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Logic games in the LSAT

  1. Oct 24, 2015 #1
    I just bought a book that teaches you how to solve the logic games found in the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). Just for clarity, I am not planning to take the LSAT, I was just curious because I like logic games.
    I'm through about 1/4 of the book, and it's quite interesting indeed.
    However, considering what it's marketed for, it made me think and raised a few questions, too.
    First, what is the relevance of this type of games for someone who wants to become a lawyer? Is it just a substitute for, or a form of, IQ test? Or do you think logic game solving skills are actually needed to practice the law?
    Second, I wondered how people can possibly solve this kind of games without some form of training. I for one am finding them quite challenging, and even with the explanations one has to think quite hard to unravel the patterns and implications of each problem. Do you think most people who plan to take the LSAT do study some logic beforehand? Or is it common for people to read the formulation and be able to answer without hesitation and without writing anything down?
    Last, is there any branch of mathematics that describes methods to solve logic games? Because the approach in the book seems to leave much to the user's own interpretation and deduction, and comes across as more 'heuristic', if that's the right word, than systematic and based on counting etc.
    For instance, in what they call a 'sequencing game', they first give you some constraints: 6 people A,B,C,D,E,F are standing in line at the post office; A comes before B, D comes after E and F, etc. You build the 'map' with all the A<B, E<D, F<D etc, and then they ask you questions like: who could be 3rd in line? I think I figured out that the right way is to find who can't be third in line, and that is all the people who have necessarily at least 3 people before them, or necessarily at least 4 people after them. And that's not as immediately evident as it sounds, depending on how the map branches etc.
    Is this the way a mathematician would tackle it, or are there more rigorous methods? I'm inclined to think that if anyone can solve a logic game, that's a computer, and I don't see how this rather 'artistic' approach would fit.

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Thats a good question. Lawyers need to think critically and strategically choosing how they will prosecute or defend a case for thier client. Logic games give them the skills to do this.

    Sometimes even Bayesian statistics com into play as they use facts and statistics to defend their position.
  4. Oct 28, 2015 #3
    If you are looking for logic, don't search in education or law. Both are based on tradition, not logic. The study of law has a fair amount of solving puzzles in logic, but the practice of law does not. Juries can't follow such arguments and judges usually can't either.

    When I was young the MCAT consisted largely of memorization of species and genus, information almost completely irrelevant to the practice of medicine.

    The study of law largely is the memorization of large amounts of boring and murky material, so it might be better to test the ability to do so. But this would not cast law education in a glamorous light.
  5. Oct 28, 2015 #4
    Thank you both for your replies, which I think addressed my first question.
    I will post a few of these games and see if people can come up with formal methods to solve them.
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