LSAT Exam Prep: Logical Reasoning
“Reason is the life of the law.”
—Sir Edward Coke
Your LSAT exam will contain two scored Logical Reasoning sections of approximately 25 questions per section. (If there are three Logical Reasoning sections on your LSAT, one of them will be the experimental section.) Because there are four scored LSAT sections, half of your score depends on your doing well on these questions.
Each logical reasoning question is based on an argument. There is usually one question per argument; however, there will also be two or three sets of double questions on each Logical Reasoning section, with two questions based on one argument. Double questions will be discussed later in this chapter. The basics of the structure of arguments are covered in Chapter 3, “Introduction to LSAT Logic.”
You’ll need to work quickly because you are allowed an average time of just under one and one half minutes per question, if you attempt all of the questions. Keep in mind that there are some “time traps” set by the test writers that you would do best to avoid unless you are a legitimate contender for a top LSAT score. For example, some questions can be dealt with in less than a minute, while others are designed to eat up two or three minutes of your precious time, and might take even longer if they are especially difficult or if you are stressed. Most LSAT takers should not attempt all the questions on any given Logical Reasoning section. Remember that you will be on pace for a score of 160, which will usually put you in the top 20% of scores, if you can get 75% of the questions correct.
As with all LSAT preparation, you should disregard the time limits and the order in which the questions are presented as you begin your practice. You should save some time within the last few weeks before your actual exam for timed practice on complete sections and for some “dress rehearsal” practice testing.
Anatomy of a Logical Reasoning Question
Each of the approximately 50 Logical Reasoning questions that you will face on test day is in basically the same format. There is a stimulus paragraph followed by a question stem and five answer choices.
Consider the following example: