Help with back-end LGs

magickware
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:27 pm

Help with back-end LGs

Postby magickware » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:47 am

Basically, I have this tendency to freeze at LGs that have no clear inference and you have to plug things in to find the answer. I think it's because I'm scared that I'll run out of time, or perhaps the uncertainty of it, and as a result I either get questions wrong or I run out of time because I worry about running out of time.

Anyone know of strategies to get out of this mindset? It's really frustrating. Doing a game multiple times doesn't really seem to help.

I think a lack of confidence is also a huge part of it. I withdrew from taking the June test because I didn't feel confident, and that + my utter bomb of a Feb. test really brought my confidence for this test low. I think it's showing.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Help with back-end LGs

Postby ScottRiqui » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:31 pm

magickware wrote:Basically, I have this tendency to freeze at LGs that have no clear inference and you have to plug things in to find the answer. I think it's because I'm scared that I'll run out of time, or perhaps the uncertainty of it, and as a result I either get questions wrong or I run out of time because I worry about running out of time.

Anyone know of strategies to get out of this mindset? It's really frustrating. Doing a game multiple times doesn't really seem to help.

I think a lack of confidence is also a huge part of it. I withdrew from taking the June test because I didn't feel confident, and that + my utter bomb of a Feb. test really brought my confidence for this test low. I think it's showing.


When you watch the 7sage videos for the games that are giving you trouble, do they use a different/more efficient method, or are they just "plugging and chugging" faster than you do? Their videos have surprised me a few times when I thought that a particular games was very "open"/back-end heavy, but if you frame the game out, there are actually only a handful of possibilities.

The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Help with back-end LGs

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:54 pm

magickware wrote:Basically, I have this tendency to freeze at LGs that have no clear inference and you have to plug things in to find the answer. I think it's because I'm scared that I'll run out of time, or perhaps the uncertainty of it, and as a result I either get questions wrong or I run out of time because I worry about running out of time.

Anyone know of strategies to get out of this mindset? It's really frustrating. Doing a game multiple times doesn't really seem to help.

I think a lack of confidence is also a huge part of it. I withdrew from taking the June test because I didn't feel confident, and that + my utter bomb of a Feb. test really brought my confidence for this test low. I think it's showing.


The key to back-end games is the same as the key to front-end games -- your ability to diagram -- the difference is that whereas front-end games often require you to set up a more complicated diagram, back-end games require you to be better at utilizing your diagram.

Here are three specific suggestions -- they may not pertain to your particular situation, but I think they may be helpful --

1) make sure you have total control over your notations -- it's not a matter of just being able to notate correctly -- it's a matter of being so comfortable with your notation that you can just think about the game, and not your diagramming (like being able to read in your own language without thinking about each word, as opposed to trying to read in a foreign language). One way you can work on strengthening this control is to get in the habit of checking each notation back against original rule at the end of your diagramming process (look at each notation, say to yourself what it means, then look back at the original rule to make sure your understanding of your notation is right on).

2) make sure you are prioritizing key rules and rule combinations -- pretty much all back-end games have a rule, or a combination of rules, that is/are most important to how everything else aligns. You want to get in the habit of thinking about the various limitations that rules present, and of picking certain rules/combinations of rules as being more important (if you want to ask me which rules are most important for any particular back-end game, please pm and I'll be happy to discuss) --the better you are at this, the faster the work in q's will typically go. In the Trainer I talk about these rules as creating chunks and pinches -- can't remember if I talk about it that way in the Manhattan books as well.

3) related to #2, as scott mentioned, many back-end games are ripe for framing, because there is something about them that is limiting or provides a limited set of options. If you find that framing makes games much easier, you may want to study the back-end games you've already done and consider ways that you could have framed them (again, feel free to get in touch if you want advice about how one might frame any particular game). You don't want to rely on framing as a crutch, but it's most definitely a tool that can make certain games markedly easier/faster.

HTH -- good luck -- know that you're not alone -- a lot of folks dislike the backend games -- the great news is that if you can go in comfortable w/both front- and back-end games, you'll obviously have a whole lot of confidence in your ability to handle anything they can throw at you -- Mike

magickware
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Re: Help with back-end LGs

Postby magickware » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:05 pm

One thing that I can definitely do better is creating clearer diagrams and remembering rules better. One consistent problem I have is that I occasionally forget rules. It's rather sad, actually. Missing a question because you forgot a rule is stupidity at its finest.

J.Y. always places his variables next to his diagram, especially on in-out games. I place mine on top of the rules and a bit away from the diagram itself. As such, I forget what can go where, etc.

I'm worried about running out of space if I diagram everything though. Probably need to get into a habit of writing things even smaller.

The framing itself I have absolutely no problem with. It's just that whenever I have to think about what goes into where, my brain just defeats itself. My tendency to forget rules also play into this. I panic a bit and I forget how the rules interact. Things that would be obvious if I had a clearer mind become difficult to think about.

It's worst on those questions where you have five "if X, then Y" answers, where you basically have to plug and try all five answer choices.

Daily_Double
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Re: Help with back-end LGs

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:08 pm

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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the_pakalypse
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Re: Help with back-end LGs

Postby the_pakalypse » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:31 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
magickware wrote:Basically, I have this tendency to freeze at LGs that have no clear inference and you have to plug things in to find the answer. I think it's because I'm scared that I'll run out of time, or perhaps the uncertainty of it, and as a result I either get questions wrong or I run out of time because I worry about running out of time.

Anyone know of strategies to get out of this mindset? It's really frustrating. Doing a game multiple times doesn't really seem to help.

I think a lack of confidence is also a huge part of it. I withdrew from taking the June test because I didn't feel confident, and that + my utter bomb of a Feb. test really brought my confidence for this test low. I think it's showing.


2) make sure you are prioritizing key rules and rule combinations -- pretty much all back-end games have a rule, or a combination of rules, that is/are most important to how everything else aligns. You want to get in the habit of thinking about the various limitations that rules present, and of picking certain rules/combinations of rules as being more important (if you want to ask me which rules are most important for any particular back-end game, please pm and I'll be happy to discuss) --the better you are at this, the faster the work in q's will typically go. In the Trainer I talk about these rules as creating chunks and pinches -- can't remember if I talk about it that way in the Manhattan books as well.


This is really, really important.

I'd also recommend writing out and numbering every rule (even if takes 15 more seconds) on the side like JP does. It saves a lot of time and it also gives you confidence that you aren't missing anything -- so when you have to check rules, you literally just go down that list on the side and see what combines with what to give you an inference. If there isn't anything, you can be confident that the game doesn't have anything and you can dive in quicker.

I frequently had a problem where I'd forget about one rule (even if it was really minor) because I placed it on the diagram but didn't really notice it when I was doing the game. This helped me avoid that.

magickware
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Re: Help with back-end LGs

Postby magickware » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:55 pm

Ya, I always write the rules out.

I do pretty much everything J. Y does (which seems really similar to the PS diagramming methods that I typically use). Except his diagrams are a lot clearer because he writes the variables in a place where they're actually noticeable, etc.

Anyways, I did all the in-out grouping games in the Cambridge LSAT packet today with the decision that I will just brute-force everything. That little change of thought made it a lot easier to deal with those open-ended questions where you have to plug everything. I think I'll just approach every game with this mentality from now on.

Makes me want to know what the Velocity LG method is.

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Clearly
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Re: Help with back-end LGs

Postby Clearly » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:04 pm

Do velocity LSAT. For $250 and some hardwork, you can change how you feel about LG.




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