A common feature to the lives of all those seeking to become lawyers in the United States, the Law School Admissions Test is unavoidable if you see yourself defending clients in front of a jury, making sense of contracts, or helping businesses lower their tax burdens. The LSAT is one of the only objective, uniform measures that law school admissions officers have when evaluating applicants. As a result, the LSAT occupies a major spot in your application file. You will be evaluated based on many factors when applying to law schools, but the LSAT ranks near the top in importance. Whether you need top LSAT tutors in New York, LSAT tutors in Chicago, or top LSAT tutors in Los Angeles, working with a pro may take your studies to the next level.
One of the most challenging sections of the LSAT is the the test’s Analytical Reasoning section. Questions on this part of the LSAT measure your ability to analyze a provided set of rules or conditions and determine what must, must not, can, or cannot logically follow. Often referred to as “logic games,” four presented scenarios appear on every Analytical Reasoning section, with each question corresponding to a given scenario.
For instance, you might be shown a series of conditions establishing when certain procedures take place. You may see a series of rules governing how students must be seated in a classroom, for instance. You may be asked to take the information in the rules and draw conclusions about possible seating arrangements. Consider this greatly simplified example:
There are four students in a class. We must arrange them in a classroom from tallest student to shortest. From the perspective of the teacher, the tallest will be on the left side of the classroom.
Rule 1: Timothy is to the right of Jackie, but not necessarily immediately adjacent to him.
Rule 2: Kimberly is to the right of Paul, but not necessarily immediately adjacent to him.
Rule 3: Paul is to the left of Timothy, but not necessarily immediately adjacent to him.
Rule 4: Paul is not the tallest student.
If Kimberly is immediately adjacent to Timothy’s left, what is the arrangement of the students?
To answer this question, consider the arrangement based on the rules:
Based on Rule 1: [Jackie] ---- [Timothy]
Based on Rule 2: [Paul] ---- [Kimberly]
Based on Rule 3: [Paul] ---- [Timothy]
Paul must be in between Jackie and Timothy since he can’t be the tallest. If Kimberly is immediately adjacent to Timothy’s left, she is between Paul and Timothy. This leaves Jackie on the far left as the tallest student.
While the scenarios themselves can concern any topic, the topic is superfluous on this section of the LSAT; you are merely being tested on your logical reasoning, a skill obviously important to success in a legal career. A huge portion of law school is dedicated to understanding information, formulating relationships, and subsequently determining what can or cannot happen based on those relationships.
If you approach the LSAT Analytical Reasoning exam with this perspective, you can appreciate why it is so highly valued by law school admissions officers. However, it is important to also recognize that test-taking ability is as important as logical reasoning ability when preparing to do one’s best on this exam. Practice questions, feedback, and self-analysis are all critical components that separate the highest achievers from other students. Working with tutors or in collaborative study groups can help you achieve this kind of feedback, putting you on the fast track to success for this exam. Varsity Tutors also offers resources like free LSAT Analytical Reasoning Practice Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an LSAT Analytical Reasoning tutor.
While you can find a wide variety of free LSAT resources on the Learning Tools website, one can be particularly helpful in sorting through the particular question types that give you the most difficulty: our LSAT Logic Games help page. Here, you will find model questions with displayed answers and full explanations organized in varying levels of specificity. Working through some of these example questions can help you fine-tune your approach to a specific type of logic game. Such practice can also help you to identify any missteps that may be derailing your work and to do so well before test day. If you want to practice answering model LSAT logic games on your own, without the guidance the our help page offers, you can take our free LSAT Logic Games practice tests and diagnostics to get a better look at your developing abilities. In addition to the LSAT Analytical Reasoning help section and LSAT Analytical Reasoning tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our LSAT Analytical Reasoning Flashcards.
The skills to succeed on the LSAT Analytical Reasoning test are used in law school, so the time you put in today will pay off later. The analytical reasoning skills you develop in preparation for the LSAT are reflective of the abilities you need to succeed during every year of law school. The legal market is a competitive place; your scores, your school, and your connections matter. Investing time and energy now into maximizing your LSAT scores puts you in the best position as you work toward a rewarding career at a top firm.