Grouping Games In/Out... tips?

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Grouping Games In/Out... tips?

Postby caminante » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:21 pm

Hello all,

As I'm finalizing my prep for Saturday's test I'm still worried about how incredibly slow I am at the grouping in/out games. I fly through other types in general, but these make my head hurt. I feel like I'm making them harder on myself than they could be.

Anyone have any particularly effective strategies they would like to share? Some last minute tips? Please?

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Grouping Games In/Out... tips?

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:45 pm

From your post, I assume you're not using our system, so I'll try to tell you what I can say about how to make most other approaches faster. Try to link the rules as you write them out. Part of that is choosing rules that refer to elements you already have down on your paper.

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Re: Grouping Games In/Out... tips?

Postby SanDiegoJake » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:19 pm

What system are you currently using? That would help me understand where you're getting bogged down and how I can properly advise you.

A couple of quick tips: 1) With all due respect to Noah and the smart folks at Manhattan, I recommend against linking the conditional clues together. Just leave those clues alone and check every one, every time. I just find linking them together to be a bit redundant and time-sucking unless you can link them all together in one giant conditional chain, which isn't always the case.

2) Embrace the power of placeholders. If rules are such that of A and B, one must be "in" and the other "out", mark A/B as a placeholder in your master diagram, holding one A/B place in the "in" and another in the "out". This will help you see when a column is "full", generally forcing the rest of the elements into place. The power of placeholders is not limited to this case. Let's say that you have 3 spaces left to fill with items A,B, and C. 2 need to go in the "in" column and 1 in the "out". And you have a clue that says, "If A is in, B is out". This clue is obviously not the same as the above "1 in, 1 out" scenario, as they could both be out. But in the 3-spaces-left-to-fill situation, at least one of A and B has to be in, so you can use the placeholders to realize that one of A/B is in, the other is out, and, the payoff, that C MUST be in.

So what's your strategy for these kinds of games? What's giving you trouble? Are you linking conditionals? Are you using placeholders?

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Re: Grouping Games In/Out... tips?

Postby buddyt » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:22 pm

These are by far the easiest games in my opinion, and that coming from someone who averages about -4 on LG (but almost always -0 on in/out).

Just write out the rules as conditionals, and then their contrapositives right under them. Don't link them. Keep in mind rules like A -> ~B (can have either/or, not both) and ~A -> B (must have one or both). If they give you a starting letter (if A is selected) just write an A next to the question and punch through the rules, writing down the letters of things necessarily selected, and writing down the letters of things necessarily not selected with a slash through them. The answer to "If A is selected"-type questions are usually just one or two steps through the rules away.

Things get kinda hairy if there must be a fixed number selected, or on "could be true" questions, because sometimes you feel like you have to just guess at what other letters might be selected, but if you have the rules clearly listed out you can cycle through the letters pretty quickly, avoiding any that would break rules of things already selected or not selected.

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Re: Grouping Games In/Out... tips?

Postby caminante » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:23 am

Thanks everyone.

I do write out all of the rules and contrapositives and I link the ones that I can. However, I find that normally there are some inferences that I am missing.

I think I'll try to spend a little more time with thinking through a couple hypotheticals before going into the questions and see how that works.

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