Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Guest Blog Post: LSAT Tips- Part 2

Five LSAT Logical Reasoning Tips
from Parliament Tutors and LSAT Freedom

Logical Reasoning comprises half of the LSAT. Here are 5 simple LSAT Logical Reasoning tips that will help you improve your LSAT score:

Read Carefully
According to the LSAC the logical reasoning section tests your ability to recognize the structure of an argument, identify patterns of reasoning, and assess the validity of conclusions and how these conclusions are affected by additional evidence.  Since these are specific tasks, you should be very detail oriented in your approach to these questions.  Read the passage very carefully, and make sure you understand it (as best you can) before you go on to the answer choices.  Students commonly read logical reasoning problems too casually, and fall victim to “traps” for the unwary.  

Use Time Intelligently
The more time consuming questions in logical reasoning invariably come at the end of each section.  Thus, you should give yourself some extra time heading into these latter sections by going through the first 15 questions at a faster rate than average.  You can and should practice timing yourself on every section on every practice exam so you grow accustomed to the pace.

Notice Key Words
Words like “since” and “because” introduce premises, while words like “therefore” introduce a conclusion.  Your ability to spot key words like this will help you determine the logical structure of the argument.  In a similar vein, certain qualifying words, like “all”, “some” and “never” have specific logically specific meanings on the exam, that could ultimately effect the conclusion drawn in a given argument.  Understanding the role of these key words is crucial to your success on the LSAT.

Learn Logical Fallacies that Appear on the LSAT
Many LSAT arguments contain similar types of fallacious reasoning.  These patterns of fallacious reasoning repeat on every LSAT, and thus, as you become familiar with them, you will be able to process logical reasoning questions that contain them much faster.  This will help you a great deal with your timing and your confidence.   

 Be Critical of the First and Last Answer Choice
Although you have five options for each answer choice (A, B, C, D, and E), the first and last answer choices are much more likely to be traps for unwary students.  The first answer choice is often tempting to students who don’t fully understand a problem, and it often contains a tempting answer choice for this reason.  The converse is also true, students who don’t like any of the answer choices are likely to choose the last answer choice without thinking much about it, since it is the only remaining option.  As an LSAT student, you should be aware of these two tendencies, and (1) read through all of the answer choices before making your final selection, and (2) don’t choose the last answer choice without understanding why it is the correct answer.  If need be, read through the passage and question again to make sure you fully understand (see tip #1, above).

By following these tips, you will be on your way to improving your performance on the logical reasoning sections of the exam, and the LSAT as a whole.



1 comment:

  1. I really like your blog. I wish I would have read your blog before I took the LSAT. I only scored a 153, which hurts to even think about. One book that helped me a lot with redeeming myself, so to speak, is "How to Win At Law School: Setting Goals for Law School Success." It does not talk about the LSAT, but it is a good book for doing well after the LSAT (during law school, especially 1L year, but even thereafter).