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Alpha Score LSAT Review
An in-depth evaluation of the Alpha Score LSAT prep course
Alpha Score is a relatively small player in the LSAT test prep space, with online only content and lower price points, but as we’ve seen before, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t offer a better prep course. So how do they stack up against these industry heavyweights? We analyze Alpha Score’s coursework, user experience and other features in this detailed review.
Alpha Score is an online only course, with the primary marketing pitch of giving students the opportunity to study anywhere and at any time. Start and stop whenever you like, on whatever device best suits you, and you can pick right back up where you left off. As such, a lot of their value rides on their online content, including the video lessons, practice problem sets and answer explanations.
The Alpha Score course curriculum is essentially grouped into three buckets that follow the major sections of the LSAT:
Logic Games (Analytical Reasoning)
Within each of the three course sections, the lessons are further broken down by question type or concept. These modules follow a pattern of video lessons followed by a quiz, with intermittent PDF downloads of cheat sheets, practice problems and answers in between. The structure flows in a nice linear fashion that is logical and easy to follow.
Alpha Score provides over 50 hours of highly relevant video instruction. As for the quality of the video lessons, well in short, the substantive content is there, but the tech is lacking. Alpha Score’s primary instructor, Greg, who leads most of the video lessons, is a great communicator, slicing and dicing complex subjects with ease. He effectively breaks down complex concepts, smoothly explaining problems, and gives you easy-to-use strategies to attack problems.
But while the substantive content of the video lessons is solid, the tech behind the interface is not great, particularly compared to some competitors like Blueprint LSAT and Manhattan Prep. The animated tutorials just don’t match up. Visually, the instructor appears in front of a green screen with very basic text and diagrams popping up around him to explain the subject matter.
If you just want the raw substance without all the bells and whistles, Alpha Score will suit you well. But if you like videos with high end digital whiteboards and a modern interface, you may want to look elsewhere.
Beyond the video lessons, the quizzes and assignments that exist to reinforce what you’ve learned are in my opinion, quite serviceable. Again, they lack the frills of other test prep companies, but the material is solid. The quizzes are on point and do a good job of hammering home concepts you just covered.
Additionally, the practice problem explanations are very in-depth and detailed, analyzing each right and wrong answer choice with on-screen notes to illustrate the reasoning. Further, the assignments utilize only official LSAT questions from LSAC. That isn’t anything novel in the LSAT test prep space these days, but does provide high quality, pertinent practice drills.
Overall, my personal opinion of the coursework is that it is above average content presented in a below average format. But I think that the quality of the substantive content is the most important aspect at the end of the day, particularly when looking at a value course. And speaking of course price…
Alpha Score LSAT Pricing
There is no hiding that Alpha Score is one of the value prep courses in the LSAT test prep market. In fact, like Magoosh, it’s one of their selling points. Their standard Complete Course is priced at the extremely reasonable rate of just under $400. And if the flagship Complete Course doesn’t give you enough, you can upgrade to their Premium Course for a shade under $800.
The only difference between the two packages is the number of practice tests and questions that are accessible. The Premium Course offers an additional 51 official LSAT exams and an extra 5,000 or so practice questions. So, if you’re the type of student that learns primarily by doing (like myself) and needs a ton of practice problem and exams, definitely consider upgrading to the Premium – it’s still a deal at around $790.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Alpha Score’s Practice Tests
Alpha Score, despite being a budget course in the LSAT test prep space, offers a respectable number of practice tests to their students. The Complete Course comes with 10 official LSATs, and the Premium Course provides access to 61 official LSAT exams.
While other courses like LSATMax and Manhattan Prep offer more, this number of practice tests is absolutely enough. Even if you’re a student that likes to take tons and tons of practice exams (like me), you’re still never likely going to use up all 61 exams Alpha Score offers (and if you do, well good on you).
And to be clear, these are official LSATs that have been previously administered by LSAC – not fabricated tests. These tests come straight from the makers of the LSAT, and offer you the opportunity to get a real feel for what the actual test will be like.
Dashboard and User Interface
As mentioned above in this review, the Alpha Score user experience is nothing to write home about. The dashboard is very basic, and the tech is all around outdated. The videos themselves also kind of reminded me of a local TV commercial – the image quality is a little fuzzy and the graphics look like they were handled by a kid at the local junior college. But that said, the rest of the interface isn’t all that terrible.
There is a helpful progress bar to track the percentage of the section you have completed in the top left corner, and the lesson modules follow a very intuitive and linear pattern down the left side of the screen. You just work through one video and assignment at a time, ticking off tasks as you go.
Long story short, if you’re buying the Alpha Score course, it’s not for a snappy and modern user experience, it’s for the affordable price point, solid instruction, and practical assignments and drills.
Are There Hardcopy Textbooks?
Unlike some more traditional LSAT prep courses, Alpha Score does not utilize hard copy textbooks as the core of their coursework. Instead, they offer downloadable PDFs to serve as their primary written content. These PDFs supplement and track with the video lessons and digital content. They are comprised of lesson notes, practice problems and drills.
I found the PDFs to be a helpful addition to the online content in terms of substance. They were a little outdated and grainy (not so unlike the videos), but substantively they were on point. The practice problems and drills contained in the PDFs are helpful and the notes insightful.
That said, I personally prefer hard copy books as the basis of my written content. I like to take notes in the margins, dog-ear pages and circle key points. You could print out these PDFs, but that would kill a lot of trees and I didn’t want to waste the ink.
The Alpha Score LSAT Prep Course is Online Only
In order to achieve its affordable price points, Alpha Score does not offer any in-person classes. That’s right, no brick and mortar – instead, everything is on demand and just a click away online.
Whether this will work for you totally depends on what type of student you are. If you need a committed schedule to hold you accountable to study, or just learn better in a classroom environment with a live instructor, then Alpha Score may not be your cup of tea (in which case you should check out our review of Princeton Review or Kaplan).
But for those that like the freedom to study from home (or wherever there is a wifi connection), and at any given time of day, Alpha Score may be your jam. Use any device you’d like – even trade off devices – and Alpha Score will track your progress seamlessly.
Although Alpha Score is a value course, they do offer some notable perks that compete with the big boys. The most important of these supplementary resources by far is the access to instructors. If you have a question, you can email their instructors at any time and get a response within 48 hours.
I tested this feature and Alpha Score did come through. I sent off a question about a logic games setup and got a response within 24 hours. The response was helpful and got me what I needed, though not overly detailed.
Another nice resource, though not unique to Alpha Score, is the virtual proctor. In order to take practice tests under exam-like conditions, Alpha Score offers a digital proctor to track time and administer the test. This was a nice tool that I found to be helpful for mimicking real test conditions.
The last resource worth mentioning is their study schedule. Alpha Score provides you with a sample LSAT study schedule to help you plan your studies and make sure you get through all of their material in a timely fashion. This study schedule was not as personalized and helpful as others we have seen (see Blueprint LSAT), but definitely holds its own in terms of assistance.
Private Tutoring with Alpha Score
Alpha Score does not market private tutoring packages directly on their website; however, they do say they offer private tutoring. Although I did not purchase supplementary 1-on-1 private tutoring with Alpha Score, I would strongly expect such service to be solid. Given they have no in-person classes and their instructors all have 5+ years of experience in teaching the LSAT, you are surely going to get some quality tutoring that is consistent with the coursework. Other large test prep companies have so many instructors that often the message of the individual instructor may vary from what the student is learning in class – but that would not be the case with Alpha Score.
Length of Access to Online Content
Both the Complete and Premium Alpha Score LSAT review courses provide 12-month subscriptions, giving you access to their materials for a full year.
Is There a Mobile App?
While your online content is accessible by logging in from your smartphone (i.e. mobile friendly), there is no specialized Alpha Score app for your mobile devices.
Is there a Score Increase Guarantee?
There is no sort of improved score money back guarantee included with the Alpha Score LSAT course. This is unusual, as most other test prep companies provide at least some level of assurance for a score increase.
What is the Refund Policy?
Alpha Score does not offer refunds; however, they do offer you a free one-month subscription. In order to give you a good feel for the course, the 30-day free trial offers you 125 practice questions, 1 official LSAT exam, and 3 video lessons with tutorials.
Verdict: Alpha Score LSAT Prep Course
If you’re looking for a no frills, affordably priced, online-only course, Alpha Score may be just what the doctor ordered. Their video lessons are lacking in the tech department and the user experience is about as basic as they come, but the substantive content is absolutely present. Alpha Score’s primary instructor, Greg, breaks down complex concepts and problem types with ease, serving them to you in easily understandable bites of info.
In addition, the practice problems (real LSAT questions) are accompanied by thorough and well-communicated explanations. And all of this is delivered through a digital platform that you can access from anywhere, anytime and on just about any device. If you want a high-end course with classroom instruction and fancy video lessons, Alpha Score isn’t likely the right fit. But if you want solid instruction with actionable tips, thousands of practice problems and official LSAT practice tests, all bundled up in an online-only wrapper, Alpha Score may be perfect for you.
How much does the Alpha Score LSAT prep course cost?
Alpha Score offers two course options – their flagship Complete Course for around $390 and a Premium Course for $790.
Is Alpha Score All Online?
Yes. Alpha Score’s course is completely digital, having no classes or hard copy textbooks.
Does Alpha Score have a Mobile App?
No. Despite being completely digital, Alpha Score does not have a smartphone app. However, you can access your Alpha Score content from any device.