How to ACE LSAT Logic Games

Let me start this with a question.


Do you love LSAT logic games?
When you do, you’ll be far more likely to ace the test with a perfect score.

I know it sounds insane, but if you do enough logic games, you will start enjoying them.  


BUT, you’ve got to approach them in the right way. If you just go through dozens of games with the same old techniques, you may not improve, and it’ll drive you crazy.

Fortunately, I’ve already been to the edge of madness so you don’t have to. It was there that I cracked the LSAT code


When my sanity returned, I was armed with tons of invaluable techniques that you can use to achieve out perfect scores on logic games time after time.


(In fact, I wrote some of the more essential elements down; check out these 5 ways to solve logic games in under 7 minutes.)


Remember last time we talked about diagrams? The link above will help you use the best diagrams for each game type, in a limited space.


But I’m not done sharing advice with you for today - so have a look at these 7 techniques that will set you apart from the pack.


1. See letters as variables.
Forget names or people and avoid thinking of the game's "topic". Instead, look for the relationships between letters.

2. Easily categorize.
The same logic games are often repeated, they’re just wrapped up in disguise. Try to identify what type of game you’re looking at and tackle it appropriately. 


3. Focus on key words in set-up and rules.
Learn obsessive attention to detail.


4. Diagram efficiently.
Remember you don’t have much space for diagrams, so use minimal writing and symbolize the rules of the game.


5. Create minimum # of diagrams.
You can always reuse previous diagrams, saving valuable time – try it!


6. Budget time well.
Determine whether it's worth spending more time on main diagram or on questions.


7. Learn to stop worrying and love the LSAT Logic Games!


And thi is just the tip of the iceberg. We can delve deeper into logic games to gain a full understanding of just how to pull them apart and laugh at their predictability.


Next time :)


Forever yours,

LSAT Steve



Recommended Resources:

1. LSAT Courses
The best of my LSAT material with exclusive access to attend my Live Online LSAT Master Classes + Q&As, and on-demand video lessons you can watch anytime. Plus, LSAT study plans to keep you on track. Save hundreds of dollars with an LSAT course package.

2. Logic Games Explanations
The explanations that should have come with the LSAT. These tell you why the wrong answers are wrong, why the right answers are right, and the easiest way to get the correct answer.

3. Mastering LSAT Logic Games
This guide to Logic Games is by a former writer of actual LSAT questions! Enough said.




Digital LSAT scratch paper (and cheat sheet!)

Okay guys, let’s take things back a step or two today.

Previously, I talked about the importance of building the foundation first, before we even consider tackling realistic timing. I hope you’re taking your time to really get to grips with these games.

(If you do need a little help getting your teeth into some of the logic games, I’ve recorded nearly 200 free LG video explanations. )
Anyway, like I said before – get the basics down, then start timing yourself.

When you’re ready to finally ready to kick things up a notch, replicating exam conditions and timing is incredibly useful, but remember…



BUILD THE FOUNDATION FIRST!!

Then look at how you can replicate the exam conditions, but it isn’t all about timing.


The vast majority of students make the same fatal mistake during their studies and when it comes to test day, they’re suddenly hit with a situation they’re not prepared for.

Any guesses? I’ll give you a clue; it’s so simple, yet so overlooked…


Anyone?

…Scratch paper!
That’s right. Many students write in their books drawing out tiny little logic game diagrams, using the limited space provided. But guys…on the Digital LSAT


YOU'LL GET SCRATCH PAPER ON THE TEST!

So what do you do on test day when you’re used to creating tiny diagrams in your books, but you suddenly discover (to your pleasant surprise) that you've got a full booklet of scratch paper to work with?

Of course, better to have more space than you need than less, but always best to practice like it's game day.


It’s essential to get used to using the amount of space provided during your studies.


In this way, when test day comes along you know exactly how to work with the space provided by the test. And, with some sensible practices you can preserve all of your prep books – bonus!  


So, get used to your scratch paper.


Okay guys, that’s all today, nice and easy, but incredibly important for reducing stress on test day and working effectively with what the LSAT throws at you. So for the Digital LSAT, no more need to squeeze all your info into tight spaces + shrinking the size of your handwriting - you’ll be fine!

Next time, we’ll get back to tackling logic games. I’ve got some great tips and tricks lined up that will have you blasting through logic games in less than seven minutes! 


Yours,
LSAT Steve (diagram master!)



P.S. I haven’t forgotten the diagramming cheat sheet. You can get it here! It shows you how to diagram the most common LG rules.


P.P.S. For something much more advanced and comprehensive, check out my premium Logic Games cheat sheet.


P.P.P.S. My LSAT courses offer even more advice and guidance when it comes to logic games. Just take a look at the foundational LG syllabus to see what’s included:

General Thoughts on Logic Games
Introduction to Logic Games
Overview: Types of Logic Games
Habits of Top Scorers
Logic Games Approach
Importance of Making Inferences

Specific Question Types
Orientation Questions
General Must, Could, and Except Questions
"If" / Specific Questions

Relative and Strict Sequencing Logic Games
Introduction to Sequencing Logic Games
Diagramming Relative Sequencing Rules
Relative Sequencing Game
Creating Limited Possibilities in Strict Sequencing Games
Strict Sequencing Games

Multi-Level Sequencing Logic Games
Introduction to Multi-Level Sequencing Logic Games
Diagramming 3 Limited Possibilities
Multi-Level Sequencing Games

Grouping: In-Out / Selection Logic Games
Introduction to Grouping: In-Out / Selection Logic Games
Introduction to Conditional Statements
Conditional Rules: The Contrapositive (Simple)
Conditional Rules: Failed Contrapositive Attempts: Inverse and Converse
Conditional Rules: The Contrapositive (Complex)
Conditional Rules: Connecting Conditional Statements
Conditional Rules: Reading Conditional Chains
Conditional Rules: At Least 1 Out
Conditional Rules: At Least 1 In
Conditional Rules: At Least 1 Out vs. At Least 1 In
Grouping: In-Out / Selection Games

Grouping: Splitting Logic Games
Introduction to Grouping: Splitting Logic Games
Grouping: Splitting Game – Setup
Grouping: Splitting Game – Questions

Grouping: Matching Logic Games
Introduction to Grouping: Matching Logic Games
Grouping: Matching Games

Combination Logic Games
Introduction to Combination Logic Games
Combination Game




LSAT Unplugged Community Forum


I've never seen anyone else post a photo like this online.

To be honest, I'm only comfortable posting it now because I'm long past that point. I never would've posted it if I were still living under the weight of *not knowing* whether I'd ever reach my LSAT goals.

Facebook, Instagram, and most LSAT forums are FULL of selection bias. People share their best moments and fail to mention NetFlix, pints of ice cream, and discouraging LSAT scores.

It's only natural that people want to present their best selves. I typically try to do the same. The problem is when you're seeing everyone else's best and comparing it against your worst and average moments.

We don't talk about those moments enough.

Over the past few weeks, I've held a series of Forums for students in my course where we get real about the biggest things holding us back. We share stories about the obstacles we face and our efforts to overcome them.

Personally, I'm been working to open up and share some deeply personal stories from my background - the things I wouldn't want anyone else to know about me. And I invite you to do the same.

I held one LSAT Unplugged Community Forum last week, and I'll be holding another tonight at 8PM Eastern. Join here.




The BIG secret about Logic Games

I'm going to tell you something right up front.

And if you're like most students - you probably won't "get" this.

It's counterintuitive.

I've warned you.

Here goes... 


The WORST thing you can do is to start timing yourself on Logic Games right away.
You know - immediately worrying that you can’t solve each game in 8 minutes and 45 seconds.

The “if I can’t do it timed now, I can’t on Test Day“ mentality.

Or ... “Lemme start timing myself BEFORE I actually build a strong foundation" mentality.

You know the type. You've probably done it before.

What's missing in the above picture?

Lemme give you a clue:

Why is timing yourself from the beginning so ineffective?

That's a BIG clue actually :)

The phone rings ... you pick it up.

You: "Hello"
LSAT: Are you trying to solve me?

You: Err ... yes - who is this?

LSAT: I'm the LSAT. I contain a bunch of questions you don’t know how to solve - do you even know what I’m really testing you on?

You: Err ... no. Where did you learn how to talk?

LSAT: Don't worry about that, let me throw a bunch of tough questions at you with words and concepts you don’t understand —

You: But I just wanted to make sure I’m learning how to solve everything fast!

LSAT: Because I’m TRYING to confuse you and make you feel stupid. The BEST way to do that is by giving you lots of tough questions AND not nearly enough time to solve them.



Lemme ask you again - what was missing?
I'll tell ya...

The LSAT’s asking you to do TWO difficult things.

At the SAME TIME!

I have embraced the philosophy of building a strong foundation in what the LSAT’s testing…

BEFORE trying to solve the questions in the short time they give you.

I look at everybody I’ve helped succeed on the LSAT ... and I see that they’ve all mastered the fundamentals BEFORE applying the strict timing.

I know, I know - seems strange, right?

But here's what happens when you adopt this philosophy or mindset.

* You’re able to solve the questions ***correctly***.

* You’re able to solve the questions ***quickly***

I call this “Building the Foundation First.”
.
.
Why was Samson so insanely successful? (he scored 174 and got into Yale Law!!)

[————SAMSON ---------]
No single logic game, looking back, was very difficult. The most “difficult” games were those that I had diagrammed incompletely or inefficiently. As Steve has emphasized, your diagram is key. From your diagram, a cascade of deductions will follow. Take several weeks to master your technique…There should be an automatic quality to your movement through the LG section. You want to complete this section like a machine.

Samson’s LSAT Diary

[————/SAMSON ---------] 

Taking the time to master the strategies is KEY!

It's the REASON WHY students like Samson are able to move through the LG section so automatically - like the Terminator!

Making this automatic is where it’s at.

It's where top scores come from.

It's the foundation of a successful prep strategy.


You see, it's this foundation - that once built, allows students to turn low diagnostics into amazing scores

This is something that - if you follow what I say, can have you ROCKING the LSAT even if your diagnostic score wasn’t great


Here's an example that happened recently:
In the lead to the last LSAT, a strange thing happened with my two top-performing students.

I'll call super-student #1 - Jamie, and super-student #2 - Brian.


Jamie’s score improvement was 10 points more than Mike’s,

But the real interesting part wan't that - it was this:

Jamie’s average weekly study time: 10 hours/week

Brian’s average weekly study time: 25 hours/week

Let me put it another way.

Jamie improved MUCH more than Brian but she studied less than HALF the time!

Let that sink in for a sec.



And here's 'WHY' that happened...

Jamie studied smart and took the time to build a strong foundation BEFORE moving on to timing.

Jamie treated the LSAT with the respect it deserves and invested the time to learn the fundamentals before moving on to timed sections.


But Brian (who also represents the typical student)…

Brian didn’t really “get” the LSAT before jumping into timed full-length exams.

He’d seen the question-types, of course. But Brian didn’t have strategies necessary to solve them QUICKLY and ACCURATELY!

Brian treated the LSAT as something to learn just by taking exam after exam and hoping something will magically click.

He saw the questions, not as representing a coherent, defined system intelligently designed by the testmakers, but as a bunch of random confusing gobbledygook.

He just opened the test after test and gave each question his best (haphazard) shot.

I made the same mistake back when I was studying, and that’s why it took me an entire freakin’ year to finally crack the “LSAT code.”

Jamie, on the other hand, is a living breathing example of what’s possible when a student adopts my philosophy, understands the strategies, and carries them out.
I crush the “experts” all the time with my “LSAT Mindset” strategy.

And I’ve built a small army of LSAT students who do the same.

You can join the LSAT courses here ------->>>>

Steve “LSAT” Schwartz
.
.
P.S. As you’ll see from the course breakdown, I give you a TON of guidance on solving Logic Games efficiently. And I start by giving you the fundamental concepts underlying the section FIRST - *before* moving into timed practice.

P.P.S. I'll get that diagramming cheat sheet I wrote out to you shortly. Just need to finish smoothing it out.



LSAT Logic Games: How to diagram and solve questions

Solving Logic Games isn’t really all that hard to do when you know the formula.

THE FORMULA:
1. the ability to EFFECTIVELY identify how to diagram
2. ability to EFFECTIVELY solve the questions (and get them right)
3. ability to EFFECTIVELY do all of this in the limited time you have (8:45 per game)

When you look at it like this it's pretty simple.

But like most things - the devil’s in the details.


1. ID HOW TO DIAGRAM:

Diagramming is easy ... easier than you probably think it is.

The big companies have done a great - no, BRILLIANT - job of feeding YOU the 'lie' that diagramming’s hard to do if you don't know the fancy *trademarked* techniques (TM).

The FEAR of FAILURE is a scarcity persuasion technique that these companies leverage to fuel your fear of "missing out" on some big secret.

Which is precisely why $1,000 - $1,500 courses are the biggest moneymaker for the test prep companies.

Let me simplify “diagramming” for ya.

Here are some example diagrams for each major type of Logic Game (terms may differ, but the idea’s the same).
Relative Ordering
Grouping: Matching

This short list covers all the major game types.

And if that’s not enough for ya, here are full video explanations I’ve created for over 180 Logic Games:

Free LSAT Logic Game Video Explanations


Truth is - there ARE *tons* of Logic Game types. But so what?!

If you had to just focus on two (2) or three (3) of the types listed above ... you'll have more Logic Games to practice on than you’ll know what to do with.

And you’ll be building the skillz necessary to solve these different types of games.


Btw, I've written a killer diagramming cheat sheet that I'll give you. It’ll be my gift to you.

I just need to finish smoothing it out.

When it's ready - I'll let you know.


2. SOLVING THE QUESTIONS:

In other words ... your ability to EFFECTIVELY use your diagram to answer the questions.

I say 'EFFECTIVELY' because like with most things, there are some strategies that lead to better results than others.

I'm not a big fan of the “plug and chug“ technique where you take the answer choices and plug them in.

Does it work?
Of course it does.

But are there MORE "effective" ways to solve the questions?

You’d better believe it!

I wrote a Guide to Logic Games a few years back.

It describes ninja methods to help you:

1 - understand the basics of each Logic Game type
2 - know when NOT to use strategies because they’ll take too long
3 - know the RIGHT strategy to use at the right time

Notice the key benefit of point-3.

No “fancy-technique-memorizing“ required.

Result ... you solve more questions in less time - and get a higher % correct.

Big difference.

You can get a copy here:

Guide to Logic Games

Enjoy!

[To be continued...]

Steve "the best is still to come" Schwartz



Proven LSAT Logic Games Strategy

I don't focus on “rare” game types that hardly ever come up.

Why not?

Well ... they’re just not worth your time until you’ve mastered the most common ones.

Even worse, “fake” games from random publishers (not naming any names - cough - Barron’s - cough) contain tons of typos and mistakes!

This is the WRONG way to approach building a strong foundation in Logic Games.


Yeah, yeah ... I know what you're thinking:

"But in order to succeed in Logic Games, I need to know how to solve EVERY game type ever.“

“I’ve done every game ever released, so I need to do fake games, too.“

Listen carefully ...


Fake games can drive you CRAZY and waste your time.

What you want to do is focus on the major game types that are MOST likely to come up, then deal with the others later.

And you can master rare games AFTER you’ve built your foundation (you’ll be able to solve them more easily after you’re better at the other games).


Here’s what I said during an interview about this (remind me and I’ll show you a list of common games at the end of this article, ok?):

[ - - - - - - - - INTERVIEW - - - - - - - - - ]

JACOB: The logic games are probably the most feared subject on the LSAT. Yet many students are able to achieve a perfect score on the logic games. So, why are they the most feared and how does this transformation occur?


STEVE: I’ve found in my analysis that there are a number of common formats and formulas that the LSAT logic games use, in terms of how you can go about making inferences. So, I went through many of the old exams and I grouped together games that seemed similar to each other. I found that there were certain types of grouping games, specifically in-and-out games (also known as selection games) where the process by which test takers could make inferences would be extremely similar from game to game.

So, if you’ve done one of these older games, you would, then, be well-prepared to make inferences in one of the newer games without having to reinvent the wheel on the spot. So, a lot of scoring a perfect section comes from being time efficient, which, in turn, comes from recognizing those patterns from the previously administered exams...It’s just about becoming familiar with those formats through repetition.


You might wanna read that again. A few times.

Especially this part -> "becoming familiar with those formats through repetition."

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.


Use the Logic Games categorizations to focus on and repeat game types, and don’t be afraid to photocopy or print multiple copies of the same game so you can do and redo them.


All of these categories are DEFINITELY worth focusing on.

Let me ask you a question...

Which game type do you have the MOST trouble with?


If there is one, I’d suggest digging deeper and focusing on those.

That's your starting point.

[To be continued...]

Steve “kick LSAT butt" Schwartz



P.S. As promised, I’m giving you 7 Logic Games that have repeated over and over (and over) on the LSAT.

When I first noticed how similar these were, I was SHOCKED!

On the one hand, you could say LSAT-makers are lazy in that they’re simply taking old games and dressing them up with a new topic.

But they’re not REALLY lazy - I think it’s that THESE are the skills that the LSAT wants to test. The more you study, the more you’ll pick up on these patterns.


P.P.S. You might notice that most are “multi-level ordering” aka “advanced linear”, but some are other types, too. And there are a LOT in that 1st category I listed (Grouping: In-Out)


Recommended Resources:

1. LSAT Courses
The best of my LSAT material with exclusive access to attend my Live Online LSAT Master Classes + Q&As, and on-demand video lessons you can watch anytime. Plus, LSAT study plans to keep you on track. Save hundreds of dollars with an LSAT course package.
2. Logic Games Explanations
The explanations that should have come with the LSAT. These tell you why the wrong answers are wrong, why the right answers are right, and the easiest way to get the correct answer.
3. Mastering LSAT Logic Games
This guide to Logic Games is by a former writer of actual LSAT questions! Enough said.



Ashley and the LSAT Virus: An LSAT Unplugged Story




Ashley and the LSAT Dragon: An LSAT Unplugged Story by Steve Schwartz (
Listen on YouTube & Podcast)

Everything had been going SO well for Ashley in her LSAT prep. Then word arrived that the LSAT Virus would soon reach her small medieval village, and her progress ground to a halt. 

The townspeople shuttered their windows and boarded their shops. Not a soul could be seen on the cobblestone streets.

Then, news arrived from the capital that the upcoming LSAT had been canceled and the fate of all future LSATs was now uncertain. 

"Oh no!" cried Ashley. She slumped in her chair as she thought of all the countless hours she’d dedicated to her LSAT prep along with her previous quest to defeat the LSAT dragon.

Now, it looked as if -- despite her previous successes -- she'd never have the opportunity to actually take the LSAT! Her dream of becoming a successful attorney was slipping away.

“Of course, something had to come along and ruin it all,” she sighed.

Worst of all, what if Ashley became infected with the LSAT Virus? Then she'd never be able to achieve a top LSAT score and gain admission to the best law school in the capital.

Those afflicted lost their critical thinking abilities. Instead, they were reduced to mindlessly accepting any claim they heard, no matter how ridiculous.

Due to the lockdown, Ashley had more free time than ever before to keep studying for the LSAT.
Yet she still couldn't focus. Her worries about the LSAT Virus kept her up at night and sapped her motivation. She anxiously awaited the town crier’s daily updates on the total number infected.

"On top of worrying about catching an infectious disease, I still have to study for the LSAT? Are they nuts?" she thought.

"Given the circumstances, would it kill them to make an exception just this once?” she argued to no one in particular.

Alas, most law school admission policies remained unchanged, and LSAT after LSAT was canceled as the LSAT Virus infected more of the population each day. It soon became a full-blown plague.

Ashley cried, “I can’t take the LSAT online! I don’t have a computer. They haven’t even been invented yet!”

Ashley spent an increasing amount of time hiding under the covers doing nothing at all except waiting for the next news update. She was afraid things would never return to normal. How had everything come crashing down so fast?

As the days dragged on, Ashley’s LSAT progress slowed to the point that she wasn’t even opening her books anymore.

Then, one afternoon, the wizard appeared at her window wearing an N95 mask.



Shocked, Ashley whispered, "What are you doing here? There's a shelter-in-place order. You should be at home. Plus, you're quite old, and they say the LSAT Virus affects the elderly more than anyone else."

"I was worried about you," he explained. "We haven't been able to meet to continue your training. How's your LSAT prep coming along? Have you been following the study plan as we discussed?"

"Yes," she lied. (She'd been thinking about the LSAT - did that count?)

"What's the contrapositive of 'If the LSAT goes forward, the plague must be over?'" he inquired.

"Um, if the LSAT doesn't go forward, the plague must be continuing?" she replied.

"Wrong. That's the negation of the original, not the contrapositive. There are several factors that could prevent the LSAT from going forward -- like as an earthquake, a tsunami, or any number of other things. Have you actually continued your studies, or are you lacking motivation because you don't know when you'll be able to take the LSAT in-person again?"

"Okay, maybe I haven't been studying as much as I should," she admitted. "But how am I supposed to stay motivated there’s so much uncertainty? I also have to worry about stockpiling food, medicine, and toilet paper in case I get infected."

The wizard looked around her room at the cases of toilet paper stacked floor to ceiling. "Are you sure you need all those? I haven't been able to find any for weeks." 

Ashley handed him a four-pack of toilet paper through the window, which he gladly took with a gloved hand.



"Thanks," he said. "As for the LSAT, you’ll take it eventually. And when you do, I want you to be ready for it, regardless of the format."

"Why don't they just make a decision on all future test dates already?" Ashley complained. “And if they’re going to do it online now, why don’t they just always make it online?”

"Well, first off, we're probably living sometime in the 1300s, and the Internet doesn't exist. You know that.” He glanced around, then lowered his voice to a whisper and said, “Between you, me, and the toilet paper, my crystal ball showed me that LSAC didn't even adapt the LSAT to a digital format until 2019. So I wouldn't count on it being available online 24/7/365 during our lifetime.”

Ashley rolled her eyes and groaned. 

The wizard continued, “Anyway, that's not the point. Whether it's digital or paper, online or in person, none of that matters. There's no downside to being ready too early. Every day you don’t study is a day you delay your law school dreams. Meanwhile, your competition is taking advantage of the lockdown, and you're missing out on an opportunity to master the exam because you’re obsessing over updates that are largely irrelevant to your daily life. The tavern is closed and there's not much else to do besides study anyway.”

The wizard looked past Ashley and his gaze fell upon the enormous stack of toilet paper rolls behind her. Locking eyes with the scholar, he quipped, “Or maybe you’re having too much fun building a fort with all that toilet paper?" 

"It was good for the 'gram," she said.

"I'm not even going to pretend to know what that means," he responded.

Ashley cracked a smile. "Don't worry about it."

“My point is, these are skills you don't forget. As long as you want to go to law school, the LSAT is the best way to get there. You have the ability to conquer this exam - I've seen it. You defeated the LSAT dragon, so I know you can do this. If you some basic precautions, you can probably avoid the LSAT Virus.”

“Thanks, Wizard,” she said, but he was already gone. Only a purple puff of smoke remained.












“I can defeat the LSAT,” she said to herself. “And I'm not going to let this LSAT Virus stop me either!” She returned to her day-by-day study plan and followed it to the letter.

Each morning, Ashley awoke at the crack of dawn and exercised inside her toilet paper fortress.






She scheduled healthy meals to be delivered to her window by raven and ran laps around her house while wearing a protective mask and gloves.



She was especially careful to maintain six feet of distance from everyone. Ashley returned to her bedroom each afternoon with renewed determination to do the hard work of studying for the LSAT.

When the town crier began delivering the news with ever-increasing frequency, she put in her earplugs and only allowed herself to listen to the most important updates. It turned out that most of them didn't really affect her anyway.


Then, one day, just like that, the LSAT Virus was gone. The plague was over, and things slowly returned to normal. 

Ashley hadn't needed to change anything about her LSAT prep. In fact, what was most important is that she’d changed nothing at all and continued her journey as before. Despite all the uncertainty and chaos around her, she’d structured her daily schedule to maximize her focus. 

Before long, the news came that the next LSAT had been scheduled. The format didn’t even matter. She was ready.

She began the test with a smile on her face, confident she'd be able to ace the exam no matter what they threw at her.

Deep in the forest, the wizard sat inside his little stone cottage gazing deeply into his crystal ball. “Ah! I see you’re going to do just fine, Ashley. You got this!”