Law School Discussion

Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT

Victor

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2004, 05:21:31 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.

I didnt know you could write on the exam, sounds like a good plan.


ruskiegirl

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2004, 06:06:09 PM »
It's perfectly okay to write in the examination book.  In fact, it is encouraged.  Making marks throughout the exam will help you stay organized on all sections.  On Logic Games you can draw a chart to help you make the necessary deductions.  On LR you can mark the question stems as "assumption", "parallel reasoning", etc.  (The LR section is the only one in which it would be helpful to read the question stem first, and then read the paragraph. Virtually every test prep program recommends this approach to LR.) And you can make whatever marks make sense to you on the Reading. 

Louder Than Bombs

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2004, 07:04:39 PM »
Ruskiegirl, you either work for Kaplan or have taken a Kaplan course. Either way, your advice is pretty sound.

I also do not recommend reading the questions first. You WILL forget them, so why bother wasting your time? Time is of the essence on the LSAT.

Best thing to do is learn to read in a different manner. Realize that you do not have to memorize the passage, but only read closely enough so you come away with all the relevant information...

What does this mean? Well, all the essays on the LSAT will be arguing some point or another. As such, the essay will basically serve to introduce the point, provide evidence for the point, and contradict those who hold an opposing viewpoint.

As a reader, you should read like this:

1 - What is the point of this essay?
2 - Why does the author believe what he/she does?
3 - What do opponents of this view believe, and how does the author refute their claims?

Using these three questions as basic guidelines, you can skim/read each paragraph in a specific manner. Quickly summarize each paragraph and the new information it contains, AS WELL AS WHY THIS INFORMATION IS RELEVANT TO THE AUTHOR'S VIEWPOINT/ARGUMENT.

Remember, you are not explicating "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot. The essay will be nothing more than a long argument.

As far as the questions go, many will refer you straight back to the text, and you will also get probably one or two about "the main idea" or "the author would most likely agree/disagree with the following..." These questions should be slam dunks if you read in this manner.

Does that help?

Chris 

dta

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2004, 08:32:19 PM »
I now get a free subscription to Time and The Wall Street Journal along with my enrollment in Princeton Review. I find many of the articles in these news materials boring. In the last couple days I purposely search for the most boring articles I can find and practice reading them as fast as I can, trying to stay at a speed at the very edge of where comprehension first begins to suffer. Also, I am resisting like mad the temptation I usually have to re-read a sentence if I did not perfectly understand it the first time.

Anyway, I'm hoping this will pay off and one day i'll actually finish all four passages.

nathanielmark

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2004, 10:28:46 AM »
Read everything you can, especially a good daily newspaper (WSJ, NYT, WP), in additon to something you can stand to read that is written for educated readers.

I enjoy reading the economist, which I think helps me considerably.  But find something you will actually read.

also, i have benefited from taking timed RC sections.  this has helped me to pace myself and i now will typically finish the 4 sections with a couple minutes to spare.  also, i have gotten better at reading for the organization of the passage (primary/conflicting viewpoints, supporting evidence, etc), while skipping over stuff that is too detailed and that can be referred back to later for very specific questions.

i disagree with the suggestion to read the question stems first.  this seems like it would waste valuable time and trying to memorize the questions before you read the passage will just distract you.  still, everyone is different. find what works for you.  definitely read a lot, and practice for timing.

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2004, 10:55:02 AM »
I developed a style based on Kaplan's recommendations (scored 168) of marking key subjects/names/passages/dates in a different manner for easy identification. Eventually I was reading to discover the structure of the passage with content sort of becoming secondary. I also marked key structure words (however, despite, etc.) because so much of the reading comp. section is tracking direction changes in the arguments/opinions.

After taking 20+ practice tests I could sometimes anticipate which passages were going to be referred to. Tricky language will often come up later in a question. I think this repetition was more valuable than anything else.

Victor

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2004, 11:35:13 AM »
Read everything you can, especially a good daily newspaper (WSJ, NYT, WP), in additon to something you can stand to read that is written for educated readers.

I enjoy reading the economist, which I think helps me considerably.  But find something you will actually read.

also, i have benefited from taking timed RC sections.  this has helped me to pace myself and i now will typically finish the 4 sections with a couple minutes to spare.  also, i have gotten better at reading for the organization of the passage (primary/conflicting viewpoints, supporting evidence, etc), while skipping over stuff that is too detailed and that can be referred back to later for very specific questions.

i disagree with the suggestion to read the question stems first.  this seems like it would waste valuable time and trying to memorize the questions before you read the passage will just distract you.  still, everyone is different. find what works for you.  definitely read a lot, and practice for timing.


Where can I get the Economist?

If you dont read the question first on LSAT questions, what method do you use?



nathanielmark

Re: Increasing Reading Comp Speed on LSAT
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2004, 12:02:15 PM »
the economist is a weekly, you can buy it at any bookstore or newsstand.

the only strategy i use is to read thru the passages quickly for overall structure, authors point of view, paragraph composition, etc). if a passage gets to detailed, i may skim over some parts that may just be evidence supporting an argument or something else that can i can categorize on a higher level.  i then refer back for detail questions.