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Why You Shouldn't Attempt Every LSAT Question

Okay, the following may sound obvious but a lot of people seem to overlook this when taking timed exams--getting 15/15 questions correct is better than getting 10/25 questions correct.

Do you ever find yourself reviewing questions and thinking to yourself "How did I get this wrong? This is so obvious!!" If so, you are likely making the mistake of thinking you need to answer every question and you are rushing as a result.

But think about it. There is no penalty for guessing. It's just about how many questions you get correct. If you had just taken your time, you may have avoided careless errors and as a result, you may have gotten more questions correct even without answering as many questions!

Of course, the ideal is to answer everything accurately. But that should come as a result of you developing the skills to propel you faster, not from rushing through questions.

Don't go into a section with the mindset of "I'm going to answer every question". Go into it thinking "I'm going to get every question that I attempt correct". You will also find that if you approach exams in this way, you will be more engaged with the questions and this will actually help you improve faster. Also, it will reduce the careless errors you make and will give you a more insightful understanding of why you missed certain questions.

This also means it makes sense to prioritize the questions that you attempt. Focus on getting the questions you are likely to get correct first so that even if you run out of time, you have left the hardest questions that you may have not gotten correct even if you had all the time in the world. Here are a few tips you can apply toward each section:

Logic Games

When it comes to Logic Games, you might not have time to complete all the games. One issue people run into is they will attempt the games in the order they appear. But if the second game is extremely challenging, they end up spending far too much time on it and as a result, they end up not having enough time to attempt the final two games which were significantly easier. The more efficient approach is to first read through the opening paragraph and evaluate if it is a game type that you are proficient at. You can either attempt the easier game types in the order they appear or quickly skim through all of the opening paragraphs and determine the order in which you want to attempt the games.

Also, if you start to get stuck in a game, don't get overly invested in it. If you are struggling, move on and attempt the other games first. This will not only help you potentially be able to knock out some of the easier games, but it will also allow you to 'reset' your mind and view that game from a fresh perspective when you re-attempt it.

Logical Reasoning

For logical reasoning, keep in mind that the first 10-12 questions are typically easier. Often, the last 5 questions contain some easier questions as well. For this reason, some people do the first 10, skip to the last 5, then attempt the remaining questions. Whether you implement this strategy or attempt the questions in the order they appear, it's important that you make sure you get the vast majority if not all of the first 10 questions correct. Focus on being as accurate as possible because they should mostly be freebies.

It also makes sense to skip questions that typically give you trouble. For example, parallel reasoning questions take a long time and are difficult for a lot of people. If you are one of these people, of course you should drill this question type on the side, but it would also be beneficial to skip it and come back to it if you have remaining time. This will allow you to free up some time to use on the questions you're more likely to get correct.

Reading Comprehension

For reading comprehension, it may be beneficial to do the "big picture" questions that ask about the general idea of the passage first. This is because these questions are a bit easier because they don't require an understanding of the little details, and also the information gathered from these questions can sometimes help with the more detail-oriented questions.

I also want to clarify I am not saying you should ever leave questions blank. You should NEVER do that because there is no penalty for guessing. Instead, quickly fill in the remaining answers once you hit the 1-2 minute mark and then go back to attempt those questions to the best of your ability.

Stay Motivated!


Impetus LSAT

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