April 7, 2014

LSAT Logical Reasoning

LSAT contains six sections in total: One reading comprehension section; one analytical reasoning (games) section; one variable section; two logical reasoning (argument) sections; and one writing sample section. Thus, the LSAT’s logical reasoning (argument) sections carry twice the weight of the other sections. (Individual questions have the same weight.) Multiple choice questions are scored by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). However, your writing sample section is scored by your prospective law schools.

A logical reasoning question is a short reading passage followed by a question. You must demonstrate your understanding of a complex passage, your critical analysis, and your ability to complete various arguments.

LSAC allocates 35 minutes for each section. This means logical reasoning is twice as important as the reading comprehension, analytical reasoning (games), and writing sample areas. Therefore, spend most of your test time (70 minutes) on the two logical reasoning (argument) sections. It is essential for you to prepare for the LSAT by studying all four test sections, but concentrate your efforts on the LSAT logical reasoning (argument) sections. Excel in the LSAT logical reasoning (argument) sections to achieve a superior score. If you neglect the logical reasoning (argument) sections to focus on reading comprehension, analytical reasoning (games), and your writing sample, then your score will likely be lower.

The two LSAT logical reasoning (argument) sections contains 24 questions each. Most test takers find the 35 minute time limit is more than sufficient for the logical reasoning (argument) sections. The best strategy for these sections is the simplest: Take the questions in the order they are given. If you cannot answer a question, remember that the LSAT is not designed to penalize incorrect selections. The best approach is to eliminate the answers you know are wrong, and then make an educated guess regarding the correct answer.

The logical reasoning (argument) sections of the LSAT test your ability to comprehend and evaluate the range of arguments the examiners put forth. Concern yourself with the logic presented by the argument or assumption, even if it is ultimately incorrect. You may encounter an argument that contains one or more falsehoods (fallacies), but is nonetheless the correct choice. Do not focus on the veracity (truth) of assumptions and contentions. The best strategy is to examine the facts and opinions that compose a particular argumentative position.

LSAT’s logical reasoning (argument) sections are designed to demonstrate your degree of aptitude in the areas of greatest consequence to attorneys. For example, a competent attorney must be able to:

  • Recognize the difference between an irrefutable, “bullet proof” argument and one that is easily refuted
  • Comprehend the conditions of an argument
  • Frame necessary questions, not merely sufficient questions
  • Understand which facts do not pertain to the argument and eliminate them
  • Recognize conclusions that depend on unsupported assumptions

The types of logical reasoning (argument) vary considerably. First, analyze the question to determine what type of logical reasoning (argument) question it is. When you understand what type of question the examiner is asking, then you will be better able to respond with the correct answer.