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Logical Reasoning Sample Questions

The sample questions on the following pages are typical of the Logical Reasoning questions you will find on the LSAT.

Directions:

Each question in this section is based on the reasoning presented in a brief passage. In answering the questions, you should not make assumptions that are by commonsense standards implausible, superfluous, or incompatible with the passage. For some questions, more than one of the choices could conceivably answer the question. However, you are to choose the best answer; that is, choose the response that most accurately and completely answers the question.

Question 1

Laird: Pure research provides us with new technologies that contribute to saving lives. Even more worthwhile than this, however, is its role in expanding our knowledge and providing new, unexplored ideas.

Kim: Your priorities are mistaken. Saving lives is what counts most of all. Without pure research, medicine would not be as advanced as it is.

Laird and Kim disagree on whether pure research

  1. derives its significance in part from its providing new technologies
  2. expands the boundaries of our knowledge of medicine
  3. should have the saving of human lives as an important goal
  4. has its most valuable achievements in medical applications
  5. has any value apart from its role in providing new technologies to save lives

Explanation for Question 1

This question asks you to identify the point on which Laird and Kim disagree with respect to pure research. Laird identifies two contributions of pure research: its medical applications (“technologies that contribute to saving lives”) and its role in expanding knowledge and providing new ideas. Of these, Laird considers the second contribution to be more worthwhile. Kim, on the other hand, maintains that “Saving lives is what counts most of all.” Since pure research saves lives through medical applications, Kim disagrees with Laird about whether pure research has its most valuable achievements in medical applications. The correct response, therefore, is (D).

Response (A) is incorrect since we can determine, based on their statements, that Laird and Kim agree that pure research “derives its significance in part from its providing new technologies.” Laird explicitly cites the value of pure research with respect to providing new technologies. Kim indicates agreement with (A), at least in the case of medical technologies, by asserting that “Without pure research, medicine would not be as advanced as it is.”

Response (B) is incorrect since we can determine, based on their statements, that Laird and Kim would likely agree that pure research “expands the boundaries of our knowledge of medicine.” Laird notes that pure research provides us with new technologies that have medical applications. Kim points out that “Without pure research, medicine would not be as advanced as it is.”

Response (C) is incorrect. Kim indicates agreement that pure research “should have the saving of human lives as an important goal” since Kim’s position is that “Saving lives is what counts most of all.” Since Laird cites the saving of lives as one way in which pure research is worthwhile or valuable, Laird also indicates agreement that pure research “should have the saving of human lives as an important goal,” although Laird indicates that expanding knowledge and providing new ideas should be an even more important goal of pure research. The same activity can of course have more than one goal.

Response (E) is incorrect. Laird clearly agrees that pure research has value “apart from its role in providing new technologies to save lives,” given that Laird explicitly cites a second way in which pure research is valuable. However, nothing in what Kim says suggests disagreement with (E). Kim’s position is that the greatest value of pure research is its role in providing new technologies to save lives. We cannot infer from this that Kim believes this role to be the only value of pure research.

This question was of medium difficulty, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 2


Executive: We recently ran a set of advertisements in the print version of a travel magazine and on that magazine’s website. We were unable to get any direct information about consumer response to the print ads. However, we found that consumer response to the ads on the website was much more limited than is typical for website ads. We concluded that consumer response to the print ads was probably below par as well.

The executive’s reasoning does which one of the following?

  1. bases a prediction of the intensity of a phenomenon on information about the intensity of that phenomenon’s cause
  2. uses information about the typical frequency of events of a general kind to draw a conclusion about the probability of a particular event of that kind
  3. infers a statistical generalization from claims about a large number of specific instances
  4. uses a case in which direct evidence is available to draw a conclusion about an analogous case in which direct evidence is unavailable
  5. bases a prediction about future events on facts about recent comparable events

Explanation for Question 2

This question asks you to identify how the executive’s reasoning proceeds. The ads discussed by the executive appeared in two places—in a magazine and on the magazine’s website. Some information is available concerning the effect of the website ads on consumers, but no consumer response information is available about the print ads. The executive’s remarks suggest that the ads that appeared in print and on the website were basically the same, or very similar. The executive reasoned that information about the effect of the website ads could be used as evidence for an inference about how the print ads likely performed. The executive thus used the analogy between the print ads and the website ads to infer something about the print ads. (D), therefore, is the correct response.

Response (A) is incorrect. The executive’s conclusion about the likely consumer response to the print ads does not constitute a prediction, but rather a judgment about events that have already transpired. Moreover, the executive’s conclusion is not based on any reasoning about the cause of the consumer response to the print ads.

Response (B) is incorrect. The executive does conclude that certain events are likely to have transpired on the basis of what was known to have transpired in a similar case, but no distinction can be made in the executive’s argument between events of a general kind and a particular event of that kind. There are two types of events in play in the executive’s argument and they are of the same level of generality—the response to the website ads and the response to the print ads.

Response (C) is incorrect. The executive does not infer a statistical generalization, which would involve generalizing about a population on the basis of a statistical sample. The executive merely draws a conclusion about the likely occurrence of specific events.

Response (E) is also incorrect. The executive does use the comparability of the print and website ads as the basis for the conclusion drawn; however, as noted above, the executive’s conclusion about the likely consumer response to the print ads does not constitute a prediction about future events, but rather a judgment about events that have already transpired.

This was an easy question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 3


During the construction of the Quebec Bridge in 1907, the bridge’s designer, Theodore Cooper, received word that the suspended span being built out from the bridge’s cantilever was deflecting downward by a fraction of an inch (2.54 centimeters). Before he could telegraph to freeze the project, the whole cantilever arm broke off and plunged, along with seven dozen workers, into the St. Lawrence River. It was the worst bridge construction disaster in history. As a direct result of the inquiry that followed, the engineering “rules of thumb” by which thousands of bridges had been built around the world went down with the Quebec Bridge. Twentieth-century bridge engineers would thereafter depend on far more rigorous applications of mathematical analysis.

Which one of the following statements can be properly inferred from the passage?

  1. Bridges built before about 1907 were built without thorough mathematical analysis and, therefore, were unsafe for the public to use.
  2. Cooper’s absence from the Quebec Bridge construction site resulted in the breaking off of the cantilever.
  3. Nineteenth-century bridge engineers relied on their rules of thumb because analytical methods were inadequate to solve their design problems.
  4. Only a more rigorous application of mathematical analysis to the design of the Quebec Bridge could have prevented its collapse.
  5. Prior to 1907 the mathematical analysis incorporated in engineering rules of thumb was insufficient to completely assure the safety of bridges under construction.

Explanation for Question 3

The question asks you to identify the response that can be properly inferred from the passage. The passage indicates that the Quebec Bridge disaster in 1907 and the inquiry that followed caused the engineering “rules of thumb” used in construction of thousands of bridges to be abandoned. Since the Quebec Bridge disaster in 1907 prompted this abandonment, it can be inferred that these were the rules of thumb under which the Quebec Bridge was being built when it collapsed and that these were the rules of thumb used in bridge building before 1907. Further, since the Quebec Bridge collapsed while under construction and the rules of thumb being used were abandoned as a result, it can be inferred that the rules of thumb used in building the Quebec Bridge and bridges prior to 1907 were insufficient to completely assure the safety of bridges under construction. Finally, since the alternative that was adopted in place of the old engineering rules of thumb was to “depend on far more rigorous applications of mathematical analysis,” it can be inferred that the mathematical analysis incorporated in the engineering rules of thumb used prior to 1907 made them insufficient to completely assure the safety of bridges under construction. Thus, (E) is the correct response.

Response (A) is incorrect. (A) asserts that bridges built before about 1907 were unsafe for the public to use because they were built without thorough mathematical analysis. But this conclusion goes far beyond what is established by the passage. The passage gives evidence only about the safety of bridges built before 1907 while they were under construction. It is silent on whether bridges built before about 1907 were safe when open for use by the public. Moreover, the passage indicates that the rules of thumb used in bridge construction before 1907 were abandoned because the use of those rules did not provide adequate assurance of safety for bridges under construction. It does not follow that bridges built using those rules of thumb (those built before about 1907) actually were unsafe, either while under construction or when open for public use.

Response (B) is incorrect in claiming that Cooper’s absence from the construction site caused the breaking off of the cantilever. The passage does not establish that, had Cooper been at the site, he could have successfully intervened to prevent the cantilever from breaking off. By freezing the project, he might have spared lives by stopping work, but there is nothing in the passage to indicate that he necessarily would have prevented the collapse.

Response (C) is incorrect; there is no evidence in the passage about why nineteenth-century bridge engineers relied on their rules of thumb.

Response (D) is also incorrect. While the passage suggests that a more rigorous application of mathematical analysis would have prevented the collapse of the bridge, it offers no evidence that it is the only way the collapse could have been prevented. For example, it might have been prevented had corrective measures been taken in time.

This question was of medium difficulty, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 4


The supernova event of 1987 is interesting in that there is still no evidence of the neutron star that current theory says should have remained after a supernova of that size. This is in spite of the fact that many of the most sensitive instruments ever developed have searched for the tell-tale pulse of radiation that neutron stars emit. Thus, current theory is wrong in claiming that supernovas of a certain size always produce neutron stars.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

  1. Most supernova remnants that astronomers have detected have a neutron star nearby.
  2. Sensitive astronomical instruments have detected neutron stars much farther away than the location of the 1987 supernova.
  3. The supernova of 1987 was the first that scientists were able to observe in progress.
  4. Several important features of the 1987 supernova are correctly predicted by the current theory.
  5. Some neutron stars are known to have come into existence by a cause other than a supernova explosion.

Explanation for Question 4

This question asks you to identify the response that most strengthens the argument. The argument concludes that “current theory is wrong in claiming that supernovas of a certain size always produce neutron stars” based on the observation that no evidence has been found of a neutron star left behind by the supernova event of 1987. However, the failure to find evidence of the predicted neutron star does not necessarily indicate that such evidence does not exist. It may instead indicate that the instruments used to search for the evidence are not powerful enough to detect a neutron star in the area where the 1987 supernova event occurred. The argument would thus be strengthened if there was evidence that the search instruments used would in fact be capable of finding the predicted neutron star if that star existed.

Response (B) provides such evidence. If “sensitive astronomical instruments have detected neutron stars much farther away than the location of the 1987 supernova,” then it is less likely that the predicted neutron star is outside the detection range of “the most sensitive instruments ever developed.” Thus, (B) is the correct response.

Response (A) reports that most supernova remnants that astronomers have detected have a neutron star nearby. Since (A) gives no information about the size of the supernovas that produced these remnants, it is possible that all of the remnants detected to date are consistent with the current theory’s claim that supernovas of a certain size always produce neutron stars. (A), therefore, lends no support to the argument that the current theory is wrong in this claim.

Response (C) reports that the supernova of 1987 was the first supernova that scientists were able to observe in progress. This information has no direct bearing on the question of whether this event produced a neutron star and thus cannot be used to strengthen the argument that the current theory is wrong.

Response (D) asserts that several important features of the 1987 supernova are correctly predicted by the current theory. This bolsters the support for the current theory and would thus, if anything, weaken the argument that the current theory is wrong.

Response (E) reports that not all neutron stars are the products of supernova events. Since this information pertains to neutron stars that were not produced by supernovas, it is irrelevant to the question of whether all supernovas of a certain size produce neutron stars, as the current theory claims. Hence, (E) lends no support to the argument.

This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 5


Political scientist: As a political system, democracy does not promote political freedom. There are historical examples of democracies that ultimately resulted in some of the most oppressive societies. Likewise, there have been enlightened despotisms and oligarchies that have provided a remarkable level of political freedom to their subjects.

The reasoning in the political scientist’s argument is flawed because it

  1. confuses the conditions necessary for political freedom with the conditions sufficient to bring it about     
  2. fails to consider that a substantial increase in the level of political freedom might cause a society to become more democratic
  3. appeals to historical examples that are irrelevant to the causal claim being made
  4. overlooks the possibility that democracy promotes political freedom without being necessary or sufficient by itself to produce it
  5. bases its historical case on a personal point of view

Explanation for Question 5

This question asks you to identify how the reasoning in the political scientist’s argument is flawed. The argument bases its conclusion—that democracy does not promote political freedom—on two sets of historical examples. The first set of examples demonstrates that democracy is not sufficient for political freedom, and the second set demonstrates that democracy is not necessary for political freedom. But it does not follow from these examples that democracy does not promote political freedom. Even if democracy is not, by itself, sufficient for political freedom, it can still promote political freedom by contributing to it in most instances. Even if democracy is not necessary for political freedom, it can still be true that democracy is something that promotes political freedom wherever it is found. Thus, (D) is the correct response.

Response (A) is incorrect. The political scientist’s argument does not indicate that any particular conditions are necessary for political freedom, nor does it indicate that any particular conditions are sufficient to bring about political freedom. Thus the argument could not be said to confuse these two sorts of conditions. Rather, the political scientist’s argument attempts to demonstrate that democracy does not promote political freedom on the grounds that democracy is neither necessary nor sufficient for bringing about political freedom.

Response (B) is incorrect. The argument does fail to consider whether a substantial increase in the level of political freedom would cause a society to become more democratic, but this does not constitute a flaw in its reasoning. The truth of the claim that increased political freedom causes greater democratization would not by itself undermine the political scientist’s conclusion that democracies do not promote political freedom. Nor does that claim engage with the argument’s premises, which are concerned with the effect of democracy on political freedom, not the effect of political freedom on democracy.

Response (C) is incorrect. The “causal claim being made” could only be the argument’s conclusion that democracy does not promote political freedom, which denies that there is a causal connection between democracy and political freedom. The historical examples in the argument are relevant to this claim, however. These examples are an important part of the larger body of historical evidence that one would look to when investigating the issue of whether democracy promotes political freedom.

Response (E) is also incorrect. The political scientist does not express a personal point of view or base the historical examples on such a view. On the contrary, the historical examples themselves are an impersonal, though flawed, basis for the argument’s conclusion.

This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 6


Journalist: To reconcile the need for profits sufficient to support new drug research with the moral imperative to provide medicines to those who most need them but cannot afford them, some pharmaceutical companies feel justified in selling a drug in rich nations at one price and in poor nations at a much lower price. But this practice is unjustified. A nation with a low average income may still have a substantial middle class better able to pay for new drugs than are many of the poorer citizens of an overall wealthier nation.

Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the journalist’s reasoning?

  1. People who are ill deserve more consideration than do healthy people, regardless of their relative socioeconomic positions.
  2. Wealthy institutions have an obligation to expend at least some of their resources to assist those incapable of assisting themselves.
  3. Whether one deserves special consideration depends on one’s needs rather than on characteristics of the society to which one belongs.
  4. The people in wealthy nations should not have better access to health care than do the people in poorer nations.
  5. Unequal access to health care is more unfair than an unequal distribution of wealth.

Explanation for Question 6

The journalist states that pharmaceutical companies have both a need for profits to support future research and a moral obligation to provide medicines to those who most need them and cannot afford them. In order to balance these requirements, they have adopted a practice of selling drugs at lower prices in poorer countries. The journalist’s conclusion is that this practice is unjustified. To support this claim, the journalist points out that different individuals in the same nation have differing abilities to pay, but this consideration does not, by itself, establish that the pharmaceutical company’s policy is unjustified. The question asks you to choose the principle that would most help to justify the journalist’s reasoning.

The principle stated in response (C) connects the question of whether special consideration is deserved to personal, rather than societal, needs. The pharmaceutical companies’ practice provides special consideration based on the characteristics of one’s society, and not based on one’s personal needs. As a result, according to this principle, the practice tends to deny special consideration to some who deserve it (the poorer citizens of wealthier nations), while giving special consideration to some who do not deserve it (the middle class citizens of poorer nations). In this way the practice is failing to meet the pharmaceutical companies’ obligation to provide special consideration for those who most need the drugs and cannot afford them, and, in giving undeserved special consideration, failing to generate income that could have been used to support new drug research. The principle in (C) thereby provides strong support for the journalist’s reasoning that the pharmaceutical companies’ practice is unjustified. Thus, (C) is the correct response.

The principle stated in response (A) applies to balancing the consideration deserved by ill people and healthy people. However, the pharmaceutical companies’ practice, and the journalist’s argument against that practice, concerns only ill people (that is, people who need drugs). As a result, response (A) is not relevant to the journalist’s reasoning.

The principle stated in (B) requires that wealthy institutions use some of their resources to aid those in need. This tends to affirm the pharmaceutical companies’ moral imperative to provide medicines to those who need them but cannot afford them. However, this principle gives no support to the journalist’s reasoning, which contends that the pharmaceutical companies’ pricing policy is not justified by this moral imperative.

The principle stated in (D), that people in wealthy nations should not have better access to health care than those in poorer nations, is a principle that tends to support the companies’ practice, because the companies’ practice is one that tends to lessen the health care disparities between wealthy and poorer nations. For this reason, (D) actually runs counter to the journalist’s reasoning.

The principle stated in (E) concerns whether an unequal distribution of health care or an unequal distribution of wealth is more unfair. However, this is a different issue than the one the journalist is addressing. Response (E) is thus not relevant to the journalist’s reasoning.

This was an easy question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 7


Several critics have claimed that any contemporary poet who writes formal poetry—poetry that is rhymed and metered—is performing a politically conservative act. This is plainly false. Consider Molly Peacock and Marilyn Hacker, two contemporary poets whose poetry is almost exclusively formal and yet who are themselves politically progressive feminists.

The conclusion drawn above follows logically if which one of the following is assumed?

  1. No one who is a feminist is also politically conservative.
  2. No poet who writes unrhymed or unmetered poetry is politically conservative.
  3. No one who is politically progressive is capable of performing a politically conservative act.
  4. Anyone who sometimes writes poetry that is not politically conservative never writes poetry that is politically conservative.
  5. The content of a poet’s work, not the work’s form, is the most decisive factor in determining what political consequences, if any, the work will have.

Explanation for Question 7

This question asks you to identify the option containing information that makes the conclusion of the argument follow logically. The conclusion of the argument is that it is false that any contemporary poet who writes formal poetry is performing a politically conservative act. To draw this conclusion logically, one only needs to show at least one contemporary poet who is writing formal poetry and is not thereby performing a politically conservative act. Showing such an instance would provide a counterexample to the claim attributed to the critics, demonstrating that the critics’ generalization is false.

The premise given is that there are two contemporary and politically progressive feminist poets who write formal poetry—Molly Peacock and Marilyn Hacker. If no one who is politically progressive is capable of performing a politically conservative act, and Peacock and Hacker are politically progressive, it follows logically that neither is capable of performing a politically conservative act. Since both write formal poetry, their writing of formal poetry cannot be a politically conservative act. This shows that one can write formal poetry without performing a politically conservative act, so (C) is the correct response.

If it is true that no one who is a feminist is politically conservative, as response (A) says, we can conclude that Peacock and Hacker, who are identified as being feminists, are not politically conservative. But we already knew this, as they were also identified as being politically progressive. As long as people who are not themselves politically conservative are capable of performing politically conservative acts, the question of whether it is possible for someone to write formal poetry without performing a politically conservative act remains unanswered. (A) is thus incorrect.

If no poet who writes unrhymed and unmetered poetry is politically conservative, as response (B) indicates, this tells us little about Peacock and Hacker, whose poetry, we are told, is almost exclusively formal. Insofar as (B) may indicate that Peacock and Hacker are not politically conservative (because they write some poetry that is not both rhymed and metered), we already knew this, as they are identified as being politically progressive. Since the argument works by presenting Peacock and Hacker as counterexamples to the claim that to write formal poetry is to perform a politically conservative act, (B) contributes nothing in the way of additional support for the conclusion.

Response (D) says that anyone who sometimes writes poetry that is not politically conservative never writes poetry that is politically conservative. However, to make the conclusion of the argument follow logically, one must show that some contemporary poets who write formal poetry are sometimes not performing a politically conservative act. The information in (D) is not applicable to this question.

Response (E) concerns the effects of the content of a poet’s work on determining the political consequences of the work. However, the question that must be answered is whether any contemporary poet who writes formal poetry is performing a politically conservative act, not what the consequences of that poetry might be. The question of whether writing a particular poem is a politically conservative act is different from the question of what that poem’s political consequences will be. Moreover, because the content of neither Peacock’s nor Hacker’s work has been specified, (E) does not even allow us to draw a conclusion about the political consequences of their work.

This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 8


About two million years ago, lava dammed up a river in western Asia and caused a small lake to form. The lake existed for about half a million years. Bones of an early human ancestor were recently found in the ancient lake-bottom sediments that lie on top of the layer of lava. Therefore, ancestors of modern humans lived in western Asia between two million and one-and-a-half million years ago.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the argument?

  1. There were no other lakes in the immediate area before the lava dammed up the river.
  2. The lake contained fish that the human ancestors could have used for food.
  3. The lava that lay under the lake-bottom sediments did not contain any human fossil remains.
  4. The lake was deep enough that a person could drown in it.
  5. The bones were already in the sediments by the time the lake dried up.

Explanation for Question 8

This question asks you to find the assumption required by the argument. In other words, find the statement whose truth is required if the argument is to succeed in demonstrating its conclusion.

Response (E) is the correct response. If the bones were not already in the sediments when the lake dried up, that means that they got into the sediments later; that is, less than one-and-a-half million years ago. But then their existence would not provide evidence that there were human ancestors in western Asia between two million and one-and-a-half million years ago; that is, the conclusion of the argument would not follow if (E) is false.

Response (A) is incorrect. The existence of other lakes in the area is irrelevant to the argument.

Response (B) is incorrect. If response (B) turned out to be true, that might provide a reason why humans were in the area of the lake, but this particular explanation need not be assumed in order for the argument to succeed in demonstrating its conclusion.

Response (C) is incorrect. It does not matter for the argument whether or not there were such remains in the lava, and the argument does not state or imply that there were no humans in the region prior to two million years ago. This was by far the most popular incorrect response.

Response (D) is incorrect. The remains could have gotten into the lake in any number of other ways; to give just one, perhaps the people in the area put their dead into the lake.

This was of medium difficulty, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 9


In jurisdictions where use of headlights is optional when visibility is good, drivers who use headlights at all times are less likely to be involved in a collision than are drivers who use headlights only when visibility is poor. Yet Highway Safety Department records show that making use of headlights mandatory at all times does nothing to reduce the overall number of collisions.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy in the information above?

  1. In jurisdictions where use of headlights is optional when visibility is good, one driver in four uses headlights for daytime driving in good weather.
  2. A law making use of headlights mandatory at all times is not especially difficult to enforce.
  3. Only very careful drivers use headlights when their use is not legally required.
  4. There are some jurisdictions in which it is illegal to use headlights when visibility is good.
  5. The jurisdictions where use of headlights is mandatory at all times are those where daytime visibility is frequently poor.

Explanation for Question 9

This question asks you to resolve an apparent discrepancy in information. The discrepancy arises because the passage presents two pieces of information that are in conflict.

Response (C) is correct. If only very careful drivers use headlights when their use is not legally required, then this explains why, when headlight use is optional, those drivers are less likely to be involved in a collision than are drivers who use headlights only when visibility is poor. It stands to reason that if headlight use is made mandatory, many less-careful drivers will also use headlights. But then the group of drivers using headlights expands to include not only the very careful drivers, but drivers of all sorts—including some who are not very careful. So it is not at all surprising that the overall number of collisions is not reduced: unsafe drivers do not become more careful when forced to use headlights.

Response (A) is incorrect. Statistical information about the percentage of drivers who use headlights for daytime driving in jurisdictions where such use is optional does not help to explain why making the use of headlights mandatory does not reduce overall collisions.

Response (B) is incorrect. Rather than helping to resolve the apparent discrepancy, this statement would, if true, rule out a possible resolution. If, contrary to response (B), such a law were difficult to enforce, that might help explain why such laws do not reduce collision rates.

Response (D) is incorrect. This choice can do nothing to explain discrepancies between cases in which the use of headlights is optional when visibility is good and cases where the use of headlights is mandatory at all times. This choice introduces a third scenario that does not explain anything about either of the situations discussed in the passage.

Response (E) is incorrect. If it is true that the jurisdictions in which the use of headlights is mandatory are areas that have poor daytime visibility, one might expect the use of headlights to reduce the overall number of collisions, at least in those places. But in any case, response (E) does not explain why, in jurisdictions where use of headlights is optional, drivers who use headlights at all times are less likely to be involved in collisions. This was the most popular incorrect answer.

This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 10


The Venetian Renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio used sumptuous reds in most of his paintings. Since the recently discovered Venetian Renaissance painting Erato Declaiming contains notable sumptuous reds, it is probably by Carpaccio.

Which one of the following contains a pattern of flawed reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

  1. Most Renaissance painters worked in a single medium, either tempera or oil. Since the Renaissance painting Calypso's Bower is in oil, its painter probably always used oil.
  2. In Italian Renaissance painting, the single most common subject was the Virgin and Child, so the single most common subject in Western art probably is also the Virgin and Child.
  3. Works of art in the Renaissance were mostly commissioned by patrons, so the Renaissance work The Dances of Terpsichore was probably commissioned by a patron.
  4. The anonymous painting St. Sebastian is probably an early Florentine painting since it is in tempera, and most early Florentine paintings were in tempera.
  5. Since late-Renaissance paintings were mostly in oil, the Venetian late-Renaissance painter Arnoldi, whose works are now lost, probably painted in oil.

Explanation for Question 10

This question asks you to find the response that contains a pattern of flawed reasoning most similar to that contained in the passage’s argument. To do this, you must understand the flawed pattern in the passage’s argument. Then choose the response that exhibits the most similar flawed pattern.

Response (D) is correct. Just because most As are Bs, that does not mean a particular B is likely to be an A. There may be many more Bs than As. This is the flaw in the passage, and in response (D).

Response (A) is incorrect. This argument is not flawed. Its premises, if true, provide good evidence for drawing its conclusion.

Response (B) is incorrect. This argument is flawed in generalizing from a specific case that may not be representative. But that is not the flawed pattern in the passage’s argument.

Response (C) is incorrect. This argument is not flawed. Its premises, if true, provide good evidence for drawing its conclusion.

Response (E) is incorrect. This argument is not flawed. Its premises, if true, provide good evidence for drawing its conclusion.

This was a very difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Sours: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/taking-lsat/test-format/logical-reasoning/logical-reasoning-sample-questions

Are you prepared for the LSAT? Try these sample LSAT test questions to determine where to focus your study efforts. Answers are provided at the end of all the questions. For more comprehensive preparation, check out Peterson’s full-length practice tests.

Logical Reasoning

When pregnant lab rats are given caffeine equivalent to the amount a human would consume by drinking six cups of coffee per day, an increase in the incidence of birth defects results. When asked if the government would require warning labels on products containing caffeine, a spokesperson stated that it would not because the government would lose credibility if the finding of these studies were to be refuted in the future.

1. Which of the following is most strongly suggested by the government’s statement above?

(A) A warning that applies to a small population is inappropriate.
(B) Very few people drink as many as six cups of coffee a day.
(C) There are doubts about the conclusive nature of studies on animals.
(D) Studies on rats provide little data about human birth defects.
(E) The seriousness of birth defects involving caffeine is not clear.

Analytical Reasoning

1. Buses 1, 2, and 3 make one trip each day, and they are the only ones that riders A, B, C, D, E, F, and G take to work.

Neither E nor G takes bus 1 on a day when B does.
G does not take bus 2 on a day when D does.
When A and F take the same bus, it is always bus 3.
C always takes bus 3.

Traveling together to work, B, C, and G could take which of the same buses on a given day?

(A) 1 only
(B) 2 only
(C) 3 only
(D) 2 and 3 only
(E) 1, 2, and 3

Reading Comprehension

Many, perhaps most, well-disposed, practical people would, if they had to designate a philosophy that comes closest to expressing their unstated principles, pick utilitarianism. The philosophy that proclaims as its sovereign criterion the procuring of the greatest good of the greatest number has indeed served as a powerful engine of legal reform and rationalization. And it is a crucial feature of utilitarianism that it is consequences that count. Now it is interesting that some judgments that are actually made in the law and elsewhere do not appear to accord with this thoroughgoing consequentialism. For instance, both in law and morals there are many instances of a distinction being made between direct and indirect intention — i.e., the distinction between on the one hand the doing of evil as an end in itself or on the other hand bringing about the same evil result as a consequence of one’s direct ends or means. So also the distinction is drawn between the consequences that we bring about by our actions and consequences that come about through our failures to act. Also, when bad consequences ensue from our actions and what was done was in the exercise of a right or privilege, the law is less likely to lay those bad consequences at our doorstep. And, finally, if the only way to prevent some great harm would be by inflicting a lesser harm on yourself or on others, then too the law is inclined to absolve us of responsibility for that avoidable greater harm. It is as if the net value of the consequences were not crucial, at least where net benefit is procured by the intentional infliction of harm.

Not only are these distinctions drawn in some moral systems, but there are numerous places in the law where they are made regularly. Since in utilitarianism and consequentialism in general the ultimate questions must always be whether and to what extent the valued end-state (be it happiness or possession of true knowledge) obtains at a particular moment, it is inevitable that the judgments on the human agencies that may affect this end-state must be wholly instrumental: human actions can be judged only by their tendency to produce the relevant end-states.

Indeed it may well be that even the point and contents of normative judgments — whether legal or moral — are concerned not just with particular end-states of the world but also with how end-states are brought about. These kinds of substantive judgments take the form: there are some things one should just never do — kill an innocent person, falsely accuse a defendant in a criminal proceeding, engage in sex for pay. These are to be contrasted to judgments that this or that is an unfortunate, perhaps terrible, result that (other things being equal) one would want to avoid. The former are — very generally — judgments of right and wrong. It is wrong to do this or that, even if the balance of advantages favors it; a person is right to do some particular thing (help a friend, protect his client’s interests) even though more good will come if he does not.

1. The author’s point in the passage is primarily that:

(A) law and utilitarianism are not always compatible.
(B) utilitarianism is the operating philosophy of most people.
(C) consequentialism is the basis for legal reform.
(D) direct and indirect intentions lead to different end-states.
(E) judgments about human actions can be made only by the resulting end-states.

2. Which of the following is NOT a feature of utilitarianism?

(A) Results are considered important.
(B) Consequences are considered important.
(C) The valued end-state is considered important.
(D) The means of achieving results are considered important.
(E) The net value of consequences is considered important.

Writing Sample (sample only)

Alice Anderson is a senior at John Paul Jones University. She has been offered two positions as a result of her outstanding record in her major, Television and Radio Broadcasting. As her counselor, you are to write an argument favoring one of the two offers. Two considerations guide your decision:

* Alice has a large student loan debt that she has to begin to repay immediately upon graduation.
* Alice has as her career goal a position as a network news anchorperson.

WAND is the only television station serving a large area located some 250 miles north of the capital of the state. The station has offered Alice a job as a reporter whose principal assignments would be to cover the activities of local governments, politics, and business. In addition to her assigned stories, Alice would have the opportunity to independently prepare stories for possible broadcast. Because the station is small, has a very stable staff, and has limited growth prospects, Alice’s chances for advancement are not good. WAND’s owner is a former network executive who purchased the station in order to get away from the pressures of broadcasting in major markets. Alice would get only a modest salary at WAND, and she would have to supplement her income with outside work.

KBSC is one of three television stations located in the state capital. The station has offered Alice a job as a production assistant in the news department. She would primarily do background research and check facts and sources for the producers and reporters. Production assistants who work hard are promoted to positions as special assignment reporters in about two years. There are many special assignment reporters competing for assignments, most of which involve covering minor events such as political dinners, award ceremonies, and concerts and writing human-interest stories. Most special assignment reporters spend at least five years covering minor events before moving into a position as a general report-anchorperson. KBSC would pay Alice a salary in excess of the amount she would need to live comfortably in the city.

LSAT Answers

Logical Reasoning

1. The correct answer is (C). If the government acts before the study can be proven conclusively, it will lose credibility.

Analytical Reasoning

1. The correct answer is (C).

Bus 1: If B, then no E or G
Bus 2: If D, then no G
Bus 3: C always
Bus 3: When A and F take the same bus.

Reading Comprehension

1. The correct answer is (A). The passage goes into great detail on how different types of “normative” law, laws based on the righteousness of action, are in contrast to utilitarianism, where it is only the net value of the consequences that are important.

2. The correct answer is (D). Choices (A), (B), and (C) all say approximately the same thing about utilitarianism: it is the results, the consequences, the “end-states” that are important when taking action. Choice (E) can be inferred from the last sentence in the first paragraph, where the author states the lack of emphasis on the net value of consequences as a weakness of the non-utilitarian laws and judgments being described. Choice (D) is the correct answer — in utilitarianism, “procuring the greatest good of the greatest number” is important. The author goes to great lengths to contrast this idea with laws and judgments in which human actions, and not the results of those actions, are judged.

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Analytical Reasoning Sample Questions

The following sample questions are typical examples of the Analytical Reasoning problems you will find on the LSAT. There is a brief passage that presents a set of conditions, followed by questions about the relationships defined in the passage. While each passage among the examples here is followed by only one or two sample questions, each passage in the Analytical Reasoning section of the actual LSAT is followed by five to seven questions.

Directions:

Each set of questions in this section is based on a scenario with a set of conditions. The questions are to be answered on the basis of what can be logically inferred from the scenario and conditions. For each question, choose the response that most accurately and completely answers the question.

Passage for Question 1

A university library budget committee must reduce exactly five of eight areas of expenditure—G, L, M, N, P, R, S, and W—in accordance with the following conditions:

  1. If both G and S are reduced, W is also reduced.
  2. If N is reduced, neither R nor S is reduced.
  3. If P is reduced, L is not reduced.
  4. Of the three areas L, M, and R, exactly two are reduced.

Question 1

If both M and R are reduced, which one of the following is a pair of areas neither of which could be reduced?

  1. G, L
  2. G, N
  3. L, N
  4. L, P
  5. P, S

Explanation for Question 1

This question concerns a committee’s decision about which five of eight areas of expenditure to reduce. The question requires you to suppose that M and R are among the areas that are to be reduced, and then to determine which pair of areas could not also be among the five areas that are reduced.

The fourth condition given in the passage on which this question is based requires that exactly two of M, R, and L are reduced. Since the question asks us to suppose that both M and R are reduced, we know that L must not be reduced:

  • Reduced: M, R
  • Not reduced: L

The second condition requires that if N is reduced, neither R nor S is reduced. So N and R cannot both be reduced. Here, since R is reduced, we know that N cannot be. Thus, adding this to what we’ve determined so far, we know that L and N are a pair of areas that cannot both be reduced if both M and R are reduced:

  • Reduced: M, R
  • Not reduced: L, N

Answer choice (C) is therefore the correct answer, and you are done.

When you are taking the test, if you have determined the correct answer, there is no need to rule out the other answer choices. However, for our purposes in this section, it might be instructive to go over the incorrect answer choices. For this question, each of the incorrect answer choices can be ruled out by finding a possible outcome in which at least one of the two areas listed in that answer choice are reduced. Consider answer choice (A), which lists the pair G and L. We already know that for this question L must be one of the areas that is not reduced, so all we need to consider is whether G can be one of the areas that is reduced. Here’s one such possible outcome:

If areas M, R, G, S, and W are reduced, then the supposition for the question holds and all of the conditions in the passage are met:

  • M and R are both reduced, as supposed for this question.
  • Both G and S are reduced, and W is also reduced, so the first condition is satisfied.
  • N is not reduced, so the second condition is not relevant.
  • P is not reduced, so the third condition is not relevant.
  • Exactly two of L, M, and R are reduced, so the fourth condition is satisfied.

Thus, since G could be reduced without violating the conditions, answer choice (A) can be ruled out. Furthermore, since G appears in the pair listed in answer choice (B), we can also see that (B) is incorrect.

Now let’s consider answer choice (D), which lists the pair L and P. We already know that for this question L must be one of the areas that is not reduced, so all we need to consider is whether P can be one of the areas that is reduced. Here’s one such possible outcome:

If areas M, R, P, S, and W are reduced, then the supposition for the question holds and all of the conditions in the passage are met:

  • M and R are both reduced, as supposed for this question.
  • G is not reduced, so the first condition is not relevant.
  • N is not reduced, so the second condition is not relevant.
  • P is reduced and L is not reduced, so the third condition is satisfied.
  • Exactly two of L, M, and R are reduced, so the fourth condition is satisfied.

Thus, since P could be reduced without violating the conditions, answer choice (D) can be ruled out. Furthermore, since P appears in the pair listed in answer choice (E), we can also see that answer choice (E) is incorrect.

This question was of moderate difficulty, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT. The most commonly selected incorrect answer choice was response (E).

Passage for Questions 2 and 3

Seven piano students—T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z—are to give a recital, and their instructor is deciding the order in which they will perform. Each student will play exactly one piece, a piano solo. In deciding the order of performance, the instructor must observe the following restrictions:

  1. X cannot play first or second.
  2. W cannot play until X has played.
  3. Neither T nor Y can play seventh.
  4. Either Y or Z must play immediately after W plays.
  5. V must play either immediately after or immediately before U plays.

Question 2

If V plays first, which one of the following must be true?

  1. T plays sixth.
  2. X plays third.
  3. Z plays seventh.
  4. T plays immediately after Y.
  5. W plays immediately after X.

Explanation for Question 2

This question deals with an ordering relationship defined by a set of conditions concerning when seven piano students will perform. One way to approach this problem is to write down the seven recital slots in order from left to right, as illustrated below. Student V is shown in the first slot, as specified by the supposition that “V plays first”:

We can immediately fill in one of the empty slots in the recital schedule. The condition that “V must play either immediately after or immediately before U plays” tells us that U must occupy the second slot in the schedule. This is shown below:

Since the question asks us what must be true, we can eliminate incorrect responses by showing that they could be false. Response (A) is incorrect because the statement that “T plays sixth” is not necessarily true—we can place T in one of the slots other than sixth and still meet all the conditions of the problem. One such recital schedule, with T playing third, is shown below:

1234567
VUTXWYZ

This schedule can be derived as follows:

  1. With V, U, and T in the first three positions, there are four positions left for W, X, Y, and Z.
  2. W must come after X—because of the condition that “W cannot play until X has played”—so if X is fourth and W is fifth, this condition will be met.
  3. This leaves two possible slots for Y and Z. Y cannot play seventh because of the condition that “Neither T nor Y can play seventh.” Suppose, then, that Y is sixth and Z is seventh.

A check will verify that this schedule meets the conditions of the problem, including the one that “Either Y or Z must play immediately after W plays.”

The schedule shown above also demonstrates that response (B) is incorrect. In it, X plays fourth, so it is not correct that the statement, “X plays third,” must be true.

Response (C), “Z plays seventh,” is the credited response. We can show Z must be seventh by demonstrating that:

  • all the conditions can be met with Z in the seventh slot, and
  • some of the conditions would be violated with Z in any slot other than seventh.

To demonstrate that Z can play seventh, you can refer to the schedule that was developed for the discussion of response (A), above. In it, Z plays seventh, and the supposition given in the question and all the conditions in the passage are met.

To demonstrate that Z cannot play in a slot other than seventh, we can attempt to find another student to play seventh. We already know that neither U nor V can play seventh. Hence, there are four remaining players: T, W, X, and Y. However, a review of the conditions shows that none of those players can play seventh:

  • The third condition states that “Neither T nor Y can play seventh.”
  • W can’t play seventh, because there must be a slot following W’s in order to meet the condition, “Either Y or Z must play immediately after W plays.” If W plays seventh, then there is no such slot left for Y or Z.
  • For a similar reason X can’t play seventh, because there must be a slot following X’s in order to meet the condition, “W cannot play until X has played.”

Since Z can play seventh and no other player can, then the statement that Z must play seventh is correct and (C) is the credited response.

Response (D) is incorrect because it is not necessarily true that “T plays immediately after Y.” In our discussion of response (A), we developed a schedule in which T plays third and Y plays sixth, yet all conditions are satisfied.

Response (E) is incorrect because, as shown in the schedule below, it is not necessarily true that “W plays immediately after X.” This schedule is obtained by simply reversing the order of players W and Y in the schedule we developed in the analysis of response (A).

A review will show that all of the suppositions given in the question and all the conditions in the passage are met by this schedule:

1234567
VUTXWYZ

This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT. The most commonly selected incorrect answer choices were (B) and (E). In answering this question, it is important to derive information not explicitly mentioned in the passage, such as that W cannot perform seventh.

Question 3

If U plays third, what is the latest position in which Y can play?

  1. first
  2. second
  3. fifth
  4. sixth
  5. seventh

Explanation for Question 3

This question involves the same original conditions as the previous problem, but it begins with an additional supposition: “U plays third.” You must determine what effect this supposition would have on the possible positions in which Y can appear in the recital schedule.

The correct response is (D): Y can play as late as sixth. The schedule below shows a recital order that meets all the conditions and has Y performing in the sixth position:

1234567
TVUXWYZ

One strategy for arriving at this solution is to work backward to see which position is the latest in which we can place Y and at the same time produce a recital schedule that meets all the conditions.

Using that approach, we immediately see that Y cannot play as late as seventh, because of the condition that “Neither T nor Y can play seventh.” Backing up and placing Y sixth, we can begin to fill in the schedule, as follows:

1234567
UY

This schedule has five empty slots, into which we must fit players T, V, W, X, and Z. The following is a series of reasoning steps that can be used:

  1. From our analysis of the previous question, we know that players T, W, and X cannot play seventh, but that Z can, so we can tentatively place Z in the seventh slot.
  2. We also know that “Either Y or Z must play immediately after W plays.” If we place W in the fifth slot, this condition will be met.
  3. By placing V in the second slot, we can meet the condition that “V must play either immediately after or immediately before U plays.”
  4. We must place the remaining two players, T and X, in the two remaining slots, the first and the fourth. Because the first condition states that “X cannot play first ...,” we will place X in the fourth slot and T in the first. These positions will meet the conditions that apply to T and X: T will avoid playing seventh and X will play before W.
  5. Since Y can play as late as sixth, response (D) is the correct solution.

This question was of middle difficulty, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Passage for Question 4

A charitable foundation awards grants in exactly four areas—medical services, theater arts, wildlife preservation, and youth services—each grant being in one of these areas. One or more grants are awarded in each of the four quarters of a calendar year. Additionally, over the course of a calendar year, the following must obtain:

  1. Grants are awarded in all four areas.
  2. No more than six grants are awarded.
  3. No grants in the same area are awarded in the same quarter or in consecutive quarters.
  4. Exactly two medical services grants are awarded.
  5. A wildlife preservation grant is awarded in the second quarter.

Question 4

If a wildlife preservation grant and a youth services grant are awarded in the same quarter of a particular calendar year, then any of the following could be true that year EXCEPT:

  1. A medical services grant is awarded in the second quarter.
  2. A theater arts grant is awarded in the first quarter.
  3. A theater arts grant is awarded in the second quarter.
  4. A wildlife preservation grant is awarded in the fourth quarter.
  5. A youth services grant is awarded in the third quarter.

Explanation for Question 4

This question deals with the awarding of grants during the quarters of a calendar year. One way to approach this problem is to set up a simple table with columns representing the four quarters. Since the fifth condition in the passage states that “[a] wildlife preservation grant is awarded in the second quarter,” we know that all possible solutions for any question based on the passage must include a wildlife preservation grant awarded in the second quarter, which we can represent like this:

The particular question here begins with the added supposition that “a wildlife preservation grant and a youth services grant are awarded in the same quarter of a particular calendar year.” One possible way this could be satisfied is to have a youth services grant awarded in the second quarter in addition to the wildlife grant awarded in that quarter:

Another possibility would be to have a wildlife preservation grant and a youth services grant both being awarded in some quarter other than the second quarter. Given the condition that “[n]o grants in the same area are awarded in the same quarter or in consecutive quarters,” the only quarter in which a wildlife preservation grant could be awarded in addition to the second quarter is the fourth quarter. So the only alternative way to satisfy the added supposition is if both a wildlife preservation grant and a youth services grant are awarded in the fourth quarter:

So far, then, we’ve determined that for this question there must be a youth services grant awarded in the second quarter or the fourth quarter.

Each of the incorrect answer choices for this question is a statement that could be true. The question asks you to identify the exception; that is, you need to find the statement that cannot be true. The correct answer choice is (E), which states: “A youth services grant is awarded in the third quarter.” This could not be true without violating the third condition, which specifies that “[n]o grants in the same area are awarded in the same quarter or in consecutive quarters.” We saw above that a youth services grant must either be awarded in the second quarter or the fourth quarter. On either possibility, awarding a youth services grant in the third quarter would result in two consecutive quarters where the youth services grant is awarded:

or:

In both cases, two youth services grants would be awarded in consecutive quarters, in violation of the third condition.

To see that each of the other answer choices could be true, it will suffice to construct a possible outcome for each one that is consistent with the supposition given in the question and the conditions in the passage. Consider the following possible outcome:

A quick check of the conditions shows that this satisfies all of the conditions for the problem:

  • A wildlife preservation grant and a youth services grant are awarded in the same quarter of a particular calendar year.
  • Grants are awarded in all four areas. (The table includes at least one of each of the four letters—M, T, W, and Y.)
  • No more than six grants are awarded. (The table contains exactly six entries.)
  • No grants in the same area are awarded in the same quarter or in consecutive quarters. (In the table above, only T and M are repeated, and neither repetition appears in the same or consecutive columns.)
  • Exactly two medical services grants are awarded. (The table contains exactly two M’s, in columns 2 and 4.)
  • A wildlife preservation grant is awarded in the second quarter.

Notice that in this possible outcome, a medical services grant is awarded in the second quarter (answer choice (A)) and a theater arts grant is awarded in the first quarter (answer choice (B)). So answer choices (A) and (B) are both incorrect.

Now consider the following possible outcome:

A check of the conditions shows that this satisfies the supposition and all of the conditions. In this outcome, a theater arts grant is awarded in the second quarter (answer choice (C)) and a wildlife preservation grant is awarded in the fourth quarter (answer choice (D)). So answer choices (C) and (D) are also incorrect.

This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT. The most commonly selected incorrect answer choice for this question was response (A).

Passage for Questions 5 and 6

From a group of seven people—J, K, L, M, N, P, and Q—exactly four will be selected to attend a diplomat’s retirement dinner. Selection conforms to the following conditions:

  1. Either J or K must be selected, but J and K cannot both be selected.
  2. Either N or P must be selected, but N and P cannot both be selected.
  3. N cannot be selected unless L is selected.
  4. Q cannot be selected unless K is selected.

Question 5

If P is not selected to attend the retirement dinner, then exactly how many different groups of four are there each of which would be an acceptable selection?

  1. one
  2. two
  3. three
  4. four
  5. five

Explanation for Question 5

This question adds a new supposition to the original set of conditions—“P is not selected to attend the retirement dinner.” The task is to determine all of the different possible selections that are compatible with this new supposition. A compatible solution is one that violates neither the new supposition nor the original conditions.

Since the second condition states “[e]ither N or P must be selected ...,” we can infer from the new supposition (P is not selected) and the second condition (either N or P, but not both, is selected) that N is selected. And since N is selected, we know from the third condition that L is selected. In other words, every acceptable selection must include both L and N.

We are now in a good position to enumerate the groups of four which would be acceptable selections. The first condition specifies that either J or K, but not both, must be selected. So you need to consider the case where J (but not K) is selected and the case in which K (but not J) is selected. Let’s first consider the case where J (but not K) is selected. In this case, Q is not selected, since the fourth condition tells you that if K is not selected, then Q cannot be selected either. Since exactly four people must be selected, and since P, K, and Q are not selected, M, the only remaining person, must be selected. Since M’s selection does not violate any of the conditions or the new supposition, N, L, J, and M is an acceptable selection; in fact, it is the only acceptable selection when K is not selected. So far we have one acceptable selection, but we must now examine what holds in the case where K is selected.

Suppose that K is selected. In this case J is not selected, but Q may or may not be selected. If Q is selected, it is part of an acceptable selection—N, L, K, and Q. If Q is not selected, remembering that J and P are also not selected, M must be selected. This gives us our final acceptable selection—N, L, K, and M.

Thus there are exactly three different groups of four which make up acceptable selections, and (C) is the correct response.

This was a difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Question 6

There is only one acceptable group of four that can be selected to attend the retirement dinner if which one of the following pairs of people is selected?

  1. J and L
  2. K and M
  3. L and N
  4. L and Q
  5. M and Q

Explanation for Question 6

The way in which this question is phrased is rather complex, and so it is important to get very clear about what exactly is being asked. Unlike other questions which give you a new supposition to consider in conjunction with the original conditions, this question asks you to determine what is needed, in addition to the original conditions, to guarantee that only one group of four is acceptable.

One way to approach this question is to consider each option individually, and determine for each option whether only one acceptable group of four can be selected when the pair indicated in the option is selected. You may wish to vary the order in which the options are considered according to personal preferences. In the discussion here, we will consider the answer choices in order from (A) through to (E).

Choice (A): When both J and L are selected, K cannot be selected (first condition). Consequently Q cannot be selected (fourth condition). More than one group of four is acceptable under these circumstances, however: J, L, M, and N may be selected, and J, L, M, and P may be selected.

Choice (B): When K and M are both selected, J cannot be selected (first condition). Other than that, anyone else could be selected. This leaves more than one acceptable group of four. K, L, M, and N may be selected; K, L, M, and P may be selected; and K, M, P, and Q may be selected.

Choice (C): When L and N are both selected, P cannot be selected (second condition), but, as in the case of option (B), anyone else can be selected. This leaves more than one acceptable group of four: J, L, M, and N may be selected; K, L, M, and N may be selected; and K, L, N, and Q may be selected.

Choice (D): When L and Q are both selected, K must be selected (fourth condition). Consequently J cannot be selected (first condition). Either N or P must be selected (second condition), and there is nothing that rules out either N or P from being selected here. So, more than one group of four is acceptable under these circumstances: K, L, N, and Q may be selected, and K, L, P, and Q may be selected.

Choice (E): When M and Q are both selected, K must be selected (fourth condition), and hence J cannot be selected (first condition). Furthermore, N cannot be selected: if N were selected, then L would also have to be selected (third condition), and this would violate the restriction that exactly four people are to be selected. And since N cannot be selected, P must be selected (second condition). Thus when M and Q are both selected, both K and P must be selected as well, and only one group of four—K, M, P, and Q—is acceptable. (E) is therefore the correct response.

This was a very difficult question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.

Passage for Questions 7 and 8

On a particular Saturday, a student will perform six activities—grocery shopping, hedge trimming, jogging, kitchen cleaning, laundry, and motorbike servicing. Each activity will be performed once, one at a time. The order in which the activities are performed is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Grocery shopping has to be immediately after hedge trimming.
  2. Kitchen cleaning has to be earlier than grocery shopping.
  3. Motorbike servicing has to be earlier than laundry.
  4. Motorbike servicing has to be either immediately before or immediately after jogging.

Question 7

If laundry is earlier than kitchen cleaning, then hedge trimming must be

  1. fifth
  2. fourth
  3. third
  4. second
  5. first

Explanation for Question 7

This problem is concerned with determining the order in which six activities will be performed.

The first condition in the passage tells us that grocery shopping has to be immediately after hedge trimming, which we can abbreviate as follows:

1. HG

The second condition tells us that kitchen cleaning has to be earlier than grocery shopping, which we can abbreviate as follows, where “...” is used to represent “earlier than” (which means any time before, including immediately before):

2. K ... G

The third condition tells us that motorbike servicing has to be earlier than laundry, and the fourth condition tells us that motorbike servicing has to be either immediately before or immediately after jogging. These conditions can be abbreviated as follows, where the / symbol is used to represent “or”:

3. M ... L

4. MJ / JM

Notice that the information specified in these four conditions can be collapsed into two ordering statements:

I. K ... HG (first and second conditions)

II. MJ / JM ... L (third and fourth conditions)

Question 7 introduces the new supposition “laundry is earlier than kitchen cleaning”:

L ... K

This new supposition works to further collapse the ordering statements in I and II to the single statement below; that is, if L must be earlier than K, then we know that the activities must be ordered like this:

MJ / JM ... L ... K ... HG

So, with the addition of the new supposition, there are exactly two possible orderings of the six activities, differing only with respect to whether motorbike servicing is immediately before or immediately after jogging:

123456
MJLKHG
JMLKHG

Question 7 asks what position hedge trimming must be in, given the new supposition. What we see here is that hedge trimming must be the fifth activity performed, and so answer choice (A) is correct.

This was an easy question, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT. The most commonly selected incorrect answer choices were response (B) and response (C).

Question 8

Which one of the following, if substituted for the condition that motorbike servicing has to be earlier than laundry, would have the same effect in determining the order of the student’s activities?

  1. Laundry has to be one of the last three activities.
  2. Laundry has to be either immediately before or immediately after jogging.
  3. Jogging has to be earlier than laundry.
  4. Laundry has to be earlier than hedge trimming.
  5. Laundry has to be earlier than jogging.

Explanation for Question 8

This question asks you to select the condition which, if substituted for the third condition in the passage (repeated below), would have the same effect as the original condition.

Third condition: Motorbike servicing has to be earlier than laundry.

In this case, you can deduce that the correct answer choice is (C):

(C) Jogging has to be earlier than laundry.

The fourth condition in the passage tells you that motorbike servicing has to be either immediately before or immediately after jogging. That is, M and J must be ordered as a block, either MJ or JM, with respect to the other four activities. Thus, if, as the original third condition states, M has to be earlier than L, then we know that J must also be earlier than L. Conversely, if, as the new condition in answer choice (C) states, J has to be earlier than L, then we know that M must also be earlier than L. In short, the third condition and answer choice (C) have exactly the same effect. Therefore, answer choice (C) is correct.

Another way to approach this kind of question is to attempt to eliminate all of the incorrect answer choices. Under this approach, you want to rule out any answer choice that does either of the following:

  • rules out outcomes that the original condition allows
  • allows outcomes that the original condition rules out

Let’s see how this approach would enable us to eliminate answer choices (A), (B), (D), and (E).

Consider the condition presented in answer choice (A):

(A) Laundry has to be one of the last three activities.

We can first ask whether this condition would rule out outcomes that the original third condition allows. To answer this question, we must simply determine whether there is an outcome allowed by the original third condition along with the other conditions in which laundry is one of the first three activities. Here is such an outcome:

Because the original third condition allows this outcome, but the condition in answer choice (A) does not, answer choice (A) cannot be correct.

Consider answer choice (B):

(B) Laundry has to be either immediately before or immediately after jogging.

Again, we want to first determine whether this new condition would rule out outcomes that the original third condition allows. To answer this question, we must simply determine whether there is at least one outcome allowed by the original third condition along with the other conditions in which laundry is neither immediately before nor immediately after jogging. Here is one such outcome:

This outcome, although allowed by the original third condition, would be ruled out by the alternative condition given in answer choice (B). Thus, answer choice (B) cannot be correct.

Next consider answer choice (D):

(D) Laundry has to be earlier than hedge trimming.

Again, we want to first determine whether this new condition would rule out outcomes that the original third condition allows. To answer this question, we must simply determine whether there is at least one outcome allowed by the original third condition along with the other conditions in which laundry is not earlier than hedge trimming. One such outcome was given immediately above: since L is not earlier than H in this outcome, it would be ruled out by the condition in answer choice (D). So, answer choice (D) rules out an outcome that the original third condition allows, and therefore (D) cannot be the correct answer choice.

Finally, consider answer choice (E):

(E) Laundry has to be earlier than jogging.

Again, we want to first determine whether having this new condition would rule out outcomes that are allowed when the original third condition is in place. To answer this question, we must simply determine whether there is at least one outcome allowed by the original third condition along with the other conditions in which laundry is not earlier than jogging. One such outcome was given above: since L is not earlier than J in this outcome, it would be ruled out by the condition presented in answer choice (E). So, answer choice (E) rules out an outcome that the original third condition allows, and therefore (E) cannot be the correct answer choice.

In sum, answer choices (A), (B), (D), and (E) can all be eliminated because in each case the condition is one that rules out outcomes that the original condition allows. For this particular question, there was no need to consider whether any of the options could be eliminated because they allowed outcomes that the original condition ruled out.

This question was of middle difficulty, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT. The most commonly selected incorrect answer choices were response (A) and response (B).

Sours: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/taking-lsat/test-format/analytical-reasoning/analytical-reasoning-sample-questions
Sample LSAT Logic Game #1 - From the June 07 Exam - Questions + Solutions

FREE LSAT® POP QUIZ

LSAT LOGIC GAMES SAMPLE QUESTIONS

Directions: Each group of questions in this section is based on a set of conditions. In answering some of the questions, it may be useful to draw a rough diagram. Choose the response that most accurately and completely answers each question.

Jason enters six races: biking, canoeing, horseback riding, ice skating, running, and swimming. He places between first and fifth in each. Two places are consecutive only if the place numbers are consecutive. Jason's places in canoeing and running are consecutive. His places in ice skating and swimming are consecutive. He places higher in biking than in horseback riding. He places higher in canoeing than in running.

1. If Jason places higher in running than in biking and places higher in biking than in ice skating and swimming, which one of the following allows all six of his race rankings to be determined?

A. He places fourth in horseback riding.

B. He places fourth in ice skating.

C. He places the same in both horseback riding and ice skating.

D. He places the same in both horseback riding and swimming.

E. He places higher in horseback riding than in swimming.

2. If Jason places higher in running than in biking and places higher in horseback riding than in ice skating, exactly how many of his rankings can be determined?

A. 2

B. 3

C. 4

D. 5

E. 6

3. Assume that Jason's rank in running is higher than his rank in ice skating and consecutive with it, and that his rankings in swimming and running differ. Which one of the following must be true?

A. Jason places both first and second.

B. Jason places both first and third.

C. Jason places both second and fourth.

D. Jason places both second and fifth.

E. Jason places both fourth and fifth.

LSAT LOGICAL REASONING SAMPLE QUESTIONS

Directions: The questions in this section are based on the reasoning contained in brief statements or passages. For some questions, more than one of the choices could conceivably answer the question. However, you are to choose the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question. You should not make assumptions that are by commonsense standards implausible, superfluous, or incompatible with the passage.

4. The recent proliferation of newspaper articles in major publications that have been exposed as fabrications serves to bolster the contention that publishers are more interested in selling copy than in printing the truth. Even minor publications have staff to check such obvious fraud.

The above argument assumes that:

A. newspaper stories of dubious authenticity are a new phenomenon.

B. minor publications do a better job of fact checking than do major publications.

C. everything a newspaper prints must be factually verifiable.

D. only recently have newspapers admitted to publishing erroneous stories.

E. publishers are ultimately responsible for what is printed in their newspapers.

Sours: https://www.kaptest.com/lsat/free/lsat-pop-quiz

Question practice lsat

If you’re planning to take the LSAT, or the Law School Admission Test, you will need to prepare to be tested on three basic types of questions: reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning. The reading comprehension questions assess your ability to comprehend complex materials, which you will face during law school. Analytical reading questions evaluate your comprehension of relationship structures, and ability to make logical conclusions about it. Finally, logical reading determines your ability to analyze, evaluate, and complete an argument. Whether you need LSAT tutoring in Atlanta, LSAT tutoring in Houston, or LSAT tutoring in San Francisco, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need. Preparing for your LSAT test starts with daily test review, and employing strategic study methods. You can use Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools to work on practicing these concepts. Particularly, the Question of the Day can test your abilities in the various LSAT concepts.

For the Question of the Day Learning Tool, you must simply choose the concept from the Question of the Day page to take the timed quiz. Each question is randomly chosen from other Learning Tools available to you for free test practice. The LSAT Logic Games are questions that require you to use analytical reasoning skills to answer. These test your ability to comprehend a set of rules that you are given to determine what can or can’t logically work with the rules. This skill is particularly valuable for those attending law school, as they will be defending people, analyzing contracts, and more. Varsity Tutors also offers resources like free LSAT Diagnostic Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an LSAT tutor.

You can choose the LSAT Logical Reasoning Question of the Day to test yourself on this necessary skill. You need to have the ability to provide a coherent argument without any logical holes. Being able to construct a logical, strong argument is necessary to being a successful lawyer. With these questions, you’ll need to be able to make inferences, draw conclusions, and identify subtle use of language that can be used to turn the case around. You can take all the time needed on the questions, but you can actively work to shorten the amount of time needed to create a logical response. In addition to the LSAT Question of the Day and LSAT tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our LSAT practice tests. 

The LSAT Reading Comprehension section is another absolute must when it comes to law school. As a lawyer, you’ll be reading jargon-filled text that is dense, complicated, and difficult to understand for most people. You need to be able to read these materials, make sense of them, and use them for proving arguments wrong or right. Your abilities in reading comprehension can make or break your law career. You will be given questions that may have you comparing two passages to determine differences in the arguments, or identifying the implementation of passages, which require different strategies with similar skills. Other LSAT Reading Comprehension daily questions may have you analyzing context, presenting your own arguments, or deciding which is true in the two passages.

When it comes to preparing for your LSAT, there are many Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools available for you to use to your advantage. You can determine your preparedness using the free LSAT practice tests focused on specific topics, full-length practice tests designed to emulate the actual exam, Learn by Concept, and flashcards, as well as the Question of the Day. Each of these provide you with valuable study material that can be used to strengthen your skills.

Sours: https://www.varsitytutors.com/lsat-questions-of-the-day
Sample LSAT Explanation - LSAT Logical Reasoning Practice Question

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