LSAT Logic Games Vocabulary Words and Phrases

LSAT Blog Logic Games Vocabulary Words PhrasesUPDATE: If you want even more help with LSAT vocabulary than the words below (and don't want to have to memorize hundreds and hundreds of words), check out the LSAT Vocabulary Builder: Words You Need to Know.


Logic Games vocab is a tricky thing. The problem generally isn't knowing what each word means. The problem is knowing how the words interact with each other and what various phrases actually mean.

For this reason, I've decided to go over several things in this blog post rather than simply doing a vocab list:

1. Words and phrases that can help you recognize a particular type of game.
2. General tips to help you watch out for linguistic trickery and avoid making unwarranted assumptions.
3. Phrases indicating List/Acceptability questions
4. Tips on understanding a particular kind of question that differs from List questions
5. Phrases indicating Suspension and Substitution questions.
6. Tips on understanding some rules that indicate double-arrows
7. A list of 10 words you must know for Logic Games


1. Recognizing Types of Games

Pure Sequencing, Basic Linear, Advanced Linear
Consecutively / Sequentially / Successively
Ranking / Ordering
No two occur simultaneously, no two occur at the same time
One at a time / One after the other
Not simultaneously, not concurrently, not at the same time

Precedes = comes before
Follows = comes after
Immediately follows
Immediately precedes

Preceded by
Followed by
Immediately preceded by
Immediately followed by


Selection
Selected
Contained
Chosen


Splitting
(Variables are divided among) exactly one of two (groups)


2. Avoid making unwarranted assumptions with regard to order

Pay attention to the order in which things occur or are ranked (this applies to Pure Sequencing, Basic Linear, and Advanced Linear games):
front - back
earlier - later
before - after
most - least
behind - in front


Also pay attention to how rules and answer choices are presented.
LSAC often gives you the second of two variables first, which requires you to mentally rearrange the variables.

Examples:
PrepTest 34, Game 3, Question 16 (p212 in Next 10)
PrepTest 36, Game 2, Question 9 (p279 in Next 10)


3. Recognizing List / Acceptability Questions
They're often the first question in any Logic Game.

Could be the composition
Could be a complete and accurate list
Could be accurate matching
Could be an acceptable selection


4. Understanding "Complete and accurate list...any one of which" Questions
For these questions, they're not asking if each variable in each answer choice's list could perform a given action simultaneously. They're just asking in general.


5. Recognizing Suspension and Substitution Questions
Rule suspension questions (when the fundamental rule of a game are changed):
Suppose the condition is added...all the other/original/initial conditions remain...
Suspended


Rule substitution questions (appeared in PrepTests 57, 58, and 59)
Which one of the following, if substituted for the restriction/condition that...would have the same effect?
Assume original condition X is replaced by condition Y


6. Recognizing and Understanding Double-Arrow Rules

"If, and only if" / "If, but only if"
Both of these create a double arrow: X <---> Y

The first "if" introduces the sufficient condition, and the second "if" introduces the necessary condition. This means that X and Y are both sufficient AND necessary for each other. Either we have both, or we have neither.

Examples:
PrepTest 45, Game 4
PrepTest 56, Game 2


"If X then Y; otherwise, not Y."
The first half is simply what it says: "X -> Y"

The second half, "otherwise, not Y," really means "If NOT X -> NOT Y

The contrapositive of this second half is Y -> X

Combining this with the first half, we get a double-arrow: X <---> Y

Example:
PrepTest 55, Game 4

Yes, this sort of rule is identical in meaning to the "if, and only if" / "if, but only if" rule that I explained immediately above this rule.


7. List of 10 Logic Games Vocabulary Words
Adjacent = immediately next to / touching
Corresponds = matches
Distinct = different, unique
Respectively = in this particular order
Consistent = could be true / does not violate
Inconsistent = cannot be true / violates
Determine = figure out
Fully determined = completely figure out
Not necessarily = does not have to be
Neither X nor Y = NOT X and NOT Y

***

Also see: LSAT Logical Reasoning Vocabulary Words

Photo by solbronumberone / CC BY-SA 2.0



56 comments:

  1. this list is really helpful. Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would add that:
    "X comes/occurs/etc. two (2) before Y" and also "X is two (2) spaces/appointments/etc. before Y" both mean "X _ Y"
    BUT
    "X precedes Y and there are two (2) spaces/appointments/etc. between X and Y" = "X _ _ Y"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are you sure that "if and only if" and "if but only if" both create double arrows? It seems to me that "if AND only if" creates a double arrow while "if BUT only if" is just a single arrow, similar to just saying "only if".

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I'm sure that they both create double arrows.

    The first "if" introduces a sufficient condition, the "only if" following it introduces a necessary condition.

    It doesn't matter whether you have an "and" or "but" between them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm with you on the double arrow for the "and". However I'm still not convinced that it doesn't matter whether it's an "and" or a "but". Those words don't generally seem interchangeable. Doesn't "but" indicate that the necessary condition supersedes the sufficient condition, thereby making it the same as just saying "only if"?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I continue to stand behind the idea that "and" and "but" are the same in logic.

    See this logical conjunction website for more (scroll down to the section on "but").

    ReplyDelete
  7. OK. Thanks. I'm starting to come around. Final question on this issue: Has it ever been significant on an LSAT game?

    ReplyDelete
  8. It certainly has - otherwise, I wouldn't have included it in this list!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great Blog! I have a question about the books. I have the 'Next 10' book you mention in number 2 above, but mine was printed in 2004. The coloring is the same, but the one linked off this blog to Amazon.com is a different publishing date and ISBN. The pages and games don't match up. Will this be a problem in following your blog to prepare?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great blog! Soo much help! On PT 44 game 3 one of the clues says "The site visited third dates from a more recent century than does either the site visited first or that visited fourth". Does this mean the 3rd site is more recent than both? or one or the other? The Games bible seems to imply both but why the "either" "or" in the sentence. This is really messing with me!

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  11. thanks so much for this blog

    ReplyDelete
  12. Can you give an example of #4. Understanding "Complete and accurate list...any one of which" Questions....

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Anonymous (August 16 2010)

    I'm sure you figured it out by now, but I just wanted to make sure I had it right. On the LSAT, the word "or" is inclusive unless otherwise noted correct? As in, "A or B" means either or both.

    ReplyDelete
  14. AWESOME BLOG. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, Steve! Is the following correct?
    "Neither A nor B" = A <---> B = NOT A and NOT B"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't even view this as conditional logic if this is all to the statement. I would just write ~a ~b.

      Delete
  16. Hey Steve! This really helped but could you please explain the difference between the following two question stems: "Which one of the following is a complete and accurate list" and "Which one of the following could be a complete and accurate list"

    ReplyDelete
  17. So much wrangling, and for what and to what end? There seems to be no definitive answers, only more questions. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Steve, Can you walk me through the first section:

    Pure Sequencing, Basic Linear, Advanced Linear
    Consecutively / Sequentially / Successively
    Ranking / Ordering
    No two occur simultaneously, no two occur at the same time
    One at a time / One after the other
    Not simultaneously, not concurrently, not at the same time

    Are you describing in order how to recognize each type?

    What are recommendations to recognize grouping?

    ReplyDelete
  19. The phrase: Preceded by confuses me...would variable X is preceded by Z mean: XZ?

    The word 'By' confuses me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Realize this is late but in case any one else has the same question, you're right. "Preceded by" means something comes before it. So X preceded by Z would give you ZX. If the question states Z precedes X, you get ZX. Happy studying everyone :)

      Delete
  20. Can you elaborate on #2? Specifically, the "front-back, earlier-later part."

    ReplyDelete
  21. THIS IS AMAZING!!! Thank you so very much!

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  22. What about the word after...should i assume right after or just not before?

    ReplyDelete
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