How to Improve Your LSAT Reading Comprehension Score

The LSAT is a tough test. The reading comprehension portion is definitely not an exception to this statement. In fact, if there’s one place that prospective LSAT takers routinely see the smallest amount of improvement per hour spent studying, it’s the reading comprehension portion of the LSAT.

However, learning how to improve your LSAT reading comprehension score is not only entirely possible, it is also completely probable, assuming the heretofore mentioned LSAT test-taker asserts a sufficient amount of effort in applying the techniques explained hereafter.

Now, if you’re lost after reading whatever I just wrote, think about how I felt after writing it. Yuck.

But hey, you’re still reading, even if you did gloss over the stuff up there.

Tip number 1: No glossing!

I am just going to guess here, since I did it, that you jumped through those dense sentences rather quickly. It’s a habit that we all have, and it started in grade school.

Don’t deny it!

Honestly, glossing, for kids, is a coping mechanism and a survival tool. Can you imagine actually reading all of Lord of the Flies or Catcher in the Rye slow enough to understand the narrative? That would take way too much time … time that I wanted to spend playing video games, or playing with my buddies.

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However, glossing is the last thing you want to do on the LSAT reading comprehension section. It could cost you multiple points.

Here’s the problem: you’re in a time crunch, and getting through these passages is rough sailing. Add to that the stress of taking an exam that will determine your future for probably quite a long time, and you get a recipe for missing out on some easy points.

So, there are two places glossing will hurt:

1. Glossing over the passage.

Glossing over the passage can be done. Especially since you’re probably going to need to gloss over sections in order to find specific parts mentioned in the actual questions.

However, you don’t want to find yourself glossing over portions you don’t understand. If you let your brain wander, you honestly won’t remember a thing.

Additionally, since these passages aren’t exactly short, you may be tempted to gloss because you are bored, and you just want to get through the passage. While this by itself isn’t a serious problem, it can lead to the second kind of glossing, which can be much more dangerous.

2. Glossing over the questions and answers.

Look, the test is called reading comprehension for a reason. You are not supposed to just understand the passage. You also need to get the question as well. I can’t tell you how many times test-takers miss an “EXCEPT” or “WORST RESPONSE” because they were glossing.

You will save yourself a ton of points just by reading the questions carefully. Circle the key word, like “except” or “best response,” so you don’t miss a question by missing a word like that.

Tip number 2: Read dense material during some of your spare time

How to improve LSAT reading comprehension scoreI’m not telling you to pick up a scientific journal, or a textbook, though that wouldn’t be a bad idea. You’re not going to improve your score a ton from reading dense stuff. However, you most certainly will increase your ability to get through the stuff on the test.

Call it “reading stamina.”

Reading things from the Wall Street Journal, or the Economist, or even stuff from different law review journals 3 or 4 times per week will help you get through the LSAT passages without getting bored, and without glossing. And, while your score probably won’t jump up 5 points over night, the test will definitely slow down for you.

Tip number 3: Practice, and re-practice actual reading comprehension passages

In addition to building your dense reading muscles, you’re going to want to build up certain habits that can only develop through repetition. You may or may not be amazed, but there is actually a method to attacking these passages, and the only way you’ll get it right is through repetition.

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Repetition, however, is not limited to just doing a bunch of different passages. It will also be helpful to re-do questions you’ve already completed. You’ll be able to see your mistakes, and you’ll be able to jump into these questions after having developed the proper habits and routines to attack them.

At the end of the day, this exam is simply that: an exam. If you bomb it, the world will not implode. However, if you really want to take it, don’t get discouraged.

While your returns may not be huge when you practice the reading comprehension questions, if you stick to it, you will get better.

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