Analytical Reasoning, or logic games… you either love them or hate them. Fortunately for you, we at Kaplan LOVE them. Let’s explore another way to expand your LSAT Test Day preparation by designing your own logic games.
Why should I design my own logic games?
Designing your own games helps you better understand how the test maker thinks. You will face the same challenges and considerations the test maker does, and therefore better understand how to successfully attack the games on LSAT Test Day.
In creating your own logic games, you will reap plenty of prep benefits:
- You’ll see certain types of rules used over and over, know how to interpret these, and use them for your deductions.
- You’ll learn unfinished sketches are favored for questions because they more easily can lead someone into a trap answer.
- You’ll gain an appreciation for how mistakes can be made, especially in interpreting rules, and will therefore understand how to avoid them.
These key takeaways will greatly improve your accuracy and speed in interpreting rules, making deductions, building sketches, and solving questions quickly and accurately.
How to make your own logic game
Grab some paper and a pencil.
Step 1: Decide on your game action: sequencing, distribution, matching, selection, or a hybrid, which includes two or more of the other actions.
Step 2: Create a scenario, including the situation, action, entities playing the game, and any overriding limitations. Use the real world as your inspiration. For example:
- Sequence: Order of homework tasks to be accomplished on a given day in time slots.
- Match: Pick three “bottoms”—pants or skirts—and pair two tops with each out of a total of five tops, meaning at least one top is used twice.
- Distribute: Assign each of seven candies to the three gift boxes for your nieces.
- Selection: Choose a committee of five from the nine members of your club.
- Hybrid: Choose six speakers out of nine for your conference and assign them to speaking slots of a.m., noon, or p.m. for Saturday and Sunday (selection and sequencing).
Step 3: Devise a set of rules. You can approach this two different ways.
Option 1: Create a set of rules, following these guidelines:
- Consider whether the rules will address all or only some entities.
- Consider whether some entities need to appear in more than one rule (i.e., need to be duplicated) so larger logical deductions can be made that lead to one or more solutions.
- Consider forming blocks, creating limited options, establishing entities in a certain position, and/or including numerical limitations.
Make sure to work through the logic once you have a draft set of rules. Ideally, you should be able to sketch no more than one complete answer, and at least one incomplete answer, from the rules. The incomplete answer provides you options for placement of the rest of the entities using information in your questions.
Option 2: Create a set of answer sketches. Use these to craft your rules, making sure the rules lead to each and every answer sketch, even if incompletely. You will follow the same considerations for your rules as stated in Option 1.
Step 4: Create your logic game’s questions. You should have five to seven questions per game if you want to mimic the LSAT exam. Questions should include the following:
- At least one acceptable solution question, which can be solved entirely based on the rules. Consider a partial acceptability question as well, for example, “Which of the following could all be on Team Y together?”
- At least one new if question where a specific placement is provided. For example: “if K is assigned to team Y…”
- At least one of each “could be true,” “must be true,” and “must be false” questions, including“except” variations.
- Could be true: true in one solution, but not all.
- Must be true: true in every solution.
- Must be false: false in every solution.
Consider a rule substitution question (“If rule 2 were removed, which of the following would have the same effect?”) or a new rule question, where you add another rule and ask the effect.
For each question, make sure to create five answer choices—four wrong, one right. This is the tricky part. Your job is to identify the likely mistakes in solving the question and include those as answer choices. One right and two wrong answers are usually easier to devise; it’s the last two wrong answers that are difficult.
Have fun with your logic games and be creative. Try them on others, or put them away for a few weeks and then try them yourself.