How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

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apollo13
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How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby apollo13 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:19 pm

So I have been strictly following LSAT Blogs 7 month LSAT schedule.

Today marks my one month of LG learning/drilling.
I decided to take LG Sections of Preptest 29, 30 TIMED. Now, I have solved all the games in these preptest in the past month - some games I had no idea how to solve and learned through 7sage and other materials, some sections I did well/ not well.

I recognized in both Preptest that I just couldn't finish on time. When 35 minutes was up - For Preptest 30, I was solving on question 14 (out of 23) and for Preptest 29, I finished up to Question 13 (out of 24). I scored them, I got -1 for each preptest, which is so stupid because I learned them before and I am making careless mistakes...
For both of the preptest I spent about about an hour for each LG section.

I feel terrible because I solved most of the games in these sections before and I am slow to making rapid inferences and deduction. What shall I do and what does this mean?

tacofreedom
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Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby tacofreedom » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:25 pm

You could try out another method for the games. I found that I was having trouble with making inferences using the powerscore method and tried velocity. I think Dave's method places less emphasis on the inferences from the get go. You generally figure them out eventually through doing questions, but I spent a lot less time at the beginning of games worrying about how I wasn't making the correct inferences.

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SteelPenguin
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Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby SteelPenguin » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:39 pm

While you're going slow, I wouldn't panic too much. It took me a while to increase my speed of logic games. I started getting through 2 games timed, and after a month I was stuck at 2.5 games. I was stuck for a while until it suddenly started to "click," and I was able to progress up to three and then all four games at a steady pace.

When I was struggling, I found it helpful to do the games I was most comfortable with first. If you are having trouble making inferences, I would consider marking down the "NOT laws" for a while. It helped me to better recognize inferences for a while. When I got more comfortable with them, I stopped. I used powerscore as well, but I adjusted as necessary when I found notations I wasn't comfortable with.

bp shinners
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Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby bp shinners » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:58 pm

People who are going that slowly in LG are almost invariably doing at least one of two things:
1) Sitting there, thinking, not doing anything
2) Spinning their wheels

The first is when you sit there, start thinking about the game, try to relate it to other games, try to remember that one game that had a similar rule, etc. You get off track, a minute goes by without you realizing it, and next thing you know, time is being called.

The second is when you are doing a bunch of stuff, furiously scratching away on your paper at a million different possibilities, figuring out every permutation (or just working through a single one for awhile), and then answering the question after you really found the answer about 2 minutes ago. You feel like you're moving fast because you're manically writing a ton out; you're actually spending a lot of time answering questions that aren't being asked.

The solution to both of these problems is the same - have a set process you go through every single time; don't stray from the process; and when you're done with a step, move on to the next one. I strongly recommend you write out your process, as this will make it a lot easier to go through it like a checklist.

Here's mine:

1: Read the introduction and make your setup

2: Read the rules and symbolize them using your preferred method

3: Recheck your symbolization of the rules (seriously, do it)

4: Identify any player that doesn't show up in the rules - this person can go anywhere, and is thus important to keep in your back pocket as a random

5: Make deductions - 'deduction' is a fancy word for 'combination of 2 or more rules'. There's nothing special about it - you're literally looking for the same letter/player/group/slot to show up twice, and that's about it.
a) Check your first rule. See if it interacts with any other rule (either because they share a player, both talk about the same slot/group, both limit distributions)
b) Repeat step 5a for each other rule

6: Make scenarios
a) Check to see if any single player (or group of players) is so constrained that they're only able to fit in 2-3 different places. Make scenarios based on these placements, especially if they interact with any other rules. Bam, you now have 2-3 skeletons that define all the possibilities. This usually comes in the form of blocks for ordering games, an ordering chain with a 'focal point' of one player in ordering games, a Must Be Together rule in grouping games, or a player that shows up in 3 or more rules in any game (count each part of a multi-part rule for this purpose).
b) Check to see if any single slot is so constrained that there are only 1-2 different players that will go there. Make scenarios based on those players in that slot. Bam, you now have 1-2 skeletons that define all the possibilities. This usually comes from an option in an ordering game (if at least one of the option players shows up in other rules), or a group that is almost-but-not-completely filled out in a grouping game.
c) Check if there's anything else that limits the possibilities to 2-3. Make scenarios based on this. This is a catch-all based on those weird rules that sometimes show up (like mauve dinos). It also shows up in grouping games where you’re selecting members from subgroups (3 types of scientists on a panel of 5)/ If you have a rule that you know is weird (because it's not one of the normal rules for that type of game), think about scenarios based around it.

7: Go to the questions
a) Elimination (which of the following could be a complete and accurate) - Don't look at your work. Read a rule, eliminate an answer or two. This is the fastest way, by far, to approach these problems.
b) Conditional ("If _______", or anything that gives you a new piece of information) - Draw a NEW diagram with the piece of information and any deductions you made in your setup. See if the new piece of info interacts with your first rule. Then, your second, and so on until you've gotten through all of the rules. If one of the rules lets you make a deduction, start over again with the first rule (but this time you can skip the rule you already used to make a deduction). If you have scenarios, see if the new piece of info limits you to 1-2 of them, and use them.
c) Absolute ("Which of the following must/could be true/false?") - If you made the deductions, you should be able to answer these without doing any work. Use your setups/scenarios to answer them. If you don't have the answer in your setup, you missed a deduction. If this is a "Which of the following Must Be True?" question, the answer will be the deduction, and you can add it to your setup. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME YOU SHOULD EVER ADD ANYTHING TO YOUR SETUP AFTER YOU FINISH IT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME!

8: Do the Happy Dance.

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apollo13
Posts: 106
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Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby apollo13 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:53 pm

bp shinners wrote:People who are going that slowly in LG are almost invariably doing at least one of two things:
1) Sitting there, thinking, not doing anything
2) Spinning their wheels

The first is when you sit there, start thinking about the game, try to relate it to other games, try to remember that one game that had a similar rule, etc. You get off track, a minute goes by without you realizing it, and next thing you know, time is being called.

The second is when you are doing a bunch of stuff, furiously scratching away on your paper at a million different possibilities, figuring out every permutation (or just working through a single one for awhile), and then answering the question after you really found the answer about 2 minutes ago. You feel like you're moving fast because you're manically writing a ton out; you're actually spending a lot of time answering questions that aren't being asked.

The solution to both of these problems is the same - have a set process you go through every single time; don't stray from the process; and when you're done with a step, move on to the next one. I strongly recommend you write out your process, as this will make it a lot easier to go through it like a checklist.

Here's mine:

1: Read the introduction and make your setup

2: Read the rules and symbolize them using your preferred method

3: Recheck your symbolization of the rules (seriously, do it)

4: Identify any player that doesn't show up in the rules - this person can go anywhere, and is thus important to keep in your back pocket as a random

5: Make deductions - 'deduction' is a fancy word for 'combination of 2 or more rules'. There's nothing special about it - you're literally looking for the same letter/player/group/slot to show up twice, and that's about it.
a) Check your first rule. See if it interacts with any other rule (either because they share a player, both talk about the same slot/group, both limit distributions)
b) Repeat step 5a for each other rule

6: Make scenarios
a) Check to see if any single player (or group of players) is so constrained that they're only able to fit in 2-3 different places. Make scenarios based on these placements, especially if they interact with any other rules. Bam, you now have 2-3 skeletons that define all the possibilities. This usually comes in the form of blocks for ordering games, an ordering chain with a 'focal point' of one player in ordering games, a Must Be Together rule in grouping games, or a player that shows up in 3 or more rules in any game (count each part of a multi-part rule for this purpose).
b) Check to see if any single slot is so constrained that there are only 1-2 different players that will go there. Make scenarios based on those players in that slot. Bam, you now have 1-2 skeletons that define all the possibilities. This usually comes from an option in an ordering game (if at least one of the option players shows up in other rules), or a group that is almost-but-not-completely filled out in a grouping game.
c) Check if there's anything else that limits the possibilities to 2-3. Make scenarios based on this. This is a catch-all based on those weird rules that sometimes show up (like mauve dinos). It also shows up in grouping games where you’re selecting members from subgroups (3 types of scientists on a panel of 5)/ If you have a rule that you know is weird (because it's not one of the normal rules for that type of game), think about scenarios based around it.

7: Go to the questions
a) Elimination (which of the following could be a complete and accurate) - Don't look at your work. Read a rule, eliminate an answer or two. This is the fastest way, by far, to approach these problems.
b) Conditional ("If _______", or anything that gives you a new piece of information) - Draw a NEW diagram with the piece of information and any deductions you made in your setup. See if the new piece of info interacts with your first rule. Then, your second, and so on until you've gotten through all of the rules. If one of the rules lets you make a deduction, start over again with the first rule (but this time you can skip the rule you already used to make a deduction). If you have scenarios, see if the new piece of info limits you to 1-2 of them, and use them.
c) Absolute ("Which of the following must/could be true/false?") - If you made the deductions, you should be able to answer these without doing any work. Use your setups/scenarios to answer them. If you don't have the answer in your setup, you missed a deduction. If this is a "Which of the following Must Be True?" question, the answer will be the deduction, and you can add it to your setup. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME YOU SHOULD EVER ADD ANYTHING TO YOUR SETUP AFTER YOU FINISH IT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME!

8: Do the Happy Dance.


Thanks so much for your densed and helpful explanation.
So I worked on LG section of Preptest 37, GAME 3. This is what happened:
- By the time I finished digramming,symbolizing/drawing rules, making some linkage/deduction, it was 6 minutes... (I tried to come up with 2,3 possible outcomes after making deductions of how certain players don't fit into certain spots and how V, P, S have to be separated from each other at all times)
- So it took me 6 minutes to understand this game, but after I made the diagram and grasped idea of this game, the rest was easy, but still it took me another 8 to 9 minutes to answer all the questions.
- So for this game, it took me about 15, 16 minutes. But I did get everything right.

* One thing that I notice is that even after coming up with some possibilities with linkages/deduction, I worry myself that I must have left out a rule or there must be more possibilities with linkage/deduction so I tend to go back and think about the rules and apply them back to the possibilities again. (This happens in my first phase of deduction, diagramming, and linking)

Sigh...

Keasbey
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:53 pm

Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby Keasbey » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:03 pm

Practice, practice, practice.

I was awful at LG at first and with a lot of work got extremely good at them. I got my speed up by doing them all the time and carefully reviewing each one after. I would do a couple during my commute to work (I take the train), a few more on the way home, one during lunch and another one before I went to bed. This is on top of my other studying. It might sound like a lot but in the end it was worth it. I got a few perfect sections in my PTs and finished with times. You might also want to try some really hard ones like the dinosaur game or the zones game (October 2012, if you can get a hold of it). I know it sounds cliche but if you stop worrying about time and just work on perfecting your skills your times will drop pretty fast. You can make the games the easiest part of the test with enough practice, you've got it.

But most importantly, review ALL of your answers thoroughly

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby bp shinners » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:58 pm

apollo13 wrote:- By the time I finished digramming,symbolizing/drawing rules, making some linkage/deduction, it was 6 minutes...

* One thing that I notice is that even after coming up with some possibilities with linkages/deduction, I worry myself that I must have left out a rule or there must be more possibilities with linkage/deduction so I tend to go back and think about the rules and apply them back to the possibilities again. (This happens in my first phase of deduction, diagramming, and linking)

Sigh...


You are falling into the latter category - spinning your wheels, doing a ton of unnecessary work.

It should take you, at most, 2 minutes to work through the rules and deductions. If it's a really complex game with really strong scenarios, maybe 3-4 minutes. But that's tops.

Reading and getting your setup drawn should be ~30 seconds.
Symbolizing the rules should take you 40 seconds-1 minute (with a double check).
Then, deductions should take you another minute. You're literally just comparing the first rule to each other rule to see if there are any overlaps, either with the slot of which they speak or the players in the rule. If there aren't, don't spend any more time thinking about it, trying to link it to crazy stuff, A Beautiful Mind style. Will you miss some really complex deductions? Probably on the harder games. But those deductions most likely won't come without spending 6 minutes on them, and at that point you've already lost.
If you have a really strong rule you can use for scenarios, you can spend a little more time writing them out, as you're essentially doing work for the questions ahead of time.

But if you're taking 6 minutes on it, you are spending more time thinking about the stuff than necessary.

Aequitas_
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:05 pm

Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby Aequitas_ » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:17 pm

1) Powerscore Bible for LG.
2) Get LG games broken down by types
3) Read chapter and drill for that question type
4) Drill drill drill.

I went from +9 cold to -0 to -2. To give you an idea how much I drilled I did every LG 1-40 3x and some even 5x. I also did 41-52, and the ones I found difficult I repeated until I got it. By the time you've drilled so much this is second nature.

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star fox
Posts: 13709
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: How to gain speed in LG? Am I too slow right now?!

Postby star fox » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:19 pm

apollo13 wrote:Thanks so much for your densed and helpful explanation.
So I worked on LG section of Preptest 37, GAME 3. This is what happened:
- By the time I finished digramming,symbolizing/drawing rules, making some linkage/deduction, it was 6 minutes... (I tried to come up with 2,3 possible outcomes after making deductions of how certain players don't fit into certain spots and how V, P, S have to be separated from each other at all times)
- So it took me 6 minutes to understand this game, but after I made the diagram and grasped idea of this game, the rest was easy, but still it took me another 8 to 9 minutes to answer all the questions.
- So for this game, it took me about 15, 16 minutes. But I did get everything right.

* One thing that I notice is that even after coming up with some possibilities with linkages/deduction, I worry myself that I must have left out a rule or there must be more possibilities with linkage/deduction so I tend to go back and think about the rules and apply them back to the possibilities again. (This happens in my first phase of deduction, diagramming, and linking)

Sigh...


Keep doing this stuff. It's good that you're understanding the material. The more you practice the more familiar you will get with the various setups and you'll inevitably be able to do it faster. If it's 6 weeks before test day and you still aren't increasing your speed then you can worry. For now time is on your side. Mastery is more important than speed at the begining of your studying.

Good luck!




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