The Best LSAT Guessing Strategies
- Jun 01, 2023
- LSAT, lsat prep
- Reviewed by: Matt Riley
Okay, so you’ve done the prep, you’re feeling confident, but then you come to a question that completely stumps you. Now you’re faced with the predicament of whether or not you should guess on the LSAT, and if so, how?
Remember, never leave an LSAT question unanswered.
Skipping questions is fine, but there are no penalties for wrong answers on the LSAT, so you should never leave a question blank. Leaving any question unanswered only means that you’re leaving possible points on the table, but if you make a random selection, you have a 20% chance of getting the correct answer—and with some thoughtful deductions, those odds can increase!
If you are struggling to finish each LSAT section within the allotted time, set aside a few seconds at the end for guessing on the remaining questions. Every question requires you to guess a little differently; here’s how to do it right in the two most common scenarios!
Guessing On Hard LSAT Questions
Scenario 1: You’ve read the question thoroughly and you still have no idea what the answer is. Now it’s time to guess.
The first thing you should do is think about the question from another angle. Instead of looking for the correct answer, can you confidently eliminate any of the wrong choices? Doing so will increase your chances of selecting the right one. If you’re picking from five answer choices, you have a 20% chance, but if you can eliminate one, this goes up to 25%, and so on.
Sometimes test takers get hung up on looking just for the right answer—remember four options are always incorrect. Focusing on understanding the type of answer choice each question is looking for can help you easily eliminate a wrong one or two. For example, if you know that the correct answer will likely have strong logical force, you can consider eliminating the weakest of the choices.
At some point in your prep, you might wonder whether certain letters are statistically more likely to be correct than others. There are slight differences in the frequency of each answer choice, but only by a percentage or two. Dedicating your time to eliminating at least one answer choice will serve you better, probability-wise.
Guessing When You’ve Run Out Of Time
Scenario 2: You’re nearing the end of a section and realized you won’t have time to finish every question. Now what?
It’s essential that you take the time to mark down an answer for each question even if you don’t get to it. I recommend choosing one answer choice and making it your guess for all of the remaining questions—statistically, if you guess the same letter on five questions, this should mean that you’re correct at least once. Additionally, by choosing beforehand what your answer will be, you’ll be able to fill them in quickly and might even have time to return to one of the questions before time runs out. Is it ideal? No, but every question counts on the LSAT.
If you haven’t been guessing on the LSAT in your practice, make sure to start doing so. It’s important to get in the habit of leaving no unanswered questions by test day. Of course, the goal is to work on your timing so that you can make it to every question and/or that you master all the concepts, but nobody is perfect, especially early in your LSAT prep.
Almost all students will find themselves needing to guess at some point in their LSAT journey. Having these tips in the back of your mind can help you be prepared for this and focus on what really matters.
If you need more help with your LSAT prep, Blueprint LSAT can help! We have prep options for every learning style to help you reach your LSAT score goals. Get started by creating a free LSAT study plan today.
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