flash21 wrote:Hey Manhattan ,
I was wondering whether or not you guys invalidate all questions on LG sections. My current strategy is on could be true questions, if I come across the right answer whether that is A or E, I'll select it and move on, because if it could be true then its correct. But for must be true I'll go through all of the answer choices to make sure it isn't just a could be true.
Hope this makes sense and look forward to getting your thoughts.
Interesting question, flash21
I actually have sort of the opposite reaction to CBTs and MBTs. When you look at a MBT question, you're right that if A *could* be true, that doesn't necessarily make it the right answer. But if you go through all 5 answer choices, and come up with 2 or 3 that *could* be true, what do you do then? How do you figure out which of those three is the MUST be true?
I actually think you might need to shift your mindset a bit on these. MUST BE TRUE questions
Sometimes, the MBT answer is something we've already got in our master diagram, and that's always nice when that happens. But if it doesn't, we're going to have to test out answer choices. Testing whether the answer choice could
work is essentially useless, as that doesn't tell me whether it MUST be true.
But if only one of the answer choices MUST be true, that means that it's possible for each of the other answer choices to be false - essentially, those answer choices COULD BE FALSE. So, if I try to make an answer choice false
, and I can get away with it somehow, then it could be false
. But if I make it false, and the game blows up in my face no matter what I do, then that answer choice was a must be true.
Imagine that J must be in slot 3 in a game, but we hadn't made that inference. If that's true, then if we attempt to put J on any other slot, the game should break. So, the most efficient process for proving a MBT is to try to make it false - the answer that breaks the game when you do, no matter how you do it, is your must-be-true!
So, here, as soon as we find the MBT, we can stop (as long as we're confident we've done it correctly). Only one answer is going to blow up the game in all circumstances when we break it.COULD BE TRUE questions
Could be true questions are a slightly different beast, primarily because of how we process definitive and ambiguous information. It's hard to prove that something simply MIGHT be true, most of the time.
Now, just like with MBTs, there are times when the 'could-be-ness' of an particular answer choice is obvious from the diagram you've made, and there's just no debate. (For instance, A/B could go in 1/2 either order, while C, D, E, and F are locked in to slots 3, 4, 5, and 6 respectively. An answer choice that says "A is immediately before C" is quite clearly a could be true
.) Or, occasionally, you'll see that one of the answers was clearly possible from some prior hypo that you have. In those situations, the right answer has leapt out, and since only once CAN be true, that has to be the only answer.
But when you don't have those foundations to build on, proving that something is a possibility is actually quite difficult. What I usually see students do is something like this: "Well, if I put X here, then I guess I could put Y here......and hm....I think that would mean that Z had to go in one of these two places.....but that's okay, right? Hm.....OH, and Q would have to go over here....but....that's okay too, isn't it? Hm.....I think this would be okay......unless I'm forgetting something.....am I forgetting something? ......Hm.....did I make all the inferences?.....nothing's jumping out at me......seems like it could work...."
The above takes as long as that sounds, and it's extraordinarily inefficient. Our brains prefer certainty, and proving that something is a mere possibility is kind of difficult for us to accept. We keep wondering if we got all the inferences, or if we missed a rule, etc. The far more efficient path is to once again, consider the characteristics of the incorrect answers. If only one could be true, all the rest MUST BE FALSE. And that means that they are rule violators - a concrete thing I can hold onto!
So, if (A) appears to be possible, I don't try to prove it to myself - that just takes too long, and I'm still skeptical even after playing it all the way out. Instead, I say "Meh, looks alright, let's come back to it." Ideally, then I'll hit (B), begin to play it out mentally and see quickly that it breaks a rule. All the wrong answers will *generally* speaking make their rule violations obvious within a move or two. Once I've efficiently identified that B-E all violate rules in an indisputable way, then I can confidently pick (A), without worrying if I missed an inference along the way.
So, on CBTs, I always check every answer choice, because I'm more interested in ELIMINATING rule violators than I am interested in convincing myself of a mere possibility.Things that MUST BE are easier to see than things that simply COULD BE (most of the time)
The upshot of all of this is that I'm generally looking for the concrete
answers - whether those are the correct or incorrect answers. For MBT, I'm looking for the correct answer, the only I'm locked into having, and if I try to avoid it, the game breaks
. For CBT, I'm looking for the WRONG answers, the must-be-FALSEs that violate rules
. If I have a 'could-be-false' question, then again, I'm looking for the WRONG answers (the must-be-trues). And if I even see a 'must be false' question, I'm looking for the correct answer, the one single rule violator
on the table.
As a result, if there's only supposed to be a single MBT or MBF, I might stop when I reach it if I'm feeling very crunched for time (though I check all answers if I have time, for safety's sake). But for CBT/CBF questions, since I am focused on eliminating WRONG answers, I always check all the answers (if I'm not using prior work).
Inefficient choices on how to organize our efforts on the questions themselves is a major source of time drag for students on games, I find. Even if you are doing the most amazing diagrams ever, making snappy inferences, etc, you can take entirely too long on any game by moving through the questions inefficiently.
What do you think?