## Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

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

Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:03 pm

### Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

Can you elaborate on where you began and how you honed your analytical reasoning skills to their current prowess? As well as anything that you think would be helpful, like what the distribution of your time looks like.

Gracias mis colegas.

srfngdd6

Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:08 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

i started at getting maybe 6-7 games questions right and ended up getting all of them right on my lsat...i took testmasters which really helped but continuing to practice them and understanding why deductions can be made are key to succeeding on the section

chem

Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:14 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

I played all four professor layton games, without using the hints

fashiongirl

Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:30 am

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

Just keep doing them over and over. I started off with LG as my worst section - getting about 6 questions right and then now I consistently get -1 or -0. It's all about repetition and doing as many as you can. I used Blueprint's method but I'd say it's all about getting comfortable with each type of game and timing.

vdog

Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:29 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

I use an unconventional approach to diagramming that relies on seeing the big picture and how certain groups of variables move around each other, rather than list static model with rules on the side (which is the Bible way). Seeing the big picture beforehand reduces the time dramatically. Works with 80% of the games given for me, and I finish those in about 5-6 minutes. Some harder-to-diagram ones take me 8-10 minutes.

So I diagram the first minute-and-a-half, answer the first question through elimination of answers in about thirty seconds, then just bomb out the rest. It's really easy to see secondary restrictions and conditional restrictions with my method.

t14fanboy

Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

chem wrote:I played all four professor layton games, without using the hints

Those games are awesome. <3

caminante

Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:59 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

Practice Practice Practice...

I started out pretty horribly on games and ended up practicing near perfect all the time.

If one method of diagramming isn't working for you, try another. You have to find what makes sense for the way your brain works.

My distribution of timing normally went something like 6-7-10-10

Sherlock1708

Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:43 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

The first thing I do is to write out all of the rules. Suppose one rule is "If A, then B". I would go another step further and also write out "If not B, then not A" Try to figure out inferences by interpreting the rules and/or combining rules.

Second, when I start to work a problem, I always diagram. This helps because you can re-use your work when trying to solve later problems. If I couldn't figure out an answer right away, I would move on. By working the other questions, I was usually able to figure out the missing answer because I was more familiar with the game and I didn't waste time dwelling on the question that was stumping me. I also found that most of the questions within a game played off each other and you can eliminate answers just by referring to previous work.

When I first started studying games, I took as much time as I needed to complete the game. Just like when you're learning a certain math concept, you take your time to fully understand the math. Once you have mastered your understanding of the concept, then you can work on speed. Accuracy is the first goal, then speed. You need to understand why and how the rules work together. Once you get the overall picture, you can increase your speed. I definitely think that, with practice, everyone can eventually get a perfect score on the games. If you get a series of questions in a particular game wrong, go back and figure out why you chose the wrong answers. You probably missed a key inference or misread one of the rules. Take your time to rework the game.

kaiser

Posts: 2878
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

LexLeon wrote:Can you elaborate on where you began and how you honed your analytical reasoning skills to their current prowess? As well as anything that you think would be helpful, like what the distribution of your time looks like.

Gracias mis colegas.

I started off pretty poorly on games, since I didn't know the little tricks of each game type. Once you do enough of them, you see that there are patterns, and many consistent things form one test to the next. I recorded my time each time I did a game, so when I repeated a game a month or 2 later, I would see how much my time increased. Sure, a bit of that might be due to memory, but much of it came from knowing the tricks. Here are some useful tips I began incorporating that allowed me to go from getting half the Q's wrong to getting every single one right on my last 10 practice tests, along with the actual test:

-Spend some extra time diagramming. If you rush through your diagram, you will miss key inferences that would simplify and expedite the whole game. So by investing an extra 30 seconds on the diagram, you may save multiple minutes of frustration answering the Q's. Almost every game has 1 or 2 key inferences that change the whole thing from difficult to easy (or at least manageable). While you never want to waste time, don't rush through the diagramming.

-List out all the factors in a block format, so you can keep easy tabs on them. This is a small tip in the grand scheme, but perhaps it saved me a few seconds here and there, and I'm sure these invaluable seconds added up. In many games, you have a list of 8 or so factors, so when you are doing hypos, you have to make sure all factors are taken into account. Thus, you will inevitably end up looking up at your factor "bank" to ensure that you have everything there. I realized that putting all factors in a straight line makes it so my eyes had to wander back and forth, left and right, to note all the factors. So then I started to write the letters in more of a rectangle or block form (i.e. I wrote out the factors in 2 rows of 4). This made it so I could see all the factors at once, and my eyes didn't have to search along a wide line to find all the letters/numbers. Again, minor thing, but I'm not so sure anything is minor on the LSAT, when every second counts

-Make sure you know what the Q is asking. This seems obvious, but people lose sight of the goal when they get nervous and are rushing. You want to stop for a second, and rephrase the Q in your mind, as to ensure you know exactly what you are looking for. If the Q says "Which of the following could be false", I read those words, but I rephrase them in my head just to make sure what I'm doing "So, I'm looking for the one that isn't necessarily true" (which is just another way of saying "could be false"). I made a consistent habit on the LSAT of "translating" the words on the page into terms that made the most sense to me. If your phrasing is the logical equivalent, and makes the Q make more sense, then go with it. And keep telling yourself what you are looking for when assessing any given answer choice. I can't tell you how many times my students get down to 2 answers, and then pick the wrong one simply because they forgot exactly what they are looking for.

-The last Q of any given game is usually created to kill your progress and slow you down. You will often find that last Q to be harder than the others, or at least more time-consuming. This is no coincidence. Thus, don't let this one Q ruin your progress, and don't spend an exorbitant amount of time on these final Q's. Remember that the final Q on any game is worth the same as the first Q on the next game. If you feel like those final Q's are taking you too long, skip them and come back to them later once you have ensured that you have knocked off all the easier ones and at least gotten to every game.

LexLeon

Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:03 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

chem wrote:I played all four professor layton games, without using the hints

Really?

chem

Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:14 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

LexLeon wrote:
chem wrote:I played all four professor layton games, without using the hints

Really?

Not even joking. There are some diagramming questions, logic reasoning questions. The only thing thats missing really is reading comprehension. Plus its fun

LexLeon

Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:03 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

Sherlock1708 wrote:The first thing I do is to write out all of the rules. Suppose one rule is "If A, then B". I would go another step further and also write out "If not B, then not A" Try to figure out inferences by interpreting the rules and/or combining rules.

Second, when I start to work a problem, I always diagram. This helps because you can re-use your work when trying to solve later problems. If I couldn't figure out an answer right away, I would move on. By working the other questions, I was usually able to figure out the missing answer because I was more familiar with the game and I didn't waste time dwelling on the question that was stumping me. I also found that most of the questions within a game played off each other and you can eliminate answers just by referring to previous work.

When I first started studying games, I took as much time as I needed to complete the game. Just like when you're learning a certain math concept, you take your time to fully understand the math. Once you have mastered your understanding of the concept, then you can work on speed. Accuracy is the first goal, then speed. You need to understand why and how the rules work together. Once you get the overall picture, you can increase your speed. I definitely think that, with practice, everyone can eventually get a perfect score on the games. If you get a series of questions in a particular game wrong, go back and figure out why you chose the wrong answers. You probably missed a key inference or misread one of the rules. Take your time to rework the game.

LexLeon

Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:03 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

kaiser wrote:
LexLeon wrote:Can you elaborate on where you began and how you honed your analytical reasoning skills to their current prowess? As well as anything that you think would be helpful, like what the distribution of your time looks like.

Gracias mis colegas.

I started off pretty poorly on games, since I didn't know the little tricks of each game type. Once you do enough of them, you see that there are patterns, and many consistent things form one test to the next. I recorded my time each time I did a game, so when I repeated a game a month or 2 later, I would see how much my time increased. Sure, a bit of that might be due to memory, but much of it came from knowing the tricks. Here are some useful tips I began incorporating that allowed me to go from getting half the Q's wrong to getting every single one right on my last 10 practice tests, along with the actual test:

-Spend some extra time diagramming. If you rush through your diagram, you will miss key inferences that would simplify and expedite the whole game. So by investing an extra 30 seconds on the diagram, you may save multiple minutes of frustration answering the Q's. Almost every game has 1 or 2 key inferences that change the whole thing from difficult to easy (or at least manageable). While you never want to waste time, don't rush through the diagramming.

-List out all the factors in a block format, so you can keep easy tabs on them. This is a small tip in the grand scheme, but perhaps it saved me a few seconds here and there, and I'm sure these invaluable seconds added up. In many games, you have a list of 8 or so factors, so when you are doing hypos, you have to make sure all factors are taken into account. Thus, you will inevitably end up looking up at your factor "bank" to ensure that you have everything there. I realized that putting all factors in a straight line makes it so my eyes had to wander back and forth, left and right, to note all the factors. So then I started to write the letters in more of a rectangle or block form (i.e. I wrote out the factors in 2 rows of 4). This made it so I could see all the factors at once, and my eyes didn't have to search along a wide line to find all the letters/numbers. Again, minor thing, but I'm not so sure anything is minor on the LSAT, when every second counts

-Make sure you know what the Q is asking. This seems obvious, but people lose sight of the goal when they get nervous and are rushing. You want to stop for a second, and rephrase the Q in your mind, as to ensure you know exactly what you are looking for. If the Q says "Which of the following could be false", I read those words, but I rephrase them in my head just to make sure what I'm doing "So, I'm looking for the one that isn't necessarily true" (which is just another way of saying "could be false"). I made a consistent habit on the LSAT of "translating" the words on the page into terms that made the most sense to me. If your phrasing is the logical equivalent, and makes the Q make more sense, then go with it. And keep telling yourself what you are looking for when assessing any given answer choice. I can't tell you how many times my students get down to 2 answers, and then pick the wrong one simply because they forgot exactly what they are looking for.

-The last Q of any given game is usually created to kill your progress and slow you down. You will often find that last Q to be harder than the others, or at least more time-consuming. This is no coincidence. Thus, don't let this one Q ruin your progress, and don't spend an exorbitant amount of time on these final Q's. Remember that the final Q on any game is worth the same as the first Q on the next game. If you feel like those final Q's are taking you too long, skip them and come back to them later once you have ensured that you have knocked off all the easier ones and at least gotten to every game.

There's a lot of valuable information in your post.

Listing the factors in a block form makes sense; and I will certainly try it.

AEIOU

Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:27 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

vdog wrote:I use an unconventional approach to diagramming that relies on seeing the big picture and how certain groups of variables move around each other, rather than list static model with rules on the side (which is the Bible way). Seeing the big picture beforehand reduces the time dramatically. Works with 80% of the games given for me, and I finish those in about 5-6 minutes. Some harder-to-diagram ones take me 8-10 minutes.

So I diagram the first minute-and-a-half, answer the first question through elimination of answers in about thirty seconds, then just bomb out the rest. It's really easy to see secondary restrictions and conditional restrictions with my method.

Sounds like a winner. Care to elaborate?

DaftAndDirect

Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:28 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

The Powerscore LG Bible gives an amazing foundation. No matter what else you tack on to your study plan, I think including this book as a bare minimum requirement to your studies.

On the less technical side, I think it's important to practice being as neat and organized as possible w/ your diagramming.

Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:52 pm

### Re: Shed some light, please, those of you with perfect Games

LexLeon wrote:Can you elaborate on where you began and how you honed your analytical reasoning skills to their current prowess? As well as anything that you think would be helpful, like what the distribution of your time looks like.

Gracias mis colegas.

Get the games by type sold by tracia (or something like that) for tests 1 through 40. They break it down to Linear, Grouping, Hybrid, and some other games. Within Linear, you get Ordering, Assignment, Stacked, and another. Within Grouping, you get it broken down by Selection, Division and Matching. The other categories are broken down too.

All you do is practice, practice, practice. After finishing each category, you really get a sense of what each type of game is getting after. The Linear games are usually so confined that you can get two or three possibilities only and just dominate the game with little thinking. If not 2 or 3 possibilities, they give you enough info that answering questions does not require them to start the Q's with, "If so and so is 4th during monday morning..." They just say, "What could be?"

The Grouping games are a lot more vague. While you should have spend a bit more time on diagramming in Linear games, don't spend too much time on diagramming in Grouping games. Do a general sketch and move on to the questions. Why? Because grouping rules rarely if ever give you 2 or 3 possibilities. They're so vague, that nearly EVERY question in these will start with, "If so and so is in group 1 and so and so is in group 2," then all you do is diagram THAT and then APPLY what you just diagrammed to the rules. In every one of those questions, the first so and so and the second so and so, simply by being in group 1 and group 2, respectively, will cause other people to be FORCED into certain groups because of the rules. Then the question will ask, "Who must be in group 1" and it's usually the guy who was forced there because the second so and so was in group 2.

But, generally, here are some rules!

1. DO NOT write down several hypotheticals when diagramming, UNLESS it's a simple linear game that has 2 or 3 possibilities only and you can write those out quickly. Doing random hypotheticals wastes time and it isn't guarenteed that any one of them will aswer the questions. You could spend 4 to 5 minutes on hypotheticals and realize that the questions were leading you completely to another direction and you wasted all that time.

2. MEMORIZE or LEARN how to identify games. When you read the stimulus, read it completely once. When you finish, you should know exactly what type of game it is (i.e. Linear Ordering game, Grouping Selection, etc). By knowing the game type, you automatically know from your practice what to expect (i.e. type of questions, what it stresses on like inferences or just rule application, etc).

3. DO NOT spend too much time writing out inferences ATTAINED FROM ONE RULE. This seems counterproductive. But, you should already know certain inferences when considering one rule at a time. For example, if the rule says, "If P then Q," you should know and have a natural gut feeling that if no Q then no P. You shouln't need to write this down and waste time since it is ALREADY written within "if P then Q," meaning that you should see both the original rule and the contrapositive within it in one writing. BUT, if it's an inference from more than one rule or combination, then write it down. For example, if it says, "F and G are always together" and later "F cannot be with X," then you should, when writing this rule, combine them into one infered rule, which would be "[FG]/X" Here you easily see both that F and G are together AND that BOTH F and G cannot be with X.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice. By the time you finish all the games from tests 1 through 40, you should be able to know what game type you're facing, what to expect, how much and how to diagram, and how to attack it.

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