Is Kaplan LSAT Prep the course for you? No. I’ll discuss the history, pros and cons, course packages, rating, and ideal candidates of Kaplan so you know why.
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In the LSAT prep world, there are two golden rules: use real LSAT questions, and don’t use Kaplan.
That may sound dramatic, but with all the private LSAT tutors I’ve talked to, I’ve noticed a frightening trend that solidifies that position.
The vast majority of students who are paying thousands of dollars for one-on-one LSAT tutoring have never been enrolled in an LSAT class. However, the students who have been in an LSAT class before hiring a private tutor almost ALWAYS used Kaplan.
Not only is Kaplan not helping students reach their goal LSAT score, but it’s also making some students feel so desperate that they go and pay thousands of dollars for a private instructor.
So, what’s wrong with Kaplan?
When evaluating an LSAT prep course, I look at three things: what they’re teaching, what they’re using to teach, and who’s teaching it- methods, materials, instructors.
Kaplan uses real LSAT questions to teach, they at least have that going for them.
However, their methods are notoriously ineffective. Students are being taught acronyms, tricks, and tips to “cheat” the LSAT instead of learning the foundational concepts that the questions are addressing.
Now, learning the intricacies and nuances of the LSAT is valuable, but you can’t learn around the LSAT. You have to beat it at its own game.
But, by far, the worst part about Kaplan’s LSAT prep is the instructors.
Manhattan LSAT Prep strictly requires their instructors to score in the 99th percentile on an official administration of the LSAT. TestMasters requires 98th percentile.
And scoring at that level alone doesn’t guarantee either of these companies will hire you. You must display a holistic understanding of the LSAT, and effective teaching skills. Basically, getting a job at TestMasters or Manhattan Prep is extremely difficult.
Kaplan, on the other hand, loosely requires a 90th percentile LSAT score on either an actual exam or a “practice test.” That means that not only are their instructors scoring at a lower level than their competitors, but they also may have never even actually taken the LSAT at all.
Kaplan uses ineffective methods delivered by un-reliable instructors to teach the LSAT. Follow the golden rule: don’t use Kaplan.
Due to Kaplan’s lenient hiring process, you probably won’t get a good instructor. But I guess there’s a chance you could get lucky?
Kaplan at least uses real LSAT questions in their course, and enrolling in the course does give you access to all previously administer LSATs.
But that is probably the only good thing about Kaplan, so it’s still not worth shelling out the cost.
As we previously described, Kaplan’s selection process for LSAT instructors is inadequate to guarantee your instructor will know what they’re talking about.
The methods Kaplan teaches are cheats and half-methods used to give students a higher score without actually teaching them the material.
This is an issue because 1) the methods are ineffective and 2) the students aren’t learning anything.
Comparatively, Kaplan may seem reasonably priced. But when you realize that the product you’re receiving is garbage, you realize that Kaplan is an expensive waste of money.
Cost: $199 plus an additional $199 a month
Having used this course, I give Kaplan a rating of 2 stars out of 5.
So, who should use Kaplan LSAT Prep?
If you are going to pay for an LSAT course, I highly recommend staying away from Kaplan. You would be better off studying on your own, enrolling into an LSAT course, or hiring a high-quality tutor for a few hours.
Do not buy Kaplan.
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John Wilson Booth grew up in Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. He moved to Salt Lake City after graduation and began studying for the LSAT. His cold diagnostic score was a 154 and he self-studied to a 171. Now, he works as a writer as he decides which law school to attend.