Reply To: pt 57 section 3 game 3

July 25, 2016 at 11:22 am #2301

Good thread…glad to see Danny weigh in, too. I strongly agree on the multiple scenarios point (although most of the time, even four is too many for me. I’ll sometimes do four, but my preference is to keep it to 2 or 3).

Thanks for the clarification of your thought process regarding the U/V rule. That’s a potentially very valuable opportunity for a great takeaway on his game, so I’d like to explore it a little further.

This is a very atypical game, in that the “mauve” rule controls so much of the game, that you’ve seen, you don’t really need to worry about much more. But most of the time, that U/V rule and its effect on the out group would be enormous (impossible to overstate, really), and if this game and that explanation brought you to appreciate it, that will have a huge effect on your future results. Here’s how “in & out” games and questions remove, most of the time – the small group fills up, and everyone else is forced into the large group.

For instance, back to question 13, once T is out, and you know that either U or V must also be out, everyone else (S, L, I, P, and other of U or V) must be in, so (A), (C), and (E) can immediately be dismissed (although you have to resort to the mauve rule to eliminate (B)).

The corrolary to that is that rules like the U/V rule are HUGE – they essentially serve to fill up both groups, and that’s especially important in the smaller group (if we knew that T were included, that doesn’t tell us much; the big group has a lot of flexibility. But when T is EXcluded, that’s huge).

Rules that say that two variables can’t be in the same group have an enormous impact in grouping (including in &’out games, especially) games with limited or fixed group sizes, but remember – focus on the smaller group.

A great companion game to look at and work through (or work through again) given your new appreciation for that U/V rule is game 1 from Preptest 63. Judges are being assigned to either the trial court, which has 6 openings, or the appellate court, which has 3 openings. One judge is directly assigned to the appellate court, and we have a rule that says that two of the judges – H and P – can’t be on the same court. That’s going to function similarly to the U/V rule – it’s going to fill up the smaller group. One spot goes to L, and another has to be saved for either H or P.

As soon as you see that setup, you can tell how the questions – most of them – will resolve: The appellate court will fill up as soon as one other judge is assigned to it, and every judge not yet accounted for will be forced onto the trial court. Various answer choices and “if questions” will give you that last appellate court judge.

In fact, EVERY question other than the acceptability question and the rule substitution question resolves this way. If you’re dialed into 1) the effect of the small group filling up; and 2) the way in which rules like the U/V rule and the H/P rule serve to further fill up the smaller groups, it’s going to do wonders not only for your accuracy, but also your timing.

You’ll see similar rules on questions throughout the past LSAT exams. On the “7 bills” game (Preptest 29 or 30, I think), you have the rule at bills 1 and 5 can’t be paid on the same day, and another rule that if Bill 6 is paid on Wednesday, Bill 7 is paid on Thursday. Those two rules are serving to fill up Thursday. Exact same idea. Rules that prevent two variables from being put in the same group always have a subtle effect that extends far beyond merely making sure to separate the variables – they often affect all of the other variables in the game.

Here’s how I explain it to my classes: let’s say 10 of us from LSATters are going to a concert. Mike Kim has (for purposes of this discussion) an awesome 2-seater Lamborghini (that’s the small group), and I have a beat-up pickup truck that seats as many people as we want. Now let’s say that two of the people on the board are an ex-wife and ex-husband who hate each other and can’t ride in the same vehicle (that’s out U/V) rule.

Notice the effect of the exes – you just got screwed out of your chance to ride in the Lamborghini! There’s no more room; no matter what other rules we create, the Lamborghini is going to be Mike and one of the exes. You’ll see this over and over and over, and it’s a great spinoff of the original dinosaur question that extends way beyond that one particular game.