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General questions relating to the LSAT Logic Games.
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I'm struggling with time on the LG section and I realized it's because I'm not making enough inferences in the beginning when diagramming to help me out. Is making inferences something I just need to practice by doing problems over and over again or is it helpful to go back to the powerscore textbook to take notes on the diagramming process again and memorize the inferences mentioned?

I see diagramming setups on this forum and the inferences seem obvious after I see them but I'm having a hard time noticing them right away or even knowing really where to start after the rules are given. (I hope this all makes sense) I just want to be efficient with my study time and if it's not useful to be doing practice problems before I set up a base and memorize the inferences thoroughly then I should probably go back and restudy the powerscore book, but if I just need exposure to problems then I guess I will continue doing problems? Can anyone give me some advice please :cry:
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Hi sadjasmine!

First things first -- keep your chin up! The LSAT is a uniquely difficult exam that poses difficulty for everyone. I remember when I first started studying and felt incredibly overwhelmed by my sheer lack of understanding. But the LSAT is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to decipher the games, passages, and logical reasoning, but with proper practice it gets better! You're certainly not alone in your struggles and hopefully this post can help provide some insight and ways to keep marching forward :)

In terms of making inferences specifically, you're right in the sense that practicing problems will be useful, but also in the sense that reviewing the diagramming process from the books will be useful! If I were you, I would take a two-fold approach: on the one hand, practice diagramming different problems and making inferences, then compare those inferences to the diagrams in this forum! What did you miss? Why? Write it down! Keep a log of inferences you miss and what game type you missed them on, you may see a pattern emerge. Recognizing such patterns can be instrumental for success on the LSAT and allows you to target your weaknesses/improve your understanding. Additionally, this will help increase your exposure to different games and the different setups that come along with them, allowing you to familiarize yourself with new rule configurations and how to handle them.

As a second step, don't hesitate to review the explanations/drills for diagramming that were introduced to you in the books! Sometimes, going back to the basics can be surprisingly illuminating. Perhaps it slipped your mind that sequencing rules should immediately allow you to infer Not Laws about the placement of certain variables, or perhaps the concept of Hurdling the Uncertainty was forgotten. Either way, taking a bit of time to refamiliarize yourself with the general structure of diagramming and inference-making can be a great asset to your studies.

In general, here are a few tips regarding inferences that may be useful:
  • Recognize key, basic inferences and make them until they become second nature when you're diagramming (Not Laws in sequencing rules, contrapositives in conditional rules, etc.).
  • Remember that each different game type comes requires a different approach, which means inferences may be different.
  • After you make inferences pertaining to each rule alone (if there are any), consider the way the rules interact. Is there a variable that is subject to multiple constraints? Does a certain Block force another variable to be in a specific spot? I find that looking at the 'overlap' amongst rules can be a great starting point for making additional inferences.
  • Consider what, if anything, about the game seems to be an important and restricting factor. Is there a numerical distribution you need to understand? Is there a Block that can only go in one of two places?
  • Focus on certainty. Whether you are certain something must go in a specific place or certain something cannot go in a specific place, directing your attention to what has to be the case is a good idea.
  • Lastly, remember that you CAN succeed in a game even with an incomplete setup and, in some games, there really aren't all that many inferences to make! Either way, once you feel your pace slowing down, it may be time to cut your losses and head into the questions instead of wasting time trying to force yourself to see inferences that might not be there!
If you'd like any additional insight, here is an incredible post by Jon Denning that discusses speed and inferences on the LSAT: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8480&p=21855&hilit= ... ces#p21855. I highly recommend checking it out (as well as the resources linked within the post)!

Keep up the amazing work. I hope this helps :)

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