The Power of Prediction
Most of the correct answers on the LSAT are predictable. Incorrect answers on the LSAT are professionally-written traps. Making strong predictions shields you from falling into these traps. When you know what you’re looking for, you can confidently eliminate answers that don’t match or beat your prediction.
Prediction is a powerful tool on every section and every question type. Master this key LSAT strategy, and you will improve both your accuracy and, in time, your speed.
Predicting Answers on Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension questions test how well you understand the passage. The correct answers don’t require any speculation—they just require you to grasp the information stated on the page. If you struggle to understand the passage, learn how to improve your reading skills here. When you understand the passage, many of the questions are 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? You should be able to point to evidence on the page to support your prediction.
Nearly every Reading Comprehension passage starts with a Main Point question, which asks you to identify the author’s main argument or purpose for writing the passage (similar to a Conclusion question in Logical Reasoning). When you reach the end of a passage, before you read 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?
When you do the work up front and take time to fully understand the passage, you should already be able to figure out the correct answers to most questions before looking at the answer choices.
Predicting Answers on Logical Reasoning
Certain types of Logical Reasoning questions are always 100% predictable. These types include Role, Sufficient Assumption, Disagree, and Conclusion. Learn more about Logical Reasoning question types here.
On many 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 is just a matter of choosing the one that matches your prediction. It’s that easy.
Other Logical Reasoning question types, such as Necessary Assumption, Parallel Reasoning/Flaw, and Strengthen, have a broad range of possible answers. While you are unlikely to predict the exact answer, you can still make a strong prediction about the type of answer you’re looking for. Even if the correct answer is worded differently or describes a different topic, you will recognize it as fulfilling the same function as your prediction.
Thinking LSAT and LSAT Demon promote an intuitive approach to Logical Reasoning questions: First, read the passage carefully. Engage with it. If it’s an argument, tear it apart. If it’s a set of facts, try to figure out what you can infer from those facts. Second, read the question and make a strong prediction. Then, read the answer choices. Be the boss of the test.
Read more about each Logical Reasoning question type and how to make a good prediction for each one.
Predicting Answers on Logic Games
Making strong predictions is even more straightforward on Logic Games. If you’ve made a solid set of worlds for your setup, you often won’t even have to look at the answer choices to know the correct answer—it’ll be right there in one of your worlds.
Harnessing the power of worlds is the most effective strategy for improving your score on Logic Games. Learn how to make knockout worlds here.
Is Prediction Always Useful?
There are exceptions to every rule. On a very small handful of Logic Games, for instance, making worlds is not feasible. And as mentioned above, some Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension question types are less predictable than others. Even in those cases, making a strong prediction is the best litmus test for figuring out whether you really understand how the passage or game works and what you’re looking for in a correct answer.
Making predictions will help you improve your score on all sections of the LSAT. Start sharpening this tool today.