The LSAT logical reasoning section vexes hundreds of thousands of students every year with its unique set of challenges and thorough reading requirements. But that doesn’t mean you have to be intimidated. Here are some LSAT logical reasoning tips to help you prepare for this section of the exam.
The Importance Of The Logical Reasoning Section
With two LSAT logical reasoning sections of about 24-26 sections, the overall logical reasoning section can take up as much as half of your total LSAT score.
This section of the test is designed to gauge how well you can make inferences and deductions using simple logic. However, it’s the application of this logic—and your ability to comprehend the material—that will really be put to the test. The good news is that you can boost your chances of success by knowing what styles of questions will be asked in advance.
Logical Reasoning Section Tips
Here are some ways you can improve your score on the LSAT logical reasoning section.
Understand the “stimulus.”
The structure of the LSAT is usually grounded around a particular stimulus—a block of text that will serve as the basis for the question and answer portion. If you don’t work on your reading comprehension, it’s likely that the stimulus will cause you problems. As you prepare for the LSAT, make sure you read through sample stimulus sections so you know what to expect.
Remember that this is an exercise in active reading, which means you’ll want to make note of key phrases that read more like conclusions and which read more like supporting sentences.
Know your question types.
Here are the most common types of questions in the logical reasoning section:
- Inference questions ask you to choose a statement best supported by the arguments provided.
- Flaw questions ask you to identify the flaw present in the argument provided by the test.
- Strengthening and weakening questions ask you to identify the statement that most strengthens or weakens the argument made in the provided conclusion. Note that these are distinct question types, so you likely won’t have to identify an answer that somehow does both.
- Principle questions ask you to choose an answer that demonstrates a clear example of the principle presented in the argument.
- Assumption questions ask you to identify a gap between evidence provided in the reading material and the leap made to reach a conclusion.
Your first step in succeeding at the LSAT should be to identify the type of question being asked. This will help you identify the proper strategy for answering it.
Eliminate the least logical answers.
Even if you think the final answer comes down to a judgment call, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t answer anything that is blatantly out of sync with the question.
As Sherlock Holmes might say, “Whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” If you have a thorough understanding of the question type and the stimulus, you should be able to see that some answers are based on faulty assumptions—such as presenting a weakening argument when the question is looking for a strengthening argument. Even if you don’t have the answer right away, the process of elimination can point you in the right direction.
Work With An LSAT Tutor
The LSAT Logical Reasoning section is notoriously difficult, but it’s still a skill you can develop. By utilizing the tips here and practicing your active reading skills, you’ll stand a far better chance of performing well on the LSAT.
It doesn’t hurt to have some help in your corner, of course. Consider working with an experienced LSAT tutor who can guide you through exam preparations and give you the confidence you need to score well.