In Logical Reasoning on the LSAT, there is a question many students ask. How does the difficulty of the questions change as the section progresses? In our courses and books, we delve into this point in some detail. Here, I’m going to give a brief overview of how difficulty changes throughout the section.
Where Our Data Comes From
Before addressing the questions, a note about the statistics we use. You might ask how we derive our information and how accurate that information is. First, years of experience working with LSAT problems and LSAT students give us insight into each section on the test. We’ve come to learn which questions are difficult and why. Second, we have detailed statistical information on thousands of LSAT questions from using them as practice tests in our courses. Third, we use information available from LSAC to confirm that our information is correct. For example, LSAC released explanations to four separate LSATs: February 1996, February 1997, February 1999, and February 2000. In these explanations they included an evaluation of question difficulty on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 represents the easiest and 5 the most difficult. For this discussion, we’ll use this last set of information.
Difficulty in Logical Reasoning Sections
When compiled and averaged out, the question-by-question difficulty in Logical Reasoning section is roughly as follows.
Note the graph represents an average of question difficulty and individual sections will vary. Regardless, certain truths are immediately evident.
- On average, the first ten questions are easier than the last ten questions.
- As the section moves into the teens, the difficulty begins to rise. Several questions in the ten through twenty range will be very difficult.
- Most, but not necessarily all, of the questions in the twenties will be medium to very difficult.
These facts support the advice we give in our courses and books. Maximize your opportunities in the first ten questions to set yourself up to bring home a good score!
Next week I will examine individual LSAT Logical Reasoning question difficulty statistics.