LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: Apr 29, 2020
Dave Killoran wrote:Hey Jared,

Thanks for the questions! You've asked several interesting, broad questions here, so I wanted to add a few thoughts that may help.

First, if it helps, this discussion thread isn't our complete and total explanation to this game. This is just us answering questions students had about the game, and our complete explanation is actually found in our Full-Length and Live Online course material. Answering questions in the Forum certainly can convey a disjointed feeling, so I understand your point. Perhaps when I have some extra time I'll come back and post a full explanation of this game here—the game is certainly difficult enough and interesting enough to warrant a broader discussion.

Second, let's talk about Not Laws in general before talking about the basic approach to this game. To me, Not Laws are a tool and while they can be very useful in many games, in other cases they aren't as useful. The same goes for just about any technique, with Templates being a perfect example—in some games they are amazingly powerful and in others they lead to destruction. Early in the LGB I place a lot of emphasis on Not Laws for a few different reasons, but two main ones are that I want everyone to get in the habit of looking for negative absolutes and that I want to make sure that identifying Not Laws is a skill that is second-nature. A parallel concept appears in LR with conditional reasoning. It's all over the LSAT, so early on we focus on it and make sure that students know it cold. We then pull back from that and place it where it should be: something you don't need to worry about unless it shows up and you need to address it. But that early emphasis makes sure that when it does show up, you are ready to handle it with ease. This is why there is a focus on Not Laws early on, but as I say later, not every game is best approached by using them (and, in fact, many games aren't, including many of those outside the Linear designation). The key, then, is to determine at which point showing Not Laws would be helpful and at which points it wouldn't. That is made more challenging because the makers of the test realize there are different solution strategies, and they intentionally move their games around the spectrum in order to make identifying the best approach more difficult.

In this game, we have that problem. There's not a single obvious strategy here that is a perfect slam-dunk that makes the game simple. There are a lot of Not Laws and so I don't love showing them all (more on this in a moment). And, although every variable appears in a rule, the rules are just open-ended enough to feel as if there are not going to be a low number of solutions. The test makers have hit the sweet spot (for them, at least) of leaving test takers in a sort of no man's land where each approach will get you moving but likely not as fast or as comfortably as you'd hope. That's not a systemic problem, that's just a higher-level difficulty problem that's built into the game, and good test making one might say. It's also why they placed this game fourth instead of first, I'd wager.

For a student shooting for the high 170s as you mention, encountering non-one-trick pony games should be nothing new. The game doesn't fit any one solution strategy perfectly because that's exactly how it was designed. Instead, what we typically do is mix approaches and let them work together to our benefit. So let's talk about that, starting with the two methods you initially used.

Let's start with Not Laws. I have immediate concerns about using Not Laws as my sole approach because as you rightly noted it's clear there are going to be way too many of them. The L - F - GK and M - J (with the connection to H) interactions suggest that I'm very quickly going to have double-digit Not Laws, and my immediate reaction is concern about the loss of time from drawing them all out. But games with double-digit Not Laws often have restricted points, and knowing those restrictions is helpful. This is why at a Not Law analysis on at least a base level is always useful: you learn about the game even if you don't show every single Not Law. What I can see here is that the endpoints of this game have limitations, and thus in my personal approach to this game I separately noted the options for a few of the spaces (triple options on 1 and 7) as well as the limitations on L (not that hard to see given the long sequence with L at the front and the specific rule about L not being 2nd). That's one of the huge features of Not Laws, seeing the remaining options that result from impossibilities, and it is one of the many reasons we always examine negatives. Ultimately though, because this game has no randoms and every variable appears in one or more rule, there are going to be restrictions on every variable. When you have that sort of situation in a game with 7 variables, I would note the most significant limitations but not show every Not Law. In this game that's a reasonable first step, doesn't require a massive amount of time, and it leaves you with base understanding of some of the key restrictions in the game.

On the Templates side, we have a similar problem. If I just dove straight into those with no prior limitation analysis, what I would see is that there are enough open-ended relationships to keep things too loose for comfort (the M and H rule is the most notable of those, but the sequential relationships also factor in). I can see that certain variables—such as the GK pair you mention—have a limited number of placements, but for me I chose to draw out the two base options that play off L. However, I'd argue that it doesn't hugely matter which you choose, and that using GK would be pretty good too. Why? Because in the process of quickly sketching out the placements of GK, I learn a lot about the game (including a lot about L's options). The key, though, is not to Identify the Possibilities (which would mean drawing out every single solution), but to instead just identify the Templates, which means sketching the general direction each placement will take. I can quickly see that as GK moves to the right that the number of solutions increases rapidly, but I wouldn't be showing them all anyway so I don't lose time there. Instead, for the template where GK are 4-5, I'd do something like this, which would be helpful:

  • L ..... (F, H/M) ..... G ..... K ..... (M/H, J)
    1 ..... 2 ..... 3 ..... 4 ..... 5 ..... 6 ..... 7

    Sorry, the tools of this Forum don't allow me to show that quite the way I'd like, but it gets the idea across.
You actually made note of the utility of creating templates when you said that "the very process of setting them up was eye opening, didn't waste too much time, and gave me a starting point for a lot of the local setups later on." You have just described the value of identifying templates perfectly—even when we can't show everything, we often learn a lot on the way.

So what you see is a hybrid approach to this game, which is perfectly normal and appropriate. We take different skills we already have in control and combine them to get a solid approach to this where we see limitations and then chart some of the directions these limitations take. Is it perfect in the sense that it crushes the game in 3-4 minutes? No, but that's because no approach to this game can be perfect like that—it's designed not to be quite that simple. Hopefully, you were able to complete the earlier games in this section in relatively reasonable amount of time, leaving you with at least the usual amount of time for this game. If so, you can take what they give you and patiently knock out the questions using the various pieces of information you've identified and created.

Note about the questions: I totally agree with you about question #19. It's a tough inference to get using Not Laws (or really, any approach) although the template exploration makes it easier to knock out some of the incorrect answers. However, I wanted to add a point about games that are more challenging, and that is one tool you can use when the setup doesn't feel great is to use certain questions to help create hypotheticals. These hypotheticals in turn provide you with additional information about the game, and when they are created in service of a specific question, help answer that question as well. In this game, questions #18, 20, 21, and 22 either provide you with hypothetical or require you to create some along the way, and if you felt the setup wasn't providing you with sufficient information to feel comfortable, go first to the Global List questions (#18) and then to the Local Must (#22) and last to the Local Could (#20, 21). That information can then be used in this game to answer the Global Cannot (#19) and Global Could (#23) (and if they don't fully answer a question, they at least help you learn enough about the game to go a fair ways down the path of obtaining the solution). In other words, manipulate the order of what they've presented you to take advantage of the information each question produces.

I hope this helps a bit. I understand your frustration here, but the idea is to develop a set of interrelated skills that you can then call on in any arrangement. That typically starts by isolating each one and mastering each one, but at the higher ranges of difficulty—and this game is clearly on the harder side—it's more often that a combination of elements is the best approach. Thanks!

Hello Powerscore,

I'd like to express my frustration with the lack of clear explanations on your forum and the lack of clear guidance explaining that full explanations are to be found only in your online courses. I've been using your bibles, training type books, and workbooks for a while, and all of them are advertised as coming with free explanations on this forum. I've been frustrated with the lack of clear, exhaustive explanations on this forum for a while, which has at times significantly impeded my progress, and it wasn't until now that I saw Dave's post above, stating that complete explanations are available ONLY for the students enrolled in a PS course. How come this point is not made clear in your books?! I'm incredibly disappointed with my how much time I've lost.
User avatar
 Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 4027
  • Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Hi Bella,

Thanks for the message. I'm terribly sorry to hear it's been frustrating for you. As a free resource, we do our best to post timely responses and ones that are complete, but that can take a bit of time so I understand where you are coming from. This has especially been the case with Logic Games. We are in the process of porting over hundreds of pages of explanations to this Forum, and each comes with multiple, complex diagrams. That is taking us a lot of time, especially due to issues related to all the LSAT changes and the pandemic. That said, there are currently thousands of free, complete explanations here and we do continuously answer questions posted by students. I know we've answered over 30 of your questions so far, and I'm pretty sure I've personally answered 7 or 8 of your questions too :-D

Also, you are taking my comment above, which was from 2017, a bit out of context. That was before we started moving explanations over to the Forum from our Online Student Centers, and it was also referring specifically to this game, which used to be in our course lessons. Thus, there was a more complete explanation there during that time. And yes, there are additional resources we offer to our course students, but those are forbidden by LSAC to be freely and publicly available, so we'd don't control every aspect of what is under discussion here.

I hope that gives you a sense of context for what I said above, because I don't want you to have a misimpression of a comment from several years ago! In the meantime, we'll keep on working to port explanations over as fast as we can.

Thank you!
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: Apr 29, 2020
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the clarification. I do, of course, appreciate everything you offer for the users of this forum, and did not mean to criticize the enormous work you've been putting into the free information on your forum, blog, and elsewhere. And I appreciate your personal input, too. All I meant to state is that if I'd known that better explanations were available through some other products, I would have gone for those products instead for the sake of efficiency. So, is it still the case that your courses offer better and more complete explanations which come only with a course?

Thanks again, Dave.
User avatar
 Stephanie Turaj
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: Jan 11, 2016
Hi Bella,

Thanks for the reply! As Dave noted, shortly after his original comment in 2017, we began porting over explanations from the Online Student Center to this forum. So, the majority of question explanations that course students have are also now located in this forum. :-D

There are some additional resources that course students have — supplementary videos for example — that as Dave noted, LSAC does not allow us to freely distribute outside of our course material. That being said, I see that you have a tutoring package with us, so you do have access to the Online Student Center that contains those resources! If you would like assistance navigating those resources, send us an email at, and we'd be happy to help! :D

  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: Aug 19, 2020

I have gone through most of the LGB study book and do not remember seeing how to diagram "at least(a particular number)" on the main diagram.

In this game, the first rules states that "At least two of the other nurses’ sessions must fall in between Heany’s session and Moreau’s session."

How would I diagram that clearly showing that there should be no less than 2 spaces between M/H and H/M?
User avatar
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 974
  • Joined: Jun 26, 2013
Hi Imcuffy!

For "at least" rules, you would simply draw a box with two spaces between H and M and then write "min" (short for minimum) or "at least" above/below it.

See this diagramming method in action in these other games:

Hope this helps!


Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.