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#59785
Complete Question Explanation
(The complete setup for this game can be found here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=26564)

The correct answer choice is (C)

Again, this is a Local question, and we can make a mini-setup in the space next to the question. Start with the condition given in the question stem:

pt26_s98_g2_q11a.png
Since M :longline: T, we can infer that P must be delivered first, and M must be delivered third:

pt26_s98_g2_q11b.png
And, since L and O are in a split-block, we can continue to add inferences:

pt26_s98_g2_q11c.png
However, since L :longline: N, we can infer that L must be delivered fifth, N must be delivered sixth, and O must be delivered seventh. And since six variables have been placed, it follows that S must be delivered second:

pt26_s98_g2_q11d.png
Accordingly, the correct answer choice must be (C).

Note how S, the random variable, is the last variable to be placed. Randoms are typically the least powerful variables in a game because they are not involved in any rules and therefore when they are placed they do not affect other variables directly. Randoms do take up space and so they have some power, but a variable such as L or M is much more powerful in this game because each of those variables directly affects two variables. Consider this point a bit more closely by comparing variables S and L:

pt26_s98_g2_q11e.png
Aside from the fact that L has fewer placement options due to its relationships with other variables, once L is placed it has powerful effects on those variables. S, on the other hand, has no direct effect on other variables. So, when solving a problem, S would not be one of the first variables you should look at. Instead, you should look to the power variables within a game to help you solve the questions. One side effect of the lesser power of randoms is that you often see them placed last within individual solutions. Since they are largely “free,” they can often float until the end before they need to be placed.

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