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# Page 1-Analytical Reasoning Study Guide for the LSAT

## General Information

To score well on this type of question in the LSAT, you need to be able to:

• Take given information and propose a solution to a problem.
• Apply knowledge of “if-then” reasoning.
• Identify statements that could be true, based on given information.
• Make inferences based on given and new information.
• Recognize logically equivalent statements.

Although specific training in logic is not required, you must be able to isolate specific relationships within the passage and apply them to the questions in a meaningful way. It is also necessary to use only information that is in the passage or can be inferred from it. Inserting prior knowledge or information from other sources can negatively affect your ability to answer this type of question.

When answering analytical reasoning questions, it is often helpful to draw a visual representation of the “rules” stated in the passage. You will then have this as a reference and tool when answering the questions.

The LSAT Analytical Reasoning test requires you to decide if a statement could, or must, be true, according to a set of given facts. The passages used will involve some sort of organization or order of events. Practicing this type of reasoning will greatly enhance your chances of scoring well on this part of the LSAT. Consider the following as you are studying.

## Terms to Know

Knowledge of certain terms will prove very helpful as you read and answer the questions. Be sure to understand the meaning and use of these.

### If-Then Statements

If-then statements require you to make logical conclusions and inferences, based upon available information. An if-then statement is also called a conditional statement; the conclusion (then) is dependent upon the variable (if). For example, you might see a conditional statement saying, “If you work hard, you will go far.” Going far is dependent upon hard work.

Some if-then statements will not be accurate and may need to be identified as such. These are called fallacies. An inaccurate conditional statement might include something like, “If you follow the law, you are sure to wind up in a courtroom.” Following the law should preclude a crime-free life, not one filled with crime.

### Logical Equivalence

Logical equivalence is the state used to describe the equivalent logic, or truth content, of two different statements. This is exemplified in statement pairs such as:

A—If Stephanie is enrolled in school, she is regularly assigned homework.
B—If Stephanie is not enrolled in school, she does not receive homework.

Although the sentences are different, the logical conclusions are the same. Logical equivalences will not always be this simplistic, of course; but a basic understanding of logical arguments will reveal whether two methods of logic are equivalent or different.

## Specific Skills to Practice

Being skilled in areas of reasoning is essential for a good score. Practice doing all of these things before the day of the test.

### Making Inferences

Making inferences requires you to take clues and other pieces of information within a text to come to a conclusion. In a story, this might mean coming to a conclusion regarding the nature of a character. With regard to the law, this typically means coming to a conclusion using pieces of a case history or coming to a conclusion regarding a law using its background and the nuances of its language.

When you are working to make inferences, read all reference material and the work immediately surrounding the conclusion to be drawn. This process requires you to be open to logical guesswork and filling in conclusions while missing concrete facts or evidence.

### Revising Based on New Information

Law-based work is constantly changing. As such, you must be able to adapt and shift your understanding as you receive new information. Although it may be tempting (and may seem to be the only possibility) to plant your feet regarding an opinion or view without wavering, this is not the nature of law. As you receive new information, thoroughly read through everything you are given, and process this information in conjunction with existing information to form a holistic, evidence-based conclusion.

### Comprehension

As you work to comprehend given information, first read through every piece of information you have available. Next, work to find commonalities or widely applicable bits of knowledge to tie a case or problem together. Finally, work to find a solution to the issues that are presented, such as how a case is to be presented, how a series of relationships are best portrayed, how to schedule shifts and tailor employee interaction, etc. If there is something you do not understand, delve deeper and seek out outside resources; leaving gaps in knowledge will prove troublesome in the future.

## Tips and Tricks

Here are some ideas to make this test-taking experience more effective.