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General questions relating to the LSAT Logic Games.
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 Dave Killoran
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#36581
Over on Twitter, I've had a question about how to increase your speed in Logic Games. This question comes up a lot, and so I thought I'd pull together some various resources we have posted...thoughts that I've posted, as well as some thoughts that other PowerScore LSAT instructors have posted.

First, my colleague Jon Denning made an awesome post addressing various resources we have about speed: LG Speed and Inferences. This goes slightly beyond just LG, but worthwhile nonetheless.

Second, I grabbed a few instructor comments about LG speed, simply because they caught my eye:

  • "You should always remember that the LSAT is not a knowledge-based test. Unlike most other exams, where studying a textbook or a coursebook is often sufficient to prepare and do well, the LSAT tests your skills - close reading, critical reasoning, rule application, information synthesis, etc. These are not skills you can develop overnight, much less by reading a book (even a very good one)! We can show you how to approach all the different types of questions and games, but it’s up to you to internalize this approach and make it your own. Take Undefined Grouping Games, for instance: you shouldn’t have to think about whether or how to construct a conditional chain, or labor over every conditional inference. When skills such as inference-making and template-recognition become an instinctual response to the rule set of a game - that’s when students begin noticing a drastic improvement in their scores! To get there, you need more time, and more practice." — Nikki Siclunov
  • "To get there, do something that may be counter-intuitive, and that's spend more time diagramming. I see it over and over again - students rush to the questions with incomplete diagrams missing key inferences because they think they can't afford to "waste" time exploring the relationships created by the rules while the clock is ticking. They fail to recognize that they are then wasting time on the questions, because they are constantly re-drawing, going back to re-do work they have already done, rethinking things and trying to ferret out inferences that they should have already found. Think of your diagram as being a great investment that pays huge dividends quickly. An extra minute on the diagram spent considering options (what if X is in the third group? what if the RP block is in the 4th and 5th slots?) may save you two or three minutes when you get to the questions. I've seen a student spend two minutes on a diagram and then 10 minutes on the questions, but when they re-do it and spend 5 minutes on the diagram they knock the questions out in just 3 minutes. That's what you should be aiming for!" — Adam Tyson
Last, I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own about the process of getting faster at LG:

  • The first step in going as fast as possible is to know everything you can before you walk into the LSAT. Know how to recognize every type of game, know how to diagram rules and make setups, have an inference-making pattern that you'll run through, know every question type they've ever asked and have a strategy/approach for answering each, etc. Don't waste a second thinking about things you can unquestionably know beforehand. A lot of students tell me they "hope" they'll get this type of game or that type of game, but you shouldn't worry about what you can't control. You can control everything they've ever shown you before, so lock down on that as tight as possible.

    Next, log everything you've ever done in relation to the LSAT. Every. Single. Thing. when you took tests, how you did, why you missed answers, what time of day you did it, how you felt physically and mentally, even the room temp! Try to find variables that affect your performance, both personally and test-wise. If you don't self-analyze in rigorous fashion, you'll never reach the upper echelons.

    The next point is one people hate, but it's unavoidable: redo the Games multiple times. Do it again and again until you can fly through it without thinking. Do blind review often. Sounds tedious—and it is!—but it WILL pay off. It will first make you faster at analyzing and representing any rule and game, but it will secondarily build an internal catalogue of what LSAC does in this section, and that catalogue will help you move faster overall through the section. The more games you do, and the more times you do them, the faster you will become.

    Of course, just doing the games without thinking about them isn't optimal, so you need to slow down afterwards and break apart and break down what you just saw. Write out explanations for setups and questions that really trouble you (yes, don't worry about reading or watching our explanations first, instead write your own). Writing your own explanation first will force you to see the exact individual steps that produced the right answer, and that is invaluable. It's like being a car mechanic: if you don't take apart engines at some point in your apprenticeship, then you won't be as good or confident as you possibly can. You have to see how it all works together!
That's the start of the abstract picture of how to get faster, and I'll try to add some more thoughts soon. Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!

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