LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

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

PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 7871
  • Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Setup and Rule Diagram Explanation

This is a Grouping: Partially Defined, Identify the Templates game.

The game scenario establishes that at least two photographers must be assigned to each of two graduation ceremonies—Silva and Thorne. There are six photographers available, none of whom can be assigned to both ceremonies. The scenario also indicates that not all photographers need to be assigned. To keep track of those photographers who are not assigned to either ceremony, it is advisable to create a third (“Unassigned”) group in our setup as shown below:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 1.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 1.png (4.87 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
Because only the minimum number of photographers in each group is established in advance, the game is Partially Defined. Given the high level of uncertainty inherent in this setup, it would likely counterproductive to examine the Numerical Distributions that govern the assignment of photographers to ceremonies.

The first rule states that F and H must be assigned to one of the ceremonies:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 2.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 2.png (1.72 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
This rule also generates two Not Laws applicable to the “Unassigned” group:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 3.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 3.png (4.31 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
The second rule stipulates that if L and M are both assigned, it must be to different ceremonies. In other words, L and M cannot be assigned together:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 4.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 4.png (2.71 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
Note that this rule cannot be represented using Dual Options (L/M) in either ceremony, because it is entirely possible that one—or both—of L and M is not assigned to either ceremony.

The third rule establishes the following conditional relationship:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 5.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 5.png (4.6 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
Since L is common to the second and third rules, it is worth combining them as follows:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 6.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 6.png (5.61 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
The last rule contains a negative sufficient condition:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 7.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 7.png (2.77 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
This rule deserves a closer look. First, the sufficient condition would be met when K is assigned to Silva, but also when K remains unassigned: in either situation, H and M will be forced into Thorne. Furthermore, recall that F and H must always be assigned together to one of the ceremonies. So, whenever K is assigned to Silva or else remains unassigned, all three of H, M, and F must be assigned to Thorne:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 8.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 8.png (3.43 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
The implications of the last rule are significant, because (1) the sufficient condition is readily satisfied whenever K is not assigned to Thorne, and (2) the necessary condition requires three of the six available variables to be assigned to Thorne. The threshold for meeting the sufficient condition is low, whereas the burden carried by the necessary condition is high. When such low-threshold, high-burden conditional relationships appear in a game, they are often a driving force.

To help us understand how the last rule affects the game, let’s explore the options that result when K is assigned to each of the three available groups:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 9.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 9.png (4.76 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
If K is assigned to Silva, we need to ensure that F, H and M are all assigned to Thorne in accordance with the first and the fourth rules:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 10.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 10.png (5.36 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
With only two variables remaining (G and L), we need to ensure that at least one of them is assigned to Silva. However, by the contrapositive of the conditional chain resulting from the combination of the second and the third rules, if M is assigned to Thorne, then G cannot be assigned to Silva (and G must be assigned to thorne or Unassigned). Therefore, L must be assigned to Silva:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 11.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 11.png (6.87 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
On to Template 2, where K is assigned to Thorne:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 12.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 12.png (4.83 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
The fourth rule has no bearing on the assignment of K to Thorne (to conclude otherwise would be a Mistaken Negation of that rule). Notice, however, that F and H must still be assigned together to either Silva or Thorne. We could, then, examine the placement of that block in each of the two groups:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 13.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 13.png (10.4 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
The remaining rules do not allow us to make additional inferences in Template 2A, so it is best to leave that solution as is. Template 2B, however, is heavily restricted by the second and the third rules. In Template 2B, at least two of the remaining three variables—G, L, and M—must be assigned to Silva. Since M and L are never assigned to the same group (second rule), it follows that G must be assigned to Silva. This triggers the third rule, according to which L must be assigned to Thorne whenever G is assigned to Silva. The remaining variable—M—must be assigned to Silva in order to ensure that each group is assigned at least two variables:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 14.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 14.png (6.01 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
Last, let’s examine the third Template, where K is unassigned:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 15.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 15.png (5.09 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
If K is unassigned, we need to ensure that F, H and M are all assigned to Thorne in accordance with the first and the fourth rules:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 16.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 16.png (5.28 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
To ensure that each group has at least two variables in it, the remaining two variables—G and L—must both be assigned to Silva:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 17.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 17.png (7.05 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
This is clearly impossible, because if G is assigned to Silva, then L must be assigned to Thorne (third rule). Consequently, we can infer that K cannot be unassigned, i.e. K must always be assigned to one of the two ceremonies.

The final diagram for the game should look like this:
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 18.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 18.png (12.39 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 19.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 19.png (6.92 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 20.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 20.png (5.12 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 21.png
PT74 - Game_#4_setup_diagram 21.png (6.02 KiB) Viewed 3259 times
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Aug 17, 2017

So for this game, is it wrong to assume that F H M L have to be assigned?
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 296
  • Joined: May 02, 2017
Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your question!

The first rule tells us that both F and H must be assigned to a ceremony together, so both F and H will always be assigned.

Also, from the series of inferences explained above, we learn that K must always be assigned.

However, it is possible that M, L, or both are unassigned. The second rule tells us only that if M and L are both assigned, they cannot be assigned to photograph the same event. This still leaves open the possibility that just one or neither of them are assigned to an event.

Best of luck studying!

User avatar
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Jan 05, 2021

I was not able to readily deduce that K must always be assigned except after having done all 4 templates. Is there a way for test takers to infer that deduction without having to draw out all templates, especially on test day when anxiety and being pressed for time are a major factor?

For ex. when you spot an "either/or" rule and "if but only if" rule, that is a good indication that the game can be split into two scenarios.

Thank you in advance for helping someone with a law degree dream attack the LG section ;)
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 478
  • Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Hi Calmonte,

I will be honest, I didn't see it until I did the templates either. That's the power of the templates. They allow you to draw inferences that you may not have seen up front. You could see it as a solo hypothetical. Even if you weren't doing full templates, if you happened to check to see what happens if K is out, you'd see it's impossible with only that single template. However, generally it's more useful to do templates deliberately and carefully so that you can see all the potential options available.

That doesn't mean though that if you treated this as a non-template game that all would be lost. The game is doable without templates, it's just much slower. Seeing the big picture inferences (like that K has to be in) speeds your overall performance and accuracy. So while I hear what you are saying about the stress and pressure of a test day environment, I'd encourage you to use your best strategies on test day. Don't cut corners when it counts! Templates here significantly cut down on your time in this game. If you didn't see that, that's ok! Work on recognizing where templates help and where they don't.

And remember, a missed inference is always less dangerous than a mistaken inference.

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

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