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What do you do when you get a super hard game?

JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
in Logic Games 3112 karma
So the other day I got a crazy difficult game (curse you subzones) and I kinda panicked and sat there for the next 9 minutes. I wasn't sure what to do the whole time or even how to make a game board, which totally killed my score on what would have been a decent test.

I was just wondering what you all do you when get a crazy difficult game (other than panic). I know J.Y. talks about taking a step back and look at the questions but in this case it didn't work for me. Please share any strategies that you have when this happens to you. Thanks!!


  • visualcreedvisualcreed Member Inactive ⭐
    326 karma
    If I'm completely lost I usually skip the game and go to the next one (granted its not your last one) usually this helps me reset when I come back to it. The other thing is like you said look at the questions. If I can't get one I move to the next question until I get one and that usually kind of helps something click.
  • 7sagelsatstudent1807sagelsatstudent180 Alum Member
    932 karma
    PT 68 I assume... I just tried my best on that one and got half right the first go around, but some games only make sense after J.Y. explains them.
  • visualcreedvisualcreed Member Inactive ⭐
    326 karma
    @7sagelsatstudent180 I just did PT 68 as well, I got 4 wrong on the last game because I ran out of time. I should have spent more time on the setup because I had quite a bit of time left for that game. I'll still take it since this was my first LSAT work I've done in a few weeks.
  • Quick SilverQuick Silver Alum Inactive Sage
    1049 karma
    1st - realize that fear (or letting yourself get overwhelmed by fear) is your worst enemy, so take a break and ground yourself by focusing on the basics:
    -Read the rule carefully. In fact, slow down and circle key elements of the intro and the rules.
    -Make inferences. if need be, make a few setups to play around to find key inferences.
    Take that time up front to make inferences - and in some cases, full templates.
  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    edited May 2015 6867 karma
    This isn't a 'difficult game' problem - the game is just a three-group grouping game with potentially-repeating elements and conditional rules, which is nothing you haven't seen before. Rather, this seems to be a combination of reading comprehension and panic issues. Every time this game comes up, it's always because the student rushes through the setup and gets confused about the relationship between zones and subzones.

    Quick Silver has the right idea - you need to calm yourself down no matter how long it takes, and only then should you tackle the setup, one sentence at a time. You cannot let panic consume you to the point where you sit there for 9 minutes doing nothing. Just take it slow; looking back on the setup now, is it really as confusing as you thought it was the first time around?
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    edited May 2015 1654 karma
    A game's difficulty simply lies in its setup. Once you properly set up the game, the game can and should be completed fairly easily. 7sage's curriculum provides us with the tools necessary to succeed on the LG section; however, many people get so used to conventional sequencing and grouping games that they approach a game in a robotic manner. As a result, when a nontraditional game shows up on a PT, they simply freeze up and do not know how to go about it. Every game is solvable and can be setup. Just take a deep breath and think of ways (visualize the game) in which the game can be setup because as I previously mentioned, not every game is a simple sequencing and grouping game. I notice that many people find circle games and other nontraditional games to be exceptionally difficult, but the game can be setup once you take a step back and take an objective approach. That is the key to mastering the LG section of the LSAT. I suggest using the Fool Proof Method and completing 3-5 logic games daily in order to master the difficult game setups and inferences. That is how I went from religiously getting -8 to -12 on each LG section to getting -0 to -2 on each section, with the majority of the -2 sections being attributed to reading the question wrong. Trust me, setting up difficult games and drawing difficult inferences will become second nature after doing so many games.
  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    edited May 2015 3112 karma
    Thanks y'all! A lot of good comments and suggestions flowing in this post. I took @visualcreed's advice when this happened to me today on the games from 68. It worked for the most part because I found game 4 to be easier than game 3 (imo due to the set up). @"Quick Silver" yes I totally agree that getting overwhelmed is a factor here. I just need to get comfortable with taking a step back to regain composure. @alexandergreene93 I totally agree, in that I have seen a majority of improvement as a result of fool proof review. Just looks like I need to do a little bit more!

    @"Jonathan Wang" you are right, the game wasn't even that hard in retrospect. I did find the language to be rather confusing, however, while I was testing. Nonetheless, as echoed in this post, I do believe that composure is essential to success on this test. I have seen it time and time again: my best sections happen when I am the most in control. Either way, I appreciate everyone's input!
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    The setup is by far the most important part, even if it takes 5:00 minutes. But I think you'll eventually get to a point where the "super hard games," while objectively difficult, won't seem do undoable.
  • logicfiendlogicfiend Alum Member
    118 karma
    I agree with what everyone else has said—the fear of the uncertainty. I would also heavily recommend practicing with skipping questions. It feels awful in the beginning, but in the end it's what strategic test takers do.

    Especially for LR and LG, coming back to these questions with a clearer mind with fewer nerves may help avoid losing a bunch of points. At the end of the day, like what some posts have said before, it comes down to nerves. There's nothing you're going to see on these tests that you have not encountered in some shape or form in a previous test.
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