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Is skipping around in order of reading questions or question options a good/non harmful strategy?

xander787xander787 Alum Member
in General 108 karma
As I've been doing more and more practice sets and going through problems showcased in the tutorial videos, I've started to not just read things like answer options in the order that they're listed when going about answering a question. For instance, when doing some practice RC questions this morning, I would read a question and then skip down to, e.g. answer E and work my way up to A rather than to read starting from A and go down to E. I don't think I started doing this for any particular reason other than sometimes I would get frustrated by the first few options and would want to see if I could find something better lower, but then I started to think that possibly this could insulate you from the tricks that the test occasionally throws at you such as putting really tempting answer options at the beginning or right before the actual answer at the end.

I'm just wondering if this is a viable strategy (or worst case just neutral) that could be useful to do when taking the test. I can't really think of any downside seeing and the upside would be that (I assume) LSAC assumes most people read from top to bottom and would thus try to design tricks that way. I also wonder (but haven't actually tried) if this kind of strategy would apply to doing individual questions too. Problem I see with that is that it could get cumbersome time-wise to be skipping around so much or starting from the end and coming forward (especially if the questions increase in difficulty towards the end, causing you to waste time on less questions).

Anywho, just wanted some thoughts on this. It seemed kinda helpful initially but just wondering if it could be a problematic strategy or what you think.


  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I tend to do this randomly and I don't feel that it affects my performance. I think it has to do with being a bit of a skimmer and a multi-tasker. I find it just breaks up the monotony sometimes to read the ACs backwards or completely out of order and once in a while it can help to avoid trap answer choices. I think their tricks go both ways and all directions so it's not like it's a fool proof way to counteract that but I think it can help you guard against it somewhat.

    I usually never employ this for full questions unless I absolutely need to, and then it's for totally strategic reasons. For example, in RC if I am just not liking the main point answers, I'll hit up the other questions to lead me to the right answer. If I'm pressed for time on the very last RC section I will definitely answer the question with the least amount of text between question and ACs to knck it out faster. Questions that ask why a particular word is used are great for this.

    I'll do the same thing for LG if I don't like a question or know it will take a while but others look easier at first glance. I'd rather quickly knock out a straight MBT than a situational/inference MBT question.

    I only do this in LR if I'm pressed for time on say the last 5 questions or so. If I see a couple wall of text parallel flaw questions I'll jump to the shorter questions first and come back to those at the end.

    In the end, you've just got to do what works for you and then stick to it. As long as your strategy doesn't cause you any problems then go for it. You'll get a variety of opinions with people saying absolutely yes or absolutely no, so it should show you what an individualized thing this is. Your practice and studying should tell you what your needs are and what you can do.
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