Time on second attempt: 1:56
See “repeating games” at bottom of section
Note: this game is relatively easy once you’ve mastered LG concepts, so you should aim to be able to finish it extremely quickly. Maybe not in two minutes, but 3-5 is reasonable.
This is a fairly unique game in that it uses numbers, rather than letters, as variables. The only real effects this has are:
- You shouldn’t draw numbers under slots 1-5. This will get confusing.
- You have to do some very minor math: thinking about which numbers are bigger/small, twice as big, etc.
Otherwise, this is a fairly standard linear game. It can be split into two scenarios. The second rule says that the second digit is twice as big as the first. You should look over the numbers and see which numbers could work for that. The only two possibilities are:
So you can draw this on the diagram. You should also draw the remaining variables which aren’t placed:
The fourth rule says that the third digit is less than the fifth digit. I drew that with an arrow, and a greater-than sign showing that 5th is greater than 3rd:
I also drew two “not” rules. In both diagrams, zero can’t go last, because it is smallest. As for the third slot, you can’t put the biggest number there. So, that means in scenario one it can’t be 3, and in scenario two it can’t be 4.
That’s all there is to this setup! The first two rules just say what the numbers are, and that they appear exactly once.
The Importance of Concise Setups
Notice the features of these diagrams:
- All the rules are on the diagram. You don’t have to think about them.
- All the variables are on the diagram. You don’t have to think about which numbers are left to place in each diagram.
This seems trivial, but it’s not. Logic games are a test of your short term working memory. Humans (that’s you!) can only hold 5-7 facts in their heads at once. We suck at it, basically. And the closer we are to using all of our short term working memory, the worse we work.
Those two bullet points above represent 3-5 items of short term working memory. Placing those 3-5 items on the diagram directly leaves you with basically all of your capacity free. Which is why this game can potentially be done very quickly with a good diagram. (You also need mastery of the forms of logic games, which comes with practice.)
I’ve written elsewhere about the benefits of repeating games, to solidify your intuition for deductions. Note that the purpose of repeating games is to prove the answers right, so it doesn’t matter if you remember the right answer.
I repeated this game about three days after I first saw it, by which time I had forgotten the answers. I’ve written how long it took me on the second attempt. That time, or a couple minutes above it, is roughly the standard you should be aspiring to – a lot of people take 8-9 minutes on a repeat attempt, get everything right, and pat themselves on the back. But that’s too slow. The faster you go when repeating, the faster you’ll learn to go the first time you see a game.
(I say “a couple minutes above” my time because, after years of teaching the LSAT, I’m really, really fast. You should be almost as fast as me, but you don’t exactly need to match my pace to score -0.)
Time on second attempt: 1:55
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