LSAT Reading Comprehension Tips
The LSAT reading comprehension test is one of the three major sections of the LSAT test, and the most overlooked. When you compare it with the tests in other sections, specifically the Logic Games, and the Logical Reasoning sections, you should notice that, well, you’ve probably taken about a million of these kinds of reading tests, and that helps you feel a lot more confident about your ability to perform well on this particular part. When that happens, you’re more likely to just ignore it and hope for the best when it comes to improving your results.
That doesn’t mean that the Reading Comprehension test should be ignored, however. If you can do these simple things on the LSAT reading comprehension test, then you have a great chance of increasing your score.
Your Main Strategy (Reading Comprehension)
When reading each individual passage, read quickly, even by speed reading standards. Each individual passage on the LSAT comprehension test is going to be slightly different, but they’ll all be long, and they’ll all largely be factual.
When it comes time for the questions, they’ll be about specific parts of the passage. Only about 20% of all questions are about the passage as a whole. Therefore, if you read for main ideas to get a thorough understanding of where to look for information the next time, then answer all of the questions after looking back in the passage, then you’ll effectively have read through the passage twice before answering the “whole passage” questions.
This is really the most effective method for taking this, or any other reading comprehension test because it is the most time effective solution. The LSAT, just like the ACT, SAT, GED and every other kind of standardized tests on the planet, is all about time management. You need to read the passage, but you also need to spend as much time answering each and every question.
Read critically and carefully, identifying the key words in sentences and trying to use them to predict what the author will say next. Words like “because”, “therefore”, and “thus” are all interchangeable, and mean basically the same thing, that there is a cause-effect relationship between these two parts of the passages. There are lots of similar groups of words like this in the English language that can show all sorts of relationships.
If you can think carefully and quickly as you read, sometimes you can very easily predict the next the part of the sentence before it comes, and if that is the case, you can skim the passage until you get to some new information, greatly increasing your reading speed. Using keywords that identify where information is, and underlining or circling them as you go can also help you by creating a map that can point you towards where to find specific information in the questions.
Budget time for all of the reading passages, and therefore, all of the questions. In each passage, there are easy questions, and hard ones, and spending too long on a single passage means that you’re missing out on some very easy points from the other reading passages. Keeping yourself under two minutes of reading time is by far the most important part of this; you don’t get points for reading, so use all of the speed reading techniques in your repertoire to help you overcome this difficult challenge.