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Inevitably, the moment you start thinking about applying to law school, the question of whether to enroll in an LSAT prep course will come up. With so many options available to help you study for the LSAT, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the course of determining which test prep path is best for you. Add to this range of choices the fact that LSAT preparation can be incredibly expensive: one LSAT course can cost thousands of dollars. (Similarly, private tutoring can be hundreds of dollars an hour.) Even with the many discounts offered by various test prep companies, test preparation can be a big financial commitment forcing you to ask whether an LSAT prep course is worth it. To tackle this question, LSAT test takers should explore and compare the different prep courses in the market before signing up for one. While a friend or colleague may have had a great experience with a particular LSAT course, it is still important for you to do your homework. Whichever test prep approach you choose needs to align with your learning style and your budget. This section dives into what prep courses can offer LSAT students, along with ways to make the most of your budget.
Start by Taking a Practice Test:
LSAT preparation courses are entirely optional; some LSAT takers elect to study on their own without the aid of a test prep company or tutoring. Before making a decision about whether to enroll in a prep course, you should consider first taking a practice test to establish your baseline LSAT score. An LSAT score is determined by the number of questions answered correctly. Wrong answers will not be deducted from your score (which is why you should never leave a question blank). Each LSAT question is weighted the same. The total number of questions answered correctly composes the raw score, which is then converted to an LSAT scale ranging from 120 to 180. The average LSAT score is roughly 150. A number of test prep companies, such as The Princeton Review and Kaplan, offer a free LSAT practice test on-demand. Kaplan also provides practice test takers a complimentary score analysis along with answers and explanations for each question. Taking a practice LSAT will also give you a chance to get a sense of what things will be like on test day. As with other standardized tests for graduate school admissions, the LSAT is multiple hours long. It will take time and practice exams to help you build up your test-taking stamina. Based on your practice test experience, you can get a sense of how much help you think you might need. While perfect LSAT scores are a rarity, improving your baseline score by even five points can make a big difference.
Use of Official LSAC Materials:
Part of what a prep course can provide is access to official LSAT practice questions and other materials from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). LSAC has a number of content licensees, such as Manhattan Prep and PowerScore, that license official LSAT materials from LSAC. Some of these licensees offer free or discounted courses to LSAC fee waiver recipients. Requests for test prep fee waivers will need to be made directly to the applicable test prep company providing it. Look into how many full-length LSAT practice exams each prep course company offers. While practice questions are helpful, familiarizing yourself with actual LSAT exams can make a big difference.
LSAT Prep Class Size:
Prep classes can be online, in-person, or a combination of both. Think about whether a smaller class size would be a better use of time and money for you. The Small Class LSAT Course offered by Kaplan is a 5- to 15-person course, giving you more time with the instructor.
Is There a Guarantee?:
Acknowledging how expensive a prep course can be, a number of LSAT preparation companies will offer a money-back guarantee. For example, the company will have you take a practice test on the first day of the review course and then if you do not improve your LSAT score by a certain number of points, the prep course company will refund you the entire cost of the course. Make sure you understand the nuances of each of the different guarantees, as they vary from company to company. For example, the LSAT Lab will have you take a practice test when you start using the LSAT Lab and then study for at least two months. If you do not improve your practice test score by at least five points on the official LSAT, the LSAT Lab will refund the entire cost of your subscription. In contrast, The Princeton Review also has a money-back guarantee for those who sign up for The Princeton Review “LSAT 165+” course if the student (i) had a baseline LSAT score of less than a 158, met all of the requirements but received less than a seven point increase; or (ii) had a baseline LSAT score of 158 or higher, met all of the requirements but received less than a 165. Until 12/20/21, you can save $300 off The Princeton Review LSAT 165+ course when you using the promocode: Save300.
Access to LSAT Test Prep Materials:
Another factor to consider is how long you will be able to access the LSAT prep course practice materials. Magoosh allows its students to access timed practice tests and over 90 video lessons for up to 12 months. LSATMax offers different packages with different access periods allowing you to pay only for what you need.