Today we’re wrapping up our analysis of the June 2017 LSAT with an in-depth look at the Logic Games section. Unlike the Logical Reasoning and Reading Comp sections, early reports indicated was relatively gentle on battle-weary test-takers. Were those reports correct? Read on to find out!
Note: Gentle spoilers ahead—I’ll discuss exactly how I approached each game, so if you don’t want to read too much about the games before you’re able to give them a try yourself, tread carefully.
The first game was a tiered ordering game in which essays and topics were placed in order for a magazine. In this case, you can create two scenarios (thanks to the help of our BFF, blocks—in this case, the constraint that one player must immediately precede another). The scenarios help with a couple additional deductions, and from there the game should go pretty quickly. There is an instance of the dreaded rule substitution question at the end of the game (those questions that say “which of the following, if substituted for the rule that says X, would have the same effect?”), but with the deductions made through the scenarios, the right answer isn’t too complicated.
The second game was a one-to-one ordering game featuring a concert organizer and seven musicians. The game gets off to a roaring start with a couple big blocks, which often allows for scenarios. In this case, your humble correspondent attempted scenarios with one of those blocks (in combination with a rule that limited one of the players in the blocks to one of two spaces), and found that it didn’t lead to too many additional deductions up front. However, in the grand finale, the scenarios ended up being exceedingly helpful for getting through the questions quickly.
The third game was yet another one-to-one ordering game, putting obstacles in order for the world’s most boring “outdoor amusement center.” This game had fewer rules than the first two, so although I had been hoping for a “menage a scenarios” situation in this LG section, there weren’t really enough restrictions to make scenarios helpful.
However, as I started working through the questions, it became clear that some of the players were fairly restricted—particularly in the middle of the set-up. That’s a little unusual, as it’s often the case in ordering games that the beginning and end of your set-up are more restricted and there’s more flexibility for the players in the middle.
The LSAT went global for the final game, which was a stable underbooked grouping game (in which players are assigned to more than one spot, and you know exactly how many players are in each group), featuring managers visiting certain cities.
Because I knew exactly how many visits needed to be made, right off the bat I knew to do what we at Blueprint call “playing the numbers,” a philosophy we apply in both our dating lives and our LSAT lives. In the context of the LSAT, however, we are specifically referring to determining how many times each player can be repeated. In this case, at first it seemed that there might be two possible distributions; however, after getting into the rules, it became apparent that the game only worked if two people visited two cities, and the other two visited one city each. Other than that, the rules seemed fairly sparse at first, there was one particularly helpful deduction found by examining Sydney, the city with the most restrictions.
Just when you think you’re home free, the LSAT hits you with a final rule substitution question, an unusual occurrence given that many Logic Games sections don’t have a single question of this type. This iteration was definitely trickier than the one that appeared earlier in the section; once again, deductions were critical in identifying the correct answer.
This Logic Games section made my instructor heart happy, as it was a perfect illustration of why we stress certain techniques for finding deductions—in particular, there were some great opportunities to make really helpful scenarios, and playing the numbers helped with deductions in the final game. Although there were a few tough questions (especially the final rule substitution question!), overall I have to agree that there weren’t too many surprises in this section. The set-ups were pretty simple, and although there were some important deductions, they were still fairly by-the-book.