paced courses at similar price points, Kaplan is cheaper by about $100. Plus, with their frequent discounts and promotions, it is a stronger value.