Your Final Weeks of Study, Logical Reasoning Edition

Yesterday, we covered how to brush up on the Reading Comprehension section in the final weeks before the June LSAT. Today, we’ll talk about how to handle the Logical Reasoning section in the coming weeks.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the basic strategy is the same: First, identify weaknesses; then work on your speed and endurance.

Identifying weaknesses is a more involved process for the Logical Reasoning section, simply because there are so many different question types. Moreover, you learned some of those questions some months ago, which is a short eternity in LSAT-studying time.

Your first step should be to figure out which specific question types are your weakest. The easiest way to do this is by taking a couple full sections – probably untimed at first, but you can also take some timed sections once you’re consistently getting most of the questions right when you take untimed sections.

Each time you take a full section, review the questions thoroughly, paying close attention to which question types you’re getting wrong. If you notice that you’re consistently getting a certain question type wrong, take a break from the full sections to work specifically on that type.

A lot of students tell me that they don’t get a certain type of question wrong more than others; instead, they’re getting a smattering of different question types wrong each time. If that sounds like you, think about whether the questions you’re getting wrong require a certain skill. For instance, are they all in the Characterization family of questions (meaning that you need to identify a certain part of an argument, such as the flaw or the conclusion)? Are you frequently drawing conclusions that are stronger than the argument can really support? The more specific you can be when figuring out what you’re doing wrong, the more efficiently you’ll be able to fix it.

Once your accuracy is sufficiently high on untimed sections, you’re ready to graduate to taking timed sections. Concentrate on getting through the first 10 or so questions (which, on average, are the easiest in a section) in about 10 minutes or less, leaving yourself more time for the harder questions at the end of the section. Remember that speeding up doesn’t mean skipping steps or cutting corners – you should still be diagramming questions when applicable, and you should always be attempting to anticipate the correct answer before looking at the answer choices. Even though it feels like you’re wasting precious time by doing those things, you’ll get through the sections more efficiently and accurately overall.

Finally, consider the strategy you’ll use for practice tests and for game day. If you find a certain question type particularly difficult or time-consuming, you’ll probably want to immediately skip those questions and come back to them later if you have time. (The exception to this rule is that you probably don’t want to skip any of the first 10 or so questions – since those are usually the easiest questions, you’d be giving up easy points by skipping them.)

Above all, remember that the best course of action is always to work on your accuracy first, and then start thinking about increasing your speed. There’s no sense in focusing on finishing a section when you’re still getting many of the questions wrong. And check back tomorrow for ways to fine-tune your Logic Games mojo before the big day!