LSAT Logic Games – 8 Essential Skills

Welcome To LSAT Logic Games Dot Calm

The LSAT is a test of reading and reasoning in three different contexts. One of the contexts is called “Analytical Reasoning” or “Logic Games” (LSAT Logical Reasoning and LSAT Reading Comprehension are the other two contexts).

Many LSAT test  takers  experience a high degree of anxiety with the LSAT Logic Games. The good news is that  Logic Games is quite susceptible  to short term improvement.

Reading and Reasoning – The Two Fundamental  Aspects

Reading – Understanding the conditions in Logic Games

Reasoning – Making inferences  with the reasoning that you understand

More people have trouble with the reading and understanding of the conditions than with making inferences  from the conditions.

LSAT  Reality – Time Is A Wasting – You Need to Get Started

Any LSAT teacher or book can explain the answers to Logic Games questions after the fact. Although this has some value,  it is irrelevant. The real  problem is that people either don’t know how to get started or take  so long getting started that they run out of time. You must learn to proceed without the confidence even when you are uncomfortable.

Logic Games – The LSAT Perspective

In April of 2010, Lori Davis, a senior test designer at LSAT, offered a webinar on LSAT Analytical Reasoning. It was very interesting – I wrote a summary of of it.  Read about the Logic Games Webinar here.

Some Basic LSAT Logic Games Skills

Skill 1 – How To Accurately Understand The ConditionsIf  you don’t understand the conditions, you will be unable  to make accurate inferences from them. Every Logic Games condition or rule is a “built in” test of reading comprehension.

LSAT designers are  very skilled in obscuring important information. As a general principle you must  understand:

– positioning issues (where do  things go)
– numbering issues (how many objects are you working with? Are there  too few, too many,  or is it one-to-one correspondence?)
– How does the order of the conditions influence  the way that you must understand them?
LSAT Quantifiers: all,  some, many, exactly,  only, etc.

Skill 2 – How  To Make Inferences From The Conditions, How Many Inferences to make  and when to make those inferences

The “National  Anthem”  of LSAT preparation is that you should read the conditions, understand them, draw diagrams and answer the questions. In  theory this is great. In practice, you  won’t know  whether you have made  the inferences  accurately and whether you have made all  of them. In most cases you must start before  having made all possible inferences.

Skill 3 – The Skill of  Positioning – If you don’t  start you can’t  finish!

To put it simply  – you need to know  how to get started. You  can’t “spin your wheels”  forever.

You must learn:

– when to draw a diagram (drawing a diagram before  starting the questions may actually hurt you)
– the difference between a diagram and shorthand
– how drawing a diagram  first  can hurt you
– the  order  to do  the questions (it  may not  be  what it seems)

Skill 4 – Diagramming – The Four Aspects

– when?
– how?
– how much?
– how to use them?

Skill 5 – Logic Games Questions Require You To Identify Three Modalities

In the context of these three modalities  you must understand:

– the relationship between the right and wrong answers
– the “call of the questions” must be false,  EXCEPT, etc.

Skill 6 – Specific Logic Games Questions

numbers: minimum, maximum, exact  number
– complete  and accurate  list
– variable information
– lists
– changing initial conditions
– must be false, EXCEPT

Skill 7 – The Answer Choices – How LSAT Makes  Wrong Answers Seem Attractive

– how LSAT disguises  the right answer
– accurate  content, but incomplete
– accurate content, but problematic order
– compound  thought answer  choices

Skill 8 – LSAT Logical Reasoning Skills

– conditional reasoning

All of these  skills must be learned in the context of actual LSAT questions.

Copyright © 2009, 2011 John Richardson. All Rights Reserved.