99 Problems (But Logical Reasoning Ain’t One): Tips for Test Day

September 23, 2013
Christine Schrader

LSAT-JAYZThe logical reasoning section of the LSAT is the single most important piece of your LSAT score– since it counts for half of the points! That means that no matter how tempted you are to focus more exclusively on reading comp or logic games, we have to spend a significant amount of time with logical reasoning to meet those big score goals for test day. Since the October LSAT is coming like a freight train (don’t forget to attend the180 live Predict the October LSAT episode!), it makes sense to make sure we are maximizing how impressive we can perform on Logical Reasoning. So let’s review how to handle a full LR section consistently and efficiently, while snapping up any and all points that we possibly can.

  • The first twelve questions have a high concentration of easier questions, so if you feel like you have the right answer there, pick it and move on confidently.
  • The third set of facing pages (usually around question numbers 14-20) tends to have the highest concentration of challenging questions; stay alert and be on the lookout for trap answer choices and skippable questions. In fact, many people skip this spread entirely and circle back to it after hitting the last two facing pages.
  • Take the time to predict before looking at the answers. Actually thinking about the argument and what kind of answer you’re supposed to be looking for will make you much better equipped for dealing with the answer choices.
  • Even if you are unable to make a prediction, you should still remind yourself of the trends inherent in the correct and incorrect answers. Make the characterization before looking at any of the answer choices! Use the standardization of the test, the repeated patterns, to your benefit.
  • Look for causation signals (like “responsible for”, “leads to”, or “due to”) in assumption, flaw, strengthen/weaken, and other argument-based questions, because they make predictions easy! Recognizing other common flaw patterns we see in assumption-based questions, like scope shifting and confusing sufficiency and necessity in formal logic, will help you get through the section quickly and effectively.
  • Don’t fear logical reasoning formal logic, especially on inference questions. Learn to handle formal logic statements by translating consistently, forming contrapositives, and linking statements together to get new deductions, something you will definitely be required to do on test day.
  • Do not hesitate to skip over something that looks time consuming or too difficult. Get greedy for points! Grab the low-hanging fruit first, targeting your strengths and coming back for the rest. Remember that the LSAT is also looking at how well you are able to get through the test on your terms, so don’t feel that you need to get every question or that skipping a question is a sign of weakness. That’s not the way it works! Work on the things you know best, and spend your limited time wisely to get the most points possible.
  • Get an answer down to every question, even just by blind guessing. There is no penalization for guessing, and you (at worst, with zero strategy) have a 1 in 5 chance.

Join us tomorrow for a Logic Games review!  Good luck!  Sound off in the comments if you have any questions before test day, or great prep tips to share!

Christine Schrader None entered

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