LSAT Analytical Reasoning Section

LSAT Analytical Reasoning Section Basics

Analytical Reasoning section questions are similar to the logic puzzles and games that some people do for fun. Some test takers consider the Analytical Reasoning section their favorite section and others consider it their nemesis.

The Analytical Resoning section contains four puzzles, each with five to seven questions based on it. Test takers should aim to spend on average eight minutes on a puzzle and the group of questions that follow it.

Analytical Reasoning Techniques

The most important thing for test takers to do with the questions in the Analytical Reasoning section is to diagram them. While there is no extra scratch paper for this section of the LSAT, notes can be taken in the examination book, and diagrams are essential for solving these puzzles. In fact, while reading these puzzles, test takers should begin immediately visualizing how the puzzle could be diagrammed.

The way these puzzles are presented can be a little tricky. First there is a puzzle, then the questions that follow refer back to the puzzle. What might be confusing is that often the puzzle is only partially complete, and the remaining information for solving the puzzle might be in the questions. In addition, different questions might offer different rules or values for solving the puzzle, so the actual solution to the puzzle might be different depending on which question is being answer.

Here is an example: A puzzle might ask test takers to determine the order of five different colored balls on a shelf. The puzzle might state that the blue ball is in the third spot; the yellow and red balls are next to each other; and the yellow ball is not last. Where it gets tricky, is that the first question might ask where the yellow ball would be if the red ball was last. The second question might ask where they yellow ball could possibly be if the green ball were last. In this example, the order of the balls would change depending on which question was being answered.

It is important to remember that the information presented in the puzzle the questions are based on does not change (eg. The blue ball will always be in the third spot, etc.). Test takers should keep their diagram of the intial puzzle data a bit separate from the rest of their notes so they don't get confused by details that vary from question to question.