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

2. Occurs when the author uses an analogy that is two disimilar to the original situation to be applicable. n

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

4. Quantity: All = 100 Not all = 0-99 Some = 1-100 None = 0 Time: Always - Not always - Sometimes - Never Space: Everywhere - Not everywhere - Somewhere - No where.

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. 1. Identify the conclusion - this is what you are trying to strengthen 2. Personalize the argument 3. Look for weaknesses in the argument 4. Arguments that contain analogies or use surveys rely upon the validity of those analogies and surveys. Answer

7. 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

8. Percent - proportion - fraction - ratio - incidence - likelihood - probability - segment - share. n

9. 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?

10. 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

11. 1. Watch for answers starting with the phrase 'at least one' or 'at least some'. When an assumption answer choice starts with one of these phrases it is usually right. But ALWAYS verify with A.N.T. 2. Avoid answers that claim an idea was the most imp

12. Stimulus (affected or determined) ---> answer choices (accepted) AKA: Help Family assumption - justify the conclusion - strengthen/support - resolve the paradox.

13. 1. No conclusion. When a stimulus does not have a conclusion and contains a paradox - expect a Resolve question 2. Language of contradiction exp: but - however - yet - although - paradoxically - surprisingly.

14. Stimulus (accepted) ----> Answer Choices (affected or determined) AKA: must be or prove family must be true - main point - point at issue - method of reasoning - flaw in the reasoning - parallel reasoning.

15. 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.

16. 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

17. Separate the answer choices into 'contenders' and 'loser'. After completing this process - review the contenders and decide which answer correct.

18. 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

19. Introduce something that actually contains an idea that is counter to the argument. By raising opposition - the author can minimize the damage that would be done by the objection if it were raised elsewhere. but yet - however - on the other hand - ad

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

21. Always read each of the five answer choices. If an answer choice appears somewhat attractive - interesting or even confusing - keep it as a contender and move to the next answer.

22. Authors misuses info to such a degree that they fail to provide any info to support their conclusion or they provide info that is irrelevant to their conclusion. n

23. They h ave failed to fully and accurately identify the conclusion of the argument. If a conclusion is present - you MUST identify it prior to proceeding on to the question stem.

24. Amount - quantity - sum - total - count - tally.n

25. Because - since - for - for example - for the reason that - in that - given that - as indicated by - due to - owing to - this can be seen from - we know this by.

26. 1. If conditional statements are linked together in the argument - the correct answer choice for an assumption question will typically supply a missing link in the chain or the contrapositive to that link. 2. If you see a conditional conclusion and t

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

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

29. 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 -

30. 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

31. 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

32. 1. if you recognize the form of reasoning used in the stimulus (causal - conditional - etc.) immediately attack the answers and search for the answer with similar reasoning (analogy - circular reasoning) 2. The Conclusion - match the conclusions - to

33. 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

34. 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

35. If the stimulus contains an argument - determine whether the argument is strong or weak.

36. Caused by because of responsible for reason for leads to induced by promoted by determined by produced by product of played a role in was a factor in is an effect of.

37. 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

38. 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

39. 1. An indication that the answer choices should be accepted as true 2. Keywords that indicate your task is to resolve the problem Action: Problem: Resolve Paradox Explain Contradiction Reconcile Discrepancy Conflict Puzzle *Attempt to prephrase Corre

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

41. 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

42. 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

43. If an answer choice describes an event that did not occur in the stimulus - then that answer is incorrect. Watch for answers that are partially true - that is answers that contain a description of something that happened in the argument but that also

44. 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

45. At least on of the two - possibly both.

46. Allows you to decide between contenders or to confirm that the answer you have chosen is correct. 1. Logically negate the answer choices under consideration. Usually consists of taking a 'not' out of a sentence or putting a 'not' in a sentence. 2. Th

47. Take the statements under consideration and place them in an arrangement that forces once to be the conclusion and the other(s) to be the premise (s). Use premise and conclusion indicators to achieve this end. Once the pieces are arranged - determine

48. 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

49. 1. The stem uses the word strengthen or a synonym (support - helps - most justifies) 2. The stem indicates that you should accept the answer choices are true.

50. 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