In the immortal words of eight-time bodybuilding world champion Ronnie Coleman, “Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder but don’t nobody want to lift no heavy weight.” Even though Ronnie was talking about his next set of squats, we can still extrapolate his advice to the LSAT. Before you can be an associate at a Biglaw firm cashing big checks and working towards an early retirement, you need to get into top tier law school. And to get into a top law school, you need a stellar score on your LSAT.
Getting a top LSAT score takes a lot of heavy lifting but with the right study materials, anyone can ace the LSAT and be one step closer to their dream job. Today, I’ll review the 7Sage LSAT prep course. 7Sage has been a mainstay in the LSAT prep world for nearly a decade and is a fan favorite for its logic game explanations and the infectious personality of its head teacher, JY.
For those of you completely new to the LSAT, let’s quickly review the LSAT’s structure and why you should care about getting the best score possible.
About the LSAT
The LSAT is a five-section multiple choice test proctored by the LSAC that gauges your reading ability and critical thinking skills. The test is divided into two logical reasoning sections, one logic game section, one reading comprehension section, and one experimental section.
The logical reasoning section tests your understanding of formal logic, logical fallacies, argument structures, and much more.
Logic games also rely heavily on formal logic. However, instead of arguments that need to be analyzed, the logic game section asks you to solve a series of what are best described as brain teasers. You’ll be asked to take a jumble of information, turn it into a game board, and then make a series of deductions to determine the correct answer to a set of questions.
The reading comprehension section is exactly what it sounds like: a group of texts that you need to read and answer some questions about. The section is divided into four subsections, each with its own reading passage and questions.
The experimental section is unscored and can be any of the three main section types. The catch is there’s no way of knowing which sections are real and which is the experimental, so you’ll need to try for all five sections.
(Side note: As of October 2021, the LSAT is currently only four sections [no experimental section, for now] and is being administered virtually due to the pandemic. There’s no definite answer as to when the LSAT will revert to its traditional five section, in-person format.)
There are several reasons why you should care about getting a good LSAT score. Perhaps most importantly, it’s the best predictor of success in law school. A top score proves to yourself and law school admission committees that you’re prepared for the rigors of law school. While the exact importance of your LSAT varies from school to school, admission committees usually view it as the single most important component of your application. The rule of thumb for admissions weight is 50% LSAT, 40% GPA, and 10% “softs” (e.g., your resume, your personal statement, etc.).
The numbers speak for themselves. Because the LSAT is so important, finding the best possible LSAT prep course is an integral part of your law school application process.
Without further ado, here’s my take on 7Sage’s program. I’ve broken down my review into five sections: quality of materials, affordability, convenience, support, and pros and cons.
Quality of materials
When you first purchase 7Sage, you’ll be prompted to complete their core course before diving into full length practice exams. The course is somewhat long, taking about 200 hours to complete, but the time invested is well spent.
A standard lesson in the course teaches an LSAT skill and provides you with several problem sets of practice questions that test this skill. On top of the standard lessons, the curriculum has been interspersed with lessons on more general skills you’ll need to succeed on the LSAT, such as formal logic and English grammar.
Video lessons are the primary medium for teaching, all of them taught by 7Sage’s founder and head teacher, JY. For me, JY is one of the greatest draws of 7Sage. He has (or at least makes it seem like he has) a passion for the LSAT and it comes through in the way he teaches. Prepping for the LSAT isn’t the most exciting way to spend your time and having a teacher who doesn’t sound like a robot makes the experience slightly more human.
Another thing to note about the videos: they aren’t professionally produced. They’re done either in an MS Paint type app or in an app for visualizing brain maps. For those of you looking for scripted videos and well polished animations, 7Sage won’t give you that.
I do think, however, that this informal video style is intentional and not the product of a low budget. The explanations are clear and concise, and the lack of distracting graphics and background music is conducive to serious studying. The informality of the videos also ties in nicely with JY’s personality. Working through the curriculum feels more like you’re working with an actual person instead of an asynchronous online course.
Once you finish the core curriculum and begin to take real LSAT prep tests, 7Sage has a full suite of analytics and custom test prep tools. To name a few: access to every released LSAT question which can be combined into custom problem sets; a customizable study plan; blind review method software; graphic and statistical analysis of your performance; and video explanations of almost every LSAT question ever. While none of these features are unique to 7Sage, they’re paired with a clean user interface that makes for easy use and navigation.
7Sage does offer one LSAT analytics tool I haven’t found elsewhere: a function that tells you, based on your most recent LSAT practice test score, what percentage of the time someone with your test score should get a question correct. This let’s you gauge if a question you missed was particularly hard or if you instead have a weakness for that question type. I’ve found this tool invaluable while doing my own studying.
7Sage is by far the most affordable of the mainstream LSAT prep services. While competitors such as Blueprint charge $250 for their monthly plan, 7Sage comes in at only $65.
7Sage manages to keep their prices low by offering only a single package. The only customization available is the choice between a yearly or monthly plan. (The yearly plan offers a slight discount.) There’s no option for real-time classes or a personal LSAT tutor and if that’s your learning style, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
The greatest convenience of using 7Sage is that it bundles all your law school needs together. Once you finish your LSAT prep, you won’t need to find another site for admissions consulting, 1L exam prep, or studying for the bar exam.
Some of their admissions consulting content is free, regardless of whether you have an account with them. I’ve found their admissions predictor and law school rankings database to be particularly useful. The admissions predictor allows you to plug in your LSAT score, undergrad GPA, and several other factors to get an estimate of your admissions chances at every law school in the country. You can play around with the calculator to get an idea of what LSAT exam score you’ll need to get into your target school.
7Sage also has a well put together mobile app. Anything you could do from your desktop you’ll also be able to do from your phone or tablet.
Beyond standard customer support features, 7Sage offers two less common support services: an active forum and a “study buddy finder.”
7Sage’s forum is extremely active. There are dozens of daily threads covering a wide variety of topics. You’ll be able to find upcoming webinars and alternate explanations to tricky LSAT questions or just interact with a community of students who are getting ready to take the same test as you. At this point there are over 30,000 archived posts. Chances are that if you’ve had a problem – whether it be technical, not understanding an explanation of a question, or just looking for general advice or a study partner– a discussion board thread exists for it.
7Sage also has a dedicated page for finding people to study with. You can search by LSAT score or geographic location to find a partner with comparable scores or a person with more experience who can guide you through the LSAT prep process.
Pros and Cons
Let’s sum up the pros and cons of 7Sage.
- By far the most affordable of the mainstream LSAT test prep programs
- Strong community with an active forum
- Bundling all of your law school needs (e.g., admissions consulting, 1L course review, bar prep, etc.)
- Only offers one, asynchronous package
- No classes or individual tutoring
- Entirely online (No prep books)
7Sage is good at what it aims to do: be an affordable self-study product. 7Sage offers a free account with limited access to their course so you can gauge the program for yourself.
Here’s my take. If you’re looking for a self-study program you can complete at your own pace, 7Sage offers the best possible value. Other test prep companies offer on-demand products containing superficial extra features that don’t warrant the steep price tag.
If, however, you’re the type of person who prefers individualized tutoring or a more structured environment, I’d recommend going with another program. 7Sage offers little structure and what structure it does give is cookie cutter and not personalized. If you fall into this category, check out our reviews of the Princeton Review and Blueprint prep programs. Both programs offer a wider suite of products with more room for individual customization.
Joseph Parise is a junior at the University of Buffalo. Joseph grew up in New York and is majoring in Philosophy and Economics. He is currently taking a gap year to study for the LSAT exam and to serve in the US Air Force Reserves.