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Sequencing Game 1 Explanations

If you haven’t taken the time to try the LSAT Practice Sequencing Game 1 on your own before reading these explanations, please click back there and give it a try first. These are the explanations for the first sequencing game in a series of lesson articles about LSAT sequencing games. The series includes:

We know from the introduction that this is a sequencing game—we have to put classes in order. Since there are seven classes on Thursdays, you might draw seven empty lines. I sketch these vertically because that’s how the hours look on my organizer calendar, but you can sketch them horizontally if you prefer. You also know you have seven classes to represent by their first initials (take care to notice there is no “D” class).

sequencing explanations 

Next, paraphrase the rules and if possible sketch them directly into your diagram.

French occurs sometime after English

E … F

Basketball occurs exactly two classes before Chorale

B _____ C

Geology occurs some time before the Basketball

G … B

French is either the fifth or sixth class

F = 5 or 6

Algebra is the second class (Sketch this directly in space 2)

2 __A__

Now your sketch should look something like this:

sequencing explanations 

You can know make some deductions, or in a sense, make some new rules. Remember, this is really what the LSAT is testing in this section, your ability to combine the given rules to make new rules. So look for rules with similarities in them.

You can combine the two rules with B in them:

G … B _____ C

You also know that E comes before F, and because of the B/C rule, B has to come before F as well (even if C is last, B would be 5 so F would be 6). That means E, F, and B will come earlier in the schedule, and F and C will come later. H is a floater with no rules, so watch out for hypotheticals and cases where H closes or fills in gaps.

Now let’s look at the questions.

1. Which of the following is an acceptable schedule of classes for Thursdays?
(A) English, Algebra, Geology, History, Basketball, French, Chorale
(B) English, Algebra, History, Basketball, French, Chorale, Geology
(C) Geology, Algebra, Basketball, English, French, Chorale, History
(D) Geology, Algebra, English, French, Basketball, History, Chorale
(E) Geology, Basketball, English, Chorale, French, Algebra, History

Acceptability questions ask you to grab rules and compare them to answer choices. With practice these are gimme’s. Take the rules one at a time.

French occurs sometime after English, so look for an answer where this is reversed: No luck this time.

Basketball occurs exactly two classes before Chorale: Rule out (C)

Geology occurs some time before the Basketball: Rule out (B)

French is either the fifth or sixth class: Rule out (D)

Algebra is the second class: Rule out (E)

We’re left with (A) which has to be correct (every question has one right answer and the other answers are unacceptable to the rules). Now we also have one example of how the classes could go, although they don’t have to fall in this order either.

2. Which one of the following is a complete and accurate list of the periods in which Jackie can take Chorale?
(A) fifth, sixth
(B) fourth, fifth, sixth
(C) fifth, sixth, seventh
(D) third, fifth, sixth, seventh
(E) third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh

This question is specifically dealing with Chorale, so you know it will tie into the rule/inference:

G … B _____ C

Immediately you know that at least four classes come before C (G, B, the blank before C, and A, which is always second). So you can rule out (B), (D), and (E) right of the bat. So the question comes down to (A) and (C), or essentially, “can I fit C in the seventh position?”

Do you remember that the answer to question 1, (A), was acceptable, and it had C in the seventh position? Mark (C) as correct.

3. If French is the fifth class on Thursdays, then which one of the following must be true?
(A) Basketball is the third class
(B) Chorale is the fourth class
(C) English is the third class
(D) Geology is the first class
(E) History is the seventh class

Now the LSAT gives us a hypothetical, or an additional rule to plug in. Remember, this hypothetical is going to give us useful information, but only for this question. After you finish with the question, forget all about it.

Plug F into position 5. Apply the G/B/C rules since they’re the most restricted, and you can see that the only place you can fit C is in space 6. Anywhere else and you’d have no place for B.

If C is 6, then B has to be 4 (exactly two classes before). We don’t know the order of E and G, but we know they come before 4, leaving H. That means H has to be in space 7, since it’s the only class left.

Since our deduction about H was the last possible deduction, scan for answer choices that contain “History” in them. The LSAT doesn’t always test for the last possible deduction, but it usually does. Answer (E) is correct.

4. Which one of the following would allow you to determine the exact schedule of classes on Thursday?
(A) Basketball is the fourth class
(B) Chorale is the fifth class
(C) French is the sixth class
(D) Geology is the first class
(E) History is the seventh class

You know that the G/B/C rule is the stickiest one, so the answer will probably deal with it. Scanning the answer choices, (A), (B), and (D) all deal with G, B, and C. Of those three answer choices, (A) and (B) are the most alluring. Why? Because the not only nail down where B and C fall, they also give you F.

Unfortunately with (A), you still don’t know where to put G and E, in either space 1 or 3. Cross it out.

(B) asks you to plug C into space 5 and see what happens. If C is fifth, then B has to be third (exactly two before). Since A is always second, G has to come before B, which only leaves space 1 for G. If C is in 5, then F has to be 6. E comes before F, and only space 4 is still open, leaving space 7 for H. You know all of the answers if C is in space 5, so mark (B) correct and move on.

(C) asks you to put F in space 6, but remember the G/B/C rule is the rule with the most constraints, and so it is the one we are concerned about fitting into the diagram. If F is in space 6, we could still fit C in either 5 or 7, so this can’t be the right answer.

(D) asks you to put G first, but since G is sometime before B, not a specific number of classes, it does not help you tie down the B/C spacing. Wrong.

The same is true of (E). If H is in space 7, C could still be in 5 or 6 and you’d have space to fit in the rest.

5. If French is the sixth class, then which one of the following CANNOT be true?
(A) Basketball is the fifth class
(B) Chorale is the seventh class
(C) English is the fifth class
(D) Geology is the third class
(E) History is the first class

Again the LSAT gives us a hypothetical. This time it throws in “which one of the following CANNOT be true?” That means the answer is impossible and the wrong answers are could-be-trues. Don’t get confused and mark a could-be-true as the right answer.

If you put F in space 6, it doesn’t really nail down if C is in 5 or 7, so we cannot jump right to our trusted G/B/C rule—or can we?

Notice that because of the B/C relationship, answers (A) and (B) are essentially saying the same thing. Two answers can’t both be correct, so they must both be wrong.

(C) immediately looks fishy because we know that G and E need to occur early in the schedule. If you plug E in 5, the only place you can fit the B/C combo is in 1 and 3. That leaves no room for G, so answer (C) is impossible. Mark it as the right answer.

Answers (D) and (E) seem reasonable. Try to prove them as possible in the same sketch. If you put H in 1, and G in 3, you could fit E in 4, B in 5, F in 6, and C in 7. This one sketch proves that both answers are possible, so you would cross them out.

6. If History is the third class, which one of the following must be true?
(A) Basketball is the fourth class
(B) Chorale is the seventh class
(C) English is the first class
(D) French is the fifth class
(E) Geology is the fourth class

If H is in the third position, B has to be 5 and C has to be 7. Because of F, if you put B in 4, there is no other place to fit G and E before B and F. Since the last inference you made is that C is in position 7, scan to find answer (B) as the correct answer.

It’s time to try another practice game with LSAT Practice Sequencing Game 2.

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