« on: August 06, 2004, 08:00:13 AM »
Reading comprehension is my strongest section (I rarely miss more than a couple) so I feel somewhat qualified to offer some suggestions.
I tried reading the questions first to see if this would help make things easier but it was too distracting. Instead of focusing on the passage as a whole I found myself hunting for the "keywords" I saw in the questions and had to go back and reread the parts of the passage to put them into context. This may work for some people but it was too time consuming for me I and quickly abandoned it.
I had to learn to slow down and fully comprehend one paragraph before moving on to the next. In most writing the author will introduce idea A in paragraph 1, introduce idea B in paragraph 2, and then explain how the ideas relate to each other. On the LSAT it is up to you to determine the relation. It therefore does no good to move on to paragraph 2 without fully understanding paragraph 1. Summarizing each paragraph in my head, and rereading it if I do not fully understand it, though initially slower saves me loads of time when I get to the questions.
There are some questions that that you know will always be asked-things like tone, structure, and main point. If you look for the answers to these questions in the original read-through you can knock these out without looking back.
I underline important concepts and words I see in the passage but this does not aide in comprehension. It just makes looking back for the answer a little easier. I make sure that I understand why I underlined them before moving on.
Overall, I think that the most important thing for people having trouble is to slow down. If you are having problems you either "can't" comprehend the passage, in which case you're screwed, or you "aren't" comprehending it, in which case you need to take the time to comprehend. Reading speed and comprehension take a lifetime to develop and for most people there are no quick fixes or tricks. If you are missing more than six or seven it might work to your advantage to only do three passages instead of four.
Oh, and practice. The more you do the faster and more accurate you will get.