Hello,
LG max and min questions take me longer than they should. I usually solve them by creating hypotheticals that I think will represent the max or min, including variables based on their power to maximize or minimize the total number of variables included. Sometimes this works, but it is easy to overlook hypotheticals that include either more or less variables...
Is there a more rigorous way to approach LG max/min questions that will leave less up to chance and will increase my speed?
Thanks a million!
Tips for LG Max & Min Qs?
 alphagamma
 Posts: 174
 Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:16 pm
Re: Tips for LG Max & Min Qs?
Whenever I run across one of these problems, I glance back at the hypotheticals and answers to previous questions. That usually knocks out at least two answer choices, sometimes more.
 toolshed
 Posts: 315
 Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:35 pm
Re: Tips for LG Max & Min Qs?
Often, max and min questions appear in a game that has a numerical distribution of some limiting nature. If you haven't already, look into that concept as it generally directly tested in a max/min question.

 Posts: 1633
 Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am
Re: Tips for LG Max & Min Qs?
freddie wrote:I usually solve them by creating hypotheticals that I think will represent the max or min, including variables based on their power to maximize or minimize the total number of variables included. Sometimes this works, but it is easy to overlook hypotheticals that include either more or less variables...
Don't guess what you think the right answer is. After you've eliminated based on previous work (as mentioned above), you have to disprove from the extremes. Take the one from the birds in the forest game. If it asks you for the maximum number of birds in the forest, and you know for a fact that it can't be six (because at least one of G/H has to be out), and if you've put at least three or four in before in other questions, two and six are out (and maybe three, too, depending on how you did things). Now, it's asking for a maximum, so assume that you have five birds in the forest and see if you can make it work. You can't. Try four. You can make it work. You have it.
Similar things happen in a lot of other In/Out minmaxing questions, really. You'll have some elements that must be in or out (based on clues structured like clues 1 and 4 in birds in the forest — clue 1 means that at least one of G/H must be out, Clue 4 that at least one of J/S must be in — and you just count how many you have to put in or out and start with that. Then work your way down (on a max question) or up (on a min question).

 Posts: 59
 Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:59 pm
Re: Tips for LG Max & Min Qs?
As someone said above, if you are confident in your answers to the previous questions, always look back at your list question or any hypotheticals. If it asks you for a "maximum", and you have 3 items present in your list question, you can eliminate any answers less than that. If you feel uneasy about your earlier answers, I would exercise caution in doing this since you may propagate an error forward.
After eliminating any answers based on previous work, I start at the end of the distribution that the question asks for. For instance, if the question asks for a "maximum", I will start at the high end of the answer choices and see if I can make the highest one work. If I can't, I cross it off and move down to the next highest. If the question asks for a minimum, I do the process in reverse, starting with the numerically lowest answer choice and trying to prove that possible with a hypothetical. If I can't, then I work my way up.
The other question I've seen of this type are questions asking you the maximum number of possible spaces between two variables (usually in basic linear/ordering games). In this instance, place the variables in the first and last slots (paying attention to any rules that might explicitly prevent you from doing so, like variable A can't go first, etc.) and try to get a working hypothetical. If you can't, move one of the variables closer by a slot and try again.
I think these questions look way more intimidating than they actually are and once you get over the "deer in the headlights" mindfreeze these are an easy way to pick up a point. Good luck!
After eliminating any answers based on previous work, I start at the end of the distribution that the question asks for. For instance, if the question asks for a "maximum", I will start at the high end of the answer choices and see if I can make the highest one work. If I can't, I cross it off and move down to the next highest. If the question asks for a minimum, I do the process in reverse, starting with the numerically lowest answer choice and trying to prove that possible with a hypothetical. If I can't, then I work my way up.
The other question I've seen of this type are questions asking you the maximum number of possible spaces between two variables (usually in basic linear/ordering games). In this instance, place the variables in the first and last slots (paying attention to any rules that might explicitly prevent you from doing so, like variable A can't go first, etc.) and try to get a working hypothetical. If you can't, move one of the variables closer by a slot and try again.
I think these questions look way more intimidating than they actually are and once you get over the "deer in the headlights" mindfreeze these are an easy way to pick up a point. Good luck!

 Posts: 49
 Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 9:34 am
Re: Tips for LG Max & Min Qs?
Thanks everyone! Your strategies are very helpful.
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