LSAT Logical Reasoning (Arguments)
The LSAT Logical Reasoning is one of four sections of the exam. The other three are reading comprehension, analytical reasoning (games), and a writing sample. The three sections are not equally represented, however. The logical reasoning (arguments) portion of the LSAT consists of two sections of the LSAT, while reading comprehension, analytical reasoning (games), and the writing sample only have one section each.
Because each section is allocated 35 minutes, the logical reasoning (arguments) section of the LSAT is twice as important as any single other portion of the LSAT. Obviously, mastery of this section of the LSAT is important and any candidate's best strategy for getting a high score on the LSAT. Conversely, if a candidate is proficient at all of the other sections of the LSAT, but struggles with the logical reasoning (arguments) portion, the candidate's overall score will suffer. This is an important consideration for test preparation and an appropriate amount of time and effort should be expended accordingly.
The logical reasoning (arguments) sections of the LSAT contain approximately 24 questions each. Unlike other portions of the LSAT, the logical reasoning (arguments) portion is considered to be very manageable within the allotted 35-minute timeframe. Most experts recommend simply starting with the first question and working through the entire section. It is important to remember that with the logical reasoning (arguments) section, as with all sections of the LSAT, there is no penalty with getting wrong answers. Therefore, to the extent necessary, guessing is fine if needed to complete the logical reasoning (arguments) sections in the allotted time.
Generally speaking, the logical reasoning (arguments) sections of the LSAT are the only sections that require you to demonstrate the types of skills employed by lawyers in their profession. These skills include identifying things that make an argument weaker, or recognize a particular assumption. Professional applicability aside, it is important to understand the big picture of what the logical reasoning (arguments) sections of the LSAT asks of you. The logical reasoning (arguments) sections of the LSAT ask you to understand, analyze, and critique various arguments posed by the individual questions. The key broad point that must be understood early in your preparation is that the LSAT is testing your ability to analyze the arguments on a logical basis and not as to the correctness of the argument (or assumption) itself. Therefore, it is possible that the correct answer to an LSAT question is a false statement in and of itself. The truly adroit LSAT examinee understands that the correct answer to any given logical reasoning (arguments) question requires the proper identification of relationships between assertions (typically facts and opinions), not the accuracy of those assertions.
In approaching logical reasoning (arguments) questions on the LSAT, the most time should be allocated to identifying which type of logical reasoning (arguments) question you are dealing with. Once you have a solid idea of the type of question presented, assuming that you have prepared for all of the question types, you have a greater chance of successfully answering the question.
Last Updated: 09/03/2012