Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

unitball
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Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby unitball » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:10 am

Do you do most of the games in your head or do you write out everything? I've been practicing games since november 2011 and I can still barely finish a section. I usually get to the middle of the fourth game and run out of time. I never have a hard time understanding the rules or making inferences at the start of the logic game, but it just seems like I can't make the mental connections quick enough to answer all the questions in 35 minutes.

My current method is to write out all the rules, and make inferences, do a quick example setup, then charge into answering the questions. I usually end up doing a ton of writing on the page. Im considering revamping my strategy from the ground up, seeing as how my speed hasnt changed over 7 months >_<

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DaRascal
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby DaRascal » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:24 am

I was having the same problem but when the June exam came I finished with 5 minutes to spare. When I got to the June LSAT I was diagramming like a beast. I mean I was writing and thinking A LOT faster than usual because of how determined I was.

I would say don't worry about it now and just go into BEAST MODE on test day. :P

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Stupe
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby Stupe » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:25 am

The only rules I usually write out are ones that can be written very easily in shorthand. So any rule that limits something chronologically, I'll write it out (ie. X -> Y as "X must always perform before Y). Some rules are long and convoluted though, and might even only apply to one or two questions, so I don't write those out. I just try to keep rules like "If X performs with Y, then Z must always perform with R" at the forefront of my mind.

Draw diagrams, definitely. If you see the obvious inferences, or if the game is particularly easy, you can diagram where certain elements can be (sometimes you can pin down three or more elements to a universal slot). Most of the time though I skip the "prerequisite" diagram and go straight to diagram situations since most of the questions involve a stipulation or rule-changer. Those are the questions where you need to diagram. Power your way through the "What's the possible order" questions by process of elimination - just look at the rules and your inferences. You should be killing these quickly and feeling 100% about them.

I'm not a Logic Games master, but this is what I do. It also depends on the difficulty of the section. Sometimes you'll breeze through all the games and finish with 5 minutes to spare, and other times you'll struggle to finish on time at all (much less getting out error-free). I guess the only major difference I see between us is that I don't usually do an "example setup" unless the game seems really straightforward.

unitball
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby unitball » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:33 am

DaRascal wrote:I was having the same problem but when the June exam came I finished with 5 minutes to spare. When I got to the June LSAT I was diagramming like a beast. I mean I was writing and thinking A LOT faster than usual because of how determined I was.

I would say don't worry about it now and just go into BEAST MODE on test day. :P


I feel you. When I was prepping for June's LSAT I was going HAM. most of the time I would have 1 or 2 questions left over and have to completely guess or do educated guessing at the end. Even thought I did several practice tests in "real" test conditions, my nerves got to me on the real test day. During the logic games section i panicked and froze up, could't think. For prep for October, Im considering regularly taking my practice tests have downing a beer or two to see if that calms my nerves (while leaving me functional, lul)



Stupe, thanks for the input, and yeah, other than than the example diagram your method seems exactly like mine. hmmm..

collegebum1989
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby collegebum1989 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:48 am

Speed for me came with diagramming efficiency and pacing through the problems.

I always have 1 or 2 questions which give me trouble on each LG. It's usually the "must be true" or "cannot be true" which are hard to prephrase and often require a hypothetical. So with diagramming efficiency, I think you need to spend less time on your initial diagram and improve/add on inferences as you complete questions to reduce time.

Usually, the first question often asks for an example setup, so I would not do an example set up since the answer to the first question can often substitute for this, which saves you about 15-30 seconds. Secondly, I never make inferences in the beginning since you don't know which variable placement will be relevant to a question. So I only write down obvious or transitive inferences (ex. X -> Y, Y -> Z, inference: X -> Z). This way, you make inferences as you solve questions and do not spend extra time trying to figure out the nuances of the game and risk wasting time.

I also approach questions which require a hypothetical (must be true, global) last and try to use my previous work from other questions as a means of seeking possibilities which make wrong answer choices impossible to be true. As a general rule of thumb: when I do LG, I never look for the right answer, but instead look for answers which are incorrect. Usually, it is more obvious for me to see how incorrect answers are wrong than see how correct answers are right (unless it's a prephrase).

For each logical condition in the question, I negate it in my head and look for the wrong answers. For ex. for "could be true", I think of placements that "cannot be true" to eliminate answers, for "must be true" i look at answer choices and see if it is possible for the variable to not exist as mentioned in the answer choice ("could be false"), and for local questions, I make quick hypotheticals.

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NYC2012
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby NYC2012 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:18 am

I posted this in another thread but I'll post it again here. The only thing that finally helped me improve on games is I made 3 copies of every LSAT game ever released, put them in a binder, and drilled by type. By the end I would be able to finish sections of games with 10 minutes to spare (probably because I had already done them before) but regardless, the whole point is it gets you into that mindset for test day. Once you've done that many games it's just second nature to not panic and just quickly start drawing hypotheticals.

Also - for "Must be false" or 'CANNOT be true" questions in games, usually the answer is extremely obvious. The correct answer will often break one of the main rules and you don't need to draw hypotheticals to spot it. That helped me save some time.

Agree with the poster above who said to spend less time on your initial diagram. While it helps to make inferences upfront, it doesn't help if you don't have enough time to answer the questions. I found sometimes that going to the questions quicker helped me draw more inferences.

shntn
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby shntn » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:43 am

LG used to absolutely pwn me, but I was able to fix that with a lot of practice.

I always write down the rules (using shorthand of course) and try to make as many inferences/rule combinations along the way as possible. When I first started studying, I refrained from writing some things down and tried to keep track of it all in my head, thinking I'd save time by writing less. That was a bad call. You want to expend as little mental energy (and waste as little time) as possible, for obvious reasons. Make an inference once, write it down, and then you don't have to scramble to remember it when you need it later. You've really got to try to keep your thinking to a minimum, or else you'll get mentally fatigued and start getting sloppy and/or slow.

At least that's been my experience.

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flippacious
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby flippacious » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:33 am

I have only gotten speedy on LG recently, and here are a few things I added to my approach that I think really helped.

1. Before starting any single game in a section, I take 30-45 seconds to glance at each game and number them 1-4 based on how easy I think they will be. I started doing this because I realized there was typically one game per section that required much more of my time. If I hit this game early on, I would panic about how long it was taking me, which then distracted me and slowed me down even more. It would completely throw off my timing for the whole section. So now, I start with the game I have the greatest chance of destroying in ~5 min, typically a pure sequencing game or a simple selection/grouping game. I leave the game that looks most difficult to me for last (hybrid actions, lots of variable sets, weird scenario, etc). Since I've started doing this, I've found I can get three games out of the way in about 20-22 min, leaving 15-13 min for the last game.

2. When approaching a single game, I do my questions in the following order. I always start with the first question, the "example setup" or "acceptability" question. Then I scan through and do all the hypothetical questions. These are all of the questions that give you a hypothetical scenario, and usually start with "IF." I like to do these second because they give you a concrete scenario to draw out, but you must complete the picture on your own and therefore they help you internalize the rules. If you have missed the big deduction in your setup, drawing out these hypothetical scenarios can sometimes help you see the missing deduction WHILE you are constructively answering questions (rather than doodling a bunch of hypotheticals before starting). After these, I move on to the rest of the questions with a better understanding of how the rules interact.

Step #2 is similar to step #1 above but on a smaller scale. It allows me to finish the easiest questions first. Then, I feel more comfortable dedicating a little more time to the difficult questions, knowing I have already sped through the others. This has virtually eliminated the situations when I would decide I was spending too long on a question, move on, then return to the question I had initially skipped. Huge waste of time! Better to leave those questions for last and dive into them knowing how much time you have left to focus on them. At the same time, it allows me to focus more on the difficult question without the nagging distraction of mounting panic that I'm wasting time.

As for how much I write down to start, I typically jot down a note of every rule (I like PowerScore's notations for this). Then I draw my basic sketch and try to make the key deductions. I write down all of these too. If I see that there are limited options, I will draw those out. If I'm not seeing any big deductions, I will jump into the questions and rely on step #2 above to help me see the key to the game. I do recommend writing everything down, though. Even when there are simple rules that I can hold in my head, I jot them down so I don't forget to apply them.

Ok, now that I have written a novella on LG section management, I should probably return to my desk job. Yikes.

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Noblesse_Oblige
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby Noblesse_Oblige » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:41 am

NYC2012 wrote:I posted this in another thread but I'll post it again here. The only thing that finally helped me improve on games is I made 3 copies of every LSAT game ever released, put them in a binder, and drilled by type. By the end I would be able to finish sections of games with 10 minutes to spare (probably because I had already done them before) but regardless, the whole point is it gets you into that mindset for test day. Once you've done that many games it's just second nature to not panic and just quickly start drawing hypotheticals.

Also - for "Must be false" or 'CANNOT be true" questions in games, usually the answer is extremely obvious. The correct answer will often break one of the main rules and you don't need to draw hypotheticals to spot it. That helped me save some time.

Agree with the poster above who said to spend less time on your initial diagram. While it helps to make inferences upfront, it doesn't help if you don't have enough time to answer the questions. I found sometimes that going to the questions quicker helped me draw more inferences.


THIS!

I didn't realize it the first half of the first game section. And added to a misread question, I had to guess on the last game, however during the last 5 mins I realized this and was able to correctly answer 3 "Which could be" questions before time was called with no diagrams. I swear, I could have done so much better. If I get below a 169 I'm retaking in October, If I get below a 171 I'm retaking before Applying.

shntn
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby shntn » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:51 pm

flippacious wrote:I have only gotten speedy on LG recently, and here are a few things I added to my approach that I think really helped.

1. Before starting any single game in a section, I take 30-45 seconds to glance at each game and number them 1-4 based on how easy I think they will be. I started doing this because I realized there was typically one game per section that required much more of my time. If I hit this game early on, I would panic about how long it was taking me, which then distracted me and slowed me down even more. It would completely throw off my timing for the whole section. So now, I start with the game I have the greatest chance of destroying in ~5 min, typically a pure sequencing game or a simple selection/grouping game. I leave the game that looks most difficult to me for last (hybrid actions, lots of variable sets, weird scenario, etc). Since I've started doing this, I've found I can get three games out of the way in about 20-22 min, leaving 15-13 min for the last game.

2. When approaching a single game, I do my questions in the following order. I always start with the first question, the "example setup" or "acceptability" question. Then I scan through and do all the hypothetical questions. These are all of the questions that give you a hypothetical scenario, and usually start with "IF." I like to do these second because they give you a concrete scenario to draw out, but you must complete the picture on your own and therefore they help you internalize the rules. If you have missed the big deduction in your setup, drawing out these hypothetical scenarios can sometimes help you see the missing deduction WHILE you are constructively answering questions (rather than doodling a bunch of hypotheticals before starting). After these, I move on to the rest of the questions with a better understanding of how the rules interact.

Step #2 is similar to step #1 above but on a smaller scale. It allows me to finish the easiest questions first. Then, I feel more comfortable dedicating a little more time to the difficult questions, knowing I have already sped through the others. This has virtually eliminated the situations when I would decide I was spending too long on a question, move on, then return to the question I had initially skipped. Huge waste of time! Better to leave those questions for last and dive into them knowing how much time you have left to focus on them. At the same time, it allows me to focus more on the difficult question without the nagging distraction of mounting panic that I'm wasting time.

As for how much I write down to start, I typically jot down a note of every rule (I like PowerScore's notations for this). Then I draw my basic sketch and try to make the key deductions. I write down all of these too. If I see that there are limited options, I will draw those out. If I'm not seeing any big deductions, I will jump into the questions and rely on step #2 above to help me see the key to the game. I do recommend writing everything down, though. Even when there are simple rules that I can hold in my head, I jot them down so I don't forget to apply them.

Ok, now that I have written a novella on LG section management, I should probably return to my desk job. Yikes.


+1

I forgot to mention, but I always try to work in the order of easiest to most difficult for both entire games as well as questions themselves. My prep book suggested as much, and it really helps. Once you get some diagrams from easier question types, it's not uncommon at all to be able to use them to eliminate numerous wrong answers on the harder questions. Any time you can eliminate an answer choice straight away, you've just saved yourself the time it would take to make another (possibly useless, if it breaks a rule) diagram. The value of this extra time cannot be emphasized enough.

SanDiegoJake
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby SanDiegoJake » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:24 pm

flippacious wrote:I have only gotten speedy on LG recently, and here are a few things I added to my approach that I think really helped.

1. Before starting any single game in a section, I take 30-45 seconds to glance at each game and number them 1-4 based on how easy I think they will be. I started doing this because I realized there was typically one game per section that required much more of my time. If I hit this game early on, I would panic about how long it was taking me, which then distracted me and slowed me down even more. It would completely throw off my timing for the whole section. So now, I start with the game I have the greatest chance of destroying in ~5 min, typically a pure sequencing game or a simple selection/grouping game. I leave the game that looks most difficult to me for last (hybrid actions, lots of variable sets, weird scenario, etc). Since I've started doing this, I've found I can get three games out of the way in about 20-22 min, leaving 15-13 min for the last game.

2. When approaching a single game, I do my questions in the following order. I always start with the first question, the "example setup" or "acceptability" question. Then I scan through and do all the hypothetical questions. These are all of the questions that give you a hypothetical scenario, and usually start with "IF." I like to do these second because they give you a concrete scenario to draw out, but you must complete the picture on your own and therefore they help you internalize the rules. If you have missed the big deduction in your setup, drawing out these hypothetical scenarios can sometimes help you see the missing deduction WHILE you are constructively answering questions (rather than doodling a bunch of hypotheticals before starting). After these, I move on to the rest of the questions with a better understanding of how the rules interact.

Step #2 is similar to step #1 above but on a smaller scale. It allows me to finish the easiest questions first. Then, I feel more comfortable dedicating a little more time to the difficult questions, knowing I have already sped through the others. This has virtually eliminated the situations when I would decide I was spending too long on a question, move on, then return to the question I had initially skipped. Huge waste of time! Better to leave those questions for last and dive into them knowing how much time you have left to focus on them. At the same time, it allows me to focus more on the difficult question without the nagging distraction of mounting panic that I'm wasting time.

As for how much I write down to start, I typically jot down a note of every rule (I like PowerScore's notations for this). Then I draw my basic sketch and try to make the key deductions. I write down all of these too. If I see that there are limited options, I will draw those out. If I'm not seeing any big deductions, I will jump into the questions and rely on step #2 above to help me see the key to the game. I do recommend writing everything down, though. Even when there are simple rules that I can hold in my head, I jot them down so I don't forget to apply them.

Ok, now that I have written a novella on LG section management, I should probably return to my desk job. Yikes.


+1. Tips #1 and #2 are especially effective time-savers. Drawing out hypotheticals is often a waste of time. However, there is one situation in which drawing hypotheticals is NOT a waste of time, and is extremely helpful. That situation occurs when there are multiple ways the elements can be distributed across the columns. For example, if 3 people, ABC, catch 7 fish, tuvwxyz, and each person catches at least one fish and a clue says that Fisherman A catches exactly twice as many fish as Fisherman B, then I draw out the two possible distibutions. Either Fisherman A caught two fish, and B caught one, leaving four fish with C OR Fisherman A caught 4 fish and B caught 2, leaving only one fish with C. Being able to see exactly how the elements are distibuted saves you the time of figuring out the distribution for each question.

unitball
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby unitball » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:19 pm

Wow, thanks for the tips guys. Will start applying these methods right away.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:30 pm

I got a lot faster by making less inferences right away. Basically all I do is connect conditionals if they can be connected. Writing out all of the Powerscore Not Rules or whatever before even looking at questions is a complete waste of time.. if you have a sequencing rule or whatever just apply it to the questions.

When I first read the bible and tried games, I realized trying to make all kinds of inferences before the questions is what was taking so long. Now I just right the rules carefully, maybe write in my diagram an X/Y if there is only 2 options for a spot.. and obviously fill in anything DEFINITE that you can deduce.. otherwise get to the questions quickly and often times they give you the inferences for free with the Must be True or Cannot be true questions

TheColonel
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby TheColonel » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:28 pm

To go a little bigger picture than a lot of the advice you're getting here: give it time. I found that getting faster at games came when I had seen a lot of games before and could see what the testmakers were trying to do in terms of confusing us. Don't be afraid to redo games. Doing them three times could be helpful, but that is more than I did. If you aren't planning on doing all of the games, I'd take a look at some of the older games (PT ~20 - ~35) for some more difficult games.

I did the questions from first to last without any creative ordering and would often finish with 5-10 minutes remaining, though it would occasionally come down to the wire. I can see the logic of going through each question of a particular game in a certain order but I really don't think that you can accurately gauge the difficulty of the games in a short enough amount of time to make it worthwhile to try and adjust the order you go through the entire section.

It seems like a lot of people are advocating against making hypotheticals but I found them very helpful. My rule was if there were 4 or fewer ways the game could go, I would write out the hypotheticals and make what inferences were possible. The vast majority of the time there would be at least one question that all I had to do was make one quick look at my hypothetical and the answer would be obvious. Even if there wasn't, by working through each hypothetical I familiarized myself with the rules and would be more efficient going through the rest of the games.

Edited to add: I wrote down everything. All the rules without fail. It really pays dividends to be able to look back at the simplified version of the rules when you're going through the section.

wsx111
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Re: Those who finish logic games section with time to spare...

Postby wsx111 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:56 am

SPAM




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