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How do I Score Well on LSAT® Analytical Reasoning?

C. Mitchell
C. Mitchell

While there is no one sure way to score well on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT®) analytical reasoning section, one of the best methods is to study the pattern of the analytical reasoning questions, form a strategy for approaching them, and practice as many timed sections as you can. Of all of the sections on the LSAT®, the analytical reasoning section is often perceived to be the most challenging. The analytical reasoning section is also called the “logic games” section, and for good reason: the questions ask test-takers to apply a set of rules and limitations to a highly particular fact pattern in a way that mimics a brain teaser-type game. Success on LSAT® analytical reasoning questions usually requires quite a bit of practice. Students must develop a strategy for untangling the fact-pattern, and must learn to work very quickly.

Taken individually, each LSAT® analytical reasoning question is completely answerable. The problem most students face concerns timing. Each LSAT® exam contains four separate logic games that together make up the analytical reasoning section. All games are followed by a series of four to six multiple-choice questions, and the whole section must usually be completed in about 35 minutes.

The LSAT is a standardized test that uses multiple-choice questions.
The LSAT is a standardized test that uses multiple-choice questions.

Approaching the logic games section with a strategy is one of the best ways to get control of the section. Although no two logic games are ever the same, with practice, you will probably begin to discover some patterns and recurring themes in how the questions must be answered. Many test prep experts recommend that students diagram LSAT® analytical reasoning questions. Most questions involve sequencing, ordering, and arranging, which is better visualized on paper than thought of abstractly. Developing a strategy that works for you will give you confidence when you get to the LSAT® analytical reasoning portion of the test, and can help you appropriately manage your time.

The LSAT® analytical reasoning questions are unlike any other kinds of questions that you may have encountered on standardized tests in the past. Part of the goal of the LSAT® test is to measure your deductive reasoning and ability to apply rules to even highly convoluted fact patterns. One of the only sure ways to score well on this section is to practice, and then practice some more. Even the most logically gifted person is likely to struggle making sense of the games section the first time around, but with regular exposure, the problems can be conquered successfully. Practice may be through a commercial test prep course, with an LSAT® review book, or with past LSAT® exams, depending on what works best for you.

It is important to remember, as well, that the logic games section is only one of five scored LSAT® sections, and as such usually only counts for about a quarter of your overall score. Nailing the games section will undoubtedly help you score well, but it will not usually counteract poor performance elsewhere. The LSAT® deductive reasoning portion and the reading comprehension questions are also important, and must also be practiced in order to score well overall.

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    • The LSAT is a standardized test that uses multiple-choice questions.
      By: uwimages
      The LSAT is a standardized test that uses multiple-choice questions.