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LSAT Sections

There are three types of  LSAT sectionsReading Comprehension (tests your understanding of a passage that is 3-5 paragraphs long), Logical Reasoning (tests your understanding of logical errors and will be in two sections), and Analytical Reasoning (tests your ability to solve exceptionally challenging Logic Games). There will also be an unscored experimental section consisting of one of the three section types. In total, you’ll have 5 sections, plus the Writing section (which isn’t scored).

Each section is entirely different and isolated with its own time limits. So, it is really like taking three different tests to generate one LSAT score. When you prepare for the LSAT, be sure that you excel at all three section types. One weak LSAT section can ruin your score.

What's Tested on the LSAT Video Summary

  • 00:00 – The LSAT is a contentless exam. It requires no prior knowledge in legal studies.
  • 00:15 – The LSAT tests your ability to critically reason, strategically read, and make deductions.
  • 00:31 – You can only get better at the LSAT through consistent practice.

Video courtesy of Kaplan. Find a Kaplan class near you.

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1. Logical Reasoning

Logical Reasoning questions constitute about half of the total LSAT questions. You will encounter at least two Logical Reasoning sections – three, if the experimental section is also 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 short paragraph. You must take apart the arguments and find the false assumptions (or fallacies) they contain.

How it works:

Each section will have about 24-26 questions, and you will have 35 minutes for each section. Each of these questions includes a short passage that is typically three or four sentences, but may be a bit longer. Most passages make an argument which contains a logical flaw which you have to identify. Some questions, however, will ask you to find the conclusion to a valid argument. Others still will feature deductive arguments that are more like miniature Logic Games.

LSAT Logical Reasoning Strategies Video Summary

  • 00:25 – Your performance on Logical Reasoning determines half of your LSAT score.
  • 00:47 – Each Logical Reasoning question has (1) a question stem, (2) a paragraph or short dialog with the argument, and (3) answer choices.
  • 01:22 – Always begin with the question stem.
  • 01:30 – Then break down the argument into its conclusion and evidence, and predict the answer.
  • 02:40 – Finally, use your prediction to choose the correct answer.
  • 05:12 – On the LSAT, you have 1 minute and 20 seconds to answer each Logical Reasoning question.
  • 05:35 – Assumption and strength/weakness questions give an author’s conclusion and some evidence. Inference questions give all the author’s evidence and ask you to draw the conclusion.
  • 06:55 – On any given LSAT, 8 or 9 of the 10 hardest questions may be in the Logical Reasoning section.

Video courtesy of Kaplan. Find a Kaplan class near you.

How to beat this section:

  1. The text is dense and requires careful reading. Most of these passages have logical errors that fall into one of several common 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 the arguments used in the LSAT (or later when you’re in law school).
  2. The second step is to identify the different kinds of questions and the ways they are phrased. Anyone who has taken practice LSATs knows how frustrating it is to have identified the logical error in a passage and then get the question wrong because you didn’t understand what it was asking. To help you with this, we go over the five main question types so that you’re able to immediately recognize what each question is asking.
  3. The final step is to form an attack plan. We provide a four-step process so that you can identify the logical errors, find out the question types, and pick out the best answers from the choices.
  4. LSAT Center‘s free Logical Reasoning course.

2. ANALYTICAL REASONING (LOGIC GAMES)

Most students find the Logic Games section the most difficult on the LSAT. Ironically, this is the section students show the greatest improvement in 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. It requires you to draw a spatial representation of the parts of the question and their relationship to one another in the form of a diagram. The time pressure on the section is intense (make sure your pencils are sharpened). You should consider preparing for this section as your first priority because in this section you can probably make the greatest improvement.

How it works:

The Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games) section has about 24 questions broken into four “games” that are each five to eight questions long.

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 LSAT courses. The main challenge is to correctly identify the 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 the rest of 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. LSAT Center‘s free Logic Games

3. 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 four passages of between 400-500 words, each with a set of 5-8 questions (a total of 26-28 questions). The passages are not necessarily ordered in strict order of difficulty, although the first passage is usually easier. And it is not the case that all questions for a single passage will be of similar difficulty; a passage that’s easier to read may have the most difficult question in the section.  Later questions for each section are more likely to be difficult.

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 Comprehensionpassage for its main points.
  2. If you have identified and understood the author’s points in the passage, the next step is to attack the questions. There is a limited range of question types that you will encounter on the LSAT. The best LSAT courses will go over these main question types so that you can identify what each one is asking for and appropriately 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 eliminate the incorrect choices and pick the one that best answers the question.
  4. LSAT Center‘s free LSAT Reading Comprehension

Next LSAT: January 13th

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Next LSAT: January 13th