The Logical Reasoning Section
The Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT questions will comprise half of the scored portion of your test. Devote the majority of your study time to this section.(NOTE: This is true only of the in-person LSAT which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been suspended indefinitely. In its place, LSAC now administers the virtual LSAT-Flex, an online version of the LSAT that prospective law students take at home. This version of the test contains only one Logical Reasoning section instead of two. For more information on the LSAT-Flex, please visit our LSAT-Flex FAQ page.)
Identifying the question types as based on LSAT patterns is one key to success. Typical questions ask “Which of the following statements, if true, is most likely to undermine the argument?” Or, “What is the flaw in the above argument?” The best way to prepare for this section is to understand how logical arguments are formed and what follows logically from a series of statements. For example, if A then B; therefore, if not B, then not A, but the occurrence of B does not necessarily mean A has occurred. This is known as a contrapositive. (If this seems confusing, you need to study more). Also, learn or study up on logical inferences and fallacies.
Here’s the general process for handling these questions:
1. Read the question first so that you know what you will be looking for.
2. Read the paragraph. Pay attention to modifiers such as: all, none, some, most, every, if, only if, unless, etc. These types of words play important roles in the argument.
3. If the paragraph presents an argument, identify the conclusion of the argument.
4. Evaluate the argument. Make sure you identify the relationship between the premises and the conclusion. Spot any flaws.
5. Pre-phrase an answer. Predict an answer based on knowing the question and reading the passage.
6. Go to the answer choices. If none of the answers matches or is similar to your pre-phrased answer, or is similar, eliminate choices until you have only one or two possibilities remaining. Even if you don't know the answer with certainty, getting questions down to 50-50 is enormously advantageous.
Remember, practice makes perfect with these questions. If you are not accustomed to completely these logic-based problems within the short 1 minute and 20 second time frame (the average time per question you’ll have when you take the test,) you are simply not ready to do your best on the test. This is precisely why the preparation process is so critical.