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June 2014 LSAT
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Law School Prep
How to go faster on logic games?
Hi, general question about strategy here. I can manage to solve almost every game in practice, but my problem is doing it fast enough to complete an entire section.
I think I have the understanding down; I suspect the problem is being too thorough (ex.double checking each answer on a CBT question, drawing all the possibilities when I don't need to).
Does anybody have tips/habits on how to go faster?
For finishing all 24(ish) questions on LG under 35 minutes
(1) Finish a game in under 5 minutes.
(2) Trust your game board and inferences such that once you get to a right answer, you move on. Double checking is a (time) luxury in Games. This one's a tactical call - you trade off accuracy for speed.
(3) Spend time upfront on the game board. You have to understand dynamics of the pieces w/the rules w/the board. Otherwise you will be slow on the questions.
(4) Some singular questions are time sinks. Skip them. Come back later.
(5) When you have to brute force your way through the answers, be clever about it. I know this one's BS advice because how does one go about being "clever?" I don't have general rules to dole out. But you see specific instances in the video lessons.
Anyone else? I find that I generally tend to do these things.
Start writing really really fast. If your boards are "nice" then you're taking your time in my opinion. But I'm not advocating you write sloppy to the point where you can't even understand what you are writing. So for example, on sequence games, if you have to draw 7 slots, just draw 7 dashes really fast, etc.
For me, I'm like a robot, if i automatically see the words "one at a time" ...then my brain goes "BOOM" get ready to start writing them dashes. There are shortcuts, like if its the grouping games and you see If Y and Z cannot be together, then I just draw the box with Y and Z and make a slash through it instead of drawing the bi-arrow and the variables at each side with one of them slashed out (I save this for "other" certain types of games).
Also, completing the board as much as you can helps too. if a rule says If Z is selected, then X cannot be selected..then you already know that at least one variable must be out at all times.
For CBT there is only one! For MBT, I try to prove it false or if there is a certain slot that doesn't have the Y or Z, then I know its not that answer. Draw out sub-board games only if you know that you aren't going to sink in 2-3 minutes drawing it but do draw them during reviewing.
You have to get into that robot zone mode. I honestly don't know how to explain this and stress this out enough. After doing so many logic games where I thought I was getting carpo (?) tunnel you start seeing things that stand out. The perfect logic games method thing works and makes you get a lot faster because once you see those certain words like "there are three classes, or there are six scheduled airlines one after the other" your brain just clicks and gets ready because you already know what they are going to throw at you.
I try to speed through MBT and MBF questions and spend more time on the CBT/CBF (this is super obvious, but I find this helpful to keep track of the questions I know I have to kind of speed up on). And if you've diagrammed enough of the game board, the MBT questions/MBF questions typically are easy pickens -- also true because since its a MBT, once you find the right answer choice, you just move on.
I also tend to think that the grouping games go slower for me than the linear games -- so it may be a good idea just to get a general sense of whether or not there is a pure linear game.
I also had a questions-- how much time is too much time when splitting the game board? I know with some games say PT 27 game 3-- the directors and film buffs game-- the initial diagram with 4 possibilities was a huge time sink for me, but I wouldn't have been able to answer the questions without splitting game boards. Thoughts?
See that is the big question. How much time should you really spend on splitting the boards? I think there is no one right answer and it depends on many factors; how much time you have left, how many do you think they're really are?, etc..
I know I keep saying this repetitively but I think it depends on the game and how you perceive the game to be during timed conditions.
My two cents on speeding up:
1. After setting up your board and pieces, and if the game is very open-ended, draw up a couple of hypotheticals to get a general feeling of the rules and also to double check them. You are going to draw up hypotheticals later anyway, and you may even get lucky with a couple of CBT questions.
2. If the game is restrictive, ALWAYS split the boards. Some people think that this is a waste of time, but hey, you are going to be doing it later anyway. The more you figure out up front, the less time you are going to spend on each question. You will be surprised how much time and effort this method saves! Being able to judge whether or not to split really depends on your experience.
3. Tackle the localized (if blah blah) questions first. They provide you with another premise which basically is another restriction. Take it!
4. REPEAT your old games and do as MANY games as possible. This is the KEY to improving on games. Think of yourself as a program that predicts something and the games as data. The more data you have, the more accurately and quickly you will be able to predict the outcome of a certain event.
Personally, I used to struggle with games because they were just so alien to me but after repeating and repeating, I average -1 to -2. It's really weird because even on the games that I felt that I bombed (especially the older games), I end up getting most of them right :)
p.s. Just bear in mind that the key to LSAT is about practice and repetition. Why? Because LSAC needs to maintain a certain level of difficulty in order to yield bell curves that are similar to the ones before. So the types of questions cannot change dramatically! This is especially true for games, so REPEAT!!
About your p.s. I'm not too sure on how monotonous the repetition is. Maybe for the logic games with slight changes but I feel that the reading comprehension is somewhat different from the older preptests (30's-early 50's). It could just be me though :/
Yea I agree that RC changes a lot but I also find some value in repeating old reading passages that I don't really remember because it allows me to get a "sense" of where the questions might be asked on haha.
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