LSAT Analytical Reasoning Ordering Game

Ordering Game

The following is a free explanation of a more advanced Ordering Game. This game can be found as the third game in the LSAT Analytical Reasoning Section 1 from the June 2007 exam.

STOP Before you read this get your self a copy of the June 2007 LSAT and do the Analytical Reasoning section. (Free Copy of June 2007 LSAT Here) Then come here for the explanation of how to do the games. Book mark this page and come back when you have completed the June 2007 games section.Click here for some tips on making the most of your practice LSATs.

OKAY – so you have completed the Analytical Reasoning section of the June 2007 LSAT on your own. Now here is a full set of explanations for you to practice from.

At the top of the first page of Section one of the June 2007 LSAT you find the title Directions with an explanation of how to do this section. You should read and understand this now but DO NOT read it during the actual LSAT. The directions do not change and this is a waste of 30 seconds. It may not seem like much but in the end it could mean the difference between getting one more question right or one more wrong; and this could mean the difference between getting into your law school of choice or not. Read it now, read it tomorrow but DO NOT read it on the actual LSAT.

Let’s go on to the first game. Each game consists of an introductory paragraph, a set of rules and then a series of questions. As you read the introductory paragraph and set of rules you MUST summarize them all into a simple diagram and if necessary a few short hand rules on the side. We suggest a short hand for you to use here or you can develop your own, just make sure it is neat and easy to understand.

IMPORTANT – when you have completed summarizing the game and rules you must have included everything. You should not have to return to the rules or the introductory paragraph at any time when you are doing the questions. Your diagram and shorthand rules should give you all the information you need. If you find yourself returning to the game description you need to work on your diagram and shorthand rules notations.

Now let’s look at the introductory paragraph which describes the basic set up of the game. This is an Ordering game because you are placing entities in a single line in a particular order, or in other words you are sequencing entities in a line. The entities in this game are the destinations. In this game we are scheduling 7 voyages in a sequence by selecting from 4 destinations. Remember that we must summarize all the information presented here. The key information here is that there are 7 voyages in order from 1 to 7 and they will be filled with 7 destinations selected from 4 types of destinations. Therefore, our diagram starts like this:

G J M T

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

We know have the beginnings of our diagram which represents our 7 voyages and the destinations with which we will fill our voyages.

Also in the introductory paragraph we are given the information that each destination must be visited at least once. You can add this to the diagram with a short note:

G J M T (min. once each)

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Note that you can come up with your own short hand for including each entity at least once. Something much shorter than our note here (min. once each) can be used. For example you could put “1 Ea.” Just make sure that whatever you use you understand it.

Now let’s move on to our rules.

Rule 1 tells us that J will not be in week 4. Add this to our master diagram.

DIAGRAMMING NOTE – There are a number of ways to represent that J cannot be in a particular place or “not J”. You can put J with a slash through it or ~J or any other technique that works for you. Just pick one that is clear to you, easy to draw and is also neat and easy to read.

G J M T (min. once each)

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __
~J

Rule 2 tells us that T will be in week 7.

G J M T (min. once each)

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ T .
~J

Rule 3 tells us that there will be exactly 2 Ms or MM and that between them there will be a G.

G J M T (min. once each)

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ T .
~ J

Exactly MM & M…G…M

Rule 4 tells us that whenever we have J then G must precede J. Note that if we have G we do not need to have J this rule only tells us what happens when we have J. G can be on its own.

G J M T (min. once each)

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ T .
~ J

Exactly MM & M…G…M
If J then GJ

Rule 5 tells us that there cannot be two of the same destinations in a row.

G J M T (min. once each)

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ T .
~ J

Exactly MM & M…G…M
If J then GJ
No: GG or JJ or MM or TT

Note that you can express these rules in different ways and with shorter notations as long as you understand your own notations. For example Rule 5 could simply be:

~DD

Meaning that there can not be two Destinations of the same type in a row. Whatever notation you use it should be short to save time but MOST importantly you need to understand it instantly. Get used to using the same types of notations for all games so that when it comes to the actual LSAT you know your own system.

We now have our complete diagram which includes all the information from the rules and the introductory paragraph. Let’s move on to the questions.

Question 11:

As with most games the first question asks us for an acceptable set of entities that satisfies all the rules. This question type can be completed quickest by applying each rule in turn to the answer choices and crossing off any answers that violate the rule. Let’s start with Rule 1. (D) violates Rule 1, cross it off and remember to save time we no longer need to check (D) against the other rules. Next (E) violates Rule 2. (B) violates Rule 3. We are left with only (A) and (C). Answer choice (C) violates Rule 4 as G must precede J and in (C) we have J first with no G before it.
This leaves only (A) our correct answer.

Question 12:

This is a Cannot be True question so we will attempt to prove that each answer choice can be true and it if can then we cross it off and move on.

Redraw your master diagram. Note that to save time you do not necessarily need to redraw each rule as long as you remember to use them. So you can just draw the diagram itself for each answer choice:

(A)

____ ____ ____ ____ ____ T . T .
~ J
As soon as we fill in the T in the 6th spot we see that the rule that no destination can be used twice in a row is violated. This answer choice cannot be true, therefore it is the correct answer choice. You can circle it and move on to question 13.

For learning purposes we include an analysis of the other answer choices here.

(B)

____ ____ ____ ____ __M__ ____ T .
~J

(B) can be true with the following combination:

M G J T M G T

(C) can be true with the following combination:

M G M T G J T

(D) can be true with the following combination:

M G J T M G T which is the same one we used for (B)

TIME SAVING TIP – check your previous combinations to see if you need to re-draw a diagram if you already have one where the condition is met e.g for (D) that J is 3rd then you do not need to re-draw the diagram.

(E) can be true with the following combination:

M T G M G J T

Question 13:

Redraw the diagram and fill in our extra information:

____ ____ ____ ____ __T__ ____ T .
~ J

Now try to fill in any additional entities that can be confirmed based on our rules. The best way to do this is to start with the most rules or entities with the most limited options for placement. This often involves the entities or rules that take up the most space. In this game those are the GJ combo and the M…G…M combo. We must have them both somewhere in the diagram. GJ can only go in one of two spots for this question.

Option 1:

__G__ __J__ ____ ____ __T__ ____ T .
. .~ J
OR Option 2:

____ __G__ __J__ ____ __T__ ____ T .
. . ~ J

Then fill in the M…G…M combo.

Option 1:

__G__ __J__ __M__ __G__ __T__ __M__ T .
. . . . ~ J
OR Option 2:

__M__ __G__ __J__ _G/M__ __T__ __M/G__ T .
. . . ~J

Now we have our diagram complete with the only two options and it is much easier to move on to our questions. The other way to do this question is to charge ahead and test each answer choice, however, it is much faster and more efficient to fill your diagram as much as possible first, as we have done here.

(A) Neither of our options include T in week 1 so (A) cannot be true. Cross it off and move on.

(B) Neither options include M in week 2.

(C) Neither options include G in week 3.

(D) Option 2 can include M in week 4. This is our correct answer as it can be true.

(E) Neither options include J in week 6.

Question 14:

This is a must be true question so we will try to prove that each answer choice can be false. The one that cannot be false is our correct answer. But first plug the extra information from this question into the diagram.

__G__ ____ ____ ____ __J__ ____ T .
. . ~ J

Then continue plugging in entities using the rules. Remember it is often easier to start with the more limited options. For example here we know immediately whenever we put J down we must have G before it.

__G__ ____ ____ __G__ __J__ ____ T .

Then add in the M…G…M combo. We must have M before and after one of the Gs. This means we must have an M in the 6th spot and one more M in either the 2nd or the 3rd. The remaining spot 2nd or 3rd which is not filled by an M can only be a T or J as we cannot have G as then we would have GG which violates our rules. Also J can not be in the 3rd spot or we have GG.

__G__ _J/T/M_ _M/T_ __G__ __J__ __M_ T .

Our diagram is complete with the only uncertainty being whether which entities will be in the 2nd and 3rd spots. Now move on to the answer choices.

(A) J can be in week 2 but it does not need to be there so it can be false and this is not our must be true answer choice. Cross it off and move on.

(B) T can be in week 2 but it does not need to be there so it can be false and this is not our must be true answer choice. Cross it off and move on.

(C) M can but need not be in week 3.

(D) G cannot be in week 6.

(E) M must be in week 6 in order to have our M…G…M combo. This is the correct answer as it must be true.

Question 15:

This is another must be true question and we will use the same approach as in question 14. Plug in the information given G in week 1 and T in week 2.

__G__ __T_ ____ ____ ____ ____ T .
~ J

Now fill in the diagram as much as possible. Starting with the GJ combo we must find a place for GJ.

GJ can only fit in two places either in the 4th and 5th spots or in the 5th and 6th spots. If we put GJ in the 5th and 6th spots, however, there will be no room for M…G…M. So GJ must be 4th and 5th.

__G__ __T_ ____ _G_ __J_ ____ T .
~J

Then we must add in M…G…M

__G__ __T_ _M_ _G_ __J_ __M_ T .
~J

Our diagram is now completed filled in and everything in it must be true, therefore, any answer choice that matches our diagram must be true.

TIP – Note that in the last two questions we were able to fill in much of our diagram from the information provided in the question stem. This is not always the case. If you have trouble filling in the diagram do as much as you can quickly and then move on to testing each answer choice. Do not waste too much time trying to fill in the whole diagram.

(A) Yes M but be in week 3. This is our correct answer.
(B) M cannot be in week 4.
(C) M cannot be in week 5.
(D) G cannot be in week 3.
(E) G cannot be in week 5.

Question 16:

In this question we are asked to determine which of the given answer choices could be the two entities found in weeks 4 and 5. First plug in your extra information that M is in week 3, then test each answer choice.

____ ___ __M__ ____ ____ ____ T .
~ J

(A)

Can GT go in 4 and 5?
____ ___ __M__ _G__ _T__ ____ T .
~ J

Now plug in the rest of the entities. We need GJ somewhere and this will only fit in 1 and 2, also we need M…G…M and the only spot left is 6. Our complete diagram must be:

G J M G T M T

This works and satisfies all of our rules, so it is our correct answer.

For learning purposes here are the incorrect answer choices:

(B)

JG cannot be in the 4th and 5th weeks because J must be preceded by G and we already have M in week 3.

(C)

MT cannot be in weeks 4 and 5 because we already have M in week 3 and this would put two Ms in a row which violates our rules.

(D)

TJ cannot be in weeks 4 and 5 because J must be preceded by G.

(E)

TM cannot be in weeks 4 and 5 because we must have exactly two Ms and G must be somewhere between them. with MTM in weeks 3, 4 and 5 we leave no room for G.

Question 17:

This is a Must be True question so we will try to show that each answer choice can be false and the one that cannot be false must be true. Test each answer choice by trying to show that it can be false.

TIME SAVING TIP – When a question late in the game presents you with no new information it can often be more time consuming than other questions. To save time look at past questions and answer choices to see if your diagrams can be re-used. For example here in answer choice (A) look back to previous questions to see if we have a working diagram where G is not in either week 1 or week 2. If we find one we can cross off (A) and move on. This is another good reason to keep you diagrams neat.

(A)

In (A) we are trying to complete the diagram without G in weeks 1 or 2. This can be done as follows:
M T G M G J T
To do this first put some other entities in 1 and 2, here we try M and T then we need to include M…G…M so let’s fill in the G M in 3 and 4. Then we need G J so we put this in 5 and 6 and finally we know T is in 7. This shows that (A) can be false so it is wrong. Cross it off an move on.

(B)

The same diagram used in (A) shows that (B) can be false. There is no need to re-draw the diagram for (B) cross it off and move on.

(C)

G can occur more than twice as follows:

G J M G M G T

When you are trying to make an entity occur more than a certain number of times just try to plug it into the diagram as many times as possible. Often starting with the entity works best. Here we start with G, we then follow it with J to get our GJ combo out of the way. Then we also need to satisfy M…G…M which we do in 3, 4 and 5. Finally we add one more G at 6 to have more than 2 Gs.

(D)

In (D) we are trying to have more than two Js. Since J must be preceded by G this means more than two sets of GJ. If we fill in two sets of GJ that takes up four spots. A fifth is filled by T. We only have two spots left and we know we must have two Ms. This means there is no room for any more than two GJs or two Js. (D) is our correct answer.

M G J G J M T

(E)

There can be more than two Ts such as in the completed diagram here:

T M T G J M T

THE NEXT STEP (Click here for what to do next)