Reader Question: How to Drill LSAT Logical Reasoning
- Oct 07, 2014
- Advice on Logical Reasoning, LSAT
A blog reader writes: “Is it better to drill Logical Reasoning questions by type or do full, untimed sections?”
This is an incredibly important question.
Step 1: Learn The Method
Because there is a unique method for each LSAT Logical Reasoning question type, you need to focus on learning the steps and nuances of each individual method first. This takes time and a lot of careful practice: let’s say, about 50 questions worth of focused, perfect, and slow practice.
You should try to avoid doing questions for which you haven’t learned a method. If you just freestyle your way through Logical Reasoning, you’ll only develop bad habits, and bad habits are really hard to undo.
Step 2: Group Questions With Similar Methods & Start With The Fundamentals
You shouldn’t pick Logical Reasoning questions type to practice at random. There’s definitely a much better way to structure your practice over the next few months.
LSAT Logical Reasoning questions have families (and people that love them, too). The LR questions in one family all involve a similar skill. For example, Must Be True, Must Be False, and Most Strongly Supported questions all involve making inferences; at Blueprint we call this the Implication family of questions.
Flaw, Describe, Role, and Main Point questions all involve describing or characterizing arguments; we call this the Characterization family.
Strengthen, Weaken, Necessary, and Sufficient questions involve operating on arguments – that is, making them better or worse; we call these the Operation questions.
Now, before you can identify a flawed argument, you need to understand what valid and invalid inferences are. So, you need to learn the Implication family of questions before you’re ready for the Characterization family.
Likewise, before you learn to operate on arguments, you need to learn how to break them down into main points and premises, and also how to spot their flaws. So you need to learn the Characterization family questions before the Operation family.
In sum, you should focus on all the Implication family questions first, then tackle the Characterization family, and finally wrap up with the Operation family.
Step 3: Mix It Up
Once you’ve made your efficient and rational way through the Logical Reasoning families, you’re ready to mix up your practice by doing full, timed Logical Reasoning sections.
Ideally, you’ll want to hit this milestone with about a month to go in your LSAT prep. Mixing up your practice will make things a bit tougher, but if you did your job earlier in your LSAT prep, you shouldn’t struggle too much.
Good luck and keep working hard!
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