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LSATMax vs Princeton Review LSAT
Our full, detail-packed 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 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.
Obviously the proof is in the pudding when it comes to effectiveness for Princeton, 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’s curriculum is almost 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.
Pricing & Course Options
Advantage: LSATMax. This is somewhat of a difficult category to measure, as the two companies provide pretty different offerings. For example, all of LSATMax’s course options are on demand and self-paced, whereas Princeton only offers one self-paced option. The rest of Princeton’s packages boast live online class sessions and some premium score guarantees, making them more expensive. When comparing straight self-paced courses, the companies are about equal in terms of pricing.
The most popular LSATMax offerings range from around $600 to $1,000, while Princeton’s lone self-paced package falls right in the middle at around $800. However, although the price points seem similar, we feel that the LSATMax packages just offer more. With Princeton, their self-paced course is their bottom rung, barebones package and they try to push you into their more premium packages. This is comparison to LSATMax, who focuses on self-paced courses – because after all, that’s their bread and butter. As such, we just see LSATMax offering more bang for your buck at these comparable price points.
Practice Problem Explanations
Advantage: LSATMax. A lot of students trying to pick a prep course don’t know that every LSAT provider uses the same practice questions and materials. And that’s because LSAC, the makers of the exam, license previously used, official test questions to any company who wants to pay the licensing fee (or have their students pay for it). As such, the quality of practice questions is the same across the board.
The difference maker is the text explanations that accompany the problems, which each company must craft themselves. And just being honest, this is the most important part anyway, as it’s where the real learning takes place. And in our team’s opinion, LSATMax provides the better answer solutions. Their analysis is insightful and deep, and provides actionable takeaways. That’s not to say Princeton’s explanations are bad – we just don’t like them as much.
Digital Platform & User Experience
Advantage: LSATMax. Without a shadow of a doubt, LSATMax’s digital platform blows Princeton Review’s out of the water. But 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, 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.
Advantage: Princeton Review. 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 is the overall picture quality and the graphics better, but we also like the more dynamic format. 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 Class Sessions
Advantage: Princeton Review. This is a pretty black and white category to dub a winner as Princeton Review provides live classes under a set schedule, while LSATMax does not. Many of you reading this may not care one bit, because you already know this about LSATMax and really only want a comparison of the self-paced courses.
But 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 isn’t just your preferred choice here, it’s your only choice.
Advantage: Princeton Review. 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. If you’re a text-based learner, these are arguably some the best in LSAT prep.
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.
Advantage: Tie. To set the stage, both companies provide a higher score guarantee. In other words, get a higher score on the LSAT after taking their 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.
However, the thing that isn’t spelled out in the bold print is that you need a minimum starting score of at least 158 to get that 165 promise. You can’t start with a 152 on your diagnostic test and expect them to guarantee you a 165. In that case, you’re only promised a +7 point score increase. Still a nice insurance policy, but it’s also pricey, as the 165+ course costs around $2,000. Due to those limitations and price point, we call this category a tie.
Verdict: Princeton Review LSAT vs LSATMax
Overall Win: LSATMax. Though this is a close competition between two highly-rated LSAT prep courses, our team ultimately prefers LSATMax to Princeton Review – UNLESS you’re a student in need of the benefits of live class instruction. In that case, we’d obviously recommend Princeton Review given their high quality and helpful live class sessions. But assuming you only desire a self-paced, on demand study program, LSATMax is the preferable option in our team’s opinion.
Their curriculum is more efficient and streamlined, while still being packed with actionable strategies and smart insights. We do like Princeton Review’s video lessons and prep books, but LSATMax’s strong practice problem explanations, stellar digital platform, and high-impact lessons win the day. We just think they offer the better all-around LSAT course.