With the February LSAT just a few days away, you should be using your remaining study time to fine-tune your approach. Hopefully by now you’ve nailed down your basic strategy for each section, but here are a few last-minute tips to help you grab an extra point or two. Of course, you won’t want to make any major changes in strategy without testing them first, but it’s probably worth giving these a try as you practice over the next couple days to see if they help.
Underline the argument’s conclusion and refer to it while eliminating answer choices.
You’ve probably noticed in the course of your studying that a lot of incorrect answers are “outside the scope of the conclusion,” meaning that they don’t actually address the argument in question. For instance, for Strengthen and Weaken questions, it’s important to know exactly what idea you’re trying to strengthen or weaken. For Sufficient and Necessary questions, it’s important to differentiate between the premises and the conclusion.
Basically, when a conclusion exists (which is not always the case – for example, inference questions like Must Be True usually don’t have conclusions), it’s going to be important for you to have a crystal-clear idea of what the conclusion is, and having the conclusion underlined will make it easier to eliminate incorrect answers that have no bearing upon the conclusion.
Keep track of any viewpoints that are introduced.
It’s common to get bogged down in the details of a Reading Comprehension passage, but it’s actually more important to understand the overall structure of the passage – the number of viewpoints, how they relate each other, and which viewpoint (if any) the author supports. Keeping track of viewpoints as they appear in the passage can help keep you focused on the “big picture” of the passage and will improve your overall understanding of the passage’s structure and main point.
For help with finding deductions, look at how rules relate to each other.
The biggest deductions are found by thinking about how rules might impact each other. After you’ve written your set-up and jotted down the rules, take a moment to look them over, paying special attention to any cases in which multiple rules deal with the same player or players. In that case, that person is especially restricted and you should see if you can find any deductions based on that person.
You’ll also want to take note of any especially restrictive rules, which can come in many forms – they might limit who can be in a certain spot or force certain players to be in the same group. Whenever you see a particularly restrictive rule, you should be thinking about whether any of the other rules will also be affected.
These two categories are the main things I look for when trying to find deductions. Only after trying to find deductions are you ready to start on the questions.