1. Order Questions for Answering
Although you can only work on one section at a time, you are not required to answer questions in the order that they are given. In fact, it is to your advantage to plan the order in which you will answer the test questions. You can optimize your score by postponing the most difficult questions and working on them only if time allows.
2. Record Answer Choices in Groups
Answers are always recorded on a separate “bubble sheet” which is specially formatted for the test. Recording the answers one at a time as you finish each question is too time consuming. When you finish a puzzle in Analytical Reasoning, or an essay in Reading Comprehension, or two facing pages of questions in Logical Reasoning, you should fill in the answers as a group before continuing. This saves valuable time and gives you a short mental break before advancing to a new activity
3. Avoid Distractors
In order to optimize your score, you must avoid answer choices that are specifically designed to be confusing. Such answers are called “distractors.”
The test designers make distractors seem attractive by inserting tricky language into the question stem, or by wording the answer so it differs only slightly from the correct choice.
Here are two reliable ways of avoiding distractors:
A. Physically Eliminate Wrong Answer Choices
The LSAT instructions tell you to select the best answer from five choices. A better instruction would be to eliminate the four choices that are not the best.
People are much better at deciding between two choices than selecting one of five choices. Test-takers who read all five answers and think about each one before making a choice actually have a greater chance of choosing the wrong answer. You are much less likely to be distracted from the right answer if you eliminate wrong answers.
You do this by crossing out wrong answers in the test booklet as you go through the five choices. Some test-takers hesitate to mark up their test booklets, but you must remember that no one else will see your test booklet. This strategy will also help you if you run out of time and are forced to guess.
B. Guess Strategically and Never Leave Answers Blank
There is no penalty for guessing on the LSAT, so you should always guess when you are left with no other option. However, there are many myths surrounding how to guess on questions when time has run out.
The truth is that there are no differences between the various last-ditch guessing techniques. The answers on the LSAT are randomized, so no strategy is any better than another. If you prefer to guess all C’s, go ahead. In fact, you can use any method for guessing as long as it does not waste time.
If you see that you are running out of time, leave three minutes for guessing at the end of the section. Although it is difficult to force yourself to stop answering questions, you have a better chance of increasing your score by guessing.
As you go along, you should make notes in the test booklet and eliminate wrong answers. If you are forced to guess, always look at the notes beside the questions you could not answer.