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Reading Comprehension Questions on the LSAT

Instructor: Fola Rae
If you're gearing up for the LSAT, take a look at this article to get a better understanding of the types of questions included in the reading comprehension portion of this exam. You'll find out what the LSAT reading comprehension section tests, how it is structured, and you'll also be introduced to some helpful study resources.

LSAT Reading Comprehension Questions Evaluate Competence

Since the LSAT is one of the key predictors of success in law school, it's no surprise that the reading comprehension section of the exam measures your ability to read and understand complicated information presented in long passages. In law school, you'll have to do the same thing when you read cases and review differing court decisions that impact each other. On the exam, the information included in the passages might be about a subject you are not familiar with, and you'll have to do your best to understand the concepts and relationships. The facts could be taken from any subject related to law, social sciences, biological and physical sciences or the humanities. Reading in law school also involves reading about any number of societal issues that you may not have had any previous exposure to.

LSAT Reading Comprehension Section

This section of the exam will test your ability to analyze, compare and sometimes synthesize information to be able to apply the concepts to other pieces of information. Three question sets will require basic reading comprehension, and you will have to read only one passage to answer the questions. The fourth type of question set you'll see on the exam is a comparative reading exercise which includes two passages for you to read to answer the questions.

Some questions can require you to focus on one of the details included in the passages, or they can require that you get an idea of the big picture presented by the facts. Other questions may push you to make single or multiple inferences about points made by the author. You may also have to apply logic to something included in the facts to be able to choose the correct answer. This overview gives you a general idea of how you will have to shift your thinking to answer the varying questions on the exam.

The following information will give you a more in-depth look at what you can expect to encounter on this part of the exam.

Reading Comprehension Questions

These are questions based on one passage and an overall understanding of the content included in the passage. You may have to hone in on the main topic, point or purpose to be able to answer the questions correctly. Here are some examples of information tested in these questions:

  • The author's attitude
  • What the author is trying to accomplish
  • The author's primary purpose
  • The passage's main point
  • What can be inferred by what the author wrote
  • The meaning of a certain phrase
  • An analogy to a scenario included in the facts

Comparative Reading Questions

These questions are based on two passages and require comparison of the facts included in both passages. Some examples of information tested in this question type include:

  • A major difference in the information included in the two passages
  • Points the authors agree or disagree on
  • Examples that demonstrate evidence of a stated point
  • An inference of the author's opinion
  • An analogy of the relationship between the two passages
  • How the arguments in the two passages are related

Preparing for the LSAT

To help you get ready for the reading comprehension section and the exam in general, check out Study.com's LSAT prep course to gain valuable information about the exam. Each chapter in this course covers material for each section of the LSAT. The chapter on reading comprehension includes lessons on strategies for reading the questions and how to make inferences. The engaging video lessons in this course make the learning experience fun, and you can use the quizzes to test your knowledge of the material as you go along. If you're nervous about this exam, have a look at this lesson on how to overcome test anxiety for some tips on how to get relaxed.

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