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Kaplan LSAT Review
Our all-encompassing review of the Kaplan LSAT prep course
When it comes to LSAT test prep, Kaplan is one of the premier names in the industry. Their course was designed by an army of LSAT experts, and they offer mountains of resources. But does a prestigious name, size and an abundance of resources mean this course is right for you? We take a close look at the Kaplan LSAT prep course and evaluate all of its features in this review.
Since this is a fairly detailed and lengthy review, we’ve added helpful jump-to links above for quick navigation.
Our Honest Kaplan LSAT Review Video
In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team walks you through what you need to know about the different Kaplan LSAT course options. He covers pricing, quality of study materials and much more.
The first thing that jumps out about the Kaplan LSAT prep course is the sheer quantity of prep material. Between the lessons, assessments, prep book material, practice problem sets, practice tests, drills and problem explanations, there are hundreds of hours’ worth of prep material. When trying to decide on the best LSAT prep course, many students want to know how much study material they are getting, and honestly, no one could complain about the amount of study material provided by Kaplan.
Whether you’re taking the DIY Course or the Online Course, the Kaplan LSAT course offers 32 hours of core lesson instruction. Now that doesn’t sound like much, especially when compared to Princeton Review, which offers 150+ hours of lesson instruction; however, the core curriculum is complemented by over 180 hours of additional video content through Kaplan’s LSAT Channel (more on that below).
The course curriculum (which Kaplan calls its “Study Plan”) is broken down into 6 major core sessions along the lines of the three LSAT sections, with those core sessions being further broken down into units based on problem types and concepts. Each core session includes video lessons, assessments, and practice problem sets, among other coursework.
For those taking the DIY Course, the core video lessons are well designed and incredibly detailed. When opened, they appear in a new browser tab and are broken down into shorter video segments, with each segment ranging anywhere in length from a minute to an hour long.
You can speed up, slow down, or jump ahead to a segment that is further along. The video lessons themselves generally take the form of a digital whiteboard, with the instructor appearing in the bottom corner in a classic green screen setup. The instructor talks through their lesson and the whiteboard behind them follows along with notes, highlights and graphics constantly changing.
Overall, I found the lessons to be genuinely insightful and took away a lot of solid actionable strategies. The instructors clearly know their stuff and chose great practice problems to exemplify their points, making it easy to break down and understand underlying concepts. That said, my take on the online instructors was that they weren’t the most exciting individuals in the world, particularly when compared to some other test prep companies’ instructors (like Blueprint LSAT). But “fun factor” aside, the instructors were obviously insanely knowledgeable and passionate about the LSAT.
And while the lessons were very high quality, my one small complaint would be that the screen could become cluttered at times. Between the instructor in the bottom the corner, the practice problem they were working through, the answer choices, and all of their notes, it was just a little much on screen at one time and I found myself kind of going cross-eyed. But aside from the screen getting busy at times, the content quality is clearly top tier.
In addition to the core instruction, Kaplan offers a “Practice Library,” which includes:
assessments designed to help you master advanced subjects and problem types,
timing drills, and
extra LSAT practice exams
This is where you really get your money’s worth from Kaplan.
This section of the course is chock full of practice material that will keep you busy for literally hundreds of hours. And the material is dead on, being built almost entirely on official LSAT questions. Plus, I personally liked the diversity of additional prep resources in this section – I never got bored and could bounce back-and-forth among the problem types.
To accompany the practice problems, Kaplan provides you access to explanations of just about every LSAT question ever released. Although explanations appear for each practice problem that you work throughout the coursework, you can also download PDF’s of all the explanations for a given PrepTest in one easy to locate place. I particularly liked this feature for offline study, as you can print it out and haul it along with you if you’re going to be on the train or taking a flight.
All in all, the Kaplan LSAT prep material is rock solid. The quantity of test prep study material is unparalleled and the quality is top notch. Apart from the few small gripes I had above related to onscreen visuals and instructor engagement, the overall quality of Kaplan’s coursework is highly rated.
Kaplan LSAT Prep Books
To follow the lessons, every student that purchases a Kaplan LSAT prep course is shipped a set of hard copy prep books. The books align with the course lessons and provide strategies on each section, practice questions and other drills. You work through the lesson books along with the course, taking notes and working practice problems.
I personally found the books to be a really helpful complement to the course lessons. Without them, following along and reinforcing the concepts would be a lot tougher. They contain great info, and I’m always a fan of the old school textbook so that I can make notes, dog-ear pages and highlight things.
The Kaplan LSAT Channel
As referenced above, Kaplan’s LSAT Channel is a line of supplemental video lessons that take a deeper dive into certain concepts and problem types, with new videos being released almost daily. The instructors appear in the corner of the screen, giving their specialized daily lesson, with a digital whiteboard and large chat feature for students to interact, ask questions or answer a teacher’s live poll.
I found these videos, which are both live and on demand, to be pretty helpful when I needed a deeper dive on a particular subject. Plus, there is a cool filter feature that makes it easy to find pre-recorded LSAT Channel videos.
Course Options and Pricing
Kaplan offers four different course options from which to choose, each varying in format, price and features. They are as follows:
In Person Course
The DIY Course is Kaplan’s starter, self-paced package and is reasonably priced at right around $800. This course includes most of the same materials that you will get with their more expensive options, such as video lectures, practice questions, simulated exams and more, but without any live class work or tutoring.
The Online Course is Kaplan’s go-to, flagship offering and costs in the neighborhood of $1,300. This includes everything the DIY Course does, but with 32 hours of live class sessions in a virtual classroom.
The In PersonCourse is the exact same as the above-mentioned Online Course, but meets live in-person in a more traditional classroom environment. This package costs the same also, at right around $1,300.
Finally, Kaplan’s Bootcamp course offers 4 weeks of intense daily studying. You follow a regimented study schedule with near-daily class sessions and tons of lesson work. This course is designed to leave nothing to chance, and to give you your best shot at an elite score. This package offers a whopping 140+ hours of live classroom time, as well as 1-on-1 tutoring and the full slate of other resources. This is the white glove package, and as such, prices in at right under $4,000.
Though seemingly expensive, these price points are on par with other high end LSAT prep companies, and can often be found on sale for less. And most importantly, we found them to be right in line with the quality of course that you get. But if you are looking for something more budget-friendly, check out our review of LSAT Lab.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Kaplan LSAT Practice Tests
Similar to just about every other LSAT prep company out there, Kaplan utilizes LSAC’s LSAT Prep Plus subscription program to get access to all official, past LSATs. This means that you will have access to 60+ real LSATs at your fingertips. And while this is about the same benefit you get with most other prep courses, it is the best you can get.
There is no better form of practice than using real LSATs under exam-like conditions. In addition, as part of Kaplan’s required study plan, you must take 3 full-length diagnostic tests. Following each practice LSAT, you will get your test results in the form of a “Smart Report,” which gives you targeted and detailed feedback about where you performed well and where you, well, have opportunity for improvement.
I think this feature is of great benefit for zeroing in on where you need work. Almost everyone will need help in at least one particular type of problem, and the Smart Report will call that right out for you.
In addition to the Smart Reports, Kaplan provides you personalized recommendations on where you need supplemental work. These recommendations come from accumulation of practice tests you have taken, as well as every single practice problem and drill you encounter. My personal opinion is that this additional personalized recommendation is helpful, but also somewhat overwhelming. Unless you’re really strong on a subject, they’re going to recommend you give it more work. Which in theory is great and something I’d want to do, but with all the material Kaplan already has you working, it became a real burden.
The Kaplan LSAT prep course user experience and interface is just about what you would expect for a high-end course from a test prep behemoth – an intuitive and easy to use system that just about anyone can work. This interface was obviously designed for the masses, with its clearly delineated sections and dropdowns. I say this as a good thing – you don’t even have to think or hunt for what you’re looking for, it’s just right there in front of you.
Some prep courses like LSATMax offer a digital first approach with a fancy mobile app, snappy responsiveness and a clean modern look. Kaplan is not that. Rather, Kaplan has an above average digital platform with good video quality, an easily navigable dashboard, and a clean appearance. If I had to knock one thing it would be that every time you open a video lesson, assessment or PDF, it opens it in a new browser tab. By the end of a long study session I had 30 different tabs open, which was pretty annoying. I’d prefer the module you open up appear within the same browser.
Kaplan LSAT Online Class Experience
Kaplan’s flagship Online Course offers students a chance to meet with their instructor face-to-face online and engage with other students in a virtual class setting. For those of you that need structure in a study schedule and/or retain information better when taught in a live setting, this is the option for you.
My instructor was very enthusiastic and held us all accountable. If you didn’t get your homework done, he let you know he didn’t like that. I mean, he didn’t get on your case, but he’d humorously bust your chops about it and make you feel bad enough that you didn’t want it to happen again – which is the exact type of accountability many students (like myself) need.
The pace of the course is very doable, though there were a couple sessions that were a bit of an overload. All in all, if you need a committed study schedule and to be held accountable, or just plain learn better in a live environment, I would not hesitate to opt for the Kaplan LSAT Online Course.
Extra LSAT Resources From Kaplan
Outside of the numerous resources described above, including the lessons, drills, practice tests, explanations and more, Kaplan doesn’t offer too much in the way of extracurricular resources. Some other test prep companies like Blueprint LSAT and Magoosh offer some cool supplemental tools like law school admission estimators and additional reading, but Kaplan sticks to their tried and true material.
And to be honest, I didn’t really mind that they didn’t offer many extra add-ons. Between the lessons, homework, LSAT Channel videos and more, I had PLENTY to do without any addition resources. Not to mention, some of the resources others offer have a coolness factor, but you only end up using them once or twice anyway.
Kaplan LSAT Tutoring – Our Thoughts
Although we didn’t hire a Kaplan teacher for some private tutoring, the option was available. All course options give you the opportunity to add on 2 or 3 hours of private tutoring with a Kaplan instructor through the “PLUS” version of the course. The PLUS add on essentially just gives you a couple hours of extra 1-on-1 tutoring for a couple hundred bucks.
In terms of price of tutoring, when compared to other test prep companies, Kaplan’s private tutoring rate is extremely reasonable at about $100 per hour. Other courses we have reviewed offered supplemental tutoring at prices that ran up to $200 per hour – so at around $100 per hour, Kaplan is very affordable, particularly with just a few hours needed to lock in that rate.
And with respect to quality, Kaplan instructors are at the top of their craft, being top LSAT scorers themselves and generally great communicators. I would not hesitate to engage the instructor I had for my in-class course, and would expect others to be of similar quality.
Online Content Access Period
Kaplan’s DIY Course provides you with 4 months of online access, which for most students should be sufficient to prepare for the LSAT. Content availability for live courses is typically tied to your LSAT test date.
Does Kaplan Have a Mobile App?
Your Kaplan content is mobile friendly and can be easily accessed on your devices, however, there is not currently a Kaplan mobile app for LSAT studies.
Does Kaplan Have Score Increase Guarantee?
Kaplan does have a money back guarantee if your score does not increase. If you complete your Kaplan program and do not score higher on your test, you have two options. You can either (1) request reactivation of your program within 60 days, which will give you an additional 12 weeks of free access to online resources, or (2) you can request a tuition refund.
Kaplan’s Refund Policy
If your circumstances change, or if you simply change your mind, Kaplan will refund your program tuition. But don’t delay. For a full refund, you must request cancellation within 3 days of your purchase date. Cancelling 4-7 days after your purchase date gets you only 75% of your program tuition back. No refunds will be given for requests made after 8 days.
Verdict: Kaplan LSAT Prep Course
The Kaplan LSAT prep course is a tried and true prep option for prospective law school students. If you want to play it safe and know that you are getting an LSAT prep course that will cover all the bases and get you the info you need, then the Kaplan LSAT prep course is likely a great fit for you. There are no frills or cool modern features that make you “ooo” and “awe.” But what you will get is an absolute mountain of high quality lessons, prep books, practice problem sets, drills, explanations, and practice tests, all designed by Kaplan’s army of LSAT experts.
The Kaplan teachers weren’t the most engaging instructors I’ve had, and the digital whiteboards could get a little busy during lessons, but apart from those couple small negatives, this course rates out very high overall. If you’re a student that is looking for a known commodity and wants a sure-fire score increase with no real risk, the Kaplan LSAT prep course is likely right up your alley.