Update: You can now buy access to videos I created that explain how I would solve the logic games of PTs 59, 60, and 61. The video quality is not as good as some of the other video explanations out there (I recorded these in 2012), but I think the techniques I explain are better than those that I've seen in other video explanations. I would recommend this to people who are already familiar with the basics of logic games and want to improve their technique to get consistent perfect scores on the logic games section. I wouldn't recommend this to people who are totally new to logic games, as there are more-slick tutorials out there that cover the basic ideas.
Table of contents
- LSAT - How a 180er Approaches Reading Comprehension
- 0:03 - 1) The main trick to RC, the thing you really have to practice, is visualizing the information to memorize it.
- 0:58 - 2) The general strategy that i followed was that I wanted to have an internal map so that I knew where particular ideas were discussed and not discussed. And that allowed me to quickly go back and double-check the exact wording of something.
- Analogy: Think of Google Maps
- 1:49 - 3) My general approach to the questions was to go through in two sweeps: in the first sweep I would try to knock out two or three answer choices (ACs) based on my memory of the passage, and then I would go back to the the passage to look for textual support to choose between the remaining two ACs. And that's where the mental-map of the passage becomes necessary.
- 3:34 - 4) You need to prephrase as much as possible (within reason), as that will save you a lot of time. Even if that means going back to the passage.
- 4:15 - 5) When choosing between ACs, you want to look for key words that are too strong or just wrong. The test-makers want to make the wrong ACs look as familiar as possible so that you'll pick them, so they aim to make as much of the AC as possible similar to what's in the passage. But they have to make it so it's wrong, so they try to change as little as possible to make it wrong.
- Analogy: When you're writing a legal agreement and want to screw over the other side, what you do is to make as much of it as possible sound friendly, and then you just throw in the tiniest little detail that totally screws over the other side.
- I sometimes use the word I use "modifiers" to refer to some of the words that the test-makers mess with (eg 'some', 'all').
- 5:59 - It only takes a minute to give a lot of the advice; the tricky thing is in actually internalizing the advice. It takes much more time to internalize it. It takes a lot of practice.
- 6:15 - For example, just to be able to deal with the key words, you have to build up an internal memory of what all the keywords are and where they tend to show up.
- 6:45 - When reading a passage, you should expect that the first few sentences (especially the first sentence) are going to be the most brutal, the hardest to visualize, and I am willing to reread those sentences several times to make sure I've got them visualized.
- The reason is that you have no idea what the context is. Everything in the passage is totally new to you. It's harder to make sense of what they're saying.
- 7:50 - So be willing to reread to have a strong foundational understanding of the passage. It's just like building a building.
- 8:20 - I switch to reading the passage.
- 8:29 - As soon as I read "1996" I immediately imagine a timeline, and I imagine other things that happened around that date.
- Bill Clinton, I was in elementary school, etc. You want to connect the date to other things you already know to help it stick.
- 9:10 - I imagine a timeline with moving pictures of what was happening, kind of like what you'd have in a school textbook, but also like what you might see in a TV documentary.
- 9:45 - The passage says "adapted from an article", and "article" isn't specific enough that I can visualize it, so I immediately ask myself, "Was it a journal article? A magazine article?" That's the kind of process you want to go through when trying to visualize the passage. You really want to think about what you would show on the screen if you were making a documentary / TV show about the passage.
- 10:10 - I discuss the first sentence, and what I visualized. (This is worth writing up.)
- 11:25 - Try to imagine what images would a TV show or movie display to accompany the text?
- 11:50 - You might want to try watching documentaries to get ideas for the kinds of images these programs use.
- 12:44 - Practice reading hard prose out loud nonstop for an extended period of time (like, an hour straight).
- I did this and it really helped.
- I used Feinberg and Coleman's Philosophy of Law, but the Economist is an easier-to-get equivalent.
- The key is to not just read the words without understanding what they're saying, but to actually
- It forces you to focus / not day-dream. Most of the time when I read stuff I start day-dreaming, which is a habit I needed to get out of.
- You want to read the prose with the correct inflection.
- Most of the time people read in a monotone, which makes it clear that they have no idea what the prose is actually saying.
- The only way to be able to use the correct inflection you need to understand where the author is going.
- You may want to check out some of my YouTube videos where I'm reading chapters from books, as that may give you an idea of what it should sound like.
- This is hard! My brain hurt after an hour, just like my muscles hurt after I spend an hour lifting weights at the gym.
- 17:40 - The second sentence
- It's a great example of why it's so crucial to visualize.
- It has a bunch of very vague / abstract noun-phrases.
- So what you need to do is to stop and go noun-phrase by noun-phrase and think of a specific example that would fit each noun-phrase.
- Going carefully phrase-by-phrase is more important when dealing with unfamiliar subjects, like the 'drilling mud' passage.
- Once you've tackled each phrase one-at-a-time, then try to tackle the entire sentence by thinking of a specific example that would fit the entire sentence (which may be the same as your individual visualizations).
- Link to Feynman's chapter on dealing with mathematicians by thinking of a particular example.
- 20:45 - If I didn't know anything about the Internet, this passage would be very difficult for me. A lot of people run into trouble with certain types of passages where they don't have a bank of internal images that they can draw from when visualizing.
- 22:13 - You need to handle (visualize) every word. You don't want to let any words slip past you. Because that's how the test-makers will get you.