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What do I do if I encounter a difficult question and freak out

slxyzvvv-1slxyzvvv-1 Alum Member
in General 120 karma

Hey guys I know this must be a common experience to many test takers, that if we encounter a difficult question/passage, especially towards the beginning of a section (so that that question is supposed to be relatively easy), we just freak out and can't think straight for the rest of the section, ending up in a terrible score. Do anyone has any suggestion when it comes to this kind of situation?


  • blanklawblanklaw Alum Member
    463 karma

    Depends on the situation. I'll either close my eyes for a second and then reread or I will completely skip that question/passage and not even choose an answer and then come back to it later with fresh eyes.

    If it's the last thing (i.e. passage/game) and I can't skip, then I will just literally take my time in breaking everything down and understanding small chunks of information.

    Also, just in general, practicing specifically harder questions under a time crunch (i.e. a challenge drill) really helps deal with the time stress factor.

  • Universalitea_-1Universalitea_-1 Alum Member
    308 karma

    As someone who is currently anxious for tomorrow's test, one thing that really helped me was realizing that the questions I find toughest are: (1) entirely solvable with what you're given; and (2) if you feel like you're panicking, attempt the question once with as much speed as you would spend on any other question, pick an answer, flag it and move on. We know that all questions are worth the same number of points and chances are by pushing it out of your mind until the second read, you may spot something within a few seconds which you missed during the preliminary read. Also, don't psych yourself out on which question are "supposed to be easy" - we don't know, we can speculate but I wouldn't focus on that only to panic even more.

  • arlenexzyarlenexzy Alum Member
    24 karma

    I would move to the next question and flag this one to review. I know with so much time already spent on this question, my chances to get it right, by keeping looking at it, is minimal.

  • snowcap007snowcap007 Alum Member
    179 karma

    Flag and move on. Freaking out will only hurt you. Come back after doing some other questions. Sometimes your brain just doesn’t work during that first read through.

  • joshkobusinskijoshkobusinski Alum Member
    26 karma

    Skip and discard the notion that early questions are supposed to be easy. They often have the "easier" questions in the early portion, but that is not universally true. Many 3, 4, or even 5 star questions have appeared early in almost every single LSAT. Many 1 or 2 star questions have appeared late in the sections. There will be hard questions in the early batch. Don't worry about them. Difficulty is subjective anyway, what's hard for you might not be hard for me and vice versa. If you get stuck, flag and skip no matter how early in the section you are. I had a PT yesterday where I got all of the "hard" questions right in a section and a 1 star question wrong. It was like the second or third question overall, and I just moved on. That 1 star question broke my brain and I couldn't figure it during the test. It did not stop me from getting to the end of the section and doing well on the rest of the PT.

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