Today’s lesson was prompted by an earnest question from LSAT student Andrew B.
I’m right smack in the middle of my test prep and am methodically working my way through your Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia. Something that has become a concerning trend however is my lack of accuracy on the final 5–7 questions on LR—questions that correspond with the “Hardest” difficulty in the book. I frequently will go -1 or -2 on the first 18–20 questions of an LR section, then completely shit the bed on the last 5–7. Obviously this is tanking my LR score. Can you provide any tips?
Thanks, Andrew. I’m glad you like the book. All of those explanations—plus thousands more—are included with a subscription to LSATDemon.com. If you like the book, you will love the Demon.
In response to “I’ll go -1 or -2 on the first 18–20 questions, then completely shit the bed,” you are far from alone in your bed-shitting. The questions at the end of each section are much, much harder than the questions at the beginning. You’re good but far from great at the LSAT. You’re getting almost all of the easiest ones right—but not all of them—and then you’re crashing and burning at the higher levels.
Crashing and burning at the higher levels isn’t surprising in the least.
On my podunk high school golf team, I was the #1 player for four years in a row. I was the MVP of the league as a junior and senior. Then I got to college and didn’t make the team. Not even close.
There are hundreds of incredible athletes in the NCAA tournament every year who will play zero minutes in the NBA. Even those who do make it to the big show spend most of their time getting viciously dunked on by Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Half of the world’s prom kings and queens move to Hollywood every year and fail to even get agents, let alone become movie stars. Thus is LA’s supply of shockingly attractive bartenders and waitstaff ever refreshed.
All I’m trying to say is that there are levels in everything. The LSAT is no exception.
Minus one or two on the first 18–20 questions is okay, but it’s nothing to write home about. Each mistake you make probably means there’s another one that you get right without fully understanding. It’s multiple choice, so sometimes you get a little lucky. The harder ones are a lot harder, so these weaknesses are exposed.
As far as “can you provide any tips,” no, I’m sorry, I can’t.
Real improvement has nothing to do with “tips.”
Reaching a higher level of LSAT performance isn’t about tips and tricks. As I wrote last week, the only thing we do here at LSAT Demon is increase our students’ real understanding. If it ain’t about understanding the test, then we ain’t about it.
The book Andrew holds in his hands contains 550 logical reasoning questions, each with a full, detailed explanation. There are thousands more at LSATDemon.com. Instead of looking for tips, Andrew, you need to clean up your mistakes.
Each missed question requires not one, but two, mistakes: You have to pick a wrong answer while also failing to pick the correct one. It’s like your main parachute fails, and then your backup parachute also fails, and you go splat. The solution is to take better care of your two parachutes. Look for holes and patch them, so the next time you jump out of the airplane you’ll have a less dramatic landing.
Thoroughly review every question you miss. Why is the right answer right? Why is the wrong answer wrong? How could you have avoided making these mistakes? Do you feel confident that you’ll avoid making these mistakes next time?
We’re here to help—but it’s not about gimmicks.
It’s not as simple as “just do this one weird trick and you’ll find instant success.” It’s about reading more carefully and actually understanding the damn test. It’s not as hard as you think, but it does require more careful attention than most novices tend to pay. Step one is to slow down and be more careful. Then, ask for help on the stuff you don’t understand. At LSAT Demon, we have an entire team of 99th-percentile LSAT scorers, including me and Ben Olson, who are ready to help you make sense of the test. Come to class, ask questions, and let us show you how easy it can be.
Speaking of that, please come to my free August 2021 LSAT Study Group. We meet on Zoom at 7ET/4PT each Thursday. All you need is a Demon Free account. Come to class and ask me specific questions about stuff you don’t understand. Just don’t expect my answers to contain any tips or tricks. If you study with us, we’re going to guide you toward real understanding, not hocus pocus.