Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

ChillTomG
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Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby ChillTomG » Fri May 29, 2015 12:25 pm

Hi guys, I have been taking some old(ish) PTs for practice. It seems that the older Logic Games are substantially different from the more modern ones. Specifically, the modern games sections seem to fall in precisely one of about six categories. There seems to be much more variety in the older games, where you may have oddballs like October 1991 game #3 (Hannah visiting cities, this relied on some small ability to add numbers).

Is this an accurate assessment, and is it pointless to even review older games that don't fit into the commonly accepted mold? (By the way, games now seem to be significantly harder, for example October 1991 game #1 was so easy it was unnerving).

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TheodoreKGB
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby TheodoreKGB » Fri May 29, 2015 12:42 pm

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Last edited by TheodoreKGB on Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Joscellin
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby Joscellin » Fri May 29, 2015 12:52 pm

They can be pretty good at getting you ready for the aforementioned curveballs, and the basic rules for sequencing, grouping, in/out, etc games still apply and are helpful.

Fred Norris
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby Fred Norris » Sat May 30, 2015 4:19 pm

If you've started studying well in advance - and that should be the case - you have nothing to lose by doing these games. But yes, they will probably be 99% useless to you. There is a psychology boost of knowing you have gone above and beyond in your studying. There really aren't that many useless games. Maybe around 10 or so. And there are also important games in the earlier preptests. There are some great sequencing games. Also, PT1 has a great circle game, and those do appear once in a blue moon and well worth practicing.

If you are pressed for time, I can give you a list of games you can skip if so desired.

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McGruff
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby McGruff » Sat May 30, 2015 6:38 pm

You should know how to solve an oddball game by whipping out lots and lots of hypos quickly, IIRC this was the best thing about the old games--a lot of them were very weird and less formulaic. These sorts of anomalies still pop up from time to time so it pays to be prepared.

PoopNpants
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby PoopNpants » Sat May 30, 2015 6:59 pm

Fred Norris wrote:If you've started studying well in advance - and that should be the case - you have nothing to lose by doing these games. But yes, they will probably be 99% useless to you. There is a psychology boost of knowing you have gone above and beyond in your studying. There really aren't that many useless games. Maybe around 10 or so. And there are also important games in the earlier preptests. There are some great sequencing games. Also, PT1 has a great circle game, and those do appear once in a blue moon and well worth practicing.

If you are pressed for time, I can give you a list of games you can skip if so desired.


What do you think of the miscellanous games in the PT 1-20 cambridge packet? I was doing some of those the other day and some were tough and weird as shit, like one game involved mixing chemicals with 4 different colors. threw me off bad

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Jeffort
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby Jeffort » Sat May 30, 2015 7:38 pm

If you're shooting for a high score (160+), it would be a mistake to assume that any of the old oddball games aren't important to study and can safely be skipped/ignored. While it is true that oddball games similar to any of the weird ones from the early PTs administered in the 1990's have only appeared on a few LSATs since year 2000, they still do occasionally pop up unexpectedly and will likely appear again unexpectedly sometime in the future.

The few administered LSATs since 1999/2000 that contained an oddball game ruined the day for many test takers that ignored/failed to study the old oddball games under the faulty assumption that they were irrelevant/nothing like them would ever appear again. The most recent occurrence of LSAC ambushing unprepared test takers by unexpectedly reincarnating and administering an old oddball game type was last year on the June 2014 LSAT in which another rare pattern game type appeared and wrecked many peoples scores.

Historically, LSAC has proven to have a nasty habit of occasionally and seemingly randomly dusting off an old hard/weird oddball game/game type that wrecked people in the distant past and using it as inspiration to write another similar oddball game for administration. It hasn't happened a huge amount of times through modern LSAT history but the February and June 2014 LSATs proved that LSAC's nasty "Let's ambush everyone with an old weird game type nobody will be expecting and that most people have never seen or studied before" habit is still alive and well.

When will another unusual game/game type appear? Only time will tell, it may be several years from now or could be soon. If you don't want to gamble with your score and risk having to re-take just because you got unlucky by getting a LG section with an unusual/old/oddball game on test day, drill, study and review all the old oddball LG's to make sure you're prepared for anything they might throw at you. There is no LSAC rule or policy that says they're only going to administer conventional games/game types on future LSAT's, so don't bank on the assumption that just because a certain game is old, weird, one of kind, etc., that nothing like it will ever appear again.

The odds are low that you'll encounter an unfamiliar/oddball game type, but they are not zero. It can happen again like last years June test proved, so it's best to be prepared for anything if you're shooting for a high score.

ChillTomG
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby ChillTomG » Sun May 31, 2015 4:55 pm

Thanks for all of the helpful responses. I may be alone in this, but I am sincerely hoping that LSAC throws in a bizarre game or four. I tend to find these easier than the newer ones since they usually rely on easy but not commonly practiced inferences. The Hannah 1991 game comes to mind (and is on the PowerScore top 10 hardest games list). If that helped to make the curve even one point more generous, I would be ecstatic.

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Jeffort
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby Jeffort » Sun May 31, 2015 10:22 pm

ChillTomG wrote:Thanks for all of the helpful responses. I may be alone in this, but I am sincerely hoping that LSAC throws in a bizarre game or four. I tend to find these easier than the newer ones since they usually rely on easy but not commonly practiced inferences. The Hannah 1991 game comes to mind (and is on the PowerScore top 10 hardest games list). If that helped to make the curve even one point more generous, I would be ecstatic.


I mostly agree with the bolded above.

Most of the unusual/non-traditional games/game types that have appeared on the modern/current format of the LSAT (June 1991 -PT1- to the present) aren't inherently more difficult from a logical and deductive reasoning standpoint than the traditional common bread and butter LG types people get really familiar with through prep and repetition/memorization since there are many of each of the common game types to practice with.

Since most prep books and classes mainly focus on familiarizing people with the common/traditional game types, teach people how each of those types work, how to diagram and set them up in effective ways, common types and sources of deductions to look for with each type, etc., when faced with an unusual/oddball/non-traditional game many people find them difficult and freeze-up/choke/go into a panic largely because of unfamiliarity since it's something unlike or significantly different than anything they've seen/practiced/memorized how to set-up and approach through repetitive exposure and practice from having drilled many versions/ones of each traditional type.

In essence, with most unusual/oddball games many people perform poorly/find them difficult/freeze-up largely because of the unfamiliarity 'fish out of water effect' since you actually have to analyze and figure out the basic ground rules of how the game logically works/how the elements, rules and relationships interact in order to figure out the overall big picture logical structure of the game including which types of logical relationships control/influence the game, what's the important logical 'action' between the elements, etc. so that you can determine an effective way to set-up and approach the game from the very beginning.

Over reliance on learning and getting good at games heavily through repetition and memorization of 'how to do' common game types leaves people with no memorized/already known way to set-up the basics of an unusual game and approach it to figure out key deductions and such.

What typically happens to many people when faced with an unfamiliar game type is basically like "OMG, WTF? How does this game work? How do I set this up? OMG OMG! Nobody taught or told me how to approach/do this type of game, WTF do I do?" and panic takes over rather than the person simply just staying calm and focusing on breaking down the rules and constraints, evaluating how they relate and interact with one another to figure out how to organize and diagram an effective set-up to then use to figure out usually pretty straightforward/basic deductions that flow from simply examining how the rules and variables interact.

In short, unusual/oddball games usually throw people into a panic and cause them problems mainly because they don't automatically know (through prior familiarity and memorization) how to start approaching the game, how to organize the information, variables and rules, what type of set-up diagram to create, what types of deductions to look for/what or where to analyze to figure out important deductions, etc. due to the novelty of the logical structure of how the game 'works'/how the variables interact within the constraints and logical structure imposed by the stimulus and rules.

A great example of an unusual/oddball/non-traditional game that caused the 'fish out of water, PANIC!' effect amongst many test takers on test day that negatively impacted their performance on the entire section and test which lead to them getting lower than expected/PT range scores is game #1 from PT51 (December 2006), the clown costume game. It's actually a really easy game but it destroyed many people when it was administered simply because of unfamiliarity with the game structure and how to set it up and figure out the rather easy key deductions.

In the days and weeks after that administration before scores were released and the test was disclosed many test takers were convinced it was a super hard 'killer game' and complained endlessly about it on discussion forums and speculated/predicted incorrectly that it was going to make the score scale/curve really generous as well as other crazy freaking out theories about LSAC making a sudden change to LG sections going forward with super hard games and other nonsense.

You can read lots of the 'post mortem' freakout discussions about that game here to see how people reacted and came up with crazy theories about how it would affect the scale/curve, that it was a sign that LSAC was changing the LG section to be mainly filled with super hard weird 'killer games' going forward and other nonsense:

https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=e ... clown+game

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/inde ... ic=76967.0


The main challenge/aspect that makes oddball/unusual games SEEM to be extremely difficulty to many test takers that causes many people to basically screw the pooch with them on test day and end up with a lackluster score compared to their PT range/average is the challenge of simply having to figure out the basics of the game in terms of how to approach it, how to create/diagram out an effective/optimal set-up to know the big picture of how the game works in order to figure out the basic deductions that make the questions pretty easy to solve quickly with accuracy.

In essence, unusual games are designed to more specifically and more heavily test peoples abilities with the first most rudimentary step involved in approaching and figuring out the basics of the game itself, namely can you quickly figure out how the game works/what's the overall logical structure imposed on the variables and quickly determine and create an effective set-up that accurately reflects the key logical relationships that control the 'action' of the variables in the context of the governing structure that you can then easily figure out the key deductions from.

One way to describe most oddball games is that they're meant to be much more 'front-loaded', meaning that the most important work that's key to answering the questions quickly and accurately is figuring out and creating an effective set-up and figuring out the key deductions up front BEFORE diving into the questions so that more time spent upfront figuring out the game, creating a good set-up and identifying important deductions is crucial to ones success with the game. If you don't put in the extra time upfront to figure out how the game works, to create a good set-up and figure out the important deductions, rushing into the questions and trying to brute force your way through them usually ends up being a time consuming/time trap frustrating panic inducing demoralizing train wreck that throws off your confidence and kills your mojo for the rest of section/rest of the test.

As LSAC simply describes the basic step one skill involved in successfully approaching a LG, the difficulty involved with unusual games is balanced heavily to "measure the ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure."

In other words, the main challenge with oddball games is figuring out how the game works/how to set it up effectively so you can figure out what's going on and identify the key relationships and deductions upfront. Once you figure that stuff out up front, assuming you properly figure out how the game works and the main deductions, the questions are typically very easy to answer quickly with accuracy and 100% confidence.

With traditional game types like in/out grouping games, basic sequencing games, defined groups grouping games, etc., for prepared test takers that have prepped at least a moderate amount there's really no challenge in figuring out what type of game it is, how it works and how to set it up/diagram your set-up base, rules, and how to note deductions on your set-up, etc. Those important first steps are pretty much just quick fairly brainless non-challenging initial tasks when attacking traditional game types for people that have learned all the common game types and drilled enough of them to basically memorize how to do the preliminary steps involved in getting acquainted with the game and understanding how to proceed in order to be able to successfully attack the questions quickly and efficiently.


IMO, the pattern game from last years June 2014 LSAT isn't really that hard. The important key deductions are actually really basic and easy to figure out once you figure out and understand how the game 'works' from analyzing the interaction of the rules and variables. For reference purposes, the game is not a 'one of a kind' as some LSAT prep companies and tutors have claimed. It's pretty much just a variation/modified version of game #4 from SuperPrep PT C (February 2000 LSAT).


The following discussion below this is not meant to be me showing off or anything ego based like that, but is meant for illustration of what I'm describing here regarding the significant importance of figuring out how the game works, creating an effective set-up, and figuring out the key deductions upfront with oddball games before rushing into the questions. If you slow down and take the time upfront to 'crack' the game open before rushing into the questions by figuring out how the game works, a good set-up and the key deductions, quickly and accurately solving the questions for most oddball games turns out to be relatively easy/straightforward. Whereas if you rush into the questions without a solid understanding of how the game works or any of the key deductions and try to brute force the questions, disaster is likely to be the result.

Last year after the June test was administered I was able to create and write a complete 100% accurate set-up and explanation of the pattern game and its key deductions very quickly the day after the test was administered without having seen the game just from getting the basic rules of the game from a few test takers that posted what they remembered about it in a tinychat group I lurked in that some test takers had created to discuss the details of the test since such posts are banned and deleted from here and other forums per LSAC's rules that prohibit test takers from discussing or disclosing any details about the contents of the test before it's disclosed.

Here's my explanation of the pattern game I wrote the day after the June 2014 was administered that I had to wait until score release day to post/publish to not violate LSAC's rules:
viewtopic.php?t=232122

If you click on the link (same link that's below this paragraph) in that post to where I first posted my explanation earlier in the day before scores had actually started being released (hence before the test was disclosed so I had not yet even seen a copy of the game!), you can see that the time stamp of that post was many hours before scores started coming out and the disclosure files became available. I kept that original post non-public on that other forum until later in the day when scores and the disclosure files had been released so as to not piss off LSAC.
https://www.lsatdiscussion.com/index.ph ... 305.0.html

ilikebaseball
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby ilikebaseball » Sun May 31, 2015 10:40 pm

i mean, its still good to exercise those muscles. It couldn't hurt. The older games were harder.

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Oskosh
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby Oskosh » Sun May 31, 2015 10:53 pm

They're relatively useless insofar as they won't mirror the LGs as precisely as more recent tests will. The current tests have become more formulaic, and only appear to be slightly weird. In reality, they are all pretty much basic sequencing, ordering, 3D ordering, grouping, order-grouping, and pattern games. As one of the users commented, the June 2014 LSAT LG section was not hard. The RC and LR was difficult in that test, but the final game was the easiest to solve, as you had only two available templates.

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jumbocolumbo
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Re: Old PT Logic Games Are Relatively Useless?

Postby jumbocolumbo » Sun May 31, 2015 11:10 pm

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