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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?
Okay so 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 Game. 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 sufficient and necessary.
Multi-Linear Games is 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 combines 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 are able to 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 are rare games that have previously appeared on real LSAT exams. In this lesson we will introduce you to some of these rare games in hopes that if you do encounter them in your real test, you will have seen them before.
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.
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 set-up 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 set-up is. That is to say, it’s best to draw out the set-up in its most effective visual form. Think about what is easiest.
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.
Alright, I hope that was helpful. It is time to dive into the lessons!
Happy Logic Games!
One of the best ways to get better at the LSAT is to take practice LSATs and learn from your mistakes. Reviewing questions you've missed—and not moving on until you are entirely clear on the error—is a crucial for your overall test performance.
But certain bad habits can really impede your progress on the LSAT. Here are some of the worst mistakes you can make, and tips to avoid them—this time, focusing on Reading Comprehension.
1. Panicking mid-passage. OK, OK, we know that LSAT Reading Comprehension passages are hardly riveting. But the absolute key to success on this portion of the exam is laser-like focus on the passage itself. (And, trust us: a lot of what you read in law school is a real snooze, too—think of prepping for Reading Comp as practice for the real-life boredom inspired by certain legal texts).
Unfortunately, many students find themselves stuck somewhere in the middle of Reading Comp passages: they lose their train of thought and panic, suddenly feeling like they have no idea what they’ve just read. And you know what those students invariably do? They go back to the beginning of the passage and start over.
This is a mistake, for two reasons: one, it’s a waste of time. Two, many passages have a “quicksand moment” designed for this very purpose—that is, to suck students into a confusing abyss.
It’s hard to focus when you’re panicking about time—and, ironically, making yourself reread a passage from the top is a good way to start panicking about time.
Rather than reread the passage from the top, just make a mark around the lines you are having trouble understanding, and read on. Once you’ve made it all the way through the passage, go back to the marked bit and reread to see if you can understand better.
This approach forces you to get through the entire passage once, with a note to help yourself remember the section that was giving you trouble.
It’s no coincidence that, more often than not, the test writers ask one or more questions about the very part of the passage you had trouble understanding. You know why? Because *everyone* had trouble understanding that bit. Don’t let the LSAT throw you off your A game.
Which brings us to mistake #2:
2. Trying to answer line-reference questions without returning to the text. Reading Comp is about testing your ability to distill complex, dense information under intense time pressure. When you see a question that asks about a specific word, line, or other section of the passage you’ve just read, it can be very tempting to try to answer that question without returning to the passage. “I just read that dumb thing,” you tell yourself. “I don’t have time to go back and reread now—I can figure this out from memory.”
Whenever you see a question that refers to a specific line in the Reading Comp passage, go back and read that line in context. In other words, start a few lines above the referenced line (let the structure of the passage be a guide for you) and read a few lines past the referenced line. This will refresh your memory and give you crucial context to help you answer the question correctly.
Yes, that can take some time. But many students can easily find extra time on Reading Comp by simply avoiding mistake #3:
3. Marking up the passage to within an inch of its life. Underlining every word in a reading comprehension passage is a ridiculous waste of time and effort.
You should annotate your passages extremely selectively, focusing on three big things: (1) indications of author attitude, (2) examples or counterexamples, and (3) distinctions (i.e. when two things are compared and contrasted).
These items are the most likely to be tested on a Reading Comp passage. If you mark up your passage, make sure your markings are designed to help you find these key bits.
Also: underlining everything doesn’t help you distinguish what’s what when you’ve moved past the passage and you’re trying to find textual support for a specific question. So be a little more creative, but be sure you are also consistent.
Write an “A” next to the part of the passage that reflects the author’s attitude, an “EX” for example/counterexample, and a “VS” for distinctions/contrasts.
Keep it simple, keep it neat, and keep it streamlined.
Some students also find it helpful to number the paragraphs as they read, because writing the number next to the start of a paragraph reminds your brain that you’re actually reading a new paragraph, and can help you notice the purpose that paragraph may play in the analytic structure of the passage as a whole.
Best of luck!
Given that achieving the highest LSAT score possible is every pre-law student’s goal, we thought it would be wise to take a moment to understand exactly how the LSAT is scored.
Every LSAT contains either 100 or 101 questions—unless questions are removed from scoring—and your LSAT score is entirely based on the total number of questions you answer correctly.
Unlike other standardized exams, there is no penalty for incorrect answers on the LSAT so your goal is to finish every section with the highest possible number of correct responses.
Your total number of correct LSAT questions is commonly referred to as your LSAT raw score, which is then used to arrive at your LSAT scaled score.
Every LSAT has a unique Score Conversion Chart that is used to convert your LSAT raw score into your LSAT scaled score. The reason for these unique conversion charts is that LSATs can vary based on the difficulty of the questions that appear. To account for these variances in difficulty, LSAC adjusts the Score Conversion Chart in an effort to normalize LSAT scores from different LSAT administrations.
Since LSAT scores are valid for five years, a law school admissions committee will undoubtedly encounter applicants with LSAT scores from different LSAT administrations. By adjusting the scales based on difficulty, LSAC allows law school admissions committees to compare applicants’ scaled scores, without having to consider which LSAT administration they came from.
Since June 1991, the history of the modern LSAT, LSAC has used a scaled score range of 120-180, with 120 being the lowest possible score—i.e. you showed up but only filled in your name correctly—and 180 being the highest possible score—i.e. you were perfect or extremely close to perfect.
In addition to your raw LSAT score and your scaled LSAT score, you will also receive your score band and your percentile rank but we will discuss these in subsequent posts.
For now, let’s take a closer look at the conversion chart for the September 2016 LSAT that was just released today:
At the top, you will notice that a raw score of 99, 100 or 101 all convert into a scaled score of 180 on this LSAT. At the bottom of the 170-range, a raw score of 89 or 90 converts into a scaled score of 170.
Dropping down a bit more, notice that a raw score of 74 or 75 would convert into a scaled score of a 160, which should be everyone’s minimum target LSAT score. This scaled score means that you missed 26 or 27 questions on the exam, an average of almost 7 incorrect per section.
This is an attainable goal for all LSAT students. And remember, even if you do not need a 160 to gain admission to your target law schools, doing as well as you can on the LSAT will only increase your chances at merit based aid.
Because while there is absolutely nothing wrong with attending lower-ranked law schools, there is something wrong with taking out $180K in debt to pay for a law school education that will not give you the job prospects after graduation to repay this debt burden.
So if you are serious about law school, your goal is quite simple—getting the highest possible score on the LSAT.
Take your LSAT prep seriously and put in the time. Practice with proven strategies makes perfect. But don’t take our word for it.
Everyone hopes that taking the LSAT will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience—never to be repeated. Sometimes, however, things don’t go your way the first time around. Maybe you canceled your score, or perhaps you received a lower score than you desire. Fortunately, retaking the LSAT is an option. The key is to ensure that the second time’s the charm.
Many test takers find that they benefit from a short mental break from the LSAT. Waiting for your score is a perfect break but if you canceled your score, consider giving yourself one or two weeks off. Try not to think about the LSAT at all for a little while. Don’t feel guilty: even though you aren’t practicing during this time, your subconscious mind is likely still processing the LSAT.
After this break, sit down and think through each section of the LSAT, and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Are you consistently approaching each and every Logical Reasoning question the same way? Are certain Reading Comprehension passages more challenging than others, and if so, why? Do you have a steady method for setting up and solving the Logic Games?
You’re taking inventory here: figuring out what your strengths are, and identifying those areas most in need of improvement.
Once you’ve done that, you can devise an LSAT prep study schedule that reinforces best practices and also forces you to prioritize the areas in need of improvement.
Your objective is to achieve measured, intentional LSAT practice. Approach each problem methodically, with a consistent application of the same exact order of operations each time: reading the stimulus carefully and critically; reading the reading passage in its entirety, with limited strategic markup; setting up diagrams for each game by type; etc.
To prioritize areas where you feel you need the most improvement, first identify the worst case scenarios. For example: are you terrified of back-to-back Logical Reasoning or Reading Comprehension sections? Force yourself to face those fears head on: do two, timed, back-to-back Logical Reasoning sections, or Reading Comprehension sections, each and every time you sit down to work on LSAT prep. Are you worried about ambient noise? Find a noisy place and do some practice, training yourself to block out the distractions. Or download Exam Proctor by TestMax and turn on the ambient noise and/or random noise settings.
In addition to these types of strategic preparation, you should ensure that you are devoting a significant amount of time to engaged review of completed questions, practice sections, or full practice LSATs. You need to understand WHY you are making any mistakes—that is the only way to avoid replicating those mistakes.
Finally, do everything you can to avoid burnout, especially in the final weeks before you retake the exam. Consider taking only one full-length timed LSAT each week, or at the very most two; in between, review the prep test carefully, and do individual sections for additional timed practice without the exhaustion attendant to sitting through a full five-section exam.
Be sure you are well-rested in the days leading up to the test: remember, the LSAT also tests your psychological presence of mind. You’ll need to be clear and sharp so that you can apply all your skills carefully and consistently, and thereby maximize your score.
Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time via email or at 855.483.7862 (Monday-Friday 9am-6pm PST).
Unlike other graduate school entrance exams, such as the GMAT and MCAT, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is not offered year-round.
The LSAT is only administered four times a year: once in June, once in late September/early October, once in December, and once in February. It is important to decide which specific LSAT you would like to take, so you can plan your LSAT prep study schedule and law school applications accordingly.
In the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and some other countries/ regions, the LSAT is administered on a Saturday morning—except in June, when it is administered on a Monday afternoon. For Sabbath observers, the test is typically administered on the Monday following Saturday administrations.
Most law schools require that you take the LSAT by December at the latest for admission the following fall. However, taking the test earlier—in June or September/October—is often advised.
Think about it: if you give yourself more time between the last possible LSAT you can take and your first LSAT, then just in case you feel unprepared or receive an LSAT score you are not ecstatic about, you have the chance to re-take the LSAT.
We actually recommend targeting the June LSAT before the fall during which you will be applying to law school. For example, if I wanted to begin law school in Fall 2018, I would be applying to law schools in Fall 2017, so I would target the June 2017 LSAT.
The reason for this is that almost every law school has rolling admissions. This means that the first application in is the first application read. The longer you wait, the later your application will appear in the queue.
Ideally, you want to appear as early in the admissions queue as possible, so you are being compared to fewer applicants while competing for a greater number of available seats.
By targeting the June LSAT you will put yourself in a position to have your law school applications submitted on day one because, with your LSAT complete, you can spend the summer working on your applications, including your law school personal statement and your law school letters of recommendation.
That being said, however, if it comes down to applying early with a low LSAT score and applying later with a higher LSAT score, always choose the latter.
Remember, the LSAT is by far the number one factor in law school admissions—up to 75-80% of your application—so you want to ensure that your LSAT score is within the range required to have a realistic chance of gaining admission to your target law schools.
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