LSAT Analytical Games

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Overview: The LSAT Analytical Section features four types of Logic Games. Learn invaluable strategies to tackle the patterns of the Linear, Conditional, Grid, and Cascade game types on the LSAT Exam.

Linear Games
Linear games provide a sequence of consecutive variables. They traditionally feature a pattern of names listed with corresponding numbers, usually ranging from 1 to 7, though not always.

To solve these patterns, identify the game. Look for the words, order, sequence, ranking and position.

Organize information presented by the fact pattern. Try to make deductions that support the given information. For example, it may state that “G sits in seat 3” and then say “M comes before G”. The deduction here is that M is in either 1 or 2, because it must come before 3, since G sits there.

logical-gamesConditional Games
Conditional Games consist of “If-then statements”, meaning, if A occurs, then B also results and vice versa. Ex: A —> B, B —> A

For example, A determines where B goes, and vice versa. So, if A enters, B also follows. Use an asterisk (*) to represent the first variable written. “A” in, *A —> B, *B —> A

Consider the following example:
If Michael goes to the concert, Steven stays home.

* M —> S (If Michael goes, Steven stays home)
* S —> M (If Steven goes, Michael stays home)

Michael and Steven never attend the concert together. However, no connection exists between S & M, when S and/or M choose not to attend. Here, they stand alone. For example, if S chose not to attend the concert, M may or may not attend, and vice versa, because no rule restricts their decision.

Grid Games
Grid games form a chart and feature variables with options. Consider a car brochure, the classic type of grid game. For example, the game may feature a car, offered in various colors (red, lue, Black, Gray, Silver, etc.), with accessories (Power Windows, Sun Roof, Spoiler, Heated Seats, Leather Interior, etc.). To identify, look for selections. It should not show any linear languages, such as order, consecutive, or sequence. Deductions generally come in the form of simple arithmetic, adding or subtracting from other categories, to fill missing information. For example, if all black cars include Interior seats, plus two other accessories, then we know at least 1 car shares an accessory with black cars, since we got five cars and five options. 5-3 = 2 options, which leaves only 2 other options for 4 cars. Therefore, at least one, if not more, of the 4 other colored cars share an option with black cars.

Cascade Games
A classic cascade game incorporates elements shared by each of the previous three games. However, a cascade distinguishes from the other game types. It may include one dominant feature, but frequently functions very differently from the other games. It may offer linear language with a grid or conditional variation. Cascade games generally constitute the most complex of LSAT Analytical patterns and generally require more time to solve than other games. These game types rely on experimentation, testing the variables and information presented with each question. Hence, depending upon the type of cascade, and its difficulty compared with other games, you may wish to save this game for last.

Practice Material
Purchase all the LSAT pamplets and practice books available through LSAC, including “10 More”, “Next 10”, and “Super Prep”. These books offer real practice exams. You may also wish to supplement preparation by taking a credible LSAT course.

For example, LSAT Exam # 47, an exam administered in October 2005, on pages 33-36, provide representative examples of Analytical section logic games for you to practice. However, look for more recent exams.

LSAT Exam # 47
– Pg 33 exemplifies a Linear game.
– Pg 34 typifies a Conditional game setup.
– Pg 35 illustrates a classic Grid game.
– Pg 36 displays a Cascade game

Note: Not every LSAT exam lists the Analytical logic games in this order. Rather, the LSAT randomly selects different game types and splices them in various arrangements. You always see 4 games, sometimes more than one of the same game type. You almost always see 1 linear, usually accompanied by 1 or more conditional games, plus either a grid or cascade game, randomly selected in any order. You may sometimes witness more or less of various games. However, the exam almost always guarantees at least 1 Linear game as a standard, based upon previous games over the years.

Reference

  • The Focus Approach Law Review – LSAT Test Preparation
  • LSAC website – Official LSAT Prep Exams
  • PowerScore Ultimate Test Preparation
  • LSAT – Picture Image

Resource

  • The Focus Approach Law Review – LSAT Test Preparation
  • LSAC website – Official LSAT Prep Exams
  • PowerScore Ultimate Test Preparation

3 Responses to "LSAT Analytical Games"

  1. Andy Bachman  September 13, 2014 at 12:17

    I intended to take this test when I was in the US, but was not allowed because of my Belgian citizenship.
    Thanks for a well-written- and documented post.
    Andy

    Reply
  2. Michael W Staib  October 15, 2015 at 15:51

    Thank you again Mr. Bachman for all your invaluable insight. Thanks for sharing. My apologies for this unseasonable comment–slightly more than a year overdue! All the highest of prosperity for your future endeavors! Mike

    Reply
  3. Michael W Staib  September 9, 2016 at 21:09

    Thank you, always, dearest Angie, for publishing my writings! Michael

    Reply

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