facebook_pixel

The logical reasoning section of the LSAT is super important because two of the four scored sections on the LSAT are always logical reasoning, meaning half your LSAT score comes from logical reasoning questions alone. Luckily, it is possible to make huge improvements to your score in the logical reasoning section. You can WILL make these huge improvements if you follow the advice here.

The LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible is the best book to use to improve you LSAT Logical Reasoning Scores.

When I started out I was missing around 5-6 points on every logical reasoning section (and this was after a several weeks of untimed prep). After trying some things that did not work, I got my game right and improved by following the steps listed here.

The end result was that I got none wrong on one logical reasoning section of my actual LSAT, and only one wrong on the other. This accounts for about 10 raw points. Without those 10 points I would have gotten a scaled score of 166 rather than a solid 177.

Here’s what I did:

STEP 1: HOW TO START IMPROVING YOUR LOGICAL REASONING SCORE

Start Out Doing Untimed LR Questions

lsat-practice-examWhen you start your LSAT prep, start with the logical reasoning section. Alternate between doing these and practicing logic games for the first week or so of your prep. A major key if you want to dominate the logical reasoning section is to do untimed problems when you start out your prep. Logical reasoning questions are deliberately confusing, requiring you to think about things in new ways that your brain isn’t used to. It is critical to train yourself to get them right under ideal conditions before adding time pressure.

For the first 1-2 weeks, do ONLY untimed logical reasoning questions until you start to see improvements in your accuracy.

During this time, alternate actually doing the questions with reading an LSAT prep book to help you understand the types of logical reasoning problems that you will encounter.

Use The Right Book to Improve Your LSAT Logical Reasoning Score

There is only one book that top LSAT scorers consistently recommend to get the best score on the LSAT logical reasoning section: the Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible. I don’t doubt that other books like the Kaplan and PR stuff have some value for helping lower scorers see some improvement, but the logical reasoning bible has a better track record for getting people a truly great LR score. That may be a reason that it’s a perennial favorite of high-scoring posters on TLS. We here at LSI agree with them. The bible gives you great drills and explains the correct techniques clearly.

As you work through this book while doing untimed questions, you will start to speed up a little while staying accurate. At that point, usually 2 or 3 weeks in to your prep, it’s to start timing yourself. Here’s how to do it:

STEP 2: IMPROVE YOUR TIMING ON THE LOGICAL REASONING SECTION

First, start by timing out individual LR questions. The average length of time that you have spend on each logical reasoning question is 1.5 minutes. When you start out timing LR questions, don’t stop doing the question just because a minute and a half has gone by. Note the time and finish the question.

You do this because some questions are harder than others and will take longer than 1.5 minutes. Some questions are easier than average and will take less time. Looking at the clock allows you to start developing your sense of pacing on questions of all difficulty levels. Don’t get frustrated if you are running over on a lot of them. Speed will build with practice.

How to start drilling: pull LR sections from older actual official LSAT tests and start hitting these questions, timing each question individually. I wouldn’t use sections from any test newer than PT 25 for this purpose (save newer tests for when you are doing full-timed sections). Check this List of Every Actual, Official LSAT Preptest to make sure you have these older preptests.

When you start to hit most of the questions within 1.5 minutes or so, it’s time to move on to doing full timed sections. Doing lots of full LR sections is critical to developing your skill in logical reasoning. Remember that if you are struggling with LR, load up with lots of extra sections until you see improvements.

Extra Tips to Increase your Logical Reasoning Score by Improving Your Speed:

  • LSAT time clockDo the questions in order. DO NOT JUMP AROUND looking for easy questions to do first. Skipping around wastes time that is better spent just doing the questions. Check our full post that covers why you should LR questions in order.
  • Read the question stimulus first, do not skip to the question stem first (in other words, read each question from top to bottom). There is some debate about this in the test prep community but stimulus first appears to be the approach taken by most high scorers. Read our full justification for this approach here.
  • If a question is too hard to answer with some certainty, don’t spin your wheels on it forever. Pick the best answer you can and circle the question so you can come back to it if there is time. Knowing when to give up on a question and move on is something of an art form, but you will develop a feel for it as you practice more. Don’t be worried if you circle a lot of questions at first. Even top LSAT-scorers often have two or three questions they were not fully confident about.
  • Know when to diagram and when you can get away without it. You can save major time by knowing when it is acceptable to stop diagramming a conditional reasoning problem and go to the answer choices. Usually as soon as you spot a difficult inference you know the question will be testing that, so skip to the answer choices. We have a full post on developing this intuition here. Start off by diagramming everything that can be diagrammed, then learn where you can do without it. Typically you want to diagram some assumption, parallel reasoning, and inference questions. Nowadays there are few if any simple conditional reasoning questions on the LSAT.

Remember that the ultimate key to get good at timing and develop speed is to do A TON of practice sections. This applies whether you are self-studying or taking a course. There is no substitute for doing lots of full, timed LR sections from actual, official LSAT prep tests if you want to improve your logical reasoning score.

STEP 3: IMPROVING ACCURACY TO INCREASE YOUR LOGICAL REASONING SCORE

Make Notes on The Questions and Answer Choices

As you are doing questions, it helps at first to note almost everything. Label the premises and the conclusion of arguments (your LR bible will help you tell the difference with drills). Underline difficult sentences that you think are likely to be tested. As you get further in your prep, you may see that you do not need to make a lot of notes to succeed on the questions, but it is good learning to do it when you start out.

Especially eliminate answer choices that you know are wrong so that you can narrow it down. Should you have to guess, it is much better to guess between two answer choices than five. You should always make a habit of eliminating answer choices when you are able to.

Keep A Log

When you do any LSAT problem, LR or otherwise, you need to go over problems that you got wrong and hard questions that you got right. Make sure you understand each and every problem that you encounter. To make sure you know where you are having trouble keep a log of what type of problems you are getting wrong (must be true, necessary assumption, etc.)

Keeping a log allows you to go back to your logical reasoning bible and review how you should approach the specific question types that are giving you trouble. Doing this can turn a weakness into a strength.

DRILL, DRILL, DRILL!

As a last thought, remember the big picture: The LSAT is a test of skill, not memorization. The ONLY way to improve a skill once you have learned it is through lots of practice. Learn the skills I have given you here and improve your logical reasoning score by practicing consistently. Bookmark this post and refer back to it as needed.

Build up to doing full, timed logical reasoning sections. Do a lot of these full LR sections. You WILL see huge improvements and increase your LSAT score.

FURTHER READING:

  1. IMPROVE YOUR LSAT READING COMPREHENSION SCORE
  2. HOW TO IMPROVE ON LSAT LOGIC GAMES

 

10 Comments

    • It should be fine as long as you try to have an intense day of studying at least once a week, so at least one 5 hour study day. These intense days are very necessary for developing stamina and making breakthroughs, particularly on the games section. Obviously if you are already scoring where you want, you don’t have to study quite as intensely, though everyone should make sure to do a lot of full-simulated tests in the final month.

  1. Hi Evan,

    I’m honestly having so much trouble. I’ve been studying since January starting with the bibles, making notes and then doing untimed sections and moving on to timed sections and then to full practice tests (preparing for June). I always.. ALWAYS get 19 out of 25 or 26 on the LR section and I honestly have no idea why now. I tried to look at what types of questions I’ve been doing wrong and honestly it varies every single time so I can’t pinpoint it to a particular type. I have NO idea what to do.

    I’m getting 1-2 wrong on the games and on reading comp. I usually get 19 right which leaves me at a 160-162.

    I know that my score will drop during the actual exam so that’s why I want to aim higher to even get something close to 160.

    Any advice for LR?

    Thank you

    • Hi Elisa, this kind of sounds like me at the mid-point of my prep. I don’t know if this is your situation, but a big part of it for we was being easily misled by second best answers. For me, improving was about relying less on intuition and making sure I could explain to myself why I was choosing an answer. I hope that’s not too vague.

      Really, I think your problems might iron themselves out with more practice. My guess is that you are only getting the harder problems wrong and just need to up your alertness and attention level so that you spot the hard ones while you are doing them, rather than later when you see that you got the answer wrong. I wish I could say there is a trick to it, but often it’s just a matter of getting more experience under your belt. Don’t get discouraged.

  2. Thank you so much! It’s nice to know that you were in the same spot. The problems I get wrong are the ones I initially narrowed down to the final two answers (one of the two is always the correct answer) and I usually end up picking the wrong one instead of the right one.

    You think there is a chance of improvement or do you think this 160 plateau is where I’ll stand until my June exam?

    • Definitely a chance to improve. Hopefully things will start to click soon, if not, that’s a good spot to be in as sooner or later you should get a “things clicking” feeling. Just don’t get discouraged. View every problem as a fun puzzle that is trying to trick you. You want to see through it.

  3. I have been studying since July, initially for the September exam, however I was not ready. I am now taking the exam in December, I have not done many PT’s but I have done many section testing. I began scoring in the mid 130s then mid 140 my last exam I yielded a 150. My goal is 155+, god willing. I cannot budge my score on LR. I was always better at the games so I overcompensated there by mastering them to my best ability to make up for lost points in LR. I do believe I panic way to much when multiple answers seem correct. I am getting about 13-17 correct in LR which has been varying very significantly, however I have managed to improve my time as in getting to as many questions as possible. Any tips on mastering time and accuracy! I wish I can stick to one answer, whenever I change it I was originally correct, so indecisive. HELP ME LOL!

  4. Omgggg I’m having the SAME problem as Debra! I too have been studying since July preparing for September but I postpone it to December. I didn’t take that many practice tests either because I wanted to get everything perfect before I start taking the tests….I start taking full timed practice tests in November (a month before December lsat) and I was getting high 140s like 148 or 149. UGH all that studying for nothing! I get a low score because on logical reasoning I have to end up guessing starting from question 16 and I only get to complete two logical games which I get max 1 wrong and reading comp I only get to one reading and get max 2 wrong…this is all under full timed condition. I am now postponing to February test. I have started doing blind review two days ago and I am hoping I soon see improvement. I am going to follow these tips as well because my timing really sucks. Any advise specific to my situation?

Leave A Reply

Want to increase your LSAT score?

Smart Choice. I'll send you a free copy of my ebook to help get you started.

"Getting Started on the LSAT: A Complete Guide to Prepping the Right Way"

Cool. I'm sending an email your way...

 

Check your inbox & shoot us an email at support@lawschooli.com if you have any questions!