LSAT Analytical Reasoning Section

This section of the LSAT is similar to thinking you will use throughout your law school career. Analytical Reasoning forces you to pay close attention to details, comprehend and dissect intricate or formal statements and then be able to fuse them to make actual conclusions.

The LSAT Analytical Reasoning section consists of 23 - 24 questions grouped into four discrete question sets. The number of questions per set varies from 5 – 8. Analytical Reasoning questions are created to determine your ability to weigh a group of facts and rules and determine possibilities from those parameters. The specific scenarios associated with these questions are not related to law. The skills that are tested are the ability to determine what could or must be the case given a set of regulations, paralleling the terms of a contract or the facts of a legal case. Also known as "Logic Games," this section assesses how you reason and logically deduce from a set of principles or rules that articulate relationships among variables (persons, things, or events).

Analytical Reasoning questions appear in spatial sets that you have to create. Each set is based on a single passage. The passage for each "logic game" describes common ordering relationships or groups, or a combination of both. Your spatial, deductive reasoning skills will be demonstrated in the following:

  • Understanding the basic structure of a set of relationships by determining a solution to the proposed problem
  • Reasoning with hypothetical ("if-then") statements to create possible scenarios based on the restrictions
  • Inferring what is possible from the given rules and facts
  • Synthesizing what could or must be true to form additional facts or rules
  • Recognizing when two conditions are logically equivalent and identifying a rule that could replace one of the statements while still resulting in the same possible outcomes.

Analytical Reasoning questions draw upon your knowledge, skills, and reasoning ability. Speed is of paramount importance. The logic games do indeed fall into fairly predictable categories or types, as demonstrated in the following:

  • Selection: You select subjects from a pool.
  • Linear sequencing: You line up the subjects in sequence.
  • Attribute: You assign attributes to each subject.
  • Grouping: You divide the subjects into three or more clusters.
  • Logical: You determine cause-and-effect relationships between the subjects.

Isolating specific relationships within each given passage and applying them to the questions in a meaningful way is a basic structural component on this portion of the exam. The passages will almost always involve a degree of organization or order of events, as well as deciding if a statement could or must be true given facts.

LSAT Analytical Reasoning Strategy

There is no single way to master LSAT Analytical Reasoning without learning how to create effective diagrams for each game. The diagram will allow you to see how the game's subjects are interrelated according to the conditions and will be a reference throughout most of the game's questions. The best strategy is to attempt all four games and allocate the same amount of time for each game. If you are having considerable trouble with the logic games, a better approach might be to spend your entire 35 minutes invested in only three of the four games to ensure a decent score.