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Manhattan Prep LSAT Review
Our detailed analysis of the Manhattan Prep LSAT prep course
It is clear from the video lessons of the Manhattan Prep LSAT course that they have spared no expense in designing their program. Their video lectures are engaging, interactive and downright cool – but is it right for you? We take a close look at the strengths, weaknesses and unique features of the Manhattan Prep LSAT prep course in this review. We also discuss other features and benefits such as flashcards, tutoring and content access period.
Not to bury the lead, but the lesson and coursework quality of the Manhattan Prep LSAT prep course is undeniably top tier. This is the primary reason they rate out so highly on our list of best LSAT prep courses. Their interactive course lessons, which they refer to as “LSAT Interact,” are engaging, dynamic and very intuitive. Rather than hitting the play button and watching some old lesson clip run for 30 minutes while you listen to an instructor drone on, the LSAT Interact courses guide you through a series of drills, quick hit video lessons, challenge sets and practice problems.
Each segment within the lesson prompts you to answer a question, hover over a text box, or click through to the next module. It also adapts to how you learn and answer questions, speeding up when you answer questions correctly – not wasting your time when you clearly have a good grasp of the issues – and slowing to explain concepts in more detail when you miss an answer. I found this style of teaching to be highly effective, keeping me engaged throughout, and spoon feeding me digestible bits of information.
All in all, Manhattan Prep provides over 60 hours of these on demand video lessons. While this doesn’t quite stand toe-to-toe with rival Princeton Review, which offers over 150 hours of video lessons, the quality and interactive nature of the Manhattan Prep lessons make up for the difference.
Another reason I like the Manhattan Prep course is that unlike some competitors in the LSAT prep space, the video lessons focus on the basic concepts and foundational principles, leaving the more complex problem types and difficult concepts to be taught in class. This applies to the self-paced program as well – the video lessons still focus on the more fundamental concepts, leaving you to learn the more complex principles through your guided book work.
An additional aspect that I was pleased with was the focus on recent LSAT problems. While some courses give equal weight across time in using past practice problems as examples (with some questions dating back to the 90s), Manhattan Prep has a tendency to focus on more recently used LSAT questions. While in theory LSAT questions should be consistent across time, there is surely some component of subtle changes in the questions over the last 25+ years, and I like that they teach to the more recent questions.
Manhattan Prep LSAT Course Price
Let’s get to the part many students care most about – course price. The Manhattan Prep course options range in price from roughly $800 on the value end to more than $2,400 on the full-service end. Now obviously this is a big gap in price, but there is also a huge difference in the product received for that price.
The three course options include a budget, self-paced online option (the “LSAT Interact” course), a middle ground package with online content and in classroom instruction (the “LSAT Complete Course”), and a white glove course with personalized tutoring services (the “LSAT Private Tutoring” course). I took their flagship Complete Course, which is nearly the same as the self-paced option, but adds 30 hours of classroom time with a Manhattan Prep instructor. The Complete Course costs around $1,500.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Manhattan Prep LSAT Practice Tests
Manhattan Prep, like peers Kaplan and LSATMax, gives you access to just about every official LSAT that has been administered since 1991. That equates to 80+ practice exams. So, in short, there is no lack of high quality, highly relevant practice tests.
When studying for an exam, my personal opinion is that there is often no better method than hammering practice tests under exam-like conditions, and Manhattan Prep gives you all the tools. You get access to an abundance of official past exams, an online proctor tool to help you simulate real exam conditions, and a cool feature called LSAT Navigator to help grade and analyze your practice test.
I found the LSAT Navigator feature to be particularly useful, as it grades your exam and assesses your results, providing explanations for the problems you missed. And on that point – Manhattan Prep offers thousands of in-depth problem explanations that I was rather impressed with. The detailed explanations, which drill down to each answer option, were very clear, concise and helpful.
Manhattan Prep LSAT Books
Each course offering from Manhattan Prep includes 4 hard copy books. These books include 3 LSAT Strategy Guides and a five-pound(!) book full of drills and practice problems. The 3 Strategy Guides make up the foundation of the Manhattan Prep LSAT course curriculum and focus on the three major sections of the exam, so there is a Strategy Guide for each of:
As mentioned, the books are at the core of the coursework, and I found them to be valuable. They contain high quality concept explanations, drills, challenges sets and practice problems. Each book was thorough, well-designed and thoughtfully written to create an effective communication style.
In addition, the drill book contains a boat load of practice problems, which is awesome for students that prefer to learn by doing (like myself). In total, Manhattan Prep provides access to 5,000+ practice problems between the drill book and online content. Another huge check in the PROS column for Manhattan Prep.
The Dashboard and User Experience
Like some of its peers (see Blueprint LSAT), it is clear that Manhattan Prep has invested in its dashboard and user experience. The home screen is clean, intuitive and easy to navigate. The tool bar along the left side is very functional and provides quick and easy access to all of your study materials and resources. I had no issues quickly learning how to navigate the dashboard and all of the course content.
The user experience was also on point. As mentioned above, the heart of the user experience revolves around the LSAT Interact on demand video lessons, which I was very pleased with. The video lessons are adaptive, engaging and super user friendly. You click, scroll and type your way through a series of segmented modules within a larger lesson. The look is clean and modern, and the feel is natural.
The Classroom Experience
The Complete Course from Manhattan Prep offers 30 hours of in-class instruction with a top tier instructor. And as promised, the classroom sessions focus on the more difficult concepts, while leaving the basic stuff to the video lessons before class. I liked this approach, but to be honest, I was usually left with my brain feeling like oatmeal by the end of a long class full of complex problems and detail – which I suppose may be the sign of a good lesson.
The class sizes are small, and the atmosphere is more workshop-like than class-like. This is generally a good thing, but also kind of wore on me. Sometimes it’s nice to fade into the back of the class and let the teacher do the teaching and the students that want to participate do the participating.
But there is no such opportunity in this class. Because of the intimate class size and the Socratic type style of teaching, I was called on often and early to provide my thoughts on a concept or drill, and even announce what I got for answers. If you can let go of your ego and be humble about missing questions in front of your peers, this is a great learning style. But if you’re shy or don’t want to be called on, this may not be for you.
That said, I greatly enjoyed this classroom experience. The instructor was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and once I got to know my fellow classmates a little bit, the atmosphere was light and collaborative, with no ego holding anyone back.
All of the Manhattan Prep instructors are in the top 1% of LSAT scorers, so you know you’re getting a master of their craft. And my instructor, at least in my humble opinion, was a great communicator – easily breaking down complex concepts into understandable bites of info.
One aspect of the in-classroom Complete Course to bear in mind as you decide on a class option is that there is 10-15 hours of homework between each class session. My course was only one class per week, so it was very manageable, but if you are taking a more accelerated course that meets 2-3 times per week, this could become burdensome. And when I say 10-15 hours, I mean a real 10-15 hours, assuming you do all of the work and take the time to review practice problem explanations, etc.
One final note on the in-class experience is that if you miss a class, there are pre-recorded sessions available online. If you’re busy or have a prior commitment and cannot make your class, Manhattan Prep records recent sessions from other classes and posts them so that you can go back to watch if you’d like. While I didn’t use this feature, I scrolled through one of the recordings and noted that it would be super helpful if you did miss a class here or there.
Everything being equal, I enjoyed the classroom experience. While the small class size with frequent involuntary participation can be a little uncomfortable at first, you do ease in and become used to it, making for a good learning experience.
What Other Resources Do You Get?
Like most other LSAT prep courses, Manhattan Prep’s course offers a suite of extra resources to help you study, which I would rate as above average. They offer pre-made flashcards (PDF), cheat sheets and a series of “CrunchTime” last minute review workshops, among other things.
The flashcards and cheat sheets are serviceable and do give a slightly different twist on the same concepts you’ve been learning throughout the coursework. But they are far from an Earth-shattering, must have resource.
However, the “CrunchTime” last minute review workshops, which each focus on a different one of the three major sections of the LSAT, were solid. I found these compressed 1.5 to 2.5-hour quick hit sessions to be pretty valuable. They reiterate the most important concepts and get your head in the right space to sit for the exam. These were a nice a little cherry on top of the Manhattan Prep sundae.
Private Tutoring From Manhattan Prep
Manhattan Prep offers a top-end private tutoring package for the student seeking a personalized approach. Assuming the tutor is of the same quality as the instructor I had for the in-class sessions, I’d say you’re in very good hands. If you’re in need of some specialized 1-on-1 training, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on this package – at least with respect to quality.
The price point for their tutoring, however, is a little high compared to other more cost-effective options, like Princeton Review. That said, quality LSAT tutoring is not going to be cheap no matter where you get it. Even the guys on Craigslist charge you an arm and a leg. So, if the incrementally higher price point doesn’t scare you off, we like this option.
Access Period for Manhattan’s Online LSAT Content?
Your Manhattan Prep online resources are accessible for 6 months after your course has ended. If you feel that you need more time, access can be extended for up to two 90-day periods. Extensions must be requested within 45 days from the expiration date and will require a fee.
Is There a Mobile App?
Manhattan Prep does not currently have a mobile app. Their content, however, is easily accessible from your smartphone or other mobile device.
Is There a Money Back Guarantee?
Unlike most other LSAT prep courses, Manhattan Prep does not offer a higher score guarantee. While this might be a bit unnerving for some (understandably), they do give you the option to retake a complete course in the same location for $399.
Is the Course Refundable?
Any and all payments to Manhattan Prep (deposits, course fees, tutoring, workshops, product sales, etc.) are all nonrefundable. Their reasoning lies in the proprietary nature of their materials, administrative costs and payment to instructors. I’m sure that all other LSAT prep courses have the same issues and expenses, so it is unfortunate that they don’t offer a refund policy, even if it was just a short window.
Verdict: Manhattan Prep LSAT Course Review
There is a reason we place Manhattan Prep near the top of our best LSAT prep course list – this is an all-around rock-solid prep course with great study tools and materials. The interactive video lessons are very high quality and a formidable learning tool, though a little short on hours compared to others. The other features of the course, including the practice tests, prep books, in class experience and user experience, all met or exceeded our expectations. If you’re a little shy about participating in class or don’t want to be called on, you may want to look at one our other course reviews, but otherwise this course rates out very highly and we have no issues throwing our stamp approval on it.
How much does the Manhattan Prep LSAT prep course cost?
The Manhattan Prep LSAT prep course options roughly cost between $800 and $2,500, depending on which package you purchase. They offer three course variations – a self-paced online option, a standard package with classroom instruction, and a high-end package with private tutoring.
Can I get a refund if I don’t like the course or don’t score higher?
No. Manhattan Prep does not offer any refunds due to the proprietary nature of their course materials, and also does not offer a higher score or money back guarantee.
Does Manhattan Prep use real LSAT practice problems?
Yes. Manhattan Prep uses official past LSATs for their practice tests and practice problems.