Anyone who’s taken the LSAT has the experience of having no idea how to approach an LSAT question. In this post, we tackle how to narrow down your LSAT answer choices if you get stuck on a question on test day!
What Do I Do If I Don’t Know An LSAT Answer?
1. Read reread the question.
This may seem too obvious, but the best thing to do if you don’t know an LSAT answer is to reread the question. In the rush of trying to get through everything under timed conditions, many takers often misread the question. Most often, they miss a crucial word like “not” or “weaken”, which are pretty important! So, if you read the question, and none of the answer choices seem to fit, go back to the question to make sure you’re looking for the right thing!
For Logic Games questions, it’s often helpful to jump back and review the inferences if you don’t feel you have enough information to answer a question. Often, in looking at the rules again, you might uncover an inference you missed the first time that unlocks the game.
2. Eliminate the ones you know are wrong.
Another great strategy for narrowing down an LSAT answer is to cross off the ones you know are incorrect. For every Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension question, there are usually several answer choices that fall outside the scope. The best thing to do if you aren’t sure of the answer is to cross out the ones you know are incorrect. Reducing the amount of LSAT answer choices can really help you focus on the options you are between. This will also stop you from going back and talking yourself into one of the incorrect answers after the fact. If you’ve prepared properly sufficiently, your gut should be able to rule out a few of the answers quickly. Don’t second guess yourself in these circumstances!
3. Recheck the language of the question closely.
After crossing out anything you think is an incorrect LSAT answer, reread what the question actually wants you to do again. Often, the LSAT writers choose language that seems close to the point but actually is not. For example, if a question talks about the profit from some sales transaction, make sure the answer choices left aren’t speaking about income or total sales. Although terms like profit, sale, and income are related, they are not the same! This is a common trick the LSAT uses to confuse takers! So, make sure that the answer choices left address the same issue. In the above scenario, if you have one that speaks about the profit, and one that addresses the total sale amount, the one about profit is most likely more on point!
4. If all else fails, move on!
This is difficult advice to take if you do not know an LSAT answer, but it works! You do not want to dwell on any one questions for too long since you have a finite amount of time to complete the test. If you take too long on one question, you won’t have time to properly address some others. So, if you just can’t figure out an LSAT answer, move on to the next question. You want to see all the questions on the test!
A side benefit of this technique is that taking time away from a question you find difficult allows your brain to reset, which may make the question easier the next time you try it. Often, students have a “Eureka!” moment when they come back to a question a second time. Moving on lets their brains get over the hang-up that stumped them last time. Sometimes it is better to concede defeat and try again later!
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