Dec. retake: Games help!

cowgirl_bebop
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Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:56 am

I took the LSAT in October and pulled a 167. Disappointing, I know. My biggest issues came with an uncharacteristic -5 on a LR section and a very characteristic -8 on LG. Ive been studying for a December retake, and Ive been averaging about -0 to -1 on LR , -0 to -1 on RC, but -6 to -8 on games. I just CANNOT move fast enough. Ive tried drilling them over and over, taking them under extreme time constraints, and working the same problems again and again, but nothing. I cant figure out the answers, but time is always a factor and many times I dont even get to look at the last game.

I know if I do anything like Im doing on LR and RC I should be ok, but I am leaving way too many points on the table with LG. Is there anything I can do to try to pick up those points between now and December 11th?

albanach
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby albanach » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:06 am

cowgirl_bebop wrote:I took the LSAT in October and pulled a 167. Disappointing, I know. My biggest issues came with an uncharacteristic -5 on a LR section and a very characteristic -8 on LG. Ive been studying for a December retake, and Ive been averaging about -0 to -1 on LR , -0 to -1 on RC, but -6 to -8 on games. I just CANNOT move fast enough. Ive tried drilling them over and over, taking them under extreme time constraints, and working the same problems again and again, but nothing. I cant figure out the answers, but time is always a factor and many times I dont even get to look at the last game.

I know if I do anything like Im doing on LR and RC I should be ok, but I am leaving way too many points on the table with LG. Is there anything I can do to try to pick up those points between now and December 11th?


Accuracy first, then speed. You need to be able to get 100% right on a game, then keep doing it until you can get your speed down. You're up against it if you want to do this by the 11th.

Do you have any of the solutions books - they can be helpful in making sure you haven't missed obvious inferences.

If you are doing nothing else between now and the 11th, I'd focus almsot entirely on games. Maybe do one or two full PTs just to keep you fresh.

You have 9 days. Start with say two games sections a day - 8 games, but do them all three times. Make sure you understand every inference. Do the first two times untimed, then try the third attempt timed. The trick is you need to read the question each time and tackle the game like it's new to you. Don't skip ahead because you know the answer/structure. Write it out and see where the inferences come from.

If a game is still taking too long after the third attempt, refer to the PS Logic Games solutions (obviously you need to be doing games that are in the book) and see what you're missing.

Once you can quickly spot inferences, you can quickly complete games.

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niederbomb
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby niederbomb » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:55 am

I'm in exactly the same position as the OP: -1/-0 on LR. But a little more inconsistent on RC. I usually miss 5-7 on LG, which is usually more than the other three sections combined.

One thing I've just started doing is skipping around but only after finishing the setup for the hard game.

This allowed me to get 20/23 on PT 40 (where I just DID NOT get the Zephyr airlines game).

I did the setup, skipped to game 4, then came back and stumbled through a few questions. It felt pretty bad, but 20/23 is good for me.

I then tried the same thing on PT 36 and made a disastrous mistake on game 3 (had the bus facing the wrong way, went 0/5). I'm usually accurate, but slow. I've never actually messed up this badly on a game EVER. But I still got 17/23 on the section.

Still better than the 13-15 that might have been, right?

Anyone else tried this? Is it best to skip the hard game immediately or do the setup first, so you can come back to it and look at it with fresh eyes?

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northwood
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby northwood » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:53 am

if you are still unsure of what the setup should be, or the rules, then skip the game. Dont waste any more time on it, and move on. If its the last game, diagram the rules, and check out the first question ( if its a grab a rule one). Answer that, and see if it helps provide any insight as for how to diagram it. Then quickly skim over the questions to see if there are any more diagramming tips. Finally, just plug and chug questions you think are easier and move on. This should only be done on the hardest game imo.

I ended up doing this on game # 3 in OCtober, and ended up getting the 3 questions I answered right ( out of 6 i think). Since I saved it for last, time was a factor, but I was satisified with how I did on the rest. Ended up with a 18/23 for the section.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:45 pm

albanach wrote:
cowgirl_bebop wrote:I took the LSAT in October and pulled a 167. Disappointing, I know. My biggest issues came with an uncharacteristic -5 on a LR section and a very characteristic -8 on LG. Ive been studying for a December retake, and Ive been averaging about -0 to -1 on LR , -0 to -1 on RC, but -6 to -8 on games. I just CANNOT move fast enough. Ive tried drilling them over and over, taking them under extreme time constraints, and working the same problems again and again, but nothing. I cant figure out the answers, but time is always a factor and many times I dont even get to look at the last game.

I know if I do anything like Im doing on LR and RC I should be ok, but I am leaving way too many points on the table with LG. Is there anything I can do to try to pick up those points between now and December 11th?


Accuracy first, then speed. You need to be able to get 100% right on a game, then keep doing it until you can get your speed down. You're up against it if you want to do this by the 11th.

Do you have any of the solutions books - they can be helpful in making sure you haven't missed obvious inferences.

If you are doing nothing else between now and the 11th, I'd focus almsot entirely on games. Maybe do one or two full PTs just to keep you fresh.

You have 9 days. Start with say two games sections a day - 8 games, but do them all three times. Make sure you understand every inference. Do the first two times untimed, then try the third attempt timed. The trick is you need to read the question each time and tackle the game like it's new to you. Don't skip ahead because you know the answer/structure. Write it out and see where the inferences come from.

If a game is still taking too long after the third attempt, refer to the PS Logic Games solutions (obviously you need to be doing games that are in the book) and see what you're missing.

Once you can quickly spot inferences, you can quickly complete games.


I wish I had more time, but finals are Mon-Wed next week and studying is seriously going to eat into my LSAT prep. My accuracy is pretty good, but my timing is way off. I can get the right answers (the games I am finishing I usually get 100% right), I just get them way too slowly.

Im just going to take your advice and do games until I puke, and maybe a few LR and RC sections just to make sure I stay pretty accurate with those. Hopefully I can pick up at least another minute or two and can get that -8 down to a -5 or so. I can live with that at this point.

Thanks!

albanach
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby albanach » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:41 pm

One really big advantage of the games sections is you can simply do a single game when you take a break from other studying for your finals. A single game can be done in 8 minutes if you do it at the pace you want on exam day. If you take a 30 minute break from other studies, you can do a single game three times and manage a coffee!

Don't feel compelled to do an entire section at once if it means you'd do less games. Just fit them in when you have a free ten minutes.

Also, getting games from Cambridge LSAT helps because you can print them out several times.

almostthereee
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby almostthereee » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:07 am

I agree with niederbomb's advice, that is also what I do. Give me 40 minutes and I'll pull out 23/23. I just can't deduce fast enough for the harder games but what I do is diagram and sit there for a minute and deduce. Hit a few questions and if I realize that this game is gonna be a bitch I skip ahead. I burn about 3-4 minutes doing this but my hopes are that after diagramming and hitting the mental brick wall of doom I can see things more clearly after coming back to it later. Sometimes having a fresh look at a game can open up your eyes. This WORKS for me, just depends how well. At the very least I feel like I gain an extra point or two rather than spending 12 minutes stumbling through every question and panicking on the last game.

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lakers3peat
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby lakers3peat » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:50 am

niederbomb wrote:
I then tried the same thing on PT 36 and made a disastrous mistake on game 3 (had the bus facing the wrong way, went 0/5). I

Anyone else tried this? Is it best to skip the hard game immediately or do the setup first, so you can come back to it and look at it with fresh eyes?



The bus facing the wrong way haha. . .

That made me laugh because I just did PT 36 today so this game is fresh in my head. I'll offer my opinion as I think relates well to what your saying and will answer your question. I think maybe only once or twice ever have I skipped a game after reading the rules. The reason being, that in my opinion, you never know how hard a game is until you are too committed to just change questions. The rules are fresh in your head, your diagrams done, inferences are being made etc. I find if I switch games, it's not that I forget or can't use my diagram, but the inferences don't just scream out at me. Also, if I ever can't figure out a question, I go back and check the rules because they aren't fresh enough in my head then I end up reading them over again and wastes time.

To answer your question about speeding up there's a couple things that I do; you could see if they work for you. Although I will admit, time is sometimes an issue with me too, so I am not proclaiming to be the games guru but I do maximize the amount I can get even without finishing.

On that bus question, for example, even before I finished diagramming my rules, it immediately struck me how limited the possibilities in that game were. You are told that there are 3 rows, and 2 columns(window/aisle) then they give you the rule that there needs to be a vertical GH block in the aisle column. At that point, i didn't have "one master diagram" I instantly broke it up into two; GH in the "aisle column" for rows 1 & 2; and in my second diagram rows 2 &3. If you didn't start there, then this game is destined to doom you. My point is that when you see rules like that, you MUST restrict the possibilities play with the rules/make hypothetical before going into the questions. For this one in particular, i made 5 hypothetical in about 4 minutes, by just messing around with what the options were, then solved the questions in about 3 minutes. Work you put in before going into the game will help in the end.

Secondly, it's hard to generalize on what is "the hard game" of a section. Ultimately, it boils down to what your strengths and weaknesses are. On pt 36, it took me 11 minutes to do the first game but only 6 to do the bus one. So if "grouping" is your issue and you can instantly tell its a grouping game or if you aren't good with sequencing and all 6 rules are J before S, A after B etc. etc. then and only then would I consider skipping and going to the next game.

Lastly, even if you are running out of time, if you manage to get to the last game with 3-5 minutes, it is very possible to still get a few questions. Although I wouldn't rush just to have 3 minutes on the game. OP says you got -8 on the games section. Well, there's at most 24 questions, 6 per game usually, so if you got -8 then that means you missed 3 points you should have had. It's better to solve just 3 games then to rush to the 4th and get a bunch wrong. If you do have the time though, start by solving the rule based question then QUICKLY scan and see if there are any ones you can instantly answer. THIS HAPPENS SOMETIMES!!! I solved the rule driven question, realized F couldn't go first based on the rules, then lo and behold another question asks which of the following can't present first and bam, another free point.

bartleby
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby bartleby » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:51 am

I'm not sure if this is the best strategy but if Games is a big problem for you, I'd recommend drilling the crap out of basic linear, pure sequencing, and basic grouping from now till test day. Pull up that list and do those only as fast as you can. I think because they have less variables, follow some similar patterns, and are likely to be on the exam, you can learn some quick tricks to speed through them which would allow you more time on the test.

I used to think I was so good at games until I realized the only reason I was doing well was because I could take out the easy ones really quickly and take my time with the harder ones that require deductions, etc. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to work on RC.

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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby bartleby » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:54 am

lakers3peat wrote:
niederbomb wrote:
I then tried the same thing on PT 36 and made a disastrous mistake on game 3 (had the bus facing the wrong way, went 0/5). I

Anyone else tried this? Is it best to skip the hard game immediately or do the setup first, so you can come back to it and look at it with fresh eyes?



The bus facing the wrong way haha. . .

That made me laugh because I just did PT 36 today so this game is fresh in my head. I'll offer my opinion as I think relates well to what your saying and will answer your question. I think maybe only once or twice ever have I skipped a game after reading the rules. The reason being, that in my opinion, you never know how hard a game is until you are too committed to just change questions. The rules are fresh in your head, your diagrams done, inferences are being made etc. I find if I switch games, it's not that I forget or can't use my diagram, but the inferences don't just scream out at me. Also, if I ever can't figure out a question, I go back and check the rules because they aren't fresh enough in my head then I end up reading them over again and wastes time.

To answer your question about speeding up there's a couple things that I do; you could see if they work for you. Although I will admit, time is sometimes an issue with me too, so I am not proclaiming to be the games guru but I do maximize the amount I can get even without finishing.

On that bus question, for example, even before I finished diagramming my rules, it immediately struck me how limited the possibilities in that game were. You are told that there are 3 rows, and 2 columns(window/aisle) then they give you the rule that there needs to be a vertical GH block in the aisle column. At that point, i didn't have "one master diagram" I instantly broke it up into two; GH in the "aisle column" for rows 1 & 2; and in my second diagram rows 2 &3. If you didn't start there, then this game is destined to doom you. My point is that when you see rules like that, you MUST restrict the possibilities play with the rules/make hypothetical before going into the questions. For this one in particular, i made 5 hypothetical in about 4 minutes, by just messing around with what the options were, then solved the questions in about 3 minutes. Work you put in before going into the game will help in the end.

Secondly, it's hard to generalize on what is "the hard game" of a section. Ultimately, it boils down to what your strengths and weaknesses are. On pt 36, it took me 11 minutes to do the first game but only 6 to do the bus one. So if "grouping" is your issue and you can instantly tell its a grouping game or if you aren't good with sequencing and all 6 rules are J before S, A after B etc. etc. then and only then would I consider skipping and going to the next game.

Lastly, even if you are running out of time, if you manage to get to the last game with 3-5 minutes, it is very possible to still get a few questions. Although I wouldn't rush just to have 3 minutes on the game. OP says you got -8 on the games section. Well, there's at most 24 questions, 6 per game usually, so if you got -8 then that means you missed 3 points you should have had. It's better to solve just 3 games then to rush to the 4th and get a bunch wrong. If you do have the time though, start by solving the rule based question then QUICKLY scan and see if there are any ones you can instantly answer. THIS HAPPENS SOMETIMES!!! I solved the rule driven question, realized F couldn't go first based on the rules, then lo and behold another question asks which of the following can't present first and bam, another free point.


I just wanted to add that when you see a mothertrucker like the bus game, you have to stop and deduce before brute-forcing. It might actually be advantageous to brute force some of the early questions of the easy games but when you see something that looks scary, you have to slow down and process or else you will get lost.

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lakers3peat
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby lakers3peat » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:08 pm

honestly, I'm not trying to be a jerk but I don't see how the bus game is a hard? LSAT blog has it on the top 10 hardest games but personally, I think it pales in comparison to something like that Labradors/greyhounds game where you have in/out, sequence, AND linear element to the game...

almostthereee
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby almostthereee » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:12 pm

lakers3peat wrote:honestly, I'm not trying to be a jerk but I don't see how the bus game is a hard? LSAT blog has it on the top 10 hardest games but personally, I think it pales in comparison to something like that Labradors/greyhounds game where you have in/out, sequence, AND linear element to the game...


Some people's brains simply analyze differently. Some people say the dinosaur game is cake but the majority consensus is that it's hard. You are part of that "some" that think it's not that bad but not the "most" that think it is. Oh god... LSAT what have you done to me...

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niederbomb
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby niederbomb » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:38 am

almostthereee wrote:
lakers3peat wrote:honestly, I'm not trying to be a jerk but I don't see how the bus game is a hard? LSAT blog has it on the top 10 hardest games but personally, I think it pales in comparison to something like that Labradors/greyhounds game where you have in/out, sequence, AND linear element to the game...


Some people's brains simply analyze differently. Some people say the dinosaur game is cake but the majority consensus is that it's hard. You are part of that "some" that think it's not that bad but not the "most" that think it is. Oh god... LSAT what have you done to me...


Actually, the Labradors/Greyhounds game was very easy. It only had like 4 possibilities. It was mostly just a sequencing game.

The bus game wasn't THAT hard either, at least not "interns" hard. I was tired from a long day at work and arranged 1-2-3 from back to front instead of from front to back.

When I redid it, it wasn't that bad.

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niederbomb
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Re: Dec. retake: Games help!

Postby niederbomb » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:49 am

lakers3peat wrote:
niederbomb wrote:
I then tried the same thing on PT 36 and made a disastrous mistake on game 3 (had the bus facing the wrong way, went 0/5). I

Anyone else tried this? Is it best to skip the hard game immediately or do the setup first, so you can come back to it and look at it with fresh eyes?



The bus facing the wrong way haha. . .

That made me laugh because I just did PT 36 today so this game is fresh in my head. I'll offer my opinion as I think relates well to what your saying and will answer your question. I think maybe only once or twice ever have I skipped a game after reading the rules. The reason being, that in my opinion, you never know how hard a game is until you are too committed to just change questions. The rules are fresh in your head, your diagrams done, inferences are being made etc. I find if I switch games, it's not that I forget or can't use my diagram, but the inferences don't just scream out at me. Also, if I ever can't figure out a question, I go back and check the rules because they aren't fresh enough in my head then I end up reading them over again and wastes time.

To answer your question about speeding up there's a couple things that I do; you could see if they work for you. Although I will admit, time is sometimes an issue with me too, so I am not proclaiming to be the games guru but I do maximize the amount I can get even without finishing.

On that bus question, for example, even before I finished diagramming my rules, it immediately struck me how limited the possibilities in that game were. You are told that there are 3 rows, and 2 columns(window/aisle) then they give you the rule that there needs to be a vertical GH block in the aisle column. At that point, i didn't have "one master diagram" I instantly broke it up into two; GH in the "aisle column" for rows 1 & 2; and in my second diagram rows 2 &3. If you didn't start there, then this game is destined to doom you. My point is that when you see rules like that, you MUST restrict the possibilities play with the rules/make hypothetical before going into the questions. For this one in particular, i made 5 hypothetical in about 4 minutes, by just messing around with what the options were, then solved the questions in about 3 minutes. Work you put in before going into the game will help in the end.

Secondly, it's hard to generalize on what is "the hard game" of a section. Ultimately, it boils down to what your strengths and weaknesses are. On pt 36, it took me 11 minutes to do the first game but only 6 to do the bus one. So if "grouping" is your issue and you can instantly tell its a grouping game or if you aren't good with sequencing and all 6 rules are J before S, A after B etc. etc. then and only then would I consider skipping and going to the next game.

Lastly, even if you are running out of time, if you manage to get to the last game with 3-5 minutes, it is very possible to still get a few questions. Although I wouldn't rush just to have 3 minutes on the game. OP says you got -8 on the games section. Well, there's at most 24 questions, 6 per game usually, so if you got -8 then that means you missed 3 points you should have had. It's better to solve just 3 games then to rush to the 4th and get a bunch wrong. If you do have the time though, start by solving the rule based question then QUICKLY scan and see if there are any ones you can instantly answer. THIS HAPPENS SOMETIMES!!! I solved the rule driven question, realized F couldn't go first based on the rules, then lo and behold another question asks which of the following can't present first and bam, another free point.


I see what you're saying. However, if I had not skipped the Zephyr airlines game, I might have only gotten 12 on that section instead of 20. Also, if I hadn't done the 4th game on PT 59 before the 3rd game, I would have also run into problems. Sometimes, like on PT 60, the hard game IS the 4th game (interns), but usually, the hard game is 3rd.

I do get most of the right inferences. I think I do almost everything right when I compare my diagrams to others'. I just have to read the rules, questions, and answer choices very slowly, or I make mistakes (like facing the bus the wrong way).

Part of it is I'm not a visual person at all, and I have no spatial ability whatsoever, so I can't see things in my head accurately. I have to sub vocalize everything, or it's all a mixed up mess. This is why I'm going to law school or business school instead of engineering school.

So I end up working the right way, but at glacial speed. Therefore, I do much better on games like Dinos or Mulch or "In-Out" games that just require a few clever inferences to split open than on time consuming, complicated games like "Interns" that require lining up multiple variables and multiple tiers. I often mix something up on the latter type of games.




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