What is meant by “games” within the LSAT, and what are some top tips for students?

What is meant by “games” within the LSAT, and what are some top tips for students?

The LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) is a test managed by the LSAC (Law School Admission Council) which determines whether candidates are suitable for law school. Within the test is a section referred to as “games,” which is a crucial part of the examination.

Because the LSAT doesn’t draw on your existing knowledge of law or other disciplines but rather your preparedness for law school, you may be wondering how you can study for it. Don’t worry, as this article will explain more about the LSAT and the games component, as well as help you prepare for this section of the exam.

We’ll also touch on how to study to become a lawyer, putting your skills and expertise to the test. Once you’ve reached the end of this article, you’ll feel prepared and full of confidence about approaching the games section of the LSAT, and you’ll be one step closer to the legal career of your dreams.

About the LSAT

To get admitted into law school, you will need to satisfy certain entry requirements. These include taking a test to show that you have the ability to cope with the rigorous nature of studying law, as well as a standout personal statement, letters of recommendation, a deep and varied resume and a willingness to put in the hours of work.

The LSAT is considered to be the most trustworthy indicator of an individual’s suitability for law school, far more than letters of recommendation or a solid resume, so much so that it is the sole test accepted by each and every American Bar Association-accredited law school.

When can I take the test?

There are seven opportunities to take the LSAT every year, between January and November – you can see the LSAT section on the LSAC website to find out the schedule and other useful information.

It’s recommended to take the test in the summer or early fall of the year before you want to enter law school, close to the time when applications open up – generally, law schools start accepting applications in September and close the following January or February.

Preparation is always a good idea when applying for law school, so check the required LSAT score with your chosen school before you start studying to know what you are aiming for. Generally speaking, a minimum score of 150 out of 180 will give you entry into law school.

Your score will be valid if used in the current testing year or if it was gained during the previous five testing years. You can take the test five times within the current reporting period, up to a maximum of seven times during your lifetime.

What does the test look like?

The test comes in two parts. The first part comprises four multiple-choice sections. The first three sections of this part (Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, and Logical Reasoning) are scored.

The fourth is an unscored section referred to as the variable or experimental section. This latter section contains questions for future LSATs to help LSAC adjust its scoring scale. The result of this section will have no bearing on your final score. Then the second part of the test contains an unscored writing sample.

In total, the test takes three and a half hours, with each section taking 35 minutes. Because the test relies on your skills rather than accumulated knowledge, you may find it’s different from any test or exam you’ve experienced before — it’s not simply a case of studying up on facts and figures.

Preparation is more about practice, resilience, and determination. This will help you grow the confidence to sit the test.

What does “games” mean?

You may have heard of the term “games” to refer to one of the test sections; let’s find out what that means. Also known as the “logic games,” this section refers to the Analytical Reasoning part of the test.

You will find four “games” in there, each made up of three main parts:

  • Description of a task that must be completed
  • Rules to follow when completing the task
  • Between five and seven accompanying questions

There are three types of games:

  • Sequencing: With one set of variables and one set of places where you can place them
  • Grouping: This type offers two or three spaces where your variables can be placed
  • Matching: With two different sets of variables but without the option to put them in a space

A typical question may be along the lines of a florist having to fill three vases with flowers. She has five different types of flowers at her disposal; however, she may only include two or three types of flowers. One vase already has two types. All three vases contain a different variety. If a vase contains the fourth type, it may not include the fifth variety.

The candidate must work out how many vases may contain the fourth type of flower.

Top tips for students

As we’ve seen, if you’re preparing for the games section of the LSAT test, it’s not just a case of burying your nose in a book for hours on end. You’ll need to take a different, holistic approach that prepares you mentally, physically, and emotionally to get the score you deserve.

That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for studying for the LSAT, some of them general and others focused on the Analytical Reasoning or “games” section of the test. Follow them, and you can approach the test with confidence and take that first step toward your law degree.

General study tips

Get yourself in good shape

You’ll need to be on top form to do your best in the Analytical Reasoning section, or indeed the entire LSAT, so start by prioritizing your health and well-being.

Schedule in exercise, follow a healthy diet, and make sure you get into a good sleep routine. If you feel anxious or stressed about any aspect of your studies or the upcoming test, confide in a trusted friend or family member.

These steps will put you in a great place to do your best in every section of the LSAT.

Create a realistic schedule

Get organized, and create a schedule to manage your study alongside your other day-to-day commitments. It’s important to ensure that your study timetable is realistic, or you could feel despondent if you don’t manage to achieve everything you set out to do.

Break down your study periods into manageable chunks so you don’t lose heart and can experience a consistent sense of achievement. As a guide, LSAT candidates start studying three to four months before the test for one to two hours a day, four to five days a week.

Practice, practice, practice

As we’ve already seen, it’s not a case of simply memorizing for the questions you’ll encounter on the games section of the LSAT. The most useful way to prepare for this part of the test – indeed, all the sections – is to practice.

Devote time to practicing similar questions, and once you’re familiar with how to solve them, complete them under timed conditions. This will prepare you not just for the mechanics of the test but how to complete it under pressure.

Join a study group

Gaining strength from your peers is a good way to prepare yourself for the challenges of the Analytical Reasoning and other components of the LSAT. As well as the moral support you’ll gain, you’ll get to find out how other people approach the questions and learn new methods and ways of thinking to help expand your expertise. The commitment to showing up for other people can also be a great motivator and can inspire you to achieve more than you could on your own.

Take a prep course

Many candidates benefit from taking an LSAT prep course in the build-up to their exam. The tips, tricks, and moral support you’ll pick up from such a course can be invaluable in preparing you to take the test. Personalized study plans and one-to-one instruction can make all the difference in boosting your confidence and ultimately helping you to achieve a higher score.

Know your testing location

Part of exam nerves can be around showing up on time at your testing venue. For this reason, it’s a good idea to find out the exact location where you will take your test. Do a trial run and work out how long it will take to get there at the exact time of day you will be traveling. This will avoid any last-minute panics as you get stuck in traffic or get lost en route, so you can take your LSAT with confidence.

Specific study tips

Get familiar with the games

If you’re new to analytical reasoning tests, then take time to get to know how they work. Understand that a game that looks simple at first glance may require more in-depth unraveling and reasoning.

Use paper, pens, and highlighters to help you make sense of the “rules” and work out how to solve the problems. As we’ve said in the third tip, the more you practice, the easier these tricky questions will become.

Take time to understand the rules

Take time at the beginning of the question to understand its rules. This will enable you to solve the game in a measured and logical way.

As there are four games in each 35-minute Analytical Reasoning section, you will have approximately eight minutes for each game. Experiment with how many minutes you need to set up and understand the game before diving into the solving part. As you get more practiced, this will likely reduce, and you can adjust your time allocation for the section.

Identify the easiest game for you

Many students report that getting the easiest problem solved first gives them the confidence and impetus to move on to the more challenging ones with confidence. So when you’re taking practice tests, work out which of the four questions is going to be easiest for you to solve, and go with that one first. This means that you’ll have more time to devote to the hardest questions, and as a result, you’ll feel less pressured and more confident.

Avoid incorrect assumptions

Practicing for the games includes training yourself out of bad habits. One of these is making incorrect assumptions about facts. Try to approach the question using only the facts presented to you. So, if the rules say that X beat Y and Z in a race, understand that this only tells you that X was running ahead of Y and Z. You simply don’t know from this information who out of the three runners was in second place.

Applying this discipline to your practice means that you will get into good habits that will help you reach the correct and logical conclusions to the Analytical Reasoning questions.

Want to become a lawyer?

The LSAT and its games section may sound pretty daunting at first. But if you put in the effort, study, and practice on a regular basis, you will be sure to grow your ability and confidence. If you’re researching the LSAT then you’ll also be investigating your options for law school. And if you haven’t already considered an online JD (Juris Doctor) program, then know that this mode of learning could be a great choice for you.

While you’re carrying out your LSAT prep, take a look at schools that offer online learning. Many candidates are opting for an ABA-accredited online program like the Cleveland State University Online JD program. It allows you to study part-time at a pace and in a location that suits you, enabling you to continue with your current employment or other commitments. This means you can qualify in as short a time as three years and three months and can take up your new profession as a lawyer. The program is also one of just a few ABA-accredited online JD programs in the States and is ranked highly, both locally and nationally. It covers subjects such as torts, civil liability, constitutional law and federal rules of evidence – in fact, everything you need to know to prepare for your bar exam.

Coursework is 100% online, and as well as theoretical learning, you’ll have the opportunity to gain experience in legal practice externships under supervision and can enjoy six on-campus weekend residencies. What’s more, you’ll be supported throughout by your mentor, who will help guide you toward your goals. Once you’ve completed the program, you’ll be ready to take the bar exam and start a rewarding career as an attorney.

Look forward to a bright future

If you’re planning a career in law but feel daunted by the LSAT and its requirements, particularly the games section, know that by careful preparation you can nurture the skills needed to tackle the test with confidence.

This will set you on the path to a successful career as a lawyer – one that will offer you enormous rewards in terms of job satisfaction, financial security, and the knowledge that you are qualified to serve your community. For anyone looking to complete a law degree while juggling existing commitments, a program such as the Cleveland State University Online JD program can help you hit your goals.

This course enables you to balance study with your professional or home life, offering you a clear pathway to practicing as an attorney in as little as just over three years. A bright future is closer than you ever thought possible.

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