# Logical Reasoning

## There are two sections of 24-26 questions each.  These are the core of the LSAT, and understanding them well will help with the other sections as well.  There are three parts to a logical reasoning question, in descending order of importance:

1.  Stimulus This is the main text of the question.

eg.  All dogs are pets.  All pets are cute.

note: A stimulus can be either an argument (with a conclusion) or a set of facts.  This is the latter.

2. Question Stem: This asks you a question based on the stimulus.

Eg.   Which of the following must be true, if all of the statements above are true. This is an inference question stem.

(The LSAT generally requires you to presume that statements given are true)

3.  Answer Choices: By far the least important part of a question.  Only one of five answer choices are correct.  And there is an infinite number of wrong answer choices I could invent for any question.  In this case, there are two possible correct answer choices:

1. If an animal is not cute, it is not a dog. Cute –> Pet –> Dog or  C –>  P  –> D

2. All dogs are cute. Dog –> Pet –> Cute or D –> P –> C,

This is a very simple example of course, but all logical reasoning questions have these three parts.  In this case, the right answers were correct because they were logically valid inferences made by combining the statements in the stimulus.

Wrong answer choices could include, among others:

A.  Cats are cute

B.  All dogs have fur.

c.  All pets are dogs.

D.  Everything that is cute is a dog.

## How to Approach a Logical Reasoning Question

So what does help you understand the question?  Use this process, and you’ll be approaching the questions better than most students:

1.  Read the stimulus carefully, slowing down if you don’t understand anything.

If you don’t understand a word, try and get the meaning of the sentence through context.  Map out logical relationships, if there are any to map out (I cover this in more detail in basic logic).  See if it is an argument or a set of facts.  If it’s the former, can you conclude anything?  If it’s the latter, what is the conclusion of the argument?

Above all, understand what the question is saying.  It’s worth taking the time to understand the stimulus.  If you don’t understand it, how can you possibly answer the question correctly?