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How the LSAT Confuses You

There are 3 parts to every Reasoning question. Since every question is self-contained, they only have 3 opportunities to confuse you.

  1. the question (the part that ends in "?"),
  2. the argument, and
  3. the answers.


All of this applies equally to the Reading section. Just replace "argument" with "passage" below.

It does not apply to the Games section. On the Games, the answers are your friends.

The LSAT never asks ambiguous questions

If the question had any ambiguity, then multiple answers might be correct.


The primary virtue of the LSAT is that there is always exactly one correct answer. Answers are never better or worse. They're either right or wrong.

To be fair, a question can be complicated. But a complicated question actually gives you more specific instructions. If you pay attention to those instructions, they might make the question easier.

Arguments confuse you with bad writing

Here are some of the LSAT's bad writing tricks:

  • nominalizations,
  • passive voice,
  • pronouns,
  • rapidly switching between different points of view,
  • double negatives,
  • parentheticals,
  • conditional logic.

Rushing in the argument makes you vulnerable. Don't underestimate the value of investing in understanding and reading at the pace of your understanding.

Still, there are limits to how confusing the argument can get. A too ambiguous argument might also make one than one answer correct. And again, that would be a diaster for the test.

Answer choices are the primary tool the LSAT has to confuse you

There is no limit to how confusing the wrong answers can be. And there's 4 wrong answers on every question.


The science of making tests like the LSAT is called "psychometrics." The test-makers are psychometricians.

They how your brain works better than you do. And every time they offer a test, they learn more. They have experimented on millions of students like you.

Wrong answer choices are carefully crafted in a high tech laboratory to confuse you.

Other standardized tests are less ruthless. On some other tests, if you know a few tricks, you can skip the prompt and make a solid guess just by looking at the answers. This is a very bad strategy for the Reasoning (and Reading) sections of the LSAT.

Make predictions to prepare for the answers

Predictions protect you from the dangerous answers.

Pausing to predict gives you a chance to check your own understanding before you are influenced by the answers. And trusting your prediction allows you to more confidently identify wrong answers.

Be ruthless with the answers

The answers do not deserve your time or the benefit of the doubt.

As soon as you know they're wrong, cross them out.

You wear your raincoat when there's an 80% chance of rain.

There are 4 wrong answers, and 1 correct one. So each answer has a 80% chance of being wrong.

Approach the answers skeptically

Rather than looking for the correct answer, get rid of all the distracting garbage first. Then you can focus on what remains without being biased by the clearly wrong answers.

A skeptical approach will help you avoid the trap of trying working to make answers correct.

The LSAT wants you to look for the correct answer. Looking for the correct answer causes several mistakes...

  • you over- or under-read answers,
  • you add extra information to answers, and
  • you excuse errors in answers.

Remain skeptical until only 1 answer remains. It's better to make 5 eliminations than 3. Making 5 eliminations lets you know that you need to move on or revise your understanding.

Choose the least bad answer

When you clear away the wrong answers, you might be left with something

  1. You kinda like, or
  2. You don't hate.

If there's 1 answer left, pick it and move on. If there are 2 answers left, pick the better one. In either case, flag the question for review and move on.