LSAT Overview: Logical Reasoning

Even though each section of the LSAT is important, the logical reasoning section takes up half of your scored sections, so it's necessary to put some extra effort into studying for this part.

While doing drills while studying, it was easy to find myself dreading the logical reasoning sections. I'd flip the page right after starting my timer during a practice test, I'd have to try hard to keep a feeling of dread from washing over me. Not exactly the feeling you'd want for a test as big as the LSAT.

I think I struggled with this section because of how confident I felt in my wrong answers. There's nothing more disappointing than going through the answer key and putting a red "X" through an answer I felt good about. Of course, this happens because it's how the questions are written.

Logical reasoning questions test your reading and reasoning abilities, mental discipline, and time management skills, among other things. You're asked to strengthen and weaken arguments, find flaws in arguments, find assumptions, identifying parts of an argument, finding the reasoning in an argument...basically, you need to pick apart an argument to its bare bones and bring forward whatever answer the LSAT asks of you.

One of the biggest tips I can give you is to watch the wording in the question stimuli. Words like "or," "causes," "must," "unless," etc. can make a huge difference in how you should interpret something. Learning how the test makers phrase their questions and stimuli can make things a world easier for you. You'll waste less time reading and rereading the entire question and trying to wrap your brain around what the heck that sentence could possibly mean.

Other than paying attention to phrasing and words, one way to be as prepared as possible for these sections of the test is to know each question type and understand how to approach and answer each one. If you can recognize the question type, you'll already know what to look for in the stimulus and the answer choices.

In addition, make sure to keep yourself on track. It was easy to find my mind wandering whenever I came upon a question that required a bit more of my testing time; after all, I already wasn't a fan of the logical reasoning section, so thinking about anything else was a welcome change. However, staying focused on the essential issues will get you far in these sections. While studying and doing drills, figure out where your mind tends to wander and how you best can get your attention back to the test.

Continually ask yourself questions throughout these sections. Don't take any conclusion given for granted; make sure to pick apart each argument to its basic structure and look for any little thing wrong with the argument.

To end this blog, I'm going to leave you with my advice for tackling logical reasoning questions. Drill on and on and on. I promise you there is no amount of drilling that will be enough. Even if you're comfortable with a question type, continue to drill it so you don't lose the skills you've created. Figure out what works for you, just like with every section of the LSAT. It's all about learning your strengths and weaknesses, as well as how you can use them to your advantage.




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