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Breaking Down the LSAT: Reading Comprehension

Since the beginning of your education, you have had to read passages and then answer questions about them.  In that respect, the LSAT’s Reading Comprehension’s format will be familiar.

But you know that there’s a catch, right?

As tempting as it is for prospective law students to focus more on other subjects, overconfidence about the LSAT’s Reading Comprehension is a big mistake due to the complexity of its questions.  The LSAT’s Reading Comprehension mirrors the study of law where dense reading material must be dissected often under rigid time constraints.

In order not to lose crucial points, you’ll need to understand:

    • the author’s attitude and the primary purpose of the passage

    • reasonable inferences

    • analogies

    • meaning from context

For success on the Comparative Reading Comprehension section, you must:

    • ascertain the relationship between two passages
    • infer the authors’ views
    • compare and contrast the two passages

As a tutor for LSAT prep in Chicago, I've witnessed a common mistake.  After not scoring well on practice tests, many students then overcompensate and focus on every word of the reading passages, whether important or not.  This method is a catalyst for the new problem of running out of time.  Only with practice will you be able to conserve time while simultaneously reading with insight.


  1. The only way to triumph over overconfidence and time management problems is to study for this subject
  2. Your goal is not to get all the answers correct.  It’s to get as many correct answers within the 35 minute testing period.
  3. Develop a  consistent system of notation (underlining, highlighting, writing in the margin, or circling) which will illuminate important sections of the passages.
  4. The “hunt and peck” method, where you scan the passage for words from the question, will not be sufficient for a good score.
  5. Critical reading consists of separating the wheat from the chaff – pay attention to clues like transitions and adjectives while disregarding any superfluous details.