Logic Games basics

The analytical reasoning section, also known as the games section, is one of the three types of LSAT sections and along with the reading comprehension type it only appears once on the test.  Of course, the experimental section can be an analytical reasoning section, but only one of them would be scored.  The games section is designed to essentially test how well you can understand and draw conclusions from a structure of relationships, and the rationale for this is that this skill set is similar to what lawyers and law students need to have when confronted with legal problems.

The section consists of four 'games' that contain a passage that looks like a brain teaser or brain puzzle followed by between 5 and 7 questions each.  Each passage is a scenario that presents a group of persons, places, things, or events and is followed by a set of rules that describe the relationships in that group.  So for example a simple version of a scenario might be that horses A, B, and C win first, second, and third place in a race and the rules might say that horse A isn't last, that if horse B wins first then horse C gets third, etc.  This scenario is then followed by questions that ask you pick the correct choice based on the info given.  The questions may simply ask you to draw a conclusion simply based on the information in the scenario and rules or they may add additional conditions, ie: if horse A is second then in what place is horse B?  A less frequent question variation is where one of the rules is temporarily suspended.

Doing well on this section requires you to understand precisely what the scenario and the rules are saying, but the passage is designed to be clear and not tricky or ambiguous.  Everything you need in order to answer the questions correctly is presented in the passage and questions, you shouldn't introduce any of your own assumptions.

This section is difficult for several different reasons.  First, the relevant information is presented in awkward and unnatural language; unlike the arguments or reading passages where you're given information in a form that's roughly similar to something you would read in everyday life here it's formal and stylized.  Second, you're asked to keep track of the information and the relationships between the relevant elements; complexity is always challenging.  And third, it's intimidating because you're asked about things that aren't even presented in that information; you're going to be making deductions and coming to conclusions based on the relationships in the passage.  The way that we'll deal with these difficulties is first to present you with concepts that will help you quickly comprehend what the scenario and rules are saying and to organize that information most effectively and then to show an effective procedure for each question type that completely reduces your need to depend on deductions.

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