By Dan Oakes.
I’ve re-created my thought process and diagrams as I worked through the game from Preptest 78. These step-by-step explanations are an over-my-shoulder stream of consciousness approach, as much as memory permits. The periodic rewriting of the diagrams shows when and how I updated my diagrams as layouts were generated, and the checklists are exactly as I created them. As you’ll see in the sequencing games, sometimes I combine rules, but I never feel obligated to do so; I do it when I find it adds clarity, and I don’t do it when I feel it adds ambiguity or visual confusion.
Also, in the diagrams, my preference is not to note spots where certain variables can’t go. For instance, if a rule says that X comes before Y in a sequencing game, I’m not going to clutter up my diagram by writing that Y cannot be in the first position. Most authors and teachers recommend doing that; it’s not a right-or-wrong issue. I’m always going over my checklist when I create layouts, and if I have an X-Y rule, I’m never going to put Y in position 1 anyway.
In the checklists, note that every time a game gives a conditional rule, I always add the contrapositive as well. Doing so provides a second trigger to help you catch when a rule will apply. This is certainly not the only way you could work through the games, but is just meant to share one possible way, and as I think you’ll see, it’s a way that illustrates an efficient approach, helping not only accuracy, but also timing. I hope you find them helpful, and please feel free to contact me with any questions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Oakes is a curriculum developer and tutor from Orange County, CA.