If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

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Ling520
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If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby Ling520 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:07 pm

An assurance often repeated here is that the LG are the most learnable part of the LSAT with many people claiming to get to where they confidently score -0 in the games section with time to spare.

My experience has been the exact opposite. LG has been the least learnable section for me. After studying, I've improved my RC and LR to the point that I score between -0 and -2 in both and I'm averaging in the low 170s overall. But LG remains my weakest, most unpredictable section, where I'm still scoring between -3 and -7.

The thing is, I like the LG section the best. I've always liked puzzles and done well at them, and I've spent way more time studying for the games (using LGB, Manhattan, etc) than any other section, but my level of success is only slightly better then when I was just winging it and getting around 80% right.

If a game clearly follows a format that I'm familiar with, or if I retake a game, I can burn through it in six minutes easy; however, I keep running into "problem" games that I'm not prepared for, where I miss inferences and lose too much time. It's to the point that I'm skeptical of all the LG success stories.

If anyone has been in my shoes, I'd appreciate any advice or tips you used to finally have a breakthrough with the LGs.

uchi12
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby uchi12 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:14 pm

.
Last edited by uchi12 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ben4847
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby ben4847 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:19 pm

common wisdom is its the most learnable.

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PaulKriske
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby PaulKriske » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:27 pm

what's not learnable about a section where there's a way to draw out each specific question?

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05062014
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby 05062014 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:42 pm

I was - kinda still am - in the same boat. Don't get too confident with games and make sure you have done most if not all of the older games (of each type) before you take full timed sections. It is easy to get complacent with games proficiency. You have truly mastered them once you have done hundreds of different games and new ones become second nature because you can pinpoint exactly what type of game it is; what type of tricks these games usually entail; how to easily deduce wrong answers quickly in specific game types; etc. Throw your ego out the door and keep repeating easy and hard games. It is so easy to get questions wrong on games. No matter how smart you are, you need to make yourself immune to panic and stupid errors in this section.

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JazzOne
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby JazzOne » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:54 pm

Repeating games multiple times is not wasted energy. When I was prepping, I was surprised at how much proficiency I gained by repeating games I had already worked. Some people claim they can remember the answers so it's pointless. I can often remember the answers too, but that's not the point. The point is figuring out the logic that leads to those answers. Those patterns of logic can help you make connections when you encounter new games.

ETA: I don't mean repeating a game immediately after the first go-around. I'm talking about coming back to a game (particular a difficult one) with a fresh mindset. During your second go-around, be proactive about identifying the problems you had the first time, and come up with solutions to those particular problems.

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PaulKriske
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby PaulKriske » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:56 pm

what is it that people find so hard about games?

you read the stim, write the rules and any contrapositives, make any simple inferences, and then diagram according to the question type.

voila.

Mik Ekim
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby Mik Ekim » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:12 pm

I've worked with many students in the past who have had the same experience that you've had--in general, these are students who come in with very strong reading skills, and just need to figure out how to apply them to LR and RC, and it seems that that is the case with you --

For the LG, I think it's always helpful to compartmentalize the challenges you face (makes it easier to conquer them) -- here's one way to do it --

You can break down your process into three key skills -- your ability to visualize a game, your ability to notate rules, and your ability to answer questions --

Your ability to visualize is your ability to read the scenario and rules and "picture" the game as a whole before you get into understanding the specifics -- based on what you wrote (able to breeze though comfortable games/freeze on others) I think this is probably your key issue -- being able to picture the game as a whole is a huge factor in "controlling" the situation -- when you don't have a good visualization, it's like trying to play a board game without the board --

One suggestion I have (this is a bit radical) is to try to, now that you have gained a lot of familiarity with games, not think about games fitting into the "categories" discussed in PS and Manhattan -- instead, focus on the great commonality between all games, and think about them as variations on a just a few themes --

All games are about assigning elements to positions
About 2/3 of games are about ordering
About 1/2 of games are about grouping
In some games there are subsets
In some games there is something other than a 1-to-1 relationship between elements and positions (either more elements than positions, or positions than elements, or you don't know the exact # of spots, etc), and so you are going to have some math issues to deal with

In addition --
some constraints are conditional
some constraints present "or" situations

That's pretty much it (or at least one way of breaking it down) -- every game you can expect to see on the exam can be described, completely, in those above terms --

The reason I mention this, and the reason I make the suggestion to "dilute" your question categories, is that if you can get comfortable thinking about every game in these general terms, you will lose your fear of games "matching" categories you are familiar with, and you will be able to widen your comfort zone.

Your ability to notate rules is somewhat different from your ability to understand them -- you want to able to recreate rules in such a way that you can play around with your notations and use them to make higher level inferences. Make sure you are consistent and accurate in your notations --

One easy "self-test" -- a while after you finish a game, look at the diagram you drew for it. For each notation, try to "reverse engineer" the rule that got you there -- it should be fairly easy to do so. If you can't put the two together, that means your notations are not intuitive enough.

Finally, since you are nailing the games you are comfortable with, it seems that your question solving process is fine, but do keep in mind that how you answer a "must be true" should be very different, say, from how you answer a "could be true," etc, and that different methods for attacking questions can save (or lose) you serious time.

Sorry to hear about your predicament, but you've got a month -- you can do it! -- good luck.

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TopHatToad
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby TopHatToad » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:15 pm

PaulKriske wrote:what is it that people find so hard about games?

you read the stim, write the rules and any contrapositives, make any simple inferences, and then diagram according to the question type.

voila.


Helpful. :roll:

OP, it sounds like you're trying to put all the parts together before you've mastered them. What happens when you do LG sections untimed? If the answer isn't -0 to -1, you should be working on that. Experience doing that will enable you to recognize game types and the best/fastest ways to set them up. Additionally, if you're working on LGs from the early tests, keep in mind that there are a lot more "weird" games that don't follow the normal patterns. That's gone by the wayside in the past decade, so while it could always pop back up, I wouldn't put too much worry into them.

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PaulKriske
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby PaulKriske » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:15 pm

TopHatToad wrote:
PaulKriske wrote:what is it that people find so hard about games?

you read the stim, write the rules and any contrapositives, make any simple inferences, and then diagram according to the question type.

voila.


Helpful. :roll:



care to answer the question then?

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DaRascal
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby DaRascal » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:36 pm

I would think that RC is by far the least learnable section.

unitball
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby unitball » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:59 am

PaulKriske wrote:what is it that people find so hard about games?

you read the stim, write the rules and any contrapositives, make any simple inferences, and then diagram according to the question type.

voila.



what is it that people find so hard about the LSAT?

you read the stim or paragraph, make any simple inferences, read the question stem, then answer accordingly.

voila, 180.


:roll:

JohnV
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Re: If the LG is the least learnable section of the LSAT

Postby JohnV » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:07 am

I use to feel like you do about LG but recently I've been doing great and coming in under time. Some of the strategies in Manhattan really helped speed up the section and increase accuracy.




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