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The Last Push: Logical Reasoning

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Here we are. One week from the LSAT. Last week, we covered last-minute tips for Logic Games. Today, lets talk about things you can do to give your Logical Reasoning score a boost in these last few days. Stay tuned for a post on Reading Comp, too.

1. Memorize the stuff that can be memorized

LSAT Logical Reasoning mostly isn’t about memorization. But there are some things it’s good to memorize, and there’s no excuse for not having those things down now. These things include sufficient and necessary indicator words, valid inferences based on quantifiers, recurring patterns of reasoning, and the common logical fallacies. Get it to where these things are automatic. This is also a good chance to review how to identify and approach all the different question types.

2. Anticipate the success you’ll find by anticipating answers

Anticipating answers is one of the most important skills in Logical Reasoning. When you’re feeling the time pressure, it’s easy to let anticipation slide. But good anticipation will actually save you time. The degree to which you can anticipate the answer varies from question to question. In some cases, for example weaken and strengthen questions, you’ll often just have a general idea of what the answer should do. In others, such as sufficient questions, you should know more or less exactly what’s coming. But either way, it helps a lot to go into the answers with a clue what you’re looking for. It’s one of the best ways to make the easy questions easy and quick. It helps on the hard questions, too.

3. Develop a section strategy

All questions are worth the same to your score. Not all questions are the same in the time you’ll spend or in your odds of a correct answer. It might make sense to skip, for example, the really long and annoying parallel questions, and come back to them if you have time at the end. If you don’t have time, oh well, that means skipping those questions bought you time to get to other things. Similarly, if you find yourself with, say, five questions left at the five minute warning, you’re probably going to get more points by choosing two or three of them and giving those questions your all. If you rush through all five, there’s a decent chance you’ll get them wrong. That doesn’t help anyone except the other people who apply to the same law schools as you. Keep in mind that while there’s nothing wrong with skipping questions, you should always mark a random guess for anything you skip. A one-in-five chance of getting something right beats a zero-in-five chance any day.

Good luck in this last week. Remember to take care of yourself. Sleep. Eat right. Get some exercise. The studying you’ll do is important, but you won’t do yourself any favors by staying up all night.

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