Timing issues with reading comprehension questions are something that we see a lot. Surprisingly enough, this is an issue that affects not only new LSAT test-takers but also students that are scoring in the 175+ ballpark. That’s why, in this blog, we’ll be exploring why reading comp timing issues are so common and how to overcome them.
The Issue Of Timing
We get it, reading comprehension questions are stressful, but we have a theory as to why that is. It’s because students spend much more time on the questions themselves as they do the reading. However, that’s the biggest mistake students can make on these questions. Instead of rushing through the passage to get to the questions, test takers should be spending some additional time digesting the reading itself.
Let’s think about a scenario to better illustrate what we mean here. Imagine you’re taking the LSAT, and of course, you come across a reading comprehension section. You begin reading the article, and somewhere down the line, you think to yourself, “this is taking way too long,” so you begin forcing yourself to read faster. The problem here is that you’ve now stunted your comprehension of the overall passage. By trying to fly through the passage so that you can get to the questions, you’re ironically giving yourself less of a chance to get the questions right! Then inevitably, you do poorly on this reading comp because you just can’t quite get the passage.
The best piece of advice that we can give when it comes to improving your timing on reading comprehension questions or sections is to slow down! Now, we know this sounds a bit counterintuitive, so let us explain. This is simply the best advice that we can offer on the topic of reading comp timing because no matter how fast or how slow you read, the underlying issue lies with your comprehension of the passage itself.
That’s why we suggest slowing down. This gives you more time to really digest the reading. Moreover, we suggest that by the end of each passage you read, you should have given yourself enough time to say, “I understood that at a nine or better.” This way, by the time you do get to the questions themselves, you’ll be able to make up your time by answering the questions more effectively and efficiently.
Obviously, we know time is of the essence on this exam. However, by taking the time to really dive into the passage, you will more than likely do much better on your reading comprehension questions.