How to study for games

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flem
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How to study for games

Postby flem » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:22 pm

I'm retaking a final time in October. My practice tests ranged from low to mid 160's on up to 170ish without a ton of consistency.

I typically miss 0 or -1 on reading comprehension and anywhere from 0 to -4 on logical reasoning. I could miss -5 or -15 on the games section, depending on the problems.

I really think I have a legit chance to score very highly as I know that games are the most learnable section and I have 5 months to prepare. I've got the powerscore bible and I found it helpful. What should I be doing to crush the games section?

I'm sure this has been answered before but I was wondering if anyone had specific advice for a situation that is somewhat unique in terms of test familiarity and one super weak section when everything else is pretty strong.

Thank you in advance.

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jbates14
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Re: How to study for games

Postby jbates14 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:25 pm

drill one type of game at time, review your mistakes, you are lucky that games is holding you back because it is very learnable

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flem
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Re: How to study for games

Postby flem » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:51 pm

jbates14 wrote:drill one type of game at time, review your mistakes, you are lucky that games is holding you back because it is very learnable


Thanks.

I think I have two problems with games. One is that I have trouble spotting inferences, and two is that I sometimes waste time instead of just using a brute force method.

I really want to go for perfect this time. I was so misinformed when I took the test before. I sold myself short by going "I just want to go to X school so I only need to get Y score", which is retarded.

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gaud
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Re: How to study for games

Postby gaud » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:57 pm

do each game about 3 times. when you redo them, diagram differently and see if you can create a more efficient way.

you'll notice that the game section is VERY repetitive and you should use it to your advantage. create a style of attack that works for each type of game (ordering, grouping).. something that's easy for you.

check here when you have trouble with a game, it'll most likely be there, and also adapt your style if you see something in the diagramming that worked better than how you did it :

http://www.manhattanlsat.com/lsat-test-explanations.cfm

EDIT: I'll send you a PM, too

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Clearly
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Re: How to study for games

Postby Clearly » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:01 am

The single most important technique for improving your game score is keeping your prior work more organized. You undoubtedly are able to solve each game a handful of different ways, and often do. Someone who finishes games with time to spare does so because s/he uses what she does know more efficiently. Make an organized and expandable list of solutions and diagram strictly in this box. Answer any question starting with "If..." first, excluding rule change questions which should be done last. Your IF questions will give you a handful of different valid organized solutions to reference, as well as really reinforce the spacial aspect of the rules in your mind. I promise you 95% of the time you will get at least one question that you can solve completely off of your organized solutions. If you have done the IF questions stacked nicely and realize that S is in slot two every time, when you get to "Which one of the following must be true" you will be in much better shape then having little sketches everywhere. Likewise if you have 5 different diagrams that have P T F G in slot three, and the question asks which of the following can never be in slot three, you just solved that question in about 2 seconds. There's no feeling like realizing your fourth game is a toughie, then glancing at your watch and realizing you have 13 minutes to work it out because you were so efficient in the prior three games.

Break questions up into type, and drill the hell out of them. Stay organized and really work on efficiency in thinking and diagramming, not understanding all possible permutations. If you have the money perhaps registering for a service like Velocity LSAT's logic games section might help you. I'm not one for promoting anyone, but it helped me a great deal.

I was in much the same boat. -1 per LR, -2;-3 RC -8;10 games. My Feb LSAT was a 164, I only did 3 of the games because I sucked at them. My last practice test I went -1LR -1RC -4LG -2LR for a 172. AND I still messed up one of the games as I got 3 of those 4 wrong in it. I'm still working on LG because it's my weakest link, but I'm usually around -2 these days. Logic games ARE learn-able if you put in the time. Keep up the good work and you'll get there.

83947368
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Re: How to study for games

Postby 83947368 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:20 am

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Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: How to study for games

Postby Clearly » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:25 am

In regards to drilling specifically, I personally prefer two methods. I like to drill individual games with 8 minutes on the clock, and sections obviously with 35 min on the clock. I like to incorporate the first method as a means of not allowing myself to compensate for a hard game with an easy game. There's always a game or two I finish in 4-5 minutes, so I usually have extra time later, but I don't want to come to rely on this, so I break them into 8 minute chunks, which leaves 45 seconds for bubbling and turning pages and such.

I don't believe in untimed practice for logic games. Maybe VERY early on when you have no understanding, but the games section is about efficiency and maintaining an idea of how things fit together. I fear taking the clock out of the equation leads people to practice inefficient techniques such as plugging in many answers to test them. Anyone could do games untimed, just chart all possible permutations, obviously this wouldn't fly in 8 minutes. If I'm still drilling a game with efficient techniques when the clock hits 0 I make educated guesses just as I would on the test, then I continue working through to solve for the correct answers past the clock, but I always get my first choices in within 8 minutes to see if I had enough of an understanding to at least guess the last few correctly.

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gaud
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Re: How to study for games

Postby gaud » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:30 am

Clearlynotstefan - Your advice is legit, man. Kudos.

(I'm being serious)

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Br3v
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Re: How to study for games

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:57 am

I am improving on my game times, though the harder games I often come in around 9-12 mins, clearly too high. Surprisingly during my PTs I have only ran out of time on LG once but I think I have just been getting lucky with quicker games though I know i do hurry up a little more than individual drilling.
My problem is I am afraid to not check all the answers even when I'm fairly confident I have the correct one. Of course sometimes I don't, but how often do you guys not run through all the answers? I feel I do about 75% of the time but I feel on test day I will be more tempted to check all the other choices (within reason, as in ignoring choices that break basic rules)

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Clearly
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Re: How to study for games

Postby Clearly » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:35 am

Checking an answer or two won't kill you if you have a hunch on a choice it could even save time. The key is pattern recognition and developing a system that makes inferences easier, plugging in several answers is bad form and usually means you dont have a good grasp of the game or aren't making use of prior work. Not always, as I said sometimes its helpful

Making the connection mentally of how things fit together is just as good as checking every answer and is much faster. Develop techniques that tell you where things have to be be, for instance when diagramming a sequencing game I use marks to tell me which players can be first and last
*H G*
>-L-P-J-<
*M K*

Those marks tell me either H or M is first and G or K is last. aside from just knowing the rough order of things we now have a visual representation of something that must be true. Very often a question will say "if G is second..." Right away I know g is second and K is last.

Obviously this is a common demonstration, nothing groundbreaking, just providing an example of how developing a clear system means less testing things out.

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annet
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Re: How to study for games

Postby annet » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:46 am

I'm studying for Oct. too, still in the "learning the test" phase. There is some really solid advice in the big June thread.

MLBrandow has a great post on games on this page:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=168498&start=1150

I'm going to try and incorporate some of it as well as Clearlynotstefan's advice on keeping solutions organized/question order when I drill this weekend. The LGB is so fixated on finding all of the inferences first and then attacking the game and that's been throwing me, especially time-wise. I'm also really looking forward to starting the Velocity game section, although I have family stuff going on this weekend so that might have to hold until next week.

83947368
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Re: How to study for games

Postby 83947368 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:04 am

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Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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flem
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Re: How to study for games

Postby flem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:07 am

Great advice all, thanks.

Clearlynotstefan wrote:Checking an answer or two won't kill you if you have a hunch on a choice it could even save time. The key is pattern recognition and developing a system that makes inferences easier, plugging in several answers is bad form and usually means you dont have a good grasp of the game or aren't making use of prior work. Not always, as I said sometimes its helpful

Making the connection mentally of how things fit together is just as good as checking every answer and is much faster. Develop techniques that tell you where things have to be be, for instance when diagramming a sequencing game I use marks to tell me which players can be first and last
*H G*
>-L-P-J-<
*M K*

Those marks tell me either H or M is first and G or K is last. aside from just knowing the rough order of things we now have a visual representation of something that must be true. Very often a question will say "if G is second..." Right away I know g is second and K is last.

Obviously this is a common demonstration, nothing groundbreaking, just providing an example of how developing a clear system means less testing things out.


Don't the newer (post 07ish) games rely more on a "brute force" technique than discovering one giant inference?

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Br3v
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Re: How to study for games

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:25 pm

flem wrote:Great advice all, thanks.

Clearlynotstefan wrote:Checking an answer or two won't kill you if you have a hunch on a choice it could even save time. The key is pattern recognition and developing a system that makes inferences easier, plugging in several answers is bad form and usually means you dont have a good grasp of the game or aren't making use of prior work. Not always, as I said sometimes its helpful

Making the connection mentally of how things fit together is just as good as checking every answer and is much faster. Develop techniques that tell you where things have to be be, for instance when diagramming a sequencing game I use marks to tell me which players can be first and last
*H G*
>-L-P-J-<
*M K*

Those marks tell me either H or M is first and G or K is last. aside from just knowing the rough order of things we now have a visual representation of something that must be true. Very often a question will say "if G is second..." Right away I know g is second and K is last.

Obviously this is a common demonstration, nothing groundbreaking, just providing an example of how developing a clear system means less testing things out.


Don't the newer (post 07ish) games rely more on a "brute force" technique than discovering one giant inference?


I've never heard this, interested in see what the consensus is

framboozer
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Re: How to study for games

Postby framboozer » Wed May 23, 2012 9:17 pm

Tag.

Even though it's an old thread, I'm curious as to the consensus on post 2007 games also.

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flem
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Re: How to study for games

Postby flem » Thu May 24, 2012 8:36 am

FWIW, I'm working through the PowerScore bible piece by piece and doing every drill and every game and all that shit and I'm noticing a definite improvement. You know, if anyone cares.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: How to study for games

Postby shifty_eyed » Thu May 24, 2012 9:03 am

flem wrote:FWIW, I'm working through the PowerScore bible piece by piece and doing every drill and every game and all that shit and I'm noticing a definite improvement. You know, if anyone cares.


I think my problem is that I just read through the PS bible's information, and did the games/drills, but I never really focused on their explanations for the games/their set up. I figured as long as I understood the basics, I could use my own set up if it worked for me. I'm still not where I want to be, so I think a reread is in order.

Image

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flem
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Re: How to study for games

Postby flem » Thu May 24, 2012 9:07 am

shifty_eyed wrote:
I think my problem is that I just read through the PS bible's information, and did the games/drills, but I never really focused on their explanations for the games/their set up. I figured as long as I understood the basics, I could use my own set up if it worked for me. I'm still not where I want to be, so I think a reread is in order.

[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xh4PxJO3QZc/TjBJtghyQII/AAAAAAAABS8/Uvrt_pBEKHo/rhony-reu-kel1.gif[img]


I think the explanations are crucial to pick up on things you should always be looking for that are helpful. For instance, explanations focusing on points of restriction with variables and negative grouping rules, which are things I never paid close attention to.

mmm2602
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Re: How to study for games

Postby mmm2602 » Thu May 24, 2012 12:35 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:In regards to drilling specifically, I personally prefer two methods. I like to drill individual games with 8 minutes on the clock, and sections obviously with 35 min on the clock. I like to incorporate the first method as a means of not allowing myself to compensate for a hard game with an easy game. There's always a game or two I finish in 4-5 minutes, so I usually have extra time later, but I don't want to come to rely on this, so I break them into 8 minute chunks, which leaves 45 seconds for bubbling and turning pages and such.

I don't believe in untimed practice for logic games. Maybe VERY early on when you have no understanding, but the games section is about efficiency and maintaining an idea of how things fit together. I fear taking the clock out of the equation leads people to practice inefficient techniques such as plugging in many answers to test them. Anyone could do games untimed, just chart all possible permutations, obviously this wouldn't fly in 8 minutes. If I'm still drilling a game with efficient techniques when the clock hits 0 I make educated guesses just as I would on the test, then I continue working through to solve for the correct answers past the clock, but I always get my first choices in within 8 minutes to see if I had enough of an understanding to at least guess the last few correctly.


My experience was a little different: I did a good bit of unlimited-time practice with games, and a good bit of brute-force permutation stuff in my practice, and both helped me tremendously in feeling like I really understood the games and their logical structure.

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Lovely Ludwig Van
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Re: How to study for games

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Thu May 24, 2012 1:24 pm

My two cents:

1) Don't rely completely on Bible setup techniques; yes, the Bible is an excellent starting point for someone looking to develop his/her own system, but it's the system itself and your ability to become familiar with that system to the point of it being second nature that matters, not the starting point. If you read through and truly understand the Bible, you should be able to spot inefficiencies within the techniques they offer, that is when you know you are starting to get the hang of it. Also, as you probably know, Bible techniques do not cover the wide range of games that may pop up on any given LSAT. You will need to come up with your own system for dissecting these games.

2) Make your system as simple as possible. An example: on sequencing games, I group the rules which deal with unique variables (i.e. variables mentioned in one rule but not another) together and put a circle around those rules. Then I write out, in parentheses within that circle, the variables that the rules do not mention. This way on any given question, I know that I can start within the circle and have: a) several of the rules already accounted for, and b) all of my variables in one place. This is just an example.

3) Said before but worth repeating: take and retake each game until you can beast everything with 100% accuracy in under 8 minutes (under 4-5 minutes for the really easy games). There were games (i.e. bus seating, mannequins, book publisher/reviewer, furniture sale, etc.) that I literally had to do like 9-10 times before I mastered them, but when the light bulb finally went off, it was beautiful. Don't let the fact that you have to redo a particular game several times discourage you.




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