LSAT Logic Games
Intro to LSAT Logic Games
Logic Games, the common name for the Analytical Reasoning section on the LSAT exam, is often thought of as the most difficult section of the LSAT. However, it's also the easiest section to improve on once the right strategies are learned and implemented. Although it's difficult, to begin with, you should see consistent improvement in your scores as you continue practicing the strategies.
The logic games section is made up of 4 games, each of which has 5-8 questions. Every game begins with a scenario, followed by a set of rules, with the questions at the end. The goal of this section is to test your ability to infer conclusions when applying a set of rules to a situation.
The first step of undertaking any logic game is diagramming the setup. This allows you to keep track of the rules and all the possible solutions. When practicing for logic games, you'll mostly be practicing diagramming each type of game and breaking it down for easy understanding.
Within the logic games section, there are also different game types such as sequencing games, group games, and linear games, among others. Each has its own unique diagramming technique which, if implemented properly, will make answering the questions much easier.
Learning diagramming, being familiar with different game types, taking practice tests for this section, and planning your strategies will make you more prepared when you sit down for the actual LSAT exam. Your aim is to learn the diagramming techniques and to be able to apply them quickly, so you can answer all the questions as accurately as possible within the time limit.
How Many Analytical Reasoning Sections Are on the LSAT?
Logic Games make up at least one-quarter of the LSAT. There are 4 sections that are scored and 1 experimental section that's unscored. You won't know which section is which. The experimental section is a repeat of any of the normal 4 categories, and it's meant to help formulate the next year's LSAT tests.
Because the experimental section can be anything, it may be another logic games section. This would give you a total of two logic games sections, with only 1 being scored, although you wouldn't know which was scored and which was unscored.
How Much Time Are You Given for LSAT Logic Games?
You'll have 35 minutes to complete all the logic games in the section, the same as with any other LSAT test section. If you attempt all 4 of the games, you'll have around 8 minutes 45 seconds per game.
Basic LSAT Logic Games Strategies
When you reach the LSAT analytical reasoning section, you should be armed with some strategies ahead of time. This will maximize your chances of getting a better score, and you'll be able to get through the games more quickly.
Choosing Your Focus
Your first point of strategy is to choose whether you want to do all the games or focus on 3 while guessing or quickly running through the last game. If you want more time to analyze each game and answer the questions, you could choose to focus on doing 3 with your full attention, which would give you around 3 minutes extra per game. Since you aren't penalized for wrong answers, you can fill out the answers for the last game and potentially pick up a few points doing that.
As the first step when you start a game, always write out the setup and take the time to find all the deductions. It's 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 refer 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.
Writing out the setup and rules is called diagramming. Although there are recommended ways to do it, you can pick and choose what makes the most sense to you and what you find to be the easiest way to do it.
You have to learn to split your time up appropriately between every section. By mastering the diagramming, you'll be able to get through the initial reading and arranging quickly and spend more time answering questions. Ideally, you'll get through the simpler logic games quicker, so you'll end up with more time for the most difficult of the bunch.
Strategies for Answering Questions
Along with diagramming and other reading strategies, you can also learn strategies for answering questions more quickly. One of the most commonly used strategies is eliminating answers that can't fit into the rules, then answering from the remaining choices.
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.
There are tons of helpful LSAT logic game strategies you can learn to improve your score and keep getting faster. Through a tutor, you can learn the strategies that help you most and continue practicing until you're consistently getting good results and fast speeds.
Types of LSAT Logic Games
You can generally separate the Analytical Reasoning logic games out by type: Sequencing Games, Linear Games, Group Games, Multi-Linear Games, Hybrid Games, GURU Games, and the Lost Boys.
Different categorizations exist, depending on where you look or who you're learning from. This is a more specific way of separating games, whereas some people categorize them more broadly as linear/ordering games and grouping/distributional games. The games are all the same, no matter how many categories you choose to use, but it can be helpful to break them down further for quicker recognition.
Let's get better acquainted with each:
- Sequencing Games
These 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
Out of all the game types, linear games are one of the most common. You are pretty much guaranteed to see one of these on your exam, so it's wise to be prepared for it. With this game type, you are placing certain variables in a linear order (e.g., runners in a race). While it's similar to a sequencing game, the format and arrangement of rules are different.
- Group Games
Along with linear games, 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 sufficient and necessary.
- Multi-Linear Games
This game type is an extra layer on top of a normal 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). They're more complex and will require more thought to separate all the layers appropriately.
- Hybrid Games
If you combine linear games and group games, you end up with hybrid games. These are some of the most difficult games you will encounter on the LSAT. Whether you see a game of this type or not, you should spend some time preparing to do them just in case.
- GURU Games
A guru game is a specific type of game where you can come up with every possibility that exists. 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
Out of all the question types, these are rare games. But, they've previously appeared on real LSAT exams, so you do need to address them in your studies, just in case! There's no defined rule for these types of games, as this category rounds up most of the uncommon games that don't quite fit into any of the other categories.
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.
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?
- If yes, did I finish the game in under 8 minutes and 45 seconds?
- If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” 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 number 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 set-up and deductions, you're going to ace the section. Remember, there is a rhyme and a reason to why LSATMax's video explanations are set up 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.
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 that deduction was made. What rule or rules lead 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're wrong. You need to learn what the ideal set-up is for you. It's best to draw out the set-up in its most effective visual form. Think about what's easiest and what you can do the quickest.
Click on a game below to explore how to diagram the setups for each of the games in 75 the previous LSAT prep tests administered by the LSAC.
These diagramming strategies are also covered in more detail in the LSATMax course.