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What do you do when you realize you've messed up an inference half way through an LG section

abisin1234abisin1234 Alum Member
edited August 2016 in General 171 karma
I was doing PrepTest 29 - Section 3 - Game 4 and felt pretty good going through the board set up (split it into a couple game boards and had basically figured out the whole game -- or so I thought). However, it was only when I tried to do question 21 ("Complete list of classes for Gemena") that I realized that the answers available were not part of what my possible game boards allowed. I then realized that I had misunderstood a step (particularly the "Kate is the first female but not the first student to attend a class" rule.)

Naturally, I went back and redrew my game boards because I wasn't keeping strict time, but if I were to find myself in a situation similar to this on test day, what would be the best solution?

-Is it worth it to start the game from scratch at the expense of time?
-Am I better off going through the rules and trying to amend what I mistook?
-Or should I bite the bullet and keep going through the games, all the while keeping note of the mistake I've made?


  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11542 karma
    Oh man, this is a great question! I do think it's worth starting over, once you miss one inference you're likely to get all if not most of the questions incorrect. If this were under strict time and you're stimulating test day, I would just do the next game as to not waste any time and (hopefully) if there's time left, I'd return to that game I screwed up.

    Looking for other responses on this!
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    So....I think it depends on the inference and when you realize it is wrong.

    In your case, that is a significant inference that literally changes everything. There have been other inferences, though, that I have missed and it was something like "X cannot be next to Y" If it is something like this, I think you can usually rectify it pretty easily. However, on an inference like the on you missed I think it might be worth it to re-diagram the entire thing.

    I think this question is so hard to give a precise and absolute answer to because it is contingent on so many things. Time, the inference, the game type.... So my final judgment is that there isn't a blanket answer. But in this case, I think I would try to re-diagram the entire thing.

    Very interested in what @"Cant Get Right" has to say on this... He always comes through with some good advice in situations like these.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27868 karma
    Unfortunately I have a lot of experience with this, haha.

    So first of all, don’t panic. This is very important. If you panic, you’re going to miss far more questions than you have to because of such a mistake. So don’t do that.

    Beyond that, it very much depends on what level you’re at. At the highest levels of LG performance, the answer to this is quite simple: Use your 10 extra minutes at the end to rework the game in it’s entirety. Top performers in LG really do find themselves twiddling their thumbs at the end, or whatever it is the kids do these days. It is possible to work through all the games, then double check all of your setups and all of your answers, and then still have 5 minutes left. So the best thing you can do to practice handling this situation is to keep improving at LG. The better you get, the more time you’ll have to deal with this situation if it occurs.

    For us mortals, it really is a damage control situation. The goal is quite simply to minimize the number of points this error is going to cost us. How I proceed largely depends on the nature of the error and how deep into the game I am.

    Ideally, the error is minor and I discover it on the acceptable situation question. In this case, fix the error, clean up the game board, and proceed.

    Less ideally, we discover the same error on the last question. In this situation, I’ll usually go ahead and correct it on my game board and then scan back over my questions real quick. It’s surprising how often questions are really designed to test very specific and isolated parts of a game board, and these minor errors (let’s define a minor error as one that does not affect the placement of more than two game pieces) often don’t factor in to many of the questions.

    And then there’s major errors. You know the ones I’m talking about. These are the ones that really make us start over. Our game boards are completely wrong and we’ve got to go back to our rules and work them back into a fresh game board one by one. These completely change our game board, and at their worst, they can even change our understanding of how the game works.

    If I catch it on the first question, it’ll really depend on my understanding of the game. If it’s a classic In/Out or Sequencing game, I can probably leave my understanding of the game intact and just rewrite my game board. In this situation, I may go ahead and proceed with the game. Scratch out your old boards so there’s no chance of accidentally referring to them, and then start over. Just to reiterate here: Don’t panic! This is where the panic can really start coming into play, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time on the setup and split your board into several sub game boards. Just don’t. Set up your game just like you would if you’d gotten it right the first time. Then answer the questions and move on.

    If the same thing happens but I don’t realize it until the last question, now I’ll skip. My brain has really solidified things and is going to need a little time away to recalibrate. When I return at the end, I’ll proceed just as I would if I were coming across it the first time. Time may be a factor now, but it’s important to remember that that time is still best used setting up the game board properly. I can do far more in the questions with two minutes and a good setup than I can with five minutes and no setup.

    And then there’s the really bad mistakes that change the nature of the game entirely. So these are bad, and if I recognize I’ve done it, I immediately move on. I’m just going to need some space from this game. The best thing here is to recognize it early. Luckily, this is such a bad screw up that it’s often apparent pretty immediately. If you get all the way through a game before recognizing this, then there are some deeper issues that need to be addressed. In either case though, the best thing to do is to cut your losses and move on. By moving on, we can be productive as we let our thinking about the game reset. Return at the end and start over.

    Ultimately, the best way to prepare for dealing with any of these scenarios is to push your level of LG ability as far towards mastery as possible. Become one of the dudes that finishes consistently in 25 minutes. Even if you fall short of that, being one of the dudes that finishes consistently in 30 minutes will still leave you with plenty of time to deal with this in most cases. So just keep on your LG studies and the better you’ll get. The better you get, the more able you will become at dealing with this situation.
  • abisin1234abisin1234 Alum Member
    171 karma
    You all are amazing!
    Great advice :) :)
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11542 karma
    Just went back here to read @"Cant Get Right" 's expertise on this. Wow. Waiting for 7sage to release a book of quotes by this guy lol.
  • Stevie CStevie C Alum Member
    645 karma
    Wow. Great advice in this thread. Thanks, guys. It's incredibly generous to offer advice like this in an open forum.
  • hotranchsaucehotranchsauce Member
    edited October 2021 288 karma

    If I'm doing a timed section or timed PT then it really depends what my gut tells me. There's 3 options, right? Start from scratch, continue while making the adjustment on the fly, or just go to the next game and come back if it seems like the oversight is that big (which is just an alternative version of option 1).

    However, there are times when the oversight in question does not impede your overall understanding of the game, just that particular wrinkle. This is when adjusting on the fly is a good option because in this case it's likely that you'll only need to act "on the fly" for that one question.

  • clear227clear227 Core Member
    350 karma

    You should skip it.


    The LSAT is a tightly timed test. You can't afford to sit there and say "wait, let me understand this, what did I get wrong?"

    You probably misread or misunderstood something, forgot a rule, wrote the letters in a confusing way, etc. Get the fuck out of there and go on to the next game where you are starting out fresh.

    When you come back to this game later, having been away for a while, you are going to be able to see it in a new light.

  • CrookshanksCrookshanks Member
    54 karma

    Don’t know if this is the best advice but I did this on the August test and ended up fixing the inference, checking my answers for the first few questions, and still had more than enough time to finish the section confidently! For me, I would have been stressing if I skipped it, so I just fixed it then and there. To each their own!

  • jknarf513jknarf513 Member
    189 karma

    All the advice above is so great. This isn't directly answering your question, but maybe something that can help you avoid that situation altogether...focus on process. When I am in this position, it's usually because I read a rule wrong or missed something in the stimulus. As a result, I've been SO strict with myself when it comes to LG process. I double check all the rules and make sure I understood them correctly (ex. reading L and R go together instead of L and R cannot go together). Then when I make gameboards if I'm splitting, I try to do a quick double check against the rules to make sure everything looks correct.

  • clear227clear227 Core Member
    edited October 2021 350 karma

    Above is great advice. The best way to avoid making these errors is to get clear and consistent about your LG process.

    I recommend numbering all the rules (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), which can help you prevent missing one.

    Always write the "players" at the top and circle the number that there are of them (e.g. 7).

  • clear227clear227 Core Member
    350 karma

    Don’t know if this is the best advice but I did this on the August test and ended up fixing the inference

    This is good if you can easily find the error, but skipping is essential if you "just can't figure out where you went wrong".

    For me, I would have been stressing if I skipped it, so I just fixed it then and there. To each their own!

    This is why it's great to have a process in place and a plan for what you will do if you run into trouble. I am consistently getting -0 to -1 on LG, and I think skipping is essential. I give myself 5 minutes for each game and then I move on to the next one, even if I have questions left to answer.

    Then again, I have been doing this for 20 tests, so it's ingrained in me to do this!

  • giulia.pinesgiulia.pines Member
    466 karma

    @clear227 You mean you give yourself 5 minutes for game set-up, and if you still can't get it you move on, or you always give yourself 5 minutes and then move to the next game no matter how many questions you have or have not answered?

  • clear227clear227 Core Member
    edited October 2021 350 karma

    I give myself five minutes for the entire game, and then I move on to the next one.

    I subtract 5 from 35 and say "I am moving on to the next game when the clock hits 30". Then on the next game I subtract another 5 and say "I am moving on when the clock hits 25".

    What happens is that I get through all 4 games in 20 minutes. Then I have 15 to do a second run through. This way you can avoid getting "stuck" on a challenging game and not getting to the easier questions.

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