1) The Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT test is different from other standardized tests.
As an LSAT tutor, I’ve seen many students go into the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT test thinking that it will be easier because they have seen it before. It does in fact look a lot like sections on the SAT or GRE, however, that can be deceptive. The LSAT test Reading Comprehension section is designed to test how well you can understand and analyze arguments. In that way, it is actually more similar to the Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT test than Reading Comprehension sections of other standardized tests. The point is, approach it with the same seriousness and effort that you do the other LSAT test sections.
2) Learn your strengths and weaknesses through LSAT test practice.
Like the other LSAT test sections, it is important to do as much practice as you can on the Reading Comprehension section. While you are practicing, look for patterns. Do you always get more wrong on passages about science? Is there a particular type of question that trips you up? What passages and questions are you best at? This will let you know what you need to work on. It will also give you valuable information to develop a plan, which leads me to my next piece of advice…
3) Go in with a game plan on LSAT test day.
As an LSAT tutor, I always emphasize to my students the importance of going into each section of the LSAT test with a plan. You do not want to waste any time thinking about how you are going to approach the LSAT test. For Reading Comprehension, some things to think about beforehand include:
- Are you going to take the passages in order? If not, what is your strategy going to be? Some students find it helpful to skip passages that are harder for them, others find that it helps to do those first. You need to try different things during your practice to see what will work for you on LSAT test day.
- Are you going to skip questions and go back or guess on the spot? Some students like to take the questions one passage at a time and answer all the questions for a given passage before moving onto the next. Others like to wait until the end to go back to ones they were unsure of throughout the entire section. Again, practice and find what works for you.
- Are you going to bubble by passage or question? This may seem like a small thing, but it is a perfect example of a decision you do not want to take time with on test day. The only concrete piece of advice I have here is do not wait until the end to bubble all your answers – too risky! Other than that, there are a number of different successful bubbling strategies. Practice and see what you prefer.
4) Think of it as practice, not just for the LSAT test, but for law school!
Last but not least, remember that preparing for the LSAT test is also preparation for law school. The Reading Comprehension section translates particularly well because in law school you will read cases and have to discern and analyze the arguments.