170/175 Mastery:

LOGICAL REASONING

A Comprehensive Guide to LSAT Logical Reasoning

When it comes to the LSAT’s logical reasoning questions, many students unfortunately focus on the wrong thing: the content. In my book, LR Perfection, I help students discover the tricks and traps of the hardest questions, identify gaps and flaws in their reasoning, and develop better habits that can be put to use on the actual test.

Knowledge, Habits,
and Patterns 

Despite the many LSAT preparation materials available on the market, countless students are unable to perfect the LSAT Logical Reasoning section. Many plateau at a certain point and can’t progress any further, no matter how hard they try. This was certainly how I felt when I embarked on my LSAT preparation journey in 2020. But if the available resources are truly that great, why is this happening?

The problem, as I discovered from my own LSAT experience and from tutoring hundreds of students, can be divided into three components. We shall call them problems of knowledge, habits, and patterns.

Knowledge

Having the right knowledge is the first step to perfecting LR. Unfortunately, none of the books on the market offer all the tools you’d need. The PowerScore and Manhattan are great books for beginners. They will give you the basics on how to approach each type of question but fail to provide guidance on the complicated questions that require more in-depth understanding.  

Habits

Merely having the right knowledge isn’t enough to perfect LR. The LR section is also a test of habit. You won’t have time to draw on your extended knowledge and meticulously dissect every question when you write the actual exam. You’d have to rely on your test taking habits.

The Loophole is the only book that touches on this point. It does a great job, but I wanted to go more in-depth. In LR Perfection, I focus on the five universal core habits (SLAKR), habits pertaining to each specific question type, and how to upgrade our test taking habits based on the mistakes we made.

Patterns

In my experience, if you can help a student understand the hardest questions, the easier questions will come naturally. As I analyzed and categorized the harder questions from PT1 – 90 in preparation for LR Perfection, patterns began to emerge: argument patterns hidden within each question type but that have largely gone unnoticed. By highlighting these patterns, I hope to save you valuable time and energy that can be better spent on practice and reflection. 

The SLAKR Method 

LR Perfection stresses the importance of knowledge and habits. Different types of knowledge and habits may be especially relevant to specific question types, but general knowledge and habits can also be helpful when taking the LSAT exam.

The SLAKR method offers a nearly exhaustive repertoire of tools that can be used for the most difficult LR questions. Whenever you are stuck, go down the SLAKR list and find what you are missing.

Structure

Does the stimulus contain an argument? If so, then we will probably need to figure out the author’s premises and main conclusion. When faced with a question, do I have to identify the premises and the conclusion? Find the gap between the two? Strengthen/weaken them? Or match it up with an answer choice?

Logic

Does the author advance the argument via conditional or causal logic? What am I to do with this logic? Am I trying to strengthen/weaken it? Find flaws with it? Or derive inferences from it? 

Assumption

Does the author leave certain things unsaid? Are there gaps in the author’s reasoning? Can I fill in the gaps with additional information to make it clearer? If we are faced with an Assumption Family question, we must focus on the main gap between the premises and the main conclusion.  

Keywords

What do the nouns in the answer choices refer to? If they are abstract and vague, can we link them to an idea that appeared in the stimulus? Is the answer choice out of scope? What about the verbs, adjectives, and adverbs?  

Ranking

Have I found grounds for eliminating four of the answer choices? Is the answer choice that you chose perfect? If there’s something you still don’t like about it, is it a deal breaker? Compared to the other answer choices, does it have the least number of problems? What kind of answer choices are preferred in the question? What kind of answer choices should I be suspicious of?  

Free Chapter

Roadmap to LR Perfection

I have written a bonus chapter with step-by-step guidance on how to prepare for the LSAT LR.

Once you have finished LR Perfection, internalize all the traits and features of different LR questions. Focus on the harder questions; once you have mastered these, the easier ones will come naturally. Don’t be afraid to redo the questions that you weren’t 100% certain about, as this will train your ability to comprehend and analyze difficult stimuli/arguments. Aim for a 90% accuracy rate before you focus on timing.

LR Practice Tips 

Once you have mastered each type of LR question, start drilling entire sections at a time. Make sure you are mentally transitioning between different types of questions. But most importantly, pace yourself.  

A typical LR section will consist of an easier first part and harder second part, and the strategies involved will differ.  

Finally, it’s time to take the LR section and put it back into the full practice test. Vary the order in which the LR section appears. Sometimes at the beginning of a test, sometimes at the middle, sometimes at the very end. Do two full LR sections in a practice test as well, sometimes back-to-back, to train your mental endurance.

Make a table consisting of all the questions you flagged or got wrong. Think about the reason why you got this question wrong. Did you fully understand the stimulus? Did you know what this specific question type is asking you to do? What are its nuances and traps? How can we upgrade our overall habits to ensure that we don’t make the same mistake again?

Buy LR Perfection Today 

It’s time to stop stressing over the same problems and start reasoning with a more efficient perspective. My book, LR Perfection, can help you identify flaws in your thought process and create new logical reasoning habits that will take you further in the LSAT exam.