The LSAT Is About To Get Rid Of Logic Games. Who Will Miss Them? None Of The Above

LSAT Rid Logic Games

If student A is taking the Law School Admission Test next month, and A is sitting behind B but not in the same row as C, who among them is answering the exam’s dreaded “logic game” questions for the last time? Answer: D, all of the above. The LSAT’s next round of testing from June 5-8 will include the so-called logic games for the last time, marking an end to this mind-bending rite of passage for aspiring lawyers.

The logic games have demoralized generations of test takers since their debut in 1982. More than 30,000 people slated to sit for the LSAT next month will be the last to grapple with these puzzling questions, which currently make up a third of the exam. The Law School Admission Council, which develops and administers the LSAT, will eliminate logic games from the exam in August. This decision follows a 2019 settlement with two blind LSAT takers who claimed the analytical reasoning section of the test—the official name for logic games—violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiffs argued that they could not draw the diagrams that test takers often use to complete that portion of the test. The council initially agreed to modify the logic games but surprised many with their October announcement of their removal.

Test prep experts assert that an LSAT without the notorious logic games doesn’t necessarily equate to an easier test. They note that many people see the biggest and fastest score gains after practicing them. “Logic games are legitimately the hardest for a lot of students,” said Glen Stohr, an LSAT instructor with Kaplan. “But there could be a light bulb moment where they go from utter confusion to a sense of clarity and then confidence in relatively short order.”

Worries over difficulty

Removing that potential express lane to higher scores has many LSAT takers worried that the exam will become more difficult, said Dave Killoran, chief executive officer of LSAT prep company PowerScore. “Some people have accelerated their prep to take advantage of the last logic games test,” said Killoran, noting that registrations for the upcoming test are unusually high. “June is the devil we all know. August is unknown territory. That scares a lot of people.”

When the LSAT, minus the logic games, is administered in August, it will consist of two sections of logical reasoning, which requires LSAT takers to read a short passage and then answer a question based on its content, and one section of reading comprehension. There will also be an experimental section of either reading comprehension or logical reasoning that does not count toward official scores. The council told law schools in October that removing logic games would have “virtually no impact on overall scoring” based on a review of more than 218,000 exams. The revised format was also as effective as the current one in predicting first-year law school grades in that study, the council added.

Zachary Stathakos

Zachary Stathakos, a 2022 graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, hopes that the change will give him an edge. He delayed applying to law school this fall to take the new format in August after his two previous LSAT attempts were hampered by a shaky performance on logic games. “Logic games made me lose my cool a little bit,” said Stathakos, adding that the exam’s time pressures left him flustered. He scored 156 in January with the logic games and now scores as high as 167 on practice exams without them. (180 is the highest score possible on the LSAT.)

Love them or hate them, it seems everyone has strong feelings about logic games. “I’m now experiencing PTSD,” said Roberta Kaplan, a name partner at law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink who is best known for her work representing plaintiffs in prominent #MeToo cases and fighting for same-sex marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court, when asked about her experience with logic games.

Former acting U.S. Solicitor General and Hogan Lovells partner Neal Katyal also gives logic games the thumbs down. They have nothing to do with his work as a lawyer and are “ridiculously coachable,” he said. That gives an advantage to people, like himself, who could afford test prep courses, he added. “That section of the test, I fear, has kept great students out of the law,” Katyal said. “It’s good riddance.”

However, others, including prominent plaintiffs’ attorney Jay Edelson, have a soft spot for logic games. “I loved the logic games,” Edelson said, adding that he would not have been accepted at the University of Michigan’s elite law school if not for his strong performance on them. “I would do them on my own just to pass time.”