This is a continuation of a series of posts exploring the June 2007 LSAT in detail. My goal is to demonstrate where hidden opportunities lie; then, using these analyses as a template, you can find those hidden opportunities in other practice tests. And, of course, find them on test day! Why the June 2007 LSAT? Because this is the LSAT all potential test takers can freely access; this is where most test takers probably begin their prep. And I want to give you some help from the ground up, so to speak!
Miss our previous post? Check it out here.
In our continued struggle for LSAT mastery, there are many vital considerations:
- First, we need skills and techniques to deal with the different section types.
- Second, inside those sections, we need skills and techniques to deal with the different question types.
- And finally, we need to be able to apply these skills and techniques quickly on the test, because we all know the time constraints can be brutal.
Last time, we discussed how to quickly make good decisions on those Logical Reasoning question types that many test takers automatically skip.
Another element of timing? Knowing where you can pick up the pace… and the first 5 or 6 LR questions often offer this opportunity. So today, let’s look at the first 5 or 6 questions in Section 2.
Take a few minutes and try the first 5 questions. I’ll still be here!
Done? Okay. Let’s work through the first 5 questions, shall we?
#1: A main conclusion question. Ok, the “But” transition starting in sentence two is promising. And it looks like the last sentence explains why not all efforts are beneficial. So, the first sentence provides background, the second sentence transitions into a conclusion that is supported by the last sentence.
Similar to last week, let’s take a quick sweep through the choices to see if any contain similar or dissimilar phrasing to the main conclusion. “Not all efforts… are beneficial…”
A, C, and D use conditional logic language or absolute language—if, only, and no.
B gives us a “some”: does it match? Some measures fail vs not all efforts are beneficial. Checks out. Let’s move on.
Notice I haven’t mentioned E? If you’re trying to pick up the pace, quickly drop the choices that you can drop, and when you have a match, choose it and move on.
#2: I discussed this one in my last post, so you can check that out later, if you haven’t already.
#3: This paragraph matches characteristics applicable to individuals and characteristics about centuries: personal aspects match personal aspects, and century aspects match century aspects. The final sentence establishes the personal aspect (“looking back on the events of their life”), and then transitions into the century aspect as we move into the _________.
So let’s begin by splitting the choices based on whether they discuss the personal aspect or the century aspect. Only C, D, and E mention the century aspect, and C discusses the next century–but everything in this paragraph has discusses present day against the past; nothing mentioned the future!
So we select either D or E based on what seems most like looking back on events. But both of them in some way discuss looking back. Choice E has a characterization: “unfortunate”. Nothing in the paragraph is characterized based on fortunate or not fortunate, so let’s not select E.
#4: If we can isolate the reasoning, we can answer this question quickly. “Because of the bias…”
A quick scan reveals that choice A is the only choice that mentions a bias. Check to see the rest of choice A matches the content of the paragraph, and it does. Done!
#5: Focus on the scientist’s explanation: the warming is the result of the buildup of minor gases. Ok, can we quickly scan to see which choices actually mention minor gases? A, B, and E remain. And notice that B is the only choice to directly link something about the gases to something about warming! This seems to be our most promising choice. But does it go against the scientist? Yes, it does—it creates a disconnect between when the warming occurred and when the gas buildup occurred.
So, there’s 5 questions down quickly! What were the aspects of these questions that allowed this? It’ no secret, this was just application of core LR principles: Identify the question, deconstruct the argument, and work from wrong to right.
What I want you to learn from this is simple: when you master the LR process, you should trust it. Some questions are designed to be answered quickly, and solid LR process can do this. So how do we develop this mastery of process? Review. Intense review of every LR question you attempt is the key: prove the correct answer, and clearly, explicitly disprove every incorrect answer. Trying a question, checking the key, saying “oh, I got it right” and moving on to the next question is not enough.
Want to learn everything there is to know about Logical Reasoning? Check out our strategy guide.
Next week, we’ll move on from Logical Reasoning to Reading Comprehension. ?
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Chris Gentry is a Manhattan Prep LSAT, GMAT, and GRE instructor who lives in Atlanta, Georgia (and absolutely loves his city; he has family ties that go back over 150 years). Chris received both his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Clemson and JD from Emory University School of Law before realizing that he genuinely enjoys the challenge of standardized tests, and his true passion is teaching. Chris’ dual-pronged approach to understanding each test question has helped countless of his students to achieve their goal scores. What are you waiting for? Check out Chris’ upcoming LSAT courses here.