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Posted June 17, 2011
While Reading Comprehension is the section of the LSAT for which most law school aspirants feel most comfortable, it should not be neglected in your preparation. While there are two sections of Logical Reasoning that count towards your score and only one section of both Reading Comprehension and Logic Games, the Reading Comprehension section is the biggest individual section. There are 26 to 28 questions on the Reading Comp section, generally 25 questions on the Logical Reasoning section, and only 22 to 24 questions on the Logic Games section. Also, to many that have mastered the LSAT, the Reading Comp section is objectively the toughest once the patterns and techniques for Logical Reasoning and Logic Games have been mastered. The Reading Comp section is the most time pressured section at that point, with the four passages to read and the large number of questions to answer.
Also Reading Comprehension on the LSAT is simply different from the reading skills that most non-lawyers exercise in their school and professional lives. LSAT-reading, like lawyer-reading, is about efficiency and working under time pressure, yet still retaining sufficient meticulousness. Can you wade through a pile of discovery documents, a stack of pleadings, or an expert witness report and quickly glean the important, legally relevant morsels?
After attending George Washington University Law School and a 12 year practice as a federal court litigator, I now teach LSAT preparation courses and write curriculum for Kaplan, Inc. All the Kaplan strategies for Reading Comprehension are comprehensively presented in my colleague Scott Emerson's "Kaplan LSAT Reading Comprehension Strategies and Tactics." If you are planning to take the LSAT in the next 6 months and considering preparing on your own, I would start with Kaplan's Logical Reasoning Strategies by Dr. Deborah Katz, since Logical Reasoning drives your score and your percentages on LR will tell you whether you are on track to get the score you need without taking a course. However, if you are well ahead of the game and considering taking the LSAT over a year or so from now, then you actually should start with Reading Comprehension because you may very well need to significantly change ingrained reading habits, which can take time. Scott's book will teach you the Kaplan Methods, show you the patterns inherent in LSAT reading passages and guide you in working through the timing pressures of this section of the LSAT. You will learn to look beyond the dense factual information and hone in on the points of view and debates inherent in the passages. You will see how most of the questions can be answered from a few emphasized, opinionated places in the passage. If you are starting your preparation that early, you should also broaden the scope of your outside reading materials. Start reading lots of editorials, as well as social science and natural science journals. Apply the reading techniques that Scott shows you to those materials as well.
John Fritschie, Esq.
Kaplan LSAT Faculty
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