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Reading Comp Tips?

vspicy23vspicy23 Alum Member
edited November 2021 in Reading Comprehension 190 karma

Hey everyone. I was wondering if anyone can give some helpful tips for the reading comp section. This is my weakest and slowest section. I struggle to finish barely even 3 passages in the allocated time and the questions I do get to in time, half of them are wrong. Basically looking for a RC holy grail.

Thank you in advance and good luck on your studies!


  • qs2159qs2159 Alum Member
    edited November 2021 332 karma

    Hi! I scored 171 on the Oct test, and would like to share my experience! I would first figure out what type of reader you are. Please refer to the post by LSATHacks here

    If you are a fast reader, I would recommend strategies taught by LSAThacks or LSAT tutors (Mike Kim). Basically, you should aim at 2 mins for each passage, and you should always refer back to the passage when doing questions (less time on the first read but may have to re-read part of the passage when doing questions).

    I am a slow(er) reader, so my strategy is slightly different. Instead of aiming for the 2 mins benchmark, I read as thoroughly as I could, and when I read, I tried my best to understand the authors' points and connect examples, cases, and arguments back to these points. JY's explanation videos are highly suitable for slow readers. They really taught me how to read passages holistically instead of treating each paragraph separately as broken pieces. I spend an average 4 - 4.5 mins on each passage, but 30 secs - less than 1 mins on each question, since after understanding the passage, I don't have to re-read or consistently refer back. Hope it helps!

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    1037 karma

    Unfortunately, there isn't much of a "holy grail" for RC. It tests fundamentals in reading ability and reasoning that you'll need to work to fine tune. But those are very amenable to improvement! Some things that I think might be useful -

    1) You should ask whether the issue here is timing or fundamentals. Put differently, are you running out of time or are you not getting it? Your BR score here should be a proxy for this - if your BR is close to your target/is markedly higher than your normal, that's a sign it's a timing issue. You say you're running out of time, so I'm assuming it's more of a timing issue, but I'd be curious to see how you're doing in BR on RC.

    2) You need to diagnose where the timing problem is coming in. Is it that you're spending way too long on the passage? Or is it that you're waffling between answer choices or taking inefficient approaches to the questions?

    If it's the passage, you should set a benchmark time for the read-through. RC passages are all (roughly) the same length, so the benchmark should be consistent. I'd say somewhere in the range of 3 to 4:30, depending on your reading aptitude. Then, drill passages and practice understanding everything within the benchmark you set. You also will want to work on your reading speed - I'd suggest using Spreeder, getting a subscription to a magazine that's LSAT-level like the Economist, and reading other dense material (I also recommend Supreme Court opinions here).

    If it's the questions, your strategy may be off. Push yourself to predict the answer more. Understand common reasons why RC choices are wrong (combining information from various parts of the passage to Frankenstein an answer, introducing irrelevant outside information, being too strong for inference questions, etc.) and get faster at identifying those. Rarely should a question take over 1:30, max, if you understood the passage well.

    Hope this helps!

  • Pretzel LogicPretzel Logic Alum Member
    227 karma

    Interesting. Following this, thanks for posting.

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