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LSATMax vs Princeton Review LSAT
Detailed comparison of the LSAT prep courses from Princeton Review and LSATMax
Given the importance of your LSAT score to your law school applications, students always fret about getting their LSAT prep choice right. And one of the most common decision points is whether to go with LSATMax or Princeton Review. LSATMax is the new age prep company with cutting edge tech and an efficient curriculum, while Princeton Review is that old school tried and true formula. So which one do you go with? We answer just that question in this side-by-side comparison.
To most effectively compare these two LSAT courses head-to-head, we’ve broken out our analysis based on the major categories we see each company winning. With that in mind, let’s start with Princeton Review.
Courses Are More Affordable
Although at first glance Princeton Review may seem like the more expensive option given the various courses they offer, that’s actually not the case.
LSATMax offers three different versions of the same self-paced, on-demand course, with the only difference being the length of content access. The company offers a pay-as-you-go monthly plan for $250, a 6-month plan for $895, and a one year plan for $995.
In contrast, the self-paced course from Princeton Review, which includes 12 months of access, costs around $800.
Therefore, if you’re comparing apples to apples (12-month self-paced courses), Princeton Review is clearly the more affordable option by around $200.
So in terms of pure value, there’s no question that Princeton Review is the more ideal choice. Plus, Princeton Review seems to be more aggressive with sales and discounts too.
👉 Side Note: If you are working with a limited budget, you may want to consider the LSAT courses from Magoosh. They’re the ultra budget option.
Both LSATMax and Princeton Review actually offer pretty similar video-based lessons. The format is the same with a digital whiteboard showing a problem or key concept, and the instructor verbalizing their lesson while making notes onscreen.
It’s a fairly basic approach to video lectures, but also effective, and lends itself well to LSAT prep.
However, despite the similarities in format and delivery, we actually prefer the Princeton Review video lessons. Not only are the overall picture quality and the graphics better, but we also like the more dynamic format (like the Kaplan LSAT lessons).
Many of the video lessons will break to hit you with an interactive question or drill, before resuming the lesson on the topic at hand. Overall, we just found them to be more engaging and contain slightly better content.
Live LSAT Classes
This is a pretty easy category to dub a winner as Princeton Review offers live LSAT classes, while LSATMax does not.
For those of you that are looking for more regular class sessions in a group setting to keep you accountable and committed in your LSAT prep, Princeton Review isn’t just your preferred choice here, it’s your only choice.
I’d also just note that Princeton’s live classes are pretty good. They’re not as good as Blueprint’s LSAT classes , but very strong in their own right. The instructors are great communicators and know the LSAT like the back of their hands. They also do a great job of making otherwise boring material fun and interesting.
LSAT Prep Books
Although LSATMax provides some solid printed prep books (which as an aside, is surprising given their digital-first approach), Princeton Review’s books are simply too good.
Not only are they filled with helpful and analytical content, but we loved the way they’re organized. They primarily track the online coursework and study plan, and also supplement the curriculum with assigned readings, extra practice work and cool callout boxes that highlight key points.
They are very useful and a great resource, particularly for those students that like having a physical study tool. For the record, the Kaplan LSAT books are our favorite in the space.
LSAT Practice Material
The next advantage for Princeton Review has to do with practice material, with a two-part win.
First, it’s important to understand that nearly every LSAT prep company utilizes a subscription to LSAC in order to access official past LSAT problems. In other words, the playing field is more or less equal as far as quality and quantity of practice questions and practice tests go.
With that said, Princeton Review does beat LSATMax in this category for a couple of reasons. For one, Princeton Review includes the LSAC subscription in the cost of their courses, which is a $115 value, while LSATMax makes you purchase this subscription separately.
Second, even though the questions and practice tests between the companies are essentially the same, our team prefers the explanations from Princeton Review.
I say that because for every problem, Princeton Review includes a detailed explanation, and analysis of the best way to approach the question type, as well as commentary for both correct and incorrect answer choices, which our team thinks is crucial for making gains.
By analyzing each component of the question, and the accompanying answer choices, it will help you start to recognize patterns and keep you from making foolish errors moving forward.
Therefore, if you’re more of a practice-oriented learner, Princeton Review is definitely the way to go.
Score Increase Guarantees
To be clear, both companies provide a higher score guarantee. In other words, get a higher score on the LSAT after taking each company’s course, or get your money back.
Now, the one caveat here is that Princeton Review offers a course option called the LSAT 165+, which as its name implies, guarantees you a score of 165 or greater.
This is something that LSATMax simply does not offer. So if you are eyeing admission into a top-25 law school, the premium Princeton Review courses are a great option to help get you there.
Now that you have a good idea of what Princeton Review brings to the table, let’s flip the script and talk about the reasons you may want to with LSATMax to help you prepare for the LSAT exam.
Curriculum & Coursework Structure
This is somewhat of a tough decision for our team, as both companies provide pretty different approaches to LSAT prep, but ultimately, we like LSATMax’s course structure.
Although we like Princeton’s lesson plans and coursework, LSATMax’s curriculum just feels more efficient (same story with Blueprint).
Obviously the proof is in the pudding when it comes to effectiveness for Princeton Review, as evidenced by their decades of student success stories, but LSATMax has crafted a more efficient and streamlined approach through their study plan.
Their coursework isn’t as heavy-handed and focuses on high-yield strategies and tactics, while Princeton Review’s curriculum is borderline too comprehensive. When combined with a top-notch digital platform, the streamlined and efficient study plan from LSATMax is one of the best in the space.
Daily Office Hours
It’s worth highlighting that LSATMax offers live office hours on a daily basis for its students, which makes it super easy and convenient to communicate with expert LSAT instructors basically whenever you want.
This comes in handy whenever you get stuck on a practice question, or you need clarification on a particular topic or question type.
It’s also worth calling out that LSATMax includes one hour of private tutoring with each of their packages, which is definitely useful when you’re feeling overwhelmed after performing poorly on a practice test.
Being able to spend an hour with a LSAT tutor and set a game plan for how to proceed following the poor test is extremely valuable.
Digital Platform & User Experience
Without a shadow of a doubt, LSATMax’s digital platform is better than Princeton Review’s. This shouldn’t be surprising, as this is one of LSATMax’s biggest selling points and marketing claims.
They focus a lot of their efforts on designing a digital interface that is clean, modern and meant to make studying across your devices seamless.
This is how they’re trying to change the old school LSAT prep game. And honestly, we’re all in on it. While Princeton Review’s interface is serviceable and what you would expect (like Kaplan’s), LSATMax’s is next level.
It’s sleek, intuitive and you can sense they’ve really invested in it. And in my opinion at least, this is more than just aesthetics – it’s actually a value add, as it makes your studies more efficient.
It’s time to answer the big question: should you choose LSATMax or Princeton Review to help you prepare for the LSAT?
Well, after using and reviewing the courses from both companies, our team believes that Princeton Review is the way to go.
Don’t get me wrong, LSATMax is solid and they do score points in a couple key areas, but in the truly important categories (i.e. video lessons, live classes, practice material, score guarantees), it’s pretty much a clean sweep in favor of Princeton Review.
Not to mention, you’ll likely save money by going with Princeton Review too. All in all, it’s just tough to argue with Princeton Review’s value and effectiveness. If you are serious about scoring high on the LSAT, Princeton Review would be our team’s pick.