Suggested Approach for Reading Comprehension

There are a few possible ways to approach Reading Comprehension sets. These include

  • reading the passage(s) very closely and then answering the questions;
  • reading the questions first, reading the passage(s) closely, and then returning to the questions; or
  • skimming the passage(s) and questions very quickly, then rereading the passage(s) closely and then answering the questions.

Because the LSAT is taken under time conditions, it may be most effective to use the first approach. Still, you might want to experiment with each of these different approaches and decide what works best for you.

Strategies for Reading

When reading the passage or pair of passages, try to distinguish the main ideas from the supporting ideas, and opinions and attitudes from factual or objective information. Pay attention to transitions from one idea to the next and try to identify the relationships between different ideas or parts of a passage. Consider why an author makes certain points and how they draw conclusions. You may find it helpful to mark key parts of the passage(s). For example, you might underline the main idea or important arguments. You might circle transitional words, such as "although," "nevertheless," "however," and the like, that will help you understand the structure of the passage. Also, you might find it helpful to underline descriptive words that help identify the author's attitude toward a particular idea or person.

Since passages are drawn from different disciplines, you should not be discouraged when you encounter something unfamiliar. It's important that you answer the questions based on the information provided in the passage(s). You will not have to make any inferences based on prior knowledge of the subject brought up in the passage(s). When taking the test, you may want to begin with subjects that seem more familiar and defer working on sets that seem particularly difficult or unfamiliar.

Strategies for Answering Questions

  • Always read all of the answer choices before selecting the best answer. The best answer choice is the one that most accurately answers the question being posed.
  • Respond to the specific question being asked. Do not pick an answer choice simply because it is a true statement.
  • Answer the questions only on the basis of the information provided in the selection.


Next: Sample Questions