How To Prepare For LSAT Logic Games And Reading Comprehension

Two sections on the LSAT pose major, seemingly contradictory obstacles to those beginning their LSAT studies.

One, colloquially known as logic games but called analytical reasoning by the makers of the test, presents a situation so unfamiliar and unlike anything else in standardized tests that it leaves many students bewildered after the first diagnostic LSAT.

The other, reading comprehension, is so familiar to test takers and tests a skill so ingrained that it’s tough to figure out whether or how to even study.



Essentially, a logic game presents a logistical problem — it could be arranging some things in an order, scheduling events, or assigning players into groups — and a few rules about how that logistical problem must be solved. You’ll be expected to follow the rules laid out by the game, answer a series of questions that require you to follow the rules, and make deductions from those rules.

Imagine being tasked with figuring out how to play the most boring board game in the world, but you were only given half of the instructions, and the instructions provided are brief and cryptic. That’s a logic game.


The good news

Usually, students who “play” their first logic game are completely unmoored by the experience.

This is good news.

This means you have no bad habits to break, no concepts to re-learn, no expectations or intuitions to defy. Everything you’ll learn as you study for logic games will be in service of mastering this section.


Consistency is key

In order to ensure that you don’t waste time as you study, you’ll have to develop a consistent and reliable system to help you tackle any game.

Early in their studies, many students believe that each game presents an entirely novel logistical puzzle to solve. Almost every game, however, will fit into one of three broad genres of games based on the type of logistical puzzle the game presents. The game will either ask you to order variables, group variables, or both order and group variables. Within each of these genres, the same types of rules, principles, and deductions reappear constantly.

This means that you should have a standard set-up for each genre of logic game. You should develop a uniform way of representing the common rules and start to recognize the ways that rules frequently interface. This will allow you to make deductions much faster, which in turn will lead to shorter time spent on each question. 

If you treat each game as a new and independent problem to solve, it will be very difficult to see the common elements that many games share. You’ll have trouble seeing all the typical ways rules interact, and the common types of deductions the game expects you to make. If you develop a consistent approach, however, the patterns of how these games operate will emerge, allowing you to increase your speed and confidence in this section.


Repeat, repeat, repeat

Once you develop a consistent system to attack each game, improving will require a lot of practice. It’s a good idea to start your studies by concentrating on one common variation of a game at a time, and doing a lot of games of that type. This will make it easier to see the common ways that the rules and principles typically interact and lead to deductions within that game type. 

These skills are developed at a different rate for everyone, so don’t get discouraged if your progress feels slow at first. For whatever reason, the type of spatial reasoning evaluated by this section comes easier to some people than it does to others. That being said, the reasoning that this section tests is almost always straightforward enough that anyone can tackle it.



Unlike logic games, nearly every law school-bound student has seen reading comprehension sections before and understands how they work. Read a passage, answer some questions, repeat. You’ve spent at least a decade and a half reading, so you can do the first half. And you’ve apparently been able to comprehend what you’ve read, more or less, if you’ve gotten this far.

You already have the skills nominally required by the section. How much can these skills really change in the few months you’ll be studying for the LSAT? Why bother practicing reading comprehension at all?


The unfortunate reality

Students following that typical line of reasoning are half right. The unfortunate reality of this section on the LSAT is that your reading comprehension level will by and large stay the same, unlike your ability to solve logic games.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should avoid practicing the reading comp section altogether. In fact, it means that you should pay extra attention to this section, in part because you’ll be fighting against at least 15 years of ingrained reading habits that may not be conducive to a good score.

Even if your reading comprehension level will remain more or less the same, there are skills that you can practice, develop, and refine that will help you improve on this section.


Skills you should focus on building

There are a few central ideas that Reading Comprehension always tests: the main point of the passage, the author’s attitude towards various topics mentioned in the passage, the role played by certain parts of the passage, the overall organization of the passage, and inferences that can be made about some important details from the passage.

Fortunately for your practice, there is a general theme linking these ideas together: they all relate to the passage as an argument. Nearly every passage that has ever been on the LSAT features at least one argument and the skills that you need to work on all relate to tracking various parts of those arguments.

The first skill is simply identifying how many arguments are made in the passage. To keep track of the number of arguments, we recommend making a little note in the margin of the passage where a new viewpoint is introduced. Your ability to identify every point at which a new viewpoint is introduced will help you understand the passage’s overarching structure, and answer questions that relate to the main point and organization of the passage.

The next skill is to identify how these viewpoints are supported.

You should keep track of evidence proffered in favor of these viewpoints with more annotations. But more than just reciting what the evidence says in your notes, your annotations should reflect how the evidence supports the view.

Is it an example that illustrates the more general claim? Is it a causal claim that makes more plausible someone’s explanation of an observed phenomenon?

Marking how evidence supports a viewpoint will not only help you answer questions about the specific details in the passage, but also questions about the role played by certain parts of the passage.

Finally, you should practice detecting and underlining the words and phrases that indicate the author’s attitude toward the various topics in a passage. Doing so will undoubtedly assist you in determining which viewpoint, if any, the author is aligned with, and will certainly help you answer the occasionally perplexing questions about the author’s beliefs. Being able to spot which words and phrases convey the author’s beliefs in a passage — such as “undoubtedly,” “certainly,” “occasionally perplexing” — are critically important in mastering reading comp.


This also requires a lot of practice

These are the skills that you need to hone as you work on reading comprehension. Improving requires a lot of time and energy, especially competing as you are with your hardwired reading habits.

Instead of thinking about yourself as a captive reader, imagine that you’re a detective, searching for clues in every passage. These clues will reveal how many viewpoints are present in the passage, which view the author supports, how the evidence supports the views presented, and so on. Focus on building these skills through repeated practice, and you’ll eventually break through on this section.



Whether you’re starting a section that presents an entirely new challenge or a section that presents a familiar old challenge, your approach is largely the same: develop a consistent and uniform approach that addresses the skills evaluated by the section and then repeatedly practice that approach, until it becomes nearly second nature to you.

This is, to a significant extent, how you improve on the LSAT. Facility with a consistent and reliable approach will allow you to answer anything on the LSAT with accuracy, speed, and confidence.


For more LSAT tips and strategies, check out these articles:

How To Start Studying For The LSAT

LSAT Scores: How low should you go?

10 Steps To A Stellar LSAT Score

How To Take An LSAT Prep Test


Ross Rinehart graduated from UCLA with a degree in English and Political Science and went on to secure a J.D. from USC Law. After getting a 170 on the LSAT, a 98th percentile score, Ross began teaching for Blueprint LSAT Prep. Having taught for Blueprint for almost 4 years, he has helped countless students improve their LSAT score.