LSAT Logic Games Question Types

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - LSAT Logic Games Question Types by Matt Shinners

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After getting over the general panic that many feel as soon as they start looking at a Logic Game, people start to categorize the questions into general types. Ordering, Grouping, Hybrid, etc…

While that’s important, it’s just as important to put a premium on breaking the questions into categories and knowing how to deal with each of them.

Note: This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it covers 98+% of questions.

Orientation

  • How to spot it: Usually the first question. It asks you for a complete and accurate list of how the game could play out.
  • How to approach it: Read a rule, eliminate an answer.
  • Subtypes
    • Partial Orientation questions. Common in Grouping games, these will ask you for just a subset of the game board (e.g., one group). Same process, but you need to also pay attention to the elements not listed (since they’re in other groups that still need to follow the rules).
  • Any tips or tricks?
    • If you make inferences (especially a Relative Order chain), use the inference to eliminate across multiple rules.

Conditional

  • How to spot it: If. These questions will present a new piece of information. They’re generally split into new conditions that fill in a slot (easier) and present a new rule (harder).
  • How to approach it: Draw out a new diagram. Fill in the new information. Make inferences. See who’s left and if you can make more inferences. Check the answers.
  • Any tips or tricks?
    • Most people find these easier. Some people, therefore, do them first to build up prior work to be used in Non-Conditional questions.

Non-Conditional

  • How to spot it: Which. Questions that don’t present new information, instead asking about something that could or must always be true.
  • How to approach it: Use the rules, prior work, inferences, and your understanding of the game to find an answer, or eliminate some. If this doesn’t get you an answer, time to test some answers out.
  • Subtypes
    • Must be True – These questions generally ask about an inference. If you didn’t make any inferences, you will probably need to test some answers out. However, if you can get to your answer, you’ll have a new inference!
    • Could be True/Must be False – These questions generally allow you to answer based on the rules themselves. For Could be True, the wrong answers will all violate a rule (so it’s about elimination). For Must be False, the correct answer will violate a rule (so it’s about checking the rules till you find one broken).

Determines Positions

  • How to spot it: It asks you to find an answer that would make everything else set.
  • How to approach it: You’re going to have to test answers out, no way around it. However, you shouldn’t just start with (A) and move on. Start with answers that bring up elements that will be hard to place (strays; reversible chunks), or elements that trigger rules.
  • Any tips or tricks?
    • These will always be time consuming, so don’t worry about spending a little extra time on it. As long as you’re being quick with testing the answers out, you’re in good shape.

Equivalent Rule (Yes, these are the worst)

  • How to spot it: It tells you to throw out a rule and replace it with an equivalent one.
  • How to approach it: Skip it. Probably. These are hard.
    • What, you want to actually attempt it? Fine! I like your chutzpah.
    • Identify what needs to be replaced, clearly. Generally, these ask you to replace two-part rules (e.g., H can’t be first, and it’s before K).
    • Find an answer that guarantees both of these things are true.
      • If more than one answer is left, find which one tells you more information than the original rule.
  • Any tips or tricks?
    • Yes! Even if you’re not going to fully attempt this question, use prior work to eliminate answer. If an answer choice would make one of your older answers wrong (or some correct prior work), you can eliminate it.
      • This is almost always good for 2 eliminations, and usually good for 3. Easiest way to take a hard question from a one-outta-five shot to a 50-50.

By focusing on strategies for each question type, you’ll be able to jump right into the work instead of needing to think about strategy. So be sure to spend time getting these down so they’re automatic! ?


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Matt Shinners Manhattan Prep LSAT InstructorMatt Shinners is a Manhattan Prep instructor and jdMission Senior Consultant based in New York City. After receiving a degree in biochemistry from Boston College, Matt scored a 180 on his LSAT and enrolled in Harvard Law School. There’s nothing that makes him happier than seeing his students receive the scores they want to get into the schools of their choice. Check out Matt’s upcoming LSAT courses here

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