Klarissa Jeiel: Where Law Meets Design

LSAT Logical Indicators

A crash course on logical indicators that will teach you about words like if, then and must and why they are important to understand for the LSAT.

Want to play the Logical Indicators Practice Game but don’t know how? Well, here’s a crash course on logical indicators that’ll help you figure it out!

“If,” “then,” and “must” are commonly used words in the English language. We don’t really think about them in day-to-day conversations but when studying for the LSAT, you’ll learn that these words actually have a very specific role within a sentence.

They are logical indicators (or conditional indicators) that signal to you a conditional statement.

A what? A conditional statement. Here’s a basic one:

If A, then B

E.g. If Kieran is accepted into law school, then he has written the LSAT.

Conditional statements are statements with ideas that have a relationship to each other. In the above example, the two ideas are (1) Kieran being accepted into law school and (2) his having written the LSAT and they have the following relationship:

If the first idea is true, then the second idea must also be true.

Conditional statements consist of two parts: the sufficient condition and the necessary condition.

The sufficient condition is called so because if true, it is sufficient for us to know that the other condition (the necessary one) is also true. The necessary condition, on the other hand, is called necessary because it must be true in order for the other condition (the sufficient one) to be true.

Going back to the example, if the sufficient condition that Kieran is accepted into law school is met, then that is sufficient for us to know that the necessary condition of him writing the LSAT has also been met.

Logical indicators tell you which idea in a conditional statement is sufficient and which is necessary. In an if-then statement, the sufficient condition is A or the idea immediately following the logical indicator “if” while the necessary condition is B or the idea immediately following the logical indicator “then.”

Unfortunately, it’s not always that straightforward. The LSAT likes to hide the conditional relationship of two ideas by using more complex conditional statements. Take this one for example:

Kieran cannot go to law school unless he writes the LSAT.

The two ideas still have a conditional relationship. But it’s not presented in a basic if-then conditional statement. You have to be able to identify logical indicators other than “if” and “then” like “cannot” and “unless” to determine which ideas are the sufficient and necessary conditions.

Lost? Totally understandable. I suggest taking up an LSAT Prep Course to learn more about conditional statements and logical indicators. I recommend the 7Sage LSAT Prep Course (it’s the one I did).

Once you’ve done that and you think you’ve got a pretty good grasp of both concepts, you’re ready to try the Logical Indicators Practice Game.

It’s based on 7Sage’s Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, and Group 4 translation lessons so it might be helpful to give those a read before playing but it should be easy to get the hang of no matter what Prep Course you took so long as you have a fundamental understanding of logical indicators.

I hope you have fun and drill those logical indicators you need to crush the LSAT!