LSAT Reading Comprehension Tips
The reading comprehension portion of the LSAT will consist of four passages, each of which are followed by 5-8 questions. According to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the LSAT reading comprehension questions “measure the ability to read, with understanding and insight, examples of lengthy and complex materials similar to those commonly encountered in law school.”
Are you having trouble increasing your score on the reading comprehension portion of the LSAT? You are not alone! Many students have trouble with the reading comprehension portion of the LSAT. Below are a few basic LSAT reading comprehension tips that have helped LSAT students to improve their score.
LSAT Reading Comprehension Tips
Tip #1: Take a Break from Taking Notes.
It is a good idea to underline and take brief notes during the reading comprehension section. But, if you are having trouble increasing your score, it may be a good idea to put down your pencil and try to read it like a novel or essay you’re actually interested in. See how much information you retain when you don’t circle anything or take notes, and work your way up to an amount of notation that makes sense for you. Just for right now, stop circling every other word – it’s breaking your flow.
Tip #2: “Unlearn” What You Already Know.
Don’t come in with any biases or thoughts regarding the material. Unlearn what you already know about the material. Instead, focus solely on what is being asked about. Try to truly understand the author’s point of view and what the passage is saying.
Tip #3: Study your Incorrect Answers.
The wrong way to prepare for the reading comprehension portion of the LSAT (or any portion of the LSAT for that matter), is to complete practice test after practice test without ever studying the answers. If you do this, you will be spending a lot of time on practice exams without really learning much from them!
On the contrary, the best way to approach the LSAT is to study incorrect answers and the answers you were unsure about. Make sure you understand why (a) was a better choice than (b). Go back to the LSAT passage and ask, “What detail (or concept, or sentence) should I have paid attention to in order to get this right?” This will get you in the habit of paying attention to details right off the bat.
You may also notice patterns in your incorrect answers. For example, do you answer questions because you read the passage too quickly? Or maybe you read the questions too quickly? Maybe you circled (a) when you meant to circle (b) and have to be more careful when you fill in answer blanks?
Which LSAT answers do you tend to answer incorrectly the most? Is it questions that ask about what the author’s view is? Or questions regarding the main idea? Or questions regarding implicit details? Paying attention to incorrect answers will help target your problem areas so you can turn weaknesses into strengths on the actual LSAT.
Tip #4: Train Yourself to Read under time Constraints
You will only have 35 minutes to complete the reading comprehension section on the LSAT. This time constraint is part of what makes this section so difficult. Make sure that you get used to completing this portion of the test in 35 minutes by practicing under time constraints.
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