Here, we describe in just one or two sentences the core of what you need to do to answer each LSAT LR question type. While it’s not technically cheating, if you always stay focused on just these tasks when doing the questions, you will score as if you were cheating!
Beginners and intermediate LSAT students tend to get way off task and invent their own, incorrect methods for reasoning through a problem. That or they often try to use techniques from one question type to try to solve another question type, where that technique is now totally useless.
On a necessary assumption question, for example, they might say “I picked this answer because it talks about two things that are also contained in the stimulus.”
Unfortunately, that’s not at all how you determine whether something is a right answer on a necessary assumption question. Learn the core of what you are supposed to be doing on each question type and stick to that task and that task only.
Keep this cheat sheet handy when you practice to make sure you are doing the right thing. In a very real sense, the LSAT is a test of your ability to follow directions. If you understand and execute the tasks below on the appropriate question type, you will be on target and following directions.
Although just two sentences can capture the core of what you have to do on these question types, learning the HOW of doing these tasks is a longer process. If you don’t yet understand the strategies listed here, grab a great prep book or, better still, jump in our course within the LSAT Mastermind Group.
LSAT LR Question Types Cheat Sheet
For NA questions, find an assumption (premise) among the answer choices that, if false, would make it impossible for the argument’s conclusion to be true. Note that adding this assumption need not prove that the conclusion is true (unlike sufficient assumption), however, without the assumption being true, the conclusion could never be true.
Find an assumption (premise) among the answer choices that, if true and added to the other premises in the stimulus, makes it so that the argument’s conclusion must be true as well. The premises + the correct answer choice must = a definitely true conclusion.
The stimulus will give you an argument where the truth of the premises does not 100% prove the truth of conclusion. Look for an answer that helps make it more likely that this conclusion does indeed follow from these premises, e.g. by eliminating an alternate conclusion or providing some other necessary assumption.
As with strengthen questions, you get an argument where the truth of the premises do not yet guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Your goal is to find an answer choice that makes it less likely that these premises do in fact lead to this conclusion, often by suggesting that the same premises could lead to an alternate conclusion.
Flaw questions will contain an argument where the conclusion does not logically follow from the premises given in support of it. Your job is to find an answer choice that best explains why these specific premises do not support the conclusion.
Your goal is to find an answer choice that describes accurately the conclusion of the argument. If there are two conclusions, you find an answer choice describing the primary conclusion (that which is supported by the subsidiary conclusion, which is itself a premise).
The stimulus contains an argument. You must find an answer choice with an argument that follows the same structure in its reasoning (meaning the relationship of the premises to the conclusion is the same in both the stimulus and the answer choice passage) and has the same scope (level of certainty).
Exactly the same as parallel reasoning, but now you must also make sure that the argument in the answer choice makes the same error of reasoning as the stimulus argument.
Must Be True
Take all the facts in the stimulus as true. Then, you find an answer choice that, given those facts, absolutely must be true as well (it cannot be false). Stated differently, the correct answer choice can be properly inferred from the facts in the stimulus.
Resolve The Paradox
On a resolve the paradox question, you will be given two apparently contradictory pieces of information.(facts/events/states/etc.) It’s your job to find an answer choice which, if true, helps explain how both these pieces of information might also both be true.
Point At Issue
In the stimulus, two different authors will speak to the same subject. You must find an answer choice describing one thing that both authors discuss and that they disagree about.
Method Of Reasoning
The stimulus will contain an argument, and you are asked to find the best answer choice to describe the reasoning in the argument. This will mean finding a more abstract way to describe what is happening in the stimulus argument.
Learning To Destroy LR Questions
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