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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, who’s been prepping students for 70+ years and takes an old school, tried and true approach. Then there’s LSATMax, who is the upstart LSAT prep company focused on modernizing prep with its digital-first approach. So which one wins? We answer just that question in this side-by-side comparison.
Advantage: LSATMax. Though our team likes Kaplan’s old school, thorough approach to LSAT prep, we actually have LSATMax’s curriculum rating out slightly better. LSATMax’s lesson plans are stuffed with actionable strategies, hacks that really work, and smart insights about the varying problem types you’ll see on the exam. 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.
Advantage: LSATMax. Interestingly enough, despite being a mobile-first company that prides itself on its modern, digital nature, LSATMax actually offers students 4 hard copy prep books. Kind of weird. Nevertheless, we found them to super useful as a component of your study plan. The books house your lesson notes and assigned reading, and are also 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. And don’t get me wrong – Kaplan’s books are darn good in their own right. I just think LSATMax 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 LSATMax books add true value and shouldn’t be overlooked as a resource.
Practice Question Explanations
Advantage: LSATMax. 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 just 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.
User Experience & Interface
Advantage: LSATMax. 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, the biggest selling point of all: the fact that 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. This is a major advantage for students that move around a lot while studying, and is an underrated feature in our team’s opinion.
Advantage: Kaplan. Without a doubt, Kaplan provides superior video lessons to LSATMax. But this is mainly to do with the delivery format and not the content. 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. Like I mentioned, we actually think the content contained within the video lectures from both companies is comparable in terms of quality, but Kaplan’s cool delivery format with high production value and solid instructors wins the day.
Advantage: Kaplan. Now this is a slam dunk win for Kaplan. And that’s because Kaplan provides 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 their nothing like Kaplan’s live classes.
Kaplan delivers a set of regularly scheduled classes, where you methodically work your way through the material in a group setting. In my opinion, if you’re the type of student that learns better in a class setting than studying on your own, or perhaps just need the accountability that comes with a set class schedule, then Kaplan is going to be the preferable option.
Pricing & Course Options
Advantage: Kaplan. On average, when considering the self-paced courses from both companies (as LSATMax doesn’t haven’t a comparable live online class option), the two are pretty similar in terms of pricing. LSATMax provides a 60-day content access package for around $600 and a 180-day package for close to $1,000, while Kaplan’s standard DIY course (with 4-months of access) falls somewhere in the middle at around $800.
So when considered on a sliding scale of content access, the two courses are pretty close. That said, you can almost always find the Kaplan course on sale for up to 15% off, making it the more affordable option. Plus, we just like their range of options better, allowing you to select from self-paced, live online and in-person classes, as opposed to LSATMax’s sole offering with varying access periods.
Advantage: Kaplan. When it comes to the extra resources that these prep companies provide their students, or in other words, alternative tools outside the scope of the main coursework, there is no debating that Kaplan wins. And 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.
Advantage: Tie. 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.
Verdict: Kaplan LSAT vs LSATMax
Overall Win: LSATMax. Though somewhat of a close call, in the end, our team believes LSATMax beats out Kaplan in this head-to-head comparison of LSAT prep courses. While we love Kaplan’s comprehensive approach to prep, with high quality video lessons, live classes, and stacks of prep books and practice work, we just think LSATMax offers the better overall prep package. Between the strength of their LSAT curriculum, detailed problem explanations with keen insights and strategies, and overall new age approach to prepping, there’s just too much to like. In the end, LSATMax provides the slightly better all-around course from top to bottom, and we believe it should work well for most types of learners.
Which LSAT prep course is better, Kaplan or LSATMax?
After thoroughly evaluating the LSAT prep courses from both Kaplan and LSATMax, our team of experts believes that LSATMax provides the better overall course from top to bottom.
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 out very highly and think they will do the job for most every student.
Which LSAT prep is cheaper, Kaplan or LSATMax?
While both prep companies offer courses at similar price points, Kaplan is likely a hair cheaper with their frequent discounts and promotions.