These LSAT logical reasoning tips can improve your accuracy and speed to notch a higher LSAT score.
Logical reasoning questions are composed of a stimulus and a question stem. The stimulus appears first and provides either a set of facts or an argument, with premises and a conclusion. Following the stimulus is the stem—the specific question you must answer.
For many test-takers, it’s best to approach the question in the natural order, by reading the stimulus first and then the question stem.
While some test books recommend reading the question stem first, this eats up a significant amount of time, as most students will read the stem, the stimulus, and then the stem again.
You’ll also want to identify the conclusion of any stimulus that contains an argument. The stimulus arguments are actually similar to the logic found in the logic games. If you can grasp the premises and the conclusion, you can find the answer that follows logically. This answer is not always the “common sense” answer that would be the smartest course of action in real life.
Understanding the terms and question types can also help you with speed and accuracy in this section. Let’s consider the word infer, for example. In common usage, we often infer by reading between the lines. “She said she’s too busy to see me, but I think she’s actually mad that I compared her nose to an eagle’s beak yesterday.”
In logic, however—and on the LSAT—infer means something much stronger. If we can infer something, we can unequivocally prove it from the stimulus text.
Finally, you’ll want to drill sufficient and necessary conditions until you can diagram them quickly and accurately, as well as understanding the contrapositives.
As you shift your mindset from a “common sense” approach to a logical framework, you’ll find yourself avoiding trick answers and improving your score.
If you enjoyed these LSAT logical reasoning tips, check out our articles on logic games, reading comprehension, and more.