Strategies for LSAT Logic Games
What Are the Games Like?
Questions on the Analytical Reasoning section of the LSAT exam take the form of four logic games. Each one presents a scenario involving people, objects, or events, and students must use deductive reasoning to find solutions to solve the problem while adhering to certain facts and conditions.
To answer these questions correctly, you must use your logical thinking to sequence, group, or match specific variables. If you want to learn how to approach each of these prompts, give the right responses, and receive a higher raw score on the exam, check out our tips and strategies for LSAT logic games.
Solving Logic Problems
How to Approach Each Game
Each logic game on the Analytical Reasoning LSAT introduces a situation and a set of rules about how the details in the prompt relate to one another. Your job is to analyze the information and create a solution to the problem while staying within the presented guidelines.
One of the most efficient ways to approach these questions is to use the following four-step technique:
- Place Games in Order
- Create A Diagram
- Understand Game Mechanics
- Order and Answer Questions
Ordering the Games
Complete the Easiest First
Tackling the easiest Analytical Reasoning logic game first is a great way to relieve stress, boost confidence, and give the logical part of your brain a good warm-up.
How to Improve Your Speed
You can also complete this LSAT section faster (and possibly earn a higher raw score) if you avoid putting all your time into the most difficult game. Games that you've previously encountered during your LSAT practice are likely to be easier for you.
You can also determine each prompt's ease or difficulty based on the list of conditions. Logic games that lack specific guidelines are usually harder. Meanwhile, those that make additional suppositions and have explicit rules tend to be more straightforward.
Use a Diagram to Organize Details
Picking out and categorizing important details helps you visualize the information and avoid getting all the facts jumbled in your head. It also makes it easier to do the mental calculations necessary to solve each problem.
Logic Game Diagramming Tips
Use these LSAT logic games diagramming tips to clarify the specific details in each prompt:
- Diagram by Game: Different types of games require different diagrams, so you'll need to choose the appropriate option for each prompt. In general, sequencing games require slots in sequential order, matching games require a grid, and distribution and grouping games require columns, lists of entities, or slots.
- Stick Close to the Questions: By keeping each diagram near its corresponding question, you can avoid flipping back and forth between pages of scratch paper as you organize information. Draw and label your diagram, summaries, and symbolic forms in a blank margin beside the prompt so they're easy to find.
- Keep It Simple: Adding too much detail to your diagram can make it too confusing to navigate. Narrow the question down by using shorthand to summarize the information or create logical symbols to represent specific details about the game.
- Consider the Conditional Rule: Whenever you symbolize a conditional if-then statement, always consider its contrapositive. That way, you can examine alternative possibilities and find hidden connections and deductions that could help you solve the problem.
Seek Out Connections in the Rules
Before moving on to the questions, you should also invest time in understanding the mechanics of the game. Start by finding direct links between two or more of the presented conditions. From there, you can use common sense and deductive reasoning to eliminate the possibilities that violate those conditions.
Determine Which Questions to Tackle
Once you've set up your diagram and narrowed down the list of possibilities, you can begin answering the questions. A single prompt can have anywhere from five to eight questions, all with varying levels of difficulty. A good rule of thumb is to put these questions in order from easiest to hardest before giving your responses, exactly as you did in step 1.
Preparing Your Strategy
Find What Works Best for You
While these LSAT logic games strategies can be helpful for some test-takers, it's okay to develop your own technique. Practice different organization strategies to discover the quickest, easiest method for answering these prompts.
Honing Your Skills
Other LSAT Logic Game Tips
Also, consider some of the following logic game tricks to make your Analytical Reasoning exam go smoothly:
- Use Scratch Paper, Then Mark Your Answers: Setting up visuals and jotting down obscure details makes it easier to keep track of all the information in each game. Circle all the answers for one prompt, then transfer that block of responses to your score sheet before moving on.
- Don’t Get Stuck: Keep moving by re-reading the setup and conditions. Check that your symbols are accurate and find any connections you may have missed. Next, look for what’s missing, or consider skipping the difficult question and trying later if there’s time.
- Single Out an Answer: Logic games on the Analytical Reasoning test only have one right answer. If you're unsure which response to choose as correct, pick the best option and move on.
- Stay Calm: Stress can make it harder to maintain focus. Try to remember that there is no penalty for incorrect responses. Take a 15-second mental break to practice deep breathing and clear your head.
Be Prepared with Practice Exams
While prepping for the LSAT, practice a few sample logic games to get familiar with the types of questions you'll see on test day. Try taking a few LSAT Analytical Reasoning practice tests to help you develop and apply new or different logic games strategies.