Strategies for quickly drawing charts/tables?

TorontoVSallTorontoVSall Alum Member
in General 104 karma

This might seem silly, but I feel like I screw myself over and waste a lot of time with poorly drawn charts/tables (in/out) on LGs.

I have the dexterity of an elephant and fat clumsy fingers. I know we aren't allowed to use rulers on the LSAT, but could we fold paper to make a ruler? Anyone have any pointers or is it just a matter of slowing down a bit to have a more legible diagram?


  • MIT_2017MIT_2017 Alum Member
    edited November 2019 470 karma

    I definitely think "folding paper to use it as a ruler" seems like the wrong way to go about focusing your time and effort.... Are they so illegible that you find them confusing yourself? Are they big and sloppy that after drawing a few you've taken up most of the blank space on the pages?

    I'd suggest you either just try to internalize JY's methods of charting/diagramming or spend some time after each question thinking about ways you could have diagrammed quicker or more neatly. A (very) small tip I discovered was that each time I'd write out " __ __ __ __ " for a sequencing game, I didn't have to restrict myself to placing letters above the lines/spaces. It's perfectly valid to place them below. Even better, you can place letters below, and letters above, and treat them as separate boards. Thus, each time you draw one board you have essentially created two new boards for you to use.

    Perhaps an elaboration on exactly where you find yourself struggling most would allow for people to provide advice more tailored to your situation.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Member
    5249 karma

    I'd say being flexible and trying different things.

  • noonawoonnoonawoon Alum Member
    3481 karma

    For mini charts & diagrams for individual questions, it helps if you can use your memory to carry over certain labels onto the new diagram, rather than having to draw out all your labels for each question. So that way you're only drawing the main structure and the variables in the chart, rather than fully fleshing out a new chart for each example

  • Ms NikkiMs Nikki Alum Member
    128 karma

    General time savers I use:

    Whenever I know something is sequencing, I will make two master game boards after writing down all my rules. I think I usually do this for in out boards as well, but I wait to see if there is a good split first. I know I will use at least two boards, and writing them at the same time makes it seem faster than looking at a question and then writing it and then using it for that question. If it is a sequencing with days (mon -fri) i will write the abbreviation under one board (M T W Th F) and try to line the rest up underneath. I always do this with charts if they have a lot of restrictive rules. This helped me a lot on the flowers game because it gave me an inference that let me have 2 master game boards. It also makes things neater imo than quickly scribbling other boards.

    If the sentencing board uses numbers (1-7 for examples instead of mon thru fri) I never write the numbers. Instead, I will put a small gap between the 4th and 5th number and use that as reference. Strange at first but did come in handy and become habit soon.

    In in out games with fixed numbers, I dont put a fixed number of spaces in the board for both sides as it makes my boards look cluttered. If one has a max of 2 or 3 then I might add the lines, but usually only when there is only two options for one line. ( for example, if G-->~H then I might makes a line and put the G/H on master game board). If there is a fixed number (3 in 4 out) I might write it on the bottom of the board or just remember it.

    Another tip is know on the digital test you will be using scrap paper so you can make big boards if it helps you and use a whole page per board instead of writing by questions. If something is messy, cross it out, try not to erase. If you mess up on a board, don't spend time trying to save it if it will give up legibility. Just make a new one.

    Additionally, listen to JY's advice about doing additional premise Qs first. Use intuition to try out ACs in CBT and MBT to eliminate number of boards made.

    Games with charts can be messy for me. To remedy this I really think of the neatest way to write it. What pieces should go on top, what should go on the sides? I personally do better with more pieces going horizontal than vertical. Sometimes you don't need to write in lines for your charts if they are small enough and trace with fingers. (Like a 3x3 or so) If you do make lines, know you can make a big board.

    Lastly, just be relaxed doing the games. This comes with confidence and practice, but it will make your boards neater. Rushing to write something that is messy will waste more time. But really spending an extra second on legibility makes the whole game go by easier.

  • TorontoVSallTorontoVSall Alum Member
    104 karma

    Thanks to everyone for replying, especially @MIT_2017 and @Ms Nikki, super helpful!

  • Ms NikkiMs Nikki Alum Member
    128 karma

    @TOvsEverybody said:
    Thanks to everyone for replying, especially @MIT_2017 and @Ms Nikki, super helpful!

    Absolutely! Hope some of the tips come in handy.

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