Reading comprehension forms one whole section of the LSAT. The section typically contains four passages of around 400-500 words, and about 5-8 questions on each passage. One of these passages is from ‘comparative reading’ section that is composed of two related short passages. The passages can stem from a broad range of areas such as law, humanities, social sciences along with biology and physical sciences. The reading comprehension section tests your ability to read and understand lengthy, complex material you are likely to encounter in your law school.
Many test takers find the reading comprehension section one of the tougher sections in LSAT. However, with the right strategies, you can easily ace this section. Here are some top strategies for LSAT Reading Comprehension Section:
- Read the passage in detail – Many people get a little overwhelmed by dense text and tend to skim through it. Others jump straight to the questions before reading the passage completely. Never do that mistake. Even if it takes some extra seconds, read the passage thoroughly before attempting questions. It will help you understand the passage better and save valuable time later.
- Understand the main idea – Always try to understand the main idea behind the passage. Typically, it is also one of the question types in reading comprehension section.
- Make notes – Since the passages will usually be dense and dry, it makes sense to make small notes as you are reading the passage. These small notes could summarize the entire paragraph in 1-2 lines. Use them as milestones for the questions later. However, you will need to develop this technique to ensure that you do not spend too much time on the activity.
- Know the question type – To tackle reading comprehension questions effectively, test takers need to understand the various relationships between different parts of the passage and draw suitable inferences. Apart from the main idea, the questions may be based on explicitly stated information, inferred ideas, understanding in context, structure of paragraphs, arguments and attitude of the author among other such areas.
- Be careful with the answer choices – Your answer choice should specifically solve the question. Sometimes the folks at LSAC may trick you by providing answer choices which are true statements. Remember that you are trying to answer the question and picking the appropriate answer in context.
- Pay attention to keywords – Always pay attention to transitional keywords such as ‘although’, ‘nevertheless’, ‘furthermore’ and other such words. They help you determine the structure of the passage. Also, make note of descriptive keywords which highlight the author’s attitude towards a subject.
- Choose your passage order – You do not need to follow the questions in the order that they are presented to you. You can consider the subject matter, paragraph length, types of questions and other such factors. Our recommendation – go for the passage with the highest number of questions first.
- Practice, practice, practice – The more you practice reading comprehension type of questions, the better you will get at it. So, make sure you do a lot of timed practice sessions.