Read All About It: 4 Common Mistakes in LSAT Reading Comp
- Sep 10, 2013
- Reading Comprehension Advice
While today would already be a great day just by virtue of being a Monday, this particular Monday is extra-special because it’s the day after International Literacy Day! The timing is uncanny, given that LSAT Reading Comprehension may have reduced some of you to suspecting that you might be illiterate after all.
By this point, you probably know the really big stuff: figuring out how many viewpoints are expressed in a passage and whether the author is present, knowing that an example in the passage will most often lead to question about that example, and so forth. But you’re still getting things wrong, and if I asked you why, you’d mumble something about how you read too slowly or some other nonsense. So sit down, and let Auntie Laura tell you what mistakes you’re making in LSAT Reading Comprehension and how you can fix them.
LSAT Reading Comprehension Mistake #1: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting your score to change
You’ve probably heard that cliché about the definition of insanity. The same thing applies to LSAT prep; if you do passage after passage but never tweak your technique or try to understand what mistakes you’re making, you’ll continue making those same mistakes. Your studying should include a healthy amount of trying to pinpoint specific problems and find solutions.
LSAT Reading Comprehension Mistake #2: Not spending enough time on the passage
LSAT Reading Comprehension Mistake #3: Wasting time on the questions
I’m grouping these two together because they go hand-in-hand. Too many students try to rush through the passage; the result is that they have to keep re-reading the passage as they try to answer questions, and they end up getting many of the questions wrong. The fix is simple – spend enough time on the passage to really understand it. Then, as you’re going through the questions, trust yourself. You shouldn’t need to go back to the passage to double-check for every single question. Because you really understand the passage, if you’re reasonably sure an answer choice is correct, you should trust your gut on that.
LSAT Reading Comprehension Mistake #4: Reading passively
Sometimes, particularly for harder passages (or science-related passages, which are mistakenly believed to be more difficult than other passages), students will think they are reading a passage when, in fact, all they are doing is moving their eyes over the words. That’s bad. How can you make sure you’re actively reading passages? Easy. After each paragraph, take a moment to summarize that paragraph in your mind. What happened in the paragraph? What role does that paragraph fill in the structure of the passage as a whole? This simple step only takes a few seconds per paragraph but can drastically improve your understanding of the passage.
So there you have it. You can improve at LSAT Reading Comprehension; you just may need to start reading a little differently. Now go forth and celebrate International Literacy Day with a thick stack of RC passages!
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