## ordering of logic games

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
ebb44

Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:51 pm

### ordering of logic games

Do you guys think it's important to develop a strategy to attack the logic games in an order different from how they're presented? So far I've been doing the games with the most questions first. I feel like this gives me a slight advantage if I run out of time on the last section. Any other ideas?

sbaron

Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:00 pm

### Re: ordering of logic games

I was pondering the same thing this morning.

The most difficult questions seem to come 3rd or 4th. I've contemplated attacking these ones first.

Yet to try it on an actual pt though.

gaud

Posts: 5765
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

### Re: ordering of logic games

For the most part I would attack games in the order that they were given.

If this is not something you are able to do quite yet then I would work on the easier games first. No sense in losing points that you can certainly get by spending all your precious time on a more difficult game.

Make sure you review your games properly by re-doing them at least a couple of times. Don't just do them three times in a row, wait a couple of days until you attack them again. Try and diagram differently, attack in a different order, anything you think may help you improve your skills. I would always see if I could attack the game by using a different diagram and see if it was more efficient than the first time around.

Mr.Binks

Posts: 574
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:49 pm

### Re: ordering of logic games

gaud wrote:. Try and diagram differently, attack in a different order, anything you think may help you improve your skills. I would always see if I could attack the game by using a different diagram and see if it was more efficient than the first time around.

This is very interesting. I actually have never tried this. In fact, I'm not entirely sure how to review games after I take PTs and such.

gaud

Posts: 5765
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

### Re: ordering of logic games

Mr.Binks wrote:
gaud wrote:. Try and diagram differently, attack in a different order, anything you think may help you improve your skills. I would always see if I could attack the game by using a different diagram and see if it was more efficient than the first time around.

This is very interesting. I actually have never tried this. In fact, I'm not entirely sure how to review games after I take PTs and such.

PM'd

SanDiegoJake

Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:17 pm

### Re: ordering of logic games

If you're doing all 4 games, it matters much less what order you do them in. (I know, I know. I'm on TLS and everyone's doing all 4 games.)

Still, I try to do the 2 easier games first (total time spent: 14 mins max) and then the 2 harder games (total time spent 19 minutes max.) With 2 minutes dedicated to ranking the games.

It just makes me feel better to know that halfway through the time allotted, I'm usually more than halfway done. Of course, it also precludes the ultimate tragedy of getting stuck on a game and somehow not getting to the last game, which turns out to be easy. So how do I go about ranking them? To quote a previous post of mine on the topic: Like this, in this order.

1) Relationships of elements to spaces: If you have 5 clowns getting out of a car in order, that's a 1-1 correspondence of elements to spaces. Easy. If you have 4 doctors, 4 nurses, and 4 benches, with 1 doc and 1 nurse on each bench - no doctor or nurse used more than once, that's a 2-1 correspondence. Easy. If you have 7 spaces for 5 elements, with certain of the elements used more than once (but you don't know which ones), it's harder. This relationship of elements to spaces is the single best measure of game difficulty.

2) Clues - Familiar and easy to symbolize = easy. Unfamiliar or difficult to symbolize = Harder

3) Elements - Single characteristics (5 clowns) = easy. Multiple characteristics (7 lizards; some male, some female; some green, some white) = Harder

4) Questions - Specific (ones that start with "if") = easy. Complex (rule substitution, maximum/minimum) = harder.

Good luck!

ebb44

Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:51 pm

### Re: ordering of logic games

Thanks for detailed response, SanDiegoJake. You said that you spent 2 minutes ranking the games. What exactly are you doing in those 2 minutes? It seems like a lot of time that you could be using towards answering questions.

Manhattan LSAT Noah

Posts: 744
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:43 am

### Re: ordering of logic games

While Sandiego Jake explain his strategy - which seems interesting - I'll say what I do and teach.

I don't reorder games, nor questions, and I only have weaker students explore this.

For stronger LG students, all 4 games is a standard, and I think that you should be able to prioritize things on the fly. If a game or question is killing you, you need to know to move on, letting a question go, or, if after the first/second question you know you're missing how the game works, move onto the next game. But, having to skip a game should rarely/never happen, so I don't set up a strategy to avoid that.

That said, I don't think reordering a problematic strategy, but I don't see it as something that the 165+ crowd needs to do.

flem

Posts: 12882
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm

### Re: ordering of logic games

I always did them in the order of what I thought to be easiest to hardest on the fly. If there's a basic linear game in there, you can bet your sweet ass I'm knocking that one out first.

So much of the test is about confidence. If the first game appears difficult, I'm going to skip it and come back to it. It's not like they're doing you any favors by ordering them the way they do.

SanDiegoJake

Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:17 pm

### Re: ordering of logic games

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:While Sandiego Jake explain his strategy - which seems interesting - I'll say what I do and teach.

I don't reorder games, nor questions, and I only have weaker students explore this.

For stronger LG students, all 4 games is a standard, and I think that you should be able to prioritize things on the fly. If a game or question is killing you, you need to know to move on, letting a question go, or, if after the first/second question you know you're missing how the game works, move onto the next game. But, having to skip a game should rarely/never happen, so I don't set up a strategy to avoid that.

That said, I don't think reordering a problematic strategy, but I don't see it as something that the 165+ crowd needs to do.

I partly agree with Noah here. If you're trying to complete all 4 games, then there's less (and relatively little) value in ranking the games. There are, however, people reading this board who should not be attempting all 4 games under timed conditions at this particular point in their preparation. Those are people who are currently scoring under 70% on timed Games sections, who would definitely see value if they skipped one game entirely, and did the other 3 games more slowly and carefully, making certain to get every question right. Unlike the arguments and reading comp, the games section is 100% verifiable. This approach would equate to roughly 75%, which would be an improvement. Once you can do that, then you can shoot to get them right faster giving you time to attempt the 4th game with the same care and attention necessary to getting every question right 100% of the time, every time.

However, I have found doing the questions in my own order to be helpful and time-saving. First, I knock out the "grab-a-rule" question if there is one. If it's there, it's usually the first question in a game and asks "which of the following is an acceptable..." Just go through the clues, one by one, and knock out the offending answers. Last choice standing is the winner. (Thr truth is, I actually knock out this question as I'm reading the clues for the first time. The first place my eye goes when I first look at a new game, is whether this game features this gimme grab-a-rule question. I love it when I see one. Free point.)

Next, knock out the "if" questions. These questions allow you to see what a few hypothetical situations look like (and get questions done while doing it). Then, knock out the "which" questions. Certainly, there are "which" questions that you could have answered before the "if"s. But sometimes, answers to questions such as "which of the following could be true?" are only obvious when you've proven that they could be true in previous hyopthetical situations. Finally, save the weird ones (anything that doesn't start with "if" or "which") for last. By this point, you're more familiar with the game and you can handle curveballs easier.

As far as how I rank the games, i.e. what I spend the first two minutes of a games section doing, is looking at one main thing, and three lesser things. I'm not so much ranking them in order as identifying the two that are easier and the two that are harder. I do the two easiest first. The main thing I'm looking at is the distrubution of elements to spaces. A fixed distribution is easier than a variable distribution pretty much every time. "Fixed" is stuff like "8 clowns get out of car in order" or "There are 4 soups, four salads and four plates. One soup and one salad per plate." You know exactly how the various elements are distributed. "Variable" is stuff like "3 clowns appear on 5 days in a week". But you're not told how many times each clown may appear. So you don't know exactly how the elements are to be distributed. (Here's a bonus tip. If you are not told how the elements are to be distributed, then the first thing you should figure out to complete the game are the possible distributions.) Clearly, I often have to read the set-up and the clues to figure this out. But at this point, I have an initial ranking of the games.

After that main decision, I look at 3 factors that might swing my initial ranking. First, I look at the number of charateristics associated with each element. The fewer the better. 8 clowns is easy. 8 clowns; 5 male, 3 female is harder. 8 clowns; 5 male 3 female; 6 happy, 2 sad may make me swing my ranking to harder.
I also look at the clues themselves. They're either easy to deal with or hard to deal with, for whatever reason (don't understand, can't symbolize, etc...). If they're really easy, it may swing a ranking lower. Last, I look at the questions themselves. If they're relatively quick, easy questions (Grab-a-rule, "if"s) I like it and it may swing a ranking easier, but if they're longer/harder (minimum/maximum, "Suppose that we change a rule..."), the opposite.

Yes, this requires scanning the set-up, clues, and questions for these factors in 30 seconds per game. It's doable with practice.

I agree with Noah that the 165+ crowd probably doesn't need to this. I'm just saying I think this way could be faster.

MLBrandow

Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

### Re: ordering of logic games

ebb44 wrote:Do you guys think it's important to develop a strategy to attack the logic games in an order different from how they're presented? So far I've been doing the games with the most questions first. I feel like this gives me a slight advantage if I run out of time on the last section. Any other ideas?

ebb44,

I think your goal (and for everyone who wants 160+, really) should be perfecting the games, and with that in mind, there's no reason to ever have this in consideration. As Noah pointed out, damage mitigation and time optimization are your main concerns.

I routinely finish most game sections in 20-30 minutes, and usually average 0-1 questions missed. Here's my general method of attack for basically every game:

Write the variables at the top as I read them, then compose a diagram as I read the information. For many games (and especially grouping) there are multiple workable diagrams. Be confident in picking one and stick with it.

Write the rules as you read each one. Make sure to account for ANY rule that is in the initial paragraph, and also note any rule that can't be easily diagrammed. I star these and try to internalize them.

Attack the questions as a single group. The more time you spend on a game, the more likely you are to begin jumbling or forgetting rules, which will cause a snowball effect. Don't rush, but don't lollygag around either. For any question I get to, if I can't melt all the wrong answer choices, or I can only eliminate a couple, I MOVE ON without answering the question. I can't stress how much time this will save you. There are so many games where an answer to a question makes another question a freebie, and they are generally out of order. Use answers to questions to help you eliminate other answer choices for different questions.

See all the questions together as something like one big puzzle. Generally, you want to have every question answered before moving on to the next game, but within the game itself, I answer the questions in really any order at all. If you encounter some difficult global question (must be true, cannot be true, etc) and you can't eliminate more than one or two answer choices easily, just skip it and go back after you've answered the other easier questions. In short, don't attempt to brute force a question (multiple hypotheticals) unless you have to.

Also, and this has helped me a lot since I started doing it, circle any initial conditions in a hypothetical diagram. What I mean is, suppose you encounter a question that says "If A is third, then which of the following could be true?" A question like this typically requires a hypothetical diagram. When you construct this diagram, in order for it to not lure you into trap answers for other questions and remain useful as a "possible" diagram, try circling the "A" variable. Perhaps the diagram is completely determined when A is 3rd, but without noting it in some way, it just becomes a single possibility, and you may not recall if it was A3 or B4 or F1 or some combination thereof that caused this to happen.

The bottom line is, when you attack a game, don't be afraid to move on from question to question without an answer. Do the questions in order, but any question that isn't readily apparent, just skip it until you have clearer insights for the game.

Lastly, if you are having difficulty with finishing games sections in 35 minutes, your issue is NOT timing. In fact, you shouldn't be doing sections AT ALL. If some particular type of game is causing you a slow down, then you need to take that game apart, find the optimal method of attack, and drill seventeen games just like it until it's just another one to mow down.

There are so many little tips and tricks to pick up on and master when doing games, and only by doing all of the games are you going to be able to see the scant situations where some seemingly good method is either rock solid or has holes in it.

Also, if you're looking for a few games that might especially offer some nuggets of insight, here are a few I recommend doing:

PT 08 Game 1
PT 16 Game 2
PT 18 Game 2
PT 18 Game 4
PT 23 Game 2
PT 26 Game 4
PT 27 Game 2
PT 30 Game 3
PT 33 Game 2
PT 34 Game 4
PT 35 Game 4
PT 36 Game 3

Good luck!

larsoner

Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:33 am

### Re: ordering of logic games

Its going to depend on your particular test taking style. For me, logic games was all about understanding the set up, which took awhile, but then answering the actual questions went pretty quickly. I found that trying to find the easiest games first just wasted time, as I would have to learn the game to determine its difficulty and then relearn it when I came back to it. That being said, I'm sure there are people who benefited from doing the games in a different order. I would try both in practice and see what works for you.

Edit: I did however do the questions within a game out of order as earlier posters have suggested.