# LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

A student inquired recently about how to best understand the right and wrong answer choices in Weaken EXCEPT and Strengthen EXCEPT questions, and I thought my reply might help others here struggling with the same issue.

Here's my explanation:

Trends in Logical Reasoning: What's In? What's Out? What's Next?

The LSAC Winter Collection is out! It's a hot one, and we're not just talking leather and fur.

It is hard to make Logical Reasoning glamorous, but it's not an overstatement to say if you succeed on LR, you'll likely succeed on the LSAT. If you struggle with LR, you're going to be playing catch-up everywhere else, and not just because LR is half your score.

Logical Reasoning questions illustrate the principles tested throughout the LSAT, so if you master arguments, you're on your way to succeeding both with games and reading comprehension. Argument sections are not as neat and tidy as logic games sections or reading comp, in which you can categorize everything by game or passage, but LR sections do reveal trends in what the LSAC considers important, so they bear analysis.

So how did the December LR sections stack up?

In my previous blog post I talked about the basics of conditional reasoning on the LSAT, and dealt with fairly simple statements involving a single sufficient condition and a single necessary condition. You’ll find that post here:

http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/lsat-conditional-reasoning-easy-as-falling-off-a-log

On the LSAT, though, things are not always that simple! Sometimes (often, really) you will encounter conditional chains, where one thing is sufficient for another, which is sufficient for a third, which is sufficient for a fourth. Stringing these conditional claims together in the right order, and then knowing which conditions affect others and in what ways, will be crucial to your success. You will encounter chains in Must Be True questions, Parallel Reasoning, Parallel Flaw, Justify the Conclusion, and others. So, how do you manage to interpret the relationships correctly?

By playing with dominoes!

Conditional reasoning – argumentation based on “if…then” statements – is a prominent feature of the LSAT. While the numbers vary from test to test and year to year, you can expect something in the neighborhood of 10 questions in the Logical Reasoning sections that involve conditional reasoning, and at least half of the Logic Games will employ it as well. Some games (typically undefined or partially defined grouping games) will be entirely conditional, with every single rule setting up an if…then statement (if R is on the committee, X is also on the committee; if W is not on the committee, S is on the committee; etc.). In short, while conditional reasoning is not the be-all and end-all of the LSAT, it is a subject that should be mastered if you want to do well on the test, and it therefore deserves attention and practice.

It’s the Logical Reasoning section, and you’re already cooking. You’ve read the first stimulus and reacted to it, maybe noticed some flaw or some important indicator language. You’ve read the question stem, so you know what you’re supposed to be looking for.  You've developed a prephrase, so you are clear about what the right answer is supposed to look like, what it’s supposed to do. Now what do you do?

Now it’s time for a round of speed dating, folks.

Topics: LSAT Logical Reasoning, LSAT Prep

On the LSAT you are often asked to determine something about a portion of an argument. What was the main point, perhaps, or what role did such and such a statement play in the argument? That first question is called a Main Point question (no surprise there), and the latter is what we call a Method of Reasoning – Argument Part question.

Topics: LSAT Logical Reasoning

In the original Star Wars movie, there is a classic scene where Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker head to the nearby spaceport to try to find a ship to get them and the two droids, R2D2 and C3PO, off the planet and back into the hands of the Rebel Alliance. R2 is carrying some important info about how to destroy the Death Star. Great plan, but there’s a problem – the Empire is looking for the droids, and they have set up roadblocks and checkpoints to try and catch them before they get away.

Ben, Luke and the droids roll up into town and get flagged down by the cops, the Stormtroopers, who ask our heroes about the droids. Do they have papers for them? How long have they had them? Ben interrupts the questions, waves his hand subtly, and tells them “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” The head Stormtrooper repeats that line back to Ben, and to the rest of the roadblock gang. A few more waves of the hand, a few more suggestions that everything is cool and to let them go, and the Stormtroopers end up sending them on through, no problem, no more questions.