Help with reading comp

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Help with reading comp

Postby Nick18 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi everyone,

I am taking the LSAT in February, and my goal is a 158. Right now, I am generally scoring around 151 on the practice tests. I generally miss around 8 or 9 on the LR and around the same on the LG, though I have just started reading LG Bible and I hope to see that number improve. My main weakness seems to be the reading comprehension; I generally miss about 11-13 questions. Does anyone have any advice on how to improve this number in only four weeks' time? I have tried boxing names and writing a brief, summary of several words, but it doesn't seem to be helping. I always finish all four passages/comparative reading. Thanks in advance for the advice!

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Re: Help with reading comp

Postby buck » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:56 pm

RC is my best section. Usually good for -0 but got dinged twice in the December LSAT.

Anyway, here's some advice I gave another poster:

There are basically two types of questions--global (main point, authors view, structure etc.) and specific (purpose of a sentence or paragraph, the meaning of a phrase in context etc.). I found that I HAD to look up every single specific question no matter how sure I was of the answer because they are very tricky. That meant, more or less, that I had to be able to answer all the global questions without referring back to the passage.

In order to do that, you have to read well so you understand the passage. So if you don't understand a sentence or a section, read it again. Whenever you lose the thread of the argument, go back and find it. Make sure you are following and understanding the whole way through.

Stay engaged. Make predictions about what the author will say next. Even if you are wrong, the feeling of you being right or wrong is much more memorable than the feeling of reading words on a page. So keep making predictions and guesses about what's coming up. This is the most important part. If you can truly find the material interesting (and you will once you understand it) the comprehension will follow.

Turn the arguments over in your head as you read it. Do you agree, can you see faults, what would opponents say.

Why is the author writing this? Remember these are articles written by real people. What do they have at stake? Why do they care? Do they admire the artist they are writing about or are they contemptuous?

Practically, this method takes up a lot of time so in the beginning, I couldn't take notes at all aside from very basic underlining. Even writing a word took me out of the moment and I lost my train of thought. Eventually, I became good enough that there was extra time but my habits were entrenched. And I'm glad they were. Never take time for I learned from the Dec. LSAT. If I had got comfortable and started taking notes, I very likely would have run out of time.

Good luck!

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Re: Help with reading comp

Postby fashiongirl » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:49 pm

buck gave lots of great pointers.

what helps me - always try to look for author's attitude. even ONE word could show what the author thinks about something. look for a change in viewpoints. words like however denote that a change in opinion is coming up and this will most likely be important. quickly summarize each paragraph so you know where to look back at the passage. can't stress this enough as well.

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