Stage II: Section Practice

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LR Perfection Free Preview: Chapter 22 Part III

Once we have a deeper understanding of the traits and quirks of each question type, as well as attaining our desired accuracy and speed, it’s time to move to practicing whole sections of LR questions. 

There are two things to watch out for when moving from Stage I to Stage II: 

Transitions

Because we have been only looking at one type of question at a time previously, we didn’t really have to think about different types of questions in quick succession. Now that we are doing an entire section of LR questions, each question type is going to be different from the last one. So make sure to read the question and use this time to mentally prepare yourself for the question at hand. In other words, if you just finished a SA Question, stop thinking about SA Questions when you move to the next one. Start afresh with every question. 

Use each question stem to mentally prepare ourselves for the question at hand. If you can’t instinctively remember how to approach a certain type of question, then bringing back the outline can be helpful. 

Timing

The second thing to focus on is timing. Instead of giving ourselves 10 minutes to do 10 easy questions in a row, or 20 minutes to do 10 harder questions in a row, we are now faced with about 25 questions of varying difficulty. 

In general, the level of difficulty on LR questions progresses as we move through the section. Questions 1-10 are usually fairly simple and straightforward, levels 1 to 3 questions. The difficulty picks up a little around questions 12 or 13, there may be one or two level 4 or level 5 questions before question 15. From questions 16 to question 22 or 23 it’s the most difficult. The majority of level 4 and level 5 questions will be in this sector. Finally, the difficulty will taper off for the last few questions, but this is not guaranteed. 

This is a general breakdown of my timing progression throughout a typical LR section:

Questions 1 – 10

Usually Fairly Easy 

Aim to finish by 10-minute mark

Questions 11 – 15

Getting harder, may have one or two difficult questions

Aim to finish by 15-minute mark, but may take you 17-18 minutes

Questions 16-23

The hardest questions, proceed with caution!

Take your time with these, if you took the time to practice the hardest LR questions with two minutes per question, it shouldn’t be too hard. 

 

Aim to get to question 23 when 30 minutes have passed 

Questions 24-26

Varies, but can be slightly easier

Don’t let your guard down, finish strong and review your work

A word of warning: it’s been a general trend on the LSAT that the earlier questions are easier than the later ones. But as more students realize this, the test makers can just as easily switch up the difficulty. So take this with a grain of salt: the ultimate goal is still to be able to differentiate between easier and harder questions while we are doing them, and plan accordingly. 

As you can see, for a high scorer, how successful you are is largely dependent on your speed and timing early on in the section. We want to power through the easier questions without too much deliberation, saving the majority of our time and energy for the hardest part of the section. 

For myself, I will usually have a decent idea of how I will perform on the section by the time I get to the middle of the section. If by question 15 I have only used 15 or 16 minutes, then I will be mentally relaxed and prepared for the more difficult questions coming up. 

But if I was stuck on an earlier question and by the time I reach question 15, almost 20 minutes or more have passed, then I know I will either be rushing through the hardest part in order to complete the section, probably committing careless mistakes, or I won’t be able to finish the last question or two. 

We want to save time early on so we can spend it later on. 

Finally, there’s also a subtle mental transition involved when doing a LR section. For the first half of the section, follow your instincts and habits and try not to overthink. Overthinking easier questions will lead to avoidable errors. For the second half of the section, it helps to analyze and think about each question with as much attention to detail as you can. 

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