logic games reading mistakes

    • May 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm #1888

      Hey all,

      I hope test prep is going well! I wanted to reach out to Mike, and the rest of the group, for some advice.

      Logic Games was the first section I got really good at, and while I often times get -0, I’ve been recently getting up -4 wrong with an average of -1 to -2. Generally these mistakes are almost entirely due to reading errors: I read Monday instead of Tuesday in a Q stem, or Y instead of T in an answer choice, etc. These are frustrating to get wrong because they seem like such simple mistakes that are costing me from consistently staying in the 170s range.

      Have other students of yours had this problem Mike? If so, how did they get past it and get to a consistent -0 level. I’d love anyone else’s input as well!

    • May 21, 2016 at 5:36 pm #1889

      Dear AH..,

      I make the same mistakes. We are overwhelmed by the time frame but after studying for 16, blowing the first test, then studying for 12 weeks with LSAT trainer, I realize the importance of slowing down and getting accurate rather than taking the best guess.

      Did you try games in Mike’s lesson 21? The birds in the forest? How did you do on that one? I finally understand it.

      You’ll do fine! Have a blessed night, Carmen

    • May 23, 2016 at 10:01 am #1897
      Mike Kim

      That’s a great question, and I wish I had an easy answer for you (“Tug your left ear lobe three times and…”), but, because these are mistakes you can’t consciously control, and that you only realize happened after the fact, they are very tough to deal with in any sort of direct manner —

      What I suggest is to think of these reading errors as a symptom, rather than a cause, of your challenges, and see if you can make adjustments in other areas that can help lessen both the likelihood of such errors occurring, or that can help you catch when an error has been made —

      Here are some tips (you may already be doing some of this/some of this may not apply — as always, use what you want and ignore the rest) —

      1) Make sure to, when you are done diagramming a game and before you go into the q’s, give yourself a few seconds to back-check your notations against the rules — that is, you look at each rule as you’ve diagrammed it, say to yourself what the rule means, then look back at the way it was originally written to make sure you have represented it correctly —

      This serves a few functions — such as helping you catch mistakes/misrepresentations, etc. — one of the other great benefits is that it helps give you just a bit more comfort and familiarity with the specific game situation. Playing game after game, looking at letter after letter — this can make it very easy for your brain to go into “auto-mode” which is when it’s more likely to make easier reading mistakes — again, giving yourself these extra few seconds to “get comfortable” in the specific game you are playing makes it, I believe, a bit less likely to accidentally mistake one letter for another.

      2) Make sure you utilize your sense of the natural “flow” of a problem — I know that sounds totally hokey, but I hope you don’t think I’m crazy and know what I’m talking about — when you play a game really well — and obviously at your score level you have lots of experience with this — there is a sensation of being in flow with it, a feeling very much akin to being locked in a videogame — not only do the inferences come easily, they seem to come in the order in which they are designed to come, and, when you read q stems, they immediately tip you off on what you are supposed to do/think about, and you run down your chain of inferences, bam, bam, bam, and these inferences lead you to either seeing that all wrong answers are obviously wrong, or the right answer obviously right.

      Again, please ignore me if all this sounds hokey, but if you understand this sensation, you can utilize it to catch yourself when something is amiss (for example, when you’ve misread and not realized) —

      To illustrate, imagine a conditional could be true q — my expected experience is that I will be able to take the given information, make a bunch of inferences in some sort of chain order, and then, with inferences made (perhaps some upfront, but mostly from the info from the stem) I should be able to see that 4 answers must be false —

      If I somehow find all 5 must be false, or only can eliminate 2 or 3 as being false — that’s the “gut” indication I may have missed something in the game, or misread — and that’s when I slow down and perhaps catch something I might not otherwise.

      3) Keep pushing the pace so that you can feel less rushed — this is another bit of advice that’s easier to say than to implement — after all, if you are making reading mistakes, it makes sense to want to slow down and read more carefully — but, again, per your score level, it’s clear you are very strong at games — a lot of students make it their goal to finish sections in 35 minutes — if you can keep pushing the pace on your final practice to get your average speed to be significantly lower than that, you won’t feel as rushed when you take a section, and will thus be likely to make fewer mistakes.

      Again, great q, and not a simple topic, but those are my thoughts for now, and I hope they help a bit — great job getting yourself to such an awesome place with the games, and let me know if you have any follow-up — MK

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