Page 1 of 1

Easiest Question by section

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:41 pm
Trying to get a consensus on the difficulty in ordering of questions. I'm having a hard time rationing time and I want to see if I can use a strategy for targeting which questions are likely to be easier.

LR: Seems like most people think 1-15 are easiest. Flip to the back and go backwards finishing with 16.
RC: It seems to me that the pattern is 1st question main point/idea, 2-3 more difficult, 2-3 less difficult.
LG: No idea :D

Any thoughts?

Re: Easiest Question by section

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:57 pm
by bhan87
In my opinion, once you reach a certain level on the LSAT, the ORDER you take things is irrelevant because your goal is to finish every question anyway. Rather than trying to order out the questions, you have strategically move on in special circumstances (Stained glass windows is a good example, where the smart move was to finish the last game in the section first).

LR: I am very against the idea of doing the last questions before the first 15. There just is no sensible reason to do this, regardless of what your goal is. For instance, if we imagine two different students:

Student A wants to finish the whole section and is aiming for a 170+. For Student A, he/she will be doing every question in the section anyway. Student A should already have an established pace that will get him/her through the WHOLE section regardless of order. But, Student A will benefit from doing easier questions first because: 1. it warms up the mind for the more challenging questions 2. it gives him / her a confidence boost 3. it provides a safety net in the freak case he / she doesn't finish. 4. it reduces the risk of misbubbling on the scantron.

Student B isn't aiming to finish the whole section, but as many points as possible. Student B will clearly benefit from doing the easier questions first because the time it takes student be to do one of the final few questions is equal to 3 of the earlier ones. That way, doing the easier questions first allows them to finish more problems.

A general rule of thumb is 15 in 15 minutes. If you've finished around 15 problems in 15 minutes, you are on a good pace to finish every question in the section. Of course, you need to account for exceptional cases where the first 15 have a ton of parallel or other time-consuming questions.

RC: The ordering within a specific passage is irrelevant, but the order you do the passages might be important to you. Like LR, if your goal is a top score you want to finish all the questions anyway, but you might prefer doing certain passage types first. For instance, comparative reading passages (at least for me) seemed more straightforward than other passages. Because it's easy to spot the structure, you could attack that passage first to get into the groove of RC. But, trying to categorize each passage by type requires you to read a part of each passage, which takes away from your time. So I'm still of the opinion that you shouldn't scrutinize the ordering too much, and just focus on keeping your pace up.

LG: There seems to be a trend that the 3rd game is the hardest to detract test-takers from finishing the last game. This is one of those judgement calls. Again, you're trying to finish all the games, but if disaster strikes and one game is just not clicking, you need to move on. However, once you've done enough games, it's really hard for the LSAT to throw you a true surprise.

Re: Easiest Question by section

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:03 pm
by loomstate
LGs are subjective insofar as they cater to your strengths, IMO.

RC - do the RC passages with the most questions first.

In LR I skip most strongly supported questions because i'm pretty comfortable with them and it's much easier for me to come back to to them and knock them off quickly. If time is an issue for you, and you encounter a tough question in LR, it's a good rule of thumb just to skip it and come back. Hope this helps. Cheers.

Re: Easiest Question by section

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:07 pm
LR: I am very against the idea of doing the last questions before the first 15. There just is no sensible reason to do this, regardless of what your goal is. For instance, if we imagine two different students:

For the LR question I meant doing the first 15 first and then flipping all the way to the end and going backward so the last question I do is 16. This has been working pretty well for me so far as it seems like the first 15 are easier (granted you do sometimes see a few harder ones) and then the questions at the very end are more difficult.

The order shouldn't matter once you are used to the question types and certainly looking at a question and knowing when you should cut and run is useful, but I think there are some good points to be made for general strategy of attack. Right now, I am especially dealing with timing issues, so the more points completed correctly, the better.

Re: Easiest Question by section

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:28 pm
by ahnhub
From my experience:

LR: For me it makes sense to do it sequentially, no matter your aptitude. The final few questions are NOT necessarily the hardest; in fact, I've seen the percentages from test prep and the most difficult questions come up slightly higher at #'s 17-21 (although 22-26 is very close behind). Occasionally 25-26 are somewhat easy (with 65%-75% getting it right, despite being the last question). If there is a long, involved parallel flaw it usually comes within the last three or four questions. Even if you're the sort who gets comfort out of taking care of the hardest questions first, there is no real way to accurately determine which are hardest, besides doing the final 10 questions to begin--and that's a BIG no-no, because you're not leaving yourself time for the easiest 10 at the beginning. Just my two cents.

RC: I always do them sequentially, although I don't see a reason not to pick the ones with the most questions first (although I've found that the very dense ones which fill up two pages are often the most difficult). I've never seen an RC where the 1st passage is not easy (in comparison--it's always one of the two easiest). The hardest passage can come anywhere 2-4; it's hard to gauge. But sometimes the easiest passage is #4--and comes on the heels of one or two brutal passages. So if you're on #3 and finding it tough sledding, with time running out, often you will find that the last passage is very doable.

LG: Again, I've never really seen a modern LG where the 1st section was that difficult. If you blow through the first two expect something pretty challenging in 3 & 4. I've found that people are usually more comfortable with sequencing games, and like to cherry-pick those to start off with (although you have to be careful-- a quick glance at the rules should tell you how involved the game is--some people don't like conditionals.) Something they've done recently is to make #3 very, very hard, and #4 doable--this is especially the case when #4 looks small on the page and only has five questions.

Re: Easiest Question by section

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:38 pm
by richie222
statistically speaking, the tendency of LR sections is for around questions 16-17 through 23 to be the most difficult questions.Therefore, if one was trying to maximize their score, and timing is an issue, it would make more sense to skip those difficult questions after completing questions 1-15 and work backwards. That is assuming that more difficult questions take more time to complete and easier ones take less time.