I'm awesome at Reading Comprehension questions. Seriously. I destroy that section. And I'd love to tell you it's because I'm incredibly smart (though I am), or because I have an eidetic memory (I don't), or because of some other gloriously insane skill set. But none of that would be true. I'm stellar at RC because I read all the time and I'm always reading philosophy. There's no big secret. I read articles and books that are complex and challenging. I sift through arguments. I read critically and evaluate what I read. I ask questions. I examine assumptions, and I'm an active reader. I am really good at reading. Olympic-qualifier good.
Reading, like most things, is a skill, and it's not a binary skill. There aren't just two settings: Can't read/Can read. Once you learn how to read, you don't pass a magical threshold that grants you access to all written things. At most, you get a provisional membership into the community of literacy, and an invitation to develop your skill further. Unfortunately, most do not accept the invitation. Their skill stagnates.
What does this mean for Reading Comprehension on the LSAT? It means that there's no way around the requirement to become a better reader. You have to develop the skill of reading well. You can't bypass it, there are no tricks or strategies that are full-proof. You have to read. A lot.
There's a reason why the RC section is so famously resistant to improvement past a certain point: because you can't cheat becoming a better, more refined reader. And that is what you have to do.
Lucky for you, it's a problem with an immediate and powerful solution. Read challenging and complex things that test the limits of your skill. You know the LSAT, in good academic fashion, cites the sources from which it takes its reading selections. Start there. Check those books out of the library, download them on your tablet. Or better yet, go to your University Library and read high-end publications: the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, and so on. Read out of your comfort zone, and read widely. You don't need to read what I read -- esoteric books on Heidegger -- but you shouldn't read People Magazine and 50 Shades either. Aim for the middle ground: challenging, but accessible. Hit up JSTOR.
And while you read, ask questions. Don't read passively! Assess what you read, be critical, and stay engaged. Most importantly, start today. The very first thing I tell new students that I tutor: get started reading. Right now. Right away. It's a cumulative, slow-moving skill. You won't realize you're getting better, but you will be. And for those first few weeks, while you work with your tutor on other things, like logical reasoning and diagramming, you should also be reading, all the time. I promise you: you'll be shocked by your improvement on RC questions.
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