Logic puzzles. You probably ran across them back in elementary or middle school—those weird brainteasers that asked you to do things like sort out which five kids lived in which five houses and liked which five fruits and that sort of thing. And you’d get clues—like “Alice lives next to the boy on Maple street”. Or “the girl who likes pears has never met anyone who prefers citrus fruits” (some great examples are in this video by The LSAT Trainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7mUPexyLZE) Games like these have a way of generating enthusiasm or dismay, and while some people can happily spend hours on them, others tend to shred the paper in cognitively contorted frustration. So what on earth are such puzzles doing on a law exam? And how can you navigate your way through them?Read More
LSAT & Law School Blog
This June, the LSAT announced that during the 2018-19 school year the number of LSATs will expand from four to six administrations annually. This is undoubtedly excellent news for test takers who will obviously appreciate the added scheduling flexibility. However, there is an even bigger benefit for prospective law students looking to improve upon a previous score – beginning with the September 2016 exam there will no longer be any limit on the number of LSATs a test taker can record over a two-year period. The Law School Admission Council has announced these changes as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the barriers to entry into law school.Read More
- Failing to Demonstrate a Genuine Interest in the Law
Many applicants to law school, especially ones who are trying to go K-JD, are fighting an uphill battle from the outset. This is because law school admissions officers harbor a healthy dose of skepticism that such applicants have seriously reflected on why they want to attend law school and if it is indeed the right move to make rather than a seemingly safe, default next step. If your personal statement for law school sounds exactly like your college personal statement and doesn’t paint a clear and compelling picture of why you want to go to law school, you’re going to be in a tough position.Read More
To get the most out of studying for any standardized exam, you need to completely own the preparation process. If you are working with an LSAT tutor, then yes, he or she should be an expert, and he or she should guide you. However, you are ultimately in control. Engage fully in designing your study plan to get the most out of the process.
Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” --Franz Kafka, “The Law”Read More
Let's face it. Law school is not known to be a nurturing environment. Over 30 years later, the 1970s novel-based TV series, ThePaper Chase, in many ways still reflects the reality of the law school experience. Law school tends to be a competitive, no-nonsense environment. Grades, class rank, and law review status still determine a student's post-law school job prospects.Read More
The LSAT Logic Games section is the shortest section of the LSAT. Yet it often provokes the strongest feelings among LSAT test-takers. People either love this section, or they hate it.
Today’s guest post comes from Ann Levine, president and chief consultant at Law School Expert. Ann is the former director of law school admissions at two ABA-approved law schools and the nation’s leading law school admission consultant. Law School Expert provides hourly and beginning-to-end consulting, and Ann has personally guided over 2,000 law school applicants through the law school admission process. Ann is also the author of the bestselling law school admission guidebook The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.
The LSAT is a difficult exam and most students agree that the most intimidating part of the exam is the logic games section. Good news, the logic games are also the easiest part of the test for students to improve on. The more comfortable you get with the logic games, the less scary they seem. In fact, as you improve, you may even find the games to be fun!
1. Don’t ignore reading comprehension!
Students are often tempted to overlook reading comprehension on the LSAT. It feels familiar. You had reading comprehension on the PSAT, the SAT, and every other standardized test you’ve ever taken. The LSAT can’t be any different. So why bother studying for it? My time is better spent on logic games or logical reasoning. I’ll wing reading comprehension.
There are three basic parts to the LSAT Logical Reasoning question:
- question (what the test writers want you to figure out about the argument)
- answer choices
Mastering the LSAT Logical Reasoning questions requires becoming comfortable with each of the three parts of the Logical Reasoning question. The best way to do this is to break up the question and address each part separately.
1. Read the question.
Starting with the question helps you get in the right frame of mind for what you will need to do answer this question. It helps to focus on what you should be focusing on when reading the argument.
Note: Does the question have the word “EXCEPT” in it? Don’t forget that! Underline, highlight, or circle it. Do whatever works best for you to draw your attention back to this word after you are done reading the argument. It is a common mistake to miss questions with “EXCEPT.” Students get tunnel vision when reading the argument and forget that the question wants them to find the answer that does not fit with the argument. So, reminding yourself of what you are really being asked to do will help you avoid making this mistake and help you get valuable points.
2. Read the argument.
Read the argument carefully. Underline or highlight key words. Pay special attention to anything related to the question. For example, did the question ask about the conclusion? If so, pay extra attention to what the conclusion of the argument is.
3. Put the argument in your own words.
What is the writer really trying to say? Put in plain English. Write a 1-2 line summary for yourself next to the question. This way you have a quick reference that makes sense to you, and you do not have to waste time rereading the argument. Also, the majority of questions focus on the conclusion or main point, so having a good handle on this part of the argument will always benefit you.
4. Put the answer the question in your own words.
Before looking at the answer choices, answer the question yourself. A lot of the answer choices are lengthy or complicated. Putting the answer in your own words first helps you stay on the right track and not get confused.
It can be difficult to put answers in your own words at first, especially for questions that ask you to weaken or strengthen the argument. The temptation is to think: “How could I possibly come up with everything that could weaken/strengthen this argument?” But don’t get overwhelmed. The point is not to come up with every possible answer. The point is to just get you thinking about the right things, so all you need to do is come up with one plausible answer.
5. Find the answer choice closest to your own answer.
It is unlikely that your exact answer is in the choices, but chances are, something similar is. Use your own answer to help eliminate answer choices and help you select the right answer.
The key to the LSAT Logical Reasoning questions is PRACTICE!
The more you do, the more comfortable you will become with these questions. If possible, designate some time on a regular basis to do practice problems. It is better to do 5-10 problems every day than 50 problems in one sitting once a week. Your brain needs time to process what it is learning. You will get more out of your studying if you practice in small amounts on a regular basis than if you have cram sessions on weekends.
Jayeeta is a private LSAT tutor in Chicago and Boston. She holds a JD from the University of Chicago, a M.S. from MIT, and degrees in Physics and Economics from Reed College. She’s worked with several major test prep companies in addition to MyGuru and has been providing private LSAT tutoring for several years.