LSAT Kung Fu Blog / Quick Hit: Your Introduction to LSAT Games

Quick Hit: Your Introduction to LSAT Games


So, today I thought it'd be nice to have a post especially for those of you new to the LSAT, and looking for the best way to get into your LSAT prep. It seems like it might be fun if we took an introductory look at LSAT Games.

Over time, the Games section of the LSAT has evolved to become very highly predictable and hews closely to a small number of patterns of games. This is good; it means that the Games section is the most highly learn-able section of the test.

Your first order of business is to recognize that, more than anything else, the Games section of the LSAT is a test of your ability to follow directions. A strong organizational structure will make this a fairly straightforward task.

Nowadays, we can usefully organize all games using 2 super-categories of Games templates. Pretty much every game that’s appeared on the LSAT for the last million years has asked for things to be put in some sort of order, or for things to be assigned to some sorts of groups. Seeing as how we’re clever at naming things, we’ll call our 2 super-categories Order Games and Group Games.

Within those 2 super-categories are only 5 common templates that I use with any frequency on today’s tests. Here's how I name those templates:

  1. Standard Ordering
  2. Multi-Row Ordering
  3. Static Grouping
  4. Binary Grouping
  5. Variable Grouping

[Just for fun, see if you can guess which two of the above are Order games and which two are Group games.]

We’ll get into a little more detail with the Grouping templates in a later post, but a quick overview of Ordering templates sounds delish right about now, doesn't it?

Standard Ordering

I use this template most commonly for games that ask you to put elements in order. Maybe you’re ranking elements by speed. Maybe you’re placing elements into numbered bins. Maybe you’re deciding the sequence in which sights are seen, things are delivered, or classes are attended. In any case, there are two salient aspects of a Standard Ordering Game: That you’re asked to order things, and that there is one element within each ordered space. This is by far the most commonly-used template. Virtually every test has at least one game for which this template is awesome. Many tests have two of 'em. It's just absolutely the best (OK, maybe that was overstating things a bit).

Multi-Row Ordering

I use this template for games that ask you to order elements, much like the above. The important difference is that Multi-Row Ordering Games demand that you order things in pairs or in groups. Maybe you’re ordering the songs playing on a jukebox, and you need to identify the song name and the person who sings it. Maybe you’re placing two –or three – different items into those numbered bins. In any case, we’ll correctly refer to Multi-Row Ordering Games as games that ask you to order things, when there is more than one element within each ordered space. You can expect one or two of these games on test day.

If you'd like to see me use these templates on real LSAT games, check out the free lsat prep video library here.

Your pal,