Logic Games Fundamentals (Ep. 179)

Ben Olson's headshot.

It’s no secret that the Logic Games represent the biggest challenge for most folks who are starting with the LSAT. But the good news? The games are perfectly solvable. That means they also represent the area where you can improve the most and grab a ton of points. The guys continue their LSAT Fundamentals series, and today it’s all about Logic Games. You’ll learn how the guys visualize and approach the games, including constructing “worlds” and more!

Ben and Nathan also chat about rainy days in LA, plus they take a long hard look at a listener’s GPA addendum. But first? Some news!

On February 20th at 1:30 EST, the guys are comin’ atcha via satellite. Well, not satellite. But they are coming at you LIVE from Facebook. Nathan and Ben will answer your questions on a Facebook Live broadcast. The theme? “Just Do It.” So tune in ready with your questions about how to get motivated for the test, and how to stay engaged when you’re feeling discouraged about your LSAT life. Keep an eye out for an RSVP on Facebook.

If you’re prepping for a test this spring or summer, what better way to get ready than to head to sunny Las Vegas and join the guys for a weekend of test prep? It’s Thinking LSAT Live: Las Vegas. On March 16-17, the guys will cover the most recent LSAT to help set you up for success for taking the LSAT this year. And the best part (aside from soaking up the rays in LVNV)? If you sign up now, you’ll get $100 off of the class all the way up to 2/20. Even better? If you’re an LSAT Demon subscriber, or if you take one of Ben’s or Nathan’s classes, you get another $100 off.

In the last bit of news for the day, Nathan’s heading to the University of Utah to give a talk called Big Changes Coming to the LSAT in 2019. So if you’re in the Utah area, come hang and say hi to Nathan. If you’re a loyal listener to the show, the changes may not be news to you, but what the hell, come spread some Thinking LSAT love.

As always, If you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. You can connect with other folks studying for the LSAT, and get more useful resources from Nathan and Ben.  

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LSAT Demon

10:10 – LSAT Fundamentals: The guys have been teaching the test full time for a decade now. And they’ve learned a lot along the way. In LSAT Fundamentals, the guys share their combined wisdom about different aspects of the test. Today? It’s all about Logic Games. Often the most intimidating part of the LSAT for many, Ben and Nathan take the teeth out of this daunting section by sharing how they teach and tackle these problems. Here are some takeaways:

Get used to failing! The more comfortable you are with failing, the easier it will be for you push forward and tackle the games.

Get away from the text early on. Don’t just re-write the rules in your own words. Get into diagrams. That way you can conceptualize the rules early, and apply that understanding through all of the questions for that game.

When you begin to focus on the rules, you’ll realize there’s not as much variability as you originally thought.

Games is the hardest for folks starting out, but it’s also the area for big-time improvement. Your score can change drastically if you can perfect the games.

Do the work up front. Diagram. Understand the rules. Make worlds. Test scenarios. The questions will usually go more quickly.

Don’t get caught up in the minutiae of “game categorization” that you might see in other test-prep resources. There aren’t a gadjillion types of games. There are basically three types, and it doesn’t really matter—just go into attack mode and dive in to solving the game rather than trying to figure out what type of game it is.

Work on games every day. Even if you don’t feel like you’re making progress, you are getting better and you will see improvement.

The guys go deep and provide several examples of how they construct diagrams and create worlds. They discuss common pitfalls and ways not to approach the games. They also offer some fundamental techniques that can help you no matter what type of game comes your way.

1:03:11 – It’s your weekly Pearls vs. Turds, dear listeners. So far the guys have spent 11 weeks parsing through random LSAT “wisdom” and lore found around the internet. Their findings? Two ties. NINE Turds. And zero Pearls. This week, the guys return to Nathan’s desk and review another flashy flash card from McGraw Hill. Today’s piece of wisdom says that when you’re in the midst of the test, you should stop at the five-minute warning and fill in guesses for all of the remaining answers. And the guys agree! It’s the first Pearl of Wisdom Nathan and Ben have come across. If you randomly fill out your unanswered questions at the five minute mark, then you’ll have a 20% chance of getting those guesses correct. Then you can calmly return to the question you were working on, finish it accurately, and feel good about having a chance for every question in the section.

1:07:06 – Brenda had a tough time during her undergrad years. She worked full time. Went to school full time. Helped a family member who suffered a stroke. And volunteered her time. As a result? Perhaps unsurprisingly, her GPA suffered. However, when she had the chance to retake some courses she previously failed, she aced the second go-round. And so she’s written an addendum to explain her GPA to law schools. She asks the guys to rip it to shreds, and Ben and Nathan oblige.