In part 2 of this three-part post, we briefly discuss the LSAT’s Logical Reasoning section. Logical Reasoning used to account for two sections, or 50%, of the LSAT. After the coronavirus, and the development of the LSAT-Flex, it became only one section (out of three graded sections) of the exam. The Logical Reasoning section remains only one of the three graded sections of the exam (and now worth approximately 33% of the exam’s total questions) even after the LSAC’s recent reconfiguration of the LSAT into a four-section exam (including one ungraded, “experimental” section).
The LSAT (Part 2): Logical Reasoning
The Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT consists of 25 (sometimes 26) separate questions. Unlike the other two sections, each of the Logical Reasoning questions is a completely separate question – Logical Reasoning does not have “sets” of questions related to one game or passage, like Analytical Reasoning and Reading Comp do.
The Logical Reasoning section begins with a short paragraph (typically 2-3 sentences). Often, the paragraph will contain an “argument” (i.e., premises and a conclusion). You then may be asked to identify which answer choice best describes the flaw in the argument, strengthens or weakens the argument, identifies an assumption made in the argument, etc.
There are a wide variety of different question “types” in the Logical Reasoning section, and a number of different logic and “legal reasoning” skills tested. Because of that, there are a lot of different things to learn. While Logical Reasoning isn’t necessarily easier or harder than the other two sections, this section does involve a wider variety of concepts to master. Students tend to spend more time mastering Logical Reasoning (because of the variety) and Analytical Reasoning (because of the potential for dramatic score improvement) than Reading Comprehension, as a general rule. My ScoreItUp LSAT Prep courses spend roughly twice as much time on Logical Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning as they do on Reading Comprehension due to student preference.
An example of a Logical Reasoning question would be “Which of the following is an assumption that the argument depends upon?” You are then given five different answer choices, exactly one of which is correct.
Using LSAT Practice Exams As A Preparation Tool
As with the other sections of the LSAT, the previously released exams are excellent practice tools. The best approach to tackling the LSAT’s Logical Reasoning section is similar to the best approach to studying Analytical Reasoning, and consists of doing the following:
- Get good instruction on how to handle the Logical Reasoning section. You want to learn good, solid techniques.
- Learn how to take Logical Reasoning questions by working through real practice exams, and then seeing how an expert analyzes those same questions.
- Note that there are often different strategies to tackling Logical Reasoning questions, but they all have the same core focus: understanding the initial paragraph, and then picking the answer choice that directly answers the question posed.
- Continue to practice with lots and lots of different Logical Reasoning questions, studying your work afterward.
- Eventually, begin taking full-length sections of the Logical Reasoning section in a TIMED environment. Once you get a little better at Logical Reasoning, you often can do fairly well UNTIMED…but the time limits imposed by the LSAT are very challenging Logical Reasoning section.
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