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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. Immediately look for the repeat or contrapositive in the answer choices. Avoid mistaken reversals and mistaken negations.

6. 1. The stem uses the word assumption - presupposition or some variation 2. The stem NEVER uses the word 'if' or any other sufficient condition indicator. The stem will likely contain a necessary condition indicator such as required or unless. The cor

7. 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

8. 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.

9. 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

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

11. 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

12. This type of flawed argument attacks the person (or source) instead of the argument they advance. because the LSAT is concerned solely with argument forms - a speaker can never validly attack the character or motives or a person; instead - a speaker

13. The mistake involves assuming that conditions will remain constant over time - and that what was the case in the past will be the case in the future or present. n

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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

17. 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

18. The author assumes as true What is supposed to be proved. exp: 'this essay is the best because it is better than all the others'n

19. 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

20. 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.

21. 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

22. Occurs when an author attempts to attack an opponent's position by ignoring the actual statements made by the opposing speaker and instead distorts and refashions the argument - making it weaker in the process. Often prephrased by 'what you're saying

23. 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.

24. 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

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

26. Thus - therefore - hence - consequently - as a result - so - accordingly - clearly - must be that - shows that - conclude that - follows that - for this reason.

27. 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

28. 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

29. 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.

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

31. 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.

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

33. Mis-assessing the force of evidence is a frequent error committed by LSAT authors 1. Lack of evidence for a position is taken to prove that position is false 2. lack of evidence against a position is taken to prove that position is true 3. some evide

34. 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

35. 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

36. 1. ethical versus factual situations - when the stimulus addresses something ethical - a factual answer would be incorrect and vice versa 2. dual agreement or dual disagreement - often incorrect answer choices will supply statements that both speaker

37. 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

38. 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

39. 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.

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

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

42. An event or circumstance whose occurrence is required in order for a sufficient condition to occur.

43. 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.

44. 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.

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

46. Assumes that only 2 courses of action are available when there may be others. n

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

48. 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

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

50. An event or circumstance whose occurrence indicates that a necessary condition must also occur.