Law School Discussion

Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT

dta

Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« on: March 25, 2004, 09:02:26 PM »
Right now, i've got about 100% accuracy on the reading comp section. I very rarely miss a question I attempt. Problem is, I only finish 3 of the 4 passages. Every single time, finish 3 of the 4, get (virtually always) all of the questions I answer right, but have to guess on one entire passage. I can't seem to increase my speed without sacrificing accuracy.

Has anyone else had this problem and if so what did you do about it?

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2004, 08:45:15 AM »
Read the question stems first. There's always one asking what the main point of the passage. Usually there's one asking what the author's point of view is. The others often have cues ("line 35" "first paragraph") that tell you where the answer is --- mark this in the passage. THEN read the passage.

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2004, 09:16:54 AM »
Read the question stems first. There's always one asking what the main point of the passage. Usually there's one asking what the author's point of view is. The others often have cues ("line 35" "first paragraph") that tell you where the answer is --- mark this in the passage. THEN read the passage.


Not to be contrary, but if there is "always" one asking for the main point, etc, why do you need to read the question first? By definition you already know some of the questions and wouldn't gain a bit from simply reading those over. I can see the point about specific lines, but really, if they are asking about the "first paragraph," shouldn't you have a pretty decent idea about that after reading the passage?

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2004, 10:00:09 AM »
I don't follow you. Yes, you know one of the questions. But you don't know the other 4-6. So you will gain quite a lot by reading them first.

Reading the whole passage is time-consuming, and if you don't know what you're looking for, you'll end up essentially re-reading it.

Another thing is, there's often overlap --- 2 or even 3 questions asking about different aspects of the same point. If you notice this FIRST, you can really pay attention to it when you read through.

A lot of the passage ends up being irrelevant and there's no way to tell this without reading the questions.

dta

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2004, 10:19:03 AM »
Hey xray. I've read the strategy you mentioned in various prep books, but these strategies were usually mentioned in an effort to help with accuracy rather than speed and accuracy doesn't seem to be a problem for me. Have you actually found this method to work for you in increasing speed?

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2004, 10:32:57 AM »
I didn't have a problem with accuracy either but this technique definitely helped me increase my speed (I scored 166)

The reading comp section should be a gimme for most people. IMO these are the easiest points to earn in the test, and it's pure time management, the passages & the questions aren't nearly as tricky as the other 2 sections.



jas9999

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Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2004, 02:07:59 PM »
The best way to practice is just to read, a lot. Get your hands on The Economist, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, Science, Nature, and other publications that are written for an educated audience.

I never had a problem with time management on the reading comp section, and got 27/28 right on my actual LSAT exam. I attribute this to the thousands of pages of high-level reading I did during and after college. I didn't practice that section at all, except in the timed practice exams I took. If you are used to reading the types of passages they put on the exam, which cover everything from literature to biology, then it won't be an issue. If you spent an hour or so a day reading 10,000 word articles aimed at people with a post-college education, then a little 600 word excerpt is nothing to worry about. The more you read complex articles and books, the easier and faster it will become.

ruskiegirl

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2004, 02:33:29 PM »
I would not recomment reading the question stems first.  Yes, there is generally a global question.  And it is usually the first question after the passage.  The rest of the questions tend to ask you to reference back to some part of the passage.  Most of them contain so much information that it would be confusing and counterproductive to read the questions first.  I recommend marking the passage as you read.  That way, when you get to a question that asks you to reference back, you can find what you're looking for quickly and easily.  I marked all proper nouns with a circle and all signal words (therefore, certainly, clearly, because, consequently, definitely, etc.) with a box. Much of the information you will need to answer any given question will follow one of these signal words.  It's not imperative that you use a cirlce or a box.  Find symbols and marks that make sense and work for you.  Also, if you are running out of time and don't get to answer all the questions on the last passage, be sure to get that global question.  It is usually the easiest.  Good luck!

Victor

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2004, 03:18:15 PM »
The best way to practice is just to read, a lot. Get your hands on The Economist, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, Science, Nature, and other publications that are written for an educated audience.

I never had a problem with time management on the reading comp section, and got 27/28 right on my actual LSAT exam. I attribute this to the thousands of pages of high-level reading I did during and after college. I didn't practice that section at all, except in the timed practice exams I took. If you are used to reading the types of passages they put on the exam, which cover everything from literature to biology, then it won't be an issue. If you spent an hour or so a day reading 10,000 word articles aimed at people with a post-college education, then a little 600 word excerpt is nothing to worry about. The more you read complex articles and books, the easier and faster it will become.


The best advice ^^^^

This is the same thing im trying to do myself. Not to just speed my reading rate but to improve my writing.





dta

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2004, 04:17:31 PM »
Well, i'm used to reading a lot. A lot of difficult material. My undergrad degree was a double major in Math and Philosophy. So, i'm used to reading extremely dense and difficult material and a lot of it. The distinction is that the speed with which I read was never a valued commodity. For example, it didn't matter how fast one read Heidegger's "Being and Time" - value was placed on comprehension, not quickness of reading speed. But I have not tried ruskiegirl's technique - different marks to denote (and quickly refer back to) different kinds of information. That might help. I'll try it. Thanks.