Improving on my reading comprehension has been tough lately. When I first encountered reading comp, I was actually excited to get away from heavy diagramming and scenarios, at least for a bit. I obviously know how to read, and I’ve been tested on my comprehension in school since I can remember. Putting this skill to the test didn’t scare me at first. I figured I could just bank on my natural ability to decipher reading passages.
But, my unabashed confidence quickly exposed my Achilles heel. With logic games and logical reasoning, I am very methodical and detail-oriented from start to finish. In those questions, the fine details usually make the difference in sifting out the correct answers. With reading comprehension, getting lost in the details can cause you to miss the forest, as Trent Teti would say. As the passages and their respective questions have become more difficult, my number of incorrect answers has begun to increase as well.
Unfortunately, I’ve actually spent a good deal of my studying time ignoring reading comprehension, wrongly thinking that my natural ability in that area would be enough. Tagging and labeling the entire passage just seemed like far too much effort before even getting into the questions.
As an online LSAT student, I have a lot more freedom to pick and choose what I study and when. Logic games and logical reasoning have somewhat of an instant gratification effect, so I’m always tempted to tackle those questions first on the homework and lessons. While I paid much attention to my performance on reasoning and games, I ignored my deficiency in reading comp. I was wrong to do that, of course, and now I’m stuck playing catch up.
Realizing that I need to improve quickly, I’ve begun to take a different approach to my reading comprehension practice. Along with sticking much more stringently to Blueprint’s method as I approach each passage, I’ve also incorporated more leisure reading into my everyday routine. Reading especially dense material on a daily basis has also helped to get me into the rhythm of deciphering for overall understanding.
I’ve heard that some prepping for the LSAT turn to heavy philosophy-type reading to practice, but, as much as I respect the writings of philosophers like Aristotle and Kant, I can’t imagine reading their works just for the fun of it. For really meaty reading, I turn to news publications.
I have had a subscription to The Economist for the last year or so, and I read the New York Times online almost every day. Along with getting accustomed to dense material, I can finally get caught up with the world around me. With my face stuck in a book half the time, it’s nice to know that something exciting is happening somewhere.
We’ll see how it goes. By adding some in-depth reading to my studies, I’m hoping to see some drastic improvements in my reading comprehension, and I am already feeling a bit more comfortable. But if I have one recommendation for anyone starting their LSAT training: begin studying reading comprehension early!