Memorizing rules on the LSAT logic games section

Hello everyone,

I was wondering, does anyone have an approach for memorizing the rules in the LSAT logic games section? When I tried to develop an approach myself, I struggled to memorize everything fast enough within the time limit. I was also wondering if using memory journeys is even possible given the time constraint? Or is it just a matter of practice? If anyone else has attempted to use memorization techniques on this LSAT section, I would love to hear what your experience with it was like.

Why would you want to memorize the rules in the first place? Where do you see the advantage?

What is this?

The LSAT is for law school what the GMAT is for business school or the SAT is for college. One of the sections on the test is called “logic games.”

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Hi bjoern, thanks for the reply! I’ve noticed from personal experience that most of the mistakes I would make on the test are just because I would keep forgetting the rules. I would have to keep looking back at the shorthand version of the rules I had written on my scratch paper. The problem is it’s really time-consuming to keep looking back at the list of rules I wrote down and then make sure that I’m following those rules. So I once, on a practice test, tried memorizing the rules, and I found myself breezing through all the questions with absolutely no difficulty, and my accuracy went up. However, the initial step of memorizing the rules did take a while, and I went over the time limit. I also confirmed from a couple of LSAT training resources that I found, and they state that memorizing the rules is important. I read in a couple of places that doing well on the games a lot of the times comes down to how well one memorized the rules. I know some people can memorize a whole deck of cards in under a minute, so I thought that finding a system for memorizing the rules efficiently should also be possible.

Hey Boris, thanks for responding. Here is a Khan Academy video showing an ordering/sequencing game example: Ordering game example

There are other types of logic games, such as grouping games where order of the variables does not matter, and in those game types, there are categories and variables go inside those categories. An example of that will be this Khan Academy video: Grouping example

With that being said all game types are somewhat similar and the two major categories tend to be either sequencing games or grouping games.

They’re probably referring to the instructions of the test itself rather than the rules for the logic games. That is time you don’t want to waste in the test, so you should be familiar with the structure of the test, the types of questions and the time allotted per section.

Pretty much was you’re pointing out here, but also the knowledge that there will be 4 passages in this section with a handful of questions each for a total of 23 question for which you’ll have 35 minutes.

All this is information that you can familiarize (not really memorize) yourself with before the clock starts ticking.

You might find better uses for your scratch paper… let’s look at an official test question: Section 1 | The Law School Admission Council

Passage for questions 1 through 5

A company employee generates a series of five-digit product codes in accordance with the following rules:

The codes use the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, and no others.
Each digit occurs exactly once in any code.
The second digit has a value exactly twice that of the first digit.
The value of the third digit is less than the value of the fifth digit.

Here’s what I’d put down instead of a shorthand version of the rules:

A five digit code looks like this: _ _ _ _ _ and using the digits from 00000 - 99999 you’d have 100,000 possibilities; however, rule 1 tells you that you’ll only use the digits 0 - 4 and rule 2 says they can only occur once. That means that there are only 5! = 120 different possibilities. Now add rule 3 to that and you’ll find that double of 0 is 0 (a rule 2 violation) and double of 3 or 4 would be larger than 4 (a rule 1 violation), so there are only two kinds of codes:

I.  1 2 _ _ _ 
II. 2 4 _ _ _ 

If there were no further rules, you’d have 3! = 6 different possibilities for I and II each for a total of 12 codes; however, there’s still rule 4 to be applied and you’re left with:

I.
 a) 1 2 3 0 4
 b) 1 2 0 3 4
 c) 1 2 0 4 3
II.
 a) 2 4 1 0 3
 b) 2 4 0 1 3
 c) 2 4 0 3 1

…and that’s all the five-digit product codes. Now, with this information on your scratch paper instead, go and answer the questions:

  1. If the last digit of an acceptable product code is 1, it must be true that the
    A. first digit is 2
    B. second digit is 0
    C. third digit is 3
    D. fourth digit is 4
    E. fourth digit is 0

…only II. c) fits that condition (2 4 0 3 1), so you know the answer is A

  1. Which one of the following must be true about any acceptable product code?
    A. The digit 1 appears in some position before the digit 2.
    B. The digit 1 appears in some position before the digit 3.
    C. The digit 2 appears in some position before the digit 3.
    D. The digit 3 appears in some position before the digit 0.
    E. The digit 4 appears in some position before the digit 3.

…can’t be A because of II. a) - c) nor B because of II. c) …and the answer is because because 2 is either in the first position or in the second position; and if in the third position the 1 has to be in the first, so there is no possible code where the 3 occurs before the 2.

  1. If the third digit of an acceptable product code is not 0, which one of the following must be true?
    A. The second digit of the product code is 2.
    B. The third digit of the product code is 3.
    C. The fourth digit of the product code is 0.
    D. The fifth digit of the product code is 3.
    E. The fifth digit of the product code is 1.

…and so on…

…I hope you see how this is a more efficient use of your scratch paper. It will take a little longer than writing down the shorthand of the rule, but once you have all 6 possible codes, you can simply read off the answers for all the questions.