If it’s important, then you should review it.

BPProbert-lsat-blog-conditional-logic

Studying for the February exam? If you’re in one of Blueprint’s classroom courses, you’ve made it through the first four lessons and the first workshop. If you’re in the online course – or another course or self-studying for that matter – you should be around the same place in your learning as well: you’ve made it through the foundational material that will underpin and inform the rest of your studies. Now’s a very good time to take a breath and consolidate your gains thus far. So how do you do that?

Well…if you want to ace the LSAT, you have to master conditional logic. If you want to master conditional logic, you have to review/recap after the first couple weeks of lessons.

(Heh-heh. See what I did there?)

As you’ve probably heard before, the LSAT is a skills-based test. It’s not about memorizing facts. I know a lot of you chose this career path because it’s got the highest money-over-math quotient, but you should really be thinking of the LSAT as much more algebra homework than history exam.

The number one thing you should be working to perfect right now is conditional logic. Two main reasons: it’s used a helluva lot, and it all builds from here. You’ll find that the principles of conditional logic (inverse fallacy, converse fallacy, transitivity, etc.) that you’re learning today will crop up all over the place in Logical Reasoning and Logic Games – even a bit in Reading Comprehension. And if you think taking the contrapositive is tricky, just wait until you see your first parallel flaw.

Now I certainly don’t say any of this to deter folks, nor to frighten them (per se), but it is important to realize that you’re laying the groundwork here, and that your course wasn’t cheap, and that your LSAT score is going to be evaluated by your employers, and your prospective spouses, for the next forty or fifty years.

Make sure you have keywords down (“if,” “only if,” “unless,” “no/none,” etc.) and that putting them into conditional diagram form is second nature for you. If it isn’t, you need to drill yourself. It’s quite tempting to let conditional diagramming slide because there can be long stretches of your studies where you aren’t focused on it. It can also be tempting to let it slide because it slows you down until you’ve mastered it.

So make flashcards, and memorize the rules associated with particular keywords. Read dense materials for conditional statements and diagram them. And always, always, always take the contrapositive so it’s second nature on test day.

Now close your laptop and hit the books ;)

2 Responses

  1. Ernesto says:

    How do you make flash cards?

    • Greg Nix says:

      Hi Ernesto! I’d just put a phrase on one side and its diagram on the other. So “If A, then B” would go on one side of the card and “A–>B” would go on the other. Do this with all the different conditional key words and phrases.

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