How to Find the Best LSAT Prep Course

13

composeWhat is the best LSAT prep course to take?  I need help deciding!!!

We get asked all the time which LSAT courses are considered the best. While we can’t attend them all, we can help you out with some information to guide your decisions. A lot of the information you’ll see around the web is outdated and doesn’t account for the recent rise of online prep options, so we’ll discuss the best online LSAT prep courses as well.

In addition to telling you our favorites LSAT prep courses for 2014, we’d really like to hear from you. Please use the comments to tell about your experience with prep courses and we’ll add that information to the post. You can comment anonymously if so desired. Also, if you’ve taken classes or used online courses from two or more different companies, please say which one you thought provided the best LSAT prep course experience and why. Trust me, your fellow LSAT takers will really, really value your input. 

Do I need to take an LSAT prep course?

No, you don’t have to. Self-study has proven just as effective for those trying to get a great LSAT score. If you are very motivated and do well with assigning yourself work, sticking to a schedule, and following through with it, then self-study is a great option for you. It’s also less expensive than a prep course.

If you are thinking of self-studying, read this post: WHAT I DID TO GET A 177 ON THE LSAT. There we discuss strategies to self-study effectively with good LSAT prep books.

lsat-trainerIf you are self-studying, start off with the winner of our award for “Best LSAT prep book of 2014″, The LSAT Trainer™, by Mike Kim. Mike Kim was for years the brains behind Manhattan LSAT prep’s books. CLICK HERE to pick up a copy of his best-selling new book, which has gotten a ton of five star reviews on Amazon.

Rather than just show you the techniques and leave you to your own devices, this book is more like a complete course in that it tells you exactly which problems to practice as you work through the book, then discusses them in detail. Plan to take about a month to work through the book at a comfortable pace if you are doing all the accompanying problems from 10 New Actual Official LSAT Preptests.

View The LSAT Trainer on Amazon

On the other hand, there are distinct benefits to taking a course. The biggest is that the problem of what to do and when is completely removed. You don’t have to think about how to learn, just follow their schedule and you’ll be in great shape. (That’s if you take a decent prep course anyways. We’ll talk more about that later.)

Courses also help keep you motivated. The instructor in a good course will have been through this process before and can help get you over any difficulties. If you’ve had trouble improving through self-study, definitely take a course. Courses are very, very good at taking 150s scorers and turning them into 160s scorers.

Live vs. Online LSAT Prep Courses

Online courses represent kind of a third way between self-study and traditional live courses. Generally cheaper, online courses offer the benefit of planned study without having to drag yourself to a classroom a few times a week. Online prep courses range from being pretty expensive to only a little more expensive than self-study.

We are huge, huge fans of the online format. Being able to review material that you are having troubles with is critical if you want to improve , and online courses make that easy. Also, when time is tight, it’s probably better to spend it actually prepping rather than commuting to a class after work.

On the other hand, online courses require you to motivate and stick to the schedule on your own. No one will be standing over you watching your progress, so if you don’t think you can study as effectively without committing to the class time, you may prefer the live option

Determining If An LSAT Prep Course Is High Quality

While there are a ton of options out there, there are also a lot of medium and poor quality courses run by companies more interested in making a buck than delivering innovative LSAT prep. I’ve been running this blog for almost a year now, and I feel like Evan or I come across a new prep company every week. This industry has low barriers to entry so almost anyone can start a prep company, but coming up with a really great prep course takes serious time and effort. Not a lot of people have done it. Here’s some features that you need in a good LSAT prep course:

QUALITY INSTRUCTORS

It’s going to be a real drag to learn the LSAT from someone who hasn’t mastered it themselves. You are there to learn how to solve problems, not watch someone else figure it out. A good rule of thumb is to stick with companies that hire 170+ scorers. These people figured out how to master the LSAT, and can better help you do the same. All the companies listed below hire exclusively from the 170+ crowd.

Also, the better companies pay their LSAT instructors more and keep them around longer, which helps insure that they’ve got good ones. With bargain-basement LSAT courses, I am always hearing stuff about the instructor not showing up and other nonsense. You don’t want to mess with that.

Obamateaching

I don’t think Obama ever taught LSAT classes, but he had to prep for the LSAT too!

REAL LSAT PROBLEMS

There is no substitute for the real thing. Using real problems is expensive for prep companies because they have to license them from LSAC, the makers of the test. It is totally worth it, however. Fake problems tend not to capture the various nuances of the LSAT, which is a very carefully crafted test. All of the prep courses we recommend use real problems, for good reason.

COURSE LENGTH

You cannot learn the LSAT the week before the LSAT. Even a full month of bi-weekly class instruction isn’t nearly enough to do it right. For more on this, see our post on how long you should study for the LSAT. While you might make progress in a short time, the whole idea of LSAT study is to reach your full potential. Signing up for a prep course with a month to go before the LSAT is just throwing money away.

Generally avoid LSAT prep courses offered through your college or university. The worst companies tend to bully schools in to allowing them to run these courses. Usually the instructors have never taken the LSAT and the techniques taught are subpar at best.

GREAT TECHNIQUES

This is the big one. It’s absolutely key to teach fundamentally correct strategies. Every prep course below is the kind of prep course that students switch to and see a big boost in their score. That is because these companies use superior techniques.

  The Best Live LSAT Prep Courses  

The following are most-highly regarded companies in the LSAT prep world. They’ve all been around long enough to establish a good reputation and have helped a ton of people get into top schools.

  PowerScore Live LSAT Preparation  

An established giant, their full length courses are effective and have a long track of success. Well I would avoid using the weekend courses late in the game, but because comes with full access to the online course, it would be an acceptable way to start your LSAT prep. Full length Course — $1295

  Blueprint LSAT Preparation  

Though Blueprint has been around forever and ever, they continue to improve their approach. Blueprint has a great reputation for getting people into the 170s. Full length Course — $1299

  Manhattan LSAT  

The most choosy of the bunch when it comes to hiring great teachers, reports are that it’s well worth it. Full length Course — $1499

  The Best Online LSAT Prep Courses  

  7Sage LSAT Prep  

BEST LOW COST OPTION — 7Sage provides a course that is extremely low cost without sacrificing on quality. This option hardly more expensive than self-study.  Full length Online Course — $549

UPDATE 5/21/14: J.Y. Ping over at 7sage saw this post and decided to give lawschooli.com readers a discount! Use the coupon code LAWSCHOOLI for 10% off any of their courses. 

  Blueprint  

The same great course they provide live, but with animation! Full Length Online Course — $799


Just a final word — lawschooli.com is fully independent and we don’t get any money from these companies to promote their stuff. This represents our opinion on who the best is right now.

If you have an opinion of your own, please share it, whether or not the company is included on this list. We’ll gladly review any company that you feel should be included.

Also, if you are having trouble deciding what’s right for you please let us know and we’ll try to help out.

About Author

13 Comments

  1. Could you please recommend any good studying plan for young professionals who are working full-time. Working from 9-6PM Monday to Friday hardly give me any time during the week to study, especially spending 3 hrs/ day to LSAT prep….

  2. Hello,

    Do you have any preference between Blueprint and 7Sage? I’ve finally decided that I am going to do an online prep course and I am struggling with deciding between the two. I was reading through both websites, and I read that J.Y. Ping recommended a year to prep for the LSAT. I plan on taking the LSAT in June so I do not have that year to prep; because of that statement, I am leaning toward Blueprint.

    Thank you so much for building this blog. It is one of my primary resources, and it is unbelievably helpful.

    • Could you find where J.Y. recommended a year? My impression has been that he recommends 3 months minimum and up to a year if necessary. The way 7sage is set up you would be fine doing there full thing in 3 months. It’d be a lot of work of course, but that’s how any LSAT prep should be. Between 7sage and Blueprint I lean slightly towards 7sage, but they are both great.

        • Thanks for linking that. Yeah, I’ve talked about this with J.Y. and we both view 3 months as the absolute minimum that you should study. We diverge, however, in that I think it’s enough time if you prep intensely. That said, it’s probably not enough time for most people, as they just can’t get into the rhythm of studying a lot quickly enough. I will add some discussion about this to my 3 month schedule. Thanks again.

  3. Thank you so much for this blog, its incredibly helpful! I am surprised that Testmasters is not included on this list, I always thought it was a top 3 prep course. Is there a reason it isn’t included? Also, I am stressing alot about which prep course to take. Are there significant differences between them? And if I am prepping on my own with the Powerscore books is it OK to take a prep course from another company? I an concerned about prepping too much on my own with practice tests, etc, to the point where a class would be repetitive or counter productive.

    • Hi Chicago, I have yet to form an opinion about Testmasters. I’ve contacted them to look at their stuff so I should have something up about them soon. They used to be huge and were talked about often, but I hear less and less about them. I think the company is really focused on other tests besides the LSAT now, though that may be unfair of me to say. I’ll have a verdict soon enough. I will say that they’ve had a great reputation over the years, and were part of the movement that got us beyond just Princeton Review and Kaplan, so everyone taking the LSAT today owes them a big thank you for that.

      There are differences, so to choose you are going to want to preview some of their material (most have intro lessons available free). Also, I think a good way to narrow it down is by looking at how they handle games, and go with the company who’s approach seems most natural to you. Read this post as I have discussion about that in here: http://lawschooli.com/intro-basic-linear-ordering-games/

      It’s definitely okay to use the PS books in addition to whatever course you take, but make sure that when it comes to diagramming you pick just one way of representing each thing you need to diagram. If that doesn’t make sense now, trust me, it will after you get started.

  4. I’ve signed up for 7Sage and have been covering most of its curriculum so now, I just have the PTs to cover. I am working full-time so I have been putting off LSAT prepping for a couple of months now and I’m starting to pick up again. But something tells me that I have not gained a good and thorough understanding of the basics of the curriculum and I’m leaning towards signing up for LSAT Manhattan Interact. Perhaps, I’m feeling this way because I’m not confident when I start the PTs under timed/untimed pressure. Due to time difference, it is difficult for me to attend Manhattan LIVE classes. Do you have any thoughts on this? Is this a bad/good call? Is it too late? I am planning to take the June 2014 LSAT (June 29 in Asia). Thank you for everything you provide in this amazing blog. You are awesome.

  5. Hey,

    I’m thinking about signing up for the 7Sage Online Prep Course… However, after reading your recommended list of study materials (most of which come from the PowerScore Bible… Should I sign up for the PowerScore online course instead? Or are those books supplementary books to the 7Sage Model that is used?

    Thank you in advance for your response!

    • No they are definitely different courses. Some of their techniques are similar, but they diverge quite a bit on games. It’s okay to mix and match (use the PS books and the 7Sage course), but you have to pick which techniques work for you. It depends on you: do you think you’d be confused by learning a couple different approaches, or will that help you think through them? I’m the kind of person that likes to see different strategies.

  6. I am utilizing the LG Bible, LR Bible, and RC Bible and workbooks from Powerscore. I am trying to figure out which online course I want to take this summer. Powerscore is not listed under best options for online courses in the article above. Is Blueprint better than Powerscore if I am using the Powerscore books? And are their techniques radically different? Setting aside the choice of books, is Blueprint’s online course better than Powerscore’s course overall regardless of materials? I know they have animation and the Powerscore one has slideshows, but I don’t know if Powerscore’s technique makes up for lack of animation or any other positive attributes the Blueprint course might have.

  7. I’ve heard good things, but I haven’t taken a look at it myself. I’ll contact him and see if I can take a look.

Leave A Reply