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Keep getting 4-5 star questions wrong

KingTChallaKingTChalla Monthly Member

Hey folks,

I've been studying for the LSAT for quite a long time now, and while my accuracy has improved, I still find myself missing hard questions—4/5 stars. There isn't a question type pattern or anything when the difficulty rises, I tend to miss the question. Do you have any tips, ideas, tricks, or anything that could help me get better when dealing with difficult questions?



  • SamiSami Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    10700 karma

    4/5 star questions can be so tricky!

    One thing that really helped me was to know which questions to attempt and which ones to let go. It sounds crazy, but I truly believe that if you are trying to go -0, then for sure you will never go -0. When I do go -0, it's because I just ended up having more time for the last question but honestly, I would have been fine missing that one question. For example, lets say there are 2 five star questions to attempt, and they each require 2 minutes to get correct and you only have three minutes left -hopefully you skipped these extremely difficult questions in 30 seconds so at the end so you have this time saved. Most students will rush both questions and miss both and get -2. Instead you want to spend the time on the easier 5 star question, spend even 2.5 minutes, get that one correct, and not even attempt the last 5 star question and go -1. The trick is to learn that you cannot have the same expectations from harder questions on LR that you have from the easier questions. Just like you wouldn't expect to do a very hard LG game in the same amount of time that you do a one star sequencing game, you have to figure out in LR which questions you should have done in 40-50 seconds, and which questions in a minute, and which questions should have approached 2 minutes, and lastly which question you should not have attempted at all unless you had done every question on this section. It's hard to have time at the end to devote to harder questions, if skipping them cost you a minute or two or it took you a minute or more to do almost all the one-three star questions.

    The other problem that I often see is when people pre-phrase they end picking an answer choice that has that familiar pre-phrasing word but without close reading and careful evaluation. Often times for the hard questions, LSAT writers know the gap or flaw a student will pre-phrase and they craft a very tricky answer choice that will have that word but has something wrong that disqualifies that answer choice. The trick is to see what's wrong in the stimulus but to not only rely on that. You need to evaluate each answer choice precisely on it's own merit, without being biased about a previous answer choice that you liked, or because an answer choice has that word.

    The harder questions tend to have harder answer choices that are written in a tricky manner and require closer reading. To increase the difficulty LSAT writers love to make these answer choices abstract, mess around with sentence structure so you first have to work on it to understand it clearly, use referential phrasing etc. *What you will find true for the harder questions is that either the one of the answer choices with the right pre-phrasing ends up saying something wrong, and a very subtle answer choice that you did not anticipate but when evaluated ends up being right or two very similar answer choices look good or each answer choice requires a lot of work because of the way it's written. In any case, harder questions tend to require more careful work in the answer choices and you have to know not only how to efficiently tackle each situation but to also know which ones to even attempt.

    I know the list is general, but I hope this was helpful.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    I think the more you do and review, the more approachable it's going to become.

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