Important Questions to Ask Yourself on LSAT Logic Games (Part 2)

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Important Questions to Ask Yourself on LSAT Logic Games (Part 2) by Ben Rashkovich

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Conquering the LSAT is all about asking yourself the right questions at the right times. It’s a test that challenges you to think fast, accurately, and critically about what you read—and having smart questions in the back of your mind is like having a fully-stocked utility belt while crime-fighting.

In my last post, we went over 3 questions you should ask yourself when trying out LSAT Logic Games. Check it out if you haven’t yet, because in this post, we’re going to look at 3 more.

1. Where are the most restrictions?

In many ways, LSAT Logic Games are about forcing you to deal with ambiguity. You’re given some information, and you can usually infer some more, but you never have every detail. Lots of people struggle with ambiguity, especially on a timed and stressful test.

But here’s the thing:

All slots on your diagram are not created equal.

When you’re thinking about how to manage that ambiguity, try to look out for the most and least restricted areas on your diagram. No matter the game type, different rules will work together to limit possible arrangements of the elements on the board. If you focus on restrictions, you might see some important nuances of the game.

For example: in Ordering games, the first and last slots are naturally more restricted than the middle slots.

F comes before G… Well, that means F can’t go last, and G can’t go first!

Even without any other rules, those slots are suddenly more restricted—and more interesting to us—than any others. Once you start adding other rules into the mix, you’ll start to notice that suddenly, your board is developing some areas of open possibilities… alongside areas of heavily-restricted placements.

Keep an eye out for restrictions as you diagram your game and think through your answer choices.

2. What’s the less obvious effect?

If H arrives fourth, then which of the following must be true?

Well, if H goes in 4 then F has to go in 6, because it comes two spots after H.

If your thought process ends there, then you’re probably not going to zoom in on the correct answer choice right away.

We discussed “Am I done?” in the previous post in this series—that dealt with making sure that your conditional diagram is fully complete before moving on to the answer choices.

With this question, we want to ask ourselves a different but related question. What’s the less obvious impact of the conditional?

Sure, we know that F comes two spots after H, so it must be in 6. But unless this is an easy Logic Game, you’re probably going to have to dig deeper for the answer.

Oh, well if F goes in 6, then G has to go in 5, because it comes before F but after J, which comes before H because…

If you’re trying to save time and energy on LSAT Logic Games by looking for specific answers, then make it a habit to look for the less straightforward inferences. This holds true in Conditional questions, like the example here, as well as in Unconditional questions, where you’ll probably be asked about complicated inferences you could’ve made upfront.

Plus: this is the killer question to ask for those terrible, annoying, no-good Rule Substitution questions as well.

3. What am I being tested on?

Here we go.

The big kahuna.

This is the LSAT question to end all LSAT questions, on the Logic Games section and otherwise.

Once you’ve got your question types down, your timing strategies figured out, your conditional logic indicator words memorized, and your analog watch-reading skills perfectly honed, then (and only then) are you ready to take this on.

Here’s the simple truth: The best way to beat the test is to get inside the minds of the test-makers.

Each question, especially on LSAT Logic Games, is designed to test you on something very specific. Did you make this wacky inference in the beginning of the game? Do you see that this weird rule secretly gets triggered by our conditional? Did you spot the third frame? Which of these answer choices is not like the other?

It’s a perfectly valid strategy to tackle the answer choices on a Logic Game question from A to E, stopping when you hit an answer that works. Since you don’t work wrong-to-right on LSAT Logic Games, you won’t lose out on time this way.

However, if you’re looking for that extra edge, then push yourself to predict what you’re being tested on before you take a look at the answer choices. This can help you zoom in on the most likely answer choices, so that if you’ve picked wisely and strategically, you could save yourself time and energy.

For example, the question we looked at earlier:

If H arrives fourth, then which of the following must be true?

The correct answer choice almost definitely won’t include H. It also probably won’t include F, since F and H are directly linked by a rule. Thinking that through can help us start with other, more likely answer choices.

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There are plenty more questions to ask yourself, both on LSAT Logic Games and on the other two sections of the test. We’ll take a look at some more soon! ?


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Ben Rashkovich is a Manhattan Prep LSAT instructor based in New York, NY. He’s a graduate of Columbia University, and he scored a 172 on the LSAT. He enjoys the mental challenge and logical acrobatics of the LSAT—and he feels that studying for the test can teach everyone to approach problems more rationally. You can check out Ben’s upcoming LSAT courses here!

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