Luminate LSAT's Blog

You need more time for the hardest games.

Logic Games

LSAT students who are looking to finish all four games in an LG section often focus on studying the hardest games. There’s a certain logic to this focus:

“I’m struggling to finish the fourth game, which is usually the hardest in the section. I can usually do the others near perfectly, but run out of time on the last game. I even had 9 minutes for this last one and still didn’t finish! So if I could just get better at the difficult last game, I’ll get a better LG score.”

But this thinking is often a misdiagnosis. Sure, the struggle, the stress, and the panic the student felt occurred on the last game - but it likely resulted from one or more of the earlier games.

If they had just finished the first game in *6* minutes instead of 8, and the second game in *8* minutes instead of 9, then they would have had 12 minutes for the last game, not just 9. And those extra three minutes could have allowed the student to set the game up more calmly, to internalize the rules, to notice connections and inferences, all of which would have allowed her to finish the last game.

But, you might wonder, wouldn’t getting better at that last game also help? If she could have just set the game up more effectively and noticed the key inferences more quickly, then that would have allowed her to complete the game without running out of time.

The reality, however, is that many games on the LSAT just can’t be completed in 9 minutes unless you’re an LG savant. You can understand the game perfectly and solve all of the questions in the most efficient manner and still need more than 12 minutes on some games.

The LG section of PrepTest 68 is a great example. Many students are traumatized by the last game and had to guess on almost half or more of its questions because they just didn't have enough time to complete it. But, for a lot of people who struggled, there was very little they could do on that game that would have helped their score. There wasn't any big inference they missed or some clever approach that would have cracked the game open. The real issue was that they only had 8 or 9 minutes for it when they really needed 14 or even 15. And to get that time, they had to finish the first two games in 10 minutes.

A typical student might never think to review those first two games because they felt so easy and straightforward. But if you're looking to ace the logic games section, this kind of game - the easy, straightforward game - should be a priority. In fact, make it a higher priority than the difficult ones if you’re not finishing the first game in less than 8 minutes on average. It’s OK to take longer than 8 minutes on some of the first games, but if this isn’t balanced by other first games that take 6 minutes or less, that’s a sign that your fundamentals are lacking or you’re missing out on good opportunities to split the game into different worlds at the start.

Don't get me wrong - studying the hard games does help, particularly when you do have plenty of time for them but are still getting stumped. But for many students, even those who are quite good at games and getting 20+ correct, dominating the easy games is the more reliable path to improvement.

Future LSAT Reading Comp Passages

This section of the post collects interesting online articles that you might see edited down to an actual LSAT RC passage in the distant future. Read these recommendations every week and I can guarantee that your RC score will improve or you'll learn something interesting about the world, or both.

⚡ What Is a Smart Grid, and How Might One Protect Our Energy Future? - Scientific American

🍫 How chocolate went from exotic curiosity to worldwide commodity | Aeon Essays

🎓 Ill Liberal Arts | Rafia Zakaria (

💻 Against Corpus Linguistics (