« on: September 29, 2005, 10:58:48 PM »
The strongest points of this set of 20 "ultra-hard" games:
1. Good for the disorganized, because there is NO room for diagramming. Literally, no room. Imagine the smallest workspace on a diag game you have ever seen, then subtract 10% and you will have the workspace on nearly every single game in this book.
2. Excellent practice for organizing a lot of Information, because many of these games have 3 interrelated variable data sets. This is priceless practice for harder games.
3. There are probably 12-14 good games out of the 20 for practice.
There are some good games in this book, and will provide ample opportunities for practice in rushing with diagramming and deducing, etc. The hybrid games they come up with are good ideas, and often mix two previously used concepts in actual LSATs, and then put the Kaplan spin on them. This yields interesting games, that yield interesting deductions. These are good practice for figuring out the best diagram for complex games.
The problems with Kaplan's gamewriting are extensive, though, and thus their collection does not hold up for me as a good games prep. You will develop a profound appreciation for LSAC and their gamewriting abilities when faced with Kaplan's ambiguous and ill-defined rules that beg for a moderator to help with their interpretation.
The questions formulated for their games are average, with most of the concepts taken right from actual LSATs. Every once in a while the game doesn't provide a tight enough rule framework to answer a question definitely, and therefore it can be frustrating. They would say that is good practice(ie they raised the difficulty), but I say that real LSATs are rarely as ambiguous as these games.
Finally, some explanations lack diagrams (unacceptable even in an advanced book), and there are like 4 process (switch/mutate) games, which IMO is a waste of time. They aren't just games that have 1 process element, but full-scale process games taken straight from LSAT ancient history.
Overall I give this LG section of the book a 6 out of 10, mostly for several of the complex games that provide for substantial meaty LG practice, though this book definitely does not provide a "realistic" simulations of actual games.