Though Analytical Reasoning questions are often approached by test-takers with apprehension, you’ll find — with proper technique and careful analysis — that they can become some of the easiest questions you’ll encounter! This is because you’ll often know for sure whether you’ve successfully answered the question! Where else on the exam can you know your score ahead of time?!
On the whole, Analytical Reasoning question, per LSAC, “are designed to assess the ability to consider a group of facts and rules, and, given those facts and rules, determine what could or must be true…. In Analytical Reasoning questions, you are asked to reason deductively from a set of statements and rules or principles that describe relationships among persons, things, or events.”
Like Reading Comprehension questions, Analytical Reasoning questions present a passage following by a series of questions relating to that passage. These questions require an understanding of areas such as formal logic and inferences — skills you’ll also need for the Critical Reasoning section of the exam! To be clear, no advance and complex knowledge of formal logic is required — you should be able to use the reasoning ability you already have to complete the questions.
Logic Game and Question Types
Strict Sequencing: Ordering entities with respect to defined positions
Loose Sequencing: Ordering entities with respect to each other
Selection: Choosing a small group out of a large group
Matching: Matching two kinds of entities to each other
Distribution: Forming several small groups out of a large group
Hybrid: Performing two or more of the other actions
What is the strategy for Acceptability questions?
Go rule by rule to eliminate each answer choice that violates a rule.
What is the strategy for Must Be/Could Be questions?
Consult the Master Sketch to see if the question can be answered immediately. If not, use sketches from New- “If”s, as well as the Acceptability question correct answer, to eliminate answers. The sketch from a New-“If” could also help pick a Could Be True answer. If multiple answer choices still remain use trial and error.
What is the strategy for New-“If” questions?
Draw a new sketch that incorporates the new information.
Sample Analytical Reasoning Question
A public parks department must upgrade exactly five of eight local parks — A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H — in accordance with the following conditions:
If both A and G are upgraded , H is also upgraded.
If D is upgraded, neither F nor G is upgraded.
If E is upgraded, B is not upgraded.
Of the three areas B, C, and F, exactly two are upgraded.
If both parks D and F are upgraded, which one of the following is a pair of parks neither of which could be upgraded?
- A, B
- A, D
- B, D
- B, E
- E, G
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