#### Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

# From my experience: The Four Pillars of LG Consistency

Alum Member 🍌🍌
in General 8684 karma

I started studying for the LSAT barely able to answer a single question on games. With no training in logic, I essentially had to start from the ground up. I credit 7Sage with allowing me giving me the tools become competent in games. I have been tutoring for about 8 months now and have been working on a system that I try to impart onto my students. Any parallels between the following steps and the advice that others have dispensed is purely coincidental. None of this is reinventing the wheel here, but rather some thoughts I have on LG consistency.

I have titled this thread "The Four Pillars of LG Consistency" for a reason. Notice that I didn't title this thread: "The Four Pillars of LG success." This is because 1.the definition of "success" will vary slightly from person to person, 2. Success has more elements to it than consistency. Consistency is a part of success. This post is better able to answer the question: "how can I keep my sections from being riddled with errors?" rather than "how can I get a -0?" The "pillars" are what emerged for me after doing over 2,000 games and teaching LG for several months. The general thread that runs through each aspect of the pillars is 1.to try to eliminate any "sloppy" errors and 2. knowing the exam well enough to be confident in our approach. Zooming out, what we are trying to do is build competency and eliminate any "mystery" the exam might present. Lets get started:

I will tell a quick story here. When I first started studying for game I spent 6 months and did 1,400 games. I thought I knew what I was doing, I thought I would have that coveted -0. When I did my first timed section, I missed 7. Partially because I drew a "V" that looked like a "U," thereby messing up a rule and ruining my score. All of this stuff has to be solved item by item. For games we are looking to extract three basic things: the rules, our pieces and our gameboard. This information will often be partially contained within the "stimulus" (the block of text to begin a game before our rules.) I cannot understate how important this step it. I have calculated that for us to be consistent on an LG section between 16 and 19 things have to go well. We have to make sure we are translating the rules correctly, we have to make sure we have a neat and coherent system etc. But for things to go bad, just one or two of those things have to fail.

1. Finding inferences, "the other side of the coin" and asking the right questions. so what is an "inference" on LG? An inference in its most appealing form is essentially a new rule. I say this because many times we will find "mini inferences" that aren't full fledged new rules but are restrictions that are helpful. An inference is a combination of the inherent constrictions of the gameboard plus a rule plus another rule in combination to create a new rule/restriction. An inference will allow us the ability to play the game essentially with a cheat code. An extra rule in our approach that we can use to our advantage. For my Survivor fans out there an inference on an LG game is essentially a hidden advantage! An inference can turn a 10 minute game into an 8 minute game. So now that we have generally defined an inference, how do we find them?

There are several ways to find the inference of a game. The most obvious is to focus on rules in which a piece is mentioned more than once. So if rules 1 and 3 both mention piece "A" we should be asking questions about what these rules mean in combination with each other along with the inherent constirctions of the gameboard (things like we are choosing 5 out of the 8 available in an in-and-out game etc.) Asking questions is a very helpful way to help us find the inference. So if a rule for a grouping game says something like: "piece A must be with exactly one other piece," we should be asking the question: who could that piece be? If in a five space sequencing game we have three pieces that are "followers" we should be asking the question: who can be first?" I believe that essential to finding an inference is asking the right questions.

What can aid us in asking the right questions? That is where the concept of the other side of the coin comes in. A coin has two different sides that express the same thing, we could be looking at the "heads" or the "tails" of a penny and those of us familiar with the penny will know that it is a penny and it has this particular value. Rules on LG are often presented to us in "the positive" or "the negative." By trying to find the other side of the coin we can help ourselves possibly find the inference. So for instance if we have a three group grouping game and piece A cannot go in the tennis group, by telling us that piece A cannot go into the tennis group the other side of the coin for that rule is: A must go in the volleyball or soccer group. It is the same thing stated in a different way, except now we have "the positive" of the rule or "the negative." You probably already do this, but often times the other side of the coin with rules is valuable information. It becomes valuable because questions will often be predicated on us knowing the other side of the coin. Take the aforementioned example. Piece A cannot be in the tennis group, which means piece A must be in the volleyball or soccer group. Another rule might tell us that a piece that piece A must stay away from piece B and a question might tell us that piece B is in the soccer group, which means, since we know the other side of the coin, that piece A must be in the volleyball group.

1. Knowing The Questions The questions is divided into two steps, the first is to know automatically what the questions are asking. What is a CBT EXCEPT? What is a MBT? what are the wrong answers to those questions? How do the wrong answers show up? So for instance a MBT question the wrong answers are either MBF options or CBT options. One must be efficient with their knowledge of what the questions are asking. This piece has to be in place.

The other aspect of this step is building on an analogy I use quite a bit with my students. That is where do we start our analysis of the question? The analogy I like to use here is that if the car won't start before we replace the transmission, let's make sure that the car is not just out of gas. This is a variation on Occam's Razor. We start with the least complicated solution-a \$5-\$10 quick solution- rather than a \$700-\$900 complicated and long solution. In LG we can often eliminate an answer choice or two from a question by a mere application of our rules. Some choices are never going to work no matter what "If" condition they give us in the question stem is. By starting our analysis here we can possibly eliminate all the wrong answer choices quickly or efficiently or we can eliminate enough o make our "testing" of the available options quicker and more efficient. Take for instance PT 11 game 1 question 2. If we start our analysis of this question by first eliminating what could never be true with a mere straightforward application of our rules, we know that answer choices (A) and (B) violate rule 5 and answer choices (C) and (D) violate rule 4. We essentially do not have to do much work here because we have worked simple to more complex and we eliminated all of the incorrect answer choices on the basis of "checking the gas" i.e. a mere application of our rules. Always try to run answer choices against the rules or your inference or mini inference unless you know the answer from a sub-game board or split etc. We maximize our chances of getting the question correct in many instances.

Knowing the questions also comes down to knowing what to look for when they ask you a straightforward MBT: this is more than likely (but not 100% of the time according that my knowledge) a point that they are rewarding you for finding the inference.
Knowing the questions also comes down to counting the "steps" away something like an "If____, then what MBT?" question form takes. +90% of the time the answer to these questions will be between 1 and 4 steps away from the condition they gave us. So for instance if the if condition they gave us tells us to place something somewhere, we ask ourselves what does that trigger (by consulting our rules that are neatly placed next to our gameboard) that should trigger something, that is 1 "step" away. That thing should trigger something else according to our rules and pieces: that thing is 2 "steps" away. one can effectively predict the answer to these questions by knowing the amount of "steps away" something is from what they have asked us. The LSAT will rarely ask us for 1 step away and will rarely ask us for 4 steps away. Instead, they will be looking for 2-3 steps away most of the time.
LG has stayed remarkably consistent for the better part of 30 years.

4.Knowing what you know and executing that knowledge The last pillar here is the actual application of your knowledge to new games and timed exams. It is one thing to know how to dig deep into the games, it is another to be so comfortable with being able to do that that you can apply that knowledge to new games in a concise and coherent fashion. This is where a focused process of drilling comes into play. When you drill, look at all of the above pillars, consciously apply your system to the game, do each game several times, you will start to see the patterns upon which the games are built.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.
David

Show Related Discussions

• #### PT23.S3.Q25 - The end of an action is the intended outcome of the actionSo, for questions that the answer choices have 'one' in them>>> **_Example_** "The end of an action is the intended outcome of the action and n…

• Monthly Member
837 karma

Thank you so much for this! It's very helpful.

• Member
640 karma

Wow. This is gold! Thank you so much for your amazing advice.

• Alum Member
90 karma

This is amazing. You are a legend.

• Alum Member
855 karma

@BinghamtonDave thanks for this -- super helpful!

I had a question about your point on MBTs usually rewarding you for making key inferences. So I've usually been following JY's method of doing the "If" questions first and then coming back to the naked ones. However, I've wondered if it might have been more useful to spend that time up front knocking out the MBT question (if I didn't have the inference figured out already) because that might help me with the other questions. What are your thoughts on this?

• Member
872 karma