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Do you read the Stimulus or Question Stem first?

Hello fellow 7sagers,
There is no right or wrong answer to the question at hand. I know 7Sage's method is to read the question stem first. However, I am curious to hear from individuals who have tried "both" approaches. Which made your task of comprehending the stimulus and answering the question easier?
Thank you in advance.


  • The 180 Bro_OVOThe 180 Bro_OVO Alum Inactive ⭐
    1392 karma
    I've tried both and I feel that reading the question stem is generally far superior, for me at least.

    My reasoning is that by doing that you are able to approach the stimulus with a clear mind of instructions of what you're trying to do.

    This makes me faster, more focused, and a lot more accurate.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @"The 180 Bro_OVO" said:
    I've tried both and I feel that reading the question stem is generally far superior
    I agree completely. I know some companies like PowerScore recommend the opposite, and for the longest time, I did read the stimulus first. It takes some getting used to, but reading the question stem first is to me by far the better strategy.
  • TheLSATTheLSAT Member
    301 karma
    @"The 180 Bro_OVO" @danielznelson Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Monthly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27598 karma
    Agreed. I tried both and found that identifying the question stem first was far superior. I get that the level of understanding I need to have in the stimulus doesn't change just because I know the question, but knowing what my task is allows me to read much more actively and with purpose. I can manage that without sacrificing understanding.
  • friesan872friesan872 Free Trial Member
    5 karma
    As I am preparing for LSAT, in a few weeks, I will take this into consideration! Thank you!
  • TheLSATTheLSAT Member
    301 karma
    @"Cant Get Right" thank you Josh.
  • SeriousbirdSeriousbird Alum Member
    1278 karma
    When I first started prepping I read the stimulus first, it was really hard to break the habit and transition to reading the question stem first. However, once I made the change, I noticed such a dramatic difference in the way I read the material, how my eyes searched for a gap, or how the sentences fit together and using this methodology is definitely in my book the one to use!
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    I started off reading the stim. first...another prep company advised against reading the question stem prior to reading the stim...I realized they were wrong.
    Reading the question stem first allows you to narrow your "search scope" and helps you quickly hone in on what the question is asking for.
    For instance, if I know I'm doing a MP/MC question, I'll know to look for the MP/MC before I even reach the end of the stimulus. More importantly, I won't bother wasting time trying to find flaws, assumptions, etc.
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    I'm team question stem. My reasoning has already been mentioned above haha
  • BinghamtonDaveBinghamtonDave Alum Member 🍌🍌
    8684 karma
    I heard earlier this week on the LSAT podcast that those guys actually read the stimulus first. I didn't find their reasoning all that convincing, but to each their own. I personally have found reading the question stem first to be the better option for me.
  • tjphilbricktjphilbrick Alum Member
    174 karma
    definitely read the question stem first. Then you can read the stimulus and know what you're looking for, rather than reading the stimulus with no specific goal in mind and then having to re-read it once you know what the question stem is asking for.
  • texvd1988texvd1988 Member
    605 karma
    I thought it had to be the question stem. That way you can pick out what you are looking for in the stimulus.
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