The LSAT Logical Reasoning section is one of the most challenging parts of the LSAT, but it’s also one of the most important factors law schools consider when admitting students. In this article, we’ll give you a crash course in LSAT Logical Reasoning: what it is, how to approach it, and some of the question types you can expect.
1. LSAT Logical Reasoning Section – What Does It Test?
The LSAT Logical Reasoning section tests your ability to understand and analyze arguments. You will be asked to identify the conclusion of an argument, determine how the argument is structured, find evidence in the passage that supports or opposes the conclusion, evaluate whether or not you find the argument convincing, and so on.
Logical reasoning questions do not require specialized knowledge of logical terminology. You will not need to know how syllogisms work in order to answer them correctly. These questions require a university-level understanding of concepts such as argument, premise, assumption, and conclusion. If you are not familiar with these terms it would be helpful to get better acquainted because they will likely come up in the LSAT Logical Reasoning section.
2. The LSAT Logical Reasoning Section Format
The LSAT Logical Reasoning section is one of three sections on the exam (the others are the Reading Comprehension section and the Analytical Reasoning section). It consists of 24-26 questions, and you will have 35 minutes to complete this section. The questions are based on short passages, and you will be asked to answer a question about the passage. The passages can be about anything, but they will usually be related to law or philosophy.
3. The LSAT Logical Reasoning Section Score
The LSAT Logical Reasoning section is scored on a scale of 120-180. The median score is 152, but depending on the school you are planning to apply to, it might be higher or lower. It is always better to check the minimum score your school requires.
The test is scored in two ways: a raw score and a scaled score. Your raw score is simply the number of questions you got right on the LSAT Logical Reasoning section. Your scaled score is your raw score converted to a scale of 120-180.
4. The LSAT Logical Reasoning Section Question Types
- 1. Weaken the Argument questions: ask you to identify statements that weaken or call into question the conclusion of an argument.
Weaken the Argument questions will often begin with phrases like “Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the argument?” or “The arguer would be most vulnerable to criticism if which one of the following were true?”
Some common techniques that an arguer might use to weaken an argument are:
- Showing that the data is inconclusive or unreliable
- Showing that the sample size is too small
- Introducing a counterexample
- Demonstrating that the premise of the argument is false
- Showing that the conclusion does not follow from the premises.
- 2. Strengthen the Argument questions: ask you to identify a statement that strengthens the conclusion of an argument.
Strengthen the argument questions will often begin with phrases like “Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?” or “The arguer would be most vulnerable to criticism if which one of the following were false?”
Some common techniques that an arguer might use to strengthen an argument are:
- Showing that the data is accurate and reliable
- Introducing more evidence to support the conclusion
- Demonstrating that the premise of the argument is true
- Showing that the conclusion does follow from the premises.
- 3. Assumption questions: ask you to identify an unstated assumption in the argument.
An assumption is something that the author takes for granted in order to make their argument. To identify the assumption, you need to think about what the argument is trying to prove, and then find the statement in the passage that best supports that conclusion.
- 4. Find the flaw in the Argument questions: ask you to identify the flaw in the argument
Some common flaws are:
- The argument is based on a false premise
- The argument uses circular reasoning
- The logic of the argument is flawed
- The evidence presented does not support the conclusion drawn from it.
- 5. Parallel Flaw in the Argument questions: similar to Flaw in the Argument questions, these questions ask you to identify a flaw but instead of finding a flaw in the individual argument, you need to find a flaw that is shared by two arguments.
- 6. Evaluate the Argument questions: ask you to evaluate the strength of an argument and decide whether it is strong or weak.
Some factors you might want to consider are:
- The quality of the evidence
- The soundness of the reasoning
- The relevance of the data
- The strength of the argument as a whole.
- 7. Method of Reasoning questions: ask you to identify the method of reasoning the author used to come to their conclusion.
Some common types of inductive reasoning are:
- General to specific
- Analogical reasoning
- Statistical reasoning
- Deductive reasoning.
- 8. Point at Issue questions: ask you to identify the point at issue in an argument.
- 9. Evaluate the Argument questions: ask you to evaluate the conclusion of an argument and decide whether it is valid or invalid. Evaluate the Argument questions will often begin with the phrase “Which one of the following questions would be most useful in evaluating the truth of the conclusion drawn?”
- 10. Identify the Conclusion questions: ask you to choose the answer that most accurately expresses the conclusion drawn.
- 11. Role-play questions: ask you to put yourself in the shoes of the author and make a decision based on the information presented in the passage.
- 12. Inference questions: ask you to identify a logical connection between two or more statements in the argument. These questions will often begin with phrases like “Which one of the following statements can be properly inferred from the passage?”
- 13. Main point questions: ask you to identify the main point of the passage. These questions might often start with phrases like “Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the lecturer’s argument?”
- 14. Principle questions: ask you to identify the principle behind an argument.
5. Tips to ace the LSAT Logical Reasoning Section
1. Know how to approach the LSAT Logical Reasoning Questions
LSAT Logical Reasoning questions require careful reading and attention to detail. You should always read the entire passage first. This will allow you to get a better understanding of the argument and make it easier to identify the conclusion and premises. Make sure you give yourself enough time to read each stimulus and answer the questions accurately.
2. Get to Know the Question Types
It is important to get to know the different types of questions that you will be asked in the LSAT Logical Reasoning section. Each type of question presents its own unique challenges, and it is important to be familiar with all of them in order to have a successful LSAT experience.
3. Do Practice Questions
In order to learn and practice effectively, it is important to combine effective learning with effective practice. This means that you should not only study hard but also put what you have learned into practice.
This may seem like an obvious point, but it is essential that you spend enough time practicing the different types of LSAT questions. The more practice you get the better prepared you will be for the actual test. Start taking the practice questions without timing yourself. Once you are familiar with the exam format, start taking timed practice tests so that you can become comfortable with the pacing of the section.
4. Practice Identifying Arguments and Being Critical
Practice questions can be a great way to become familiar with the different question types. However, it is important that you practice identifying arguments and evidence in the passage that supports or opposes the conclusion of an argument correctly. Many LSAT Logical Reasoning questions involve critical reasoning skills, and if you are not able to identify the argument in the stimulus, you will not be able to answer the question accurately.
In order to improve your skills in these areas, it is important to both learn and practice effectively. Study different argument styles so that you will be able to identify the conclusion of an argument quickly and easily. LSAT Logical Reasoning is a skill that can be improved with practice, but it is also important to have a strong understanding of the concepts. The most effective learning occurs when you are able to apply what you know to new situations.
5. Try Private Tutoring
In order to achieve LSAT mastery, it is helpful to have a private tutor. An LSAT private tutor can help you focus on your individual strengths and weaknesses, and can provide you with personalized feedback that will help you improve your LSAT score. Book a free 30-minute consultation with our best instructors.
6. Monitor your Progress
Always review your understanding, strategies, and performance. This means that you should not only reflect on your successes but also analyze your mistakes so that you can learn from them. In addition, it is helpful to track your progress over time so that you can see how much you have improved.
7. Never Give Up
Stay calm and don’t get frustrated. The LSAT can be a difficult test, but it is important to remember that you have the potential to achieve a high score if you are willing to put in hard work. If you ever feel like you are struggling, just remember that LSAT mastery is within your reach if you don’t give up.
8. Don’t panic if you don’t understand a question
If you come across a question on the LSAT Logical Reasoning section that you don’t understand or don’t know how to answer, take a deep breath and try to calm down. Then, do the best that you can with the question. If you still don’t know how to answer it after spending some time on it, flag it for later and move on to the next question. You can come back to it later. Don’t spend too much time on one question, as it will only hurt your score.
The LSAT Logical Reasoning section is a challenging section of the exam that requires a lot of preparation. However, with the right tools and strategies, you can prepare for it effectively and efficiently. Follow these tips that can help you do well on this section of the LSAT. And be sure to check out our blog for more tips and strategies for attacking the LSAT Logical Reasoning section. Good luck!
Contributor: Cynthia Addoumieh