By Peg Tittle, LSAT Tutor • April 13, 2015
1. Squeeze the conditions for all inferences you can. Put them together in various combinations and ask ‘If this is true and this is true, what must also be true?’
2. Go back and see if there’s something in the set-up that you should number as a condition so you don’t forget it.
3. Note which variables have a lot of strings attached and which don’t have any. When you have to ‘plug and chug’ (methodically work through all possibilities), start with the ones with the most strings attached because you’ll work through all the possibilities more quickly with those.
4. When you have to plug and chug, keep checking to see if you’ve done enough to answer the question. All too often, I’ve kept going to the very end, only to realize then I had the answer several steps ago.
5. Remember that if a question gives you additional conditions, you can’t use the results per se for subsequent questions (unless you’re given the same additional conditions). But keep the results in case you just need to see if you can make a certain arrangement work. (You may have already made it work, in a previous question.)
6. For a substitution question, figure out what the net result of the original condition is, then look for the option that simply yields the same net result.
Peg Tittle used to work at LSAC writing the questions that go on the LSAT; she’s the author of a logical reasoning textbook (Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason, Routledge 2011); she has an M.A. in Philosophy (we’re all about argument!), a B.A. in Literature (there’s my RC!), a B.Ed. (so I know pedagogy), and ESL certification; and she has over ten years’ teaching/tutoring experience.
She has set up an FAQ page about her LSAT tutoring (which she does by phone or skype).