How to Master LSAT Logical Reasoning

Of the 100 questions that appear on the LSAT, about 50 cover logical reasoning (two sections with about 25 questions each). LSAT logical reasoning items present you with a short argument, proposal, or conversation, followed by a question about the argument's validity. To do well on these LSAT questions, you must assess the argment's assumptions, evidence, structure, and overall soundness.

Because these questions contribute to 50% of your LSAT score, you should devote about half of your study time to mastering these questions. Here are some tips to help you nail the LSAT logical reasoning sections.

TIP 1: Before you delve into the text of the argument, read the question first! This will guide your reading so you can find the key element quickly. For example, if the question asks, "Which of the following assumptions does the author make?" then you should read the short passage carefully to identify the gap between the stated evidence and the author's conclusion or opinion.

TIP 2: Don't read extra details into the LSAT short arguments; you can only assume what is stated, nothing more. Many LSAT Logical Reasoning arguments are intentionally flawed because the narrator makes faulty assumptions, but you must avoid that trap. For example, if an argument states that Cheryl owns a house in Princeton, New Jersey, you cannot assume that she lives there.

TIP 3: Mark the text in your LSAT booklet as you read. Underline the conclusion and put asterisks near the facts cited as evidence. For more difficult or longer questions, jot down the unwritten assumptions that the author relies on.

TIP 4: Don't look for flaws in the factual evidence presented. On the LSAT, all faulty logic stems from either the misuse of evidence, misinterpretation of survey results, or mistaken assumptions.

TIP 5: Note these words when you see them in the text of an LSAT logical reasoning passage: all, some, most, always, sometimes, never, can, must, only, and may. Many wrong answer choices can be ruled out simply by noting when these words are misused or misinterpreted.

TIP 6: Take timed practice quizzes of about 25 questions, allotting yourself 35 minutes total. When you first begin studying for the LSAT, you can ignore timing and just focus on learning the concepts. But as your test date approaches, you must practice both accuracy and speed.

Buy several LSAT study guides and test prep strategy books, especially books that contain full-length practice tests. If you really struggle with studying on your own, consider working with a tutor, or taking an LSAT class.

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