LSAT Analytical Reasoning Background

Analytical reasoning (games) problems are a large departure from the other sections of the LSAT. Whereas the other sections of the LSAT (logical reasoning, reading comprehension, and essay) examine skills that are readily identifiable as relevant to law school success, and eventually, a legal career, the skills tested in the analytical reasoning (games) section of the LSAT are a little less obvious.

Before getting into the finer points of analytical reasoning (games) problems, it is important for the examinee to fully understand the format that these problems will follow on the LSAT. Analytical reasoning (games) problems make up one of the four, scored sections of the LSAT. Therefore, it should be obvious that analytical reasoning (games) problems must be taken seriously for the examinee to have any hope of doing well on the LSAT overall.

The analytical reasoning (games) section of the LSAT is made up of four analytical reasoning (games) problems. Each of these problems has five or six questions attributable to each fact pattern. Therefore, the analytical reasoning (games) section of the LSAT will include a total of twenty-two to twenty-four individual questions. The examinee should remember, however, that the LSAT examiners always place an extra section on the LSAT that will not count towards the examinee’s score. It is very possible for this “experimental” section to consist of analytical reasoning (games) questions. The problem for examinees is that it is impossible to know which section counts, and which does not.

From an overall perspective, the analytical reasoning (games) section of the LSAT tests many of the same skills as the other sections. Namely, the examinee’s ability to work quickly, under pressure, confronted with large volumes of information. The analytical reasoning (games) section is unique, however, in that it focuses primarily on the examinee’s ability to identify and process the relationships that exist between many different things with various points of convergence. Like many topics, the analytical reasoning (games) portion of the LSAT is one of those sections that most examinees dread. Some, however, seem to instantly grasp the concepts tested and do very well on the section without much difficulty. Assuming that most fall into the former category, some degree of comfort should be taken in the fact that through hard work and repeated exposure to practice problems, the skills required to master the analytical reasoning (games) section of the LSAT can be obtained.

Having said this, it is important for the examinee to remember that the LSAT, overall, is a very time-sensitive test. The analytical reasoning (games) section of the LSAT is arguably the most “rushed” section on the LSAT. With only thirty-five minutes to complete the approximately twenty-four questions, the examinee only has about nine minutes per game and fewer than two minutes per question. Throughout the course of the examinee’s preparation for the analytical reasoning (games) section of the LSAT, it will become obvious which types of games are the easiest for the examinee, and which pose the most trouble. The examinee is wise to apportion his/her limited time to the easiest (for him/her) analytical reasoning (games) problems first, in order to maximize their scoring potential.

Analytical Reasoning Questions-Types
Analytical Reasoning Questions-Ordering Problems
Analytical Reasoning Questions-Selection Problems
Analytical Reasoning Questions-Allocation Problems
Analytical Reasoning Questions-Connection Games

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