The Logic of Skipping a Game


As the song goes, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.” In a perfect world, you’d be able to finish all four Logic Games in a section within the given time, but sometimes that’s just not in the cards.

If you’re struggling to finish all four games in the section, the temptation is to rush through the games in an effort to get to the questions as quickly as possible. That’s a misguided strategy, though – what ends up happening instead is that you miss deductions, make dumb mistakes, and lose out on points.

If that sounds like you, it’s time to think about focusing on getting through three games in the section rather than rushing to get to the end. You may find that, because you’re giving yourself adequate time for the three games you tackle, you actually end up scoring higher on the section than when you were trying to get through all four games.

If you decide to focus on completing three games, you’ll definitely still want to tackle the first two games in a section – those tend to be the easier ones, so even if one of the games is a type that you don’t particularly like, you’d still be leaving easy points on the table by not tackling it.

When you come to the last two games, you’ll need to make a decision about which one to attempt. There are two schools of thought about how to make that decision. You could focus on the game that has more questions, which means that even if you don’t get to the other game, you’ll be guessing on a smaller proportion of the questions. Alternatively – and this is probably the more strategic approach – you could quickly read the rules for each game and select the one that you’re more comfortable with. I’d recommend the second approach, as it gives you the smallest chance of being stymied by a tricky game with a lot of questions, but there are certainly merits to the first approach as well.

After you complete that third game, you may or may not have time to get started on the fourth. If so, excellent! Get through as many questions as you can (still taking the time to build a good set-up, find deductions, and all of those important steps, of course). But if not, don’t stress or beat yourself up about it – the whole point of focusing on only three games in the section is to give yourself adequate time for those three, reducing the number of silly mistakes and improving your overall score. Even if you have to guess on every question in the fourth game, you’re still statistically likely to get at least one or two of those questions right, so it’s not a big loss.

Finishing all four games in a section is an attainable goal, and we’ve got lots of discussion on the blog about how to improve your speed on the Logic Games section. But if you’re not quite there, use one of your practice tests as an opportunity to try focusing on three games in the section rather than rushing through all four – it seems counterintuitive, but you may find that your overall score for the section actually increases.

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