Follow these 10 LSAT Reading Comprehension tips during your LSAT prep to increase your LSAT reading comprehension speed, accuracy, and overall score.
Note: The LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible has more great RC tips!
LSAT Reading Comprehension Tips
- Read the RC passage first. Don’t read the questions first.
- Try and read the RC passage in about 3 minutes.
- When reading the RC passage, underline key words/phrases:
- List items (e.g., “1st”, “2nd”, “3rd”)
- Technical terms (especially those that are unfamiliar to you)
- Phrases indicating a shift in Point-of-View (e.g., “advocates argue”; “proponents believe”; “But”; “However”; “Nevertheless”)
- Other words indicating that important information follows: “According to…”; “Furthermore”; “For these reasons”; and other obvious indicators “Importantly…”, “Primarily…”, etc.
- Don’t get stuck reading a difficult sentence or paragraph over and over. Just try and understand it as well as you can, and refer back to it if a question regarding it appears.
- If you quickly realize that an entire passage is going to be particularly difficult, consider saving tough RC passages for the end of the section rather than burning through time. If you run into a particularly difficult reading comprehension passage, don’t let it have a negative impact on the remainder of your RC section. Crush out the ones that you are more comfortable with, then return to the difficult RC passage at the end of your time. The same thing goes for individual questions.
- Learn what passage topics you have trouble with (e.g., scientific, economic, history, etc.). Save those passages containing tough topics until the end of the section.
- When reading a passage, put yourself in the position of the author. How does the author feel about the subject matter? What position does the author take? Is the author’s point-of-view favorable? critical? neutral? What is the main point that the author is attempting to express? Does the author agree with proponents or critics? Specifically, what points does the author most strongly support/reject? You’ll find that many questions relate to these points.
- Each paragraph will generally have a specific function within the LSAT reading comprehension passage. Understand how each paragraph functions, and how the overall passage is organized.
- Flip through each passage and note the number of questions per passage. All else equal, work on passages with the greatest number of questions first, and the fewest number of questions last.
- To end this list of LSAT Reading Comprehension tips, I recommend working through The LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible and plenty of real LSAT preptests, following the tips outlined in this LSAT Reading Comp tip list. Drill. Review. Then drill some more.