Advanced Guide for LSAT Logic Games

The Key to Succeeding at LG

*Note that Logic Games may be removed from the LSAT in 2024

From my two years of tutoring intermediate and advanced LSAT students, I realized that the key to scoring well in the Logic Games section of the LSAT is the ability to maintain a cool mind under pressure.

Many students meticulously practice Logic Games until solving the games comes easily. They can complete the section on time and attain a perfect result—during practice. But when it comes to the actual test, they end up fumbling the harder games (usually game 3 or game 4). The game itself may not be supremely difficult, but the stress of being in the real test-taking situation with tangible stakes causes them to underperform.

Being unable to perform to the best of our ability due to stress is a very real issue. It haunts even the best of students. But fear not, I have found several actionable ways to combat this.

Practice Under Realistic Conditions

There is a significant difference between completing a LSAT section in 35 minutes versus completing it in 37 or even 40 minutes. When you don’t give yourself a couple extra minutes of breathing room, you risk being affected by the anxiety of time running out. As previously mentioned, stress will significantly hinder your ability to perform during the real test.

Once you have mastered the different types of games, practice under realistic conditions. Set the timer for 35 minutes and no more. If you can’t finish the last game, then so be it. Make note of any game where you made a mistake or ran out of time and come back to it later.

A Segmented Timing System

Remember, every section on the LSAT is a race against time. The difficulty of the questions will escalate the further you progress. Like my timing recommendation for LR, my advice is to try and complete the first questions as fast as you can so that you have extra minutes to spend on the subsequent tougher questions.

Try to finish the first two logic games in the first 15 minutes so that you can leave 20 minutes for the last two (harder) games. As you improve your time, you can even try to finish the first three games within 22-23 minutes and leave 12-13 minutes for the final game, which is usually the hardest of the bunch.

Gradually Increase Practice Difficulty and Decrease Time Limit

One particularly effective method in which I trained myself and my students was to:

  1. Make a list of all the logic games that I found challenging (Alternatively, you can use a website like 7sage that filters games by difficulty)
  2. Consecutively complete four of these games in 35 minutes

By training under conditions that are much harder than the LSAT, you prepare yourself to deal with the extra pressure that will inevitably be present during the exam.

If you can complete four level 4/5 games within 35 minutes, then try to repeat the process with even less time. If you can complete all questions on all four games (with zero mistakes) in 33 or even 30 minutes, you will have no trouble on the actual exam itself.

Know the Type of Game You are Dealing With

The advanced student will have gone through so much practice that how to diagram a game often becomes intuitive. This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, intuition will get us very far and serve us well in most cases; but on the other hand, as we become more confident with games and increase our speed, we might miss a rule here and there and make careless mistakes.

Pay special attention to Rare Games and Tricky Questions

Rare games are games that have only appeared a few times on the LSAT, the most common ones are circular and pattern games. Due to their limited presence, we won’t get much practice with them, so pay extra attention to these! If you are aiming for a perfect score on LG, you have to practice these.

Lastly, be careful of Rule Substitution Questions. These are probably the hardest questions in a Logic Game and will appear at the end of the game/section. Pay special attention to these.

Beware Grouping Games!

It’s important to make a mental note of the type of game we are dealing with every time, rather than jumping straight into diagramming. Logic games can very roughly be divided into sequencing games, basic linear games, advanced linear games, in/out games, grouping games, grouping/linear combo games, and the rare uncategorized games.

Most students won’t have any trouble with the sequencing, linear, and in/out games; so it’s important to pay special attention to games that have a grouping element and games that occur rarely.

With grouping games and grouping/linear combo games, make sure you don’t miss any variations. Firstly, if three teams are selected from twenty people, how many people are selected? Are all twenty people selected? Can you select only three people?

Second, ask yourself if the same variable can appear in multiple groups? For example, can one person join multiple teams? This will further complicate our selection process.

Third, once we have figured out how many are selected, how big is each group? Are they all the same size or is one group bigger than the other? If so, which group is bigger?

If we must choose two groups from six people, with nobody joining both groups, and we know that one group is twice the size of the other group, we can have the following variations:

Number of People SelectedGroup AGroup B

Now, if we slightly tweak the rules and allow people to join multiple groups, leaving the rest of the rules unchanged, additional variations can appear:

You can have only 5 people selected, if one person double dips. We can still have one group of 4 and another group of 2.

For example, if there are six people that can be selected (A, B, C, D, E, and F); and one guy is selected in both groups (let’s say A), you can have this:

Group 1: A, B, C, D

Group 2: A, E

Similarly, you can now select only 4 people:

Group 1: A, B, C, D

Group 2: A, B

Or even 2 people:

Group 1: A, B

Group 2: A

Ultimately, even the advanced student can miss important variations when grouping is involved. Be sure to think about the total number of people selected, whether people can join multiple groups, and how big is each group relative to the other groups when you practice grouping games!

Here is a simple flowchart I made outlining the relationship between different types of games.

It provides an overview of the different types of games available: