When preparing to write the LSAT, recognizing the best way to stay motivated and on top of your studies is critical.
Logical reasoning is one of the most key components of writing the LSAT and understanding the best way to approach it as a concept is a big step towards success on the LSAT.
Here are my top tips for LSAT logical reasoning:
1. Knowing how to argue is not the same thing as knowing the formal rules of argumentation that the LSAT tests
In terms of the LSAT, arguing is not as simple as standing by your opinion. There are several steps to exhibiting the formal rules of argumentation that make it more of a critical analysis. Identifying relevant evidence, determining logical assumptions, and noting flaws in a statement are all steps that must be taken to argue when it comes to the LSAT.
2. The concept of validity is the central concept in logic. It requires a different standard of consideration than how we argue in school
Valid arguments exist when the conclusion logically follows the premises of the statement. Therefore, determining whether arguments are valid or invalid is an important part of the LSAT, meaning you should be rather comfortable doing so before writing the exam. Something notable with the concept of validity is that validity does not equal truth in terms of the final argument. Just because the conclusion may logically follow the premises does not mean that it provides a definitive conclusion when it comes to determining your argument.
3. You are ambitious and have the capacity to grow inordinately quickly
Remember that where you are is not where you will always be and accept that growth requires change if you want to adopt more quickly than others. Altering your study habits and putting in the extra effort now and again will significantly increase your flexibility and understanding when it comes to LSAT material. Deciding to write the LSAT already shows great ambition and potential for perseverance to succeed, so remember to take each day of studying at your own pace and make adjustments that best suit your needs.
4. If one version of you is using a tested and validated process to answer questions and the other version of you is “figuring it out as you go,” which version likely wins?
In preparation for the LSAT exam, mastering the ability to process questions is critical and will allow for a more organized and calculated approach to each scenario you may come across. Simply ‘winging it’ will ultimately cause chaos and show inconsistencies throughout your work, meaning that tested and validated processes are worth your time in learning and mastering to better the outcome of the physical exam itself.
5. There are 14 question types. That is, at minimum, 14 separate battles AFTER we learn the language of formal logic
The LSAT covers a lot of material, meaning time management is a key role in succeeding in your studies. Identifying where to spend your time and dividing up your work into achievable chunks is highly necessary to prevent cramming and panic in your studies.
6. You could be successful at many things if you’re seriously considering this. The fact that this is not easy is part of the reason you want it
There will be times throughout the studying process when you may feel discouraged or even incapable of achieving success on the LSAT. Reminding yourself that taking on the responsibility of preparing for the LSAT in the first place shows great ambition is the first step to staying motivated in your studies. Try not to get down on yourself if you are struggling with particular sections of the exam and instead create a plan to spend extra time catching up in those areas. There are many solutions to overcoming challenges including hiring a tutor or participating in exam prep. Remember to keep your end goal in mind and spend the extra time needed to do your best and ultimately, achieve your goal.
7. The questions increase in difficulty in this specific section. If you can master the first 15 questions, then you are most likely getting a law school score
With about 24-26 questions per section on the LSAT, getting through the first 15 is a reasonable step to finishing with a law school score. Of course, this doesn’t mean you get to give up on the remaining questions, but hopefully, you will have found your rhythm in logical reasoning at this point and you may continue forward with more confidence as the questions increase in difficulty.
8. The questions have different probabilities of occurrence. It is far more important that you master flaw and necessary assumption questions than Parallel Reasoning or Parallel Flaw questions
Prioritizing the questions that may need more attention is a great strategy for achieving a successful outcome on the LSAT exam. Emphasizing becoming comfortable with questions that are more likely to appear on the exam itself is a better use of time than trying to master every question and running out of time in your studies.
9. Use the REVIEW METHOD to maximize growth from mistakes.
The review method is championed by John Agozzino, who created Wize’s LSAT prep course. You can book a free 15-minute chat with John about the LSAT here. The method requires three (3) simple steps to isolate and overcome the problem:
- Write down the question stem to identify patterns of weakness in your answer. Approaching the identification of your errors in an organized manner will prevent confusion and help you to come to a quicker conclusion.
- Write WHY you got it wrong. Remember that reviewing your answers within a short time frame may not allow you to see them with a fresh enough mindset. Reviewing your answers within a short period requires you to realize that the error most likely falls in your approach or analysis rather than simply misreading the question. Try to review expert explanations to figure out how the question should have been done.
- Write what you will do differently for this question next time. Catching your mistakes and identifying how to correct them will save you some trouble in the future if the same mistakes are repeated and will help you to more quickly identify your errors.
10. DO NOT immediately start with timed practice, which will come later
Trying to time yourself right off the bat will most likely cause panic and leave you feeling discouraged. Try to practice on your own time to start and get a feel for the questions and which ones you feel you may want to take more time on.
Be confident in your goals and humble in your preparation. The road is different for every person but you can learn this. Everyone will take a different study approach for the LSAT and will struggle in different areas. Remember that you are the only one taking your test, so prioritize yourself and your personal needs during your studies and refrain from comparing yourself to other peers.
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