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 7 Tips for the LSAT

(page 3 of 4, from Chapter 1 of the Free LSAT Center Course)
1. Intro to the LSAT    2. LSAT Scores    3. LSAT Sections    4. Test Taking tips

LSAT Sections

The LSAT sections may appear difficult at first, but there are strategies to beating the Reading Comprehension, Logic Games and Critical Reasoning sections.

1. Reading Comprehension

Before you go to law school, be aware that you will have to read hundreds of pages of cases each week. Judges generally write cases that are long, dry, and hard to understand. The LSAT's Reading Comprehension section is designed to test your ability to wade through complex passages and understand the relationships between the parts of the passage. Reading Comprehension questions often test your ability to understand the author's point and "read between the lines" (which is what you will have to do in law school when reading a case). 

How it works:

You will get a set of 5-8 questions and a passage that is 400-500 words long. You will get four passages per section (26-28 questions). The questions will be similar to the SAT Reading Comprehension questions, but more difficult. The passages are not arranged in any order of difficulty.

How to beat this section:

  1. The passages are long, so you must read quickly (skim over the content). You must be able to read actively and pull out the important points. Top LSAT Classes offer tactics for quickly analyzing a Reading Comprehension passage for its main points.

  2. If you can pull the main points from the passage and understand the author's point, the next step is to attack the questions. There is a limited range of question types that you will encounter on the LSAT. A good LSAT course will go over the main question types so that you can identify what the question is asking for and apply your understanding of the passage.

  3. If you understand the passage and what the question is asking, your final step is to apply that information to eliminating the incorrect answer choices and picking the correct choices.

2. Logical Reasoning (Arguments)

Logical Reasoning questions constitute about half of the total LSAT questions.You will encounter at least two Logical Reasoning sections (three if the experimental is Logical Reasoning). Logical Reasoning questions test your ability to take apart an argument (a skill useful to lawyers).

These questions will typically present an argument in a few sentences. You must take apart the arguments and find the assumptions. The flaws in the arguments are generally logical fallacies, such as ad hominem fallacy (attacking your opponent instead of his argument).

How it works:

Each section will have about 24-26 questions, and you will have 35 minutes for each section. Most of the passages are three or four sentences long and apply to one question, but some passages are longer. Most questions have an argument that has a flaw in it that you have to identify. Some questions ask you to find the conclusion of a valid argument, while others feature deductive arguments that are more like miniature Logic Games.

How to beat this section:

  1. The text is dense and requires careful reading. Most of these questions have logical errors that fall into one of several common error types. LSAT Courses provide a crash course in the rules of logical reasoning and help you identify the common errors. This will help you pick out logical errors in arguments when taking the LSAT (or later when in law school).

  2. The second step is to identify the different ways questions are phrased. Anyone who has taken practice LSAT's know how frustrating it is to have identified the logical error in the question and then make an error because you didn't understand what the question was asking. To help you with this, we identify the five main question types so that you can immediately identify what a question is asking.

  3. The final step is to go through an attack plan. We provide a four step process so that you can identify the logical error, find out the question type, and pick out the answer from the choices.

3. Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games)

Most students find the games section the most difficult on the LSAT. This is ironic because students show the greatest improvement in this section once they've mastered the right strategies.

These questions are designed to measure your ability to understand a system of relationships and to draw appropriate deductive conclusions about those relationships. You have to draw complex diagrams that lay out the parts of the question in a spatial relationship.

On test day, this section is particularly difficult. You have to draw accurate diagrams under intense time pressure (make sure your pencils are sharpened). You should consider preparation for this section as your first priority since this is where you can probably make the greatest improvement in your score.

How it works:

The Analytical Reasoning (Games) section has about 24 questions broken into four "games" that are each five to eight questions long. Each game will be presented on two facing pages of your test booklet so that you can respond to all questions for a game without turning pages and you are given adequate space for drawing diagrams (which you'll need).

A 35-Minute LSAT Analytical Reasoning Section
Logic Game #1 (5-8 questions)
Logic Game #2 (5-8 questions)
Logic Game #3 (5-8 questions)
Logic Game #4 (5-8 questions)
Total of 24 Questions

How to beat this section:

  1. The first step is to identify the different game types. Virtually all of the games can be put into one of seven main categories, which are identified in the LSAT Courses. The main challenge is to correctly identify the game type category for each question.

  2. Once you can identify the game type, you can quickly set up a diagram and plug in the information. You need to carefully deduce the results and follow through in the game.

  3. Once you have drawn the diagram, you need to take your results and use them to answer the multiple choice questions.

  4. If you need additional help, PowerScore has the "Logic Games Bible," the best-selling games section prep guide for 6 years running.


>> Continue to the Test Taking Tips (page 4 of 4, Chapter 1)

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Chapter 1 (free) of the LSAT Center Course

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1. Intro to the LSAT
>What is the LSAT
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2. LSAT Scores
>How the LSAT is scored
>How law schools use the LSAT
>Why the LSAT is crucial
3. LSAT Sections
>Logical Reasoning
>Reading Comprehension
>Logic Games
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