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Magoosh vs Kaplan LSAT
See which LSAT prep course we think is better in this detailed comparison of Magoosh and Kaplan
Kaplan and Magoosh have a lot more in common than just their purple branding colors. From a high level, both LSAT courses are similar in terms of features, such as video lessons, practice material, and study calendars. However, there are some key differences, and after having a chance to use both LSAT prep packages, we do prefer one over the other. See which course our team prefers in this comprehensive breakdown.
Given that this is a lengthy and detailed comparison, we’ve included helpful jump-to links above for easy navigation.
Video Review: Magoosh Or Kaplan?
In this video, TPI team member John quickly covers everything you need to know about how the LSAT prep courses from Kaplan and Magoosh stack up.
How Each Prep Course Works
Before we dive into the nitty gritty details, let’s briefly cover how each LSAT program generally works. And I’ll just start with this: the courses from both companies are very similar in terms of features and the types of study materials that you receive.
Kaplan and Magoosh each give you pre-recorded video lessons, live online classes (if you opt for them), a structured study plan, practice problems, practice tests, problem explanations, and more.Basically, from a 10,000 foot view, the packages look nearly identical. However, there are some subtle and important differences.
For example, Kaplan provides hardcopy prep books with their course, while Magoosh does not. And Magoosh provides video solutions for their problems, while Kaplan does not.
But I think these similarities and differences are probably best explained by looking at where each course wins over the other.
Now that you have a good idea of the general study materials that both Kaplan and Magoosh provide, let’s dive deeper into the specific differences between these two courses, first starting with the areas in which Kaplan is superior to Magoosh.
LSAT Study Materials & Coursework
To put it simply, Kaplan dwarfs Magoosh in terms of volume of study materials. The sheer quantity of prep materials that Kaplan provides students is astonishing.
Between the video lessons, prep books, quizzes, simulated exams, and various practice drills, there are literally hundreds of hours’ worth of prep material. I think it’s safe to say that in comparison to Magoosh, Kaplan offers the more comprehensive LSAT prep courses.
Plus, our team likes that the Kaplan courses have a more structured and integrated curriculum. Whereas the Magoosh courses, on the other hand, have a more open, laissez-faire approach in which students are in the driver’s seat.
Bottom line, our team prefers Kaplan in terms of structure and volume of study materials.
Another advantage in Kaplan’s favor is their prep books. While Magoosh doesn’t offer any hardcopy prep books with their courses, Kaplan ships each student a beefy set of books containing testing strategies for each section, drills, and practice questions (the LSAT books from Blueprint are rock solid as well).
And the nice especially thing here is that the Kaplan books are not treated as a standalone resource or an afterthought. Rather, they actually align and track with the main course lessons, which helps to reinforce the material you’re learning.
You can follow along, take notes, and work practice problems right in the books. As such, if you’re more of an old school type of learner and prefer hardcopy books to take notes in and highlight key points, then Kaplan may be the better option for you.
The next advantage for Kaplan is their video lessons. Not only does Kaplan provide more video content than Magoosh in terms of overall hours, but the quality of Kaplan’s video lessons is also better in terms of production value.
Magoosh’s video lessons are just pretty basic. They’re more of a standard, PowerPoint-style slideshow where the instructor doesn’t appear on-screen and instead just voices over the material (similar to the LSATMax video lessons).
This is in contrast with Kaplan’s video lessons, which are more engaging and detailed. They take the form of a digital whiteboard with the instructor appearing in the bottom corner of the screen.
In my opinion, having the instructor onscreen is a big plus. I personally think it’s helpful to actually see the instructor with your own eyes as they work problems and demonstrate key points. It just feels a lot more intimate and personal.
You can observe their body language, hand gestures, and facial expressions, which really helps with the learning process and material retention.
Finally, Kaplan beats Magoosh when it comes to live class time. If you opt for Kaplan’s live online course, you’ll get 32 hours of live instruction, whereas Magoosh’s Live + Premium course comes with just 16 hours of live instruction.
Therefore, if you’re the type of student who thrives in a live class setting (maybe you like interacting with teachers and peers, and asking questions), or you need the set class schedule to help hold yourself accountable, then I think Kaplan is the better overall option.
Now that you’re aware of the areas in which Kaplan beats Magoosh, it’s only fair to turn the tables and discuss the advantages of going with Magoosh for your LSAT prep needs.
Magoosh Is More Affordable
When it comes to price, there’s no sense in calling a “winner” here because, really, it’s not even close. Magoosh is by far the more affordable LSAT prep option.
The Magoosh self-paced plan costs around $300, and their guided study plan which includes live classes costs around $600.
Kaplan’s self-paced course, on the other hand, costs around $800, while their live class options run around for around $1,200 to $1,500. Thus, you’ll likely save anywhere from $500 to $900 by choosing Magoosh for your LSAT prep.
However, it’s definitely worth mentioning that both Magoosh and Kaplan regularly offer sales and special promotions, and I’ve seen these courses discounted by 10 to 15% before, so be sure to check for coupon codes before buying.
Practice Questions & Explanations
The next advantage for Magoosh lies in their practice work. To be clear, both companies offer you access to all past official LSAT exams through the mandatory LSAC Prep Plus program.
Put differently, you’ll get access to 70+ real LSATs regardless of which course you end up choosing.
Therefore, the difference between Kaplan and Magoosh boils down to their LSAT problem explanations. With Kaplan, when you’re reviewing your practice tests or practice problems, they only provide text explanations.
By contrast, Magoosh provides both text and video solutions for every problem. For visual learners, I personally think this is a huge value add, especially with respect to reviewing logic game problems.
Sometimes text explanations alone just don’t cut it, and these Magoosh videos break down problems in a very clear and succinct way which gives you a nice, digestible means of reviewing your practice work.
Extra LSAT Resources
Another major advantage for Magoosh is the extra resources that they provide students. Kaplan doesn’t really offer much beyond the standard study materials, while Magoosh definitely offers a few nice bonus features.
The most notable and worthwhile feature in my opinion is their 24/7 email support. Essentially, if you ever get hung up on a question or don’t understand a specific concept or testing strategy, you can email one of Magoosh’s remote LSAT tutors and they’ll get back to you with a detailed answer within a day or so. It’s pretty cool.
I used this feature three or four times and found Magoosh to be great about responding with substantive answers. Frankly, it’s just nice knowing you always have that backstop in case you ever get confused or stuck.
Longer Access Period
My next Magoosh highlight is the content access period. When you sign up for one of Magoosh’s LSAT courses, you get 12 months of access. This is in contrast to Kaplan, who only provides four months of access.
Thus, if you plan on taking the LSAT twice (perhaps treating the first attempt as sort of a trial run) or you’re already working full-time and you plan on spreading your studying out over an extended period of time, Magoosh is going to be your more ideal option.
To be fair, Kaplan does allow you to extend your access period, but it costs extra. For example, to upgrade to six months of access, it will run an you additional $200.
The last advantage in favor of Magoosh is their score guarantee. The company is so confident that you’ll raise your score at least 5 points that if you don’t, they will refund your money in full.
By comparison, Kaplan’s policy just guarantees that you will “raise your score.” Or, in other words, it’s just a one point increase guarantee. So Magoosh clearly wins in this department as well.
Should you go with Kaplan or Magoosh for your LSAT prep? It’s a tough question, and I think the answer largely depends on your budget and what type of learner you are.
If money is tight and you’re working with a limited budget, then Magoosh is an an excellent option. Their prep courses are a tremendous value and provide serious bang for your buck.
With that said, if money is not a concern and you simply want the best LSAT prep course period, then there’s no question Kaplan offers the more complete prep packages. Not only does Kaplan offer more study materials than Magoosh, but our team also prefers their video lessons, prep books, and live classes.
So if your goal is to score over 160 on the LSAT, so that you can get accepted into a top tier law school, then Kaplan will likely give you the best shot of doing so.
After having a chance to use and test out both LSAT prep packages for over a month, our conclusion is that Kaplan offers the more comprehensive and effective prep courses. Our team likes the Kaplan video lessons, prep books, and live classes more than Magoosh’s.
Magoosh LSAT is so much cheaper - is it worth it?
Honestly, yes, Magoosh LSAT is worth it. We were pretty dubious based on the price point, but Magoosh offers some really strong resources. For self-studiers, their materials should be more than enough to get the job done.
Do Kaplan and Magoosh have guarantees?
Magoosh and Kaplan each offer score improvement guarantees, though Magoosh offers the better value with a promised increase of at least 5 points.