Mastering the Third Stage of Your LSAT Studies

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The February LSAT is growing nearer and so Blueprint LSAT classes are getting into the last few lessons with new material. In the last few months, we’ve gone over what to cover in the first and second stages of your studies. Now let’s talk about the big and important things to focus on in the third stage.

There’s the most new stuff left in Logical Reasoning. Strengthen and Weaken questions (for Blueprint students, that’s Lesson 10) and Necessary and Sufficient questions (Lesson 12) make up a huge chunk of what you’re likely to see on test day. The good news is that these questions make ample use of skills you’ve been working on already. All that work you’ve done picking apart invalid arguments (especially on Flaw questions) will pay off handsomely.

The big skill that these question types have in common is identifying assumptions in arguments. Identifying an argument’s assumptions is really just another way to describe its flaws. But the better you can paraphrase the author’s unstated but questionable premises, the easier all of these questions will be. So that’s a skill to give plenty of attention to. Also be sure to work on identifying causal relationships; check this space for more on that later this week.

In the world of Logic Games, there are new game types but they build on concepts you’ve already learned. Profiling Games (Lesson 10) are just another kind of grouping game. Combo Games (Lesson 11) combine ordering and grouping. The combination is new but the underlying concepts will be familiar. Finally, you’ll cover some weird games. There’s a decent chance you’ll see a weird game on test day. But it might not be quite like any of the weird games on past LSATs. So when you practice weird games, don’t try to memorize an approach to each variation. Instead, focus on how you can take the skills and techniques you already have and apply them to something weird.

In the world of Reading Comp, there’s nothing too insanely new in these lessons. classification structures (Lesson 10) are useful when they come up. A comparative reading passage (Lesson 11) is guaranteed to show up on the test. It doesn’t involve anything hugely different from normal Reading Comp, but it does require a little tweak to your approach. So make sure you get the methods down. This is also a good time to go over and refine your approach in general. Are you reading the passage for the right things? How should you approach each kind of question?

It’s probably tempting to start taking practice tests and to work on your timing. You can do that soon, starting around Lesson 12 or so. You can start to work on your pace in Reading Comp a little sooner, even. But it’s important regardless to practice the new stuff from these lessons thoroughly. That means doing some slow practice on these new question types until you have the methods down and you really know what you’re doing. Then you can tighten the screws on your timing.

Keep up the good work. The end is in sight. In a week or two you’ll be taking lots of practice tests and working on putting everything together. Not too long after that, you’ll be done with the LSAT.

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