Category Archive: Advice on Logical Reasoning

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Sufficient and Necessary Assumption Questions, Demystified

Halloween may be over, but spookiness still lurks around the corner for LSAT-studiers who are just getting to sufficient and necessary assumption questions. These question types are tricky, and also appear frequently in the Logical Reasoning section, so it’s important to have a firm handle on what each type of assumption means. If all you know is that these question types are sufficient to give you a headache, read on!

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The Deal With Weaken Questions

What does it mean to weaken an argument? A lot of tough weaken questions will be much easier if we clarify what, exactly, it takes. Let’s start off with an argument.

Randy is planning on asking Sandy out next week. Randy has a luscious, flowing mullet (the hairstyle, not the fish). Therefore, Sandy will almost certainly say yes.

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The flawless LSAT taker knows her flaws.

Flaw questions on the LSAT are many things, but unpredictable they ain’t – LSAC loves to use variations on the same flaw, over and over. (That’s one of the reasons why the LSAT is such a learnable test.) Obviously, in order to effectively tackle Flaw questions on the LSAT, you should have a good understanding of the flaws themselves. However, it’s also very helpful to know things that are very rarely flaws – things that show up frequently as an answer choice, but are almost never the correct answer.

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Quantify this!

Quantifiers. Some LSAT students think they’re the enemy. Blueprint classes cover quantifiers (some, most, all, and the valid inferences that can be drawn from those claims) in lesson 3 and it’s a lot of new material at once. It can be scary. But it’s worth getting it down. You’re likely to see quantifiers on a small handful of questions on the LSAT. Having quantifiers down can keep those questions from tying your brain in knots. If you have to figure them out on the spot, it’s not easy. If you know what you need to know, it makes things much more straightforward.

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The LSAT is all about analyzing arguments. Here are some shortcuts.

The folks at LSAC are very good at making a tricky test that (in combination with college GPA) correlates to some degree with first-year law school grades. But creative, they ain’t. As you continue studying for the LSAT, you’ll notice that the test uses the same argument structures over and over.

This is good news for you, the studious test-taker.

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Go quantify yourself.

Some LSAT students fail to learn quantifiers. No one who fails to learn quantifiers has mastered the LSAT.

If you’re scared already, fear not. It’s worth knowing your way around some, most, and all statements and the inferences you can and can’t draw from them. And while it’s worth just memorizing what you can and can’t do with quantifiers, it’ll be easier to memorize the valid inferences if you understand how they work.

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Your Final Weeks of Study, Logical Reasoning Edition

Yesterday, we covered how to brush up on the Reading Comprehension section in the final weeks before the June LSAT. Today, we’ll talk about how to handle the Logical Reasoning section in the coming weeks.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the basic strategy is the same: First, identify weaknesses; then work on your speed and endurance.

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How to Diagram Conditional Statements

Conditional logic can be found all over the LSAT, from Logical Reasoning to Logic Games and even occasionally in Reading Comprehension sections; therefore, understanding conditional statements and how they work is key to doing well on the LSAT. I could write a book on the ins and outs of conditional reasoning – heck, Blueprint LSAT Prep devotes several lessons to it in our course – but for now, I’ll give you a run-down of the basics.

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5 Quick Tips to Supercharge Your Logical Reasoning Performance

During my time writing for this blog, I’ve repeatedly vented about my hatred for logic games. Fortunately for everyone, I won’t be talking about logic games this week; instead, I get to talk about a section that is near and dear to my heart — logical reasoning — and the dead horse that is my vendetta against logic games will get at least a weeklong reprieve. Without further adieu, here are my five quick tips for upping your logical reasoning score.

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Negate your way to LSAT dominance.

Let’s say I was trying to prove that every time you drink Fireball, you puke. If you wanted to prove the opposite, you’d have to find a way to show that there has not been a single instance in which you both consumed Fireball and vomited. Pretty tough, right? But let’s say that instead, you just wanted to show that it’s not true that you puke EVERY time you have Fireball. You’d just have to show me a single incident in which you had Fireball and didn’t vomit.