Analytical Reasoning Questions on the LSAT

Instructor: Fola Rae
The analytical reasoning section of the LSAT includes a particular type of question you'll want to be familiar with before the exam. Read on to learn more about what the section tests, how the questions are structured, and where to find study resources you can use to prepare.

Skills Tested on the Analytical Reasoning Section

The mental exercises required for success in law school are similar to those used to complete the analytical reasoning questions on the LSAT. In law school, you could be asked to examine a set of circumstances to determine what legal action is allowed or even required in order to solve a problem based on a review of the law.

Similarly, the LSAT's 35-minute analytical reasoning section measures your ability to analyze the rules governing relationships between people and events presented in the test questions. You'll have to make connections between the relationships and draw conclusions about what would happen if the relationships change or if a different set of conditions are applied. Here are examples of some of the things you'll be doing when you answer the questions:

  • Identifying whether two statements with different conditions or rules can lead to the same conclusion
  • Using a set of rules or facts to draw inferences about the truth of a given statement
  • Drawing a conclusion about the truth of a given statement if new rules are added to the original set of rules
  • Identifying and drawing conclusions about conditional statements
  • Solving a problem by analyzing a relationship structure

Question Subjects

The LSAT analytical reasoning section includes a series of short passages. Each passage includes a scenario, such as spending areas to be included in a budget, the number of piano solos to be performed by a set number of students, a schedule for awarding a certain number of grants, invitations for a select number of guests, or a list of errands to be completed. This scenario also outlines a set of conditions restricting the ordering or grouping of these people and items that you will need to take into account when answering the 5-7 questions that follow. Here are some examples of what you might be asked to determine:

  • Which areas of a budget will be reduced
  • What order seven students will perform in a piano recital
  • Which grants will be awarded in each quarter of the calendar year
  • Which four people out of a group of seven will be selected to attend a retirement dinner
  • What the order will be for running six errands
  • How to get the same outcome if one of the errands is completed in a different order

Resources for LSAT Preparation

To make sure you're as prepared as you can be for your test, check out Study.com's LSAT Test: Online Prep and Review course to get information about the exam itself and brush up on the critical-thinking skills you'll need to tackle each section included on the exam. The chapter on analytical reasoning includes engaging video lessons that explain such topics as deductive reasoning, conditional statements, correlation, and logical equivalence. You can also test how well you're grasping the material by taking practice quizzes as you go along.

To review tips for facing exam anxiety head-on check out this lesson on Overcoming Test Anxiety. You can use this resource in addition to study aids to help you stay calm on test day and give your best effort.

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