The reading comprehension (RC) section is often greatly misunderstood by students. This is because unlike the other sections on the LSAT — the LR and AR sections — which are specific to the LSAT in the sense that they do not appear on any other standardized test, the RC section on the LSAT seems to be similar to other reading-based exercises that a student may have encountered on other tests. Accordingly, many students think that they are already familiar with what the RC section expects from them. However, the RC section is not like any other reading-based exercise and involves an LSAT specific approach to reading and treatment of information.
At the same time, the RC section is tightly timed. In mastering how to read on the RC section, it is important for the student to find the balance between speed and accuracy in retention of information that is optimal under the time-pressure. It is not always the case that reading slower and more in depth will lead to greater capacity to correctly answer RC questions, and it is not always clear to a test-taker what adjustments they need to make in their reading strategy in order to master the RC section. This is why the one-on-one Waterton approach is critical to RC success: we help the student make the particular adjustments to their specific reading strategy necessary to align them with achievement on the RC section.
Class-based prep programs can at best describe a general approach to reading that may work for a small subset of the students (and even for those, it may not be the most efficient approach to success). This is because the approach that is best on the RC section is that which leads to the capacity to either retain or locate relevant information (without distortion) under the given time. This involves as much an understanding of what is here relevant as a reading strategy specific to the functions of memory and speed of reading peculiar to the individual student. At Waterton, we work with each student to help them find their own best reading strategy and succeed on the RC.