Episode 17: Parallel Reasoning, Games and the Sept. LSAT

Ben and Nathan talk about several LSAT topics, including:

  • Strategies to approach parallel reasoning questions
  • Creating different scenarios in games, and how to split the main diagram into multiple options
  • Whether to stay on course for taking the September LSAT, or aim for the December test;
  • What to do during the last two weeks of September LSAT prep
  • Whether you should start work on your personal statement and application, or wait until after the LSAT

Take a listen and let us know what you think.


  1. Gents,

    Thank you for the information. I really enjoy the podcast. I am curious about the patterns of difficulty in the games section. My experience has been that the first question is usually the easiest or second easiest question in the section. Has LSAC ever thrown a curve ball and presented the most difficult question in the section first? If this were to occur on test day, do you have any advice about whether to identify the time-sucker and move on to the lower hanging fruit or to simply power through? My concern about skipping around is that I have a hard time determining the actual difficulty of the question until I am already immersed in it.



    1. Hey Tysen, thanks for listening! Please rate and review us on iTunes, if you’re inclined to do us a favor.

      On average, the first game is easier than the second, the second is easier than the third, and the third is easier than the fourth. However, this isn’t a strict relationship. There are examples of Game 1 being harder than Game 2, or 2 harder than 3, or 3 harder than 4. Offhand, I can’t think of a time when the first game has ever been the hardest game in a section. I always tell my students to do the games in order. The only times I would advocate skipping is when there’s a rule that you think is ambiguous, or when you can’t answer the “list” question, or you simply have no idea how to even scratch the surface of a game. However, when this happens you are frequently jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire… usually, the next game is likely to be harder than whatever one you’re looking at.

      I never, ever, advocate looking at all four games at the beginning of a section and trying to figure out which one(s) are easier. Just start at the top.


    2. I have this vague memory of trying to find the tests in which the hardest game was first, and I think I ultimately decided on four tests. They were all older tests, and I don’t remember which ones they were now. But either way, it’s rare, and seems to be even more rare now.

      That said, it’s not as rare to see a first game that’s just as difficult as the second hardest game in the section. In other words, there is the hardest game, which is typically third or fourth, and then the two games just below that in difficulty are the first game and one other game. Bottom-line: It’s hard to predict. So just assume that, as Nathan says, they will get roughly harder as you progress.

      I also advocate skipping only in the very beginning of a game and for solid reasons: “I have no clue,” for example, “what’s happening.” Or “I know this game type, such as in-out, and I know that I suck at it.” If you can decide to skip immediately, then whether you do, say, the second game second or last doesn’t matter. But in most game sections, you shouldn’t be skipping. And if you do skip, almost certainly only once.


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