Your success in law school is the first and most important factor in your success as a lawyer.

There are three types of 35-minute multiple-choice sections on the LSAT: Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, and Logical Reasoning. Each set has its own unique question formats, which means that you must adapt your strategy to each section. Here are five tips that will help you more efficiently make your way through the Reading Comprehension section.

Clock on the justice statue.

1. Don’t rush to answer every question

Attempting every question is not necessarily the best strategy for every test taker. Someone who attempts only 12 questions but gets them all correct and guesses on the rest will almost certainly get a higher score than a someone who attempts all 25 questions but gets only 13 of them correct. Accuracy is more important than attempting every question!

2. Work quickly on easier questions

The LSAT is difficult overall, but some questions are straightforward. Instead of speeding up on harder questions, which may decrease your accuracy, speed up on easier questions so you have more time for harder questions. Don’t overthink the easy ones—and don’t underthink the hard ones!

3. Skip harder questions (or leave them for later)

Remember that every question is worth one point, no matter how easy or difficult, so don’t let any one question throw off your pacing plan. Some questions are just tough, and even if you have saved five minutes for that question, you might still miss it. Try to quickly identify these difficult questions so that you can skip them entirely, or flag them to return to after you’ve completed the easier questions. You have the freedom to attempt the questions in whatever order you choose.

4. Move on when you’re stuck

Avoid getting bogged down. When under the clock, you can’t afford to spend more than about 3 minutes on any one question. If you’ve tried to apply the best strategy but still can’t understand the stimulus or decide on an answer, make your best guess and move on. There are easier questions out there!

5. Don’t rush to read the answer choices

Take enough time to understand the argument, passage, or game setup. The better you understand the question, the clearer your prediction will be, and the quicker you’ll be able to eliminate wrong answers. Reading the answer choices won’t help you to understand the game or the passage, so don’t move on to them until you’ve done the work required by the question. Ironically, taking more time with the question can improve your overall speed!

6. Set realistic pacing goals for each section

Divide the number of questions in a section by the amount of time you have to get a sense of how many minutes you should initially spend per question. However, once you've started practicing and you get a better sense of your accuracy, adjust your goals as needed!

  • Logical Reasoning

    • Attempt 2-3 more questions than the number you got correct on your most recent timed section or full test

  • Logic Games & Reading Comprehension

    • Accuracy < 50%: Attempt 2 games/passages

    • Accuracy 50%-75%: Attempt 3 games/passages

    • Accuracy > 75%: Attempt 4 games/passages

7. Practice!

Ultimately, speed is a by-product of skill: the more you understand each question task and recognize patterns, the faster (and more accurate) you’ll get. Even if your goal is to be able to attempt every question with high accuracy, understand that it takes time to build up to that goal. Increase your pace gradually while maintaining your accuracy: you must get good before you get fast. Practice with a purpose, diagnose your errors, and refine your approach accordingly. The LSAT is difficult, and there are no shortcuts: slow, steady improvement is key to improving your speed on the LSAT!

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