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Recognition | Quick guide

How to approach Recognition questions

What does it say?

Perhaps the most basic task of Reading Comprehension on the LSAT is that of recognizing things that the passage text states on a literal, explicit level:
  • “Which one of the following does the author explicitly identify as a characteristic of Adam Sandler movies?”*
  • “The author says which one of the following about My Little Pony?”
  • “The passage asserts which one of the following regarding college students?”
  • “According to the passage, what is true about fantasy baseball leagues?”
The answers to these questions will typically consist of a very close paraphrase of some part of the passage. Your task is to identify not the exact wording of something said in the passage, but rather the idea of it.
Questions like these might seem unexpectedly easy, especially to test takers for whom Reading Comprehension is a relative strength. There’s no hidden agenda or trap lurking in Recognition questions. Some LSAT questions are designed to test fairly basic skills and are therefore necessarily more basic than other question types.


  • First pass: eliminate what you can After reading the passage, a good first step is to go through the choices one by one, and see if you can cross out the ones that were not present in the passage.
  • Second pass: Try a keyword search Some choices will feature unusual terminology. When you see such terminology, underline or circle it in the choice, and then skim the passage to find a match. If you can’t find it, then cross out the choice.
  • Checks (✔'s), X’s and O’s Some students like using ✔'s, X’s and O’s to mark the choices on these questions.
  • = Choices that contain info that is present in the passage.
  • X = Choices that contain info that is not present in the passage.
  • O = You’re not sure yet - go back to the passage to see if it deserves a ✔ or an X.
  • Only one choice should have a ✔! It’s the answer.
Note: You can’t use this strategy in our system, but it’s a good one to try when you’re taking a test on paper!
  • Use active reading strategies to track the passage’s structure If you have underlined or circled the key claims (often found in the first and last sentences of paragraphs), then you’ll have a basic understanding of the structure of the passage and what role each paragraph is playing within the greater main point. Use that knowledge of the passage’s outline to guide your search for the answer.

Recognition EXCEPT

Sometimes, questions will ask you to identify the one choice that contains information that was not present in the passage or pair of passages.
  • "The passage provides information that explains the perspectives of all of the following groups EXCEPT"
  • "Which of the following mining techniques is NOT mentioned in the passage as being detrimental to the environment?"

Strategies for Recognition EXCEPT questions

  • As a first step, go through the choices one by one, and see if you can cross out ones that you remember being mentioned in the passage.
  • Use the “✔'s and X’s strategy” mentioned above
  • Only one choice should have an X (it's not in the passage)! It’s the answer!

Additional strategies

  • Read the question carefully It is also a good idea to pay close attention when you see words like NOT and EXCEPT in the question itself, so you don’t accidentally select a choice that doesn’t answer the question being asked. On a paper test, it’s a good idea to underline or circle these words.

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