LSAT Study Guide


LSAT Study Guide

Pages:10 (3154 words)


Topic:Law School

Document Type:Study Guide



The LSAT or Law School Admission Test necessitates a profound grasp of the test itself when compared with a majority of other standardized exams. Rather than an intuitive test, this exam tests the examinee’s verbal reasoning skills. An understanding of how and what content to study for the test will facilitate adequate preparation. This LSAT Study Guide will facilitate identification of the areas examinees must concentrate on for ultimately acing the LSAT, thereby gaining entry into their chosen law school

Study materials 2020/21

A high LSAT score forms the ideal beginning for a career in law. It facilitates admission into the top law schools as well as improves likelihood of earning a scholarship. It is absolutely essential to choose the appropriate books to prepare for LSAT. The right collection of books will help guarantee test preparers access to the top tips and approaches to smartly deal with all kinds of questions.

The following collection of easily-available books will facilitate examinees in achieving their dream of gaining entry into one of the best law schools.

  1. 10 Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests Volume V
  2. PowerScore LSAT Bible Trilogy
  3. Kaplan’s LSAT Premier 2016-2017 with Real Practice Questions
  4. Introducing the LSAT: The Fox Test Prep Quick & Dirty LSAT Primer.
  5. The Princeton Review Cracking the LSAT Premium 2015 Edition

Other good LSAT Preparation books are:

  • McGraw-Hill LSAT 2016
  • The LSAT Trainer
  • The Official LSAT SuperPrep


i.  Analytical Reasoning

At times, mere understanding of how one can prepare will aid examinees in making the most of their abilities and knowledge during the examination, which is definitely true in case of analysis tests. Thus, this study guide will assist you in practicing the necessary skills for this LSAT section.

How to prepare for the LSAT Analytical Reasoning test

For acing LSAT’s analytical reasoning questions, examinees must effectively:

  • Understand information provided and put forward a resolution to the issue.
  • Put into practice “if-then” reasoning skills.
  • Identify which statements are potentially true, on the basis of information provided.
  • Identify logically equivalent sentences.
  • Infer on the basis of extant as well as novel information.

While specific logic training isn’t needed, an examinee should be capable of isolating distinct relationships in the passage, applying them meaningfully to questions. Furthermore, it is vital that examinees utilize only that information existing within passages, or which may be inferred using the passage. The insertion of information from a source besides the passage or previous knowledge may adversely impact one’s capability of answering such questions.

In LSAT’s Analytical Reasoning exam, the examinee must decide whether a statement may, or has to, be true, based on a collection of provided facts. The passages utilized will entail some kind of ordering or organization of events. An examinee who practices such reasoning will be able to greatly improve his/her likelihood of acing this LSAT section. Bear in mind the following whilst preparing.

Terms to Know

Familiarity with particular terms can be useful when reading and answering questions. Examinees must make sure they understand their meanings and applications.

If-Then Statements

An if-then statement (or conditional statement) calls for logical deductions and conclusions on the basis of information at hand. Here, conclusions (then) depend on variables (if). For instance, conditional statements might say, “If one exerts efforts, one will succeed.” Success depends on efforts.

Logical Equivalence

The term ‘logical equivalence’ may be defined as the state utilized for describing the truth content, or equivalent logic of two separate statements, demonstrated through statement pairs like:

A - If Steven is admitted into school, he will regularly receive homework.

B - If Steven isn’t admitted into school, he won’t get homework.

The logical conclusion remains the same though the sentences differ.

ii.  Logical Reasoning

In addition to sound reasoning skills, the examinee must effectively apply particular non-legal words and phrases for acing the test. Thus, the examinee must determine the terms and how LSAT uses them to test exam takers.

LSAT Logical Reasoning Section

General Information

LSAT’s Logical Reasoning part is, in reality, two sections, thus constituting fifty percent of possible points. The examinee will need to read short passages followed by answering a couple of related questions. This section determines examinees’ critical thinking abilities — i.e., their capability of disassembling arguments and seeing them for what they are.

Whilst dealing with such questions, the examinee must take care not to insert their previous knowledge regarding any given subject. Moreover, they must make sure their choice adequately answers the given question and isn’t merely a fact. Certain questions can have a number of elements and one must find an answer to satisfy them all.

Terms to Know

Exam takers must familiarize themselves with the following terms and their meanings. Additionally, they ought to apply them suitably whilst answering questions posed.


Arguments represent a collection of statements aimed at supporting and/or proving a specific conclusion. They comprise of at least one basis and only one conclusion. Consider the following examples:

All cabbages are vegetables.

No vegetables are square.

Thus, no cabbages are square.


The premise or grounds for arguments may be defined as statements assuming that conclusions made are true. They aim at directly proving conclusions or proving them using inference. For instance:

If Taylor Swift loses her voice, her concert will be ruined.

Taylor Swift loses her voice.

Thus, her concert gets ruined.


Assumptions are statements without proofs provided. They are simply assumed to be true. They form the link between premises and conclusions. That is, an argument depends on assumptions. Proofs aren’t provided for a premise posed by itself for proving a conclusion. Consider the following classic Aristotelian example:

All men are mortal.

Socrates is a man.

Therefore, Socrates is mortal.


A conclusion refers to a statement within the argument, whose truth the argument means to prove. Take the same Aristotelian syllogism mentioned above:

All men are mortal.

Socrates is a man.

Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

iii.  Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension test is definitely more advanced as compared to the majority of other reading comprehension exams. This study guide will inform examinees of this fact in detail and help them prepare for it.

LSAT Reading Comprehension Test

General Information

The reading comprehension test gauges test-takers’ capability of reading and understanding written content – this is where it resembles other tests of reading comprehension. But the LSAT’s reading comprehension part differs from other tests in the following major ways:

  • The examinee must undertake very precise reading, discerning highly specific details.
  • The level of content resembles that encountered in law schools.
  • The reading passages in the test are complicated and dense.
  • Passage writers make use of complex rhetorical structure and advanced vocabulary.

This LSAT section comprises of four collections of passages with related questions. Of the four, three have one passage each with 5-8 accompanying questions. The last set is made up of two passages with relevant questions posed; here, the questions require comparisons and contrast of information provided within the passages.

The topics covered in LSAT’s reading passages come from various disciplines such as humanities, social sciences, legal concepts, and physical and biological sciences. The content encompasses advanced argument structure and vocabulary. Diverse perspectives may be put forward in a complex manner.

Questions posed entail use of the passage for:

  • Determining the chief purpose or idea of the author.
  • Inferring from the content.
  • Locating clearly-stated facts.
  • Defining words utilized in the passage.
  • Explaining organization of the passage.
  • Locating information applicable in a novel context or situation.
  • Identifying functional principles applicable to passages.
  • Developing analogies for the details provided within the passages.
  • Presenting novel information potentially affecting the writer’s claims.
  • Appraising the author’s attitude on the basis of his/her writing tone.

iv.  Writing Sample

Given the fact that law schools take a glimpse at the writing sample, examinees must know precisely what they’re looking for.

Preparing for LSAT Writing Sample

Upon completion of LSAT test sessions, the examinee will be provided with a prompt and have 35 minutes for planning and writing an essay based on it. Despite the writing not being scored, this sample together with the LSAT score will be forwarded to all law schools the examinees apply to.

The prompts will typically be on non-legal topics, though the writing style and content of the examinee must resemble that expected at law school. This Writing Sample aims at gauging students’ capability of:

  • Effective written communication
  • Writing argumentative texts, which is typically sought at law school.

Writing Skills to Practice

Whilst practicing writing in the abovementioned format, the following work-related questions must be addressed. Having a “study buddy” to assess one’s work may prove beneficial as the study buddy can offer valuable, impartial feedback.

  • Reasoning – Are all your statements supported by established facts, proofs from prompts, or widely-known information? Are supporting facts related explicitly to the statements, and do they suffice in supporting them?
  • Clarity – Can readers clearly understand your statements?
  • Organization – Is the essay logically organized, with sub-topics divided into paragraphs and addressed one after another?
  • Language Use – Have you employed relevant, varied language whilst expressing your ideas?
  • Mechanics – Is your punctuation and capitalization correct throughout?
  • Legibility – In the current age, we typically depend on computer-written papers and seldom write by hand. Those unaccustomed to writing by hand will find this a great time to practice.

One More Tip

Ensure your response to the prompt provided is seriously worded. Those who refuse to do so will find their work discredited by law schools they are aspiring to get into.

Given the fact that law schools you apply to will have a look at the writing sample, an examinee must know precisely what law schools want. This study guide will assist you with creating an impressive document.

Sample Questions

Logical Reasoning

When pregnant lab rats are given caffeine equivalent to the amount a human would consume by drinking six cups of coffee per day, an increase in the incidence of birth defects results. When asked if the government would require warning labels on products containing caffeine, a spokesperson stated that it would not because the government would lose credibility if the finding of these studies were to be refuted in the future.

1. Which statement below may be said to be most strongly indicated by the abovementioned governmental statement?

(A) A warning that applies to a small population is inappropriate.
(B) Very few people drink as many as six cups of coffee a day.
(C) There are doubts about the conclusive nature of studies on animals.
(D) Studies on rats provide little data about human birth defects.
(E) The seriousness of birth defects involving caffeine is not clear.

Analytical Reasoning

1. Buses 1, 2, and 3 make one trip each day, and they are the only ones that riders A, B, C, D, E, F, and G take to work.

Neither E nor G takes bus 1 on a day when B does.
G does not take bus 2 on a day when D does.
When A and F take the same bus, it is always bus 3.
C always takes bus 3.

Commuting together to work, B, C, and G could travel by which of the same buses on any given day?

(A) 1 only
(B) 2 only
(C) 3 only
(D) 2 and 3 only
(E) 1, 2, and 3

Reading Comprehension

Many, perhaps most, well-disposed, practical people would, if they had to designate a philosophy that comes closest to expressing their unstated principles, pick utilitarianism. The philosophy that proclaims as its sovereign criterion the procuring of the greatest good of the greatest number has indeed served as a powerful engine of legal reform and rationalization. And it is a crucial feature of utilitarianism that it is consequences that count. Now it is interesting that some judgments that are actually made in the law and elsewhere do not appear to accord with this thoroughgoing consequentialism. For instance, both in law and morals there are many instances of a distinction being made between direct and indirect intention — i.e., the distinction between on the one hand the doing of evil as an end in itself or on the other hand bringing about the same evil result as a consequence of one’s direct ends or means. So also the distinction is drawn between the consequences that we bring about by our actions and consequences that come about through our failures to act. Also, when bad consequences ensue from our actions and what was done was in the exercise of a right or privilege, the law is less likely to lay those bad consequences at our doorstep. And, finally, if the only way to prevent some great harm would be by inflicting a lesser harm on yourself or on others, then too the law is inclined to absolve us of responsibility for that avoidable greater harm. It is as if the net value of the consequences were not crucial, at least where net benefit is procured by the intentional infliction of harm.

Not only are these distinctions drawn in some moral systems, but there are numerous places in the law where they are made regularly. Since in utilitarianism and consequentialism in general the ultimate questions must always be whether and to what extent the valued end-state (be it happiness or possession of true knowledge) obtains at a particular moment, it is inevitable that the judgments on the human agencies that may affect this end-state must be wholly instrumental: human actions can be judged only by their tendency to produce the relevant end-states.

Indeed it may well be that even the point and contents of normative judgments — whether legal or moral — are concerned not just with particular end-states of the world but also with how end-states are brought about. These kinds of substantive judgments take the form: there are some things one should just never do — kill an innocent person, falsely accuse a defendant in a criminal proceeding, engage in sex for pay. These are to be contrasted to judgments that this or that is an unfortunate, perhaps terrible, result that (other things being equal) one would want to avoid. The former are — very generally — judgments of right and wrong. It is wrong to do this or that, even if the balance of advantages favors it; a person is right to do some particular thing (help a friend, protect his client’s interests) even though more good will come if he does not.

1. The main point the author of this passage wishes to make is:

(A) Law and utilitarianism are not always compatible.
(B) Utilitarianism is the operating philosophy of most people.
(C) Consequentialism is the basis for legal reform.
(D) Direct and indirect intentions lead to different end-states.
(E) Judgments about human actions can be made only by the resulting end-states.

2. Which feature below isn’t characteristic of utilitarianism?

(A) Results are considered important.
(B) Consequences are considered important.
(C) The valued end-state is considered important.
(D) The means of achieving results are considered important.
(E) The net value of consequences is considered important.

Writing Sample

Alice Anderson is a senior at John Paul Jones University. She has been offered two positions as a result of her outstanding record in her major, Television and Radio Broadcasting. As her counselor, you are to write an argument favoring one of the two offers. Two considerations guide your decision:

* Alice has a large student loan debt that she has to begin to repay immediately upon graduation.
* Alice has as her career goal a position as a network news anchorperson.

WAND is the only television station serving a large area located some 250 miles north of the capital of the state. The station has offered Alice a job as a reporter whose principal assignments would be to cover the activities of local governments, politics, and business. In addition to her assigned stories, Alice would have the opportunity to independently prepare stories for possible broadcast. Because the station is small, has a very stable staff, and has limited growth prospects, Alice’s chances for advancement are not good. WAND’s owner is a former network executive who purchased the station in order to get away from the pressures of broadcasting in major markets. Alice would get only a modest salary at WAND, and she would have to supplement her income with outside work.

KBSC is one of three television stations located in the state capital. The station has offered Alice a job as a production assistant in the news department. She would primarily do background research and check facts and sources for the producers and reporters. Production assistants who work hard are promoted to positions as special assignment reporters in about two years. There are many special assignment reporters competing for assignments, most of which involve covering minor events such as political dinners, award ceremonies, and concerts and writing human-interest stories. Most special assignment reporters spend at least five years covering minor events before moving into a position as a general report-anchorperson. KBSC would pay Alice a salary in excess of the amount she would need to live comfortably in the city.

LSAT Answers

Logical Reasoning

1. Option (C) is the right answer. If the government were to act prior to acquiring conclusive proofs for the research findings, it would lose its credibility.

Analytical Reasoning

1. Option (C) is the right answer.

Bus 1: If B, then no E or G
Bus 2: If D, then no G
Bus 3: C always
Bus 3: When A and F take the same bus.

Reading Comprehension

1. Option (A) is the right answer. The passage thoroughly examines the contradiction between different kinds of “normative” laws (grounded in righteousness of actions) and utilitarianism (in which what matters is consequences’ net value).

2. Option (D) is the right answer. Options (A), (B), and (C) have roughly the same things to say regarding utilitarianism; i.e., the consequences, outcomes, and “end-states” matter whilst taking any action. Meanwhile, option (E) may be deduced from the first paragraph’s final sentence, in which the author claims that not paying attention to consequences’ net value is a shortcoming of non-utilitarian judgments and laws. Thus, the right answer is option (D) — in utilitarianism, it is important to procure the greatest good for the largest number of people. The author has made considerable efforts in contrasting the above notion with rulings and laws wherein human action rather than its outcome is judged.


Ace the LSAT through preparations using different available LSAT Study Guides. At the very least, practicing on available practice tests whilst sticking to the time limit is recommended (practice on the writing sample as well). This will aid you in deciding on the amount of time to devote to individual questions, as well as in identifying the question types to practice more on.

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