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Setup and Rule Diagrams

Dave Killoran
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Great, glad I could help! Don't feel bad about it—you are definitely not the first person to make that error, and the great thing is that it happened now, while you are practicing, and not on the real thing. Now that this has occurred, I'm positive it will never happen to you again. That's a huge benefit, and another example of why doing practice questions is so essential!
Dave Killoran
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deck1134
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Hi PowerScore,

I did this game without the identity the templates approach. My tutor (a powerscore tutor) mentioned that sometimes writing out all the patterns didn't help very much. How do we know when it is worth doing so? I specifically struggled with this game and the "Clan Harvest Ceremony" game from December 1994, precisely because I was not able to see the patters before jumping in. I can do the problems by grinding the rules, but I sometimes struggle with what the pattern is. I know that on the Clan game, they force the Identify the Possibilities in the second to last question, but this game doesn't have anything like that.

My problem is that I see the full scope of possibilities after about 5 minutes, which doesn't leave time for the harder questions, like 22.

Any advice?
Vaidehi Joshi
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@deck1134

You're right that it is tough but key to know exactly when it's "worth your while" to write out all the possibilities (or templates, if it's an "identify the template" game, rather than an "identify the possibilities" game; both are "limited solution set" games). You don't want to find yourself in the position where you THINK you're halfway through writing all the possibilities, just to realize there are way more of them than you anticipated, and that you'll never finish in time!

Unfortunately, the type of game (linear, grouping, etc.) doesn't always help, because there is no specific game type that is necessarily geared towards ID the Poss./ID the temp. games. Rather, the key is to quickly see that there is some type of restriction or limitation, explicit or implicit in the rules, that leads to just a few solutions in reality, where there might otherwise be numerous solutions.

I would say my strategy has always been to start with the possibility of a game being ID. the temp., and then seeing if you can push further into ID. the poss., rather than vice versa. This is because if you start ID.ing the temps., you can proceed further into the individual possibilites without having wasted time, but if you start with ID.ing the possibilities, you may have already wasted time! Does this make sense? In that sense, "ID. the poss." type games are merely an extension of "ID. the temp." games.

There is no one type of rule that is a universal red flag indicating that a game has a limited solution set. A helpful practice would be to go back through games that you already know are limited solution set games, and ask yourselve what rule triggers the limited quality of it.

In the flask game here, for example, the key is to notice that each experiment combined 2 of the flasks, and no result of an experiment can be used. This makes a limited number of possible outcomes.
deck1134
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Thanks!

I think my question would be how many templates are too many. I'm not sure of the lingo to use, but this problem had 9 different possibilities, with both the first and second rounds, for really only five questions. Wouldn't it be faster to just write down the template you need as you come to it? How do you decide?
Dave Killoran
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deck1134 wrote:Thanks!

I think my question would be how many templates are too many. I'm not sure of the lingo to use, but this problem had 9 different possibilities, with both the first and second rounds, for really only five questions. Wouldn't it be faster to just write down the template you need as you come to it? How do you decide?


Hey Deck,

Your question doesn't have a hard answer, and it will depend on each situation. If you asked me out of the blue if 9 solutions was too many to diagram in an IDT game, my initial reaction would be yes, mainly because I'd envision laying out 9 separate scenarios of, say, a Linear game with 7 spaces. That would be a lot of work! But in this game, the 9 solutions are super compact and fast to write out, and it's immensely helpful to have them up front. why? Because as will all situations where you can get all the info in control, you can now see the entire landscape and there's no way they can slip something by you, or that you might fail to capture a scenario in one of the questions.

So, bottom line, 9 would be too much for the typical Linear or Grouping game, but this game is different, and writing the 9 out really takes very little time.

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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marinasofia
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Hello!

I am so stuck on this problem (October 1994 LG about the science student with 4 flasks). I've read all of these replies and the explanations in my powerscore book and am still confused. How do I begin to tackle this problem? What is step 1? I guess what I am mainly confused about is the relationships between all the flasks and adding them together. Like how does flask 1 (red) + flask 2 (blue) = red, and so forth? I've never had this much trouble on a game before and I think this one is mainly stumping me because of how abstract it is (in real life, I know you can't add red contents to blue contents and come out with red). Please help!

Thank you!!
Dave Killoran
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Hi Marina,

thanks for the questions! I have some comments below:

marinasofia wrote:Hello!

I am so stuck on this problem (October 1994 LG about the science student with 4 flasks). I've read all of these replies and the explanations in my powerscore book and am still confused. How do I begin to tackle this problem? What is step 1?

Step 1 is first identifying what the game says the combinations are. This means writing out the results of the combinations they identify, which is stated in rules 2-5. Thus:


    1 + 2 = R
    2 + 3 = O
    And so on...

From there, we look at what remains, as in:


    1 + 2 = R, 3 = G, 4 = O
    Of course, 3 and 4 can be combined as well, meaning 3 + 4 = B (per the third rule).

In this way, we slowly build the entire range of outcomes.


marinasofia wrote:I guess what I am mainly confused about is the relationships between all the flasks and adding them together. Like how does flask 1 (red) + flask 2 (blue) = red, and so forth?

I think you may be taking this too literally, and worrying about your perceptions as opposed to what the rules say. For example, the second rule states that "Mixing the contents of 1 and 2 produces a red chemical." At that point, you don't have the right to question why it happens, you just need to know that it has happened!


marinasofia wrote:I've never had this much trouble on a game before and I think this one is mainly stumping me because of how abstract it is (in real life, I know you can't add red contents to blue contents and come out with red). Please help!

This plays in my comment above—you can't worry about what you think you know about color mixing in the "real world," because you aren't in the real world anymore :-D Instead, you are in LSAT world and what they say here is law.

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DaveKilloran
My LSAT Articles: http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/author/dave-killoran
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