Analytical Reasoning Questions-Types
Upon initial review of the LSAT Analytical Reasoning (games) portion of the LSAT it will be obvious to the examinee that these questions differ in content from logical reasoning (arguments) problems. These differences reach to the actual layout of the problems themselves, as well as the overall section structure.
For example, where logical reasoning (arguments) problems consist of a concise passage, followed by the question stem and answer selections, analytical reasoning (games) problems possess something called a set of conditions. Rather than consisting of one cohesive statement, the set of conditions is actually divided into two parts. This usually appears in the form of two separate statements or paragraphs at the beginning of an analytical reasoning (games) problem. The first statement is usually a kind of introduction to the problem that presents to the examinee the "players" in the problem. It is important for the examinee to understand that these players could be people, animals, objects, or anything else that the ever-creative examiners come up with. The second statement contained in the set of conditions outlines conditions or rules that apply to the "players" introduced in the first statement of the set of conditions. This may seem a bit confusing, but with the introduction of the various types of analytical reasoning (games) problems and a few examples, it will become clearer.
A difference in the structure of the analytical reasoning (games) section from the logical reasoning (arguments) sections, is that the former sections consists of only four problems. Each of these analytical reasoning (games) problems has four to six questions based on the problems. This means that the examinee will have to interpret the set of conditions initially, and continue to apply those rules throughout several specific questions. It should be noted that the vast majority of analytical reasoning (games) questions do not add to or detract from the established set of conditions provided in the overriding problem. The examinee, however, should be aware that this can happen and be prepared if such a situation arises in a specific question. Another difference to note about analytical reasoning (games) problems is that there is a single correct answer to each question. This is a large departure from logical reasoning (arguments), where the examinee could face several technically correct answer selections and must choose the best answer. With analytical reasoning (games) problems, the examinee can rest assured that once a correct answer is found, that is the end of the analysis.
Generically speaking, there are four types of analytical reasoning (games) problems. Having said this, it is important for the examinee to understand that some analytical reasoning (games) problems combine problem types. The game types are as follows:
- Ordering: These problems require the examinee to place the "players" of the question in a certain sequence.
- Selection: These problems require the examinee to compose a smaller group of "players" from a larger group based on certain criteria.
- Allocation: These problems require the examinee to allocate the provided "players" into identified groups.
- Connection: These problems require the examinee to connect some of the "players" in the set of conditions based on some criteria or characteristic.
Last Updated: 04/13/2012