How to Study for LSAT Logic Games

How to Study for LSAT Logic Games

If you’re wondering how to study for LSAT logic games, you’re not alone. This section has a reputation for destroying those poor souls who’ve never dealt with logic games before.

For many students, the logic games section (also known as analytical reasoning) seems the most daunting. The convoluted questions can seem all but impossible to answer, and the allotted time way too short.

However, if this section destroyed you on your first practice test, there’s good news.

Expect Improvement

Studying for the logic games pays off. Of all three section types on the LSAT, this section is one where test-takers see the fastest and greatest improvement with study. You’ve been reading and evaluating arguments (the other two sections) all your life, but the LSAT may be your first experience with logic games, and there are a few things you need to know.

Understand Contrapositives

You don’t need to be an expert in formal logic to understand and solve the LSAT’s logic games. However, understanding contrapositives will help you immensely on the test. What is a contrapositive? Let’s look at an example:

If it rains, I will get wet.

We can write this statement down like this: if R → W.

To find the contrapositive, we reverse the order (R ↔ W) and negate each statement, like this: 

If I’m not wet, then it didn’t rain. If not W, then not R. Notice how we switched the order (R ↔ W) and then added the word not to each side.

Based on our initial conditional statement, we know that if it rains, you will get wet. We also know the contrapositive, that if you’re not wet, then it didn’t rain.

Note here that we can’t prove anything if all we know is that you are wet. Wetness does not prove that it rained. Maybe someone shot you with a squirt gun. Maybe you just took a bath. From our conditional statement (if R → W), we cannot infer that wetness is always caused by rain (if W → R).

This is the most important rule of formal logic that you’ll need to grasp to deal with pesky LSAT problems.

Recognize the Question Types

Most logic games questions can be categorized as one of three types: ordering, grouping, and mixed questions.

In ordering questions, you’ll have to put variables in order. If A, B, C, D, E, and F all ran a marathon, you’ll have to figure out who finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.

In grouping questions, you’ll have to divide the variables into the appropriate groups. A, B, C, D, E, and F all signed up for the marathon, but only three of them actually ran. You’ll have to figure out who ran, and who stayed home (two groups).

Mixed questions generally involve elements of both ordering and grouping questions. There’s a lot more to say about the question types, but it’s better to learn in a more comprehensive study course.

Diagram the Questions

The LSAT’s logic games are meant to be written down. There’s just too much information to keep it all in your head. Diagramming each game (and sometimes individual questions) is the path to speed, accuracy, and a high score.

If you’ve never diagrammed, you’ll need to learn how. We recommend PowerScore’s LSAT Logic Games Bible. For a free alternative, Khan Academy’s official LSAT prep course can also teach you how to effectively diagram the questions.

If you prefer to learn through videos, 7sage is another good option.

Practice Logic Games

Once you’re able to get the questions right, you might notice another problem—it takes an hour to do the 35-minute section. The only way to increase your speed is to practice, practice, and practice some more. As you become more familiar with the LSAT’s style of logic games questions, you will learn to recognize and attack the questions more quickly.

For LSAT practice, we recommend only using actual LSAT prep tests to study. Khan Academy offers a few official practice tests on their website, or you can purchase the practice tests directly from LSAC (the LSAT’s designers) through their LSAT Prep Plus program ($99 for online access).

If you prefer to purchase the official paper tests, LSAC also sells their prep tests online in sets of 10.

Study Smart and Study Hard

Doing well on the logic games requires specific practice in that skill, but as we said, this is the one LSAT section in which test-takers see dramatic improvement with study. If you study smart and study hard, you can raise your LSAT score and give a big boost to your law school admission and scholarship chances.

Now you know how to study for LSAT logic games—all you have to do is put in the work.