Canceled score -- now what?

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USAO-vet
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Canceled score -- now what?

Postby USAO-vet » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:51 pm

The October 5th LSAT crushed me. Logic games was my first section, I got flustered and drastically underperformed. I studied for 2 1/2 months (all three Manhattan books, PTs 44 – 69, Cambridge drilling, 7sage LG videos) prior to the actual test and was consistently scoring in the mid to low 160s. It was in the back of my head going into the test that I really wanted to break a 170, certainly would not do so, and therefore would be back in December. Well, what I didn’t expect was how much my nerves would affect me and how catastrophically I’d bomb the logic games. I had been doing okay on them in my practice tests (-2 to -5 on average) and didn’t expect to implode like I did on the real thing – I straight up guessed on at least eight questions. As soon as I encountered any difficulty on them my adrenaline got pumping like crazy and severe tunnel vision ensued, compounding my troubles. This poor performance stuck in my head for the rest of the test and really distracted me. I was certain I did terrible and canceled my score after completing the fifth section.

I really want to get a better grasp of games in preparation for December. Do you think it’s wise review Manhattan again and continue drilling and PTing or should I pick up the LSAT Trainer book or perhaps purchase full access 7sage? When it comes to LR and RC I’m currently looking at -3 to -5 consistently on each section and definitely want to bring that down too, but LG is the most anxiety provoking for me. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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USAO-vet
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby USAO-vet » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:12 pm

Oh, and I work about 50 hrs per week so my study time has been a little constrained and will continue to be.

The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:48 pm

If you don't mind me asking --

1) How did you study for LG, exactly, the first time through? I know you mentioned the materials, but how did you use them?

2) What do you fear most about Logic Games? Imagine some magic genie appeared and said he can take away x number of Logic Games concerns for you -- what concerns would you ask him to get rid of for you?

-- Mike

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USAO-vet
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby USAO-vet » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:19 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:If you don't mind me asking --

1) How did you study for LG, exactly, the first time through? I know you mentioned the materials, but how did you use them?

2) What do you fear most about Logic Games? Imagine some magic genie appeared and said he can take away x number of Logic Games concerns for you -- what concerns would you ask him to get rid of for you?

-- Mike


Don't mind at all. After reading each chapter in the Manhattan LG book I'd drill some of the corresponding questions from the Cambridge materials taken from previous LSATs. If I had a particularly difficult time with any of them I'd watch the 7sage video. Seemed to help, but I still don't feel overly confident. Some things still really leave me scratching my head and I end up burning a ton of time. That's what hurts me the most on logic games. If a genie game me a wish, more time to finish the LG section would be it. Most questions aren't difficult because I'm at a loss of how to set up, but rather because I get pinched for time and end up freaking out.

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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:26 pm

USAO-vet wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:If you don't mind me asking --

1) How did you study for LG, exactly, the first time through? I know you mentioned the materials, but how did you use them?

2) What do you fear most about Logic Games? Imagine some magic genie appeared and said he can take away x number of Logic Games concerns for you -- what concerns would you ask him to get rid of for you?

-- Mike


Don't mind at all. After reading each chapter in the Manhattan LG book I'd drill some of the corresponding questions from the Cambridge materials taken from previous LSATs. If I had a particularly difficult time with any of them I'd watch the 7sage video. Seemed to help, but I still don't feel overly confident. Some things still really leave me scratching my head and I end up burning a ton of time. That's what hurts me the most on logic games. If a genie game me a wish, more time to finish the LG section would be it. Most questions aren't difficult because I'm at a loss of how to set up, but rather because I get pinched for time and end up freaking out.


One follow up q for you --

Why do games take you too long? If you were to compare yourself to where you think you should be, where are you wasting time/ what is causing your timing issues?

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USAO-vet
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby USAO-vet » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:33 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
USAO-vet wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:If you don't mind me asking --

1) How did you study for LG, exactly, the first time through? I know you mentioned the materials, but how did you use them?

2) What do you fear most about Logic Games? Imagine some magic genie appeared and said he can take away x number of Logic Games concerns for you -- what concerns would you ask him to get rid of for you?

-- Mike


Don't mind at all. After reading each chapter in the Manhattan LG book I'd drill some of the corresponding questions from the Cambridge materials taken from previous LSATs. If I had a particularly difficult time with any of them I'd watch the 7sage video. Seemed to help, but I still don't feel overly confident. Some things still really leave me scratching my head and I end up burning a ton of time. That's what hurts me the most on logic games. If a genie game me a wish, more time to finish the LG section would be it. Most questions aren't difficult because I'm at a loss of how to set up, but rather because I get pinched for time and end up freaking out.




One follow up q for you --

Why do games take you too long? If you were to compare yourself to where you think you should be, where are you wasting time/ what is causing your timing issues?


Probably trying to brute force my way though some questions and missing a small inference. I'd like to get to the point were I'm getting most question done under 8 min and not panicing.

All Star
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby All Star » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:00 pm

To Mike and the OP- I currently am experiencing panic issues in games much like what happened to the OP last Saturday.

As an aside, Mike, I would like to thank you for writing the trainer. I'm using it now to prepare for December and found it extremely helpful on all sections, especially for RC. I saw drastic RC improvements after working for the Trainer and think that it is easily the best RC method out there. I was finally able to ignore the subject matter and focus solely on passage structure!

For LG, I would like some advice on how to handle games that have limited or no inferences and some general timing strategies. Another main fault of mine is struggling to figure out questions like "What is the maximum number of spaces that can be between N and O?", for example. Any advice on how to improve on this?

Thanks so much and to the OP, keep working and focus on retaking in December. I had to postpone to December because of many of the same issues that you mentioned.

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Clearly
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby Clearly » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:09 pm

Velocity lsat for games, cheap, and the best out there.

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barrelofmonkeys
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby barrelofmonkeys » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:42 pm

I started with the LGB before my first take and then went into Manhattan for my second take. I found both books extremely helpful, but I think some things (especially in/out games! clicked for me with Manhattan). Manhattan is definitely more readable.

It sounds like you're spending lots of time with the questions, and I'd advise you spend more time with the set-up.

Before you even start timing yourself on games, just drill a bunch of them untimed. Give yourself plenty of time to set up the diagram, make as many (important) inferences as you can, and then go into the questions, armed with some extra knowledge about the game.

A strong diagram and internalized knowledge of the rules will basically answer the questions for you.

Of course, some games aren't so upfront, and you'll only have a barebones diagram, or just an understanding of the rules. These "back-end" games will require more time spent with the questions and less time on set-up. Being able to recognize the difference is important. Manhattan focuses on that a lot.

If I were you, I'd go back to the basics. Read through a book again, really internalize each game type and how to diagram the rules. Drill a bunch of games, but don't time yourself. Let yourself work through everything and *understand* the game.

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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:09 am

Hey op --

The exam experience you discuss is an extremely, extremely common one -- in particular, the feeling of panicking and developing tunnel vision --

It's also very common for students to feel that they could be great at logic games...if they could just get a bit more time --

Here are some thoughts for both of those issues -- I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you need the trainer -- I think this advice is relevant no matter what learning system you use.

As a caveat -- I don't know you at all, so I'm going to throw out various tips that have been effective for different students over the years -- please feel free to pick and choose what you think will be helpful and ignore the rest --

Overall timing is a consequence of two different issues -- the actual pace at which you do things, and your efficiency -- that is, you might take too long on questions because you use an effective method too slowly, or because you use methods that cause you to go through far more steps than you need to. For most students, efficiency is the bigger issue, and, once they start getting really efficient, they tend to also get faster and faster at those same steps -- sounds like, from your description of tunnel vision and having to use brute force, that it's an efficiency issue for you as well -- you are having timing issues because you are going through too many unnecessary motions to arrive at the right answer (I'm reading into just a few clues, so I realize I could be totally off), and taking too many paths of thought that lead to dead ends.

Why are you not as efficient as you could be/should be at solving questions? On a practical level, we can split all issues into two arenas: one, you don't have enough control over the game scenario. Maybe you notated things "correctly," but don't have a strong mental sense of what the rules actually mean or how they actually come together, and so you can't easily visualize different scenarios when you need to (more on this later). Two, you don't have correct habits for solving specific types of questions -- maybe you don't switch it up from how you solve a must be true (typically, you want to look for the right answer) to how you solve a could be true (typically want to eliminate wrong choices) -- in my experience, for both RC and LG, a lot of students seriously underestimate the importance of the question stem, and, once they start really developing a very specific sense of what questions are asking for, and how to attack them, the questions often become much easier, and often start making a lot more obvious sense.

So, I encourage you to think about the level of control that you feel over games, and also the specific strategies you use for specific types of questions. Know that all "efficiency" issues can be explained on those terms, and, I think if you use that as your gauge as you review, it can make it much easier to see why certain games/questions are taking you longer than they should.

In terms of checking your level of control over games, here are some markers to keep in mind/suggestions for testing yourself --

1) having gone through all that prep, you should have a very strong sense of how all games relate to one another and to the basic concepts of assignment, ordering, and grouping. Try going through a bunch of past exams you've already done (10 exams or so), take a look at all of the scenario/rules sets, and see if you can "visualize," roughly, how each one will play out. At this point, this is something that should be very easy for you. If it's not, it's a sign that you don't see clearly enough how different games relate to one another. This in turn will leave you with weaker instincts to rely on when you run into trouble on test day. If you do feel weak here, make sure you spend some time studying up not on what category each game falls into, but rather how the different categories are all related to one another.

2) having gone through all that prep, you should also have a very strong sense of how to notate just about any rule. During the same check-up above, see if you can visualize how to notate pretty much every rule you see -- again, just like with the above, this should feel very easy for you -- if it doesn't, that puts you at a serious disadvantage when it comes time to quickly make hypos, etc.

3) having gone through all that prep, you should have a fairly good sense of what combination of rules/inferences are key, and, related to that, when it makes sense to create frames and when it doesn't. This is not nearly as easy or automatic as 1) or 2), but obviously it's important. You can check on this as well during the same check-up, and, especially if you've done these games before, hopefully you have some notes that help you see whether your instincts about the key rules/inferences/whether you should frame were correct or not.

Tough games are tough, no matter what, but if you have a very strong understanding of how all games relate to one another, and if your notations are automatic enough so that you don't have to think about them, you've put yourself in a better position than 9/10 test takers -- it may seem simple, but I really encourage you to focus on those two very attainable goals.

Some other advice specific to dealing with nerves --

1) Do all practice like the real thing -- after your first time playing, worry about the perfect way to set up your diagram, etc, but every single time you practice a game for the first time, and for a score, time yourself, and try to imagine you are taking it on the real exam. You don't want to be a practice player -- that little bit of effort it takes to make things more realistic will pay off on test day.

2) Don't underestimate the value of having a lot of "control" over the rules. For example, after you set up and before going into the q's, look at each of your notations, say what it means to yourself, then check it against the written text to make sure you are right. A lot of students think they don't have time for this sort of thing, but it's the type of work that leads to the type of control that then leads to you solving all q's much, much faster.

2) Be prepared for running into challenges on test day, and make sure you practice for how you should react -- a lot of students, the first time they study, are focused on the best, or most clever, ways to solve a problem or game perfectly (like that feeling of using the logic chain perfectly and getting through a game in 4 mins). The second time prepping, you have a much more visceral sense of what that pressure can do to you, and what you need in order to perform under pressure, and so you end up gravitating toward systems that are more consistently successful, and you also should end up thinking a lot more about secondary strategies. How can you tell when you've diagrammed a game wrong or missed a key inference? How do you recover from that? What do you do when your first crack at a question doesn't go as you'd like? How much more time should you give yourself? Remember that preparing isn't just about figuring out the best ways to take the exam -- it's about getting ready for all the different types of decisions you'll have to make/challenges you are likely to face. Make sure you don't go into the exam hoping everything will go as you want (because it won't) -- make sure you go in feeling like you are better prepared than others for the challenges that you're about to face.

Sorry for the length -- if I had more time it would be shorter -- I hope you had the patience to read through it, and I hope you find it helpful -- Mike

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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:16 am

All Star wrote:To Mike and the OP- I currently am experiencing panic issues in games much like what happened to the OP last Saturday.

As an aside, Mike, I would like to thank you for writing the trainer. I'm using it now to prepare for December and found it extremely helpful on all sections, especially for RC. I saw drastic RC improvements after working for the Trainer and think that it is easily the best RC method out there. I was finally able to ignore the subject matter and focus solely on passage structure!

For LG, I would like some advice on how to handle games that have limited or no inferences and some general timing strategies. Another main fault of mine is struggling to figure out questions like "What is the maximum number of spaces that can be between N and O?", for example. Any advice on how to improve on this?

Thanks so much and to the OP, keep working and focus on retaking in December. I had to postpone to December because of many of the same issues that you mentioned.


Hi -- thanks so much for your comments -- and I hope you find some of the above helpful in terms of the panic issues.

Have you read 27 and 39 yet? 27 has a few pages of discussion max/min q's, and 39 has suggestions about timing strategies. That last set of LG -- (26 to 29) also has a lot of general discussion about how to handle back-end games. Not sure if you were looking for something beyond that, and if so I'm happy to try and help, but I thought I'd mention the book references first just in case --

Really happy to hear that you are finding the trainer helpful -- please let me know here, on my thread, or through pm if you need anything else -- Mike

dosto
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby dosto » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:31 am

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Last edited by dosto on Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

All Star
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby All Star » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:30 am

Thanks Mike, I just finished the RC section of the Trainer and am going to start working on Chapter 26 today. I'm glad that you covered max/min questions in the trainer and I'm sure that all of my questions are answered in the Trainer (like they were for RC). Thanks so much for your response! I found the above information very helpful. It looks like you really need to drill LG strategies into your mind so when test day rolls around you'll know exactly how to handle any game thrown at you, even with test day nerves.

Ltraha8
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby Ltraha8 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:18 pm

How long did it take for you to get confirmation of your cancellation? I faxed mine in late yesterday afternoon, but haven't received an email yet.

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fnma2jd
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Re: Canceled score -- now what?

Postby fnma2jd » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:29 pm

I can second that LSAT trainer is good for games. I used a combo of velocity/7sage/lsat trainer and am -0/-1 on games. I used all three but really felt that things clicked when I went through the trainer. Lsat trainer is nice because it really breaks down some of the underlying principles in the games. A good example is on unstable games you need to think off possible number combinations (I think BP refers to it as "playing the numbers") They have drills that specifically focus on that. Same goes for every other little minor baby step that could be missed with self study.

Another thing that kind of made games a lot better for me was realizing that if they ask about a certain game piece in a certain spot, it is because there is an inference related to it. After a while I began to hit a question and be like oh they're asking me because this piece splits up the game board or because this one forces a few other pieces into certain spots. While practicing, get used to looking at a question and asking yourself "why are they asking this?" also maybe try to figure out if the question is hinting at an inference.

edit: edited because I type like a 3 year old




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