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Logic Games Problems? Hack Your Way to Successful Studying

final countdownLSAT logic games problems are extremely common, especially at the beginning of your preparation process, because they are, straight up, the weirdest looking thing on the test. But even if you are great at games, good at games, or feeling better but not awesome about logic games, there are some common challenges my students run into all the time that are worth addressing. Let’s check out the most efficient hacks of the logic games section:

  • Choose your game order! For 30 seconds at the beginning of each game section figure out which games you are targeting first and which you are leaving for last. Many students love single action sequence games and wait out hybrid multi-action games, but there is no real right answer for everyone. Which games are harder for you? Leave them till last!
  • An awesome attack mode means leaving the toughest questions for later. Just because you start a question does not mean you need to keep hacking away at it. Work on feeling comfortable skipping questions and choosing your order– remember, get greedy and get all the points possible; that means you have to get the easier stuff first. If you can’t find an answer within a reasonable amount of time (i.e. about 45 seconds) skip the problem and come back to it after you have completed other questions that might help you.
  • Remember the rules for “if” questions: the LSAT has given you a new rule, and unless specified, that rule cannot break any of your original game rules or limitations. Note deductions and things that have to be true by combining the new information with what you already know, and be willing to redraw your sketch to make those new deductions clear!
  • Logic games with tons of formal logic messing with your LSAT mojo? Review the common sufficient condition/necessary condition indicators, such as: if, only if/only, unless, and any. Know how to translate them, how to form contrapositives, and note the way they can be combined and connected.
  • Speaking of formal logic, some selection rules have special implications. Get them down cold! “If A is selected, then B is not selected” means: we can never pick both, which reduces our maximum number of selected entities. “If X is not selected, then Y is selected” restricts our minimum– now at least one of them (X or Y or both) has to be selected.
  • Remember if you are down to two answer choices yet stuck, it’s a great idea to test one in a sketch: if it works, that’s your answer! If it doesn’t, it has to be the other option.
  • As you continue to work logic games, you need to get better and better at noticing patterns in the way you take the test and mistakes you commonly make. Keep track of the following:
    Time spent setting up the game
    Time spent on each question
    Your thought process for each question/what you did to solve the question
  • Look for opportunities to use previous work, especially when answers or sketches in “if” questions allow you to eliminate or choose answers to “not if” questions. For example, if something that must be true occured in your sketch for question 3, can I use that to help me answer what could be true in question 5?
  • MOST OF ALL: you do not need to get every question right to do very well on a logic games section. Every game has some easy questions; gobble them up for every game in that section. That means you have to get to every game! Remember you can leave questions behind, even if it is difficult to let them go; not getting to a whole game or two is usually a much heavier points loss.

We’re here for you! As you hit those LSAT books, tests, classes, quizzes, workshops, prayers, tutors, or superstitions (hey, whatever it takes!) in the final countdown, let us know below in the comments if we can help get you there.

About Christine Schrader

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  • Kirstin M

    Hi! The biggest problem I am having is the “must be true/could be true questions”. I have read and reread this section over and over and I can’t get a hang of how to answer them.

    • Christine

      Hi Kirstin,
      I think it can really help to get into that answer choice characterization:
      Q: “…which of the following could be true?”
      The right answer: anything that is possible (so if we’ve seen it happen in another question, that means, okay, it’s possible). Remember that these things don’t necessarily HAVE to happen (although that’s okay if they do– they are still in contention).
      The wrong answers: MUST BE FALSE– they are impossible. The wrong answers will go against the rules as they stand or any deductions we are able to make.
      Q: “…which of the follow must be true?”
      The right answer: anything that has to happen; it’s not enough to say that it could. Sometimes (more often than not), the answer choice will come from our initial deductions from a game, or (in new information “if questions”) from our sketch for this question. The toughest part about these questions is that they will penalize people for just proving that something could happen when they go straight to the answer choices and test them. Try instead to test answer choices as false– if the answer choice says “A comes before B”, test it by saying what if “B comes before A”? If B before A is possible, then the answer choice doesn’t have to be true– and is eliminated.
      The wrong answers: COULD BE FALSE– there are two kinds of could be false answers: those that are definitely impossible (must be false) and those that could happen but don’t have to. Both are equally wrong. Check answers by seeing if they could be false, and apply an elimination strategy.

      I hope this helps!

      -Christine

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