1.Paint a Picture
Given infinite time, everyone can get every question of the logic games correct. But in only 35 minutes, you need to have access to the information and conditions of the game as quickly and intuitively as possible. The way to do this is through a diagram. A diagram takes into account all of the pieces of the game (something like FGHJK), and the space of the game. You’ll need to make a few copies of the diagram in each game, so keep your setup simple and quick (dashes are very easy to draw; grids are not). An ideal diagram is a complete diagram; when it is complete, you should not need to consult the rules and conditions of the game again.
2.Draw the Rules
After you’ve set up the characters and space of the game, you need to draw the rules. You’ll want to practice symbolizing the rules in a clear and unambiguous; for example, if the order is fixed (G comes after A) write AG and draw a square around it. If the order is loose (G is adjacent to A), write AG and draw a circle. Rules that indicate fixed positions (“F is first”) place in the first space. Rules that indicate negative positions (“F does not go first”), place under the first space with a crossed out F. There are many systems for explaining the rules in symbols – once you find one that is comfortable and intuitive for you, stick with it and practice using it as much as possible.
3.Solve the Game
Spend a minute or two on the above steps – it is worth the time, and understanding the game itself makes the questions considerably easier. Figure out some possible orderings and arrangements of the game’s pieces, and see if you can draw any inferences (e.g. G comes before F, F comes before H means G<F<H, but also that F and H cannot go first; G and F cannot go last). The first question will almost always ask you for a possible arrangement of the games elements, and you will have answered that in simply trying to understand the game.
4. Find an order to answer the questions
It will be to your advantage to learn the types of questions the games ask and how to best deal with them. Fortunately, the range of questions themselves is rather limited. The first questions will ask about the components of the game. The later questions will change the rules in some way and ask you to adjust the conditions to fit the changes. After you do the first question, skip to the questions that impose even more limits on the scenario than the rules themselves. Understanding how the game is changing, or how the pieces fit into a more limited situation, you’re gaining a better grasp of how the game already is. It’s almost analogous to Reading Comprehension: you want to do specific questions before general questions, as specific questions help build an understanding of the passage that helps in the general questions.
5. Anticipate the Answer Choices
This will not always be possible, but on questions that change the rules or introduce conditions (“if M is third, then…”), draw your diagram before you look at the answers. Your diagram may not align entirely with the answer choices, but you will have a reference for what you see. Could Q go second? Play with the diagram you just made to see if it’s possible. Must Q go second? Again, challenge the game. Do your first few logic games untimed (and then, always do them timed) to build familiarity with your system and the method. Refer to and reuse diagrams from previous questions in the same game whenever possible.
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