## Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
Dr. Strangelove

Posts: 557
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:59 pm

### Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

From my brief prepping of the LSAT, I've "figured out" Logic Games and Reading Comprehension well enough that on practice exams I've gotten perfect scores on both sections before.

However, Logical Reasoning has been tougher for me. I've been getting from -5 to -12 on this section alone.

I bought the LR bible, which has helped, but I still end up in a position where I'm struggling between choosing two answers which both seem correct and sometimes I pick the "right answer" and other times I pick the "wrong answer".

The kinds of questions which have been tripping me over the most are the "parallel reasoning" questions and "resolve the paradox" questions...

For other people who have been through this process, any tips on how to gain more certainty on what the right answer is would be great. Is it just practice and more practice or is there some kind of technique I should learn to stop having these problems?

MURPH

Posts: 852
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

The parallel the reasoning questions and many of the resolve the paradox questions are meant to be time killers. The best strategy is to do them last. Collect the easy points as you go through the test then go back and do all these questions.
Are you taking a prep course or just using the bibles? A good prep course will isolate all these questions so you can do 40 Parallel types at one time. It is a great way to overcome your weaknesses. You really need to diagram every answer choice (thus the time killer) on the Parallel.
Paradox questions do not lend themselves to helpful diagrams as easily as Parallels. You need to first understand why there is a paradox. Why does the second part of the stimulus make no sense in light of the first part? Resolving it means you keep both parts of the stimulus but add a third part that "connects" the first two.

Knock

Posts: 5151
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

Dr. Strangelove wrote:From my brief prepping of the LSAT, I've "figured out" Logic Games and Reading Comprehension well enough that on practice exams I've gotten perfect scores on both sections before.

However, Logical Reasoning has been tougher for me. I've been getting from -5 to -12 on this section alone.

I bought the LR bible, which has helped, but I still end up in a position where I'm struggling between choosing two answers which both seem correct and sometimes I pick the "right answer" and other times I pick the "wrong answer".

The kinds of questions which have been tripping me over the most are the "parallel reasoning" questions and "resolve the paradox" questions...

For other people who have been through this process, any tips on how to gain more certainty on what the right answer is would be great. Is it just practice and more practice or is there some kind of technique I should learn to stop having these problems?

Some may disagree with me here, but I feel like i've been improving by putting a lot of questions under my belt.

FuManChusco

Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:56 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

I found the more sections I did, the more I picked up on little word changes and shell game answers. It just kind of clicked at some point and now I'm usually -4 or better combined. The LRB helped a little for me, but I'd say the majority of my progress was just doing a lot of LR sections. I basically used an entire 10 PT book or more for section review. It helped me a lot and I still have about 30 PTs I can take timed.

Knock

Posts: 5151
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

FuManChusco wrote:I found the more sections I did, the more I picked up on little word changes and shell game answers. It just kind of clicked at some point and now I'm usually -4 or better combined. The LRB helped a little for me, but I'd say the majority of my progress was just doing a lot of LR sections. I basically used an entire 10 PT book or more for section review. It helped me a lot and I still have about 30 PTs I can take timed.

I definitely agree. You need to understand the concepts, but after that I believe it is getting enough questions under your belt to help clean up the last few misses.

Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:58 am

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

This was my experience. A theory is important, but just doing five billion practice problems is going to help more than anything.

jpSartre

Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:05 am

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

Do the question type OVER and OVER.

Dr. Strangelove

Posts: 557
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:59 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

Thanks for the tips! I will try saving those kinds of problems for last.
They're usually somewhere in the middle.. where I feel like I have to spend as little time as possible on each problem.
That would explain why I typically pick an answer on tough parallel reasoning problems which seems right but actually isn't...

washin34

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:43 am

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

pleasepickme wrote:This was my experience. A theory is important, but just doing five billion practice problems is going to help more than anything.

only five billion?

SoCalStudent

Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:50 am

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

What about lumping the same question type and concentrating on it from previous LSAT's, rather than doing random question types in a day?

F458JE

Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:40 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

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Last edited by F458JE on Sun May 09, 2010 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

yoni45

Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:12 am

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

Dr. Strangelove wrote:I bought the LR bible, which has helped, but I still end up in a position where I'm struggling between choosing two answers which both seem correct and sometimes I pick the "right answer" and other times I pick the "wrong answer".

It's worth noting that getting to that point of having 2 answers but picking the wrong one is par for the course. Knocking off the 2-3 initial answer choices is generally pretty easy -- that final stretch of picking the right one between the two is what separates those who do better from those who don't.

First, see if you can predict which questions will give you trouble -- when you go through questions, mark down questions you think you might get wrong. When you're done, do the questions you expected to possibly get wrong actually align with the ones you got wrong? If they do, that's a good thing -- you know where you need to spend more time while you're writing. If they don't you need to slow down overall.

Once you know the questions you're iffy about -- don't rush that last step. You've put in the effort to get down to those last 2 answer choices, it's a complete waste if you're going to give it up to a 50/50 chance. It's completely normal to spend more time discerning between those two and knocking off those other three.

When you're working between those two, avoid trying to justify which one is right -- with enough time, effort, and imagination, you can justify anything. Instead, focus on what's wrong with these answer choices -- look for flaws, holes, etc. Make sure it's concrete, but focus on a reason to knock an answer choice off more so than a reason to circle one. The right answer is often the one that happens to be not wrong (while that's a given, it helps to look at it from that direction).

olivevert

Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:11 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

Dr. Strangelove wrote:From my brief prepping of the LSAT, I've "figured out" Logic Games and Reading Comprehension well enough that on practice exams I've gotten perfect scores on both sections before.

However, Logical Reasoning has been tougher for me. I've been getting from -5 to -12 on this section alone.

I bought the LR bible, which has helped, but I still end up in a position where I'm struggling between choosing two answers which both seem correct and sometimes I pick the "right answer" and other times I pick the "wrong answer".

The kinds of questions which have been tripping me over the most are the "parallel reasoning" questions and "resolve the paradox" questions...

For other people who have been through this process, any tips on how to gain more certainty on what the right answer is would be great. Is it just practice and more practice or is there some kind of technique I should learn to stop having these problems?

Ironically, the Parallel Reasoning questions are the ones that clicked with me at the very beginning, and have consistently been getting perfect's on. Resolve the Paradox however, I didn't get, and I still cannot (fully nail them). I suggest a few things for Parallel.

I disagree with whoever posted above that you need to diagram every answer choice. That is for formal logic, and sufficient/necessary and cause/effect reasoning questions (diagram the statement, and diagram the contrapositive). For parallel questions, after you read the stimulus, you must quickly and concretely memorize the GENERAL structure of it (kind of like structure of a passage for reading comprehension.. since you do well at this, you should be able to do that for shorter passages.. I on the other hand am struggling with RC).

Then, you quickly read through the answer choices. The one that is right should be completely paralleled.. as in, if one of the answers seems a bit off, don't ponder about it. Just cross it off. Most likely, it's wrong, and you have four other ones to read through.

If you come down to two close answer choices, then maybe diagramming would help.

Also with the PS LR Bible, I read through and highlighted and did the problems about a year ago. Then I had a huge gap of about 5 months of not studying, but recently, I reviewed questions I didn't understand (i.e. paradox, assumption).. and those strategies in the book truly help, especially with coming down to two answer choices.. you are then able to fully use the common "wrong answer choices" method.

But yeah... if anyone can really help how to nail those Resolve the Paradox questions.. that would be greatly appreciated!

Ragged

Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:39 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

olivevert wrote:I disagree with whoever posted above that you need to diagram every answer choice. That is for formal logic, and sufficient/necessary and cause/effect reasoning questions (diagram the statement, and diagram the contrapositive). For parallel questions, after you read the stimulus, you must quickly and concretely memorize the GENERAL structure of it (kind of like structure of a passage for reading comprehension.. since you do well at this, you should be able to do that for shorter passages.. I on the other hand am struggling with RC).

Then, you quickly read through the answer choices. The one that is right should be completely paralleled.. as in, if one of the answers seems a bit off, don't ponder about it. Just cross it off. Most likely, it's wrong, and you have four other ones to read through.

If you come down to two close answer choices, then maybe diagramming would help.

+1. Its often easy to spot answer choices that are clearly wrong (for example that change most to all or visa versa), so than you just cross it off and move on to the next answer choice. Usually you will be able to isolate one clearly correct answer. (but make sure to read all of the answers even if you initially think that B is correct, because you might realize that D or E is a better answer). Sometimes I do get in a situation where I end up crossing off all 5 answer choices, then I need to go back and quickly review the question to make sure that I didn't miss anything and then go through each answer choice crossing off the wrong choices, with the second cross mark going perpendicular to the first one. Obviously that's the worst case scenario.

Rarely do I diagram anything on the LR. (exception being the questions that go something like "If all A are B and Not all C are B then which of the following is true:...)

sk8kim

Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:31 pm

### Re: Tips On Mastering Logical Reasoning?

SoCalStudent wrote:What about lumping the same question type and concentrating on it from previous LSAT's, rather than doing random question types in a day?

Good suggestion. I'm going to try this.