Tests like the SAT used to penalize students for guessing. And on some standardized tests, students lose points for wrong answers, instead of just missing out on their point values. So if you’re preparing for the LSAT, you must be wondering whether or not you’ll lose points for wrong answers. The short answer is, nope! A wrong answer simply doesn’t count on the LSAT. So ultimately, LSAT guessing is okay, and often necessary!
LSAT Guessing 101
There are several principles of guessing you should always keep in mind:
- Don’t guess wildly just for the sake of guessing. LSAT guessing applies to questions you won’t have time to answer or aren’t 100% certain about.
- Eliminate answer choices you’re more confident are wrong. As you narrow down your choices, a guess becomes more likely to be the correct answer.
- The number of questions you let yourself guess will depend on your pacing strategy. In summary, know your target score and how many questions you’ll need to answer to reach that score. Then you’ll be able to figure out how many questions you can reasonably guess to still make your score.
Which Answer Should You Guess on the LSAT?
A common belief is that the letter “E” is a trap answer on the LSAT. And oftentimes, the letter “A” is correct after difficult questions. So, depending on the question, you’ll have to decide which answer is the best to guess.
But, if you’re pressed for time, you should have a go-to letter that you can guess for multiple questions.
Let’s say I have 2 minutes left on the logic games section, but I still have 11 unanswered questions (ugh!). There’s no way I’d be able to finish all of those questions on time, so it’s best to fill-in something rather than leave them all blank. Since I have so little time, it’d be great if I had a go-to letter that I can fill in automatically. So imagine my standard guessing answer is “B.” In that case, I’d just fill in “B” for my remaining 11 questions and hope that “B” is the answer for the majority of those questions!
So the point is, you can also decide ahead of time which answer you want to guess on the LSAT in emergency situations. It will help you move quickly in tough spots–if you’re pressed for time!
Use Guessing To Your Advantage
In the end, guessing is not only okay on the LSAT, but it is an important part of your test-taking strategy. There will be some very difficult and time-consuming questions on the test, and it might be unreasonable to attempt all of them. So, do your best to eliminate unlikely answers, and choose the one your gut leads you to. Or, be prepared for shortages of time with a pre-decided guess!