LSAT Logical Reasoning tips: all the question types and how to solve them (2022)

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When I teach LSAT, Logical Reasoning is by far the most common subject that my students have trouble with. I think this is because Logical Reasoning is taught poorly by most test-prep books and companies.

Most test-prep companies teach Logical Reasoning by introducing formal logic, necessary and sufficient, and a whole bunch of other unnecessary stuff before actually getting down to solving Logical Reasoning problems. At that point, the student has the weight of a whole bunch of knowledge they don’t need preventing them from solving the problems.

The best way to look at LR instead is to recognize it as an argument, with a conclusion, reasoning, and premise. The conclusion is what’s supported, and is an opinion or prediction. Reasoning supports the conclusion (i.e. you can putbecause orsince in front of it). The premises are what you start with.

Every type of LR question on the LSAT is based off of this. Parts might be missing, or you might be asked to fill in some gaps, but it all comes down to the structure of an argument.

I’ve taken some questions from LSAT PrepTest 71, which the LSAC offers for free online as part of their digital practice. I want to show you how to answer each of these types of questions by viewing them through the lens of an argument. I also really hope the LSAC doesn’t copyright strike me for these, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Let’s take a look.

Logical Reasoning Strengthen Questions

LSAT Logical Reasoning tips: all the question types and how to solve them (1)

Let’s approach this as an argument, like I was saying before.

Identifying the conclusion, first: “the agency is unlikely to achieve its goal” [to strengthen the banking system].

Reasoning: well, we know some piece of reasoning is going to go in the blank after “since”. But the other piece is “the banking system will not be strengthened if the former owners of these banks buy them back”.

Premises are everything else.

What would strengthen this? Well, a stronger link between the existing reasoning“the banking system will not be strengthened if the former owners of these banks buy them back” and the conclusion “the agency is unlikely to achieve its goal” [to strengthen the banking system].

So E strengthens that link.

Logical Reasoning Argument Proceeds By

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This is literally asking us to identify how the argument works.

So, let’s find the conclusion: “The real threats to their profitability are falling circulation and falling advertising” (that’s what the rest of the argument is supporting, although not particularly well).

Reasoning: Because “the cost of newsprint is no more than it was ten years ago” AND “newspapers have been benefiting from cheap newsprint for decades”.

The premise: “The newspaper industry habitually cites the rising cost of newsprint to explain falling profits.”

So, this argument identifies an argument, disagrees with that argument, and then introduces a conclusion that’s not very well supported. D fits in well (introducing a different explanation is another way of saying it’s not a well supported conclusion).

(Video) LSAT Logical Reasoning (Arguments Section)

Logical Reasoning flaw in the reasoning question

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Same deal.

Conclusion: “Alcohol consumption is, on balance, beneficial.”

Reasoning: Because “alcohol creates an inhospitable environment in the body for certain bacteria” AND “moderate alcohol consumption has certain beneficial effects on health”.

What’s the problem?

Well, two problems. First, the reasoning says “on balance”, but there’s no balance in the reasoning. Only a benefit.

Second, the conclusion is talking about alcohol consumption in general, but the reasoning is only about moderate alcohol consumption. So D is the correct answer here.

Logical Reasoning state the conclusion question

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For this one, finding the conclusion is going to be a little harder because, well, it’s a find the conclusion question. They buried it on purpose.

So, whatever conclusion we find, let’s make sure it’s supported by everything else and doesn’t support anything else.

Conclusion: “Colonizing other planets would be a temporary solution to overpopulation at best”.

Let’s make sure that’s supported by everything else.

Reasoning: Because “if population continues to grow geometrically, then…”, AND “if population continues to double every 30 years…” DESPITE “colonizing other planets.”

Everything else supports our conclusion.

So B.

Logical Reasoning support the statement question

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So, this is slightly different. Our conclusion is missing (i.e. the statement that’s supported), which is tough, because that’s normally how we organize our process. So let’s keep close track of the reasoning, and see where it leads us to.

The study was about hypnosis and recall (memory). In this study, a number of subjects listened to a long, unfamiliar piece of music. Then they were hypnotized, and asked about either music or film. Both of them had detailed recollections (even though both groups only listened to music).

So, this is strange. Even if they didn’t watch a film, they were really confident in their recall. So, there’s something strange going on with hypnosis (it can make people falsely recall).

D fits best with that. C is way too strong, and doesn’t fit in the argument (the music people were correct in their recall).

(Video) LSAT Logical Reasoning Question Types

Logical Reasoning identify the disagreement question

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We’ll need to analyze both arguments.

Vincent’s conclusion (implied): Science can’t study happiness.

Vincent’s reasoning: Because “happiness is an entirely subjective experience AND therefore can’t be measured” AND “no scientific discipline can study something that can’t be measured”.

Yolanda’s conclusion (implied): Happiness research is a scientific discipline.

Yolanda’s reasoning: Because optometry research is like happiness research in that both rely on reports AND “optometry is a scientific discipline”.

So, they’ve got a weird disagreement. Vincent says science can’t study happiness, and Yolanda says that happiness research is scientific. In their reasoning, they disagree on what scientific disciplines are supposed to rely on.

So C.

Logical Reasoning role played in the argument question

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Same deal.

Conclusion: Increasing urbanization may actually reduce the total amount of pollution generated nationwide.

Reasoning: Because “residents of large cities…” AND THEREFORE “given number of people…”.

So the answer is E.

Logical Reasoning similar reasoning question

LSAT Logical Reasoning tips: all the question types and how to solve them (8)

LSAT Logical Reasoning tips: all the question types and how to solve them (9)

These questions are frustrating because they have a lot of text, but can be approached the same way.

Original conclusion: “The hypothesis [that when we visually perceive an object, a mental image of that object forms in our mind” cannot be correct.”

Reasoning: Because “it would require an infinite regress” (they detail the infinite regress).

So, it argues against the philosophers by explaining how their beliefs lead to an infinite regress, and then say the regress is absurd.

The only similar argument that also has an infinite regress is C.

(Video) How To Master LR | LSAT Logical Reasoning

Logical Reasoning assumption question

LSAT Logical Reasoning tips: all the question types and how to solve them (10)

Conclusion: Most of the nations stating that their oil reserves were unchanged [between end of 1996 and end of 1997] are probably incorrect.

Reasoning: Because oil reserves change as oil fields are drained or as they’re discovered.

So, what’s missing here? Well, we need to strengthen the link between oil fields being drained or discovered in 1997. You can also think about this as a negation: if they neither drained or discovered oil fields, the conclusion is incorrect.

B.

Logical Reasoning must be true question

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Missing conclusion, so let’s trace the reasoning. Let’s separate out the terms, so it’s easier to trace them.

If a motor is insulated, it’s quiet enough. If it’s quiet enough, it can be used in institutions.

None of the motors manufactured by EM are quiet enough, [so can’t assume they can be used in institutions].

The answer is B. If they had been sound insulated, they would have been quiet enough, guaranteed. Note for these: careful if it’s guaranteed or not. Not being quiet enough doesn’t guarantee that it can’t be used in institutional settings, but being sound insulated does guarantee that it’s quiet enough.

Logical Reasoning violates the principle question

LSAT Logical Reasoning tips: all the question types and how to solve them (12)

LSAT Logical Reasoning tips: all the question types and how to solve them (13)

The given is essentially reasoning, and the answers are essentially conclusions. So let’s make sure we understand the reasoning, and then we can hop to the answer choice.

Reasoning: Because you shouldn’t misrepresent another person’s belief except to act in their interest.

[Interpret: how can we violate this? By misrepresenting their belief for anything else].

A works here. Think of it as a conclusion: therefore, Ann was wrong when she… because she misrepresented a belief only to humiliate Bruce.

Logical Reasoning resolve the paradox question

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This one is just an argument in disguise that needs strengthening. Let me show you.

Conclusion: Therefore, the Australian sheep farming family did not enjoy an increase in prosperity.

Reasoning: Because, even though they generated more income from selling their wool from international wool prices, ___ [missing reasoning].

(Video) LSAT Logical Reasoning | Logical Reasoning Basics

What would fit in here?

A is tempting, but it talks about the price of wool sold domestically (not internationally).

C is the correct answer. They made more money from wool, but lost it from other sheep products, so net-net came out zero.

Logical Reasoning weaken question

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Conclusion: animal feed should not include genetically modified plants.

Reasoning: Because rats fed genetically modified potatoes get intestinal deformities, but rats fed normal diet do not.

In order for this reasoning to work, we have to assume this is a good comparison: genetically modified potatoes vs. normal diet. To weaken it, we weaken the comparison.

A weakens it. If potatoes aren’t part of a normal diet, it’s a bad comparison.

Logical reasoning justify the reasoning question

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This one is backwards from our earlier one. We get a conclusion, and now we’re trying to get reasoning.

Conclusion: Therefore, high school career counselors should tell students who are interested in journalism what life is like for a typical reporter (at a local paper).

Reasoning: Because most journalists cover local news, unlike what high school students think, AND __

Let’s strengthen it.

D. If career counselors should try to correct their misconceptions, then D makes sense.

Logical reasoning illustrates the proposition question

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Here we have reasoning, but are looking for a conclusion. Again, let’s be careful with our reasoning so we understand it.

Because three year olds couldn’t remember their phone number, although they knew the names of the digits AND once they were taught a song with the digits, they remembered it.

Therefore, E.

It fits together the idea of them knowing the names of the digits with the use of the song, without trying to go too far and make absolute statements like A or C (there might have been other, better ways that weren’t tried).

FAQs

What is the fastest way to answer the LSAT question? ›

How do you solve must be true questions on the LSAT? ›

It can be a little tricky to remember how to test choices for must questions. "Must be true" questions — Test the choices by trying to make the choices false. If you make the statement in the choice false, and you can still make an acceptable scenario, eliminate that answer!

What is the most common answer on the LSAT? ›

Overall, D is most likely to be the correct answer on the LSAT, and E is the least likely to be the correct answer. Looking at every released PrepTest answer key from June 1991-December 2009, D is 2.1% more likely than E to be the correct answer.

What is the hardest LSAT logic game? ›

PT31, June 2000, Game #2: Ten CDs

This game is often cited as the hardest game of all time. Ten CDs are candidates for a sale, and the rules are all multi-conditionals.

Is 2 weeks enough to study for LSAT? ›

For most students, a three-month period of preparation (of approximately 20 hours per week) is a great goal. This is, of course, an estimate; most students are not all students. To find out how much LSAT prep time you're likely to need, we recommend taking a practice LSAT to get a baseline score.

Is 2 months enough time to study for the LSAT? ›

Two months is the optimal LSAT prep schedule for many students. While you can make great score improvements with one intense month of study, practice, and review, most expert LSAT faculty will recommend a longer schedule if one is possible for you.

How many hours should I study LSAT a day? ›

If take 5 months to study for the LSAT, you'd need to spend between 12 to 18 hours every week, on average. This means you'd need to spend between 2.5 and 3.5 hours a day studying, 5 days a week. If you are on an extended 6-month schedule, you only need to study a manageable 10 to 15 hours per week.

How can I improve my speed in reasoning? ›

In case blood relations questions come in the exam, this will reduce the total time you spend thinking about the relationships of the people mentioned about in the question. This will improve your overall speed in solving reasoning questions.

How can I improve my reasoning skills? ›

Here are the best methods to train your mind to logically reason;
  1. 1) Try to differentiate between Observation and Inferences: ...
  2. 2) Make logical conclusions by thinking in conditional statements. ...
  3. 3) Play card games. ...
  4. 4) Read/watch murder mysteries. ...
  5. 5) Try to recognise patterns. ...
  6. 6) Have basic analytical values.

What is the most logical way to solve problems? ›

(1) Comprehend the problem. (2) Represent the problem in formal terms. (3) Plan a solution. (4) Execute the plan.

Is it better to skip or guess on the LSAT? ›

Myth: You should leave questions blank on the LSAT because random guessing will hurt your score. The TRUTH: Nope. There's no penalty for wrong answers. Don't ever leave a question blank.

How many questions can you miss on the LSAT to get a 160? ›

Every LSAT throughout the year is different, but on a typical LSAT, you can still get 25 wrong and end up in the 160s— or about 20 wrong and get a 164, a 90th percentile score. Even a perfect score of 180 often allows for a question or two to be missed.

How many questions can you miss on the LSAT to get a 170? ›

How Many Questions Can You Get Wrong to Score 170? If your goal is to reach a score of 170 on the LSAT, the maximum number of questions you can answer incorrectly is 11. Correctly answering 90 out of the 101 total questions should give you your desired score of 170.

What was Obama's LSAT score? ›

The easiest to predict, by far, is President Barack Obama's score, mostly because we have some data. Based on admissions records, we can deduce — somewhat reliably — that Barry-O scored between the 94th-98th percentile on his LSAT. Using today's grading system, that'd place him somewhere around a 170.

What is the hardest LSAT month? ›

The hardest exam is October because lots of people study over the summer and get good and ready, and so competition is fierce. The February exam is the easiest because it's full of people who aren't really serious about law school and people who tanked the October and December exams.

Why is the LSAT so tricky? ›

The fact is the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is extremely difficult. It's designed to predict how well the brightest students across the world will fare in law school. In other words, just because you have a 4.0 grade point average from a top tier university doesn't mean you're a lock to score high on the test.

Is 7 months enough to study for LSAT? ›

7 months is more than enough time if you stick with a regular, but moderate, schedule. I've reviewed all books and PrepTests mentioned below in my best LSAT prep books post. This 28-week schedule is intense.

Can you study for the LSAT in 3 weeks? ›

One month is the minimum for LSAT prep.

Once you've taken a full-length practice test under timed conditions, compare your score to your goal score.

Is 6 weeks enough time to study for the LSAT? ›

Can you prepare for the LSAT in 6 weeks? Six weeks is a bit on the shorter side as far as study plans go, but it's doable provided you can devote at least 15-20 hours/week towards LSAT prep.

Is 6 months too long to study for LSAT? ›

Six months is a great period of time in which to prepare for the LSAT. In fact, we often recommend that students with shorter timeframes consider extending them to six months! It's the Goldilocks of time frames: short enough that you'll remember what you've learned, long enough for you to learn it!

Is 4 months enough for LSAT? ›

There is plenty of time to improve and achieve your ideal LSAT score. With approximately four months until test time, you should spend at least 10 hours a week studying. Ideally, one to two hours a day should be spent on studying.

Can I study for the LSAT in one week? ›

Unfortunately, it's not easy to drastically improve on the LSAT in just one week. However, it is very doable to squeeze out a few more points in your last week of LSAT studying. Once, I helped a student get three more points with just five days until his LSAT test date.

What should I do 2 days before the LSAT? ›

3–2 Days Before the LSAT

Replay logic games that you've played before, reread Reading Comp passages, and review Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension questions that you found difficult the first time you tried them.

What is the hardest part of the LSAT? ›

Perhaps the most notorious section of the LSAT, the Analytical Reasoning section contains four logic games, each having 5-7 associated questions. Students must juggle complex, and sometimes competing, concepts to make it through this section with a high score.

Is it better to take the LSAT once or twice? ›

Taking the LSAT multiple times is often less of a problem for law schools if each score shows improved results; otherwise, it is spending money trying to yield different results. If you plan to retake the test, strategize and prepare adequately.

How many times is too many times to take the LSAT? ›

Additionally, test-takers cannot take the LSAT more than five times within five years or seven times overall. READ: How to Set an LSAT Study Plan Months in Advance. ]

How far out should I start studying for the LSAT? ›

But the general advice we give to those who ask this question is that you should start studying for the LSAT around five to six months before you intend to actually take it. The LSAT is currently offered nine times a year in the following months: January.

Can I take a day off from studying for the LSAT? ›

You should have at least one scheduled day off a week!

Work an LSAT study break into your weekly study schedule. Even the most dedicated students need some time away from the material. Not only does give you a day to look forward to, but it also gives your brain a day to just absorb what you've learned.

How do you increase your speed on logic LSAT? ›

Draw small diagrams for LSAT Logic Games

If you practice making small diagrams, you'll find they're just as easy to understand as large diagrams. Small diagrams are much better than large ones. They're very quick to draw. And you can place a small diagram in a small space near the question.

How do I start preparing for reasoning? ›

Try to score good marks while practicing mock tests, so that you can at least clear the cut-offs. Work on your weak areas after practice. Always solve the easier questions first to fetch you good marks. Spending time on the more difficult ones in the starting wastes precious time.

What is the fastest way to solve a seating arrangement? ›

Rule 1: Always start the arrangement with 100% fixed information. Example: 8 persons A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H are sitting around a circular table . A is sitting 3rd to the right of B, C is sitting opposite to D who is 3rd left to the person opposite to A…………………… so on.

What causes poor reasoning? ›

Reasoning, like the prefrontal cortex, is a primarily human trait that develops late in childhood. Reasoning deficits can arise from various causes. For example, impaired reasoning can be an initial symptom of frontal lobe dementia or the sequelae of frontal lobe stroke or head trauma.

How do I become an expert in logical reasoning? ›

Learn the terminology

Terms such as Premise, Assumption, Conclusion, Argument, Observation, Inference, various types of statements and so on. Familiarising yourself with all this is necessary before you think of mastering this section.

How do you do well in reasoning tests? ›

Ten top tips for passing a verbal reasoning test
  1. Find out who your test provider will be. ...
  2. Read and re-read each piece of text. ...
  3. Don't make assumptions. ...
  4. Manage your time. ...
  5. Hone your analytical skills. ...
  6. Improve your English as a second language. ...
  7. Practise in the right format. ...
  8. Learn from your mistakes.

What are the 5 problem-solving techniques? ›

5 Steps to Better Problem-Solving
  • Step 1: Identify the Problem.
  • Step 2: Generate potential solutions.
  • Step 3: Choose one solution.
  • Step 4: Implement the solution you've chosen.
  • Step 5: Evaluate results.
  • Next Steps.
29 Jul 2020

What are the 6 ways to get better at problem-solving? ›

Hopefully, they'll also help you look at problem solving from a different, solutions focused perspective.
  • Identity and understand the right problem. ...
  • Research the systems and practices behind the problem. ...
  • Visualise the problem. ...
  • Brainstorm creative solutions. ...
  • Identify the best answer.

How long should logical reasoning questions take? ›

Logical Reasoning

The LR sections tend to get more difficult on later pages of the section. You'll find that most LR sections are 8 pages in length, so strive to get through the first 4 pages in under 15 minutes to leave yourself about 20 minutes for the remaining 4 pages.

How long should you take on each logical reasoning question? ›

Ideal LR Timing

Aim for a pace of a about one minute per question. 170+ takers may finish these ten questions in as few as seven or eight minutes, but sometimes the full ten are required.

How can I increase my LSAT score by 5 points? ›

According to LSAT prep company PowerScore, retaking the LSAT is beneficial for many law school applicants. On average, those who retake the test see an improvement of up to 5 points. If you are even semi-familiar with the LSAT, you know that the better you do, the more difficult it becomes to continuously improve.

How many minutes should you spend on each LSAT question? ›

Every passage should take you eight minutes and 45 seconds (ideally eight minutes) to read, annotate and answer all the corresponding questions. That means that it should take you around three to four minutes to read and annotate a passage and then three to four minutes to answer the passage's questions.

What is a perfect LSAT score? ›

To make it easier to compare scores earned across different LSAT administrations, your “raw score” is converted to an LSAT scale. This is the score you receive in your score report. The LSAT scale ranges from 120 to 180, with 120 being the lowest possible score and 180 being the highest possible score.

How can I improve my LSAT score by 10 points? ›

How to Improve LSAT Score By 10 Points
  1. Complete an Assessment.
  2. Wait to Test. See the Top LSAT Review Courses.
  3. Make a Plan.
  4. Call in the Big Guns.
  5. Purchase a Logic Games Bible. Get Discounts On LSAT Review Courses!
  6. Pace Yourself.
  7. Be Ready to Work.
  8. Use Flashcards.

Do logical reasoning questions get harder? ›

Since questions tend to get more difficult as the section progresses, students tend to get earlier questions right and later questions wrong. Here's two caveats to this rule that you should keep in mind. First, many students get paralell reasoning questions wrong a lot.

What is a good score on logical reasoning? ›

This median score of 152 applies to all administered LSATs. The median score at schools you are applying to will vary. Some schools may have a lower median score. Others have higher median scores.

Videos

1. LSAT Logical Reasoning | Tips & Strategies
(Magoosh LSAT)
2. LSAT Logical Reasoning Question Types
(LSAT Unplugged & Law School Admissions Podcast)
3. Famous Flaws | LSAT Logical Reasoning
(LSAT Lab)
4. LSAT Logical Reasoning | Principles (Part 1 of 2)
(Luminate LSAT)
5. How to Increase Your LSAT Score by 5 Points in 5 Minutes
(Blueprint LSAT Preparation)
6. LSAT logical reasoning speed tips
(LSAT Hacks)

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