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Logical Reasoning Questions on the LSAT

Instructor: Jessica Keys
Not to be confused with the Analytical Reasoning section (as it's sometimes referred to as the Logic Games section), Logical Reasoning is all about parsing arguments and demonstrating the skills of critical evaluation that are necessary for success in the field of law. Read on for more details and tips about this lengthy portion of the exam.

Logical Reasoning at a Glance

Number of Sections Two sections, with a possible (unidentified) unscored section.
Time Given 35 minutes per section.
Number of Questions 24 to 26 questions.
Types of Questions Multiple choice; Items in this section are presented as question prompts, based on brief passages pulled from various sources.

While no one section of the LSAT should be considered more important than any other, it should also be noted that because Logical Reasoning has two parts, this section is worth nearly 50% of the LSAT score.

Structure and Strategies

Although there are two Logical Reasoning sections on the LSAT, they are structurally identical. Test-takers are asked to read a passage that contains an argument or position on an issue. They then have to select the best answer after being given a relevant question.

This section is an assessment of one's ability to analyze arguments logically. For example, one may be asked to identify the assumptions upon which an argument relies to make its point, determine whether or not an argument is flawed, use inference to select statements that support an argument, and so on.

Example Question

First, the passage:

This is a sample paragraph designed to illustrate what a Logical Reasoning question looks like. There might a bit of extra information in a passage, say a sentence or two about the history of baseball in Japan. But it's important to pick through any unnecessary information and focus on the conclusion, as well as the premises that are relevant to the author's position. Without a careful understanding of these points, one cannot (for example) identify flaws in the author's reasoning or discover weaknesses in their argument.

Then, the question prompt:

Which of the following is an assumption upon which this argument depends on?

Then, five possible choices; note that test-takers are instructed to select the answer that is the best fit:

(A) Critical analysis of an argument requires identifying its premises and conclusion.

(B) A good argument always comes bundled with unnecessary information.

(C) Test-takers are given 35 minutes to complete each section of the LSAT.

(D) Some questions on the LSAT may require considerable knowledge of the history of baseball in Japan.

(E) It's never too late to give Clown College a try.

The correct answer is (A), no matter how factual the other options may be.

While not indicative of the actual difficulty level of the LSAT, this example demonstrates one type of question that test-takers may encounter in this section of the exam: Identifying a required assumption. Other questions posed may include:

  • Which (multiple choice) option best strengthens/weakens the argument?
  • Which option best explains why an argument is flawed?
  • Which option best repeats the same line of (flawed) reasoning in the passage?
  • Which option best justifies the author's reasoning?
  • Which alternative situation best parallels a given analysis?
  • Which option best accounts for an observed discrepancy?
  • Which conclusion is best supported by the passage?
  • The passage presents two authors with different positions on an issue; which option best illustrates a point on which they agree or disagree?

Each passage requires a unique assessment, though they can usually be distilled into more formal logical structures, such as if/then statements. It may also help to begin by reading the question prompt to get a better idea of what will need to be analyzed in the passage.

LSAT Resources

For additional help with the Logical Reasoning sections of the LSAT, Study.com offers a chapter that focuses on LSAT: Logical Reasoning. Study anytime with seven video lessons, plus quizzes to test what you have learned.

You'll also find Study.com's in-depth collection of lessons on Critical Thinking and Logical Reasoning and the Argument helpful! These resources can give you a better understanding of the concepts you'll be tested on in the Logical Reasoning sections of the exam.

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