Fun, Free, Easy, Efficient Logic Game Study Method

I love teaching logic games, but I don’t get to do it anywhere near as much as I would like. That is because J.Y. Ping has created one of the Seven Wonders of the Internet and put it up at for FREE. With FREE video explanations of every LSAT logic game ever published, I limit myself to teaching my students the basics and then show them how to learn the most from the best… for free.

Here’s what you need to transform your logic games:

  • Approximately one hour of relatively-light concentration several times per week (perfect for full-time employees who have to squeeze in their studies after a hard day of demanding work)
  • A reliable notebook (and a demonstrated willingness to use it)
  • The ability to do some very simple logic games from start to finish
  • The conviction that there is a fast way to reliably get the right answer on most types of logic game questions
  • A stopwatch (or equivalent app)
  • At least a month before your test date
  • blank flashcards (optional)

The goal of this fun, free, easy, efficient study method is to transform your logic game experience. I want you to discover that you can do a simple logic game much faster than you imagine. Most of my students see their “easy” game times cut in half, and the skills you will gain as you achieve this goal are perfectly applicable to the harder games. 

So let’s do it! Here’s the method:

  1. Pick ONE “easy” logic game (that you own) from this list at (Do NOT do an entire section! Just one game!) Make at least three copies of it.
  2. Do the game and time yourself. (Let’s say you complete it in 9:37).
  3. Go watch the video explanation of that game at Pause the video often and write down everything J.Y. Ping does that you didn’t do.
  4. Study your notes. What did J.Y. do that you didn’t think of? Try to generalize from this incident. For example, “When the same entity appears in two rules, always check to see whether you can link them together.”
  5. If you use flashcards, you either have a card that addresses this situation or you don’t. If you have an appropriate card (i.e., “link duplicated entities”), then put a hash mark on it to indicate that you missed an opportunity to use it. If you don’t have a card that covers this situation yet, create one.
  6. Do the game again, use your stopwatch to time every step. How long does it take to draw your initial sketch? Code the rules? Make your initial deductions? Do each question?
  7. Study those times. Did J.Y. do any of those steps significantly faster than you did? Go back to your notes (or the video) to see exactly what he did that was different from your approach. Make plans to do that particular step or question the fast way on your next (and final) attempt.
  8. Do the game one last time and get a final time (let’s say, 6:02). The difference between your initial and final times is a measure of what you could do if you had made every right choice at every step of the game.
  9. Pick a new game at the same difficulty level and repeat the process until the difference between your start and finish times is under one minute.
  10. Pick a new game at the next difficulty level and repeat the process until test day!

The secret of this study method is that there really are not all that many tricks to the “easy” games. If you will take notes, create flashcards, and learn as much as possible from each game, your initial times will get significantly faster. That’s because you will be making the right choice the first time you do the game (because you learned how!) instead of after you see J.Y. do it.

I urge students to work on “easy” games until the difference between their initial and final times is under one minute. At that point, you should be making (almost) all the right choices the first time you see the game. Most of these right choices will apply to games at the next level of difficulty, so bump your game difficulty up a level and continue!

Inference Questions: Wrong Answer Types

There are several different kinds of “inference questions” on the LSAT. Some are perfect examples of pure conditional reasoning, such as the “must be true” and “must be false” questions in logical reasoning and logic games. Others are “softer” inferences, such as the “most strongly supported” –questions in logical reasoning and the “author is most likely to agree” type statements in reading comprehension. There are important similarities between these different questions, and even more important similarities between the wrong answers to these questions.

In this post, we will look reading comprehension inference questions. These are functionally identical to the “most strongly supported” logical reasoning questions, with the added challenge of searching sixty lines of reading comp to find the answer instead of the typical six-to-twelve line logical reasoning stimulus. All that text means that a clever and imaginative student can conjure up some reason a wrong answer might be right. (I’ve seen it done… and I’ve even done it myself!) That is a problem for LSAT takers and for the people who write it. The LSAT authors always include the word “most” in phrases like “which of the following is most strongly supported” to respond to students who call up to complain that some other answer is arguably correct, but they don’t want to have that conversation. They want each wrong answer to be provably wrong–and there are only so many ways to do that. Learn that handful of “wrong answer techniques,” and you will get faster and better at inference questions.

Quantities and Comparisons

The easiest wrong answer involves a “quantity” claim that is not supported by the text. The easiest way to generate such an answer is to take a sentence that is clearly stated in the text and then add one “quantity word” that isn’t in the text. Thus, if the passage says “ultraviolet light causes skin cancer” don’t be surprised if you see a wrong answer that claims that “ultraviolet light is the primary cause of skin cancer.”

“Comparison words” are common in wrong answers, for several reasons. Consider an answer like “The diversity of plant species was greater in ancient forests than in modern forest.” For that to be the right answer, we will need information about the plant diversity in ancient forests, the plant diversity in modern forests, and some common unit of measurement that allows us to compare them. It isn’t enough to say “there were lots of plant species in ancient forests” and “modern forests have many different species.” That doesn’t tell us which has more. Comparison answers can be right, but only if there is clear and specific information to support it–and that is the exception, not the rule.

Sounds good but not supported

An answer is provably wrong if it includes an element that never appears in the passage. The LSAT authors must tempt test-takers to choose such an answer, so they often write an answer choice that appeals to the readers common sense or preconceptions. If your initial response to answer is “that is probably true,” be careful! The question before you is not “what is true” but “what is supported by the text.”