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LSAT Logical Reasoning

Logical Reasoning Tips and Strategies

Read actively. If you find yourself re-reading the paragraphs because you don't immediately retain what you read, slow down to reflect and react to what you read. Try to get excited about what the author is saying (yes, we know it's hard!).

Learn to identify arguments. Paragraphs in the logical reasoning section of the LSAT will either be arguments or sets of facts. An argument is a paragraph that contains a conclusion based on a set of facts. Often, questions on the LSAT will ask you to identify how the conclusion in an argument could be weakened or strengthen, or ask you what assumption was made in the argument.

Learn to identify the common types of questions. The most common questions on the LSAT ask you to weaken an argument, find an assumption in an argument, identify a flaw in an argument, or determine what must be true based on the paragraph. Learn to identify these common types of questions and the common correct and incorrect answer choices that accompany them.

Read the paragraph and the answers critically. Many of the incorrect answer choices in the logical reasoning section will hinge on a single word such as "only," "most," or "best." Read the answers to these questions with a critical eye to make sure that they say exactly what they need to say to answer the question. If an answer choice is "really close," don't pick it. A "really close" answer choice is still wrong, even if the only thing that makes it wrong is one word.

Answer the questions based on what is stated, not on your own external knowledge of the subject. The questions don't ask you "which of the following is true?" They ask "which of the following must be true based on the paragraph above?" In other words, you should not use your own personal knowledge of the subject in order to pick an answer, since this answer choice may be incorrect if it isn't true based on the passage. When answering questions, use only the information that has been stated in the paragraph.

Tips for Studying Logical Reasoning

When you begin studying logical reasoning, slowly work through each problem, determining the correct answer for each question and why the other answers are incorrect. One helpful method is to jot next to each answer why you think it is correct/incorrect. This way, you can make a record of your thinking to determine what is working and what is not.

At first, be sure to check your answer after each question. You need to know right away whether your pattern of deducing the answer was correct so you can alter it if necessary. Resist the urge to do large blocks of questions before checking your answers, since you may end up simply doing large blocks of questions incorrectly and reinforcing bad habits.

As you study, look for patterns in the incorrect answers. The more quickly you can eliminate wrong answers, the faster you can answer questions and complete this section.

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