What Should I Focus on Next on the LSAT?

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - What Should I Focus on Next on the LSAT? by Matt Shinners

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There’s a tendency towards the end of people’s LSAT prep times to take PrepTest after PrepTest. They’ve learned the basics, they’ve exhausted instructional material, and they don’t know what to focus on, so they focus on PrepTests.

This is also usually when I hear, “Well, there’s not really an LSAT question/game/passage type that I get wrong more than others, so I guess it’s just time to practice!”

I’m sure there’s a rare pre-law student out there who gets LSAT questions wrong in a completely random pattern. But I’ve never met them, and it’s probably not you.

I’m sure you’ve gone over your data and seen that there’s no pattern to which types of questions you’re answering incorrectly. But that’s not the only place to look for patterns!

Here are some other places where you might find a pattern to your misses:

General

  • Is there an LSAT section where you always score lower? Maybe you need time to get into the groove, or maybe you need to work on endurance.
  • Do your “misses” come in a row, or are they spread out? This could highlight a loss of focus.

LSAT Reading Comprehension

  • Is there a particular passage topic that you struggle with?
  • Is there a passage structure that you struggle with (e.g., passages without author’s attitude)?
  • Do comparative passages throw you for a loop?
  • Is there a pattern to the viewpoint in questions that you get wrong (e.g., when it asks about a non-author opinion)?
  • Is there a pattern to your answer choice misses? Some examples:
    • Do you pick answers that are too strong/extreme?
    • Do you pick answers with subtle term shifts?
    • Do you pick answers that mirror language from the passage but not the viewpoint?
    • Do you pick answers from an opposing point, or that are contradicted by the passage?
    • Do you miss correct answers that are strong but supported?

LSAT Logic Games

  • Is there a particular question target (e.g., could be true) that you get wrong more often?
  • Is there a type of rule you generally misrepresent?
  • Is there a twist that you always mess up?
  • Is there a particular type of inference that you always miss?
  • Do you mess up frames when you attempt them?
  • Do you pick early answers without checking the rest, when doing so would have had you notice that there are two answers that could be correct based on your diagram?
  • Do you use prior work correctly?

LSAT Logical Reasoning

  • Is there a type of reasoning/conclusion that shows up in a disproportionate number of questions you get wrong (e.g., causal reasoning, or conclusion with recommendations)?
  • Is there a particular classic flaw that you always miss picking up on?
  • Are you IDing the wrong statement as the conclusion? Opposing point?
  • Are you always picking answer choices that are:
    • Too strong/weak for the question type?
    • Out of scope?
    • Feature subtle term shifts?
    • Abstract and not describing this specific question, or a different part of the argument than asked about?
    • The opposite of what the question asks for?
  • Are you always missing correct answers that:
    • Bring up alternative explanations or possibilities?
    • Are the contrapositive of your prephrase?
    • Have unmentioned but in-scope concepts?

Even if you get an LSAT question correct, you should still keep track of everything you did wrong. ID the wrong sentence as the conclusion at first? Note it. Prephrase an answer that wasn’t actually a potentially correct answer? Note it. Think you were dealing with the wrong question type? Note it. As you get towards the end of your LSAT prep and iron out the baseline errors you’re making by not knowing the strategies for each question type, these are the places where patterns will show up for improvement. 📝


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Matt Shinners Manhattan Prep LSAT InstructorMatt Shinners is a Manhattan Prep instructor and jdMission senior consultant based in New York City. After receiving a degree in biochemistry from Boston College, Matt scored a 180 on his LSAT and enrolled in Harvard Law School. There’s nothing that makes him happier than seeing his students receive the scores they want to get into the schools of their choice. Check out Matt’s upcoming LSAT courses here

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