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Our comprehensive review of the LSAT Max prep course
Relatively new to the LSAT prep scene, LSATMax takes a very different approach to studying than the traditional players. Rather than offering live class sessions and strict study schedules, LSATMax boasts a 21st century mobile-first approach and flexible study options. But the question is, does breaking the LSAT prep mold work in this case? We break down and evaluate all of the features of the LSATMax prep course in this review, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you.
Since this is a detailed, lengthy review, we’ve added jump-to links above for easy navigation.
Our Honest LSATMax Review Video
In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team covers everything you need to know about the LSATMax prep courses. He discusses pricing, quality of prep materials and much more. Alternatively, you can always keep reading for even more detail regarding LSATMax.
The LSATMax prep course is different from more traditional LSAT prep courses like Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Manhattan Prep. Appealing to those students who want to prep from anywhere at any time, LSATMax takes a classless, mobile first approach to their course structure. As a result, their on demand digital video lessons are arguably the most important aspect of their offerings and at the core of their curriculum.
Knowing this, it is clear they have invested a ton of time and money into their over 100 hours of video lessons. These video lessons take the form of a dynamic, digital whiteboard, where the instructor provides a voiceover lesson while working problems and making notes on the whiteboard. They utilize quality tech to make notes in a variety of colors and manners, all while giving their verbal lesson on the concept or problem at hand.
I personally prefer digital lessons that include video of the instructor so that you can see their mannerisms and nonverbal cues as they work problems on a real whiteboard – after all, 93% of communication is nonverbal. That said, I found the LSATMax video lessons to be rather effective, mostly as a result of the dynamic whiteboard with constant updates and the quality of the instruction.
The videos are mixed between being broken down into 2 to 20 minute segments within a larger video lesson on a topic, or in some cases, running a full straight hour +. I didn’t notice the difference in video breakdown in most cases, and honestly did not care whether they were split out or not. In addition, hovering below each video lesson is a message board where students can post questions or make comments, and instructors will reply in the thread. I think this is a cool feature, but not as helpful as their chat function (more on that below).
In terms of the overall structure of the course, LSATMax breaks down concepts into various sections, or modules. For example, there are sections on “Linear Games,” “Solitary Passages” and “Errors in Reasoning,” among many others. Each section contains a video lesson, as described above, and homework to reinforce what you’ve learned in the lesson. These assignments include answerable flashcards, problem sets, and drills to work.
Breaking down each type of assignment, my personal opinion is that the flashcards were just okay. I found them to be often repetitive, hitting the same concept over and over again. Perhaps that’s the best way for some people to learn, but it did get annoying at times as the flashcards seemed somewhat derivative of each other.
I found the problem sets and drills, however, to be incredibly helpful. Not only does LSATMax use only official past LSAT questions as learning material, but the manner in which they help to explain problems is top notch. As you work through a problem, you can click a button next to each answer choice to eliminate that answer as option, graying it out and leaving only remaining possible answers visible. This is very clean and makes for a nice experience.
In addition, at any time you can click the “Explanation” button and there is a short video about the problem, breaking it down and explaining why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect. There is also a message board for each practice problem with past notes, comments and explanations, as well as a feature to star a problem. It all makes for a super effective means of working problems and drills.
The structure of the course, with its modules for varying concepts and sections, along with the quality of video lessons and digital practice problems makes for a great all-around learning experience.
LSATMax Prep Course Price
LSATMax offers three different plans, ranging in price from roughly $600 up to $1,500. Their budget plan, the LSATMax 60, provides access to the full LSATMax course, including all practice questions, simulated exams, and video lessons, but has a short fuse with just 60 days of access. If you’re planning on doing some prolonged studying, this likely isn’t the plan for you. Note also, this option doesn’t carry a score increase guarantee like the other options.
Their middle package, the LSATMax 180, offers the same full prep course, but with 180 days of content access. This offering prices out at just under $1,000 and is generally regarded as their standard plan.
Lastly, their top end plan, the LSATMax 365, is the same as the LSATMax 180 plan, but kicks things up a notch with a full year of access.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
How are the LSATMax Practice Tests?
LSATMax, like many other LSAT test prep companies, including Princeton Review and Blueprint, offers students access to official past LSAT exams – more than 90 of them in total. This content is offered through a built-in subscription to LSAC’s LSAT Prep Plus. So, if you are nervous about a lack of practice exams or that the diagnostic tests you’ll be getting with LSATMax won’t be of good quality, this should nip those thoughts in the bud.
Access to the official past LSATs through LSAC has become the gold standard among LSAT test prep companies, and LSATMax steps up to the plate. And similar to other test prep companies, I was fan of the digital exam simulator. One of the most important aspects of taking practice tests is that you take it under exam-like conditions, and LSATMax offers that advantage. Since the LSAT went digital a couple years ago, it is critical that you practice in the same fashion, so I like that this feature is available.
The LSATMax Prep Books
No matter which LSATMax prep course plan that you purchase, you will be shipped 4 hard copy textbooks, which are fairly helpful. They include all of the lesson notes and homework assignments, and provide significant value, in my humble opinion.
It’s a little odd that LSATMax uses old school textbooks while at the same time selling themselves as a mobile/digital first test prep company, but I can see how incorporating the notes and assignments in the books into the digital platform could be cumbersome. In addition, I personally really like working through a paper workbook where you can dog-ear pages, jot quick notes in the margins, and work complex problems that would be hard to draw out digitally. So, I have no real qualms with the hard copy textbooks, and in fact think these from LSATMax are solid in terms of quality.
LSATMax Has No Classes
Yes, you read that correctly. LSATMax offers no in-person classes. In fact, this is one of their biggest marketing points. They pride themselves on being agile, on demand, and built for the modern student.
Whether you like or dislike this approach will be totally up to you and your learning style. The benefits of in classroom lessons, at least as we have experienced with other courses, include:
The dedicated classroom time commits you to studying and makes you accountable
The benefit of being able to ask real time, in-person questions
Nonverbal communication of watching the instructor right in front of you
Socratic or group style of learning by engaging with other students in class
If the advantages noted above are mission critical to you, then LSATMax may not be for you (in which case we’d recommend checking out our list of best LSAT prep courses here, as another course may better fit your needs). That said, some of these noted features above are achieved to a certain degree through the LSATMax platform. You can always call, email or chat with an instructor at any time about a question (more below), and message boards allow you to engage with other students.
In addition, a couple advantages of the LSATMax program compared to the traditional course include consistency of instruction. Your lessons are taught by the same half dozen or so instructors, who are all in the top 1% of LSAT scorers and have been well-vetted by the company. This provides quality, consistent instruction from individuals who are at the top of their game in terms of knowledge and communication.
Also, you can study from anywhere, anytime, and even without internet access (if you get the mobile app). This allows you to slow down, speed up, or adjust your schedule however you need to as you’re not locked into any committed time frame.
Other Included Resources
In addition to the video lessons, practice problems, diagnostic tests and other features of the core curriculum, LSATMax offers a number of other resources, which I found to be helpful. As advertised, you can IM, email or call one of their 99th percentile LSATMax instructors at just about any time of day.
I put the chat feature to the test by sending an IM with a question on a logic games practice problem, and true to their word, an instructor got back to me within minutes. It took a few back-and-forth messages to tease out the info I needed, but all in all, it was a pleasant exchange and they were very responsive.
One other resource tool that I personally found to be incredibly useful was the analytics tool that tracks your progress. As you work practice problems and take diagnostic exams, it provides some great data on where you’re performing well and where you need work. It provides some cool metrics around percentiles in scoring, and really zeroes in on your weaknesses. This allows you to allocate more time to these areas, and spend less energy on topics you’ve already mastered.
Another nice feature unique to LSATMax is their “Weekly Office Hours,” which is essentially a Q&A with their founder and lead instructor Mehran (at least most of the time). Mehran, or another LSATMax instructor, hosts an Instagram live feed and opens the line up to questions. Students fire off questions and comments and they do their best to respond.
I found this Q&A tool to be pretty neat, though not especially helpful. Most of the time, as often occurs in class, students ask questions that you already know the answer to and it sort of wastes your time. But that also circles back to LSATMax’s primary selling point – no classroom time with dumb questions, just studying at your own pace and digesting new material.
LSATMax also offers up sample study calendars with recommended study schedules. This is a nice feature with great detail and is thoughtfully planned out. And while great in concept, I found it gets thrown out the window the moment you miss your target (or get ahead). Some people may be able to follow a predetermined study schedule to the second – I guess I’m just not one of those people. But if you’re good at sticking to study schedules or use it as a general timeline resource, it offers some real value.
User Interface and Experience
Compared to most other test prep companies, the LSATMax user experience is great. But is has to be – without any classroom experience it relies solely on its digital platform. But fortunately for them, it delivers.
The dashboard is clean, professional and easy to navigate. The left-hand bar provides quick access to course materials, message boards, study calendars, and other resources. The course lessons are housed on the main home screen in a nice linear, downward sequence of modules. It is intuitive to follow and shows your progress along the way as you work through your lessons.
The one negative to note would be that there is no real good search function. A couple times I’d want to quickly get back to a problem or lesson concept that I saw previously, but there was no quick and easy search function. Apart from that gripe though, the user interface and experience are solid across both web and mobile.
Private Tutoring with LSATMax
LSATMax offers one hour of private tutoring with every course package. Yes, even the base LSATMax 60 course. This private tutoring session is with one of their 99th percentile instructors, and you can use this free hour of private tutoring however you like. You can discuss test taking strategies, how to build a cram schedule, you name it. I used my one hour to work through a couple types of logic games that always give me (and others) trouble, and found my tutor to have some great insights. It was a helpful hour, but went by quick.
And if you need a little extra help, you can always add on some additional hours after the fact. If you choose to go this route, we actually found their rates to be pretty reasonable, especially relative to the cost for private tutoring other test prep companies charge.
Length of Content Access
How long you will have access to LSATMax’s program directly ties into which course option you go with. It literally says how long you will have access right in your course name. Go with the LSATMax 60 course, get 60 days of access. Go with the LSATMax 180 course, get 180 days of access. You get the picture. For most students, I would expect that 180 days should be plenty sufficient.
The LSATMax Mobile App
Not only does LSATMax have a mobile app, but it is a critical component of the overall LSATMax course offering. This app enables you to access your prep materials anytime, from anywhere. And if you struggle with the smaller screen size on your phone or tablet, you can also stream their videos on Apple TV. The app is available on iOS in the Apple App Store and Android in the Google Play Store, so you can access LSATMax from multiple devices. Content accessibility is limited, however, to your computer, one tablet device, and one mobile device.
Is there a Higher Score Money Back Guarantee?
If you’re worried about the effectiveness of LSATMax’s course, you can rest easy knowing that LSATMax provides a higher score guarantee, at least for their top two courses, the LSATMax 180 and LSATMax 365. The LSATMax 60 unfortunately does not carry such a guarantee, but so long as you complete all your coursework and fulfill a couple other requirements (check the terms), you’ll get a money back promise with LSATMax’s top two course options. This is a nice backstop that I liked in the event you are a little hesitant to go with LSATMax.
If, after enrolling, you are not happy with the course, you can request a refund within seven days from your date of purchase. Your LSATMax course fee refund will exclude LSAC licensing fees, and shipping/processing fees. And again, app store purchases are also refundable, minus the 30% that is paid to Apple.
Verdict: LSATMax Prep Course Review
Whether the LSATMax prep course is right for you will ultimately turn on whether you’re an in-person classroom type learner that needs structure, or whether you’re good learning at your own pace with on demand lessons. If you need to see an instructor working on a whiteboard and require dedicated class time to hold yourself accountable, LSATMax likely isn’t in the cards for you. But assuming you don’t need the rigidity of in class time and commitment, LSATMax is a solid option.
They offer high quality video lessons and coursework, all from top tier instructors with great resources to boot. The user experience on both their online platform and mobile app is clean, modern and easy to use, and we loved their digital practice problem sets with video explanations. If that sounds good to you, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend LSATMax.
How much does the LSATMax prep course cost?
The LSATMax course costs anywhere from $600 up to $1,500, depending on the level of access that you need.
Does LSATMax have in person classes?
No. LSATMax is completely digital, meaning all of its content is offered online and through its mobile app (apart from the four textbooks that accompany the course).
Will the LSATMax prep course increase your LSAT score?
Yes. LSATMax guarantees that their prep course will increase your baseline LSAT score, or you get your money back (at least for their primary course options).