Archive for the ‘Logical Reasoning’ Category

[This is a lesson excerpt from our online course, for which we invite you to enroll.]

Below, you will find a LSAT logical reasoning question with each of its components labeled. Learn their names. You will not be able to follow along with the curriculum if you do not know what the different parts of the question are called.

I also want to introduce you to “the author.” The author is the person writing the passage to you. It’s helpful to think of the author as the person speaking to you, trying to convince you of her point of view, in other words, trying to sell you on her conclusion. In the curriculum, I will often refer to the “author’s argument” as “our argument” or the “argument.” Take note of this when it happens. Often, the stimulus contains more than one argument and it’s invariably the author’s argument that the question stem is referring to.

LET’S REVIEW
The author is the person writing the passage to you. The passage is the same thing as the stimulus. The question stem lays out the directions for you to choose the correct answer choice.

Featured image: Lennart Tange

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[This is a lesson excerpt from our online course, for which we invite you to enroll.]

THIS IS THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL SKILL FOR THE LSAT.

We tackle LSAT Main Point (MP) or Main Conclusion questions first because these questions test the most fundamental of your LSAT skills: Can you identify the main conclusion of an argument? It’s that simple. Here’s a label with “main point” printed on it. Go slap it on the part of the passage that you think is the main point. If you can’t do that, then you have no business doing any other type of question in the Logical Reasoning section.

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[This is a lesson excerpt from our online course, for which we invite you to enroll.]

LSAT Conditional Logic GROUP 2 is made up of the following terms:

  • Only
  • Only if
  • Only when
  • Only where
  • Always
  • Requires
  • Must

All the words in this group follow this translation rule:

The ideas introduced by (i.e., immediately following) these words are the necessary conditions.

Let’s try it:
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[This is a lesson excerpt from our online course, for which we invite you to enroll.]

LSAT Conditional Logic Group 1 is made up of the following terms:

  • If
  • When
  • Where
  • All
  • The only
  • Every
  • Any

All the words in this group follow this translation rule:

The ideas introduced by (i.e., immediately following) these words are the sufficient conditions.

Let’s try it
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Nearly all LSAT experts agree that reading outside articles is helpful as prep for LSAT. In this lesson, I want to show you how to improve your LSAT score by doing that. Let's read this very interesting article from the Economist together. It's less than 400 words and it's about attractive women.

Article summary

First, we're told that the conventional wisdom/hypothesis holds that attractive women should get ahead in the workplace. Why? Because people project positive attributes like sensitivity and poise onto them. Indeed, this conventional hypothesis is backed up with empirical evidence in the form of studies that show that attractive women are promoted more often.

Naturally, we think that this same advantage attractive women have in securing promotions would be present in securing job interviews, no?

As it turns out, new research reveals otherwise. The new empirical evidence suggests that attractive women who applied to jobs with a photo had to apply to an average of 11 jobs for every one interview offer. Contrast this with the exact same applicant who applied without a photo who only needed to apply to an average of 7 jobs to get an interview offer.

What's going on?

A new hypothesis is submitted: The dumb blonde hypothesis. People must think that prettier women are dumber. But, this hypothesis is immediately shut down. Prior to the study, these photos were rated on perceived intelligence and attractiveness and no correlation was found.

A better hypothesis is submitted: The jealousy hypothesis. 93% of Human Resources departments are women and they are the gatekeepers to interviews. They are discriminating against attractive female applicants.

Isn't this fascinating? Okay, but more to the point, from this passage, we can build many Logical Reasoning questions. Some of you seasoned LSAT students probably already sense an LR question looming on the horizon. That's a good sign!

Resolve-Reconcile-Explain question

RRE questions commonly introduce two seemingly conflicting ideas.  The two ideas could be hypotheses, phenomena, or data.  To build a RRE question out of this article, the passage would read:

It is generally accepted that attractive women get promoted more often but a new study finds that attractive women who submit photos with their applications to new jobs have less than half the interview rate than the same candidate who does not submit a photo.

Which one of the following, if true, would best resolve the apparent discrepancy above?

Within the article, we can find two resolutions (i.e., correct answer choices). First, we can say that people tend to think that prettier women are dumber. Second, we can say that employees who are gatekeepers to interviews are mostly women and women tend to be jealous of other beautiful women.

Weakening question

To make a Weakening question, we simply have to move some pieces around.  The stimulus would read:

A new study finds that attractive women who submit photos with their applications to new jobs have less than half the interview rate than the same candidate who does not submit a photo. This shows that people generally think that prettier women are dumber.

Which one of the following, if true, would best weaken the argument above?

Within the article, we can find two answers.  First, we can say that these photos were previously rated on perceived intelligence and attractiveness and no correlation was found. Second, we can offer an alternative hypothesis that says employees who are gatekeepers to interviews are mostly women and women tend to be jealous of other beautiful women.

See if you can build your own Strengthening, Descriptive Weakening, Weakening, or Resolve-Reconcile-Explain questions.

Or check out other Economist articles.  Their science articles are written like LSAT questions.

Featured image: the economist

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