LSAT Logical Reasoning

Written by: Will Bond

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LSAT Logical Reasoning

The Logical Reasoning section is a fundamental part of the LSAT that tests your ability to understand and dissect arguments before using your critical reasoning to analyze them. With the upcoming August 2024 change to the LSAT adding a second Logical Reasoning section, it’s more important than ever to master these skills in order to succeed in the exam.

After providing a brief overview of what to expect from the Logical Reasoning section, this article will explore some invaluable strategies to help you master this area. Then we will offer some official LSAT Logical Reasoning practice questions so you can test your ability.

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Introduction to LSAT Logical Reasoning

The Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT is one of the pillars of the exam as it tests candidates on some of the most fundamental skills needed for success in both law school and a legal career, such as:

  • Identifying the different parts of an argument
  • Spotting patterns of reasoning
  • Analogical reasoning
  • Highlighting flaws in arguments
  • Drawing informed conclusions

In this section, you’ll be required to answer either 25 or 26 self-contained questions evaluating your ability to break down, understand, and analyze different arguments. All Logical Reasoning questions start with short passages from a variety of sources (e.g., adverts, newspapers, and magazines) that you’ll need to read before answering a question testing your comprehension of the arguments in each scenario.

Unlike Logic Games and Reading Comprehension passages, LSAT Logical Reasoning questions are typically quite brief and intuitive. Questions will also rarely involve legal topics or jargon, as they are designed to assess your ability to identify and critically evaluate patterns of reasoning in everyday language.

Generally, this section of the LSAT will evaluate your ability in these areas through two primary categories of Logical Reasoning questions, which we’ll explore below in more detail.

LSAT Logical Reasoning Question Types

Generally the questions that you’ll face in the Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT fall into one of two types: those with a focus on the passage and those with a focus on the answer.

Passage-Centric Questions

This type, which makes up the majority of questions found in the Logical Reasoning section, describes questions that require you to treat the passage as true and base your answers on this assumption.

Often, this will include questions asking you to:

  • Find the argument’s main conclusion
  • Identify the answer that best supports the passage
  • Deduce which answer must be true based on the passage
  • Figure out why an argument’s premise doesn’t prove the conclusion
  • Describe the role of a claim in the argument (i.e., is it a premise, inference, rebuttal, or conclusion)

Note: While being aware of these two different types of LSAT Logical Reasoning questions can be helpful, try not to get too caught up in these categories. Generally, the best approach is to take your time and read the passage carefully, as this will allow you to come up with your own prediction of the answer before even looking at the options.

Answer-Centric Questions

In these questions, you’ll be required to treat the answers as true and select the one that best influences the argument presented in the passage.

Questions falling into this category may require you to do one of the following:

  • Resolve an apparent discrepancy created by two conflicting facts or statements in the argument
  • Select an answer that weakens or casts doubt on the argument’s conclusion
  • Choose an answer that best supports or justifies the argument’s conclusion
  • Identify which choice makes the conclusion most logically valid when added

While this may seem overwhelming, by preparing with the guidance we offer in the next section, you’ll be able to consistently tackle the LSAT’s Logical Reasoning questions with confidence.

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How to Do Well in Logical Reasoning

Now that you have a basic overview of what the LSAT Logical Reasoning section is and the types of questions you could face, we’ll walk you through some simple tips to help you excel in this core part of your exam.

Tips for Logical Reasoning LSAT

Though the Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT may present you with challenging questions, there are several effective strategies you can utilize to greatly improve your performance.

Focus on the Passage First

While working through these questions, it can be tempting to skip ahead and read the question stem first in order to get an idea of what to look out for in the passage. However, it’s best to avoid this shortcut as it can actually do more harm than good by making you focus too much on the question’s format instead of the argument itself.

Furthermore, by drawing your focus away from what actually matters, you’re stopping yourself from properly understanding each passage’s arguments — which is integral to succeeding with Logical Reasoning questions as the answers are often quite predictable.

Attack Arguments

If you’ve identified that a passage involves an argument (as not all of them do), one of the best strategies to keep in mind when working your way through the question is to focus on attacking the argument at all times.

This involves finding the conclusion drawn and questioning whether the author has actually justified their reasoning for arriving at this result with valid logic. While you’ll have to treat the premises in each passage as true (even if they’re not in the real world) since they are facts for the sake of the argument, this is not the case for conclusions.

Don’t skim the passage and then automatically believe the conclusion. Instead, looking for conclusions that are not 100% proven by the premises can give you a good insight into what the answer might be before you even read the options available to you.

Predict the Answer

Just by carefully reading through the passage and ensuring you understand it, you should already have a good idea of the answer by the time you read the question.

Even so, there are several steps you can follow to be able to predict answers in LSAT Logical Reasoning more consistently, including:

  • Knowing the Question Type: It’s important to be familiar with predictable question types, such as Role, Sufficient Assumption, Disagree, and Conclusion questions
  • Making a Strong Prediction: After understanding the passage, read the question and try to make a clear prediction of the answer. For question types with less variation, you might already know the correct answer choice just by understanding the passage
  • Matching Your Prediction: Look at the answer choices provided to you and find the one that matches your prediction — it’s like finding the piece that fits in a puzzle

Even in question types with a bit more variation to the answers (such as Necessary Assumption, Parallel Reasoning/Flaw, and Strengthen questions), you’ll still be able to anticipate the kind of answer you need by understanding the passage. When you see an answer that fits the role you predicted, even if the words are different, you’ll know it’s the right one.

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LSAT Logical Reasoning Practice Questions

In the section below, you can find some of the Logical Reasoning questions that appeared in the official September 2014 LSAT exam. Practicing with authentic examples like these is essential when preparing for your LSAT as it helps ensure you’re familiar with the typical format and style of these questions by the day of your actual exam.

Be sure to mimic exam conditions as much as possible when doing this test. Don’t rely on outside research or write as if you have all the time in the world.

Directions

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 4

Question 5

Practice Question Solutions

You can find the answers to the Logical Reasoning questions in the table below. Keep in mind that while some questions may present two seemingly correct choices, the actual answer will be the one that best addresses the question.

QuestionAnswer
1C
2E
3A
4D
5D

LSAT Logical Reasoning FAQ

Is LSAT Logical Reasoning hard?

It’s initially quite difficult due to its rigorous focus on critical reasoning skills such as reasoning by analogy, recognizing misunderstandings, and identifying flaws in an argument. However, the LSAT Logical Reasoning section becomes a lot more manageable with consistent practice and focused study. To find out more about how to excel in this section, read our LSAT Logical Reasoning article.

What is Logical Reasoning on the LSAT?

Logical Reasoning on the LSAT assesses your capacity to critically evaluate and analyze particular arguments presented across either 25 or 26 brief passages and a related question. In particular, you’ll be tested on skills like identifying how evidence influences an argument, detecting assumptions made by an argument, and pointing out flaws.

What is a good Logical Reasoning score for the LSAT?

Achieving a strong LSAT Logical Reasoning score typically means aiming for the 75th percentile or higher. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the ideal score can vary from year to year and depend on the specific law schools to which you’re applying. To find out more about this exam, check out our What is the LSAT article.

How do I get good at Logical Reasoning?

To excel in LSAT Logical Reasoning you’ll need to dedicate time to consistently developing your logical reasoning skills and understanding of argument structures, and practicing with official LSAT logical reasoning sample questions. Improvement comes with persistent effort and comprehension of Logical Reasoning concepts.