A Look at the September 2018 LSAT: Logic Games

BPPlaura-lsat-blog-2014-june-lsat-test-takers-down

Today we’re continuing our look at the September 2018 LSAT by delving into the Logic Games section. There have been a few recent test administrations with some off-the-wall game types (like a vanishingly-rare circular game on the July administration of the test). Did LSAC continue the trend of unusual game types with this most recent test, or did they bring it back to basics? Read on to find out!

One quick note before we get into it: If you, like us, are a nerd who enjoys test-release days because they give you the opportunity to do some fresh-out-the-kitchen LSAT questions, beware. Ahead, there be spoilers.

Games one and two: Department store sales, and antiques fair information booths

The first couple games are pretty simple: There’s a classic 1:1 ordering game that is pretty straightforward, and a grouping game that, though unstable, is not too tricky to work through.

There aren’t any big surprises in those first games. The 1:1 ordering game includes a rule substitution question (the dreaded “Which of the following, if substituted for the rule that {x}, would have the same effect?”), but in this case, it’s not terribly tricky — it just requires you to understand how two of the rules relate to each other. The grouping game is unstable, so as we’d expect there are some rules addressing how many people can or can’t be in each group, but it’s not terribly unusual either.

Game three: Textbook editors

Then we get to the good stuff. The third game is another unstable grouping game: you’ve got three groups, and you’re figuring out how many — and which — players are in each group. The size of one of the groups is restricted, which means that you’ll want to play the numbers in order to take a look at the possible sizes for the other groups. And there are a couple of players who are especially restricted — two that need to be together, and another with some more unusual limitations.

There are a few moving pieces going on in the questions, but as long as you have a solid understanding of the rules for this game and how they fit with each other, the questions roll along pretty smoothly.

Game four: Art exhibitions (with musicians)

Last, but not least, we get to the fourth game, which is the one that we’d heard the most chatter about. There are a few things that make this game especially tricky:

For one, it’s a tiered ordering game, with two distinct variable sets (musicians and artists). These games tend to be inherently more time consuming than other types of ordering games, because it’s almost like you’re doing two games in one.

Further complicating this particular game, the rules don’t tell you that much about how the variable sets relate to each other. The rules give you one pair that must be on the same week, and one pair that can’t be on the same week. You can also deduce another pair that can’t be on the same week due to space limitations (which comes up in one of the questions). But other than that, the two variable sets seem rather independent from each other.

And, as if that weren’t enough, there aren’t any great deductions that break the game wide open for you — you can figure out a little bit about the order for one of the variable sets, but that still leaves you a whole other variable set to contend with. So, you end up having to do a fair amount of work for each question.

Summary

LSAC didn’t throw any curveballs with this Logic Games section — these were four relatively by-the-book games (in contrast with other recent test administrations). In fact, the questions could have been much meaner overall. The rule substitution question in this section, for instance, was truly a gift to LSAT-takers. However, that’s not to say the section was a total cakewalk; the last game would’ve been a real stumper for anyone who didn’t have a solid understanding of the rules.\

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