Themis vs Kaplan
Not all Bar prep courses are created equal
You will encounter many hurdles and forking paths on your journey to attorney licensure. The route you choose may be the difference between laboring uphill on rugged terrain and jogging briskly along a well-paved trail. One such fork is the decision between two bar prep courses—Themis vs Kaplan. Below, we offer a roadmap to see what lies ahead depending on which course you choose.
Themis vs Kaplan: Key Feature Comparisons
They say time is money, but bar prep courses require both. That's why it's so important to make an informed decision. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the most important features to consider when choosing a bar prep course.
|This chart lists important factors to decide what you need from a high-quality bar prep course||Kaplan Complete
|Early Access to Full Course|
|Total Number of MBE® & NCBE®-Licensed Questions||4,000+
(1,375+ NCBE®-Licensed Questions)
(950 NCBE®-Licensed Questions)
|Comprehensive Pass Rates|
|Personal Attorney Advisors|
|15–20-Minute Video Lectures|
|In-Depth Answer Explanations|
|Dedicated Attorney Essay Grader|
|Customizable MBE® Practice Tests|
|Visual Answer Explanations|
Price (full bar review)
Kaplan’s bar review course can cost between $2,199 to $4,046 depending on which supplemental prep options you choose as add-ons. Themis + UWorld's pricing is all-inclusive and offers more features. How? Themis has joined with UWorld, allowing the prep courses to streamline operations, integrate into one platform, and offer more for less.
Kaplan offers "Supplemental Prep" as add-ons to its core bar prep product—Flashcards ($100), 1,000 question QBank ($299), MBE Supplemental Courses ($449), MBE & Essay Tutoring ($999). Themis + UWorld has no additional fees. UWorld's 2,000+ question MBE QBank is fully integrated into the course (a total of 4,000+ MBE questions with Themis), even if you get discounted pricing. What you see is what you get.
Early Access to Full Course
Themis + UWorld and Kaplan both offer "Early Access." But early access to what? Kaplan's FAQ says that early access "allows you to view specific resources prior to full access." For Themis + UWorld, "Early Access" means full access to the entire course up to 14 weeks before the February exam and 20 weeks before the July exam.
Total Number of MBE & NCBE®-Licensed Questions
Kaplan offers 4,000+ MBE-like questions, including 950 NCBE-licensed questions. Themis + UWorld offers 4,000+ MBE-like questions, including all available (1,375+) NCBE-licensed and all questions are routinely updated by an in-house team of legal professionals to reflect current MBEs in both difficulty and format.
Comprehensive Pass Rates
Historical data proving exemplary student performance is solid evidence of a superior bar prep course. Themis remains the only bar review course to publish state-by-state pass rates every year. Other courses may publish pass rates but misinform you about a course's efficacy using surveys, qualifiers, and excluding unconfirmed students from calculations. That's why full transparency is key. Here's exactly how Themis publishes pass rates:
- Reach out to every Themis + UWorld student. Other companies only collect results from survey responses.
- Mark unresponsive students as unsuccessful. Other companies throw those students out.
- Count all assignments in our 75% completion pass rate statistic. Other companies count only specific tasks.
Personal Success Team
Kaplan offers 'Ask an Expert' —24/7 bar exam guidance from lawyers. For an additional $999, you can also get one-on-one MBE and Essay guidance from a licensed attorney. Themis + UWorld gives you access to a Personal Success Team at no additional cost. You can contact Substantive Law Attorney Experts via your Themis + UWorld portal whenever you need help clarifying tricky legal concepts. Your Personal Success Team includes:
- Local Themis Director -monitors your progress to keep you on track
- Attorney Adviser -offers exam pro-tips & expert strategies
- Dedicated Attorney Essay Grader - provides guidance & tailored feedback
Kaplan offers a personalized study plan that is largely based around its live online classes. In contrast, Themis + UWorld offers an Adaptive Calendar that auto-adjusts your study schedule based on your start date and provides daily assignments adapted to your performance. This automates the process of identifying your weaknesses and developing a plan to turn them into strengths.
15–20 Minute Video Lectures
Kaplan offers a library of on-demand lectures in addition to its online classes. However, video lectures should be more than someone reading a long outline. They should be enticing and dense. Themis + UWorld videos are in line with research that shows the efficiency with which we retain information decreases significantly after 20 minutes. That’s why Themis + UWorld videos are cut into 15-20 minute long bite-sized videos designed to be dense, but digestible.
Enhanced Visual Learning
A study on visual learning found that after three days subjects retained 45-65% more visual information than written or spoken information. Themis + UWorld has incorporated this research to coincide with their active learning methodology. Written content is paired with descriptive images, charts, graphs, and diagrams that make complex rules of law easier to understand. Kaplan does not include visual aids in its question bank or with its explanations.
Dedicated Attorney Essay Grader
Kaplan advertises unlimited essay grading by real lawyers. However, your essays are not all graded by the same person. For an extra $999 you can purchase a supplemental addon that provides one-on-one guidance for essays. In contrast, Themis + UWorld is the only bar prep course that provides a Dedicated Essay Grader at no additional cost with its single, all-inclusive course.
That means you’ll have the same lawyer helping you as you work through Themis + UWorld’s 100+ bank of essays from past exams. This is huge. Having a dedicated essay grader means that they’ll come to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and can provide tailored advice to help you improve.
Customizable MBE Practice Tests
Kaplan offers 4 practice exams. These practice exams are doled out in chunks. For example, you may be assigned a simulated MBE exam one day, and a simulated essay or performance test another day. You can also test yourself by topic and subtopic, and test in timed or tutor mode. However, one downside to Kaplan is that they only include 950 NCBE-licensed questions. Their questions writers may try to simulate the actual MBE, but nothing beats the real thing. You want to know exactly what you’ll confront before you take the bar exam.
Themis + UWorld offers five MBE-style practice exams, including two complete 200-question simulated assessment exams featuring expert analysis of the most heavily tested rules of law and tips on avoiding common exam mistakes. UWorld’s MBE QBank also allows for you to create as many customizable MBE practice tests as you’d like using a bank of 4,000+ exam-like questions, 1,375+ of which are NCBE-licensed questions taken directly from past exams. You can customize these practice tests by subject, subtopic, custom tag, or even just questions you’ve previously missed.
In-Depth Answer Explanations
Kaplan offers answer explanations for each answer choice, but they are far from comprehensive. You’re going to need more than a sentence or two to get a grip on such complex information. On the other hand, the cornerstone of Themis + UWorld’s course is its in-depth answer explanations for every answer choice. “Every answer choice” is key. After reading thousands of rationales, you’ll develop an intuition for how to think through MBE questions. These explanations are written by legal professionals to break down the why behind complex legal concepts. They are even paired with charts, graphs, and other visuals to help make things more digestible.
Kaplan offers targeted MBE and MEE flashcards for an extra $100. Themis + UWorld offers unlimited, customizable flashcards that allow you to transfer source content from QBank to flashcards in a few clicks at no extra cost. The flashcards are designed with spaced-repetition that enables you to flag a flashcard by its relative difficulty. The algorithm will present you with more difficult material more frequently, so you don’t waste time studying what you already know.
Both Kaplan, Themis, and UWorld provide mobile apps. However, Themis + UWorld’s mobile app simply offers more features, because the course offers more features—unlimited flashcards, performance tracking, customizable practice exams, a digital MyNotebook, all accessible on the go.
Kaplan provides feedback for its four practice exams while Themis + UWorld provides immediate results and real-time analytics on your assignments, practice exams, and customizable practice exams, allowing you to highlight and target your weaknesses. You can also compare your performance to other Themis users.
Themis + UWorld offers a unique digital My Notebook. Kaplan does not. Highlight the text and illustrations you want to save from our QBank and select "My Notebook." When My Notebook pops up, select the tab you would like to transfer the content into and paste it by moving your cursor on the page. Click-and-drag entries to organize content as you go, add unique tags for straightforward searching, and annotate text to leave a personal touch. My Notebook was created to be as adaptive as possible to optimize your study experience.
Themis vs Kaplan: The Verdict
Themis + UWorld offers more NCBE-licensed questions, more practice exams, more customization, more learning tools, a Dedicated Essay Grader, and a Personal Success Team. Kaplan’s least expensive product costs $2,199, but lacks critical study features. Purchasing its basic course and all of its addons will cost a total of $4,046, but you still get more with Themis + UWorld’s $2,695 all-inclusive course.
The verdict is clear. When the stakes are high, it’s important to trust your bar exam preparation to a company that has a vested interest in seeing you succeed. Our pass rates, personalized touch, and commitment to your success is unparalleled; there’s a reason why more and more students are choosing Themis + UWorld over Kaplan.