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April 1, 2022

The Power of Prediction

Around half, maybe more, of the correct answers on the LSAT are 100% predictable. Read that again.

The incorrect answers on the LSAT are professionally-written traps. Making a strong prediction shields you from getting distracted by these traps, because you already know what you’re looking for. If an answer choice doesn’t match or beat your prediction, confidently eliminate it and move on with your life. 

In short, making predictions will help you on every section, and on every question type. Master this key LSAT strategy and you will improve both your accuracy and, in time, your speed.

Applying This Strategy to Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension questions test the degree to which you understood the passage. The correct answers don’t require guesswork or shortcuts—they just require you to grasp the facts in the passage, the passage’s structure, or the author’s stance. If you’re still struggling with this, learn how to improve your reading skills here. But if you’re doing a good job of reading the passage, many of the questions will be entirely predictable.

Take, for instance, a question about the author’s tone. Before reading the answer choices, ask yourself: How does the author feel about this particular concept, person, or argument? Do they support it? Do they dislike it? Do they want to modify it? How strongly do they feel about it? 

Pretty much every Reading Comprehension passage starts with a Main Point question, which asks you about the author’s main argument or purpose for writing this passage (similarly to a Conclusion question in Logical Reasoning). When you reach the end of every passage, before even reading the first question, ask yourself: What was the main point of this passage? What is the author trying to sell me? Why did the author roll out of bed this morning and write this passage? 

In short, based on your understanding of the passage (if you do the work up front) you should already be able to figure out the correct answers to most questions! 

Applying This Strategy to Logical Reasoning

On Logical Reasoning, certain types of questions are 100% predictable, 100% of the time. These types include Role, Necessary Assumption, Disagree, and more. Learn more about Logical Reasoning question types here

On these questions, if you’ve properly understood the passage you will already know the correct answer before even looking at the answer choices. Choosing the right answer just means choosing the one that matches your prediction. It’s that easy. 

And for the questions whose answers you are unlikely to correctly predict word-for-word (such as Sufficient Assumption, Parallel Reasoning/Flaw, or Strengthen questions), making a strong prediction will help you understand and engage with the passage or setup. Even if the correct answer is worded differently than you predicted or describes a different topic, the correct answer will fulfill the same function as your prediction. Read more about each question type to learn how to make a good prediction for each one. 

We teach a very specific workflow for Logical Reasoning questions: read the passage carefully (and engage with it, tearing it apart if you must), read the question, make a strong prediction, then read the answer choices. Be the boss of this test. 

Applying This Strategy to Logic Games

Making strong predictions is even more straightforward on Logic Games. If you’ve made a solid set of worlds for your game, you will not even have to look at the answer choices to know the correct answer—it’ll be right there in one of your worlds. 

Learn how to make knockout worlds here. This is the single most important strategy for improving your score on Logic Games and even score perfect sections. 

Is Prediction Always Useful?

There is an exception to every rule. On a very small handful of Logic Games, for instance, making worlds is not the best strategy. And as mentioned above, for some question types it’s unlikely that you’ll predict the correct answer word-for-word. However, making predictions is the best litmus test for figuring out whether you really know (1) how the passage/game works and (2) what you’re looking for in a correct answer. 

In the vast majority of cases, making predictions will help you improve your score on all sections of the LSAT. Start sharpening this tool today.