LSAT Logical Reasoning Section

The Logical Reasoning portion of the exam is made up of two sections with about 25 questions each. Ultimately, this section weighs your ability to comprehend arguments, analyze and critically understand them and draw sound conclusions as they occur in ordinary language. The questions are preceded by "arguments" that you will then be required to evaluate the structure of. You will also have to make inferences, identify flaws in the logic, and demonstrate that you understand the substance of the argument. The two Logical Reasoning sections make up 50% of your total LSAT score, so it is critical that you get a strong grasp of this section. Topics include Economics, Psychology, the Natural Sciences, Culture, etc. Ultimately, this section asks you to apply logic to abstract concepts, find relevant information within a test and break down and evaluate arguments.

Arguments are a fundamental component of law, and analyzing arguments is a key component of legal practice. Professional training in the law builds on a foundation of basic reasoning skills. Law students must draw on their critical reasoning and evaluating skills when dealing with arguments. They need to know which information is relevant to an issue and what other evidence can further impact the argument. They also need to know how to amend two opposing positions and how to persuade the opposing parties to reach an agreement.

The Logical Reasoning section is argument-based and always provides a passage to read with multiple choice questions. The questions are pulled from short arguments extracted from a wide variety of sources, including magazines, newspapers, scholarly presses, advertisements, and informal discourse. These passages reflect legal reasoning in the types of arguments presented. The time allotted for each Logical Reasoning section is 35 minutes. You will have about 24 – 26 questions for each section. The best method is to completely understand the premise of the text and to choose the best answer among other possible decent answers. Not only will you have to identify the pros and cons of the argument, but you will have to understand specifically what causes that strength or weakness. Figuring out the conclusion of every Logical Reasoning argument is key to winning the answer choices.

Each Logical Reasoning question revolves around a reading of a short passage where you'll then have to answer one to two questions about it. The questions will assess an array of your critical thinking skills, some of which include:

  • Identifying the parts of an argument and their relationships
  • Identifying similarities and differences between patterns of reasoning
  • Drawing sound conclusions
  • Reasoning by analogy
  • Recognizing tensions or points of disagreement
  • Determining how additional evidence impacts an argument
  • Detecting assumptions made by particular arguments
  • Recognizing and applying principles or rules
  • Recognizing flaws in arguments
  • Spotting explanations

Suggested Logical Reasoning Strategies

While the best advice one can receive on this section is to practice, there are some specific strategies you can apply to help you tackle this section with more ease and attain a higher score. Breaking down and understanding this section takes more time and in-depth practice than providing a handful of approaches, here are some key takeaways as you begin your LSAT Logical Reasoning analysis.

  • Predict what the answer will be even before you find it.
  • Paraphrase what the argument is about; if anything is unclear, re-read it to make sure you grasp the full argument. Read all the answers thoroughly. Write out and mark the structures.
  • Skip hard logical reasoning questions and come back if you have time. Don't spend all your time bogged on one detail when you have other points to earn.
  • Seek patterns within the sections when you do the practice tests so you become quicker.
  • Do not pick a response simply because it is true.

Many test-takers find this section to be the most challenging, despite the fun some can get from "logic games". Regardless of your opinion, success in Logical Reasoning is crucial for success on the LSAT as a whole, so marrying that fine balance of strategy and practice is one of the most sure-fire recipes for victory.