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Are the difficult questions typically located at the end of the logical reasoning section?

Hello everyone,

For some reason, I always thought that the difficult questions (4 and 5 level difficulty) are packed at the end of an LR section. So I have been trying to do like the first 14 or 15 questions in the first 18 minutes, and the remaining 10-12 questions in the remaining 17 minutes. But now I am noticing that many of the difficult questions are also in the first part of the section. Which one is right? And is my strategy a bad one? I always find myself not having enough time to answer one or two questions, so I am trying to find the best way to use my time. Note: I am taking the June Test.

Thanks in advance!


  • Return On InferenceReturn On Inference Alum Member
    503 karma

    There's not a real reliable pattern for question difficulty, other than the fact that the first 5 questions seem to be quite easy. Sometimes they'll throw a 5 star as early as question 7, other times the first 5 star won't appear until Q20.

    My advice would be to look into skipping strategies. There's a useful webinar that discusses the topic in-depth, just look under the Webinar section on the resources tab. Lots of people also advocate a '15 in 15' strategy where they try to do the first 15 questions in 15 minutes. You could try this out as well.

  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    edited May 2018 4196 karma

    They can appear anywhere. Most of the time they are after like Q10 or so, I'd say, but can certainly appear before that.

    I agree with Return in that you should implement a skipping strategy. When I was studying and used an effective skipping strategy, it helped me go faster and finish all of the questions I knew I would get right then go back later to the ones that stumped me on the first go.

    Look at some skipping strategies and see what you can do with that.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6050 karma

    I did a LR section the other day where Q4 was 4-star MBT according to the 7sage rating. They can appear anywhere,as has been said, and you should get comfortable skipping questions, even if it's question 1. There's no rule that once you skip a question you won't come back to it. It might just be the stimulus wasn't clicking or that you could only confidently elimate 2 or 3 answer choices. One of the biggest time sink's can be not identifying which questions you should've skipped, especially if the difficult ones appear early on the section. Similarly, there can be level 1 difficulty question's in the 20s.

    Here's a post with more information if you're curious

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    edited May 2018 4423 karma

    The later ones seemed harder or at least longer on average to me.

    But I don't think stressing which ones are hard vs easy for everyone is all that productive anyways.

    You are going to have question types that happen to be hard or easy for you. And the test isn't going to systematically put the ones that are hard for you anywhere(the beginning or the end) because the test isn't designed around you.

    So questions that you find hard can emerge anywhere.

  • btate87btate87 Alum Member
    788 karma

    On average you're going to find questions rated as more difficult towards the end, but that doesn't mean they're going to be difficult for you or that the easier ones early on are going to be easier for you. I've found a couple of 1 or 2 star questions that were the only ones that tripped me up in a section. I've had question #2 be the only one I missed in a section and be the only one I missed out of the whole PT on BR.

    I aim to get to the last two pages of an LR section as close to the 20 minute mark as I can (usually 22 or 23). There might be a couple of really difficult questions on the last page or they might all be pretty easy, but it is highly likely that they are going to take a while to get through either way. If I feel the time crunch I'm more likely to slip up on an easy but long question at the end. Instead I am quick to skip earlier questions (usually 2 or 3 per section) to get to the end with plenty of time. Then go back and spend your extra time on the ones you skipped. This strategy makes it pretty irrelevant where the "hard" questions are in the section. All that matters is what's difficult for you as a test taker.

    I've also noticed that as soon as I think, "Hey I haven't skipped a single question yet!" I have to skip the next two. So...just never think that. Ever. #causation

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    It seems to me that yes, on average the last 4 or 5 questions are generally difficult. Or sometimes just longer. The first 5-10 or so I think are usually on the easier side. But there are difficult questions spread out through the whole thing. Not a hard and fast rule, but I usually think there are a few tough ones toward the end. I try to keep myself doing the first 10 in 10 minutes and hopefully 15 in 15. If I hit 20 in 20, I'm in awesome shape. That rarely happens though. But it helps me to remember not to get caught up in the early questions. If something is difficult in the early questions, I try to rule out the choices that I know are wrong. If I get it down to 2, then I'll mark the one I'm leaning toward and move on. If 3 or more are still possible, skip and move on. I always try to have a significant amount of time when I get to the last 5 questions because they do frequently slow me down.

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