Welcome to the Logic Games section. We know there is one graded Logic Games section on the LSAT and, if you?re lucky, there could be one more section that is ungraded. So Logic Games make up one quarter of the LSAT.
Truthfully, Logic Games has always been my favorite section of the exam. It?s actually the section easiest to improve your score on. How could you not love that?
What Are Logic Games?
Before we dive in, let?s review what logic games are and how they work.
If you?re new to the LSAT, the analytical reasoning section of this exam is often referred to as ?logic games,? as the questions posed are very game-like. Comprising 4 separate games, each one involves a single scenario or set of rules along with 5 to 8 questions.
In terms of how it works, you will need to understand basic information about each scenario so that you can comprehend the fundamentals of the game. These games could involve setting up a group with a set schedule or creating teams out of a specific group of people.
Also, within that scenario will be a set of rules that you?ll need to follow to solve the game. This could involve restrictions such as ?Player X can only play if Player Z is also playing.? Once you?ve understood the scenario and the rules, you?ll be asked questions like, ?Which of the following must be true?? Or, ?If Player Z is playing, who must play second??
The overall aim of logic games is to test your ability to differentiate between options within a set of rules ? which is why they are so challenging.
How Long Do Logic Games Take?
Each section of the LSAT is timed and consists of 35-minute sections. This also applies to the Logic Games section; you will be asked to solve 4 separate games (asking 5 to 8 questions each) within that allotted time period. That means you have roughly 8 minutes to complete each game if you choose to do them all.
However, if logic games aren?t your strength, it may be best to choose 3 games and try to do them well, rather than rush through them all in an attempt to get more points. If you choose 3 games instead of 5, you will have roughly 11 minutes to complete them.
Okay, now that we?ve briefly introduced you to what it?s all about, it?s time to dive deeper. We have broken down the Logic Games section by type: Sequencing Games, Linear Games, Group Games, Multi-Linear Games, Hybrid Games, GURU Games, and the Lost Boys.
Let?s get better acquainted with each:
Sequencing games are the most straightforward type of Linear Game you will encounter. The rules in these games will all deal with sequencing relationships (e.g., A comes before B). This section is unlocked for free inside of LSATMax, so make sure you take advantage of it!
Linear games are one of the most common types of Logic Games. You are pretty much guaranteed to see one of these on your exam. Ultimately, you are placing certain variables in a linear order (e.g., runners in a race).
Group games are another very common type of game that you will most likely see on the LSAT. There are two types of Group Games: (1) different groups (e.g., classes, teams, etc.) and (2) in/out. These games deal mostly with sufficient and necessary conditions, so make sure you are very comfortable with the rules of these!
Multi-linear games are an extra layer on top of the Linear Game. Multi-linear Games are basically Linear Games with additional variables (e.g., runners in a race with each runner sponsored by a charity).
Hybrid games combine Linear Games and Group Games, which makes these some of the most difficult games you will encounter on the LSAT.
GURU games are a specific type of game where you need to come up with every possible scenario that exists to determine the answer. These are really important to master because LSAC knows that some students won?t put in the initial time to come up with all the possibilities, and therefore, places time trap questions to run out the clock on these students.
The Lost Boys
Lost Boys are questions that don?t neatly fit into any of the above categories. While these are rare to come across on the LSAT, you?ll want to be prepared for any possibility. Since it?s impossible to predict exactly what these questions will be like, it?s vital to quickly identify them as outliers, so you can know you?ll need to sort out the best unique approach.
This is also why it?s so important to develop overall logic skills; that way, you can apply them to any situation, including ones that don?t fit neatly into a specific box (which is a situation you?re likely to come up against when you practice law after graduating).
How to Prepare for the LSAT Logic Games Section
Alright, so how should you prepare for the Logic Games section? Well, just like the rest of the exam, practice is key. Soon you will see that certain rules will bring about certain deductions. This is key in beating the clock on this section of the LSAT. Ideally, you should finish each game in 8 minutes and 45 seconds.
Time Yourself While You Practice
The Logic Games section is the only section where you want to time yourself right off the bat. Time yourself from start to finish and write how long it took you to do the game at the top of the page. That way, you can gauge your progress as you study. After you finish each game, ask yourself: did I get everything right? And if yes, then did I finish the game in under 8 minutes and 45 seconds? If the answer to either of these questions is ?no,? then put aside the game in a different pile to do again.
There?s nothing wrong with doing a game over and over again. There are only a finite amount of game patterns. If you know how to approach them, you will be able to execute any logic game. If you can correctly write out the setup and deductions, you?re going to ace the section. Remember, there is a rhyme and a reason to why our video explanations are setup in the way they are.
NOTE: you can access video explanations by tapping the ?play? icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen when viewing a game inside of LSATMax.
As you watch the videos, note that we always write out our setup and take the time to find all the deductions. It is imperative to write out the setup and keep it unmarred throughout the different questions so that you can use it as your base or marker to always come back to. You want to utilize your setup as your reminder of all the deductions and reproduce it every time there is a new question with different constraints.
When you watch the explanation video for a game, really analyze the differences between what techniques and deductions are made in the video and what you did on your game. See if your setup is missing a specific deduction made in the video and ask yourself how we made that deduction? What rule or rules lead us to that deduction? Do that next time. Learn what you can do and can?t do with the rules.
Remember, however, that certain things might be slightly different in the video explanations from what you have done. For instance, the video explanation might have drawn a vertical setup while you made a horizontal one. That doesn?t mean you are wrong. You need to learn what the ideal setup is. That is to say it?s best to draw out the setup in its most effective visual form. Think about what is easiest.
Determine What Answering Order Works for You
Now usually the third game is the hardest game. Some students like to skip around with the game and do the hardest game last because there is no penalty for wrong answer choices, so why not spend more of your time in the beginning doing the ?easier? games? The order in which you execute your logic games is subjective.
If you find that it helps your score to skip around, then feel free to do it. If you choose to do this, however, make sure you do not ?mis-bubble.? Be diligent with which answer choice you are bubbling, so you aren?t dealing with a disaster at the end of the section.
Draw Out Diagrams
This is especially helpful if you?re a visual learner, but we recommend it for everyone when preparing for (or even during) the LSAT. As you piece together all the rules of a game, you?ll want to try to draw out a diagram of the problem; this can help you much more quickly sort the information into the appropriate places, and figure out exactly how things relate to each other.
Use a scrap piece of paper to do this, and try to start the diagram higher on the page, so that you have room to expand downward if needed. Also, try to keep your diagram near your question; the time it takes to scan from your diagram to the question and answers may seem minimal, but it can be easy to forget a key piece of visual information in that time, and every second of the Logic Games section counts.
Master the LSAT Logic Games Section
While this section may seem especially daunting, remember, there is always a right answer and a clear path to finding it. Your task is to train your brain to recognize patterns and know when to apply particular rational strategies to each one.
Alright, I hope that was helpful. It is time to dive into the lessons! Happy Logic Games!