Assignment Games

The third most common type of LSAT Logic Games questions are assignment games. These games involve assigning characteristics to the elements, typically people. The most common task in these games is to assign a schedule. You probably have had some experience with schedules; you may have written the weekly work-schedule for a business. If so, you know how difficult the task can become, even when only a few conditions are placed on the employees: Bob will work Monday, Tuesday, or Friday only. Susan will work evenings only. Steve will not work with Bob. Add to this that the company must have a full staff weekdays, but only three people can work weekends. Scheduling games on the LSAT are similar to this. Because the conditions can apply to individuals separately, to groups of individuals, to times, to places, etc., scheduling games tend to be the most difficult—save them for last.

Example: Assignment Game The Mom & Pop liquor store employs five cashiers—Adams, Bates, Cox, Drake, and

Edwards—each of whom works alone on exactly one day, Monday through Friday.

Adams will work only on Tuesday or Thursday. Bates will not work on Monday or Wednesday. Cox works on Friday. Drake and Edwards do not work on consecutive days.

Which one of the following is a possible work schedule?

(A) Edwards, Bates, Adams, Drake, Cox

(B) Drake, Adams, Bates, Edwards, Cox

(C) Edwards, Adams, Cox, Bates, Drake

(D) Edwards, Adams, Drake, Bates, Cox

(E) Drake, Edwards, Bates, Adams, Cox

Begin by eliminating (A); it is not a possible work schedule since the first condition states that Adams works only on Tuesday or Thursday. Next, (B) is not a possible work schedule since the second condition states that Bates will not work on Monday or Wednesday. Next, (C) is not a possible work schedule since the third condition states that Cox works on Friday. Finally, (E) is not a possible work schedule since the last condition states that Drake and Edwards do not work on consecutive days. Thus, by process of elimi- nation, we have learned the answer is (D).

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Grouping Games

The second most common type of LSAT Logic Games questions are grouping games. As the term implies, require you to separate elements—typically people—into groups. Some conditions of the game can apply to entire groups only, some to elements within a group only, and some to both. This added complexity makes grouping games, in general, harder than ordering games.

Example: Grouping Game Eight people—A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H—ride to work in three cars. Two cars each take three

people, and one car takes only two people.

B rides with H. G rides with only one other person. F rides with two other people.

If C rides with B, all of the following are groups of people that can ride together EXCEPT:

(A) A and G

(B) G and E

(C) A, D, and E

(D) A, D, and F

(E) B, C, and H

Combining the conditions “C rides with B” and “B rides with H” gives the completed car-pool CBH. Now F and G must ride in different car-pools because G rides in a pool of two and F rides in a pool of three. However, the group ADE, in choice (C), could not ride with either F or G because in either case they would form a group of four. Hence (C) is the answer.

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Ordering Games on the LSAT

These LSAT logic games require you to order elements, either in a line or around a circle. The criteria used to deter- mine order can include size, time, rank, etc. Ordering games are the easiest games on the LSAT. Luckily, they are also the most common.

Example: Ordering Game Six people—Rick, Steve, Terry, Ulrika, Vivian, and Will—are standing in line for tickets to an upcoming concert.

Rick is fifth in line and is not next to Steve. Ulrika is immediately behind Terry. Will is not last.

Which one of the following people must be last in line?

ORDERING GAMES

(A) Steve

(B) Terry

(C) Ulrika

(D) Vivian

(E) Rick

Steve Terry Ulrika Vivian Rick

Clearly, Rick cannot be last since he is already fifth. So eliminate choice (E). Next, neither Terry nor Ulrika can be last since Ulrika must stand immediately behind Terry. So eliminate choices (B) and (C). Finally, Steve cannot be last, either. If he were, then he would be next to Rick, which would violate the first condition. So eliminate choice (A). Hence, by process of elimination, Vivian must be last in line. The answer is (D).

This method of elimination is the most efficient way to solve many, if not most, game questions. We will discuss this method in more detail later in the chapter.

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5 Tips to Score Your Best on the LSAT

1. Work Hard

The LSAT is a test that can be mastered if you are dedicated to improving yourself and getting a good score. Passively reading through lessons is not going to do much good. Instead, be sure to work through the problems when you are wide awake and can give them full attention. If you do this consistently, your score will progressively improve. It is that simple.

2. Make a Study Plan

You should make an LSAT Logic Games study plan that you can stick to. For example, it is a good idea to take a practice test each weekend on Saturday morning in order to simulate actual LSAT testing conditions. You should also map out consistent times each week when you will be able to work through at least part of each lesson.

3. Read Critically

On the LSAT, the test writers often bury important points beneath piles of meaningless words and irrelevant sentences. Almost every question contains a pit- fall that is intentionally designed to trap unwary test takers. To prevent those pitfalls from trapping you, train yourself to read critically. Practice this kind of reading every time you sit down to study for the LSAT.

4. Identify your Weaknesses

After taking practice tests (especially logic games questions), make sure to go back and study the questions that you got wrong. Analyze the question types that you commonly miss and identify what it is that you seem to be missing so you can go back to study it further. These simple steps can make all the difference in your LSAT preparation program, particularly regarding logic games. They will enable you to identify your weaknesses and focus your study so that you will not make the same mistakes in the future.

5. Don’t Worry About Time!

Take your time as you work through the sections of the LSAT. Focus on learning the characteristics of the different question types instead of worrying about how quickly or how slowly you are answering the questions. You can work on improving your test-taking speed when you take practice tests.

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