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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. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

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

6. 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

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

8. 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.

9. Usually have one male and one female. The female uses sound reasoning and the male uses flawed reasoning or makes a mistake. This is not always true - but more often than not.n

10. 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.

11. 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

12. 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

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

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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

17. 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

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

19. 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.

20. 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

21. 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

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

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

24. 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

25. 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.

26. Read closely and know precisely what the author said. DO NOT GENERALIZE!.

27. Switches the elements in the sufficient and necessary conditions - creating a statement that does not have to be true. Given: A+ --> Study Mistaken Reversal: Study --> A+.

28. 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.

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

30. 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

31. 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

32. 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

33. 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

34. 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

35. Occurs when an author makes conflicting statements. n

36. 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

37. 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

38. 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

39. 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

40. 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.

41. 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

42. 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

43. 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

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

45. 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

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

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

48. 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

49. 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

50. 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