Reply To: Free Live Event Nov 30 – Dec 2

November 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm #889
Mike Kim

“1) can you tell me just a bit about how you start off logic games (that is, what you do before going into q’s) : First thing I do is draw a layout based on the kind of games, then I go through and write down the rules as they’re supposed to look and plug them into my layout if needed. Then I make my deductions and if necessary, draw out scenarios. Once I’ve done that and have seen that I can’t do anything else to my setup, I go into the questions.

2)about your general approach to reading RC passages? My approach used to be to do a quick scan of the passage and make a note of what the main point was, the author’s attitude, and why the the author wrote the passage after reading. My current approach is to read a bit slower and after every paragraph, I write a very quick and short summary of the paragraph on the side. I do this for each paragraph and once I’m done with the passage, I give myself a quick breakdown of what I just read and why the passage was written.”

Hi Alighassemi —

Thanks for the info — you know yourself best (and if you think the source of your issues is something else, happy to continue discussing) — but here are some thoughts that come to mind —

1) It’s easier to play logic games when we are loose and relaxed, and, as it gets closer to test day, of course, it’s harder to stay loose and relaxed — when we “tighten up,” it makes it harder to develop overall instincts about a game and easier to miss key inferences.

To combat this, if you aren’t doing any of this already, try —

1) waiting until you are done reading through the stimulus and rules once before setting pencil to paper. Doing so will not cost you any time.

2) as you are reading through the rules, decide which one (or which combination) is most important to the game (important = having greatest impact on overall layout of board) — use these to determine whether you ought to split game boards or not, and keep this in mind as you lay out your diagram. Diagram this most important rule(s) first then worry about diagramming everything else around it.

3) once you are done with your set-up, make sure to take 5 secs to check your diagram back against the original rules as they were written to make sure
a) you understand correctly what your notations mean and
b) you haven’t missed something in the rules with how you drew things.

In the same vein, for RC, (and obviously things are, in general, working very well for you so you don’t want to mess things up too much) — “tightening up” can cause us to have a harder time understanding the passage as a whole and it can make it easier to misinterpret the significance of certain portions —

So, to combat this — a couple of suggestions are —

1) don’t stress too much about getting your paragraph summaries right — remember that for the toughest passages it’s next to impossible to see why, exactly, the author said something, and what is most important about what is said in a paragraph, until after you’ve read on deeper into the text.

2) when you pause, between paragraphs, also do your best to anticipate where the next paragraph may lead — this will help you more accurately gauge what does happen in the next paragraph, and it can also help you catch yourself when your understanding of the previous one was somehow way off —

3) do make sure to double check your big picture understanding at the end of the passage (doing so always takes far less time than it might seem) and utilize the general passage q’s to confirm your understanding. If you are struggling with the general q’s, take that as a sign that you may not have read the passage as accurately as you could have and see if you can correct things.

4) finally, for students at your score level, the final piece that isn’t getting fully utilized is the question stem itself — often, it’s easy to get so lost in thinking about the answers and the passage that we forget exactly what we are asked about, and some of the toughest q’s have some very subtle wording in the question stem itself that makes one answer right and another wrong. So, especially when you are stuck between answers, make sure you verify your choice against both text and task (both passage and question stem) —

Just want to reiterate that your score already indicates that you are doing a whole lot right, so again, don’t worry about changing things up too much and please just utilize whatever you might find helpful — MK