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General questions relating to the LSAT Logic Games.
 ArizonaRobin
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: Aug 17, 2019
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#78567
Hi Dave and Jon,

First, thank you for all the work that you and especially for the free help you give here and on your podcast. I appreciate this! I am a student who owns the Bibles and also have done the advanced classes online (recorded) for LR and LG. I also have worked through the LSAT game type training. All of this work has gotten me pretty far on the LG section. However, I notice that my strength is definitely the linear games. I find that I can easily manage linear games even if they have advanced features or include some grouping components. However, I find that with pure grouping games, I simply take more time. I am not able to "see" the layout in my head as easily as I can with linear games.

I don't use the 8:45 timing per game to evaluate how I'm doing. Rather, I look to see the time I take as # of questions plus X minutes. For example, on the linear games, I can go # of Q's + 0 to # of Q's + 2 minutes pretty consistently. So on a 6 question linear game, I'll typically take 6-8 minutes. If I get an LG section with all linear games, I am going to feel like I won the lottery! On grouping games, however, I tend to take # of Q's + 3-4 minutes. This is survivable if I have 2 or fewer grouping games on the LG section. But if I get 3 or 4 grouping games, this puts me over time. What is your suggestion to improve my speed on these? Should I just continue to redo grouping games to practice (that's my current plan)? OR do you have any suggestions for a more targeted approach?
 Jeremy Press
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 836
  • Joined: Jun 12, 2017
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#78585
Hi Arizona,

Good question, and something that most students will struggle with at some point in their quest to get better at Grouping games! Here are a few general tips:

1. Familiarity is crucial to speed. Certain fundamental skills need to become so second-nature that they require almost no time at all to handle in a testing context. Make sure you've drilled these sufficiently that they don't cause you a second's hesitation in the setup process. Here are a few of them:
  • Conditional diagramming (including of contrapositives, conditionals with multiple sufficients/necesssaries, unless statements, etc.)
  • Distribution (including recognizing that there are multiple distributional possibilities, and identifying those possibilities)
  • Numerical issues broader than distribution (including number of possible usages of variables, number of slots available in groups, and in "out" groups, etc.)
2. Templating games, where possible, is a fantastic way to gain speed. This is a test-taking technique that, on somewhat older tests, you could maybe survive without utilizing regularly. On the most recent few years of tests, I see so many games that are almost "begging" to be templated. On such games, you can't miss that possibility and still be doing the game as quickly as it could be done. Know how to identify the possibility of templating. Know how to produce a set of accurate templates efficiently. If you think about whether templating is possible on any game you work on, you'll develop the judgment to use it when it should be used (and to ignore it when it should be ignored).

3. Don't sleep on the "disguised" elements within certain local questions. There are many local questions on grouping games where you'll be able to use the "local condition" to arrive at a couple of quick, easy inferences about a couple (or a few) extra variables beyond the variable in the question stem. Don't stop thinking once you've hit those inferences. Look at the remaining variables and how their placement is affected by the rules governing them. "Hurdle the Uncertainty" can be a key technique to building additional inferences into a question that weren't obvious from the local condition. To that end, think about not just "in" groups, but "out" groups (how close are you to filling up the "out" group?). Use "not laws" aggressively when you know a variable can't be included in a certain group.

4. Practice, practice, practice. Drilling games to the point where you CAN do them in your target time is a reliable, safe way to get faster, provided you're reviewing between each time you "take" the game for time. As you start to go through the right processes more and more, they'll become more and more familiar (see point 1) and you'll feel yourself getting faster.

I hope this helps!

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