Anyone preparing for the LSAT is well aware of the unique difficulty presented by the Logic Games section, but what is occasionally overlooked is the fact that certain concepts are far more critical to success than others! That is, specific game types and ideas routinely appear and regularly serve as the basis for the entire section, while other outlier notions are tested so infrequently that they deserve far less attention.
In order to help you best prioritize your studies, what follows is a classification count* for all 136 released logic games from June 2007 through the June 2018 LSAT, as well as a comparison of frequencies from 2013 to the present relative to 2007-2018 (indicating more recent trends and tendencies). I have also included a breakdown of advanced features such as Templates and Numerical Distributions. Use these lists to guide your efforts as you anticipate what’s most likely to appear on test day!
Basic Game Types and Frequency of Appearance: 2007 to the Present
|Linear (Basic and Advanced)|
A quick glance at this table reveals that Linear and Grouping elements dominate, with 90% of the games on the 2007-2018 LSATs appearing as either Grouping, Linear, or Grouping/Linear Combination (and 98% when you consider that Pure Sequencing games are also Linear in nature). So anyone learning games would obviously be well-served to gear their prep towards Linear and Grouping concepts, as these occur on every test and are by far the most frequently appearing game types.
You can also see that strict Linear games are being tested somewhat less frequently these days, in favor of Grouping and, in particular, Grouping/Linear Combination games. This is not surprising, as the combined grouping and linear elements generally make for a more challenging construction than games featuring only linear ideas.
Further, given the reappearance of Pattern games—one in each year from 2014-2016—it would be wise to review the three most recent examples and ensure that you’re comfortable with that type on the off chance another one is presented on your test (ditto for Circular and Mapping, although you’ll have to go back to the 90s and early 2000s to find instances of those; a full list is provided here).
Within certain game types, further analysis is helpful. Linear games can be divided into two types—Basic and Advanced—and while the two appear nearly as often as one another, Basic Linear have been slightly more common over the last decade:
|Linear Game Type|
Percentage of All Games
2007 – Present
Some of the more advanced game concepts and techniques specifically addressed in the PowerScore LSAT courses also appear quite frequently:
Percentage of All Games
2007 – Present
|Identify the Templates|
|Identify the Possibilities|
Approximately 25% of games allow for an advanced attack such as Identify the Templates or Identify the Possibilities, and just over 20% 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, so again it is imperative that you learn how to handle these higher-level concepts prior to test day!
The takeaway here is that, while there are no guarantees as to exactly what you’ll encounter on your LSAT, you can reasonably anticipate the concepts most likely to appear, and thus structure your prep accordingly! In other words, 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 direct your studies in the direction that will bring the greatest reward. Master the fundamentals of linearity and grouping, as well as the more complex techniques of templates and distributions, and you’ll be ready for anything the test makers throw at you!
Questions or comments on the LG section and its most recent trends? Let us know below, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
*The nomenclature above is based on PowerScore’s classification system outlined in our courses and books, and helps students specifically identify the critical features of each game. However, the discussion here 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.
**The game counts are only for released LSATs, and thus do not include the Circular game presented on the February 2014 test (that also reappeared on the July 2018 exam).
***Note that we classified game 4 from September 2016 (the infamous Computer Virus game) as Linear/Mapping, but I’ve counted it as Linear here since that element was far more impactful than any Mapping features.