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LSAT Logical Reasoning Clues

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This is a study tool. The 3 wrong answers for each question are randomly chosen from answers to other questions. So, you might find at times the answers obvious, but you will see it re-enforces your understanding as you take the test each time.
1. 1. new element answers - an answer that describes something that did not occure or describes an element new to the argument cannot be correct 2. Half right - half wrong answers - LSAT makers like to start off with something that happened - then end w

2. Determine whether the stimulus contains an argument or if it is only a set of factual statements. MUST recognize whether a conclusion is present.

3. 1. The sufficient condition does not make the necessary condition occur. That is - the sufficient condition does not actively cause the necessary condition to happen. 2. Temporally speaking - either condition can occur first - or the two conditions c

4. Involves judgements made about groups and parts of a group. an error or composition occurs when the author attributes a characteristic of part of the group to the group as a whole or to each member of the group Error of division - author attributes c

5. Think about the structure of the argument before examining the answer choices. Do not expect to see the exact prephrase - there are too many variations. Make an abstract prephrase then examine each answer to see if it paraphrases the prephrase.n

6. A fact - proposition or statement from which a conclusion is made. Ask: What reasons has the author used to persuade me? Why should I believe this argument? What evidence exists?

7. Supporter - the traditional linking role - where an assumption connects pieces of the argument. (often new or rogue pieces) They also can close gaps. Ex: All male citizens of athens had the right to vote. Therefore - Socrates had the right to vote in

8. First Family The correct answer choice will be a rephrasing of the main conclusion of the argument. The conclusion is either in the middle or beginning of the stimulus. The correct answer choice must not only be true it also must summarize the author

9. Takes a small number of intstances and treats those instances as if they support a broad - sweeping conclusion. Often appears as an incorrect answer.n

10. To raise a viewpoint at the beginning of the stimulus and then disagree with it immediately thereafter. The stimulus often begins with: Some people claim... Some people propose... Many people believe... Some argue that... Some critics claim... Some s

11. A. Eliminates an alternate cause for the stated effect B. Shows that when the cause occurs - the effect occurs - assumption answers affirm the cause/effect relationship C. Show that when the cause does not occur - the effect doe not occur D. Eliminat

12. 1. Opposite answers. These answers do the exact opposite of What is needed. 2. Shell game answers. Occurs when an idea or concept is raised in the stimulus and then a very similar idea appears in the answer choices - but the idea is changed just enou

13. 1. Incomplete info. The author fails to consider all of the possibilities or relies upon evidence that is incomplete. This flaw can be attacked by bringing up new possibilities or info. 2. Improper comparison. The author attempts to compare two or mo

14. If the stimulus contains an argument - identify the conclusion. If the stimulus contains a fact set - examine each fact.

15. 1. Appeal to authority - uses the opinion of an authority in an attempt to persuade the reader. The flaw is that the authority may not have relevant knowledge or all of the info regarding the situation - to there may be a difference of opinion among

16. To weaken a conditional conclusion - attack the necessary condition by showing that the necessary condition does not need to occur in order for the sufficient condition to occur. With a combo of a conditional reasoning stimulus and a weaken question

17. 1. Increasing percentages automatically lead to increasing numbers. This is not necessarily true because the overall size of the group could get smaller. 2. Decreasing percentages automatically lead to decreasing numbers 3. Increasing numbers automat

18. Prephrase: after reading the question stem - take a moment to mentally formulate your answer to the question stem.

19. 1. Any 'new' element in the conclusion will appear in the correct answer. 2. Elements that are common to the conclusion and at least one premise normally do not appear in the correct answer. 3. Elements that appear in the premises but not the conclus

20. 1. Whatever term is modified by 'unless' - 'except' - 'until' or 'without' becomes the necessary condition 2. The remaining term is negated and becomes the sufficient condition.

21. 1. You must accept the stimulus info- even if it contains an error in reasoning-and use it to prove one of the answer choices must be true. 2. Any info in an answer choice that does not appear either directly in the stimulus or as a combination of it

22. 1. assuming a causal relationship on the basis of the sequence of events 2. assuming a causal relationship when only a correlation exists 3. failure to consider an alternate cause for the effect or an alternate cause for both the cause and the effect

23. 1. The stimulus will almost always contain an argument you must identify - isolate and assess the premises and the conclusion of the argument 2. Focus on the conclusion. Almost all correct answer choices impact the conclusion 3. The info in the stimu

24. Stimulus (accepted) --/-> answer choices (affected or determined) cannot be true.

25. If - when - whenever - every - all - any - people who - in order to.

26. Always ask: Do the given facts support the conclusion? Do the premises strongly suggest that the conclusion would be true? Does the conclusion feel like an inevitable result of the premises? Or Does the conclusion go beyond the scope of the info in t

27. To logically negate a conditional statement - negate the necessary condition. Example: neither...nor becomes either...or.

28. A. Eliminate any alternate causes for the stated effect. B. Show that when the cause occurs - the effect occurs. C. Show that when the cause does not occur - the effect does not occur. D. Eliminate the possility that the stated relationship is revers

29. 1. You can use only the info in the stimulus to prove the correct answer choice 2. Any answer choice that describes an element or a situation that does not occur in the stimulus is incorrect Method of Reasoning questions use a variety of formats - bu

30. As an argument progresses - the author must use each term in a constant - coherent fashion. using a term in different ways is inherently confusing and undermines the integrity of the argument. n

31. The makers of the LSAT do not think that there are multiple causes for the same effect. When an LSAT speaker concludes that one occurance caused another - that speaker also assumes that the stated cause is the only possible cause of the effect and th

32. Refer to the likelihood of occurence or the obligation present - as in 'The mayor should resign.' 'the law will never pass.' Examples: (do not need to memorize) must - will - always - not always - probably - likely - would - never - rarely - could -

33. Occurs when an author improperly equates a percentage with a definate quantity or vice versa. n

34. Stimulus (affected or determined)--/-> answer choices (accepted) Negative sign on the arrow reflects attacking or hurting the argument (weaken).

35. Used to introduce other premises that support the conclusion but are sometimes non-essential to the conclusion furthermore - moreover - besides - in addition - whats more - after all.

36. Premises + answer choice = conclusion When approaching answers - separate them into winners and losers - then apply the justify formula.

37. If all 5 answer choices appear to be 'losers' - return to the stimulus and re-evaluate the argument.

38. They often feature 2 conclusions (main and sub.) - when the main conclusion is typically place in the first or second sentence and the last sentence contains the sub. conclusion. The sub. conclusion is set off by conclusion indicators while the main

39. They can be in the premises or conclusion. If they are in the conclusion the argument is flawed. Classic mistaken cause and effect reasoning refers to occurences when a causal assertion is made in the conclusion or the conclusion presumes a causal re

40. Carefully read and identify the question stem. DO NOT assume that certain words are automatically associated with certain questions types.

41. 1. The info in the stimulus is suspect. There are often reasoning errors present and depending on the question - you will help shore up the argument in some way. 2. The answer choices are accepted as given - even if they include 'new' info. Your task

42. Negates both conditions - creating a statement that does not have to be true. Given: A+ --> Study Mistaken Negation: Not A+ --> Not Study

43. 1. The survey uses a biased sample 2. The survey questions are improperly constructed 3. Respondents to the survey give inaccurate responses. People do not always tell the truth when responding to surveys.n

44. Whenever you identify a causal relationship in the conclusion of an LSAT problem - immediately prepare to either weaken or strengthen the argument. Tasks for Weaken questions...must always identify a causal conclusion. Then ask if there relationship

45. A statement or judgement that follows from one or more reasons. Ask: What is the author driving at? What does the author want me to believe? What point follows from the others?

46. 1. Stimulus will contain an argument. Must isolate and identify and assess the premises and the conclusion. 2. Focus on the conclusion. Almost all correct Weaken answers impact the conclusion. 3. The info in the stimulus is suspect. There are often r

47. 1. Stem uses the word 'if' or another sufficient indicator 2. Stem uses the phrase 'allows the conclusion to be properly drawn' or 'enables the conclusion to be properly drawn'. 3. Stem does not lessen the degree of justification. Never uses 'most ju

48. 1. The info in the stimulus is supect. There are often reasoning errors present - and you will further weaken the argument in some way. 2. The answer choices are accepted as given - even if they include 'new' info. The task is to determine which answ

49. Then - only - only if - must - required - unless - except - until - without.

50. Weaken - attack - undermine - refute - argue against - call into question - cast doubt - challenge - damage - counter - When evaluating answers ask yourself: 'Would this answer choice make the author reconsider his position or force the author to res