LSAT Kung Fu Blog / How to Identify the Main Point of a Passage

How to Identify the Main Point of a Passage

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Those are the raised hands of LSAT Reading Comp victory.

Those are the raised hands of LSAT Reading Comp victory.

As you get started with your LSAT prep (or somewhere in the middle of LSAT prep, or even if you’re already well into your LSAT prep. OK, let’s just say that at any point in your LSAT prep), one of the key things you’ll need to figure out is how to find the Main Point of a Reading Comp passage.

Well, that’s where this post comes in! I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve decided to write a few words on identifying the main point of passages, and you are now reading those words. IT’S AN EXCITING TIME TO BE ALIVE.

Here’s one thing for you to do; every single time you read a passage, pretend that you have a friend sitting next to you. We’ll call that friend Francisco. 

When you finish reading, turn to Francisco and say, “Francisco, I’ve just read a passage about [topic X].”

The words you put into those brackets are the main point of the passage.

See? The answer was in you all along! You’re just like the Karate Kid, but with less cultural appropriation.

Let’s do an example (using passage two from PrepTest 76, because that is where I opened my book while looking for an example to use).

[…reading…]

“OK, Francisco. I’ve just finished reading a passage about how the people who are all worried about science patents should just chill. Patents are fine, actually.”

Now compare that to the right answer (I was going to put “the write answer” as a pun, but it was stupid so I didn’t. Just wanted you to know):

(D) says “Concerns expressed by academic researchers that biotechnology patents will negatively affect their ability to conduct basic research are largely misguided.”

LITERALLY WORD FOR WORD THE SAME AS THE SAME BASIC CONCEPT AS OUR FRANCISCO ANSWER.

This technique does (at least) three things for you:

  1. It forces you to think about what you’ve read. This is good. The more you think about the things you read, the more automatic that thinking will become. That’s the essence of good reading; it’ll make you a faster LSAT taker, and it’ll make you a better lawyer.
  2. It teaches you to consider the big picture. You don’t want to get bogged down in the passage. Well, actually, I have no idea what you want to do. Maybe you do want to be bogged down. But getting bogged down in a passage is bad for your LSAT score, and starting to read in this way will help you avoid that.
  3. It feels like you’ve got a friend with you all the time. It’s nice to have a buddy. Francisco’s a good guy, and also one bad mofo. Don't cross him, is what I'm saying.

So try it out! Let me know how it goes if you want.

Godspeed,

d

P.S. Questions? Sock ‘em to me.

P.P.S. Suggestions for future blog posts? Send ‘em my way.

P.P.P.S. And if you’ve got a hankerin’ for a Velocity LSAT discount code, use this code: KARATEKID at checkout to get 10% off any of our courses! That code will be good through March 31, 2017.