How to Find the Best LSAT Prep Course for You in 2020
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is the gold standard used by law schools nationwide to assess prospective students’ reasoning skills. Your score determines which programs are open to you, so doing well is paramount, but knowing how to effectively prepare yourself can be tricky. You can purchase books and practice tests, but if you don’t understand the book’s explanations, you’re out of luck. An LSAT prep course can help fill in these blanks. We put together this guide to the best LSAT prep courses to help you choose the program that best fits in with your life and learning style.
After exploring all the prep options we could find, we came up with 21 LSAT prep courses worth a closer look. We evaluated each based on student reviews, expert opinions, and key features, including course format, instructor support and program flexibility. In order to be considered as a top pick, the company must offer courses that are available to students nationwide and cover all sections of the LSAT. We favored the programs that allowed for considerable interaction between students and instructors, but a few impressive online and self-study programs made our final picks as well.
We ended up with four finalists, all of which offer comprehensive LSAT courses that will prepare you to tackle the exam with confidence. Kaplan Test Prep was our top choice, but depending on your needs and schedule, one of our other picks may be a better fit. Check out all of our reviews below to find the one that’s best for you.
A Full List of Every LSAT Prep Course Worth Considering
Here’s a list of our top picks as well as the other LSAT prep companies we considered. To learn more about available courses and to hear our opinions, click on the links below.
The 4 Best LSAT Prep Courses
|Kaplan Test Prep||$799 - $4,799|
|Manhattan Prep||$49 - $5,625|
|The Princeton Review||$799 - $3,600|
|Blueprint LSAT||$179 - $3,500|
The Other 15 LSAT Prep Courses We Reviewed
|Ace LSAT||Visit Site|
|Alpha Score||Visit Site|
|Cambridge Coaching||Visit Site|
|LSAT Center||Visit Site|
|Manhattan Review||Visit Site|
|Next Step Test Prep||Visit Site|
|Nova Press||Visit Site|
|Parliament Tutors||Visit Site|
|Varsity Tutors||Visit Site|
|Velocity Test Prep||Visit Site|
The Most Important Features: Accessibility, Study Materials, Support and Personalization
When choosing the best LSAT prep course for you, it’s important to focus on what each company offers in terms of course accessibility, available study materials, instructor support and options to customize your learning plan.
All of our top picks offer LSAT prep courses to students nationwide. The best companies give students a choice in how they want to learn. Self-study programs are great for independent learners, while live online and in-person classes work best for those who prefer to learn from an instructor. A good prep course should also give you easy access to study materials, through an online portal, a mobile app or both, so you can learn from wherever you are.
Most LSAT prep courses include workbooks, practice tests, question banks and video lessons to supplement what is taught in the classroom. Practicing with real test questions is crucial to success, and fortunately for aspiring law students, the Law School Admission Council, creator of the LSAT, releases its previous exams for use as practice tests. A good prep course will include at least a dozen of these and some, like Kaplan, offer more than 80. Proctored practice exams are also a plus because they give you a sense of the time constraints and procedures you’ll be expected to follow on test day. If you find yourself struggling with one particular section or question type, a question bank is another great resource to have. These typically contain a few thousand practice questions broken down by category, so you can home in on the areas where you’re weak.
Live online and in-person courses only meet a few days per week. If you’re studying on your own and run into a question, you shouldn’t have to wait for your next lesson to ask it. The best LSAT prep courses enable you to reach out to an instructor at any time via email, phone or live chat. It’s uncommon, but some self-study programs come with free instructor support as well, though it’s usually limited to email. Other methods of support may include private tutoring included in the program cost and a forum where students can ask questions and work together to solve practice problems.
A Note on Score Guarantees
With the exception of Manhattan Prep, all of our top picks offer score improvement guarantees. If your LSAT score doesn’t improve after taking one of their courses, you’ll either receive a full refund or have a chance to retake the course for free. Kaplan, The Princeton Review and Blueprint LSAT give you a choice between the two options. Before signing up for one of these courses, though, you should look closely at the fine print. Most companies require you to be a first-time student of the program and to take a practice test to establish a baseline score before beginning the course. Failure to do this may render you unable to take advantage of the guarantee later on.
While a basic LSAT prep course will suffice for most students, some may require more personalized attention. Private tutoring is one way to do this. You’ll be assigned an instructor who will work with you to come up with a study plan that targets the areas where you need more practice. A few companies, including Manhattan Prep, also offer shorter courses and workshops that focus on a single section of the exam. This might be a better choice than paying for a full-length course if you’re only struggling in one area.
Choosing the Right LSAT Course Delivery Type for You
LSAT prep courses are taught in a variety of formats, and the one that suits you will depend on your schedule, budget and individual needs. Here are the most common course formats, listed from least expensive to most expensive.
- Self-Paced: You study the course materials at your own pace when it’s convenient for you.
- Live Online: You join a virtual classroom at a designated time and learn from a remote instructor.
- Live In-Person: You attend a real classroom course at one of the company’s brick-and-mortar locations.
- Private Tutoring: An instructor works one-on-one with you to come up with a study plan that best suits your needs and goals.
- Cheapest programs
- Study when you want
- Can cover a lot in a short time
- Requires self-discipline
- Less personalized than a live course
- Little to no instructor support
Who It’s Best For
A self-paced course is a good fit for students who prefer working independently at their own pace. It also works well for those with busy schedules who may not be able to carve out the time to attend a live class.
- Attend anywhere
- More personalized instruction than self-paced
- Clear structure
- Not as interactive as live classroom
- Potential for technical issues
Who It’s Best For
A live online course is great for students who want the interaction of a traditional classroom, but don’t live near one of the company’s branch locations or would prefer not to travel.
- Full immersement
- Familiar environment
- Live interaction with instructor and classmates
- Must travel to location
- Less flexibility
- More expensive than online-only courses
Who It’s Best For
Live in-person classes work best for students who live near a test prep facility and prefer a traditional classroom setting. It offers a high degree of interaction between students and instructors, making it easier to get individualized attention than in an online-only course.
- Tailored instruction
- Custom study plans
- Can learn online or in person
- More time-consuming
Who It’s Best For
Private tutoring is the way to go if you value one-on-one attention and want a personalized study plan targeting the areas where you need improvement. Unfortunately, the high cost of private tutoring may put it out of reach for some students.
Full Reviews of the Best LSAT Prep Courses
Kaplan Test Prep LSAT Review
Best for comprehensive courses.
Kaplan blew us away with its detailed, comprehensive LSAT courses and its huge selection of study materials, including over 80 practice tests and The LSAT Channel, which offers hundreds of live and on-demand workshops with more being added each week. Choose between self-study, live online and live in-person classes. Private tutoring is an option as well, but you’ll have to make a pretty big commitment upfront — the minimum is 15 hours. If you want to give yourself the best chance of getting in to the school of your choice, you may also want to check out Kaplan’s admission consulting services, which start at $729 for a three-hour session.
What to Expect
You won’t find another LSAT prep course with study materials more comprehensive than Kaplan’s. The live online and in-person courses come with seven four-hour classroom sessions and three proctored practice exams, so you can get a sense of the test day conditions and time limits. You also get over 70 additional practice tests, a question bank and smart reports that analyze your performance and advise you on where to focus.
Kaplan’s most impressive resource is The LSAT Channel. These live elective workshops cover all aspects of the exam and enable you to talk with classmates and instructors just as you would in a live online class. You can filter by instructor, difficulty and subject to find the workshops that match your concerns. If you miss one, you can always catch up later by watching it on demand. New workshops are being added every week, so the value of this resource will only continue to grow. It’s included for free in all live online and in-person classes, as well as the Self-Paced PLUS course.
Kaplan goes out of its way to make sure you feel supported. All of its courses, including its self-paced options, give you access to trained instructors who can answer any questions or concerns you may have. Its PLUS courses include two to three hours of private tutoring as well, so you can get the targeted assistance you need without spending thousands of dollars. There’s also a score improvement guarantee, so if you don’t score higher after completing one of Kaplan’s courses, you can either take that course again or request a full refund.
Kaplan Test Prep LSAT Details
|LSAT Prep - Self-Paced||$799|
|LSAT Prep - Self-Paced PLUS||$1,199|
|LSAT Prep - Live Online||$1,199|
|LSAT Prep - Live Online PLUS||$1,599|
|LSAT Prep - In-Person||$1,399|
|LSAT Prep - In-Person PLUS||$1,799|
|Private Tutoring (15 hours)||$2,599|
|Private Tutoring (25 hours)||$3,699|
|Private Tutoring (35 hours)||$4,699|
Manhattan Prep LSAT Review
Best for flexibility and quality instructors.
Manhattan Prep gives you the flexibility to design your own study program and learn in the way that’s most convenient for you. It offers all course formats and section-specific programs and workshops for students interested in targeted practice. Private tutoring is an option as well, but Manhattan Prep’s is the most expensive of all our top picks. However, based on student reviews, the company’s top-notch instructors may be worth paying extra for. All have scored in the 99th percentile on a real LSAT, and they’re noted for being helpful and engaging.
What to Expect
Manhattan Prep offers comprehensive self-study, live online and in-person LSAT courses, plus section-specific courses in Logic Games, Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. If your test date is rapidly approaching and you want to fit in some last-minute prep, the company also offers CrunchTime workshops for each of the three sections. You can choose to take any or all of them, so if there’s one area where you’re struggling, you can focus exclusively on that without paying for extra materials you don’t need.
Manhattan Prep’s LSAT courses give students access to every past LSAT and a navigator tool to help you evaluate your results and see where you need more practice. Over 50 hours of video lessons are available online and live course students will receive an additional 30 hours of instruction. The online materials are available from any device through your mobile web browser.
Private tutoring starts at $510 for two hours. From there, you can purchase additional hours for $255 per hour or you can save by buying in bulk. Packages range from five to 25 hours of tutoring. The cost is high, so if you’re looking for cheap LSAT tutoring, a company like The Princeton Review or Blueprint LSAT is going to be a better fit for you. But if you can afford the high fees, you’ll likely be very satisfied with your Manhattan Prep tutor. Students have reported that not only are the instructors knowledgeable, but they make the material interesting and they genuinely care about helping you to succeed.
Manhattan Prep LSAT Details
|LSAT CrunchTime - Logic Games||$49|
|LSAT CrunchTime - Logical Reasoning||$49|
|LSAT CrunchTime - Reading Comprehension||$49|
|Interact LSAT (Self-Study) - Logic Games||$375|
|Interact LSAT (Self-Study) - Logical Reasoning||$375|
|Interact LSAT (Self-Study) - Reading Comprehension||$375|
|Interact LSAT (Self-Study) - Complete Course||$599|
|LSAT Complete Course - Live Online||$1,199|
|LSAT Complete Course - In-Person||$1,499|
|Private Tutoring (2 hours)||$510|
|Private Tutoring (5 hours)||$1,250|
|Private Tutoring (10 hours)||$2,450|
|Private Tutoring (15 hours)||$3,525|
|Private Tutoring (20 hours)||$4,600|
|Private Tutoring (25 hours)||$5,625|
The Princeton Review LSAT Review
Best for practice tests.
The Princeton Review students take proctored practice tests in all its live courses. The amount varies between four and six, depending on which course you choose. In either case, you won’t find more with any other company on this list. The Princeton Review offers self-paced and live online courses as well as some pretty affordable private tutoring, but there aren’t many live in-person classes, so students who prefer this type of learning environment may be better off with Kaplan.
What to Expect
The Princeton Review offers two levels of study: LSAT Fundamentals and LSAT Ultimate. The Fundamentals Course, which includes 30 hours of live instruction, is a good choice if you’re short on time or you just need a refresher course. The Ultimate Course is more intensive and includes 84 hours of live instruction and access to 150 hours of additional videos and exercises online, plus 78 official practice tests. These online materials are also available with the self-paced and tutoring programs.
The Fundamentals course includes four proctored practice exams and the Ultimate course has six. This type of practice is crucial because it enables you to test your time management skills as well as your knowledge of the material. It also prepares you for what you’ll encounter on test day. You’ll likely experience less anxiety about taking a proctored exam if you’ve already done it before, and less stress usually leads to a higher score.
The Princeton Review also offers private tutoring, starting at $570 for three hours. This is a great way to test out if it’s right for you before committing to the larger 10- or 24-hour packages. As with the online courses, you’ll take proctored practice exams supervised by your tutor. Then your tutor will work with you to clarify any issues and build a custom study plan tailored to you. If for some reason you’re not happy with your tutor after your first hour, The Princeton Review will give you a new one at no cost.
The Princeton Review LSAT Details
|LSAT Course - Self-Paced||$799|
|LSAT Fundamentals - LiveOnline||$1,099|
|LSAT Ultimate - LiveOnline||$1,099|
|Private Tutoring - Flexible Plan (3 hours)||$570|
|Private Tutoring - Targeted Package (10 hours)||$1,700|
|Private Tutoring - Comprehensive Package (24 hours)||$3,600|
Blueprint LSAT Review
Best for technology and affordable tutoring.
Blueprint LSAT offers live in-person courses in eight states and the District of Columbia, but it’s best known for its self-study course. It contain 88 hours of engaging video lessons taught by 99th percentile instructors, adaptive homework sets and the most impressive mobile app of any we looked at. Currently, it’s only available for Apple devices, but Android users can still access their online account through their mobile web browser. If Blueprint LSAT has one fault, it’s that it doesn’t offer any live online courses. Private tutoring is an option, though, if you feel you need a little extra assistance — and you won’t find more affordable rates anywhere.
What to Expect
Blueprint LSAT designed its course to be not only educational, but entertaining. The course, which its creators call Blueprint The Movie 2.0, uses humor and animation to keep you interested while you learn, and according to former students, it works. If you’re not sure if this is the right program for you, you can watch a few sample videos before you sign up. The company also offers a ten-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you change your mind for any reason, it’ll give you a full refund.
Blueprint LSAT’s online course leverages the latest technology to give you a personalized, streamlined learning experience. When studying, you can choose the type, number and difficulty of the questions you see, or you can let the computer do it for you. The homework sets automatically adapt based on your previous answers to target the areas where you need improvement. There are 15 practice tests, six of which are proctored, included in the course, and you can score them by simply taking a picture of your answer sheet and uploading it to your Blueprint LSAT account. The software automatically tracks your progress, so you can see how you improve over time.
If you run into questions, you can reach out to a trained instructor via email and you’ll receive a response within 48 hours. Your other option is to enroll in private tutoring. Blueprint LSAT’s rates are very affordable, starting at $350 for two hours. If you like it, you can purchase 10, 20 or 30 hours all at once. The 30-hour package costs just $3,500. By comparison, the next-cheapest tutoring company, The Princeton Review, charges $3,600 for 24 hours of tutoring.
Blueprint LSAT Details
|Online Course (Self-Study)||$179/month|
|Private Tutoring (2 hours)||$350|
|Private Tutoring (10 hours)||$1,400|
|Private Tutoring (20 hours)||$2,600|
|Private Tutoring (30 hours)||$3,500|
Frequently Asked Questions About the LSAT
To do well on the LSAT, you need to know more than just the material you’re being tested on. You also have to understand test-day procedures and how to study effectively. We spoke with industry experts and law school students to answer these and other common LSAT questions below. If there’s something else you’d like us to answer, feel free to let us know.
What are the most important things to know prior to taking the LSAT?
Before you take your LSAT, you need to have a goal in mind and you need to understand what you’ll be facing on test day.
Every law school has its own idea about LSAT scores. Many don’t have a definite minimum for acceptance. Instead, they’ll accept a range of scores, depending on how strong the other aspects of your application are. Try to find the score range or an average LSAT score for the schools you’re applying to, and use this as your benchmark. If you find a score range, aim for the high end just to be safe.
You also need to know when your school’s application deadline is, so you can get your test scores submitted on time. Keep in mind that it takes about three to four weeks after the test day for your scores to be released. It’s best to take the exam several months before you plan to submit your application, just in case you don’t do as well as you’d hoped and you need to take the test again. This may not be as much of a concern if your school has a rolling deadline, but if not, you definitely don’t want to risk your scores arriving too late.
The LSAT exam is composed of five 35-minute multiple-choice sections, including one Reading Comprehension, one Analytical Reasoning and two Logical Reasoning sections. The fifth — also known as the variable — section is unscored and contains questions being considered for future exams. Each section contains approximately 25 questions, though this can vary slightly. Once these are complete, there is a 35-minute writing sample to conclude the exam. These writing samples are not scored, but they’re sent out to all the schools you apply to, along with your LSAT scores.
Each of the multiple-choice sections are designed to test a particular skill necessary for practicing law. The Reading Comprehension section measures your ability to comprehend complex and technical texts, while the Analytical Reasoning — also known as Logic Games — section measures your ability to understand and draw conclusions about relationships in a system. The Logical Reasoning sections make up the bulk of the LSAT and test your ability to evaluate arguments, just as you’ll have to do in a courtroom.
Prior to test day, you must register for the exam online and upload a photo of yourself which will appear on your admission ticket. On exam day, you’ll need to present this ticket and a valid, government-issued ID to verify your identity. Make sure you know how to get to the testing center and arrive early, because you won’t be admitted if you show up late. Check in with the exam proctors as soon as you arrive.
You are permitted one clear ziplock bag of belongings, which must be kept under your desk and only accessed between sections. Items permitted in the testing room include your identification, No. 2 pencils, a pencil sharpener, eraser, highlighter, tissues, medical products, a snack and a beverage. For a complete list of permitted items and details on testing rules and procedures, visit the Law School Admission Council website.
How much time should I spend studying for the LSAT?
This varies from student to student. It all depends on how well you know the material and how much time you have before your exam. When planning out your study schedule, consider the following:
Strengths and Weaknesses
Obviously, you want to spend more time focusing on areas where you need improvement than the ones you already know well. So if you’re confident about the Analytical and Logical Reasoning portions of the exam, but struggle with Reading Comprehension, you’ll want to put more of your focus on that section. If the material is all pretty new to you, you may want to allow more time to do a comprehensive study of each section. On the other hand, if you feel really confident in your abilities, maybe you can get by with a short refresher workshop. If you want to give yourself the best chance for success, though, we recommend taking a full LSAT prep course.
It’s a good idea to take a practice test before you begin your studies. Time yourself and take it under conditions as close to the real exam as possible. This will give you a baseline and show you what sections you need to improve on. Most test prep providers offer a free practice test and there are several online as well.
According to the Law School Admission Council, over a quarter of LSAT students take the exam more than once and over 7 percent take it at least three times. That’s why it’s best to give yourself plenty of leeway and take the test several months in advance. Check when the school’s application deadline is and work backward from there. Look up the available LSAT test dates and make sure you leave yourself at least two possible testing sessions in case you’re not happy with your score on the first one. And don’t forget to account for the three- to four-week delay in receiving your scores.
If you can commit to a live LSAT prep course, you don’t have to worry too much about creating a schedule because the instructor does that for you. But if your schedule doesn’t allow for this, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands. Check out self-study programs and plan lessons backward from your test date. If you’re cramming last minute, a full course probably won’t be an option for you. Some companies, like Kaplan and Manhattan Prep, offer free one-day workshops and bootcamps that take you through some basic strategies to help you through the most common question types on the exam. You won’t learn as much as you would in a traditional course, but it’s a nice option to have if you’re short on time.
How is the LSAT scored?
Your LSAT score is measured in three ways: your raw score, your scaled score and your percentile rank. Only your scaled score and percentile rank appear on your score report and the information sent to law schools.
The LSAT is composed of five multiple-choice sections, four of which are scored, plus an unscored writing sample. There are approximately 100 scored questions on the exam and the number you get right determines your raw score. Each question is worth one point and there’s no penalty for guessing incorrectly.
Your raw score is then converted to a scaled score that ranges between 120 and 180 in one-point increments. Each test varies somewhat in difficulty, so in order to provide a comparable measure of a student’s skills, the raw scores undergo a procedure known as equating. This uses statistical data to correct for differences in difficulty, so an especially tough exam will be graded more loosely than an easier one. The end result is that raw scores tend to generate very similar scaled scores across every exam.
Your percentile rank is an indication of how well you’ve done compared to other LSAT test takers from recent years. Like the scaled scores, the percentile ranks can vary, but they’re generally pretty consistent. It’s calculated by comparing your score against everyone else who has taken the exam in the last three years. The number you receive indicates the percentage of students you’ve scored better than. So if you receive a 90th percentile rank, that means you’ve done better than 90 percent of the students who have taken the LSAT in the last three years.
How important is the LSAT to law school admissions?
The LSAT is a key part of your law school application that gives schools an estimation of your abilities in a measurable, comparable way. But it’s not the only factor they consider. They look at your undergraduate transcript and any applicable work experience you have. They also try to get to know you beyond your resume, which is why you typically have to submit letters of recommendation and attend an in-person interview.
Every school weighs these factors differently, so it’s difficult to say what kind of role the LSAT score will play in your application. Ideally, you want to score around or above the average for the program you’re applying to. If you’re not sure what that is, you can figure it out by doing a little research online. Use this number as your goal and take frequent practice tests to assess how close you are to reaching it.
A below-average score doesn’t mean you’ll get rejected, though. Likewise, a good score doesn’t guarantee an acceptance. Law schools take the time to get to know prospective students on a deeper level to make sure they’re good fits for the program. That means you need to take the other aspects of your application just as seriously. If you need some assistance, some test prep companies, like Kaplan, also offer admissions consulting to coach you through interviews, essays, resumes and more.
How do I send my LSAT scores to schools?
Unlike most standardized tests, the LSAT doesn’t give you the option to submit your scores to schools on the day you take the exam. Once your official score report is released, you can submit it to any school that you choose through your online account. Just enter the name of the institution and hit send.
It takes four weeks to receive your results in the mail, but if you create an account on the Law School Admission Council website, you’ll be able to see your scores approximately three weeks after the test date. You can submit your scores to schools at any point, and they’re good for five years. If you’ve taken the exam multiple times, your report will show an average of all your scores (for up to 12 exams) and a breakdown of each of them.
If you don’t feel you did well on the exam, you have the option to cancel your score. You can do so either on the day of the exam by indicating that you wish to do so on your test paper or through your online account within six days of the test. Canceling your score is rarely a smart move, though. It’s difficult to gauge how well you did by your first impressions and if you do cancel it, future score reports will indicate that you did so. Plus, you’ll be out the $118 exam fee. You’re much better off waiting to see how you did and taking the test again if you didn’t get the score you wanted.
Key Statistics of the LSAT
Your raw LSAT score — the number of questions you got right — is converted to a scaled score ranging from 120 to 180 in one-point increments. Your score report tells you your scaled score and your percentile rank, reflecting the percentage of students that have scored lower than you in the last three years. To give you some idea of which scores translate to which percentile rank, we’ve gathered some statistics based on the 2012 to 2015 LSATs. Because percentile ranks are determined by the last three years of test takers, yours may be slightly different than the one you see here, but this should give you a general idea of what to expect.
|Scaled Score||Percentile Rank|