Drill Ordering Games Set 2

    • September 28, 2016 at 11:55 am #2748

      Hi Mike,
      I’ve been following your 16 week program religiously. I managed to get through the games in the book in Chapter 29 “Mastery Challenge”. I even managed to get the mannequin question all correct. Here is my question: I did the Drill ordering games from Set 2 yesterday and got stuck….a lot. I revisited them today and I’m still stuck. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Specifically, PT 55 #2 and 4; PT 56 #1; PT 57 #2 and #4. I know!
      So today, I’ve devoted 3 hours of review of Chapter 21. Alas, as soon as I think I’m over a hurdle, another larger hurdle appears.

      I’d be very grateful if you can offer suggestions or advice.


    • September 29, 2016 at 4:09 pm #2749
      Mike Kim

      Hey Julie —

      If you were able to get through the mastery drill well but ran into trouble with so many of the ordering games, I wonder if it’s specifically ordering rules/ inferences holding you back — see if that’s the case and, if so, see if brushing up on those helps —

      Another thing you may want to look into is whether you could have framed those games and if framing would have been helpful.

      Finally, one last suggestion is to, in your review, think of your work in terms of three components — visualizing / diagramming the game, making inferences, and answering q’s efficiently — obviously these areas are all related to one another, but the more you can categorize your challenges along those lines, the easier it becomes, I believe, to see the path toward improvement —

      Just by coincidence, I happened to have played and written up 55-2 recently for another project — I just have a rough draft (so forgive me if I missed an inference or anything) but I figured you might find it useful — specifically, I thought it might help you to read my step-by-step thought process and compare it to yours —

      Here’s what my paper looked like

      Prep Test 52 Game 2

      And the written explanation —

      PT 55, Game 2; 7 – 12 mins, frames? Recommended but not necessary.


      This is an ordering game with a very limited number of elements and some numbers uncertainty. We have three elements—H, J, and L—each of which can be placed either once or twice. This, combined with the second rule, means that we must have a minimum of four and a maximum of six messages.

      I initially started my diagram by combining the first two rules like this:


      The third rule is easy enough to notate.

      Finally, I chose to frame off of the last rule: J can go in 1, 2, or 3, and when it does, it cannot go in the other two of those positions.

      These frames were not necessary, but I thought it might be helpful considered in conjunction with the fact that we know the first and last element must be H or J.

      When J is in 1, it must also be in the last position, and when it is not, H must be first and last.

      I chose to mark the spots I wasn’t sure would be occupied with …., but that’s completely optional — it’s just important that you remember there are potential slots to be filled.


      Then I thought about how the HJ rule could be satisfied in the frames. In the first frame, it could only be satisfied if H is next to last. In the second frame, the rule is already satisfied and there isn’t another chance for it to come into play so we can forget it about it.

      I then realized that the third rule cannot be satisfied in the third frame, which allows us to cross it out and actually leaves us with just two possible frames.


      7. This is a Rules question and we can go down the list of rules and eliminate answers one at a time.

      The first rule allows us to eliminate (A).
      The second rule allows us to eliminate (C).
      The third rule allows us to eliminate (B).
      The fourth rule allows us to eliminate (E).

      And so (D) is the correct answer.


      If, per this quest stem, J is before H, it must be the first frame. In this case, the most messages Sukanya can receive after the first J can and before getting one from H is two (both from L).

      Thus the correct answer is (C).


      We can use our frames to evaluate the consequences of knowing there are four messages. Our key concerns are that we have to fit in an L, and we need to make sure we have an HJ ordering.

      In order to make that happen in the first frame, the only possible order is J – L – H – J.

      In the second frame, the only possible order is H – J – L – H.

      In either frame, (A) must be true.

      (B) doesn’t have to be true in the second frame.
      (C) doesn’t have to be true in the second frame.
      (D) doesn’t have to be true in the second frame.
      (E) doesn’t have to be true in the second frame.


      We know that since L can’t leave the first message, L can’t leave the last. Thus, the correct answer is (E).


      If L is fifth, we know we are dealing with the second frame. In that frame, J can’t be third, and so L must be third and J fourth.

      And based on those inferences, all other answers must be false and the only answer that must be true is (D).


      Since we already have three items placed in both frames, and the placed items happen to be at the two extremes in terms of order, we know that the two L’s must fit somewhere in between, and the maximum space between two L’s could only either be 1 or 0.

      Let’s make sure 1 is a possibility.

      Using the first frame, we can put L in 2, H in 3, and L in 4 without violating any of the rules.

      Again, we know that we can’t have greater than 1 space between the L’s in the second frame, and so there is no need to consider it.

      The correct answer is (B).

    • September 30, 2016 at 4:52 am #2752

      Hi Mike,

      Wow, thanks so much for this detailed explanation . I get it now.

      By doing older games over and over again, I’m seeing things I never saw (inferences ) during the first take. Also, I’ve noticed that when a rule is expressed in formal logic, that many of the questions indirectly ask for a translation of the FL. Also, I find that I have trouble envisioning a diagram when a game involves subsets.

      Is this a good approach to take? ie. going over previous games again (in addition to your drills.)
      I know that I’m improving, although it still feels like I’m climbing a mountain.

      Thanks again,

    • October 3, 2016 at 5:34 pm #2757
      Mike Kim

      Hi Julie —

      Absolutely — it’s great to play games again and again — to maximize the benefit, you want to make sure to

      a) account for your process in addition to your understanding — when you review your work, you always want to think about how you solved games (in addition to making sure you understand how they work), when you play a game a second time or third time, you should have greater expectations about really nailing the diagram in real time, answering questions efficiently, and so on.

      b) expect that at some point you will, for the most part, “close the circle,” meaning that if you master enough different games, you’ll come to realize that you are now prepared for pretty much anything that can happen in games — obviously that’s a goal that’s tough to get to, but, in order to help yourself out, always, when you play and review games, think about how they relate to other games you know (think about what they have in common and what they don’t) and try to note all the connections you see in some way (I recommend drawing notes on giant pieces of grid paper, but I’m old fashioned) —

      Good luck, Julie! — Hope you have a good week of studies — MK

    • October 4, 2016 at 7:25 am #2758

      Hi Mike,

      Ok thanks for the tips.

      I’m about to do PT 63. When doing practice tests….are they timed or not timed?


    • October 5, 2016 at 5:45 am #2759
      Mike Kim

      Hey Julie — I recommend you do most if not all of your practice timed — here’s a post with more pt timing suggestions — have fun 🙂 — mk

    • October 8, 2016 at 7:30 am #2760

      This is FANTASTIC! Thank you, Julie, I’m near enough the same timing in my studies as you are, and thank you Mike, for your excellent responses, as usual.

      Having said that, I still need help with this particular Drill Set 2 -Ordering Games Set 2 (I can’t find that it is covered anywhere else in the blogs), even though I did well on Ch. 29 (although I’m still reviewing them in detail–which leads me to two major problems with this drill set: PT 55, Games 3 and 4. I bombed these two spectacularly–well actually, I bombed the entire Drill Set. I was doing so well with LG, and was starting to enjoy them, then this Drill Set happened.

      Rather than you explaining your mindset for diagramming and solving both games, can you let me know which LSAT Trainer drills/games these two games are similar to? Even in review, I still cannot figure out which games these are similar to so I can go about figuring out what I’m doing wrong. I’ll admit, I freeze when I am confronted with subsets.

      I believe I realized that my problem is that I neglected my review (and subsequent fixes) too much in previous LG Lessons, and now I’m correcting my habits a little late in the game before December’s test. The good part is that a have a LOT of games to re-work on to engage those proper habits, once I figure out where I’m going wrong in visualizing which game style I’m faced with. Visualizing the set is still my biggest hurdle. I’m not quite sure how to fix it–along with thinking of everything else.

      I feel as though I’m almost there, but something is missing for me to get it all to “click.”

      Thanks much!


    • October 10, 2016 at 1:31 pm #2766

      Hi Bev!

      I was so glad to read your post. I don’t feel as alone anymore with my LG issues. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      As you know, I, too, had a horrible time with this drill set. But eventually I got through it when I re-visited them…although I chewed off my nails in the process!

      I’m writing the exam in February as I need all the extra time I can get to learn this stuff. I did a PT last week and the LG section alone took me 1 hour- so bad- I managed to do ok in the section in accuracy, but my timing sucks. I hope I can eventually get faster….way way faster.

      I would also like to know where to find similar games in the LT book; I wasn’t able to find them either. Hopefully we will hear back from MK.

      Best wishes with your studies.


    • October 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm #2771
      Mike Kim

      Hi Bev and Julie —

      Those two games are both ordering games with subset issues and so the most relevant information will be what is in lessons 10 and 11 — there are also other games with similar characteristics sprinkled throughout —

      Here are a few more specific thoughts —

      For game 3 —

      Notice that the subsets are not important for the rules — it’s just a weird twist given to the elements themselves — so, what I did, and what I would recommend, is I made a diagram to represent the relationship between all the ordering rules, then, separately, notated the information about the night and day shifts — see if that helps.

      Again, the key for this game is the relationship between the ordering rules — so, it might be helpful for you to consider whether a) you didn’t see that as the key to the game or b) you are finding it difficult to link ordering rules together. Or, of course, I could be totally wrong and it could be something else.

      For game 4 —

      This is a fairly straightforward ordering game with subsets — you can either —

      a) use capital letters for people and lowercase for places, which I generally recommend as your default


      b) draw two sets of lines, one to represent the order of stops and the other the order of people.

      Again, either way would work out just fine —

      The rules themselves are, to me, what make this game interesting / somewhat unusually challenging —

      The rule about Rosa “still being on board” when the van reaches Manila is a bit more complicated than just a basic ordering rule, in that R could be before M, or at the same stop as M — so, you want be careful with that, and one way to deal with it would be to notate that R can’t come after M.

      The more unusual rule is the last one, which gives us a conditional, essentially “If J isn’t before F…,” and then uses the term “otherwise” to give us another conditional, one that gives us the consequences of if J is before F. The two conditionals, together, create a limited number of ways in which the game can play out, and so understanding this rule is both, in my opinion, the most challenging aspect of the game, but also the most useful rule.

      Hope some of that helps — to summarize, yes, subsets definitely do make everything a big more complicated/annoying, and they certainly made these games more difficult, but with these games it could have also been the specific inferences/understanding required by the rules (the linking of ordering rules in game 3 and the weird conditional in 4) that challenged you as well, or it could have been some combination of all these things, and so you want to take all that into account when you study and review —

      When games get like these, it can feel a bit like having to juggle one too many balls — definitely challenging at first for pretty much everyone, but as long as your foundational skills are strong, you should definitely expect that you’ll get more comfortable combining them with practice — hope my thoughts helped at least a bit and good luck with your practice work —



    • October 13, 2016 at 12:18 pm #2775

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your detailed response. I believe I see where I’m going wrong—yes, I’m definitely not seeing how some rules link together, especially for G4 of PT55.

      I’ve been wracking my brain for a while trying to figure out how to write the rules, especially rules 3 and 4 that you detail above. For game 4, I realize now that I’m supposed to be working on who gets off at which stop (for some weird reason, that wasn’t clear to me, or I forgot that important element. Duh me.) But creates a problem for me when I have to think of also who doesn’t get off at some stop.

      It is clear to me that I have a big problem with having to think of something differently than it is written, especially in a tight timing situation (read: test anxiety). (Any further tips would be appreciated. I would guess that plugging away at the difficult games should help solve this for me. LOL)

      I’ll use a) the capitals and lower case letter, because I’m not sure what you mean by use two sets of lines, 1 for the order of stops and 1 for the order of people.

      Here is what b) says to me:
      ____ ____ ____ ____
      L/ /L (for stops)
      ____ ____ ____ ____
      (for people)
      But these two rows can’t be correct, because I would think that would mean two things have to go in one column. So I realized that rule 1 should have prompted me to write two lines—one with L in 1 and the other with L in 2:

      ____ ____ ____ ____
      L (both for order of stops)
      ____ ____ ____ ____

      I get that rule 3 should be: m – R to notate that Rosa gets off at or after the Mineola stop, correct?

      But rule 4 has me flustered. You wrote above: “The more unusual rule is the last one, which gives us a conditional, essentially “If J isn’t before F…,” and then uses the term “otherwise” to give us another conditional, one that gives us the consequences of if J is before F. The two conditionals, together, create a limited number of ways in which the game can play out, and so understanding this rule is both, in my opinion, the most challenging aspect of the game, but also the most useful rule.”

      Here’s my crack at rule 4:
      F – J s – G OR J – f G – s so I used it this way to solve the questions. (I would attach a picture of my latest attempt at all the questions plus my diagramming for G4, but it seems that I cannot attach pictures into this blog box since I do not know the url for the images. I need a public place to share my images?)

      I’m still not sure how I got question 23 correct, but that is the only 1 out of 5 that I actually got right. :/

      PT 55, G2 and G3 are still elusive. Can you help me with those two, please? (I would attach a picture of my latest attempt at all the questions plus my diagramming for both games, but same reason for attaching pics as above.)

      Thank you!

      Bev Hansen

    • October 13, 2016 at 12:21 pm #2776

      Darn it, my –> didn’t come across. Which web browser is optimum for this blog?


      Bev Hansen

    • October 14, 2016 at 6:29 pm #2780
      Mike Kim

      hey bev — sorry about the image issue — i’m making some changes to the site (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) and didn’t realize you’ve lost your ability to attach images — let me see what I can do to fix that, and I’ll also get back to you next week on those games — in the meantime, if you want to email me the pics so that at least I can see what u did, feel free to send them to mike@thelsattrainer — take care — mk

    • October 15, 2016 at 7:00 am #2782

      Hi Mike,

      Will do. I was able to finally figure them both out–I think. But I’d like you to critique my methods of getting to each answer (I modeled them after your sample of G2 above) because I took way too much time–15 minutes each. (I’ll keep revisiting your timing tips and suggestions from other threads to keep working on this.)

      Sorry, I didn’t mean Game 2 – you did that one farther above. I meant G3 and G4 of PT55.



    • October 17, 2016 at 12:08 pm #2785
      LSAT Dan

      Don’t be discouraged about struggling with the Shuttle Van game; it’s one of the harder ones out there (I’d say it’s easily one of the two hardest in the 52-61 book, which covers 2 1/2 years worth of tests).

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