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Re: advice needed

jeonghoon8726jeonghoon8726 Yearly Member

Hello, I also posted on the reading lesson part, but I am doing it again here in the discussion section.

I would like to know if anyone could be given advice.

I started to study for the LSAT a few months ago, and I am struggling with the reading comprehension part.
As a non-native English speaker, this is by far the most challenging section for me. And I am a non-traditional applicant who finished my undergrad more than ten years ago, so, unfortunately, I've not read too much complicated thing in English until recently. I want to know if it is good to skip one passage and focus on three passages due to my reading speed. Also, to improve my overall score, should I focus on logical reasoning and games parts? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. My target score is 160-162.


  • sarakimmelsarakimmel Alum Member
    1488 karma

    That's tough, but I think focusing on 3 passages would be a good start. How is your accuracy on RC passages when you do them untimed? Are you able to answer most of the questions correctly if given enough time, or do you have trouble understanding the passages regardless of time? I am also a non-traditional student and although English is my first language, I have had difficulty with reading comprehension all my life, so I can relate to your struggle. Happy to help any way that I can.

  • Jordan JohnsonJordan Johnson Alum Member
    680 karma

    @jeonghoon8726 @Constantine is a great help on RC, especially for students where English isn't their first language.

  • jeonghoon8726jeonghoon8726 Yearly Member
    30 karma

    @sarakimmel Thank you very much for your comment! When I do them untimed, I usually do ok for easy ones, but everything depends on the difficulty of passages. I will focus more on getting questions correct, and hopefully, for easy-medium passages, I will get them with great accuracy. By the way, should I skim passages first, then go to questions or read questions first, then skim passages?

  • jeonghoon8726jeonghoon8726 Yearly Member
    30 karma

    @"Jordan Johnson" Thank you for your recommendation! I will contact him shortly! The reading comprehension has not been a learnable part like games, but hopefully, I will get it. Any improvement in the reading section would be beneficial to reach my target score.

  • sarakimmelsarakimmel Alum Member
    1488 karma

    I would not skim. Take the time to read and understand the passage. Like with the games, time invested upfront to understand what you are reading will save you time when you get to the questions. Definitely read the passage before attempting any questions. Also, I don't know if he has any availability, but @Christopherr is excellent at helping to break down RC. He is a newly minted 7Sage tutor, I believe. And his tutor @Sami likewise has an stellar reputation in this area.
    For now, I would maximize on the points you can get, take your time to correctly answer all the questions you attempt, and be sure to skip if there are any that are taking up too much time (just like with LR). With practice, it should get easier!

  • Lime Green DotLime Green Dot Monthly Member
    edited April 2021 1331 karma

    Hi Jeonghoon!

    I'm somewhat in the same boat as you: 10ish years out of undergrad and found RC to be my most difficult section at the beginning of my prep until quite recently. Now, I am much more engaged in my reading, less daunted when I hit RC passages, and have made solid point gains in this section as the result of changing and having lots of practice in a new approach. I really hope you meet your goals, too!

    I'd recommend a couple of things to help self-improve as well:

    1) Please check out and thoroughly read this post (I printed mine out lol) by 7Sage-approved tutor @jmarmaduke96:

    Like @sarakimmel 's recommended tutor above, James was mentored by Sami... In fact, James & Christopher were study buddies! XD So this post will likely complement a lot of the things both Christopher and Sami would have to say.

    James is one of the most astute people I've ever met over 7Sage. I asked him for tutoring help after reading and attempting to integrate his recommendations from his post into my practice. Just to preview what he wrote (it's super-long, but has a lot of gold!), he made me a believer that it's not about speed as much as it's about understanding what you've read. I know that sounds pretty obvious, but it was kind of an affirmation for me, a native English speaker but a habitually slow reader, that the key is spending time in the passage.

    With practice and the right method, I believe you can go further than 160-62, but even if that's your target range, the kind of essential skills I was taught from this post and James' tutoring have been things I've carried over into studying LR as well. And who knows, it may come back to serve you well in law school, too! : )

    2) If you haven't already, I'd definitely integrate hard article reading from outside sources everyday. This is sometimes a little contentious, but it's not a replacement for practicing RC directly. Rather, especially as an ESL, it puts you back in the regular mindset of exposing yourself to complex English.

    It serves as a good warm-up, too, and even on the days when you may not be able to study RC, you'll regularly challenge yourself with a similar kind of reading you may encounter on RC. Lots of people say they do this for 1 hour everyday, but even 20-30 minutes (or 1 full, in-depth article read) could be helpful as well. Depending on whether you find some topics challenging (for me, it's usually science-related themes), I have some recommendations. Let me know if I can offer them!

    My husband is an ESL, too, and this is something he has done regularly since I can remember, even on top of doing his demanding grad school assignments. The gains are less quantifiable since you'll not be tested on materials you read from articles, but you can always do some of the same things we do in RC: look for tonal language, know the various viewpoints, find the MP, find lo-res/hi-res for each paragraph, etc.


    You've got this!! Fighting! ^^

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