When you prepare for the Logic Games section of the LSAT, you should be aware of the game types that appear most frequently on the exam. In our LSAT preparation courses and Logic Games publications we delineate the advanced and comprehensive game classification system used by PowerScore to attack the Logic Games section of the LSAT*. Below, we use some of the most basic classification levels of that system to provide an informative analysis of the game types that have appeared on all released LSATs since June 1991 (a total of 260 games).
A brief analysis of the table reveals that Linear and Grouping games dominate the percentages, and 91% of games on past tests were Grouping, Linear, or Grouping/Linear Combination games (almost 95% if you consider that Pattern games are also Linear in nature). Other game types appeared relatively infrequently. A student with limited preparation time would obviously be well-served to tilt their preparation towards the Linear and Grouping games as these types appear on every LSAT and are by far the most frequently appearing types of games.
Within certain game types, further analysis is helpful. Linear games can be divided into two types—Basic and Advanced—and as you might expect, Advanced Linear games appear somewhat more frequently than Basic Linear games:
Some of the more advanced game concepts and techniques specifically addressed in the PowerScore LSAT courses also appear quite frequently:
Almost 25% of games require an advanced approach such as Identify the Templates or Identify the Possibilities, and well over 15% of games feature a challenging element such as a Numerical Distribution. These high rates of appearance put an unprepared test taker at a severe disadvantage.
Students often ask how the LSAT has changed over the years. Consider the difference in the percentages when only the games from 2005 to the present are considered (64 total games):
As you can see, Linear games are even more popular, and Sequencing games (a form of Linear games) also surged in popularity. The Forgotten Few (Circular, Mapping, and Pattern) disappeared entirely (which does not imply that they are gone forever; they could easily re-appear at any time).
What about the use of more advanced features in games? The table below shows that “Identify” games are still quite popular, and Numerical Distribution games are even more popular:
Over 23% of all games since 2005 have required an advanced “Numerical Distribution” approach, a significant increase from previous years.
The discussion above shows clearly that the LSAT is not a collection of random ideas. The protocols of the test dictate that certain concepts must be tested regularly, and an understanding of those patterns allows you to focus your studies in the direction that will bring the greatest reward. In addition, as a test taker, having this knowledge gives you the confidence that the time you have spent and the methods you have learned will pay off on test day. Conversely, students who are unprepared for the most frequently appearing games and concepts are at a serious disadvantage when taking the LSAT.
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* The Logic Games classification system used by PowerScore helps students specifically identify the dominant features of each game. By understanding how each game presents problems, students can then better attack that game. The discussion presented above uses only a few, very basic classification terms. For a detailed discussion of the entire Unified Games Theory™ classification system, please refer to a PowerScore LSAT Course textbook or the Logic Games Bible.