The Rules for Logic Games Rules

BPPlaura-lsat-blog-lg-rules

There are just ten days left until the February LSAT, and at this point your methods for tackling Logic Games are pretty much settled. However, there’s still time to improve your speed on this all-important section.

As you know, one of the first steps when starting a Logic Game is to visually represent each rule so that you don’t have to keep re-reading the text. I’ve tutored a lot of students in Logic Games, and one of the most common mistakes I notice is that students aren’t representing the rules in the most clear, accurate, easily digestible way possible. For instance, for a more complicated rule, students might jot down something that sort of describes the rule but isn’t totally accurate, which means they’re still going to have to keep re-reading the text – exactly the thing we’re trying to avoid. Or, sometimes I’ll see students cramming the rules into tiny corners of the page in a way that makes it hard to understand what’s going on.

This is a big problem for a couple reasons. For one thing, every second you spend trying to remember exactly what a rule means is a waste. But the bigger problem is that if your rules are confusing or hard to read, it’s easy to forget something. I’ve watched many a tutoring student struggle with a question that seems impossible because they’ve forgotten the rule that says when Batman goes first, Robin goes third (or whatever the case may be). That should never happen – although it’s not realistic to commit all the rules to memory for every game, you should at least have the rules written in a way that ensures that you won’t forget about any of them.

The fix is simple: First, make sure you understand exactly what each rule is saying. If something seems confusing, stop until you’re sure you’ve got a handle on exactly what the rule means. Then, write down a representation that describes the rule exactly. There is no “close enough” – any ambiguities could lead to mistakes later on. I know this sounds like it will slow you down, when the point of this article is to speed up. It won’t, promise. Doing it right the first time saves a whole bunch of time as you go through the questions.

Also, give yourself plenty of room to write the rules clearly, in a list that will be easy to skim as you tackle the questions. Lastly, after building your set-up and before diving in to the questions, give the rules a once-over to double-check your understanding and ensure that they’re still fresh in your mind.

If all of this advice sounds very simple and common-sense, it’s because it is, and yet you’d be amazed by how many people are wasting valuable time or making dumb mistakes because they’re representing the rules in a sloppy or confusing way. So after your next Logic Games section, take a look at your set-up and rules to ensure that you’re setting up the page as efficiently and clearly as possible. You might be surprised at the difference it can make.

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