PT 77 solutions new image

LSAT Prep Test 77 Solutions And Explanations

By Danny Pearlberg.

Here is a complete set of explanations for the December 2015 exam (PT 77). I owe a big debt to the wonderful explanations that Graeme Blake provides over at http://lsathacks.com/ If you’re looking for free explanations of PT 29-38 and 62-75, that’s the place to go. A few quick things:

(1) I am not allowed to post the actual questions from the exam, so you need a copy of the exam in order to make use of the explanations.

(2) These were written relatively quickly (there’s not much turnaround time between the December and February exams), so I’m sure there are plenty of answer choices that could have been explained more fully. Feel free to post any questions about the explanations and I’ll be happy to reply.

(3) The logic games questions are intentionally out of order. For each game, I always do the list question first (if there is one), followed by the if questions, and then finish up with the rest of the questions. This allows me to use the work that I’ve done on the if questions to make life a lot easier when answering the rest of the questions. If you’re not used to doing it this way, I highly recommend you give it a try.

 

Section 1: Reading Comprehension

1st Passage: Federal Theater Project

Category: Humanities

1.
A. This ignores the entire second half of the passage. Also, the passage doesn’t tells us that theater historians now rank all these people who worked in the Negro Units as being among the most talented and influential performers and producers of their day.
B. Nothing in the passage describes the lasting effect that the FTP had on the African American arts community in the United States.
C. CORRECT This captures what happens in the bulk of the passage. I hesitated a little with the phrase “now being recognized”, but this answer choice was clearly better than the others, and I can see how “now being recognized” is referring to line 8- “until recently little-studied”.
D. Nothing in the passage tells us that the Negro Units are best known today for their highly creative productions of folk dramas.
E. This just focuses on the short final paragraph.

2.
A. CORRECT Line 3 tells us that the FTP existed for only 4 years, so it certainly did not evolve over the course of several decades.
B. Line 5 tells us that the FTP operated in 28 states, and lines 13-14 tells us that lots of people were employed by the FTP’s Negro Units in cities spread throughout the United States, so the FTP certainly operated in cities throughout the United States.
C. Line 10 tells us that the FTP’s Negro Units produced plays on African American subjects.
D. Lines 11-12 tell us that the FTP’s Negro Units employed hundreds of actors, directors, designers, technicians, and playwrights.
E. Lines 6-7 tell us that the FTP entertained a weekly audience of nearly half a million people.

3.
A. There are no insinuations in the passage as to what might have happened if the plays produced by the FTP had been more popular.
B. No comparison is made between the artists of the Harlem Renaissance and the people working in the Negro Units in terms of how polarized their views were.
C. CORRECT The larger debates among the people working in the Negro Units were philosophical and aesthetic disagreements (lines 36-42), and then lines 42-44 tells us that these disagreements resulted in a wide range of productions reflecting the diverse views and interests of the African American community.
D. The passage tells us nothing about African American theater artists working today.
E. When the passage contrasts the urban realistic dramas with the folk dramas, it just says that some producers favored the urban realistic dramas while others favored the folk dramas (29-32). This doesn’t imply that the urban realistic dramas were more popular with African American audiences than folk dramas were.

4.
A. No, the point of the Harlem Renaissance reference is to set up the background to the debates that were had over what kinds of plays the Negro Units should produce.
B. No, the point of the Harlem Renaissance reference is to set up the background to the debates that were had over what kinds of plays the Negro Units should produce.
C. The passage doesn’t provide a historical explanation for why the work of the Negro Units fell into obscurity.
D. CORRECT Yes, the point of the Harlem Renaissance reference is to set up the background to the debates that were had over what kinds of plays the Negro Units should produce.
E. The passage doesn’t try to prove any points about the nature of the relationship between African American culture and mainstream U.S. culture in the 1930s.

5.
A. The passage makes no reference to a publicly funded performing arts center dedicated to the production of plays for African American audiences.
B. CORRECT This captures how the passage describes the Negro Units, and it captures “truly national”- i.e. broad-based, reflecting the diversity of views and tastes of African American artists and communities.
C. Tempting, but a “truly national black theater” isn’t restricted to a particular time period, although according to the passage the first truly national black theater was indeed established during the Great Depression. Also, even though this answer choice mentions the federal government, you could have a federal government program supporting a local enterprise, so this doesn’t capture the truly national black theater.
D. A truly national black theater is not restricted to the writing of the plays, and this doesn’t capture the truly national black theater.
E. The passage makes no reference to any chain of black-owned playhouses spread throughout the United States- let alone whether or not they were successful.

6.
We know that The Swing Mikado was an adaptation of a white classic, and that it challenged audiences to think about what it means to assume black roles both on and beyond the stage. So the producers of The Swing Mikado were probably on the side of those who advocated adapting dramas written by white playwrights, and they were probably on the side of those who thought that black theater should endeavor to instruct rather than being content simply to entertain.

A. The passage doesn’t describe a group of people who believed that playwrights should avoid controversial themes in their work, and we are not told anything about how (un)controversial The Swing Mikado was.
B. Line 50 tells us that The Swing Mikado challenged audiences to think about what it means to assume black roles both on and beyond the stage, so the producers were probably in favor of the idea that plays should instruct as well as entertain the audience.
C. The Swing Mikado was an adaptation of a white classic, so it is unlikely that it was a folk drama exploring rural roots and culture.
D. The Swing Mikado was an adaptation of a white classic, so it is unlikely that it was an urban realistic drama depicting contemporary dilemmas for African Americans.
E. CORRECT The Swing Mikado was an adaptation of a white classic, so the producers were probably on the side of those who advocated adapting dramas written by white playwrights for performance by African American troupes.

7.
A. If anything this would weaken the claim, as it would provide evidence in favor of the possibility of groups predating the Negro Units being able to found a truly national black theater.
B. There could have been a truly national black theater without government funding, so this doesn’t strengthen the claim that the Negro Units came closer than any others before them to founding a truly national black theater.
C. CORRECT This is evidence that the black theatres predating the Negro Units were not truly national, as they were performed exclusively in large eastern cities.
D. It could still be a national theater reflecting the diversity of views and tastes of African American artists and communities [see Question 5] even if none of the productions were really big.
E. This means that it is unknown what happened before the Negro Units, so it doesn’t strengthen a claim about what did or did not happen prior to the Negro Units.

2nd Passage: Punishment for Corporate Crimes

Category: Law

8.
The main point of the passage is that the cost/benefit approach to punishing corporate crime is problematic, so we need additional considerations in determining punishment.

A. The detection ratios play an important role in explaining what’s wrong with the cost/benefit approach, but the part about the detection ratios is not itself the main point of the passage.
B. According to the author, the cost/benefit approach is problematic because if it takes detection ratios into account it will result in astronomical penalties, which would then put corporations out of business and people out of work. So the author does not think taking the detection ratios would transform the cost/benefit approach into an appropriate means of assessing the penalties.
C. The author thinks that the economists who endorse the cost/benefit approach disagree with communities that believe that the penalties must also affect corporate morality, but this doesn’t mean that the economists are doing an injustice to those communities. The critique of the cost/benefit approach is based on its impracticality in terms of putting corporations out of business and people out of jobs- it is not based on some kind of injustice to people who think that we should include morality when determining the penalties.
D. The main point of the passage involves a discussion of the problems that arise when detection ratios are taken into account.
E. CORRECT Yes, the detection ratios make the cost/benefit approach to punishing corporate crime problematic, so we need some other way of determining the penalties.

9.
The primary purpose of the passage is pretty similar to the main point of the passage. The author is arguing against the view of some economists- the cost/benefit approach to punishing corporate crime.

A. The author is arguing against the economists, rather than criticizing courts.
B. It is an argumentative passage, not merely descriptive.
C. The author critiques the cost/benefit approach on the basis of its practical implications- not its moral implications.
D. CORRECT Yes, the primary purpose of the passage is to argue against some economists’ view of how to penalize corporate crime.
E. The author doesn’t offer a specific proposal for penalizing corporate crime. The author simply argues that additional factors must be taken into account besides the costs and benefits.

10.
In the last paragraph it talks about detections ratios being close to 10% (1 in 10), which would result in (line 44) “astronomical penalties” with bad results.

A. The author doesn’t disagree with fines being higher than the profits. The problem, according to the author, is that when you take into account low detection ratios, the resulting fines become way too big.
B. Not a terrible answer, but the author concludes that additional considerations need to be included- “such as the assignment of moral weight to particular crimes” (lines 49-50)- so the correct answer choice should include additional considerations beyond cost/benefit.
C. CORRECT This answer choice captures the fact that the author doesn’t want the fines to put the companies out of business, and the fact that the author concludes that additional considerations beyond cost/benefit should be included.
D. The author explicitly disagrees with one hypothetical instance of a tenfold increase in fine: The end of the third paragraph discusses the hypothetical case of a 10% detection ration resulting in the fine being $60 million rather than $6 million, and it goes on to say in the fourth paragraph that such astronomical fines are what make the cost/benefit approach problematic.
E. The author definitely thinks (last paragraph) that it is problematic to impose fines so high that they put the corporation out of business.

11.
A. The only views ascribed to the economists about morality is that morality should not be included in the factors that determine the punishment for corporate crime.
B. No, the economists think that morality should never be used to determine penalties for corporate crimes, because “the sole basis for determining the penalty should be the reckoning of cost and benefit” (lines 5-6; italics added).
C. The only views ascribed to the economists about morality is that morality should not be included in the factors that determine the punishment for corporate crime.
D. The economists have no views about how to assess the morality of corporations that commit the crimes. Rather, they have views about how to penalize these corporations.
E. CORRECT See lines 5-6, as well as lines 19-20.

12.
A. CORRECT This represents the organization of the passage perfectly: A question is raised (how severe should the punishment be for a corporate crime?); one answer to the question is summarized (the cost/benefit approach); an important aspect of this answer is presented (the cost/benefit approach must take into account detection ratios); a flaw in the answer is identified (the cost/benefit approach is impractical); the need for an alternative answer is affirmed (this is the conclusion).
B. Pretty good until the end- the author does not reject the criticism of the cost/benefit approach.
C. There is no discussion of the ethics of the people who favor the cost/benefit approach.
D. Only one answer (the cost/benefit approach) to the question (how severe should the punishment be for a corporate crime?) is really discussed- there is no compare/contrast with another approach.
E. The passage does not spend any time discussing the consequences of what would happen if we fail to solve the problem (really, the question) of how severe should the punishment be for a corporate crime.

13.
A. CORRECT According to the economists, “the sole basis for determining the penalty should be the reckoning of cost and benefit.” (lines 5-6) This implies that the possibility of a corporation’s going out of business should not be a factor in determining the size of the penalty levied against the corporation for committing a crime.
B. In the passage, the economists have no views about which factors should be involved in assigning moral weights to the corporate crimes.
C. Lines 5-6, as well as lines 18-19, imply that the moral offensiveness of a corporate crime should never be a factor in determining the penalty- no exceptions.
D. While adding the detection ratio figures to the cost/benefit calculations does involve the likelihood of a corporation’s recommitting these crimes, the passage doesn’t suggest that the economists think that this should be the main factor in determining the size of the penalty. The main factors are the cost and benefit.
E. There is no mention in the passage of including how often the corporation has previously committed the crime into the determination of the penalty.

3rd Passage: Women and Gender Relations Studies

Category: Social Science/Comparative

 

14.
A. The decline of historical research on individual women is discussed in Passage A but not Passage B.
B. CORRECT Passage A discusses the new emphasis in the study of history on the role of gender in shaping politics and culture. Passage B discusses how the gender role assigned to women during the Augustan-period played a role in shaping politics and culture (specific examples of this include line 50- the gender roles assigned to women became more politicized- and the discussion in the last paragraph of the effect this had on Augustan-period artists).
C. This is a central topic in Passage B, but Passage A has no discussion of the creation of an imagined domesticity in ancient Rome.
D. There’s a bit about the function of masculinity in history in Passage A (lines 12-13) but nothing in Passage B.
E. The “celebratory” goals of women’s history is mentioned in Passage A (line 22) but not in Passage B.

15.
A. The author of Passage A says nothing about modern conceptions of gender- instead, the author discusses how historians now try to study history through the lens of gender relations.
B. The author of Passage A seems to be okay with there being articles about women separate from articles about men (lines 12-16), so there’s no reason to think the author of Passage A would critique Passage B for neglecting to take into account the equally important role of masculinity.
C. CORRECT This is what the author of Passage A dislikes about the emphasis on studying gender relations- it overlooks individual women. And there is nothing in Passage B about how particular Roman women lived during the reign of Augustus.
D. The author of passage A has no views about the role that domesticity has played in the politics of recent history.
E. There is no reason for us (or the author of Passage A) to think that Passage B revealed portions of Augustus’s marital laws of which historians were not previously aware.

16.
A. CORRECT During the 1990s the focus in the study of women’s history shifted to a focus on gender relations, which in turn “involved turning to an exploration of the social systems that underlay the relationships of men and women” (lines 7-10).
B. There is no mention of previously ignored contributions of women.
C. There is no mention of gender biases distorting traditional historical scholarship.
D. The focus in the study of women’s history did not shift to criticizing earlier generations of historians.
E. There is no mention of shifts in the conception of domesticity.

17.
A. Passage A critiques the neglect of studying individual women, and Passage B is an instance of neglecting to include the study of individual women.
B. Passage A doesn’t criticize Passage B.
C. The evidence and conclusions in the passages are different- Passage A is talking about the general transition to a different kind of approach in the study of history, while Passage B is an example of this new kind of approach.
D. CORRECT Passage A has both good and bad things to say about the new trend in scholarship. The new trend in scholarship is exemplified by passage B, as are the strengths (the explanatory potential embedded in gender- lines 17-18) and the weakness of overlooking the “particular ways in which individual women engaged their worlds.” (lines 31-32) Passage B explains cultural and political aspects of the Augustan-period by way of studying the gender roles assigned to women, but Passage B neglects to include the study of individual women.
E. Passages A and B do not contain parallel arguments- Passage B is better characterized as descriptive than argumentative.

18.
A. Lines 36-43 aren’t about the history of women per se- they are about the intertwining of gender roles (domesticity) and politics.
B. CORRECT Lines 36-43 do explore how a concept of domesticity shaped politics during the Augustan-period (though I don’t think culture is discussed in these lines).
C. Lines 36-43 are not concerned with trying to rediscover and honor lost ancestors.
D. Lines 36-43 are about women and the concept of domesticity, not about masculinity.
E. “Arguing that gender analysis obscures as much as it reveals” is a critique of an approach to historical analysis, not itself an approach to historical analysis.

19.
A. If Passage B is part of the historical mainstream, then Passage B should be an example of the integration of women’s history into the historical mainstream- a lot of it is about the gender role assigned to women.
B. Passage B neglects the individual lives of women, but this doesn’t provide justification for doing so.
C. The current trend in historical scholarship is toward increased attention to gender roles, not increased attention to the political influence of women.
D. Passage B certainly recognizes the significance of gender- that’s what it’s all about!
E. CORRECT This isn’t the first thing I was looking for, since the author of Passage A is critical of some aspects of the type of approach used in Passage B. But the author of Passage B also has good things to say about the approach- for example, that it “demonstrates the explanatory potential embedded in gender” (lines 17-18)- and these good things are indeed exemplified in Passage B.

4th Passage: Neo-Lamarckian Theory

Category: Natural Science

20.

A. The Lamarckian theory has certainly not been proven correct by Steele and his colleagues.
B. CORRECT This captures most of what’s going on in the passage, doesn’t include anything false about the passage.
C. The passage is ambivalent towards Steele’s hypothesis, and there is no mention of whether or not it is likely that a similar mechanism operates elsewhere in the body.
D. Lines 46-47 contradicts this contrast between the standard theory of evolution and the claims of Steele and colleagues: “Evolutionary mechanisms are never observed directly, so we must make do with circumstantial evidence.”
E. People already knew that RNA can revert back into DNA- it “has been observed frequently in other contexts.” (lines 32-33) The main obstacle is whether the new DNA can then be passed on to an organism’s offspring.

21.
A. It doesn’t say that genetic typos are not adaptive- in fact, it suggests that some of them are adaptive in the last sentence of the second paragraph.
B. It’s not inconsequential- it makes a difference, and the end of the second paragraph clarifies how helpful this kind of mutation can be.
C. CORRECT Even if the school systems have failed and you didn’t know anything about DNA before reading this passage, lines 25-26 explain that the typo mutation occurs when DNA is transcribed into RNA. In general, typos during transcription constitute mistakes in copying, which is exactly what this answer choice says.
D. It doesn’t say that the mutation is easily overlooked.
E. Nothing in the passage has anything to do with textual analysis.

22.
A. The author expresses doubt about whether Steel’s account is possible (lines 44-45), refers to it as speculative (line 39), and says that other biologists aren’t buying the circumstantial evidence that Steele has offered (lines 55-58). So, the author is not confident in the truth of Steele’s theory.
B. The author isn’t indignant that Steele is daring to diverge from Darwinism- the author is just a bit skeptical of Steele’s proposal.
C. The author doesn’t suggest Steele’s approach isn’t novel.
D. CORRECT The author definitely has doubts concerning the plausibility of Steele’s theory- see the evidence for this described above in A, citing lines 39, 44-45, and 55-58.
E. The author doesn’t suggest that Steele’s methods have been lacking in rigor.

23.
A. It isn’t an historical account of the development of Lamarck’s theory- it gives the background of the theory, and then describes a recent proposal along those lines.
B. CORRECT Yes, the passage is primarily concerned with describing Steeles’ efforts to vindicate Lamarck’s long-disregarded evolutionary theory.
C. Steele uses the immune system as evidence for his theory, but the passage is primarily concerned with Steele’s account, not with answering a set of questions about the immune system in light of evolutionary theory.
D. It isn’t evaluating the overall merits of Lamarck’s theory- rather, it is evaluating Steeles’ efforts to vindicate that theory.
E. Nothing in the passage suggests that it is concerned with connecting Steeles’ efforts with anything in the philosophy of science. If the LSAT is talking about issues in the philosophy of science, it will tell you it is doing just that- like in the 4th passage from October 2015 (PT 76).

24.
A. The last paragraph isn’t a list of objections against the neo-Lamarckian theory. Rather, it discusses the evidence that has been presented in favor of the neo-Lamarckian theory.
B. The last paragraph doesn’t dismiss the neo-Lamarckian theory as not being supported by evidence. Rather, it cites evidence in support of the theory and then indicates that others are not convinced by that evidence.
C. There are no suggestions for revising the neo-Lamarckian theory.
D. There are no suggestions for further research regarding the neo-Lamarckian theory.
E. CORRECT The primary function of the last paragraph is to present the circumstantial evidence that has been offered in favor of the neo-Lamarckian theory, and indicate that some biologists have not found this evidence compelling.

25.
A. No, the author is skeptical about the neo-Lamarckian theory.
B. CORRECT In the beginning of the third paragraph the author states that Steel hypothesizes that reverse transcription takes place in immune cells, and that it has been observed in other contexts. This implies that Steel and his colleagues have not actually observed the process of reverse transcription in immune cells.
C. Steele and his colleagues think this is true, but the author notes that others disagree with this.
D. The evidence that Steele presents is from the immune system, but nothing in the passage suggests that the neo-Lamarckian theory must be restricted to the immune system.
E. Lines 46-47 reject this- “Evolutionary mechanisms are never observed directly, so we must make do with circumstantial evidence.”

26.
A. CORRECT This would demonstrate that the process that Steele and his colleagues describe (in the third paragraph) is not only possible, but actual, thus answering the challenge posed at the beginning of the fourth paragraph.
B. The question is whether the patterns of mutations provide circumstantial evidence for the existence of the alleged mechanism- pointing out that the patterns of mutations occur elsewhere in the body does nothing to address that question.
C. This does nothing to strengthen the neo-Lamarckian theory.
D. This doesn’t support Lamarckian/neo-Lamarckian over Darwinian theory.
E. This doesn’t show that the acquired characteristics are being passed on via the process of reverse transcription.

27.
We are looking for mutations/changes in the surviving text being a “signature” of past events. It’s a bit of a mindbender, but the wrong answers clearly are not analogous to the evidence in the last paragraph.

A. No, the evidence should be taken from the surviving text, just like the evidence in the last paragraph is taken from the patterns of mutations.
B. There is no parallel to this in the last paragraph- the parallel would be someone admitting to have transferred the altered DNA to the reproductive cells.
C. There is no parallel to this in the last paragraph- the parallel would be someone alleging that someone else altered the DNA.
D. No, the evidence should be taken from the surviving text, just like the evidence in the last paragraph is taken from the patterns of mutations.
E. CORRECT These are changes in the surviving text that are a “signature” of past events in that the vocabulary is typical of the later era (when the alterations were supposedly introduced into the original text) and not found in other texts dating from the classical period (so probably not the vocabulary used in the original text).

 

Section 2: Logical Reasoning

QUESTION 1

Question Type: Strengthen

Analysis: Although the question stem uses the language of a strengthen question, I found it more natural to approach this as an explanation question where we are trying to resolve a discrepancy. The discrepancy to be resolved is that, on the one hand, the waste-to-energy plant will produce three times as much air pollution as the gas-fired plant, but on the other hand environmentalists support the waste to energy plant option. So, why do the environmentalists support the waste to energy plant option if it will produce a lot more air pollution than the gas-fired plant? It must be because overall the waste-to-energy plant will be better/less bad for the environment than the gas-fired plant. How so? Well, without knowing anything about gas-fired plants and waste-to-energy plants, there are two general options here: Either the gas-fired plant is worse for the environment in other ways (not described in the stimulus) or the
waste-to-energy plant is better for the environment in other ways (not described in the stimulus). So before going through the answer choices I know that I’m looking for something that will either describe a way in which the gas-fired plant is worse for the environment, or a way in which the waste-to-energy plant is better for the environment.

A. If anything, this is describing a way in which the gas-fired plant is better for the environment (at least compared to gas-fired
plants of the past), but we’re looking for an answer that tells us that the gas-fired
plant is worse for the environment.
B. If anything, this is describing a way in which the waste-to-energy plant is worse for the environment (at least compared to the past), but we’re looking for an answer that tells us that that the waste-to-energy plant is better for the environment.
C. CORRECT If the waste-to-energy plant is replacing a trash incinerator that produces much more pollution than the wastetoenergy plant would, this means that overall the waste-to-energy plant is having a positive effect on the environment.
D. This is not related to the discrepancy that we are trying to resolve.
E. This is not related to the discrepancy that we are trying to resolve.

QUESTION 2

Question Type: Strengthen

Conclusion: It is likely that the development of cooking made it possible for humans to support a large brain
with a small gut (which requires getting more calories from less food).
Reasoning: Human ancestors developed large brains around the time that they began to control fire.
People who eat only raw food have difficulty getting enough calories.
Analysis: The argument provides us with two premises in support of the conclusion, largely
independent of one another. Both premises can be attacked on the grounds of not providing
enough evidence in support of the conclusion:
(i) Just because cooking (or “controlling fire”) began around the same time as the development
of large brains, this doesn’t necessarily mean that cooking enabled humans to support a large
brain with a small gut. Maybe instead the big brains made it possible for humans to figure out
how to cook! It would strengthen the argument if we were told, say, that cooking came before
the big brains.
(ii) The second premise tells us something bad (in terms of getting calories) about raw food, but
it doesn’t tell us anything about how cooked food fares with respect to getting calories. It would
strengthen the argument if we were told, say, that cooked food gives us more calories from less
food than does raw food.

A. This would actually weaken the argument. We need to be told that cooked food gives us
more calories than raw food, not the same amount.
B. The contrast should be between raw food and cooked food. But this answer choice contrasts
raw meat with raw vegetables.
C. This would actually weaken the argument. We need to be told that cooked food gives us
more calories than raw food, not the same amount.
D. CORRECT Not quite what I was looking for, but if it is true that the human body uses more
calories to process raw food than it uses to process cooked food, this would support the critical
claim for the argument that cooked food gives us more calories from less food than does raw
food.
E. The contrast should be between raw food and cooked food. But this answer choice contrasts
domesticated plants and animals with wild plants and animals.

QUESTION 3

Question Type: Necessary Assumption

Conclusion: Inbreeding is an underlying cause of the sharp decline in commercial honeybee populations.
Reasoning: Inbreeding has limited honeybees’ genetic diversity.
Analysis: The argument only works if the reduction in genetic diversity is somehow related to
the sharp decline in commercial honeybee populations in the face of some type of adverse
condition. So the correct answer choice should be something that links the reduction in genetic
diversity to the sharp decline in commercial honeybee populations.

A. The argument is entirely concerned with commercial honeybees, wild honeybees are
irrelevant.
B. The question is what is the underlying cause of the sharp decline in commercial honeybee
populations, not how quickly the problem can be fixed.
C. What matters is that the genetic diversity has declined. It doesn’t matter whether or not it is
continuing to decline.
D. If anything this would weaken the argument.
E. CORRECT This is a necessary assumption question, so notice what happens if this answer
choice is false: “Lack of genetic diversity cannot make honeybees more vulnerable to adverse
conditions.” If that’s the case, then the argument falls apart, for then there is no connection
between the inbreeding and the sharp decline in commercial honeybee populations.

QUESTION 4

Question Type: Weaken

Conclusion: Warmer winters are probably responsible for the northern cardinal’s proliferation in Nova Scotia.
Reasoning: During the period when northern cardinals proliferated in Nova Scotia, the average winter
temperature rose slightly over that period.
Analysis: Correlation does not imply causation. Just because warmer winters happened during
the same period as cardinal proliferation, this doesn’t mean that the warmer winters caused the
proliferation. It could be that cardinal proliferation caused the warmer winters (ok, this seems
really unlikely, but…). It could be that something else caused both the warmer winters and the
cardinal proliferation. Or it could be that the correlation was a complete coincidence, and
something else caused the proliferation. Since this is a weaken question, before going into the
answer choices I am looking for an answer choice that will provide one of these alternative
explanations of the correlation between warmer winters and cardinal proliferation.

A. CORRECT This identifies an alternative cause of the proliferation.
B. The argument has nothing to do the comparative ease or difficulty of spotting northern
cardinals.
C. The other songbird species are irrelevant—the argument is solely concerned with the cause of
the proliferation of northern cardinals.
D. This doesn’t say anything about why the populations of nonmigratory birds fluctuated more,
or whether this applied to a particular species of nonmigratory birds (the northern cardinal), or
whether the fluctuation was actually an upward trend.
E. If anything this might strengthen the argument, as it is ruling out a potential alternate cause
(reduction in predators).

QUESTION 5

Question Type: Matching Flaw

Conclusion: A person’s personality remains unchanged with the passing of time.
Reasoning: A person’s personality is linked to that person’s genes. A person’s genes do not ordinarily change over time.
Analysis: The flaw here is that just because a person’s personality is linked to something that
doesn’t change, this doesn’t mean that a person’s personality must also remain unchanged. So
I am looking for an answer choice that has the following form: Premises X is linked to Y, and Y has characteristic Z. ConclusionX has characteristic Z as well.

A. CORRECT Premises: The way historians understand WWI is linked to what happened in
WWI, and what happened in WW1 has the characteristic of not changing. Conclusion: The way
historians understand WWI also has the characteristic of not changing.
B. Market forces are linked to governmental actions, but it doesn’t go on to tell us that
governmental actions have a particular characteristic, and then conclude that market forces
have that particular characteristic as well.
C. This is just a straightforward causal argument, and a pretty good one at that. If we know that
some diseases have genetic causes, then messing with the causes should result in a change in
the effect.
D. This is a different flaw, telling us that if something has an effect over a long period of time,
then it will have a small version of that effect over a short period of time.
E. Body temperature is linked to the levels of certain hormones, but it doesn’t go on to tell us
that the levels of certain hormones have a particular characteristic, and then conclude that body
temperature has that particular characteristic as well.

QUESTION 6

Question Type: Necessary Assumption

Conclusion: Brooks will have few supporters in this country.
Reasoning: Almost all of McFarlane’s (the military dictator) supporters believe that Brooks is guilty of
corruption. Almost all of McFarlane’s opponents will oppose anyone who agrees to join his government. Brooks has agreed to join McFarlane’s government.
Analysis: We can conclude that almost all of McFarlane’s opponents will oppose Brooks, since Brooks has agreed to join McFarlane’s government. But what about McFarlane’s supporters? We know that almost all of them believe that Brooks is guilty of corruption, but does that mean that they won’t support Brooks? Not necessarily. Maybe they don’t care that much about corruption. Maybe they like a lot of other things about Brooks and are willing to overlook the corruption stuff.

Furthermore, even if almost all of McFarlane’s supporters will not support Brooks, we still can’t conclude that Brooks will have few supporters in this country. What if there are lots of people who neither oppose nor support McFarlane? What will they think about Brooks? I have no idea the stimulus gives us no information about these people. So, there are two flaws here: First, the argument assumes that if McFarlane’s supporters believe that Brooks is guilty of corruption, this means that they won’t support Brooks. Second, the argument assumes that pretty much everyone in the country either supports McFarlane or opposes McFarlane.

A. What does legitimacy have to do with anything in this argument?
B. The argument isn’t based on a comparison of levels of corruption in the past and in the
present.
C. The argument isn’t based on the details of Brook’s political positions.
D. CORRECT This is one of the two assumptions that I was looking forthe
argument assumes
that pretty much everyone in the country either supports McFarlane or opposes McFarlane.
E. The argument is (partly) based on what people think about the charges that were brought
against Brooks, rather than the actual merit of the charges.

QUESTION 7

Question Type: Strengthen

Conclusion: Pieces that are sold as amber are far more likely to be fake if they contain normalappearing
insects than if they do not.
Reasoning: Forgers can create fake amber and, in an attempt to improve its value, often embed small,
normal-appearing insects in it.
Analysis: The main problem with this argument is that we don’t know whether, of the real amber that
contains insects, most of these pieces contain normal-appearing insects in it. The argument must assume that this is not the case. Otherwise, if real amber that contains insects usually contains normal-appearing insects in it, then we have a situation where both real amber and fake amber that contain insects usually contain normalappearing insects, so if a piece of amber contains normalappearing
insects this won’t help us determine whether or not it is real or fake.

Since this is a strengthen question, I am looking for an answer choice that will tell me that when real amber contains insects in it, the insects usually are not normalappearing.

A. This doesn’t help us determine that amber is fake on the basis of it containing normal-appearing insects.
B. We are not told anything about the size of fake amber in the argument.
C. Perhaps this is true, but it doesn’t help us determine that amber is fake on the basis of it containing normal-appearing insects.
D. This would probably weaken the argument, because if we can distinguish real amber from fake amber on the basis of the normal-appearing insects, then we shouldn’t have to destroy
some of the amber in order to determine whether it is real or fake.
E. CORRECT Yes, this tells us that when real amber contains insects in it, the insects usually are not normal-appearing, and so we can therefore distinguish real amber from fake amber on the basis of the normal-appearing insects that show up in fake amber but not usually in real amber.

QUESTION 8

Question Type: Supporting Principle/Strengthen

Conclusion: Steps should be taken to educate people about the ethical use of the Internet.
Reasoning: Widespread use of the Internet has to led an increase in certain crimes, because people feel
less morally constrained when they use the Internet.
Analysis: Will educating people about the ethical use of the Internet have any effect? The
argument doesn’t tell us, though it seems to assume that if we just educate people, they will
stop doing bad things on the Internet or at least they will no longer feel less morally constrained
when using the Internet. That’s a pretty strong assumption. So the correct answer should make this assumption explicitsomething
about how educating people about the ethical use of the Internet will result in them not doing bad things on the Internet, or no longer feeling less morally constrained when using the Internet.

A. CORRECT This is what is needed to change the argument from ‘plausible sounding’ to ‘really
damn good’, for this makes explicit the assumption that is required in order for the argument to
really work.
B. There is nothing in the argument about “new ethical guidelines”.
C. This would weaken the argument rather than strengthen it.
D. No, according to the argument, people are harming others when using the Internet, yet they
don’t feel morally constrained.
E. Perhaps this is true, but the argument concerns what we should do to try to reduce the
amount of Internet crime. Culpability is irrelevant.

QUESTION 9

Question Type: Sufficient Assumption

Conclusion: Video games are not works of art.
Reasoning: The aesthetic experience produced by a video game is interactive.
For something to be a work of art, it must produce an aesthetic experience that is controlled by
the artist or artists who created the work.
Analysis: In order for this argument to work, it must be the case that the interactive nature of
video games precludes the possibility of the aesthetic experience being controlled by the
artist(s) who created the work. So I’m looking for the following assumption: If an aesthetic
experience is interactive, then it cannot be controlled by the artist(s) who created the work.

A. The intentions of video game creators are irrelevant to the argument.
B. CORRECT This is what we were looking for—if true, the argument becomes a good
argument.
C. The argument doesn’t stipulate or require “richness” of aesthetic experience. What rules out
(according to the argument) video games from being works of art is their interactivity, regardless
of how “rich” the experience might be.
D. The argument provides us with a necessary condition on being a work of art, and concludes
that the condition is not met, on the basis of the premise that the aesthetic experience produced
by a video game is interactive. We need to show that interactivity precludes the necessary
condition from being met. There are two problems with this answer choice: First, it is restricted
to what happens typically . But the argument in the stimulus is meant to cover all video games,
for the conclusion is in the form of a blanket statement: Video games are not works of art. This
answer choice would be a little better if the conclusion had stated that typically, video games are
not works of art. Second, even if this answer choice were telling us that video game players
never themselves create video games, the conclusion still doesn’t follow from the combination
of the premises and this assumption: We are still missing the piece that tells us that interactivity
precludes the necessary condition from being met.
E. The argument tells us about what happens when players’ choices do have an effect on the
outcome of a video game, but it doesn’t tell us (nor is the argument required to tell us) what
happens when players’ choices do not have an effect on the outcome of a video game.

QUESTION 10

Question Type: Evaluate the Argument

Conclusion: Some residents switched to phosphate-free detergents.
Reasoning: Phosphate pollution from the municipal wastewater treatment plant decreased
significantly in the past year.
Analysis: There are obviously plenty of other explanations for why phosphate pollution from the
municipal wastewater treatment plant decreased significantly. And what is the connection
between residents switching to phosphate-free detergents, and the pollution from the municipal
wastewater treatment plant decreasing?

A. Good question (I’m guessing because it’s cheaper and/or does a better job cleaning), but
completely irrelevant to the argument.
B. The argument specifically concerns a decrease in phosphate pollution.
C. CORRECT This is an important question, for if there were changes made in the past year to
the way the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant treats phosphates, this would provide an
alternative explanation for why phosphate pollution from the municipal wastewater treatment
plant decreased significantly in the past year.
D. The argument doesn’t tell us anything about phosphate pollution in the municipality’s
waterways.
E. Similar to A – guess if you’re curious it’s a good question, but completely irrelevant to the
argument.

QUESTION 11

Question Type: Main Conclusion

Conclusion: It is unwise for farmers to grow genetically engineered crops.
Reasoning: Farmers who use genetically engineered plants on a large scale are at great financial risk
(because at any time a study could be published that would undermine what little confidence
consumers have in genetically engineered foods). Genetically engineered plants do not fetch a high enough price to compensate for the risk.

A. This isn’t stated in the argument, but it follows from the intermediate conclusion that farmers
who use genetically engineered plants on a large scale are at great financial risk. This premise
supports the conclusion that it is unwise for farmers to grow genetically engineered crops.
B. CORRECT The conclusion is that it is unwise (i.e. not prudent) for a farmer to grow
genetically engineered crops.
C. This is a premise that supports the conclusion that it is unwise for farmers to grow genetically
engineered crops.
D. This is a premise that supports the intermediate conclusion that farmers who use genetically
engineered plants on a large scale are at great financial risk. The intermediate conclusion in
turn supports the main conclusion that it is unwise for farmers to grow genetically engineered
crops.
E. This is part of the premise that supports the intermediate conclusion that farmers who use
genetically engineered plants on a large scale are at great financial risk. The intermediate
conclusion in turn supports the main conclusion that it is unwise for farmers to grow genetically
engineered crops.

QUESTION 12

Question Type: Applying a Principle that is Given

Analysis: In the stimulus, doctors vaccinate patients so as to expose patients to small doses of
the disease and make patients better able to fight off the disease in the future. So, I’m looking
for an answer that describes a situation where, in order to prevent something bad in the future,
people are exposed to small doses of that bad thing so they can be better able to handle the
bad thing in the future.

A. There is no exposure to small doses of a bad thing. I mean, perhaps we could think of not
rehearsing lines for several days as exposure to small doses of being unprepared, but the point
here isn’t to help the actors be able to handle being really unprepared. Rather, the point is to
prevent overconfidence.
B. CORRECT Parents are exposing their children to a small/weakened dose of treachery and
cruelty, so that the children will be better able to handle treachery and cruelty in the future.
C. No, it’s not as though the firefighters are trying help the fire be better able to handle intense
explosions in the future!
D. No, the business isn’t preparing itself to be better able to close down in the future!
E. In order for this answer choice to be correct, it would have to be the case that people who
might be tempted to commit serious crimes are being provided with small doses of punishment
so that they can better handle, say, long prison sentences in the future. But that’s not what
happens here-the people who might be tempted to commit serious crimes aren’t being provided
small does of anything .

QUESTION 13

Question Type: Complete the Argument

Analysis: Sympathy and justice depend largely on understanding the needs and problems of
others. Nations that have little interaction with one another seem to be missing that necessary
condition for sympathy and justice. So, the most logical way to complete this argument would be
to say that nations that have little interaction with one and another are unlikely to be able to treat
each other with sympathy and justice. I’m looking for something like that in the answer choices.

A. No, but this is a good example of mistaking a necessary condition for a sufficient condition.
The stimulus gives us a necessary condition for sympathy and justice, but it isn’t a sufficient
condition, so just because you meet the necessary condition, that doesn’t mean that you’ll have
sympathy and justice.
B. CORRECT This is basically what we were looking for. Without some interaction, nations are
unlikely to be able to treat each other with sympathy and justice—this is basically the same thing
as saying that without some interactions nations will find it difficult to extend sympathy and
justice.
C. The stimulus doesn’t tell us anything about why problems between nations arise.
D. No—in fact, the stimulus seems to give us information that would support the idea that in
order to eliminate conflict among nations it would be helpful if they at least had some interaction
with one another.
E. Maybe this follows the first sentence of the stimulus, which says “Nations that have little
interaction with one another have little knowledge of one another’s needs and problems.” But
we are asked to complete the argument , not make an inference based solely on the first
sentence. Completing the argument requires an understanding of the argument as a whole , not
just a single isolated premise.

QUESTION 14

Question Type: Flaw

Conclusion: The only effective way to reduce significantly the overall incidence of cancer and birth defects is to halt industries known to produce pollutants found in water.
Reasoning: Cancer and birth defects have been linked to pollutants in water.
These industries are unlikely to comply adequately with strict environmental regulations.
Analysis: We know that cancer and birth defects have been linked to pollutants in water. Do we
know that pollutants in water are the main cause of cancer and birth defects? Nope—as
far as we know, there are lots of different causes of cancer and birth defects. So the argument doesn’t
actually give us good reason to think that the only effective way to reduce significantly the
overall incidence of cancer and birth defects is to halt industries known to produce pollutants
found in water.

A. CORRECT This was the flaw discussed above-if there are other causes of cancer and birth
defects, and these causes are preventable, then surely addressing these other causes might
constitute a different effective way to reduce significantly the overall incidence of cancer and
birth defects.
B. The conclusion has nothing to do with possible harm to nonhuman species.
C. No, actually the argument seems to ignore the possibility that certain effects can be produced
independently by several different causes.
D. Well, if the industries are unlikely to comply adequately with strict governmental regulations, it
is surely also unlikely that they would voluntarily decrease their output of pollutants.
E. It doesn’t matter if the chemicals have some yet-to-be discovered beneficial effects-they
are still linked to cancer and birth defects, even if, say, they give you superpowers.

QUESTION 15

Question Type: Sufficient Assumption

Conclusion: The political leader’s [PL] side will benefit from showing a desire to compromise with the
opposition.
Reasoning: There are two possibilities—the opposition will respond positively, or the opposition will respond
negatively. If the opposition responds positively, then a compromise will be reached. If the
opposition responds negatively, the PL side will benefit.
Analysis: This would be a good argument if we knew that, in the case where the opposition
responds positively, the PL side will benefit, because then we know that however the opposition
responds to the PL side showing a desire to compromise, it will result in the PL side benefiting.
However, all we know about what will happen if the opposition responds positively is that a
compromise will be reached. Will the PL side benefit if a compromise is reached? The argument
doesn’t say. So, the sufficient assumption that I am looking for in the answer choices should say
the following: If a compromise is reached, then the PL side will benefit.

A. Close, but we need to know that the PL side will benefit from a compromise with the
opposition. Just because the PL side has a desire to compromise, this doesn’t mean that the PL
side will benefit .
B. The argument requires the PL side to benefit regardless of whether the opposition responds
positively or negatively.
C. CORRECT Exactly what we are looking for. If this is true, then the argument turns into a
good argument.
D. The argument concerns whether the PL side will benefit, not whether the opposition will
benefit.
E. No, we still don’t know if the PL side will benefit from a compromise.

QUESTION 16

Question Type: Supporting Principle/Strengthen

Conclusion: There is harm in promoting a folk remedy that in fact has no effect.
Reasoning: Many people who are convinced to use an ineffective remedy continue with it for years rather
than pursuing conventional treatments that would almost certainly help them.
Analysis: Pretty good argument, we just need an explicit link between the effect of promoting a
folk remedy, and that effect actually being harmful. So, I am looking for something to tell me that
it is harmful to recommend something that people who take it will continue to take even though
something else would help them more.

A. We don’t know that people who promote the folk remedy believe that using that remedy will
cause harm.
B. CORRECT I didn’t love this answer at first, because it isn’t obvious that the stimulus is
describing a situation of interference . But, after seeing that the rest of the answer choices are
clearly wrong, I picked this one—it is the only one that makes an explicit link between the effect
of promoting a folk remedy, and that effect actually being harmful . And I can see how the
stimulus could be read to be describing a situation of interference.
C. We don’t need to know that the folk remedy pushers are dishonest—rather, we need to know that they are doing something harmful .
D. No, there is nothing in the argument about responsibility .
E. Again, nothing in the argument about responsibility .

QUESTION 17

Question Type: What is the Reasoning Structure?
Conclusion: The fact that [more than three-quarters of the listeners who call in requests to the station say
they are pleased with the format] is hardly conclusive evidence in favor of the new format
actually being popular with its listeners.
Reasoning: Using the fact in the manner that the radio station does is analogous with trying to determine
whether a political candidate is popular with voters by interviewing only those people who have
already decided to vote for the candidate.
Analysis: So, the argument proceeds by calling into question how it uses its evidence to
support the conclusion, and it calls this into question by using an analogy to show that since this
type of evidence would be suspect in a different area (determining whether a political candidate
is popular with voters) it is likewise suspect to use this type of evidence in this case.

A. No, nothing here about a biased party.
B. CORRECT This is the whole point of the analogy with trying to determine whether a political
candidate is popular with voters by interviewing only those people who have already decided to
vote for the candidate.
C. There is no suggestion of a more reasonable inference to be drawn from the evidence.
D. There is no counterexample proposed, nor does the argument disagree with the conclusion
itself—it just disagrees with how the evidence is being used to support the conclusion.
E. There is no claim that an inference leads to a contradiction.

QUESTION 18

Question Type: Flaw

Conclusion: Those who claim that Shakespeare did not write the plays commonly attributed to him are
motivated purely by snobbery.
Reasoning: Shakespeare was the son of a glove maker, while everyone else that has been proposed as the
true author was an aristocrat. Many of those who argue that one or another of these aristocrats wrote the plays are the
aristocrats’ descendants.
Analysis: This is a weak argument for a number of reasons. First, the conclusion tells us that
everyone who claims that Shakespeare was a fake is motivated purely by snobbery, but it
supports this by telling us that many of those who argue that it was an aristocrat rather than
Shakespeare are the aristocrats’ descendants. So even if the reasoning were good, it would still
only apply to those who are descendants of the aristocrats.

And that’s not all that’s wrong with the argument: Do these people even know that they are the
aristocrats’ descendants? If not, there isn’t even support here for the claim that snobbery is one
of the motivations. But even if there were enough support for snobbery being one of the
motivations, this is still is a far cry from the claim that snobbery is the only motivation.

A. Careful—the conclusion does not say that these people who claim that Shakespeare was a
fake are incorrect . No, it just says that these people are purely motivated by snobbery.
B. This would actually be a good piece of reasoning: If someone is motivated purely by
snobbery, this means that they are not motivated by anything else. That’s just what “purely”
means.
C. The motives of those who claim that Shakespeare was not a fake are irrelevant.
D. CORRECT Even if there were enough support in the argument for snobbery being one of the
motivations, this is still a far cry from the claim that snobbery is the only motivation.
E. This argument does not employ circular reasoning.

QUESTION 19

Question Type: Explanation

Analysis: First, we need to get clear on what needs to be explained. What needs to be
explained here is that the winter increase in nocturnal activity was significantly greater for the
population of lemurs living in the forest where trees lose their leaves during the winter months,
than it was for the population of lemurs living in the rain forest.
So, why might that be? The only difference between the two groups of lemurs that we are told
about is a difference that specifically applies during the winter: Namely, one population lives in
trees that lose their leaves during the winter, and the other population lives in trees that don’t
lose their leaves during the winter. Why might this result in a greater increase in nocturnal
activity for the population that lives in the leafless trees? Well, let’s think. During both the day
and night the leaves are gone. So if there is an increase in nocturnal activity, it should be
because the leaves being gone during the day has the effect of reducing the activity of the
lemurs. Why? I’m guessing it has something to do with predators being able to see the lemurs.
For predators who see better in the day than in the night, the lemurs can’t count on the leaves
for camouflage, so they should probably just stay still during the day and then party at night.

A. This doesn’t explain the difference between the two populations.
B. CORRECT If the primary predators are birds that rely on their eyesight to hunt prey during
daylight, this explains why the lemurs without the cover of leaves are less active during the day
and consequently more active during the night than are the lemurs who do have the cover of
leaves.
C. But what would the absence of leaves on the trees have to do with predatory snakes?
D. It doesn’t matter if one of the populations has more lemurs than the other. What needs to be
explained is the greater increase in nocturnal activity in one of the populations.
E. Why would eating only plants result in greater nocturnal activity in winter months?

QUESTION 20

Question Type: Identify the Role

Conclusion: The distinction between “literary” (should be interpreted) and “genre” fiction (should not be
interpreted) is a specious distinction.
Reasoning: No work should be interpreted, because when we evaluate a work principally for its themes and
idea, we cut ourselves off from the work’s emotional impact.
Analysis: The claim that [when we evaluate a work principally for its themes and ideas, we cut
ourselves off from the work’s emotional impact] supports the claim that no work should be
interpreted, which in turn supports the claim that the distinction between literary and genre
fiction is a specious distinction.

A. No, the conclusion is that the distinction between literary and genre fiction is a specious
distinction.
B. CORRECT I didn’t love this answer at first, because technically it is offered as support for an
intermediate conclusion, but support for an intermediate conclusion does still count as support
for the main conclusion.
C. No— “cutting ourselves off from the work’s emotional impact” is, I suppose a practical
consequence, but it is a practical consequence of interpreting fiction, whereas the critic is
arguing that we should not interpret fiction.
D. The distinction has already been explained, and this isn’t what’s going on.
E. It is not anticipating an objection to the conclusion, it is just providing support for the
conclusion.

QUESTION 21

Question Type: Strengthen

Analysis: According to the principle, if one neither criticizes a form of behavior in oneself or
vows to stop it, then one should not criticize that form of behavior in another. In the application
we are told that if Shimada does not vow to stop being tardy himself, then he should not criticize
McFeney for tardiness. But the claim that he should not criticize McFeney for tardiness only
follows if Shimada also fails to criticize himself for being tardy.

A. CORRECT This tells us that Shimada neither criticizes his own tardiness or vows to stop it,
so therefore he shouldn’t criticize McFeney for tardiness.
B. This doesn’t tell us that Shimada fails to criticize himself for being tardy.
C. McFeney’s criticism of Shimada and failure to vow to stop being tardy are irrelevant. The
application is that if Shimada does not vow to stop being tardy, then he should not criticize
McFeney for tardiness, so telling us that Shimada never vows to cease being tardy doesn’t
justify the application of the principle.
D. If Shimada criticizes himself for tardiness, then the principle doesn’t apply.
E. The principle certainly doesn’t apply if neither McFeney nor Shimada is regularly tardy.

QUESTION 22

Question Type: Flaw

Conclusion: Everyone should have access to more than one newspaper.
Reasoning: (i) There are at least two sides to every story; (ii) All sides of an important story should be
covered; (iii) No newspaper adequately covers all sides of every one of its stories; (iv) Some
important stories would not be adequately covered if there were only one newspaper.
Analysis: What this argument tells me is that if all important stories should be adequately
covered, then there should be more than one newspaper (i.e., everyone should have access to
more than one newspaper). But the conclusion simply assumes that all important stories should
be adequately covered.

Another problem with the argument [but I admit I didn’t see this at first]the
move from (iii) to (iv). If no newspaper adequately covers all sides of every one of its stories, it could still
adequately cover all sides of all of the important stories,

A. CORRECT Yes, exactly. If no newspaper adequately covers all sides of every one of its
stories, it could still adequately cover all sides of all of the important stories.
B. The argument depends on the claim that some important stories would not be adequately
covered if there were only one newspaper. It doesn’t matter if there might still be inadequate
coverage provided by two newspapers. This answer choice might have been correct if the
argument had instead depended on the claim that all important stories would be adequately
covered if there were more than one newspaper.
C. The conclusion is not about what newspapers should do—rather, it is about having access to
more than one newspaper.
D. No, the conclusion is that everyone should have access to more than one newspaper. The
argument talks about why it would be bad for no one to have access to more than one
newspaper—i.e. if there were only one newspaper—but it doesn’t then take for granted that
everyone has access to all newspapers. It doesn’t even conclude that everyone should have
access to all newspapers. It simply concludes that everyone should have access to more than
one newspaper.
E. The argument is certainly at least more concerned with important stories than with all stories,
but that’s not a flaw.

QUESTION 23

Question Type: Must be True

Analysis: The stimulus tells us two things:
(i) Most of the mines that Moradco operates in the province of Velyena have never violated
environmental regulations.
(ii) Every one of the gold mines that Moradco operates throughout the world has at some time or
another violated environmental regulations.

This means that every one of the gold mines that Moradco operates in Velyena has at some
time or another violated environmental regulations. But if most of the mines that Moradco
operates in Velyena have never violated environmental regulations, it must be the case that
most of the mines that Moradco operates in Velyena are not gold mines.

A. We have no idea how many mines Moradco, or any of the other companies, operate in
Velyena.
B. We know that Moradco operates more non-gold mines in Velyena than gold mines, but we
have no idea how many gold mines Moradco operates in total.
C. We have no idea how many gold mines Moradco operates—maybe it owns just a few, and
they’re all in Velyena? Given the information in the stimulus, we just don’t know.
D. CORRECT Exactly what we were looking for. If most of the mines that Moradco operates in
Velyena have never violated environmental regulations, it must be the case that most of the
mines that Moradco operates in Velyena are not gold mines.
E. No, maybe Moradco owns a ton of gold mines throughout the world, and they have all
violated environmental regulations at one time or another.

Question 24

Question Type: Necessary Assumption

Conclusion: Politicians would be more likely to be reelected if they voted against the tariffs.
Reasoning: Most people oppose the tariffs.
Analysis : The conclusion only follows if the people who oppose the tariffs all (i) show up to
vote, and (ii) base who they are voting for on whether the politicians are protariff
or antitariff.

A. CORRECT This is a necessary assumption question, so notice what happens if this answer
choice is false: If false, this means that supporters of tariffs on particular products are
significantly more likely than opponents to base their vote for a politician on the politician’s stand
on this issue. In which case, the argument falls apart, for now we don’t have good reason to
think that politicians would be more likely to be reelected if they were antitariff,
since the pro-tariff people are the ones who base their vote on whether you’re pro-tariff
or anti-tariff. So it doesn’t matter that more people are anti-tariff.
B. The conclusion concerns what will happen to politicians if they vote against the tariffs, not
what goes into their decision to vote for or against the tariffs.
C. There are no assumptions in the argument about what politicians should or shouldn’t do. It is
a purely descriptive argument.
D. Again, there are no assumptions in the argument about what politicians should or shouldn’t
do. It is a purely descriptive argument.
E. The argument stipulates that most people oppose the tariffs, but it doesn’t affect the
reasoning of the argument whether or not people who would be hurt by tariffs generally know
that they would be hurt by them.

QUESTION 25

Question Type: Must be False

Analysis: Since the longer an animal can stay submerged during a dive, the greater the depth
the animal can reach, this means that if animal X can stay submerged longer than animal Y,
then animal X can also dive to greater depths than animal Y. And if animal W can dive to
greater depths than animal Z, then animal W can also stay submerged longer than animal Z. So
I will abbreviate “animal stays submerged longer during a dive” as just “longer”, and “animal
dives to greater depths” as just “greater”. If it tells us that W is greater than Z, I will write that W
is greater/longer than Z (since the two are equivalent). Likewise, if it tells us X is greater than Y,
I will write that X is greater/longer than Y.

The stimulus tells us that (i) dolphins [D] are greater/longer than northern fur seals [NF]; and (ii)
elephant seals [ES] are greater/longer than Weddell seals [WS]. We are looking for the answer
choice that must be false, i.e. violates one of these relationships.

A. This tells us that ES are greater/longer D, which in turn are greater/longer than WS. This
preserves the relationship of ES being greater/longer than WS, so it could be true.
B. This tells us that D are greater/longer than WS, which in turn are greater/longer than NF. This
preserves the relationship that D are greater/longer than NF, so it could be true.
C. This tells us that WS are greater/longer than both D and NF. This doesn’t violate either of the
relationships, so it could be true.
D. CORRECT This tells us that NF are greater/longer than ES, and WS are greater/longer than
D. But we know from the stimulus that ES are greater/longer than WS. So this is telling us that
NF are greater/longer than ES, which in turn are greater/longer than WS, which in turn are
greater/longer than D. This violates the relationship that D are greater/longer than NF, so this
must be false.
E. This tells us that ES are greater/longer than NF, which in turn are greater/longer than WS.
This preserves the relationship of ES being greater/longer than WS, so it could be true.

 

Section 3: Analytical Reasoning

Game 1

1.
The first rule [R-Z] knocks out answer choice E.

The second rule [WY] knocks out answer choice D.

The third rule [T in the afternoon] knocks out answer choice C.

The fourth rule [Z in the morning] knocks out answer choice B.

This leaves us with one answer left. Answer choice A is CORRECT

2.
We know that R and Z are both in the morning. We also know that Y comes directly after W. So, out of the 3 morning spots, the only situation that allows for R, Z, and W to all be in the morning while Y is directly after W is the situation where W is at 11am. (If W is at 9 or 10, Y would be at 10 or 11, and then there wouldn’t be enough room for R-Z).

A. R must be at 9am.

B. CORRECT S can be at either 3pm or 4pm.

C. T must be at either 3pm or 4pm.

D. Y must be at 2pm.

E. Z must be at 10am.

3.
We already know from Question 1 that S can go at 10am. And in our mini-diagram from Question 2 we saw that S could go at either 3pm or 4pm. So answer choices B and E can be crossed out. At this point, if we don’t see anything in the rules that suggests a particular spot ruled out for S, we just have to crank out a few diagrams.

The only one that doesn’t work is answer choice D: If S is at 2pm, where can we put the XY block? If we put it in the afternoon, then there’s no room for T in the afternoon. If we put it in the morning, then there’s no room for R-Z in the morning. Therefore, S cannot perform at 2pm. Answer choice D is CORRECT

4.
We already saw in Question 2 that W could go at 11am but, given that R-Z must be in the morning, and Y comes directly after W, W cannot go at either 9am or 10am.

Therefore, answer choice C is CORRECT

5.
All of the answer choices include T because one of the rules states that T must perform in the afternoon. Looking back at our previous work, we can rule out any of the answer choices that include W (it can go at 11am- see Question 2) or S (it can go at 10am- see Question 1, and 11am- see Question 3). This allows us to cross off answer choices B, D, and E.

Furthermore, since the latest W can go is at 11am, this means that the earliest Y can go is at 2pm.

So both T and Y must be scheduled to perform in the afternoon.

Answer choice C is CORRECT

Game 2

6.
The first rule [If L then not M] knocks out answer choice A.

The second rule [If P then it is in between O and S] knocks out answer choice D.

The third rule [If R is in then it goes 1st or 6th] knocks out answer choice C.

The fifth rule [If N is in then it goes 5th] knocks out answer choice B.

So, answer choice E is CORRECT

7.
If N and P are both in, there is only room for P to go 2nd or 3rd. But if it goes 3rd, S will be either 2nd or 4th, which violates the fourth rule.

We know that if R is in, it either goes 1st or 6th [this is the third rule]. We know that it isn’t going first here (either S or O goes first), so we have two scenarios: One where R is in and goes 6th, and one where R is out.

The question asks who could go first. Only S and O can possibly go first here.

So, answer choice D is CORRECT

8.
L is 6th and O is 2nd. If P is in, it would have to go 3rd, with S going 4th. But S can’t go 4th (fourth rule).

So P has to be out, along with M (L being in knocks out M- first rule).

That puts R first and N fifth. There are two spots left for S and V. S can’t go 4th, so V goes 4th and S goes 3rd.

A. M is out (because L is in).

B. S has to go 3rd.

C. CORRECT S has to go 3rd.

D. V must go 4th.

E. V must go 4th.

9.
If P is 4th then either S or O is 5th, which means that N must be out (along with one of L or M).

R must be in since the “out” spots have been filled, and it either goes 1st or 6th.

So, the only possibilities for what goes 2nd are M, L, or V.

Answer choice A is CORRECT

10.
L is 1st and O is 4th. If L is in then M is out. If O is 4th then, IF P is in, it can’t go 3rd (that would force S into 2nd, where it can’t go). So it must go 5th. That leaves us with two scenarios:

In the first scenario P is in and 5th, forcing N out, and putting S 6th.

In the second scenario P is out, which means that N is in and 5th.

The first scenario doesn’t work because the 1st and 6th spots are taken by L and S, forcing R out- but there are no more “out” spots.

Thus, we know everything except exactly where V and S go- they go 2nd and 3rd, but the order doesn’t matter.

The question asks who must be out. M and P must be out.

So, answer choice B is CORRECT

12.
N, P, and R are in.

I split this into two scenarios- one where R is 1st, the other where R is 6th.
Where R is 1st, P would have to go 3rd- but this forces S into 2nd or 4th, both of which it can’t be in (fourth rule). So we must be in the scenario where R is 6th.

The only place for P is 2nd, which puts O and S 1st and 3rd (in whatever order).

There are now two spots left for V and one of M/L, one in and one out.

A. CORRECT N must be 5th and R must be 6th.

B. N can be next to V, but it doesn’t have to be- V could be out.

C. O and R are separated by at least two spots.

D. O could be 1st (and V could be out) so O doesn’t have to be next to V.

E. S could be 1st (and V could be out) so S doesn’t have to be next to V.

11.
This is a great question to make use of our previous work. All we need to do is look at the diagrams we drew in questions 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 and see which people were out in those diagrams. R was out in one of the scenarios for question 7, P was out in questions 8 and 10, and N was out in both of the scenarios for question 9. This eliminates answer choices A, C, and D. We also saw in question 12 that V could be out- so answer choice E is eliminated as well. This just leaves us with one answer choice remaining.

Answer choice B is CORRECT

In case you’re wondering, here’s why O must be in: If O is out, then P must be out (according to the contrapositive of the second rule). But at least one of L/M has to be out (according to the first rule), and only 2 total are out. If O is out we wind up with 3 out, so O can’t be out- it must be in.

Game 3

Master Diagram
This is one of those weird games the LSAT has started including again every once in awhile. There is no master diagram to draw here. We have the list of employees (J, L, P, T) and offices that they are selecting from (w, x, y, and z). We have the rankings of the offices for each of the employees, and the crucial rule is that each employee selects the office that he/she ranks highest among the unselected offices. I will refer to this rule as the third rule.This means that, for example, whoever selects first must select the office that they ranked the highest.

Some general advice for how to prepare for these types of games:
First, the more quickly you can do the other games, the more time you have to work your way through this game. So, work on mastering the easier games.
Second, go through some of the really old LG sections that had weird games. The point isn’t to master a particular type of weird game. Rather, the point is to get a bit more used to the experience of taking a deep breath when you see a weird game, and knowing that the game itself probably isn’t very difficult- the LSAT makers are just counting on people freaking out when they see it’s a weird kind of game that they haven’t seen before. Objectively speaking, the hard part about this game is really just the freak-out factor. If you can minimize the freak-out factor, you should be able to methodically work your way through the questions- and since there’s no main diagram to draw, you have that much more time to work your way through the questions!

13.
This is a list question, but it’s a bit unusual because you can’t really approach it the way you normally would- going rule by rule to eliminate answer choices. Instead you just have to go through the answer choices and see which one works- keeping in mind the main guiding rule that each employee selects the office that he/she ranks highest among the unselected offices.

A. No one here selected the office that he/she ranked first, which means that whoever went first violated the third rule.

B. CORRECT

C. No one here selected the office that he/she ranked first, which means that whoever went first violated the third rule.

D. J selects y so J goes first. L can’t select w second if x and z are still available. P can’t select x second if z is still available. T can’t select z second if x is still available. So whoever goes second violates the third rule.

E. J selects y so J goes first. L can’t select z second if x is still available. P can’t select x second if z is still available. T can’t select w second- w is T’s lowest ranked choice! So whoever goes second violates the third rule.

16.
If P selects w, this means that all the other offices have been selected, so P is selecting last.

A. Who could be the two employees selecting the office that they rank second?
It can’t be P: P selects its fourth ranked office on this question.
It can’t be J: That would mean that J selects x, so someone else has to select y first. But the only other one that can ever select y first (other than J) is P- but in this case P selects w, not y.
That leaves us with L and T. If L and T select the offices that they rank second, this means that L selects z and T selects y. But if L and T select the offices that they rank second, this means that they are not selecting first. And we already know that P is not selecting first. So it must be J that selects first- and J selects y first, so T cannot select y, which means that we cannot have two employees selecting the office that they rank second.

B. Who could be the two employees selecting the office that they rank third?
It can’t be P: P selects its fourth ranked office on this question.
This leaves us J, L, and T. J ranks z third, L ranks w third, and T ranks z third. J and T cannot select the same office, so the two employees selecting the office that they rank third would either be J and L or T and L. In other words, one of the two employees selecting the office that he/she ranks third must be L, and L ranks w third. But we already know that P selects w, and P and L cannot select the same office. So we cannot have two employees selecting the office that they rank third.

C. Only x and y are ranked highest by the employees, so it would be impossible for three employees to pick their highest ranked choices.

D. If J selects x, then someone else has to select y ahead of J. L ranks y last, and P selects w in this case, so it can’t be either L or P. If T selects y, this means that x was already taken- i.e. J already selected x, but in order for this to work y has to be selected before x. Otherwise, J would have to take y instead of x. In this scenario no one can select y before J selects x, so this scenario doesn’t work.

E. CORRECT
If L selects z, that means that someone else has to select x ahead of z. That someone cannot be P, because P selects w. If J selects x ahead of z, then T must be the one to select y, but then none of the employees select the office that they rank highest, so whoever goes first violates the third rule.
So, if L selects z, then T must be the one to select x ahead of z. Here’s how it would go:

14.
A. It could be true that more than one employee selects the office he/she ranks first. In the valid scenario we drew for Question 16, both T and J select the office that they ranked first- T selects x and J selects y.

B. It could be true that more than one employee selects the office he/she ranks second. Here’s a valid scenario in which that would happen:

C. CORRECT
This follows from the third rule: The employee who goes first must select their highest choice, so it must be true that at least one of the employees selects the office he/she ranks first.

D. It could be true that no employees select the office that they ranked second. Here’s a valid scenario in which that would happen:

E. It could be true that no employees select the office that they ranked third- in answer choice B we already drew a valid scenario where that happens.

15.
A. CORRECT
It could be true that exactly two of the employees each selects the office he/she ranks third. Here’s a valid scenario where that happens:

B. One reason why two employees can’t pick their fourth choice is because one of them would have to be L picking y (since the other employees all have w as their fourth choice). But y is the first or second choice for everyone else, so it would never last long enough to be selected 4th.

C. In the scenario where three employees picked their second choice, this means that one got their first choice (the one that goes first) and everyone else got their second choice. The only way that three employees could pick their second choice is if one of the two employees who have z as their second pick (L and P) does not pick their second choice- so one of L or P has to go first. If L goes first and selects x, then J can’t pick its second choice (x). If P goes first and selects y, then T can’t selects its second choice (y).

D. If three employees select their third choice, then one of the two who have z as their third choice (J and T) does not select their third choice- so one of J or T must go first. If T selects x first, then P cannot select its third choice (x). If J selects y first, the employee who goes second must pick his/her first or second choice, rather than their third choice.

E. Here’s a simple reason why it can’t be the case that three employees select the office he/she ranks fourth: There are only two offices that are ranked fourth by the employees- w and y. The same office cannot be selected by more than one employee.

17.
A. J can select x- we drew a valid scenario in Question 15 answer choice A where J selects x.

B. L can select w- we drew a valid scenario in Question 15 answer choice B where L selects w.

C. L can select z- we drew a valid scenario in Question 16 where L selects z.

D. T can select x- we drew a valid scenario in Question 16 where T selects x.

E. CORRECT
If P selects x, then y and z must have been selected already. If L or T go first, they select x, so P cannot select x. If J goes first, J selects Y, but then either L or T go next and they would select x before P has a chance to. So it must be true that P does not select x.

Game 4

Master Diagram
M and J only get used once (second and fourth rules).

If K and J are both not assigned to Z, that leaves N, M, and H to fill up the 3 spots in Z. Since N is in, it goes in the leader spot (first rule). M and H are interchangeable in the secretary and treasurer positions.

Since M got assigned to Z, and it only gets used once, it can’t be assigned to X. If M and J are in X, that leaves N, H and K to fill up the 3 spots in X. N goes in leadership, H and K are interchangeable.

M already got used, so the remaining two spots in Y are filled by K (third rule) and one of H/N.

19.
If K is assigned to treasurer for exactly two committees, it must be treasurer for X and Y- it can never be assigned to Z (third rule).

A. H (or N) could be assigned to be leader for Y.

B. H (or M) could be assigned to be secretary for Z.

C. CORRECT H cannot be treasurer for X, because K must be treasurer for X.

D. M (or H) could be assigned to be treasurer for Z.

E. N (or H) could be assigned to be leader for Y.

21.
The leader positions are already filled in X and Z. So if K is assigned to be leader for exactly one of the committees, it must be the leader in Y. And if N is not the leader in Y, then it cannot be in Y (first rule). That just leaves H to be the treasurer in Y.

The only committee for which the assignment of volunteers to positions is fully determined is Y.

Answer choice B is CORRECT

18.
N is always assigned to the leadership position in Z, while H and M are interchangeable in the secretary and treasurer positions [see master diagram for explanation]. So there are only two possible assignments of volunteers to Z:

(i) leader: N; secretary: H; treasurer: M
(ii) leader: N; secretary: M; treasurer H

Answer choice E is CORRECT

20.
A. H must be assigned to X. [see master diagram for explanation]

B. CORRECT H does not have to be assigned to Y. Only one of H and N can, and must, be assigned to Y, but it could by N instead of H. [see master diagram for explanation]

C. K must be assigned to X. [see master diagram for explanation]

D. M must be assigned to Z. [see master diagram for explanation]

E. N must be assigned to X. [see master diagram for explanation]

22.
A. If H is assigned leader for exactly one of the committees, it must be in Y (leaders are already assigned in X and Y). But everything is not yet fully determined: H and K are interchangeable in X, and H and M are interchangeable in Z. [see master diagram]

B. If H is assigned secretary in exactly two committees, it must be X and Z (J is the secretary in Y). This resolves the uncertainty in X and Z, but everything is not yet fully determined: We don’t know which of H and N go in Y, and we don’t know where K goes in Y.

C. CORRECT If H is treasurer in all three committees, it resolves the uncertainty in X and Z (in X K is secretary and H is treasurer; in Z M is secretary H is treasurer). In Y, we know that J is secretary and H is treasurer, and we know that K must always go in Y (third rule), so K must be the leader in Y. All of the positions are filled.

D. If K is the treasurer for two committees, this still leaves H and M interchangeable in Z.

E. If N is the leader for all three committees, H and K are still interchangeable in X, and H and M are still interchangeable in Z.

23.
The wrong answers in rule substitution questions usually either go too far (forbid things that we know are permitted) or don’t go far enough (permit things that we know are forbidden).

A. This doesn’t go far enough: It allows for the possibility of H being assigned to 3 committees, and M being assigned to 2 committees, but M can only be assigned to 1 committee.

B. This is just wrong: J and M both get assigned to only 1 committee.

C. CORRECT K gets assigned to 2 committees, so if it is assigned to more committees than M, then M must get assigned to only 1 committee.

D. This is just wrong: H must be assigned to more committees (at least 2) than M.

E. This doesn’t go far enough. It allows for the possibility of N being assigned to 3 committees and M being assigned to 2 committees, but M can only be assigned to 1 committee.

 

Tara Hill: Game 4 Alt Solution

Tara Hill, a tutor from Toronto, Canada, has been kind enough to write up and send in this alternative solution for Game 4:

This game was a defined grouping game that if set up correctly was not too difficult, but the way the game starts out it might lead you into a different set up.

First we have 5 volunteers H, J, K, M and N being assigned to 3 committees, X, Y, Z and then these volunteers will each hold a position on the committee L, S, T

The basic set up for the game is:

The rules for the game are:

If N —-> N over L

M = exactly 1 committee

K = Y and ~Z

J = Ys and ~X and ~Z

So when you plug the original deductions into your diagram it should look like this so far:

But now that you know J and K cannot be in Z that means the remaining 3 volunteers H, M and N have to be in Z. And since N is there, N has to be the leader.

And since M can be used only once, we now know there is no M in X and Y.

This means there is no J and no M on committee X, so that means N, H and K must be on committee X, with N being the leader again.

So that leaves either H or N being on committee Y, with most of the positions remaining unknown. However, just note that if we knew N was on committee Y, since N is always the leader we would be able to deduce that K would have to be T, but since H/N could be there we can’t make any further deductions.

Your final diagram should look like:

QUESTIONS:

18. For committee Z we know it is made up of N, M, and H, with N being the secretary. So quickly scan to see if an answer has those 3 and has N being the leader. Only choice E has this. So E is correct and then we can quickly move on.

19. If K is the T for two committees that means K is the T for committee X and committee Y. If you add that into your diagram and make your deductions you will see that H has to be the S for committee X since all the other positions are now filled, And that the remaining H/N in committee Y is the L. and then committee Z is unchanged.

Your diagram should look like:

This means that each of the following could be true except: C – because H cannot be the treasurer of X, as you can see from our diagram H must be the S for committee X

20. Must be true except means: we should be able to figure out the answer by looking at our original deductions. By looking at the answers this leaves us with B. H does not have to be assigning to Y. It is possible H is assigned to Y, but it is also possible that spot could be filled by N. That means this B does not have to be true.

21. If K is going to be the leader for one of the committees that committee has to be Y, because the only other committee that K is on is committee X, and N is already the leader for the committee. So if K is the leader for committee Y that means the last volunteer on the committee has to now become H, because if it was N then N would need to be the leader, but the leader position is now being filled by K.

Our diagram should now look like:

So the amount of positions is fully determined for B – only committee Y, as you can see from the diagram. We still do not know the positions of the other committees.

22. To know what type of answer we need to find for determining the positions of everyone on every committee we need to think strategically. First off, we don’t know if committee Y has H or N, so we would need an answer that would force one of them on committee Y. Also, if we knew one more persons position on each committee we could figure out the third position by process of elimination and solve the whole game. So we need to see which answer does that.

A) H is the leader for one committee. This forced H to be the leader of Y and then we would know K is the T for committee Y, but we still would have no idea of the positions of the other people on committee X and Z. So this answer is out.

B) H is the secretary for two committees, well H could be the S for X and Z and then we would have no idea still if H was on committee Y or if N was. So this answer is out.

C) H is the treasurer for all three committees. This means H is on committee Y and is the T, so then K becomes the L. And since H is the T on X, that means K now becomes the S on X. And since H is the T on Z, that means M is the S on Z, so we would know everyone’s role. This is the right answer! Your diagram would look like:

D) K is the T for two committees would give us the same diagram as #19, and as we can see we still had a lot unknown. So this answer is out.

E) Nash is the leader for all three. Means N is the L on Y as well so K would be the T, but we would not know the roles of the volunteers on the other committees still so then this answer is out too.

23. This is the substitute a rule question. It tells us that we need to find a new rule that could replace the rule stating that M is only assigned to one committee. So to figure out how to replace it we need to consider how this rule affected our original diagram. Since we figured out that M was on committee Z by default, because K and H couldn’t be there, we would need a rule that would force M not to be on committee X and Y.

A) H is on more committees than M. Well this would leave the possibility open that M could go on two committees since it is possible H is on all 3. This would change our game so A is out.

B) J must be on more committees than M. J can only be on one committee, so that would mean M would have to be on 0, which would change our original game as well, so B is out.

C) K must be on more committees than M. Well K must be on 2 and can only be on 2, since K cannot go on Z, so then that would force M to only go once or 0, but M cannot go 0 anyways because M gets forced onto committee Z, so this works!

D) M must be on more committees than H. This is out because H goes 2-3 times! and M can’t go more than that! M needs to go only once.

E) Nash must be assigned to more committees than M. N goes 2-3 times, so once again this would make it possible for M to go 1-2 times, which would be too many! So this answer is out as well.

 

Section 4: Logical Reasoning

QUESTION 1

Question Type: Strengthen

Conclusion: Grenier will almost certainly not be elected as mayor.

Reasoning: Most voters will see Grenier as insincere.

Analysis: In order for this to be a good argument, it must be the case that there is a connection between a candidate being seen as insincere, and that candidate not being elected. The following principle would help to justify the pundit’s reasoning: If a candidate is seen as insincere, voters will not vote for the candidate.

A. CORRECT Yes, this is what we are looking for, it provides the connection between a candidate being seen as insincere, and that candidate not being elected.
B. No, the reason why most voters will see Grenier as insincere is because they will notice whether her stance on issues has changed over time. And anyways this would make it more likely that Grenier would be elected as mayor.
C. This would make it more likely that Grenier would be elected as mayor.
D. The key issue in the argument is Grenier’s perceived insincerity, not whether or not she understands the financial concerns of the voters.
E. Grenier’s sincerity is being questioned because she flip flopped on the issue of raising city employees’ wages.

QUESTION 2

Question Type: Agree/Disagree

Analysis: According to Albert, Swenson’s book is valuable because it has stimulated new research on sun exposure. According to Yvonne, Swenson’s book is not valuable.They disagree over whether or not Swenson’s book is valuable.

A. Neither Albert nor Yvonne have views over whether sun exposure harms skin cells.
B. Albert thinks that Swenson’s book is a model of poor scholarship. If anything Yvonne seems to agree that it is a model of poor scholarship, but she certainly doesn’t say that it is a model of good scholarship.
C. CORRECT Albert thinks that Swenson’s book should be considered valuable, while Yvonne thinks that Swenson’s book should not be considered valuable.
D. Albert thinks that Swenson’s book has stimulated new research on sun exposure, but there is no evidence to suggest that Yvonne disagrees.
E. Albert thinks that something that does stimulate new research can have value, but we don’t know what he thinks about things that do not stimulate new research, and we don’t know what Yvonne thinks about this either.

QUESTION 3

Question Type: Explanation

Analysis: What needs to be explained: The percentage of people who start new businesses is much higher in countries with high per capita income than in countries with moderate per capita income. The percentage of people who start businesses is even higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries.

They tell us that the reason why a higher percentage start new businesses is higher in countries with high per capita income than in countries with moderate per capita income is because most entrepreneurs in high and middle income countries start businesses to take advantage of perceived business opportunities, and there are more such opportunities in high income countries.
So, if the percentage of people who start businesses is even higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries, this is probably because (i) there are even more opportunities to take advantage of perceived business opportunities in low-income countries than in high-income countries; or (ii) most entrepreneurs in low income countries are starting businesses for some other reason, and this other reason results in there being more opportunities for the entrepreneurs in low income countries.

A. This doesn’t explain the difference between high and low-income countries.
B. This should result in the percentage being higher in high-income countries than low-income countries.
C. This doesn’t explain the difference between high and low-income countries.
D. I suppose this would explain why many entrepreneurs in high-income countries don’t do very well, but it doesn’t explain the difference between high and low-income countries.
E. CORRECT The entrepreneurs in low-income countries are starting business for a different reason [because all other employment options are either absent or unsatisfactory] than the reason why entrepreneurs in high income countries are starting businesses [to take advantage of perceived business opportunities], and this results in there being more opportunities for the entrepreneurs in low income countries.

Question 4

Question Type: Strengthen

Conclusion: It’s inaccurate to say that filmgoers stayed away from the director’s film because it received one or two negative reviews.
Reasoning: The film was competing with several other films that appeal to the same type of filmgoer that this director does.
The number of such viewers is relatively small.
Analysis: Ok, but why did the filmgoers go to the other films rather than the one by this film director? Couldn’t it have been because of the negative reviews? We are looking for something that would support the film director’s explanation- so it should be something that explains why the filmgoers went to the other films rather than the one by this film director.

A. No, if anything this would weaken the film director’s explanation.
B. CORRECT Not quite what I was looking for, but if filmgoers seldom see more than one film in a weekend, this would explain why the fact that there were other films competing for the filmgoers attention reduced the number of viewers for the film director’s film.
C. No, if anything this would weaken the film director’s explanation.
D. No, if anything this would weaken the film director’s explanation.
E. No, this is irrelevant to the film director’s explanation.

QUESTION 5

Question Type: Complete the Argument

Analysis: First, the stimulus tells us that stories about difficult scientific issues cannot be well understood by readers of popular magazines. Next, it tells us that stories about difficult scientific issues are frequently the ones that readers of popular magazines would find most fascinating.

The conclusion should tell us that some of the scientific stories that would be most interesting to readers are usually not covered in popular magazines, because popular magazines stay away from covering stories that cannot be well understood by their readers.

A. CORRECT Yes, exactly.
B. The conclusion is about the popular magazines not publishing stories that their readers find interesting.
C. No, this is irrelevant.
D. It doesn’t matter if readers of popular magazines are generally unable to accurately assess their own understanding of complex scientific issues.
E. Who cares where they go to try to read about interesting scientific issues.

Question 6

Question Type: Flaw

Conclusion: The newspaper’s claim of providing coverage of the high school’s most popular sports is an instance of false advertising.
Reasoning: 15 percent of the students compete on the track team, 5 percent of the students play basketball.
Track is more popular than basketball. Track gets no coverage and basketball gets full-page coverage.
Analysis: The newspaper claims to provide coverage of the high school’s most popular sports. Is track one of the high school’s most popular sports? Who knows?! Even if it is more popular than basketball, this doesn’t mean that it is one of the most popular sports.

Also, does the amount of people playing on a team correspond to popularity? I would have thought that popularity has something to do with how many people show up to the games and cheer for the team. Think about it: Do we measure the popularity of a certain sports team by how many people are on the team???

A. This is a common flaw on the LSAT, as well as a common incorrect answer choice, but this question does not involve any causal reasoning.
B. Tempting. But the problem isn’t that the author of the argument is only looking at a small number of the sports. Rather, the author of the argument is pointing to specific teams as counterexamples to the newspaper’s claim of providing coverage of the high school’s most popular sports.
C. CORRECT Yes, “popular” is misinterpreted to mean how many people play on the team.
D. No circular reasoning here.
E. Another fairly common flaw, but the author isn’t basing the argument off of mere criticisms of, say, the newspaper editor’s personality.

QUESTION 7

Question Type: Identify the Role

Conclusion: Sometimes it is environmentally preferable to buy food that is not produced locally, rather than buy locally produced food.
Reasoning: Certain foods can be produced with far less impact in some places rather than others.
Analysis: The claim that “the most environmentally sensible thing to do is to buy food from local farmers whenever it is available” is the claim that is being rejected by this argument.

A. The argument isn’t based on this claim- it rejects the claim!
B. Nothing in the argument is supported by this claim- it rejects the claim!
C. The argument disagrees with the claim, doesn’t use it for anything.
D. CORRECT It is a view that is rejected by the argument.
E. No, it is the claim that is being rejected by the argument.

QUESTION 8

Question Type: Main Conclusion

Conclusion: Technology is radically improving the quality of life in some communities, and not only by direct application of innovations.
Reasoning: The design, production, testing and marketing of new technology has itself become a growing industry that is turning around the fortunes of once-ailing communities.
The companies involved create jobs, add to the tax base, and contribute to an upbeat spirit of renewal.

A. CORRECT The rest of the argument provides support for this.
B. This is a premise that supports the conclusion.
C. This is a premise that supports the conclusion.
D. This is a slightly tricky answer choice, but there are a few problems with this answer choice. First, it talks about radically improving the qualify of life in most communities, but the conclusion only says that it is improving the quality of life in some communities. Second, the ways in which technology is radically improving the quality of life are not limited to just the creation and direct application of technological innovation- the argument mentions the “design, production, testing, and marketing of new technology”.
E. No- direct application of innovations is also contributing to the improvement in quality of life, and we don’t know if there might be other things as well that aren’t mentioned in the argument- it doesn’t explicitly say that it is only these things that are contributing to the improvement in quality of life.

QUESTION 9

Question Type: Flaw

Conclusion: Joshi is letting campaign contributions influence his vote in city council.
Reasoning: His campaign for re-election has received more financial support from property developers than any other city councilor’s has. More than any other councilor’s, his voting record favors the interests of property developers.
Analysis: Sure, Joshi’s voting record may seem kind of fishy in light of the campaign contributions he’s received, but surely it is possible that he is on the up and up. Just because his voting record happens to favor the interests of people who have given him money, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these campaign contributions have actually influenced his vote.
Another way to look at it: Just because there is a correlation between his voting record and his campaign contributions, this doesn’t mean that the campaign contributions had a causal influence on his voting record. There are alternative explanations for the correlation: Maybe something else caused both his voting record and the campaign contributions. Or, and probably more likely, maybe his voting record causally influenced the campaign contributions.

A. Kind of tempting, but we aren’t actually given any information about the temporal ordering of the events. Did the campaign contributions come before the votes that favored the interests of property developers, or afterwards? We don’t know.
B. Causal reasoning flaws are not the same as confusing necessary conditions with sufficient conditions.
C. There are no moral judgments being made here- rather than saying that it is bad for Joshi to be letting campaign contributions influence his votes, it simply concludes that Joshi is letting campaign contributions influence his votes.
D. CORRECT It could be the case that, rather than the campaign contributions influencing his vote, his voting record is what is causing the property developers to contribute to his campaign. After all, if his voting record favors their interests, then surely they will want him to be re-elected!
E. This is not a circular argument.

QUESTION 10

Question Type: Most Strongly Supported

Analysis: Some people have claimed that the government should not take over failing private-sector banks.The reason that has been offered in support of this claim is that the government does not know how to manage financial institutions.
The columnist attacks this line of reasoning by pointing out that, rather than managing a bank’s day-to-day operations, the government would just need to select the bank’s senior management. So, even though the government does not know how to manage financial institutions, the question really is whether the government can be trusted to select the bank’s senior management.
The columnist points out that lack of expertise in the area of banking needn’t preclude the government from being trusted to select the bank’s senior management. The columnist uses an analogy to make this point: Most politicians have never been military professionals, yet they appoint the top military officials entrusted with defending the country. Moreover, the columnist thinks that the analogy is apt- after all, the responsibility of defending the country is as great a responsibility as managing a bank.

When going through the answer choices, we are looking for something that can be rejected on the basis of the stimulus:

A. The stimulus doesn’t tell us whether or not commanding a branch of the military requires greater knowledge than running a bank does.
B. On the contrary- the argument seems to assume that politicians in fact do an adequate job of appointing the top military officials entrusted with defending the country.
C. On the contrary- if anything, the argument seems to provide us with reason to accept that politicians are not capable of managing a bank’s day-to-day operations.
D. CORRECT If the columnist’s statements are true, then we have reason to think that banks that are owned by the government can be well managed. After all, banks that are owned by the government needn’t be managed by the government. The government would just select the bank’s senior management, and the columnist argues that the government can be entrusted to do just that.
E. The columnist rejects the argument against the government taking over failing private-sector banks, but we have no reason to think that the columnist wants the government to take over private-sector banks that aren’t failing, i.e. are financially sound.

QUESTION 11

Question Type: Weaken

Conclusion: People with a university education are more likely to favor retaining or increasing the present level of government social services than are members of the overall population.
Reasoning: Polls have shown that a higher percentage of graduating university students are against proposals to reduce government social services than are students entering their first year at a university.
Analysis: We don’t know if students entering their first year at a university are representative of the overall population, and we don’t know if these graduating university students are representative of people with a university education. Potential weakeners, then, would tell me either that students entering their first year at a university are not representative of the overall population, or that these graduating university students are not representative of people with a university education.

A. If anything this would slightly strengthen the argument if no particular academic discipline was over/underrepresented.
B. This would strengthen the argument by explaining why people with a university education are more likely to favor retaining or increasing the present level of government social services- they are influenced by their professors.
C. Tricky, I was deciding between this and D. But C doesn’t actually tell us that students entering their first year at a university are not representative of the overall population- it just tells us that there’s another group of people lacking a university education that has a different view than the students entering their first year at university. Students entering their first year at a university could still be representative of the overall population (even if this answer choice is true)- this just tells us that a different segment of the population has different views. If that different segment isn’t representative of the overall population, the argument has not been weakened.
D. CORRECT This tells us that graduating university students are not representative of people with a university education.
E. The comparative strength of opinions between the two groups is irrelevant to the argument.

QUESTION 12

Question Type: Flaw

Conclusion: The critics’ claim [that this movie will inspire people to act in socially irresponsible ways] is not only untrue, but also potentially harmful to the moviemakers’ reputations.
Reasoning: The critics’ claim relies entirely on survey data that have turned out to be deeply flawed.
Analysis: This is a common flaw on the LSAT: Just because someone has provided a bad argument for a claim, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the claim is false. So, in this argument, just because the critics’ claim relies on flawed survey data, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the claim is false.

A. CORRECT The argument infers that the critics’ claim is false simply because the critics failed to provide satisfactory evidence for it (given that the survey data turned out to be deeply flawed).
B. The conclusion is that the critics’ claim is untrue, so it doesn’t matter that if the critics’ claim were true, it could be more harmful to the moviemakers’ reputations than the actual situation in which the critics’ claim is not true. After all, the conclusion simply states that the untrue claim could potentially be harmful to the moviemakers’ reputations- it doesn’t say that the untrue claim could potentially be more harmful if it were untrue than if it were true.
C. The argument mentions that the critics’ claim relied on flawed survey data (it doesn’t specify how the data was flawed), but the argument itself is rejecting the critics’ claim, and does not rely on any samples, representative or unrepresentative.
D. The argument attacks the critics’ claim for relying on flawed survey data. No attack is made on the critics themselves.
E. The argument specifically attacks the evidence used to justify the critics’ claim, and then concludes that the critics’ claim is untrue. The important point, then, is that the critic’s claim is false- it doesn’t matter if some of the evidence used to justify the claim may somehow still be true, and anyways this would be tantamount to rejecting a premise in the argument, which is that the critics’ claim relies entirely on flawed survey data.

QUESTION 13

Question Type: Must Be True

Analysis: Most (i.e. 51%) [I automatically put this in for “most” so as not to get confused and think that the number has to be close to 100 per cent or anything like that] of skilled banjo players are also skilled guitar players.
Most (i.e. 51%) skilled guitar players are not skilled banjo players.

In general, if most X’s are Y’s [say, most cats are cute animals], and most Y’s are not X’s [most cute animals are not cats (blasphemy, but I’ll let it slide)], then it must be the case that there are more Y’s than X’s.

So, let’s see. If there are a total of 100 skilled banjo players and 1000 skilled guitar players, the begins to make more sense: There are 51 skilled banjo players who are also skilled guitar players, but that still leaves us with almost 950 skilled guitar players who are not skilled banjo players. If any of the answer choices contradict this, we can automatically cross it off.

A. No- there could be 950 skilled guitar players versus 51 people who are skilled at both.
B. The argument doesn’t discuss likelihood of success in playing either of the instruments- maybe more people are skilled at playing the guitar because way more people try to learn how to play the guitar than to play the banjo!
C. The argument doesn’t compare the skill involved in playing the guitar with playing the banjo.
D. CORRECT This is how to make sense of the numbers. [See analysis above]
E. No- there could be 100 skilled banjo players versus 1000 skilled guitar players.

QUESTION 14

Question Type: Identify the Role

Conclusion: The lack of managerial skills and the lack of entrepreneurial ability can each inhibit the development of successful companies.
Reasoning: Entrepreneurial ability is needed to start a successful company (thus, the lack of entrepreneurial ability can inhibit the development of successful companies).
Many entrepreneurs who succeed in starting a company fail later for lack of managerial skills (thus, the lack of managerial skills can inhibit the development of successful companies).
Analysis: The proposition that certain entrepreneurs fail in managing company growth is offered in support of the premise that many entrepreneurs who succeed in starting a company fail later for lack of managerial skills, which in turn is offered in support of the conclusion that the lack of managerial skills and the lack of entrepreneurial ability can each inhibit the development of successful companies.

A. The main conclusion is that the lack of managerial skills and the lack of entrepreneurial ability can each inhibit the development of successful companies.
B. The argument is not trying to explain a phenomenon.
C. No, it provides evidence in support of the claim that many entrepreneurs who succeed in starting a company fail later for lack of managerial skills.
D. No, it supports the claim that many entrepreneurs who succeed in starting a company fail later for lack of managerial skills- this claim is not the main conclusion.
E. CORRECT It is an example that is offered in support of the claim that [many entrepreneurs who succeed in starting a company fail later for lack of managerial skills], which in turn is intended to support the argument’s main conclusion- the lack of managerial skills and the lack of entrepreneurial ability can each inhibit the development of successful companies- directly.

QUESTION 15

Question Type: Most Strongly Supported

Analysis: The stimulus tells us that problems can be solved only by people who really understand them, and that no one gains such understanding without experience. We can infer, then, that, outsiders to a field do not really understand the problems that they are trying to solve.

A. One needs experience in order to solve problems in a field, but the stimulus tells us nothing about how creatively people with experience are able to solve problems in their field.
B. We know that insiders at least sometimes overlook “fresh, useful solutions”, but we have no idea how often they overlook these creative solutions.
C. CORRECT Since problems in a field can only be solved by people with experience in the field, if there are any creative solutions in a field they must likewise come from people with experience in the field.
D. We have no idea whether or not the experience required for effective problem-solving in a field varies depending on the field’s complexity.
E. Although it sure sounds plausible that outsiders should be properly trained in a field before being given responsibility in that field, it doesn’t actually follow from anything in the stimulus. We know that outsiders cannot provide solutions, but this doesn’t mean that they cannot be given responsibility in the field or that they need to be properly trained before being given responsibility.

QUESTION 16

Question Type: Identify the Role

Conclusion: The fact that dinosaurs lack turbinates does not imply that all dinosaurs were cold-blooded.
Reasoning: Some dinosaur species lived in Australia and Alaska, where temperatures drop below freezing, and only warm-blood animals could survive temperatures below freezing.
Analysis: The claim that only warm-blooded animals could survive temperatures below freezing is combined with the claim that some dinosaur species lived where temperatures drop below freezing to arrive at the conclusion that not all dinosaurs were cold-blooded.

A. No- it is a counterexample to those who claim that all dinosaurs were cold-blooded, hence the conclusion of the argument is that not all dinosaurs were cold-blooded.
B. CORRECT It is a premise offered in support of the argument’s main conclusion that not all dinosaurs were cold-blooded (given that some dinosaurs lived in places where only warm-blooded animals could survive).
C. The researcher does not contest the paleobiologists’ assertion that dinosaurs lack turbinates.
D. No, the main conclusion is that not all dinosaurs were cold-blooded.
E. No, it is not an intermediate conclusion- the claim that some dinosaur species lived in Australia and Alaska is not intended to support the claim that only warm-blooded animals could survive temperatures below freezing.

QUESTION 17

Question Type: Strengthen

Analysis: According to the principle, if the expression of a true belief would not be harmful to people generally, then the government should not prevent someone from expressing that true belief.
In the application of the principle, Calista expressed a particular belief and the government was wrong to prevent her from expressing the belief. We are not told, though, whether (i) the belief was true; or (ii) whether the expression of the belief would not be harmful to people generally.
So, what needs to be true in order to justify the application of the principle is that the belief is true, and expression of the belief would not be harmful to people generally.

A. This tells us that the government has tried to figure out whether the belief is true, but it doesn’t actually tell us that the belief is true (nor does it tell us whether or not expression of the belief would be harmful to people generally).
B. CORRECT This seems to indicate that the belief is true, and expression of the belief would not be harmful to people since it would benefit people to know this true belief.
C. This tells us that Calista thinks that expression of the belief would not be harmful to people, but it doesn’t tell us whether expression of the belief would in fact be harmful to people (nor does it tell us whether or not the belief is true).
D. If anything this at least partly suggests that the application of the principle was not justified, for if expression of the belief would be harmful to people then the government would not be wrong in preventing expression of the belief.
E. This suggests that expression of the belief would not be harmful, but it doesn’t tell us whether or not the belief is true.

QUESTION 18

Question Type: Must Be True

Analysis: Two necessary conditions are given for learning to read an alphabetic language are given:
(i) Phonemic awareness (the knowledge that spoken language can be broken into component sounds)
(ii) Learn how sounds are symbolically represented by means of letters

It is possible to learn to read alphabetic languages by the whole-language method (emphasizes the ways words sound).

We can infer, then, that since it is possible to learn to read alphabetic languages by the whole-language method, then it must be possible for both of the necessary conditions (on learning to read an alphabetic language) to be met by the whole-language method.

A. We are not told that the whole-language “invariably succeeds”- only that it has succeeded with many children.
B. When the whole-language methods meets one of the necessary conditions for learning to read an alphabetic language, this doesn’t automatically result in people learning how to read an alphabetic language- that would be to mistake a necessary condition for a sufficient condition.
C. If the necessary conditions for learning to read an alphabetic language aren’t met, we know that you are unable to read an alphabetic language. But if you are unable to read an alphabetic language, this doesn’t mean that both of the necessary conditions for learning to read an alphabetic language haven’t been met. Remember, these are necessary conditions, not sufficient conditions.
D. CORRECT As we saw [in the analysis], since it is possible to learn to read alphabetic languages by the whole-language method, then the whole-language method cannot preclude the necessary conditions from being met. One of the necessary conditions is learning how sounds are symbolically represented by means of letters. So, it must be true that some children who are taught by the whole-language method are not prevented from learning how sounds are represented by means of letters.
E. The whole-language method doesn’t prevent children from learning how to represent sounds symbolically by means of letters- after all, that is one of the necessary conditions for learning to read an alphabetic language. But this doesn’t mean that it is the whole-language method itself that is being used successfully to teach children how to represent sounds symbolically by means of letters.

QUESTION 19

Question Type: Weaken

Analysis: What is being explained: Pedestrians are struck by cars when crossing streets in crosswalks more often than they are struck when crossing outside of crosswalks.

The proposed explanation:Crosswalks give many pedestrians an overly strong sense of security that oncoming cars will follow the signals, and these pedestrians are less likely to look both ways before crossing the street.

But: It may have nothing to do with pedestrians getting cocky in the crosswalks. If a million pedestrians cross streets in crosswalks and 10 pedestrians cross streets outside of crosswalks, this would probably lead to more total pedestrians being struck by cars when crossing streets in crosswalks than when crossing outside of crosswalks.

A. CORRECT This would mean that it is likely that the greater number of pedestrians being struck when crossing in crosswalks is simply due to there being way more pedestrians crossing in sidewalks, and nothing to do with these pedestrians not looking both ways or anything like that.
B. The general increase in pedestrians struck by cars is irrelevant.
C. This would partly support the explanation- pedestrians may be less likely to look both ways before crossing the street because they are underestimating the chances that the signals at a crosswalk will malfunction.
D. This would partly support the explanation- pedestrians may be less likely to look both ways before crossing the street if they know that drivers are generally most alert to pedestrians who are in or near crosswalks.
E. Crosswalks are intended to promote safety, so it would support the explanation if it were true that measures intended to promote safety tend to make people less cautious.

QUESTION 20

Question Type: Sufficient Assumption

Conclusion: If we find out whether Serena’s claim [to have psychic powers] is true, we will thereby determine whether it is possible to have psychic powers.
Premise: Serena claims to have psychic powers.
Analysis: Well, if Serena’s claim to have psychic powers is true, then it of course must be possible to have psychic powers. But what if Serena’s claim to have psychic powers is false? Does that tell us anything about whether or not it is possible to have psychic powers? Of course not. So the conclusion only follows if [if Serena’s claim to have psychic powers is false, this shows that it is not possible to have psychic powers] is true. A dubious assumption, but that’s what it would take to turn this argument into a good argument.

A. Even if no one else has been found to have psychic powers, this doesn’t get us to the conclusion that we can determine whether it is possible to have psychic powers simply on the basis of whether or not Serena’s claim to have psychic powers is true.
B. CORRECT This is the contrapositive of what we were looking for, and turns the argument into a good argument.
C. Even if we assume that it is possible to determine whether Selena has psychic powers, the argument is still bad.
D. This would still leave the argument lacking. In order for the argument to be good, we need to know that if Serena’s claim to have psychic powers is false, this shows that it is not possible to have psychic powers.
E. This simply restates the conclusion.

QUESTION 21

Question Type: Explanation Except

Analysis: What needs to be explained:The prices for [the 300 most common pharmaceutical drugs from the leading wholesalers specializing in bulk sales] average 60 to 80 percent below the suggested wholesale prices listed for the same drugs in the current annual edition of a widely used, independently published pharmaceutical price guidebook.

The correct answer choice will be the one that does not explain the difference in price listings.

A. This would help explain the difference in price listings: If a price war began shortly before the study was conducted, this would explain why the prices found by the study are significantly lower than the prices listed in the current annual price guidebook (which could have been published earlier).
B. CORRECT This would not explain the difference in price listings, because the difference in price listings applies to the same drugs- that is, the prices of the same drugs were lower in the price guidebook than in the study, so it doesn’t help to know that the most common drugs cost less than the less common drugs.
C. This would help explain the difference in price listings: If the prices fluctuate dramatically, this would explain why the prices listed in the annual guidebook are less than the prices found in the study (assuming the study wasn’t done at the exact same time as when the information in the guidebook was gathered).
D. This would help explain the difference in price listings: The guidebook prices are higher because they are calculated to allow every pharmaceutical wholesaler to make substantial profits.
E. This would help explain the difference in price listings: If “wholesale” prices in the guidebook refers to relatively small quantities, it would make sense why these prices are significantly higher than the wholesale prices found in the study (where wholesale probably refers to greater quantities).

QUESTION 22

Question Type: Identify the Role

Conclusion: Even if the meaning of a given piece of music is the emotion it elicits, this can mean only that music produces the core of a given emotion.
Reasoning:
– 3 pairs of emotions consist of the same core feeling
– The emotions in the pairs are distinguishable from each other only in terms of the social conditions that cause them and the behavior they in turn cause
– Music itself creates neither social conditions nor human behavior [this in turn is supported by the premise that music is merely sound]
[So that’s why, if the meaning of a given piece of music is the emotion it elicits, it cannot be a specific emotion- specific emotions are distinguishable only in terms of the social conditions that cause them and the behavior they in turn cause, but music itself creates neither social conditions nor human behavior- so the meaning must refer not to a specific emotion, but to the core of a given emotion]
Analysis: The claim that music is merely sound is a premise that supports an intermediate conclusion- namely, the claim that music itself creates neither social conditions nor human behavior- which in turn supports the main conclusion.

A. No particular instances of generalizations are cited, and no particular viewpoint is being attacked by the argument.
B. No, it is not part of the conclusion.
C. CORRECT If it is a premise that is supporting an intermediate conclusion which in turn supports the main conclusion, then yes it is true that it is a claim that is offered as partial support for the argument’s conclusion.
D. Nowhere does it state that this premise must be true in order for the conclusion to be established. The intermediate conclusion that it supports must be true in order for the conclusion to be drawn, but there could be other ways to support the intermediate conclusion.
E. The claim is not rejected, rather it is used to support the intermediate conclusion.

QUESTION 23

Question Type: Matching Pattern

Conclusion: If the AR3000 is intelligent, it must have the ability to learn from its mistakes.
Reasoning: If a computer is intelligent, then it is creative, self-aware, or able to learn from its mistakes.
The AR3000 is not creative or self-aware.
Analysis: The abstract form here is as follows:
If W, then X or Y or Z.
Not X and not Y.
Conclusion: If W, then Z.

A. Close, but notice that the conclusion is not in conditional form. This would have worked if it just told us that X was neither a dead-virus vaccine or a pure DNA vaccine (without telling us that X is a vaccine), and then concluded that if X is a vaccine, then it must be an attenuated-virus vaccine.
B. CORRECT If W [something is a commonly used vaccine] then it is either X [a dead-virus vaccine] or Y [an attenuated-virus vaccine] or Z [a pure DNA vaccine].
Not X or Y.
Conclusion: If W, then Z.
C. No, the abstract form here is as follows:
If W [if something is a vaccine] then X or Y or Z.
Conclusion: If not X and not Y, then Z.
D. No, the abstract form here is as follows:
If W [if something is a vaccine] then X or Y or Z.
Not Z.
Conclusion: If not W then X.
E. No, the abstract form here is as follows:
If W [something is a vaccine] then X or Y or Z.
Not Y.
Conclusion: If not X then Z.

QUESTION 24

Question Type: Sufficient Assumption

Conclusion: If the critics are not mistaken, Mallotech is not accurately portraying itself to the public.
Reasoning: Mallotech portrays itself to the public as a socially responsible company.
Critics charge that employees in many of Mallotech’s factories work in unsanitary conditions.
Analysis: In order for this to be a good argument, it must be the case that if the employees for a company work in unsanitary conditions, then the company is not a socially responsible company.

A. The missing connection in the argument doesn’t concern whether or not Mallotech has lied about whether its employees are working in unsanitary conditions.
B. The argument assumes that the reasons why Mallotech isn’t socially responsible is because its employees are working in unsanitary conditions, not because it has concealed information from the public.
C. The argument doesn’t require this assumption to be true. The argument simply states that if it is true that many employees in Mallotech’s factories work in unsanitary conditions, then Mallotech is not accurately portraying itself to the public.
D. CORRECT If this is true, then it turns the argument into a good argument.
E. The argument has nothing to do with how well-managed Mallotech (or any other company) is.

QUESTION 25

Question Type: Matching Flaw

Conclusion: Dichotomous classifications into mutually exclusive categories should generally be abandoned.
Reasoning: Some dichotomous classifications are untenable.
Analysis: The flaw here is that just because some dichotomous classifications are no good, this doesn’t mean that they should generally be abandoned. So, I am looking for an answer choice that exhibits the following form: Some Xs are bad. Therefore, we should stop using all Xs.

A. Conclusion: Not all of this company’s computers are powerful enough.
Reasoning: This company should replace all of its computers with more powerful models.
No- if the reasoning and conclusion had been reversed (Not all of this company’s computers are powerful enough, therefore this company should replace all of its computers with more powerful models) then this would be a pretty good answer choice.
B. Conclusion: The use of drugs for the treatment of anxiety should be discontinued.
Reasoning: Some antianxiety are addictive and can have life-threatening side effects.
CORRECT This says that some antiaxiety drugs are bad, so we should stop using all antiaxiety drugs.
C. Conclusion: We should get intoxicated drivers off the roads.
Reasoning: All intoxicated drivers are dangerous.
No- the premise tells us that all intoxicated drivers are dangerous, but we are looking for premises that tell us that some Xs are bad.
D. Conclusion: It is best to throw the peaches away now before they begin to rot.
Reasoning: The peaches have been kept for a long time, and the longer fruit is kept, the more likely it is to become rotten.
No- aside from the conclusion telling us that we should do something, this looks nothing like the flawed argument in the stimulus.
E. Conclusion: This budget should be replaced by a more realistic one.
Reasoning: The budget is based on the untenable assumption that revenue will increase for the next two years.

This is a pretty good argument, and aside from the conclusion telling us that we should do something, this looks nothing like the flawed argument in the stimulus.

QUESTION 26

Question Type: Necessary Assumption

Conclusion: One way to address the problem [sea creatures get into the tanks and accidentally get dropped into new habitats, where they can wreak ecological havoc] would be to empty and then immediately refill the tanks in midocean.
Reasoning: Midocean creatures and coastal sea creatures usually cannot survive in one another’s habitat.
Analysis: The problem arises because water must be pumped out of the tanks when cargo is loaded, and water must be pumped into the tanks when cargo is unloaded. If you empty and immediately refill the tanks in midocean, the problem would be solved, as long as the ships don’t have to empty and refill on the coast as well/instead.

This is a necessary assumption question, so we are looking for the answer choice that, if false, ruins the argument.

A. It doesn’t really matter what’s getting pumped in, because whatever is getting pumped in is immediately getting pumped back out.
B. If the tanks could be emptied and refilled in bad conditions as well (that is, if the answer choice is false), that would if anything make the argument even stronger.
C. If sea creatures often wreak ecological havoc in a new habitat (that is, if the answer choice is false), this just means that the problem is really bad.
D. Seawater is completely irrelevant to the argument.
E. CORRECT If there are no ships whose stability could be adequately maintained while emptying and refilling their ballast tanks in midocean (that is, if the answer choice is false), then obviously emptying and refilling the tanks in midocean is not a viable solution to the problem.

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