LSAT & Law School Blog

Breaking Down the LSAT: Analytical Reasoning

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 05:17 AM

By the time someone contemplates the LSAT, he or she has probably already had experience with standardized tests and entrance exams.  And yet, an encounter with the LSAT's Analytical Reasoning is unlike any other.

It’s for that reason that many potential law students find the section nicknamed "Logic Games" intimidating.  Regardless of your initial impression, rest assured that this section can become quite manageable for you with practice over time.

Logic Games are to the prospective law student what a law professor's hypothetical situations are to law students.  In both scenarios, you will be presented with an initial fact pattern which contains rules and restrictions.  It's your job to use deductive reasoning to arrive at a logical conclusion.  Each new LSAT question or subsequent hypothetical might modify the original variables sufficiently to change the outcome.

Experts differ in how to classify Logic Games, but here are the basics:

    • In formal logic games, the rules are presented in "if...then" form

    • In grouping games, you will manipulate the given variables into different groups according to the constraints of the question

    • In sequencing games, variables are ordered in different ways all relative to each other

    • Some games are hybrid games which combine elements of more than one type of games

    • And, just for fun, some games resist categorization, but are still solvable using deductive reasoning

Tips for Logic Games:

  1. Try to extract all relevant information from each clue.  What can be inferred?  What could be true?  What must be true?
  2. Translate each rule into written shorthand notation.
  3. Use diagrams wherever possible.
  4. Remember that if a new question resets the rules and restrictions, then you'll need to reapply tips 1-3.
  5. Practice, practice, and then more practice makes perfect.

You can’t know in advance what types of Logic Games will appear on the LSAT, but the more familiar you are with them, the greater your chances for success on this part of the exam.  This section can be fun once you get the hang of things. 

Topics: LSAT study tips, LSAT Prep, LSAT tips, LSAT, Logic Games, Analytical Reasoning