Evaluating LSAT Prep Courses

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Selecting the right LSAT prep course is a crucial first step on the road to a great LSAT score. But, with so many options out there, each claiming to be “the best,” how can you ensure that you pick the right one?

The three most important considerations are:

1. Instructors,
2. Content, and
3. Length of Access

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Instructors

Let’s face it. The LSAT is a challenging exam, and LSAT prep can be tedious. You’ll need discipline and motivation to keep you going. Access to a great LSAT instructor, with an upbeat attitude and vast LSAT expertise, is invaluable.

Here at LSATMax, we lead the LSAT prep space by only employing instructors who have scored in the 99th percentile on an officially administered LSAT and who have at least five years of LSAT prep teaching experience. We also only hire people who are NOT naturals (i.e., people who started with lower scores and had to work hard to improve). So with LSATMax, you get the very best of the best—not 98th percentile, not 95th percentile, no naturals who cannot relate to the majority of LSAT prep students, and no rookies.

Be extra wary of companies that hire instructors without even requiring them to take a real LSAT at all. The fact is, someone who has not experienced LSAT preparation and an actual exam administration is just not going to be as effective.

A related issue is your overall learning environment. Due to set schedules and limited access, traditional LSAT prep courses (live classroom) are forced to teach to the mean. By definition, this means some students will feel held back, while other students will feel left behind.

With LSATMax, you get on-demand personalized attention: we offer detailed analytics, 24/7 email support and a telephone helpline Monday-Friday 9am-6pm PST, plus access to real-time message boards inside our LSAT prep app where you can post questions that our LSAT instructors will answer. That’s far more productive than feeling invisible in a giant class full of dozens of other students all jockeying for one instructor’s time and attention!

Also, consider pacing. Traditional courses have a major drawback: you cannot tailor your study schedule to your own needs. We know dozens of students who struggled to optimize their LSAT prep experience simply because they had to work a full day, 9am-5pm, and then hurry to a four-hour class from 6pm-10pm in the evening. Their brains were fried and they were riddled with anxiety—and none of that is necessary!

With LSATMax, you can choose your own study schedule. We have a ton of helpful resources, including suggested LSAT prep study calendars, to help you keep on track, while ensuring that you have maximum flexibility.

Content

This is absolutely fundamental: ONLY use REAL LSAT questions, period. The LSAT is a finely-tuned examination, created by standardized test experts and riddled with pitfalls to trap unsuspecting (and unprepared) takers.

An LSAT prep company that peddles made-up LSAT questions is, frankly, wasting your time—and, even worse, setting you up for unnecessary confusion and failure. Your LSAT preparation should be strictly limited to real LSAC-licensed questions. There are thousands of them (7800+), so you don’t need to worry about running out of practice materials. At LSATMax, we only use real LSAT questions, licensed directly from LSAC. What’s more, our full courses include hardcopy binders of all lessons, homework assignments, diagnostics and additional Prep Tests, so you can simulate the paper/pencil experience of the actual LSAT.

Length of Access

Finally, consider how long each course will offer you access to the LSAT prep materials (lectures, drills, homework, diagnostics and support). The reason this is important is that many people find that their LSAT prep takes longer than they initially expected. This is because the LSAT, unlike other standardized exams, is not a subject-based exam testing your ability to memorize and regurgitate; rather the LSAT is testing a way of thinking.

It’s very common for students to start preparing for the September/October LSAT in late July, for example, only to realize by Labor Day that, in fact, they need another one to two months of study and practice to hit their target score. The good (?) news is that the LSAT isn’t going anywhere. The bad news is that many LSAT prep companies capitalize on this common pattern, and force students to pay more to extend or renew their access to course materials after the first test cycle has passed.

At LSATMax, we give our students lifetime access and support. This gives our students peace of mind. What’s more, it ensures that LSATMax students do not force themselves to sit for an actual LSAT before they are truly ready, out of fear that their course is expiring and they are losing access to prep content. Our course is designed for optimal flexibility, putting you, our student, in the proverbial driver’s seat.

The LSAT is a pain, but it’s a manageable one and central part of the law school admissions process. Don’t go astray by choosing an outdated, inefficient, and overpriced LSAT prep course that shoehorns your needs into a one-size-fits-all straitjacket. With LSATMax, you can make LSAT prep work for you.

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time via email or at 855.483.7862 (Monday-Friday 9am-6pm PST).

Updated on Oct 3, 2016