Logic Games - Making Difficult Inferences vs Jumping into Questions

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mysonx3

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Logic Games - Making Difficult Inferences vs Jumping into Questions

Post by mysonx3 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:51 pm

I've been working through the PowerScore Logic Games Bible, and I'm noticing that there are times when they make some rather difficult inferences where their explanation seems to be along the lines of "if you place variable X in this spot, you can place variable Y in either this spot or this spot. If you do the former, there's no room for such and such, and if you do the latter, there's no room for such and such". I would give specific examples, but I'm not sure if maybe that would be bad since it might "spoil" the logic game for someone who might be using it in a practice test later.

Basically, my question is - should I be focusing on learning to make difficult inferences during setup, or should I make the "easier" inferences and jump into the questions and hope things fall into place? I know a lot of this depends on just how difficult the inferences are, so I wish I could provide a better explanation of the type of inference I'm talking about. I'm getting almost all of the core/basic inferences already.

mwells_56

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Re: Logic Games - Making Difficult Inferences vs Jumping into Questions

Post by mwells_56 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:02 am

mysonx3 wrote:I've been working through the PowerScore Logic Games Bible, and I'm noticing that there are times when they make some rather difficult inferences where their explanation seems to be along the lines of "if you place variable X in this spot, you can place variable Y in either this spot or this spot. If you do the former, there's no room for such and such, and if you do the latter, there's no room for such and such". I would give specific examples, but I'm not sure if maybe that would be bad since it might "spoil" the logic game for someone who might be using it in a practice test later.

Basically, my question is - should I be focusing on learning to make difficult inferences during setup, or should I make the "easier" inferences and jump into the questions and hope things fall into place? I know a lot of this depends on just how difficult the inferences are, so I wish I could provide a better explanation of the type of inference I'm talking about. I'm getting almost all of the core/basic inferences already.
Depends on you. When I first started studying I would always try to "solve" the game right out of the gate, hoping to find all the inferences and answer every question in a hot sec. Then I got a tutor and told me to just set up a simple board, put the pieces in place and jump right in to it. I brute forced every question, and if I found an inference along the way, I added it to my main board. If you can get fast enough at the plug an chug, it's a more sure-fire way to make sure you've got the right answer (because you've worked through many possibilities). This is not the TCR though. It worked for me (consistent 0/-1 by the time I was done) but might not work for everyone.

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LSATWiz.com

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Re: Logic Games - Making Difficult Inferences vs Jumping into Questions

Post by LSATWiz.com » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:23 am

You should always look to combine rules that can be combined. That doesn't require making a sketch, but LSAC expects higher level test takers to be able to make those inferences and designs questions to throw free points at those that do.

It may help to know why the logic games section is there, and what LSAC is trying to test for. In law school and practice, you'll often have a general rule but an exception or defense that comes up in specific cases. You're going to be expected to balance multiple rules and see how they fit in with each other. That's why at a basic level if you have a rule that says A before B and another that says B before C, you will almost always have a question about the earliest C could go or latest A could go.

At the end of the day, you are going to have to combine rules at some point - either before the questions or on a question. It makes more sense to do it upfront because then you can use that information on every question, not only the one that's specifically testing for your ability to combine rules.

Regarding setting up master sketches or multiple master sketches based around where you place one variable, this is a game specific inquiry. There's no uniformly correct approach. Sometimes it's extremely helpful, sometimes it's a waste of time. You need to develop sufficient proficiency to be able to make that call at the line of scrimmage. As a general rule of thumb, straight distribution games tend to be the most successiptible to being reducible to a few sketches.

THB_Law_2020

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Re: Logic Games - Making Difficult Inferences vs Jumping into Questions

Post by THB_Law_2020 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:23 pm

mysonx3 wrote: Basically, my question is - should I be focusing on learning to make difficult inferences during setup, or should I make the "easier" inferences and jump into the questions and hope things fall into place? I know a lot of this depends on just how difficult the inferences are, so I wish I could provide a better explanation of the type of inference I'm talking about. I'm getting almost all of the core/basic inferences already.
I have a fairly systematized process when approaching Logic Games:

1. Read Q. Stem while thinking about the game board.
2. Diagram game board based on mental understanding.
3. Translate, notate, and diagram the rules into a “lawgic” language.
4. Make basic inferences.
5. Think about your lawgic rules AND your diagram and how they fit together.
6. Make extra inferences.
7. If necessary, split the game board.

I strongly recommend going thoughtfully and slowly (even casually) when reading the Q. Stem, even if you zip through the questions. A slow approach and a willingness to adapt your game board as necessary can dramatically improve the game’s clarity (and thus make inferences easier too).

If you are at an early stage of your LSAT prep, I would highly recommend learning how to make difficult inferences. This might require you to repeat a game several times, but it can save you time and stress (which will cloud your reasoning abilities on the real LSAT).

It’s very possible to discover inferences on the go, and at some point you will inevitably miss an inference. However, I personally wouldn’t recommend this approach.

I would venture that every inference will save you at least a minute on a particular question. Failing to make an inference at all can cost you several points.

I would recommend looking at 7Sage’s free Logic Games explanations on YouTube for any game that you didn’t flawless with ease.

Conclusion: Yes, learn more difficult inferences now. If an inference can be made, learn how to make it in the future.

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Dcc617

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Re: Logic Games - Making Difficult Inferences vs Jumping into Questions

Post by Dcc617 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:57 pm

My strategy was always to get as much as possible out of the initial setup as I could, and make every inference possible up front. Then I could plug in additional info from each question and get the answers. I got a perfect score on the LG section, for what it’s worth.

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