Thinking of doing some LSAT Logic Games practice questions? Although they seem different at first glance, there are distinct similarities between Logic Games and the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT. Both have two distinct phases: in Reading Comp, you use certain skills and strategies while reading the passage, then utilize a different set of skills and strategies to answer questions.
The same applies to Logic Games. When you first dive in to a logic game, you’re focusing on your overall understanding, picturing the game, and building your diagram. Then you switch to a more specific focus in order to attack the questions.
To master LSAT Logic Games, you’ll want to play full games from start to finish, but you should also spend time analyzing Logic Games questions and refining the way you approach different question types. Being effective on LSAT Logic Games practice questions requires focusing on both the big picture and the individual components of LG.
Reuse and Recycle Your LSAT Logic Games Practice Questions
People often play a logic game once, check to see how many questions they answered correctly, then never look at the game again. Savvy LSAT preppers will spend time carefully reviewing a game after playing it by analyzing their diagram, inferences, and approaches to different questions.
To get the most benefit from LSAT Logic Games practice questions, you need to work through them more than once. Questions that you’ve completed under timed conditions are great ones to redo at a later date, especially when you want to take a deep dive into the methods that you use to answer questions.
When reviewing or repeating LSAT Logic Games practice questions you’ve completed before, always take a few moments to review your initial diagram and inferences. You’ll want the initial setup of the game fresh in your mind.
Once you’ve reviewed the initial setup for a game, look for specific types of questions to review and repeat. It might seem sensible to review every question in a game, but you can improve your overall performance in Logic Games by focusing on specific question types.
The “Big Three” LSAT Logic Games Practice Questions
You can greatly improve your speed and accuracy in Logic Games by mastering the “big three” of LSAT Logic Games practice questions. These are the most common Logic Games questions: Orientation questions, Conditional questions, and basic Unconditional questions.
Orientation questions ask for an answer that represents one valid solution to the game. An example might be, “Which of the following could be a complete and accurate list of the chickens that cross the road, from first to last?” The default strategy for these questions is to use the written rules. Compare each rule, one at a time, to the answer choices, eliminating any answer that violates a rule.
While this strategy works for most Orientation questions, the test writers are good at adding twists to common question types to make them more challenging. If the basic strategy doesn’t get you to the correct answer, think about other tools that you can use to crack the question. Look for “hidden” rules in the scenario (the paragraph that describes the basic situation). It might state that each element can only be used once, while one of the answer choices has an element listed twice. There might also be an inference on your initial diagram that helps you narrow the answer choices down.
Getting familiar with the basic strategy for Orientation questions, then analyzing the more challenging versions of these questions that require a different approach, will help you prepare for whatever variations you might see on test day.
Conditional questions present a new condition or “rule.” The correct answer will conform to that specific condition. For example, a question might ask, “If H crosses the road second, which of the following must be true?” These questions require you to understand the implications of that new condition.
People consistently struggle with Conditional questions because they rush to evaluate answer choices without fully considering inferences that can be made based on the new condition. That makes these some of the most useful and important LSAT Logic Games practice questions.
Your first step should be to create a temporary diagram, separate from your original diagram, that includes the new condition given in the question stem. Take time to consider any inferences you can make. What other rules are triggered in this situation? Add those to your temporary diagram. If you run out of rules, consider which elements aren’t on the diagram yet. Can you make any inferences about those elements? Once you’ve followed these steps, your temporary diagram should help you evaluate answers very effectively.
Practicing, analyzing, and repeating Conditional questions is a great way to exercise skills that apply to a variety of LSAT Logic Games practice questions. Your ability to quickly create a diagram to represent a specific scenario will come in handy many times during a Logic Games section.
Basic Unconditional questions are the last of the “big three” question types in Logic Games. These are questions that ask, “Which of the following must be true?” “Which of the following could be true?” or “Which of the following must be false?” You’ll see other variations, such as those of the EXCEPT variety.
These questions do not provide a new condition. The answer will be based on what is possible or impossible in any valid solution to the game. This is where inferences you make during your initial setup can be most useful. You might be able to quickly select the correct answer based on an initial inference.
That’s not always going to be the case, though, so you need to be ready with a backup plan. Previous work is often helpful when answering these questions. In some cases, you might need to jump in and start testing answer choices.
The time you invest in practicing these “big three” LSAT Logic Games practice questions can pay big dividends on test day, not just because these are common question types, but because you’ll build core skills that apply to other questions.
The LSAT Logic Games Questions We Love to Hate
Some types of Logic Games questions occur less frequently than the big three, but are still common enough that you should make time for them when choosing LSAT Logic Games practice questions. Two of the most common are Determines Positions questions and Equivalent Rule questions.
Determines Positions questions are most often seen in ordering games. They will include language about the order being “completely determined.” In other words, placing one element will force all others into exact positions. A very reasonable way to approach these questions is to create a hypothetical to test each answer, one at a time. If you see that any element can be in more than one possible position, eliminate that answer: it doesn’t force the order to be “completely determined.”
Once you find the correct answer, think about why that particular answer forces all other elements into exact positions. Which rules are triggered by that answer choice? Analyzing a few of these questions can help you learn to scan answer choices and select ones that are more likely to be correct, so you can test those first.
Many people find Equivalent Rule questions to be the most difficult of all LSAT Logic Games questions. The question stem will be similar to this: “Which of the following, if substituted for the rule that Hazel crosses the road first, would have the same effect on the order in which the chickens cross the road?” The phrase “same effect” is the key to understanding these questions. The correct answer must serve the same function as the original rule quoted in the question. It can’t do more or less than that original rule does in any valid solution to the game.
There are two good ways to analyze Equivalent Rule questions. One way is to compare your work from other questions to each answer choice. In some cases it will be clear that an answer choice could never produce a solution that matches your previous work—in other words, it doesn’t have the “same effect” as the original rule.
Another approach is to diagram each answer choice. Just diagram the information that’s given in the answer choice itself. Compare that to the way you diagrammed the original rule that’s quoted in the question stem. Does the answer choice accomplish the same thing as the original rule?
After practicing these methods on a few Equivalent Rule questions, you might find that one of them, the other, or a combination of both can help you answer this type of question in a very reasonable amount of time.
Success Through Practice
Simply reading about LSAT Logic Games questions won’t help you improve your LSAT score. You have to put pencil to paper and practice. Hopefully we’ve given you a better idea of how and what to practice, and a clearer idea of what to look for when reviewing LSAT Logic Games practice questions. This article contains a summary of the common LSAT Logic Games question types and a few more suggestions for approaching them. Once you’ve practiced some of these Logic Games questions, review the strategies for the questions and then practice some more! 📝
Scott Miller is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Scott has over 20 years of experience as a teacher and trainer and a love for teaching that has led him to some interesting careers, including skydiving instruction, wildlife sanctuary stewardship, and online computer skills training. He worked hard for his 173 LSAT score, and he has as much fun helping people master the challenges of the test as had overcoming those challenges himself. You can learn more from Scott here.