Tips for LSAT Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games)
Here's a list of LSAT testing tips that apply specifically to Analytical Reasoning (logic games) — one of four scored sections you'll encounter on the exam. Also available at this site is an Analytical Reasoning (logic games) tutorial that expounds on some of these tips.
- Recognize which logic-game pattern you're dealing with. The test makers design LSAT logic games to fit into certain basic molds. The primary difference between them involves the nature of the relationship among the game's subjects. Each type of game calls for its own distinct approach, so it's crucial that you know which type you're up against when you see it on the exam.
- Read the game's conditions (list of rules) very carefully. Misreading or misinterpreting a condition can be costly because it taints your analysis of the entire game. If you commit this error you're unlikely to have much success attempting the questions.
- Don't try to list all possible combinations. If you try to jot down all the possibilities that the game's conditions suggest, the result will be a confusing mess. Instead, use one or two templates that encompass all the possibilities. (See the next two tips.)
- Devise a master diagram, or template, for each game. Unless you use effective diagrams to visualize the relationships defined by the rules of a game, you're unlikely to have much success in responding to the questions. An effective diagram will help you think clearly and respond to the questions quickly and confidently. An ineffective diagram will result in confusion and wasted time.
- Look for a key rule around which the others can be organized. One particular rule may serve as a starting point for devising a template-style diagram. For example, a rule that includes an either/or statement suggests two alternative scenarios and hence two alternative templates. This technique can greatly simplify the game. In all likelihood, only one or two games on your exam will include this sort of rule. But always look for it.
- Don't do more work than needed to answer the question. Most questions don't require you to deduce all you can from the additional information in the question stem. Stop when you've done enough to zero-in on the correct answer.