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How do get over this logic games issue I am having???

Ajuste
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:52 pm
Points: 1

The logic games have been taking up a lot of my study time, and yet I still struggle with them.
Right now I'm on chapter 6 of the logic games bible, and I am trying my hand at the grouping/linear combination drills.
I've noticed with the drills that I can read and understand the statement, write out the diagram, and write out the clues given but I stop and get stuck after that.
It is like I do not know what to do with the given clues that I've written out.
and once I turn to the solutions I have this "duhh of course/aha" moment and it is quite frustrating that some of the clues just go right over my head.

I need help/guidance with breaking this barrier I have with not being able to complete a logic game after I've written down the clues.

What would you suggest I do? Is anyone else having this issue?
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,241

Sounds to me like the place where you get stuck is in going beyond the rules to start making inferences, Ajuste. Does that sound about right? If so, be patient and keep practicing and working through the Bible and practice tests, and it will get better with time. Meanwhile, here are a few things you can try to get yourself unstuck and start moving up to the next level of game success:

1) Look for some obvious, standard inference types that you can memorize and apply very mechanically. For example, if the game involves sequencing, and you have a rule that requires that a certain variable be before another certain variable (like X :longline: Y), you should automatically add two inferences to your setup, namely that X cannot be last (because it is before something) and Y cannot be first (because it is after something). Getting used to these "automatic" types of inferences can start you on a better path, and often lead directly to answering some questions.

2) Pick a variable and try it in a slot. Over time and with practice you'll get to know which variables and which slots are particularly influential in a given game, perhaps because a variable is in several rules that interact or because a space is limited to one of only two choices, but if you aren't seeing those just yet then try jump-starting your process by taking the first variable in the list of variables and putting it in the first space in your base. For example, if you have variables KLMNOPT, and the game involves three groups X, Y, and Z, if you have no idea what else to try then try putting K (the first variable in the list) into group X (the first group). See if that helps you get unstuck and gets your inference juices flowing!

3) Look for conditional rules (rules that have an "if...then" component to them) and try either applying the rule as written or else the contrapositive of the rule. Those applications often lead to powerful inferences and prepare you for the kinds of questions these authors love to ask. So, if a rule says "if B is 4th, F must be 6th", try putting B 4th, followed by F 6th, and then see if those placements impact any other variables by going through the remaining rules of the game. You could also try NOT putting F 6th (so put it somewhere else), and that will mean that B cannot be 4th, and then see if that leads anywhere.

For now, these are just "Get Out of Jail Free Cards", things that you can play with just to get yourself moving again. Down the road you will start to see better options for what variables, spaces, or rules to play around with to get those extra inferences that the authors will be testing. Be patient, and practice, and you'll get the breakthrough you're working towards! You can do it!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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