Reading Comprehension - Last Minute Refresher

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Okay my LSAT prep friends, we are only two days away from the February 2015 LSAT! I hope you are all as excited as I am. As we discussed, today should be your last day of taking a full practice LSAT. Take it fully timed, preferably with a proctor. Remember, you can always use TestMax’s Exam Proctor app to proctor any of your exams, if you don’t want to pester the people around you! Make sure to grade the exam and go over it thoroughly. Analyze your mistakes and try and discern which techniques you utilized on the questions you marked correctly and make sure to transfer those specific skills and techniques onto those you did not.

I thought, since we are so close to exam day, I could give you a quick Reading Comprehension refresher—seeing as we haven’t discussed that section in a while. Remember that this section is the most subjective. Everyone reads and retains information differently. The main things you should always watch out for are the main point of the passage, the author’s tone, and the purpose of the passage. Those three concepts are at the heart of every question in the Reading Comprehension passage.

A good trick to keeping track is to constantly ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What is the author saying? MAIN POINT
  2. How is the author saying it? TONE
  3. Why is the author saying it? PURPOSE

It’s important to remember that while annotations can be helpful, you should try to keep them to a minimum. More often than not I see many students rewrite the passage in the margins, therein wasting their precious time and paying less attention to what the passage is actually saying by focusing on transcribing the passage. A lot of times, I’ll jot down a concise sentence of what each paragraph was about in the margin to use as a roadmap through the passage.

Each exam will have four passages made up of one science passage, one humanities passage, one legal passage and one social science passage. I like flipping through the passages and doing them in the order I like best. For instance, I always finish the humanities passage first, then the science passage, then the social science passage and then lastly the legal passage. Again, the Reading Comprehension passage is very subjective. So if you find skipping around the passages too distracting, then you should just finish them consecutively.*

And lastly, I know a big complaint from this section is the lack of time. It’s important to remember that every correct answer earns you one point, regardless of whether it was from a difficult question or easy question.  A lot of students will get stuck trying to answer the last few questions of a passage, wasting time they could have used to just begin the next passage. If you find that a question is taking you too long, skip it!

Alright, don’t fret. Take a quick break after you practice LSAT today and just get in some productive reading. Reading is always helpful for your focus and endurance on the exam. Good luck to those of you studying for the February LSAT!

Happy Studying!

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*If you decide to jump any questions, MAKE SURE YOU NOTE YOUR ANSWER SHEET! The last thing you want to do is misbubble.

Updated on Aug 18, 2016