Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: Javier on March 25, 2012, 11:38:40 PM

Title: How can I improve my reading?
Post by: Javier on March 25, 2012, 11:38:40 PM
I have finally joined the forum I've been reading for months! First, I would like to thank this fine community for providing such diverse and supported opinions.

So... I just came to the conclusion that I'm wasting time (by not studying 6 hours or more a day) and came to realization that the LSAT  I plan to take is in 2.5 months!

I took an LSAT under timed conditions about 4 months ago without any idea of what the LSAT was about and scored 144. Today, under timed conditions and after 1.5 weeks of prep program (about 35 hours of studying including virtual classes), I scored the average 152.

I would say that 16 of the 40 wrong answers where consecutively at the end of each section. Probably a consequence of filling the bubbles randomly because I had ran out of time. I feel like I'm having trouble concentrating and I fail to read and truly understand what I'm reading the first time.
Also, English is not my main language. I was born, raised, and still live in a Spanish speaking nation.

I would like to know if anyone has any advise on how to improve reading speed and comprehension.

I feel like this would be the factor that would most greatly help me improve my score. I'm aiming for 180 but a 160+ would also be ok.

Any help and words  of encouragement appreciated. Thank you.

Title: Re: How can I improve my reading?
Post by: legend on March 26, 2012, 11:42:00 AM
Well to start of your probably going to get a 180, but good ambition. As for your score if your getting 144 then you can probably improve 10-15 points realistically with a lot of practice and studying, but the LSAT is difficult. The main reason being time, as you have noticed you have to guess towards the end and this is common for the vast majority of test takers.

As for improving your reading, I don't really know what you can do, but to improve your LSAT all you can do is practice it is not that simple. Keep practicing or sign up for a prep course if you think it will help, but there is no secret to unlock the test. Most people don't get a 180 that is why it is in the 99% percentile, because only 1% of test takers get it. So just keep practicing and hopefully you can get a 160, but even that is in the 80% of test takers. The LSAT is the first test of many on your way to a legal career where you realize your not an absolute genius. Just wait until law school starts and 100% of students  know they are going to be in the top 10% of the class.

So just keep studying and good luck.
Title: Re: How can I improve my reading?
Post by: Javier on March 26, 2012, 02:41:28 PM
Thank for the encouragement. I was kinda joking when I wrote I was aiming for 180. What I meant to say is that I really want to get the highest score possible thus I'm aiming at 180 however I'm well aware of the odds.

This may seem like a detail but I noticed yesterday that I was moving my head a little while reading from side to side and that can be distracting because it's more difficult to focus on words and phrases. I think it may be harder because I waste time coordinating my eyeball movement with my head movement. I've started practicing reading by just moving my eyes and it seems to work much better for me. Again, I know its a very small detail but anything that helps is welcomed.

Also 10-15 point increase seems very reasonable. Any other suggestion exercise etc welcomed...
Title: Re: How can I improve my reading?
Post by: IrrX on March 26, 2012, 02:51:26 PM
The majority of topics of the reading passages in the LSAT deal with things like history, politics, and physical sciences like geology or cell biology. To strengthen your reading skills, look up articles on a number of topics in those areas online, or buy/borrow from the library magazines that deal with those topics, and practice reading them. But, rather than working on your speed initially, focus on finding the main point of the article, the structure of the article and each paragraph's place in it (supporting or refuting the main point), which are the areas the Reading Comprehension section will test. Once you're getting better at that, start working on your speed, which should have already increased as a result of the other work you've done.
Title: Re: How can I improve my reading?
Post by: Jeffort on March 26, 2012, 03:39:02 PM
Since English is your second language, amongst other things, I suggest that you brush up on grammar and parts of speech.  Stuff about nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, compound-complex sentences, etc.  It makes it hard to know what the heck is being presented if you get mixed up in those and misinterpret the substance of what the author is conveying with the text.

LSAT reading comprehension passages typically include sentences of the compound, complex and compound-complex variety that also use pronouns and all other parts of speech in much more complicated ways than simple sentences and the way magazines and news articles and other consumer publications are written. 

Also, vocabulary.  Whenever you come across a word you are unsure about, look it up in a dictionary.  Don't worry about the big $20 word specialized scientific terms (they will be defined in context), but for words not tied to a particular specialized field or topic, look it up, and maybe write it down on a flashcard and the definition on the back. 

One of many good free web sites with tutorials about English grammar, parts of speech and sentence structures is:

With various searches you can find youtube videos that provide a good refresher as well.  I typed search term "english grammar sentence diagramming" and found several good youtube video lessons. 


Title: Re: How can I improve my reading?
Post by: Rollin45 on April 21, 2013, 11:39:08 PM
I've learn many things from LSAT.. I am glad to read this, so greatly appreciated the writer.