A key to successfully answering logical reasoning questions is to understand how the LSAT uses certain words. The LSAT logical reasoning section applies these terms in a near-mathematical sense. Finding the correct answers to certain questions depends on the way the test-makers use these terms.

Quantity terminology

Make sure you’re familiar with terms that indicate quantities:

  • None: This one is easy. None means none, absolutely none, not even one.

  • One: One means one. Enough said.

  • Some: Some is at least one but less than all. If you encounter a question that uses both some and most, assume that they may mean the same thing.

  • Many: The definition of many is even less clear than the one for some. It's safest to treat it the way you would some.

  • Most: Most means more than half.

  • All: All refers to every group member.

  • Every: Every means every member of a group, just like all.

The main thing to remember with quantity terms is this: They’re usually used relative to one another. So a question that mixes the terms some, most, and all may expect you to compare the three. All is clear; it encompasses everything. Most is often less than all but more than some. Additionally, a characteristic that’s true of some, many, or most members of a group could be true of every member of a group. For example, it’s true that all the faces on Mt. Rushmore are of men, but it’s equally safe to say that some of the faces are of men. Consider a relative qualifier such as some, many, or most to provide you with a foundation for evaluation but not an absolute.

Reasoning verbs

The verbs included in a question provide clues to the correct answer. Make sure you understand exactly what these reasoning actions require:

  • Assume: To take for granted that something is true, without proof; the noun form is assumption.

  • Conclude: To reason one’s way to a judgment or decision; the noun form is conclusion.

  • Deduce: To draw a logical conclusion by reasoning from available facts; the noun form is deduction.

  • Discrepancy: A difference, incompatibility, or lack of agreement between two or more statements.

  • Explain: To describe an idea and its facts in such a way as to make it clear; to provide reasons or justifications for some phenomenon; the noun form is explanation.

  • Imply: To suggest a conclusion without stating it directly; a conclusion that can be drawn from something not directly stated can be called an implication.

  • Infer: To use evidence and reasoning to reach a conclusion that isn’t directly stated; the noun form is inference.

  • Presume: To assume; to suppose that something is true based on available evidence, but not necessarily direct proof; the noun form is presumption. Lawyers and judges often talk about presumptions, which are basically the same thing as assumptions but sound fancier.

  • Reconcile: To make two things consistent with each other; to restore harmony; the noun form is reconciliation.

  • Support: To furnish evidence or reasons that make a conclusion seem more likely.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Lisa Zimmer Hatch, MA, and Scott A. Hatch, JD, have been preparing individuals to excel on standardized tests, gain admission to college, and secure careers since 1987. For nearly 30 years, they have provided their award-winning standardized test preparation throughout the world. Amy Hackney Blackwell, JD, PhD is a writer and former attorney. She holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, an MA in history from Vanderbilt University, an AB from Duke University and a PhD from Clemson University.

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