# KAPLAN LSAT PREP

LSAT
RELEASED TEST XVII EXPLAINED
A Guide to the December, 1995 LSAT

KAPLAN
The answer to the test question.

1996 Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center Ltd All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microfilm, xerography or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center Ltd.

SECTION I: LOGIC GAMES

© K A PL A N

1

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

GAME 1 — Seven Appointments (Q. 1-5)
The Action: We’re asked to order the appointments for seven patients—P, Q, R, S, T, U, and W. These appointments have been chronologically numbered, 1 through 7, by the test makers. This should give you a big clue as to what your setup should look like. The Key Issues will be: 1) What patient has what appointment? 2) What patient’s appointment can, must, or cannot be consecutive with what other patient’s appointment? The Initial Setup: Keep this simple. The appointments are numbered 1 to 7, so the intuitive way to represent this is, almost certainly, to write the numbers 1 through 7 across the page from left to right. Remember to keep a roster of the patients somewhere:

PQRSTUW 1
The Rules: 1) Recognize that this rule does not mean that Q must have the appointment immediately before W (although she could). This just says that Q’s appointment must come sometime before W’s. Be sure you get the order right. Shorthand this by drawing a Q, a few dots to the right of it, and then a W. 2) Second rule, same as the first. Again, be sure you have the correct order. Draw a U, a few dots following it, and then a P. 3) Build this directly into your sketch. Either R or T will always have appointment number 3. Under the 3 in your sketch, draw “R or T.” 4) At first this rule may have looked complex, but all it’s saying is that R and S must have consecutive appointments. The specific order of their appointments is up for grabs, however. Draw “RS or SR” to give yourself a reminder. Key Deductions: There’s not a lot more to deduce, because the rules have little in common. Just be sure that you understand the workings of each rule. In a game as straightforward as this, if you mess up a rule, you can lose quite a few easy points.

2

3

4

5

6

7

2

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

It’s always a good idea to try to identify the most important entity or entities—the ones that promise the most help. Normally, that’s the one or two entities mentioned multiple times in the rules. However, in games like this one, where no entity is mentioned twice, you should also pay special attention to the most concrete rules. Here, only R and T are tied to an appointment. Rule 3 told us that either R or T must go in slot 3. This is a big hint that R and T are going to be the most important entities. In other words, throughout the game you will be dealing with whether R or T will be the one to go in appointment 3, so that promises to be a good jumping-off-point and head start in the questions to follow. The Final Visualization: Here’s what you have as you go on to the questions:

PQRSTUW 1 2 Q...W
The Big Picture: • When a game gives you a clue about the setup (as it does here with “chronologically numbered 1 through 7” in the opening paragraph), use it. The game is announcing its action and its type. • Never rush through your work on the opening paragraph and rules. You need a proper foundation in order to make any game work. If you reversed the order in either of the first two rules, you’re sunk. You know that the testmakers figure on some examinees' mixing them up. Why should that be you? • Be sure to take a few seconds, before you jump into the questions, to review the rules and ask yourself: What is likely to be most significant?—Which entities and rules are the most helpful or concrete? Which of the entities or rules should I appeal to first, in any given question?

3 R or T

4 U...P

5

6 SR or RS

7

© K A PL A N

3

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

4

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

3. (B) Like question 2, in this “must be true” question, the four wrong answer choices either could be true or absolutely must be false. Don’t just stare at this stem, your eyes glazing over; get the new information down in your test booklet. Take your time and be sure you get the order right. You should have written “TUR.” In what rules have you seen these entities before? They’re in plenty of them; let’s start with Rule 4. S has to be next to R, and since U is on one side of R, S must be on the other. Now we have a group of 4 entities, “TURS.” Where else are these entities mentioned? Rule 3 told us that either T or R must take appointment 3. Both R and T are in the group of four. This has “limited option” written all over it. Whenever you can narrow things down to two or three possibilities, it’s almost always worth it to go ahead and work them out. With R is 3: T will have to take appointment 1, U in 2, R in 3, and S in 4. We’re left with P, Q, and W. As long as Q is before W (as Rule 1 mandates), these three will fill out the 5, 6, 7 slots. “Option 1,” as it were, looks like this:

1 T

2 U

3 R

4 S

5 (P)

6 7 (Q . . . W)

For the second possibility, T in slot 3, just move the “TURS” foursome over and get T in 3, U in 4, R in 5, and S in 6. Go back to the rules. Rule 2 says that P must follow U, and the only appointment left after U is 7. Q and W are left to take appointments 1 and 2. Rule 1 says that Q goes before W, so Q gets appointment 1 and W appointment 2. Everything is set in this “Option 2.” Here’s what it looks like:

1 Q

2 W

3 T

4 U

5 R

6 S

7 P

With both of these options fully flushed out, it should be a simple (and quick) matter of checking each choice. (A) In the first option, P could be in 5, Q in 6, and W in 7. (A) doesn’t have to be true and is not the answer. (B) In the first option, S is in 4 and P must be in 5, 6, or 7. In the second option, S is in 6 and P is in 7. S must precede P. Either way, choice (B) is true, and on test day you'd choose it and move on. For the record, we’ll go through why the remaining choices needn’t be true. (C) In the second option, we see that not only is S not immediately before Q, S is actually after Q. (D) Stay in the second option, where W (in appointment 2) doesn't immediately precede P (which takes appointment 7), and you see why (D) needn't be true. (E) Back to the first option; S is in 4 and W is in 6 or 7 (Q must be before it, so W can’t be in 5). W needn’t precede S.

© K A PL A N

5

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

6

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

© K A PL A N

7

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

GAME 2 — Employee Committees (Q. 6-12)
The Action: We’re called on to distribute six employees among three committees—Policy, Quality, and Sales. Each committee has three employees per committee for a total of nine. The six employees are divided up into officers—F, G, and H—and supervisors—k, l, and m (we’ll use CAPS for the officers and lowercase for the supervisors to keep them separate). The Key Issues will deal with: 1) What employee is on what committee? 2) What employee can, must, or cannot be on the same committee as what other employee? 3) What employee can, must, or cannot be on more than one committee? Key Issue 3) comes about because we have six employees filing nine committee slots. This is the first thing you had to recognize: There are more slots to fill than people to fill ‘em, so some employees must sit on more than one committee. The Initial Setup: Keep this setup very simple. Get the committees down and the number of employees in each. That and making a note of the employees is all that’s needed at this stage:

OFFICERS F G H Policy ___ ___ ___
The Rules:

supervisors k l m Sales ___ ___ ___

Quality ___ ___ ___

1) Each of the three committees must contain at least one of our officers. Make a note of this under each committee in your sketch. 2) Basically a loophole-closer but very necessary. No employee will be left out of the game. 3) Huh? You probably blinked on this one. Can it possibly be that helpful? Yep: All three officers fill out the Policy committee, so go ahead and write them in. 1/3 of the game’s work is over. Just be sure that you remember that the officers aren’t done: They can still go on other committees (and, in fact, we need at least one officer per committee, as per Rule 1). 4) G, an officer, can’t be on the same committee as l, a supervisor. Write “No Gl” as a reminder. Saying it to yourself (silently) a couple of times may cement it. Wherever we place G, l must go elsewhere, and vice versa.

8

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

5) A good, solid, concrete rule; we can go ahead and write k into the Sales committee. Remind yourself that k can still go on the Quality committee if need be. Key Deductions: What originally looked like a grouping game with three groups, turns out to be a game with only two groups: The Policy committee is filled. The main thing to keep in mind is the flexibility in this game. Just because one of the employees is assigned to a committee, doesn’t mean that she or he can’t join an additional committee. You may or may not have picked up on one additional bit of deductive thinking that goes like this: Every entity must join at least one committee (thanks to Rule 2). The only entities not placed in a committee by the rules are l and m, and of course, as supervisors, they are closed out of the Policy committee. Of the three slots in the Sales committee, k takes one and an officer takes another so, at most, one slot in Sales is available for l and m. Meanwhile, on the Quality committee, one slot is occupied by an officer; therefore, at most two slots are available for l and m. When all is said and done: Where are l and m serving? There are only three possibilities. l in Quality, m in Sales; m in Quality, l in Sales; or both l and m in Quality. In all of these possibilities, we see that either l or m (or both) must join the Quality committee. So we can enter “l or m” over one of our Quality committee spaces: At least one of that pair must be in the Quality committee. This is tricky thinking, but it proves very useful with question 10 in particular, and throughout the game. The Final Visualization: Here’s what we have going into the questions:

OFFICERS F G H Policy _F_ _G_ _H_ Off.

supervisors k l m Sales ___ _k_ ___ Off.

Quality ___ _l/m_ ___ Off. NEVER G l

© K A PL A N

9

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

The Big Picture: • Pay special attention to the numbers aspect of every game. The minimums and maximums required in a game are always important—especially in games, like this one, where the entities can occupy more than one spot. • Always move from what you’re told or you realize CANNOT be true, to what MUST be true. Don’t wallow in negativity! Drive the information to what is certain. That’s what games work is all about. The Questions: 6. (D) The word “acceptability” isn’t used in this stem, but it’s an acceptability question all the same. The phrase “can be assigned together” is the big tipoff. We’re dealing with the Sales Committee, so take what we know about that committee and look at each choice. Rule 5 told us that k must go on the Sales committee, so axe (A) and (B), which don’t include her. Rule 4 prohibits G and l from being on the same committee, and down goes (C). Rule 1 requires at least one officer on each committee, so (E), which tries to get away with three supervisors, can be crossed off. We’re left with (D), the answer. • We’ve said it before: Got to love those acceptability questions. One of the few nice things the test makers ever did was to make acceptability questions a standard part of games. 7. (C) In a “must be true” question, the four wrong choices either can be true or must be false. We’re given two pieces of information, so start with the one that’s more concrete, and here it’s that H is in only one committee. H is already on the Policy committee, so that’s it for H—it’ll be left to G and F to take care of the other two committees. The second piece of info is that F and m must be separated. m has to be somewhere, so whatever committee m is on, the only officer left to join m is G. Rule 4 says that G and l can’t be on the same committee, so l will have to be on the other committee with F. Who can fill in the remaining slot in each committee? H is out of the running, according to the stem. F can’t join the Gm committee (the stem says no Fm) and neither can l (Rule 4, again). The only employee who can join Gm is k. What about the Fl committee? Again, the stem rules out m (no Fm), and Rule 4 says no G. Again, only k can join Fl. The Policy committee is F, G, H (as always). We don’t know exactly which threesome is on which of the two remaining committees, but one will be G, m, k, and the other will be F, l, k. We see that (C) must be true, k is on exactly two committees. (A) No. G, m, k could be on the Sales committee. (B) No, F, l, k could be on the Quality committee.

10

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

(D) No, l is on exactly one committee, either Sales or Quality. (E) No, m is on exactly one committee, either Sales or Quality. • Don’t worry if you can’t figure out everything in a question. Here, for instance, you don’t know which group was in the Sales committee and which was in the Quality committee. You don’t have to. When you’ve deduced something and hit a lull, go to the answer choices. • When you receive two pieces of information in a question stem, deal with them one at a time, starting with the one that’s most concrete. 8. (B) In this “CANNOT be true” question, we’re looking for the choice that must be false. The four wrong choices either must be true or can be true. In questions like this with no new information, it’s worth the time to scan the answer choices, keeping the rules in mind. (B) and (C) should spring out as likely candidates, since assigning anyone to all 3 committees radically restricts the other assignments—perhaps fatally. Can G or H sit on all three committees? What rules mention G or H? Rule 1 mentions H, but only to included H on the Policy committee. G, on the other hand, is part of Rule 1 and Rule 4. Rule 4 says that G and l must be separated—and there you have it. Every employee (l included) must sit on at least one committee. Since l and G can’t sit on the same committee, whatever committee l is on cannot also include G. G cannot sit on all three committees; (B) must be false and is the answer. Here are the committee groups that show that each wrong choice could be true: (A) Policy: F, G, H; Quality: G, m, k; Sales: H, l, k (C) Policy: F, G, H; Quality: H, m, k; Sales: H, l, k (D) and (E) Policy: F, G, H; Quality: F, l, m; Sales: F, l, k • The “active” way into a question—trying to deduce and pre-phrase an answer directly—is usually the fastest. But if you can’t see one, don’t despair, because you can always try out the choices hands-on. Don’t be leery of trial and error. Generally, if you try, you won’t err. • Get in the habit of scanning the choices in advance of working on the question. Doing so lets you recognize exactly what’s being asked, and will give you a clue as to how much work will be enough, which in turn saves valuable time. Why do more work, and spend more time, than necessary?

© K A PL A N

11

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

9. (E) Another “must be true” question; the four wrong choices either could be true or must be false. Another stem with two pieces of information. Starting with the more concrete, F sits on three committees, so beyond just Policy, F also sits on Quality, and on Sales with k. As for G sitting on two committees, that would be Policy (as always) plus either Quality or Sales—leave it at that for the moment. Recognize that l and m are the only ones not yet assigned to a committee. Rule 4 dictates that whatever committee G sits on, l must sit on the other. So we’re down to two “limited options.” If G is on Quality, then l must fill out Sales with F and k. That leaves m to fill out Quality with G and F. Option 1 looks like this: Policy: F, G, H; Quality: F, G, m; Sales: F, k, l Alternatively, we could put G on Sales. l must go on Quality, and m is left to fill out Quality. Option 2 looks like this: Policy: F, G, H; Quality: F, l, m; Sales: F, G, k Now, just check the choices against these two options, and we see that no matter what, m sits on the Quality committee. (E) must be true and is the answer. (A) In the second option, we see that G needn’t be on the Quality committee. (B) In the first option, we see that G needn’t be on the Sales committee. (C) Actually in both options, k can only be on the Sales committee. (D) In the second option, we see that l needn’t be on the Sales committee. • When faced with two or three “limited options,” work them out in your test booklet. Why try to figure them out in your head, when you can quickly work them out in front of you where they can be easily referenced?

12

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

10. (E) Another “acceptability” question; this time we’re looking for an acceptable Quality committee. Here’s where the extra thinking up front pays off. We’ve already deduced that either l or m must be on the Quality committee. (If you don’t remember how, look back at Key Deductions.) The right answer must include either l or m or both, so right away cross off (A), (B), and (C). None of them include the needed l or m. From there treat this like a normal “acceptability” question. Compare each rule against each choice. (D) tries to put G and l together which is a violation of Rule 4. (E) is all that’s left and is the answer. • Even if you didn’t make the “l or m in Quality” deduction, you could have still eliminated (A), (B), and (C) just by keeping in mind the numbers aspect of the game. We know that all of the employees must be used, and l and m are the only “floaters” in this game. (A), (B), and (C) are all guilty of not leaving enough space for l and m to sit on a committee. You could have tested each choice, but it’s quicker to axe them all in one fell swoop. 11. (E) Another “must be true” question, and again the four wrong choices either can be true or must be false. The stem says that l is on two committees. The only two open to l are Quality and Sales (Policy is full of officers). Rule 4 rules out G from being the officer in either of these committees, so either F or H will fill those slots. k is still on Sales, so that committee is full with l, k, and either F or H. Meanwhile, m has yet to be assigned a committee, so it must be Quality. Quality is now full with l, m, and either F or H. Scan the choices. We see that m must sit on the Quality committee, and (E) is the answer. (A) It could be H that is on the Sales committee. (B) Absolutely not. Since l in on Sales, no way that G could be too. (C) It could be F that is on the Quality committee. (D) Nope. k is on Sales. The Quality committee is F or H, l, and m. • Don’t let the testmakers throw you with vague hints. Turn what’s vague into something definite. They tell you that “l is assigned to exactly two committees.” Fine; but it’s your job to figure out which two. Take command!

© K A PL A N

13

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

12. (B) Like question 8, in this “CANNOT be true” question, the four wrong answers either can be true or must be true. To prove a choice wrong, all we have to do is find an instance that shows that the choice can be true. Here’s where your previous work comes in handy. Review the previous questions. If a situation could be true then, it can be true now and may be crossed off. (A) Question 11 showed that the following grouping was possible: Policy: F, G, H; Quality: H, l, m; Sales: H, l, k. In this setup, F and G sat on exactly one committee. It could be true then, it can be true now. Cross off (A). (B) If F and H are on exactly one committee, then that committee must be Policy (Rule 3 has already placed them there). Rule 1 says that each committee must have at least one officer, and the only officer left is G. G goes on both Quality and Sales. But l must join at least one of these two committees (everyone must be used), yet Rule 4 prohibits putting G and l together. Answer choice (B) cannot be true and is the answer. For the record, here are why the remaining choices don’t measure up: (C) Back to Question 11 where we saw the following grouping: Policy: F, G, H; Quality: F, l, m; Sales: F, l, k. There we saw G and H sitting on exactly one committee. It could be true then, it can be true now. Eliminate (C). (D) The following grouping shows that F and M can be on the Sales committee: Policy: F, G, H; Quality: H, l, k; Sales: F, k, m. (E) The following grouping shows that G and K can be on the Quality committee: Policy: F, G, H; Quality: G, k, m; Policy: F, k, l. • Use your previous work whenever possible. Of course, that’s a natural argument for leaving your various sketches untouched. If you redraw your sketch as needed, all of your work will be there whenever it’s needed. Don’t erase anything but your errors (if any).

14

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

GAME 3 — A Day’s Meals (Q. 13-17)
The Action: In this straightforward, eerily familiar game (take a look at “Seasonal Sports” from PrepTest XIV, section 1, Game 4 if you need more practice on EXACTLY this kind of game), we’re called on to match up two people, Vladimir and Wendy, with the food—fish, hot cakes, macaroni, poached eggs, or omelet—that each eats during one day’s four meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. The Key Issues will, predictably, be: 1) What foods can Vladimir and Wendy eat for each meal? 2) What foods can’t Vladimir and Wendy eat for each meal? The Initial Setup: Set up a little schedule:

Lunch

Dinner

Snack

The Rules: Start with the most concrete rule. You’ll find it way down there at the bottom. 7) For lunch, Wendy eats an omelet. Great, build it right into the schedule. 1) This rule is huge because it greatly restricts the possibilities in this game. For each meal, Vladimir and Wendy will eat different foods. This is why it’s best to start with the most concrete rule. We just placed a big “O” for omelet in Wendy’s lunch slot with Rule 7 (what Wendy, no hamburger?). Now we can put rule 1 into effect. Vladimir cannot have an omelet for his lunch food. He must choose between fish, hot cakes, and macaroni. As far as the rest of the game goes, this is a rule that will have to be uppermost in your consciousness, along with:

© K A PL A N

15

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

2) Not only do Wendy and Vladimir not duplicate each other’s food in a meal—the better to share and sample, I guess—but neither person eats the same thing twice. Again—nothing much to draw here; it’s a fact that has to stay alive in your brain throughout. 3) The only foods that Vladimir and Wendy can eat for breakfast are hot cakes, poached eggs, and omelet. Note that since Wendy eats an omelet for lunch, Rule 2 means that she can’t eat an omelet for breakfast. Enter her remaining possibilities into the schedule. 4) The only foods available for lunch are fish, hot cakes, macaroni, and omelet. We know Wendy eats an omelet here, so Rule 1 prohibits Vladimir from having an omelet as well. List his remaining possibilities on the schedule. 5) For dinner, the two must choose among fish, hot cakes, macaroni, and omelet. Rule 2 is still in effect—Wendy has had her omelet for the day—so list each person’s remaining possibilities. 6) Only fish and omelet may be eaten for the snack. This is big. Having gotten an omelet for lunch, Wendy is left to have fish here. Rule 1 demands that Vladimir have something different from Wendy, so Vladimir’s snack is omelet. Enter both facts on the schedule. Key Deductions: By dealing with the most concrete rule (Rule 7) first, we were able to do most of our deducing as we went along. We’ve done some excellent thinking and should be prepared to blow through the questions. Before hitting the questions though, you can and should narrow things down a bit further. We deduced both snack orders: Wendy eats fish and Vladimir eats an omelet. Remember Rule 2: Wendy eats fish for her snack, so fish is unavailable for her throughout the rest of the day. Vladimir eats an omelet, so that’s out for him. Omelet is already out for Wendy since she eats one for her lunch. This means that omelet can be crossed off for both people throughout the day. The Final Visualization: Here is our extremely useful master sketch:

Lunch F, H, M O

Dinner F, H, M H/M

Snack O F

16

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

© K A PL A N

17

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

15. (D) In this “could be true” question, the four wrong choices must be false. This question benefits from a quick redrawing of the master sketch. Looking at the sketch, we see that the only meal during which Wendy can eat macaroni is dinner. Write an “M” in her dinner square. Rule 1 means that macaroni is out for Vladimir’s dinner. The only other meal where Vlad can eat the needed macaroni is lunch. Write an “M” in his lunch square. Back to Rule 2 which dictates that macaroni is now off-limits for both people in all of the other meals. Note the possibilities and here’s our new sketch:

Lunch M O

Dinner F/H M

Snack O F

Now, it’s a simple matter to check each choice against our new sketch and find the one that can be true. We see that Wendy could indeed eat hot cakes for breakfast. Choice (D) could be true and is the credited answer. (A), (B), and (C) Vladimir eats macaroni for lunch, only. (E) Wendy eats macaroni for dinner. • Don’t hesitate to redraw your master sketch when needed. It is crucial that you keep the original untouched. Messy work leads to messy thinking which leads to missed points.

18

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

16. (B) Another “could be true” question, so the four wrong choices must be false. Follow this chain of reasoning carefully: If Wendy doesn’t eat macaroni, then the only food left for her dinner is hot cakes. Since she eats hot cakes for dinner, she can’t eat them for her breakfast. The only food left for her breakfast is poached eggs. Wendy eats poached eggs for breakfast, so Vlad can’t eat them. The only food left for Vlad’s breakfast is hot cakes. Vlad eats hot cakes for breakfast, so he can’t eat them for any other meal. Here’s what this incarnation of the master sketch looks like:

Lunch F/M O

Dinner F/M H

Snack O F

Once again, it’s a simple matter to check the choices and find the one that could be true. Vladimir could eat fish for lunch, and (B) is the answer. (A) and (D) No, Vladimir eats hot cakes for breakfast; Wendy eats the poached eggs. (C) No, since Vladimir eats hot cakes for breakfast, the only foods open to him for lunch are fish and macaroni. (E) No, Wendy eats hot cakes for dinner. • Again, don’t be afraid to redraw your sketch. The worst thing you can do is to sit and stare at a question because you don’t think it’s worth your time to redraw.

© K A PL A N

19

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

17. (B) In a “cannot be true” question, the four wrong answers are either possibly true, or definitely so. Wendy eats poached eggs for breakfast, so Vladimir can’t eat them. The only other option for his breakfast is hot cakes. Now hot cakes are unavailable for the rest of his day. Scan the choices and (B) should leap out at you. We just said that Vladimir has hot cakes for breakfast. Rule 2 is still alive and strong, so he can’t eat hot cakes at any other meal. (B) cannot be true and is the answer. All of the other choices are quite possible in this situation. • This game is a virtual carbon copy of the “Seasonal Sports” game from PrepTest XIV. This is a MAJOR argument for using past PrepTests along with Kaplan’s explanations to help prepare for your exam. The test takers who knew “Seasonal Sports” backward and forward reported crushing this game when it appeared on their test. One student said that he had to stifle a laugh when he turned the page and saw Wendy and Vladimir. Guess which of the four games he did first?

20

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

GAME 4 — Two Relay Teams (Q. 18-24)
The Action: In this game, you need to distribute eight people—Jack, Karen, Laura, Mark, Nick, Owen, Peggy, and Ruth—among two four-person teams—team X and team Y. There is an added twist. Once the people are assigned to a team, the four members of each team are placed into four legs of the race. We’re also told that the teams run their legs at the same time. The Key Issues of this grouping/sequencing hybrid are: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) What people are on what team? What people run what leg on their team? What people can, must, or cannot be on the same team as what other people? What people can, must, or cannot run consecutive legs with what other people? What people can, must, or cannot run an earlier leg than what other people What people can, must, or cannot run the same leg as what other people?

The Initial Setup: We have two teams with four legs per team. What would be the natural way to set this up? A simple way would be to write “X” and “Y” for the teams with four dashes under each for the legs. Remember to list the people off to the side:

JKLMNOPR Team X ___ ___ ___ ___
1st
The Rules: A concrete rule sits in the middle of the pack: 4) Mark and Nick are on team Y. Great; build them right into your master sketch under Y, but remember that you don’t yet know which leg each runs on team Y. 1) Jack will be on the same team as Karen. You can jot down “Always J K” as a reminder, or wait one rule and you’ll be able to deduce something concrete. 2) Karen will be on one team and Nick will be on the other. From Rule 4 we know that Nick is on team Y, so Karen must be on team X. Rule 1 just told us that Karen and Jack are on the same team, so put them both on team X.

Team Y ___ ___ ___ ___
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 4th

2nd

3rd

© K A PL A N

21

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

3) Take your time and think this rule through; it’s tricky. Ruth and Peggy don’t necessarily have to be on the same team, but Ruth must run an earlier leg than Peggy. (Do a “What If” if you need some further clarification. Imagine that Ruth is on team X and Peggy is on team Y. If Ruth is running the 3rd leg on team X, then Peggy must run the 4th leg on team Y.) Anyhow, write down “R . . . P” to serve as a reminder always to schedule R before P. 5) We can put this rule directly into the master sketch since we know that Jack is on team X and Mark is on team Y. Under team X’s 3rd leg write “No J,” and under team Y’s 3rd leg write “No M.” 6) Karen and Laura run the 2nd leg. We know Karen is on team X, and there are only two 2nd legs, so if Karen is running the 2nd leg on team X, then Laura must be running the 2nd leg on team Y. Build them both directly into your sketch. 6) Hmmm. We don’t know which team Owen is on, but wherever he is, he’s going to run 4th. Write “Owen runs 4th” or something similar to remind you. Key Deductions: You could spend your time working out countless “What Ifs” about the arrangement of runners and legs. But doing so is pointless. Wait for the questions to provide more concrete information that will kick off more deduction. The Final Visualization: Here’s the final master sketch:

JKLMNOPR Team X J+2

R...P Owen runs 4th Team Y M N +1 ___ _L_ ___ ___
1st 2nd 3rd No M 4th

___ _K_ ___ ___
1st 2nd 3rd 4th No J

22

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

The Big Picture: • Once again we see the value of starting with the most concrete rule. All of the other rules usually make much more sense in the light of that one fixed point. • The setup is the time to think, above all. The drawing is secondary. Consider the implications of each rule, and if you can build it directly into your master sketch instead of rewriting it (as in Rule 6 and others), then great, do it. The Questions: 18. (A) This “must be true” with no new information has complex answer choices. You might have been best served by skipping this one your first time around. Remember that the four wrong choices either could be true or must be false. To eliminate a choice in a “must be true” question, all you have to do is find an exception. That is, find an instance where with the given conditions, the stated result isn’t the only one possible. (A) If Owen is on team X, he must run 4th (Rule 7). Jack can’t run 3rd (Rule 5) and Karen is running 2nd (Rule 6). The only leg left for Jack to take is the 1st. Choice (A) must be true and is the answer. On test day, you would stop here and go on to question 2. For the record, here are the exceptions that show the remaining choices needn’t be true: (B) and (E) X: 1st—Jack, 2nd—Karen, 3rd—Peggy, 4th—Owen Y: 1st—Ruth, 2nd—Laura, 3rd—Nick, 4th—Mark

(C) and (D) X: 1st—Ruth, 2nd—Karen, 3rd—Peggy, 4th—Jack Y: 1st—Mark, 2nd—Laura, 3rd—Nick, 4th—Owen. • Since Owen is assigned a definite leg and Ruth and Peggy aren’t, starting with the choices that include him, those are answer choices (A) and (D), is smart. 19. (D) Ruth is on team X. Which legs could she run? Well, Rule 6 assigned Karen to the 2nd leg, so no way could Ruth run there. Whoa!: That eliminates answer choices (B), (C), and (D), all of which include the 2nd leg. Answer choices (A) and (D) are left; what is the difference between them? They both include 1st, so no need to check and see if she can run there. The only question is whether Ruth can run 3rd. Here is a complete setup that shows she can: X: 1st—Jack, 2nd—Karen, 3rd—Ruth, 4th—Peggy Y: 1st—Mark, 2nd—Laura, 3rd—Nick, 4th—Owen. Both 1st and 3rd are possibilities for Ruth, so (D) is the answer. • Keep all of the rules in mind at all stages of your work.

© K A PL A N

23

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

20. (E) In a “must be true” question, the four wrong choices either could be true or must be false. Owen and Ruth are on the same team. What team? M, N, and L are already on team Y, so there’s no room for both Owen and Ruth there. They must be on team X. Peggy is left to team Y. Rule 7 forces Owen to run 4th for team X. Jack can’t run 3rd (Rule 5), so the only leg open to Jack is 1st. Ruth is left for the 3rd leg. Scanning the choices, notice that all of the entities mentioned are on team Y. We have to take our deductions a little further. Since Ruth runs 3rd, Rule 3 forces Peggy to run 4th. Stop right there and scan again. That’s enough, because we find Peggy running 4th down in choice (E). • From time to time, stop and scan the choices. You only want to deduce what’s necessary to answer the question. There are no bonus points for taking the deductions as far as possible; doing so wastes time that can be better spent elsewhere. 21. (C) In a “can be true EXCEPT” question, the four wrong choices either can be true or must be true, and the answer must be false. Since there’s no new information, there’s not much to do except try out the choices, looking to throw out the possible ones and locate the one impossibility. Consulting your previous work allows you to answer this question more quickly. In Question 20, we saw J running 1st and Owen and Peggy running 4th. That could be true then, so that can be true now: Cross off (A) and (E). In eliminating choices (B) and (E) in Question 18, we saw Mark running 4th. He could run 4th then, he can now. Eliminate (B). In that same setup, we also saw Nick and Peggy both running 3rd. They could run 3rd then, they can now. Axe (D). We’re left with (C), Nick cannot run 1st. • There’s no need to check to make certain that Nick can’t run 1st. When you’re left with one choice, that’s the answer. Keep this new information in mind throughout the rest of the questions: Nick can never run 1st. 22. (C) In a “must be true” question, the four wrong choices either could be true or must be false. If Ruth and Peggy are on the same team, what team must that be? M, N, and L are on team Y, so there’s no room for Ruth and Peggy there; they must be on team X. Team X is Jack, Karen, Ruth, and Peggy. Team Y is Laura, Mark, Nick, and Owen. As far as the ordering is concerned, Owen continues to be a good starting place since he’s set, in the 4th leg. Owen will run the 4th leg on team Y. Laura is still running 2nd. Mark can’t run 3rd, so only 1st is left for him. Nick will fill the remaining slot by running 3rd. The complete ordering for team Y is set: Y: 1st—M, 2nd—L, 3rd—N, 4th—O.

24

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section I

Team X is a little more slippery, but only a little. K is set in the 2nd leg. Jack is forbidden to leg 3, so he will take either leg 1 or 4—and Ruth and Peggy will fill in the remaining slots in that order (Rule 3); Therefore: EITHER X: 1st—J, 2nd—K, 3rd—R, 4th—P OR X: 1st—R, 2nd—K, 3rd—P, 4th—J. As correct choice (C) says, Nick runs 3rd. Of the wrong choices, (B) is false—Mark runs 1st; and the others are possible only. • Keep an eye on your answer choices as you work. As soon as you’ve found a correct answer—stop! 23. (B) Questions 21 and 23 are identical; and once again we can use our previous work to seek out cases in which choices were true in the past. In the second option for Team X in question 22, we saw Jack running 4th and Ruth running 1st. Eliminate (A) and (D). In the first option for team X of that same question, we saw Peggy running 4th and Ruth running 3rd. Cross off (C) and (D). We’re left with our answer, choice (B). Nick cannot run 4th. • Use your previous work whenever possible. That’s why it’s very important that you keep it neat and unerased. 24. (B) This “must be true” question turns out to be pretty easy because we’re so used to dealing with Peggy and Ruth by now. Peggy is on the same team as Jack. That’s team X. We’re also told that she runs 3rd on this team. Karen is running 2nd as always. Where to now? Well, you should be used to dealing with Rule 3. Ruth must run earlier than Peggy. Peggy runs 3rd, and both 2nd legs are taken by Karen and Laura. So whichever team Ruth is on, she must run 1st. Scan the choices and there it is. Ruth runs 1st, choice (B). • This game, and indeed this very question, dramatically illustrates why it’s so important to manage your time well. You don’t want to miss a straightforward question like this at the end of the section, simply because you wasted time on an earlier, tougher one.

© K A PL A N

25

SECTION II: LOGICAL REASONING

26

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

1. (B) We’re told that despite the cheapness of cement’s ingredients, its price is influenced by oil’s price, the reason being the high energy needed to turn the ingredients into cement. The implication is that oil is needed for that transformation, at least in some cement making, and that’s answer choice (B). Use the Kaplan Denial Test: If choice (B) were false—if no cement kilns used oil—then how would the cost of oil have anything to do with the cost of cement? (A) The very use of the Contrast Keyword “Nevertheless” belies this inference. “Oil is nevertheless an influence, despite the cheapness of cement’s ingredients;” in other words, oil is no part of the composition of cement but a part of its cost. (C) and (D) Both choices go too far. That cement’s price is influenced by oil’s price is a modest claim, one that cannot be read as suggesting a flat-out direct (C) or inverse (D) relationship. (E) The author implies that at least one factor in cement making—the needed energy—is both separate from cement’s ingredients and relevant to cement’s cost. So (E) is a highly unlikely inference. • That which can be “logically inferred” means that which must be true based on the text. Accept no substitutes. 2. (E) This is a classic example of the reasoning error sometimes called “circular reasoning.” The conclusion is signaled by the Keyword phrase “It is clear from this that...,” and notice that what follows is just a rewrite of the previous sentence, “without self-understanding it is impossible to understand others.” (A) The flaw described in (A)—mistaking necessity for sufficiency—is an error often committed in LSAT Logical Reasoning arguments, but not in this one. We’re told a condition (self-understanding) that is necessary for a particular result (understanding others). So answer choice (A) would be correct if the argument went on to conclude that “Anyone who understands himself can understand others.” But that’s not the conclusion, of course; as answer choice (E) recognizes, the conclusion we get is just the evidence restated. (B) First of all, the first sentence does suggest that there are some people who don’t want self-understanding, but beyond that, this whole issue of wanting or not wanting selfawareness is irrelevant. The author’s concern is whether one can understand others without self-awareness. (C) No blame is assigned, and even if it were, there’s no indication that the people in question “cannot . . . be held responsible” for not understanding themselves or others. (D) There’s nothing “inherently vague” about the term “self-understanding,” even though different people could define the dimension of that understanding in different ways.

© K A PL A N

27

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

• Circular reasoning—also known as “begging the question” and “assuming one’s conclusion”—is when the evidence and conclusion are functionally identical, i.e. one is just a rewrite of the other. That’s what happens here. Watch for it in the future. 3. (C) In response to his wife’s desire to sell a painting in order to pay for their daughter’s college education, the husband offers three different reasons for hanging on to the thing, but it’s the third reason that relates most to her argument and that is supported by (C). Establishing, as (C) would, that a link to the past supersedes a college education would make the husband’s argument, and recommendation about the painting, outweigh the wife’s. (A) This family has owned the painting for some time. (A)’s focus on whether or not a gift should be “accepted” is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. (B) The husband considers the painting a horror, so (B)’s allusion to the work’s “beauty” is likewise irrelevant. (D) No “promise” such as (D) mentions is ever alluded to by either spouse, and the issue is whether the painting should be sold, not whether it should be preserved or destroyed. (E) Au contraire, of course. (E) supports the wife’s position, not that of her husband. • A “justifying principle” is one that alludes to the key issues in an argument and that affirms that the conclusion is valid. • Watch for wrong answers in principle questions to support an opposing point of view ((E) here) or to veer off into irrelevant issues ((A), (B), and (D) here). 4. (E) This is pretty much a two-for-one deal, since all (E) does is articulate Question 3 (C)’s principle in more general terms: The husband sees the family link as an “obligation” that “override[s]” the “practical consideration” of paying for college. (A) and (D) The husband doesn’t argue that her solution is either impractical or false: He doesn’t argue that the painting won’t pay for college, only that that shouldn’t be the governing consideration. (B) Since the wife doesn’t say that the painting is lovely (just that it’s valuable), the husband’s criticism is not a slur on her taste. (C) If anything, it’s the husband whose recommendation is based on emotion—sentimental value and family connections and all that—not the wife. • Never assume that when a stimulus generates two questions, the questions must necessarily focus on different things. If anything, work on one question generally helps on the other.

28

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

5. (D) The author’s conclusion—that the archaeologists will surely be able to determine the accuracy of this year’s museum financial report—is based on their universal access to all relevant documents and, in turn, on the assumption that those documents are going to list all relevant financial transactions. But if they do not, then the reviewers’ determination of accuracy may be way off. (D) points out the possibly unwarranted assumption here. (A) The report examines only each year’s transactions; long-held pieces are irrelevant. (B) and (C) If the documents under review are complete, then the accuracy of the report will be assured; if they’re not, then it won’t. Neither the size nor quality of the collection (B), nor its availability to the public (C), will matter one way or the other. (E) True, the author doesn’t discuss what the next steps would be if discrepancies were found between the report and the documents, but he is not logically obligated to do so. The argument is simply that given the documents, the archaeologists will be able to determine the accuracy of the report—what happens after this is one step beyond the argument. • Keep your eye on the ball—which in LR means “Keep in mind the question being asked, and the scope and nature of the conclusion.” Here, the author’s conclusion isn’t about whether or not the report is accurate, but whether or not the reviewers will be able to make a determination of accuracy. Two very different things! • Don’t fault an argument for not containing a certain element if that element isn’t necessary for the logic to work. Just because a choice may be true, like (E), doesn’t necessarily means it answers the question asked. 6. (D) “Some people argue bla-bla-bla....But this is nonsense.” The sentence demands the response: How so? What’s your evidence? This alerts us that that which “is nonsense,” that which demands evidence, is almost certainly the argument’s main point. (D) has it just right: The argument that using the Moon’s helium-3 will solve Earth’s energy problems is nuts because, as sentences 3 and 4 explain, we couldn’t build the reactors that the helium-3 would fuel until too late. (A) The feasibility of mining the Moon is taken off the table by the engineer’s “Even if.” He bypasses that whole question, in order to take up his real issue, which is the feasibility of using helium-3 in time to do the world any good. (B) Current reactors are beside the point. The engineer is concerned with the reactors 50 years hence which could, conceivably, be designed to use helium-3. (C) implies that the people mentioned in line 1 are the engineer’s target, but they’re not; it’s their point of view that he objects to. Besides, fuels other than helium-3 are never mentioned, so they could hardly be part of the “main point.”

© K A PL A N

29

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

(E) is the gist of the engineer’s last sentence, which is evidence for the main point, not the point itself. (If you chose (E), ask yourself: Where is the evidence supporting it? None is provided, so (E) can’t be the main point the author is trying to make.) • If no Conclusion Keyword (such as “Therefore”) jumps out at you, read the stimulus and look for a sentence that whispers (or screams) I am the author’s point of view—I demand evidence. Watch for the other sentences to provide support; the idea they all come together to support will be your conclusion. • Remember that the author’s conclusion can appear anywhere—at the beginning, middle, or end. That decision is a matter of taste and style, not of logic. 7. (C) The stem tells us we’ll be looking for a statement that strengthens the argument, so the first step, as always, is to break down the argument into evidence, conclusion, and assumptions. Smack dab in the middle of the stimulus, highlighted by the always reliable structural signal “therefore,” the author tells us the conclusion: “The government should therefore institute a program” to test the toxin level in the fish eaten by the seabirds killed by net fishing. The evidence appears in the other two sentences—The fishing industry currently has no incentive to report the number of seabirds actually killed by net fishing (the first sentence), and, if the program is adopted, the industry will have a reason to turn in birds because the industry will get desirable information in return (the third sentence). In other words, under the program, the author envisions a win-win situation for the government and the fishing industry. Since the argument is essentially for the creation of the program, a strengthener must bolster the need for such a program of cooperation. (C) does this nicely: If the government can’t reach its objective (an accurate count of seabirds killed by net fishing) without the cooperation of the fishing industry, a program providing an incentive for the fishing industry to help out, such as the one outlined, is essential. (A), if anything, weakens the argument, by working against the fishing industry’s incentive to cooperate. (A) makes any data that the government gives to the industry less valuable. (B) is irrelevant; it really doesn’t matter what the government has done in the past regarding tissue sampling. You might have thought that (B) weakens the argument (similar to (A)), by reasoning that if (B) were true the government might, through inexperience, have difficulty administering the program—However, this reasoning is not supported by the stimulus. In any case, it’s far from a strengthener. (D) certainly doesn’t support the idea of the program; the only effect it would have is to help destroy the incentive of the fishing industry to participate. (E) brings up a hypothetical situation, and a result of it, that are totally irrelevant to the program itself; the point is not to find out how many seabirds are killed by a reduced amount of net fishing, but to find out how many are killed under current conditions. • The conclusion, the author’s main argument, can come anywhere in the stimulus, including right in the middle. Don’t assume that it must be contained in the first or last sentence.

30

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

© K A PL A N

31

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

32

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

10. (A) All assumptions, of course, connect evidence and conclusion. The conclusion is here signaled by “Clearly,” and the evidence basically has two components: (1) The cafeteria’s apples arrive greasy and don’t get washed. (How do you like them apples?) (2) Most fruit is sprayed with pesticides that stay dangerous until it’s washed. For (1) and (2) to combine and lead to the conclusion that the cafeteria sells dangerous pesticide-covered fruit, it has to be true that the apples don’t get a washing somewhere down the road from harvest, which is what (A) is saying. Notice that (A) passes the Kaplan Denial Test: If it’s false—if the apples are washed after harvesting—then there’d be no reason to believe that their grease has anything to do with the pesticides in the field. The fruit would still be gross, but need not be dangerous. (B) Tempting, but this one fails the Denial Test. If (B) is false—suppose that few, if any, pesticides leave a greasy residue—so what? This cafeteria’s apples could be the exception to the rule, could still be greasy and dangerous from pesticides. Since denying or negating (B) does no damage to the logic, (B) as is cannot be a necessary assumption. (C) Patrons’ awareness or lack of same has no impact on whether the apples are, or are not, dangerous and pesticide-covered. (D) can also be eliminated via the Denial Test. If, contrary to (D), one can wash off pesticides other than those that leave grease, we’d still be no closer to determining the safety of these particular apples. (E) Outside the scope: The conclusion is based on evidence about apples, and it holds up just fine with or without the existence of other greasy fruits. • You can never be reminded of the Kaplan Denial Test often enough. A necessary assumption, if denied, must contradict the text. Therefore—follow the contrapositive here—if an answer choice, when denied, fails to contradict the text, then it’s not a necessary assumption. 11. (E) Did you catch the word “needs” in P’s assertion, and did you then connect it to the concept of necessity? Q sure didn’t. She takes P’s assertion—that an effective official needs the support of a party—to mean that any official with party support will be effective. However, that which is necessary for effectiveness need not be sufficient for effectiveness, which is exactly what answer choice (E) tartly points out. All P is saying is that an independent candidate—i.e. one without a party backing him or her—can’t be effective. But Q screws that up. (A) Q does indeed offer evidence: it’s evidence that she believes to be a counterexample to P’s argument. The problem is that that evidence completely distorts what P has said about an independent candidate.

© K A PL A N

33

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

(B) focuses on a party’s possible decision to support an independent after an election, but that has absolutely nothing to do with Q’s statement and hence cannot explain its weakness. (C) As long as P and Q agree on a definition of “effective,” and there’s no reason to believe that they do not, neither the precision nor the vagueness of that term has any impact on their disagreement. (D) is accusing Q of circular reasoning (that’s what “presupposing” one’s conclusion means). But far from presupposing P’s statement, Q is taking exception to it by presenting a counterexample. • The confusion between necessity and sufficiency is at the heart of innumerable LSAT Logical Reasoning questions. Always be watchful for it. 12. (C) What do you know even before reading the stimulus? That it’s missing some crucial concept or piece of information that’s needed for the conclusion to stand. How do you know this? From previewing the question stem—always Step 1 of the Kaplan 4-Step Approach to Logical Reasoning. The phrase, “that is because,” in the second sentence confirms the first sentence as the conclusion and the second sentence as the reason, or evidence, for that conclusion. Try the “what and why” test: What does the author say? Public health will improve (an assertion) if medical researchers don’t wait to publish their results in peer-reviewed journals and instead inform the press as soon as the findings emerge. Why will this happen? “That is because” people can use the information sooner rather than wait for the official publication. But that assumes (C); that people will use medical information that hasn’t yet been published in the journals. If they won’t, the argument that public health will improve by abandoning the waiting period associated with publishing the findings completely falls apart. Thus, the Denial Test confirms that (C) is a logical, necessary assumption of this argument. (A) and (B) Who cares who reviews the research and under what conditions they agree to do so? The argument centers on bypassing such peer review and getting the info out to the public. (D) The author argues that medical researchers should abandon the process of waiting for peer-review before announcing findings, so any info about the viability of fixing or speeding up the peer-review process is simply irrelevant to the argument. (E), if true, might strengthen the argument but is not an assumption that the author makes. (E) would support discontinuing publication in peer-reviewed journals but does not link the author’s evidence, the slow process, to that conclusion. Deny (E) and you’ll see that the conclusion could still be true—even if new medical information always receives public attention (the denial of (E)), if it takes a long time to reach the public, then we should still opt for the quicker straight to the press approach.

34

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

• The Denial Test works both ways: It can confirm a choice as correct if the negation of that choice leads to a crumbling of the argument, and it can also help you to eliminate wrong choices that, when negated or denied, do nothing or even support the argument. 13. (A) Now that we’ve understood the argument for question 12, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a weakener to rack up the point for question 13. The author argues that we should abandon peer-reviewed journals so that new medical discoveries can more quickly be used by the public to improve their health. In weakening this argument, we must undermine the evidence for that conclusion. In this case we need to provide a reason why expediency isn’t in the public’s best interest. In (A), the journals serve some other, more useful function—they keep potentially dangerous and ill-formed medical conclusions from reaching the street where they might negatively impact on public health. If (A) is true, a slow process is in the best interests of the public and we shouldn’t rush publication. (B) is consistent with the author’s argument; the fact that people act on the medical information they receive through the press is almost a necessary component of the argument, but technically “alter their life-styles” may be a little extreme. In any case, in no way does this weaken the argument. (C) This choice is outside the scope, plain and simple. This argument concerns improvements in public health derived from new medical information, period; other factors are irrelevant. (D), if anything, strengthens the argument by shoring up the viability of the author’s plan to publish quickly. (E) The issue isn’t peer review or no peer review— the central issue of the argument is whether the practice of informing the press of new medical findings only after peer review should be abandoned. In other words, peer-review journals can still do their thing—this in and of itself doesn’t disrupt the argument, since peer review can still be performed after the press has been notified. • It’s not enough to understand everything the author says in his or her argument— when evaluating an argument’s logic, you must also think about what the author has left out or failed to consider. Pay careful attention to the discussion in the lessons, Previews, and Reviews regarding “alternative explanations /possibilities,” and be on the lookout for the many other questions on released tests where this concept comes into play.

© K A PL A N

35

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

36

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

(E) In order for (E) to conform, we’d have to infer, on our own, that not saving a life in such a situation is a morally bad thing. This, however, would be unwarranted—the principles, taken together, simply state that any two things that are known to be morally bad can be considered equally bad. There’s no room in this principle for our interpretation of the moral value of various acts in specific situations. • LSAT testmakers are big on definitions. Don’t enforce your own judgments on an event if no definition is given, especially when all other events are strictly defined. For example, we don’t know where accidental death falls in the morally good / bad spectrum; chances are somewhere in the middle. But notice how strictly all the acts of consequence (murder and lying) are defined. It’s not up to you to decide for yourself if accidental death (D), or for that matter failing to save a life by refusing to kill another (E), is morally good or bad; if the testmakers wanted you to know, they would have told you. The ambiguity inherent in (D) and (E) should have scared you away from these choices quickly. 16. (B) The stimulus conclusion is about “a majority” of members of a group; for that reason only (B) and (E), which deal with “most” members of a group, need be kept in contention. You can perhaps understand the faulty logic in the stimulus best by picking a few easy numbers. Assume 100 voters. Suppose a majority—say 55 voters—vote for conservatives. Suppose that 55 voters vote for candidates supporting the antipollution bill. Do they have to be the same 55 voters in both cases? Certainly not! In fact, it’s quite possible that no more than 10 voters in one category fall into the other. (Example: 55 people vote for conservatives. The other 45 do not. Maybe all of those 45 vote for the candidates who support the antipollution bill—leaving 10 to make up the rest of the voters.) Anyhow, the two majorities mentioned in the evidence need not make up the one big majority that the conclusion indicates....and by the same token, even though most kids may like pie and most may like blueberries, the majority of kids don’t have to overlap as (B)’s conclusion suggests. There doesn’t have to be more than a small number of kids who like both pie and blueberries. (A)’s logical flaw is its assumption that what can happen when gardens are tilled and planted in wet soil (soil damage and plant rot, according to Bill and Sue) will happen. But (A) has nothing to do with necessary overlaps of majorities. (C) commits two instances of mistaking necessity for sufficiency. No rain is a requirement for Mark to go to the picnic, but it doesn’t assure his going; secondly, Mark’s attendance is a requirement for Susan’s going, but it doesn’t assure her going. (C) draws both conclusions. But necessity vs. sufficiency is not the issue at the heart of the stimulus.

© K A PL A N

37

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

(D) only tempts because of its use of the word “majority.” The stimulus, remember, points to two separate majorities and concludes that they must overlap. (D), however, mentions one majority—the majority that orders both fish and stuffed mushrooms—and concludes that those are the dishes most frequently ordered. The flaw here is the assumption that those “who regularly eat” at the restaurant represent a huge number; after all, if the place has very few regular eaters, maybe fish and stuffed mushrooms are ordered only occasionally. But that’s not what’s going on in our stimulus. (E) starts off promisingly, with two “majorities” at Gina’s house that need not overlap— those who cook well, and those who enjoy eating well-cooked meals. (E) fails by drawing a conclusion about a different issue: The nature of the meals served at Gina’s isn’t mentioned in the evidence. That’s a logical flaw, but it’s not the same as the stimulus. • When two arguments are parallel, they draw the same kind of conclusion. Reject any choice ((A), (C), and (D) here) whose conclusion deviates from the one in the stimulus. • When a Parallel Logic question explicitly focuses on faulty logic, the wrong choices will either demonstrate proper logic, or logic flawed in a different way from that of the stimulus. (All four here happen to be of the latter type, as we’ve seen.) 17. (B) What’s wrong with the politician’s reply? The politician argues that the dispute over the definition of “wetlands” is “quibbling over semantics,” meaning that the definition doesn’t make a real difference one way or another. But this is just his opinion; no evidence is given to support the notion that how the wetlands are defined is irrelevant—it may make a whole lot of difference to the critics of the bill. For example, the politician ignores the possibility that a restrictive definition might reduce the scope of the legislation’s impact. The politician argues that the legislation would be more demanding in areas that are designated “wetlands,” but unreasonably dismisses the question of which areas will receive that protection. (A) distorts the argument. The politician does claim that the critics don’t really care about wetlands, but doesn’t make the further claim that the critics have the same motives as all the opponents of conservation. (C) Does the politician assume the critics will profit if the bill is defeated? No; that doesn’t show up anywhere in the argument. In fact, the only thing the politician accuses the critics of is not caring, and we can’t infer from that alone that he therefore assumes the critics will profit from the bill’s defeat. (D) No, it’s the critics of the proposed legislation who seem to prefer the less restrictive definition, and the politician has no duty to argue their case. (E) is out of the scope. The author of the bill is never mentioned, and therefore his or her credibility is not an issue.

38

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

© K A PL A N

39

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

19. (E) A majority of the time, when someone replies “You’re ignoring such-and-such,” we can infer that the replyer is taking issue with the first speaker, and so it is with Travers here. She points out that whenever kids are ungrateful, it’s because they’re rejecting their parents’ values—a fact totally and completely at odds with Dillworth’s claim that one reason for having kids in the first place is the opportunity to pass on one’s values. Answer choice (E) puts it rather neatly: Dillworth has set aside the ingratitude issue to focus on the values issue. However, Travers points out that they are, potentially at the very least, interconnected. (A) Travers doesn’t describe an alternative way in which kids acquire values, so (A) can’t be her point. (B) Self-sacrifice is the one aspect of Dillworth’s argument that Travers doesn’t concern herself with. (C) Big distortion, (C)’s “well-known fact” notwithstanding, the rejection of values Travers describes is on the part of one’s children, not one’s peers. (D) goes too far. Travers isn’t saying, Hey, all kids reject their parents’ values, so don’t even hope to pass yours along through your progeny. She simply argues that Dillworth shouldn’t be so quick to ignore some of the reasons people use to opt out of child rearing. • When two people are arguing—on the LSAT, at least—be sure to paraphrase what each is saying, and to explore the relationship of the second person’s comment to that of the first. Questions usually hinge on those two issues. 20. (B) We’re looking for an inference, a statement that must be true based on the statements in the passage. In such questions, the answer can come from anywhere in the passage, and we may not even know beforehand what part of the passage to specifically focus on. Even isolating the conclusion may not help greatly, since the right answer to a strict inference question like this could come from a seemingly obscure piece of evidence, or even an irrelevant aside. In this case, correct choice (B) is inferable solely from the second sentence: If the feeding methods of jawless fishes were “limited to either sucking in surface plankton or sucking in food particles from bottom mud,” then we can be 100% sure that these jawless fishes didn’t prey upon other fish. As simple as that—which is not to say it’s obvious. Many test-takers passed on (B) because it seemed outside the scope, or just not important enough. But sure enough, the passage could end with the word “mud” in sentence two and (B) would still be inferable—it may get lost in the verbosity and onslaught of facts in the rest of the passage, but there’s no denying that fish who’s food choices are LIMITED to sucking EITHER plankton OR mud particles surely aren’t preying on other fish. (For more on the nature of this strict inference question type, see the first bullet point below.) (A) The only thing we’re told about jawed-fish in relation to prey is that they’re able to pursue prey, and use their jaws and teeth on it. What kind of prey we’re talking about here isn’t mentioned, so there’s no way we can infer it’s primarily fish.

40

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

© K A PL A N

41

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

21. (C) We know from the stem that we’re looking for an assumption, so it’s wise to be on the lookout for the gap in the logic in our initial reading of the stimulus. The author concludes that in “geologically quiet” regions, the best way to reduce the risk of having a nuclear reactor struck by an earthquake is to place it near a fault that has produced an earthquake within living memory. As evidence, the author notes that such faults cannot produce earthquakes more often than once every 100,000 years. So, if such an area has experienced an earthquake within living memory, which presumably means no more than 80 or 90 years ago, the next one must be at least around 100,000 years away. This is a low risk, but it’s still higher than no risk at all. If there were potential sites that were distant from even minor faults, then they would be better choices. In other words, the author assumes that every reactor site in such a region must be next to a fault, which may not be the case. If it’s not, then the most earthquake-proof place for a reactor site in a geologically quiet region needn’t be where the author suggests. We can thus deny choice (C) and see the argument fall apart, which confirms (C) as the assumption we seek. (A) is too broad. The argument concerns the danger posed by earthquakes, and not danger in general, so the argument doesn’t rely on a danger comparison of different types of regions. (B) The argument needs no help from information about whether earthquakes constitute the main safety concern for reactors; for all we know, there are other more important danger factors involved. Either way, this issue is irrelevant to the argument, which is solely concerned with the prospects of an earthquake striking a reactor in a specific region. (D) No; the issue is specifying the site with the least chance of getting struck by an earthquake—what happens if one does get hit is irrelevant. Therefore, the notion of how many earthquakes such a reactor can withstand has no bearing on the argument at all. (E) The evidence states that such faults produce earthquakes no more than once in 100,000 years. If we change that to at least once in 100,000 years (as in choice (E)), then placing a reactor near a minor fault becomes slightly more risky, which doesn’t help the author. • Noticing scope shifts between the argument and the choices will help you eliminate the wrong ones. To do this, keep the crux of the conclusion in mind. Here, the author is primarily arguing about the location in a particular type of region that is “least likely to be struck by an earthquake.” If you focus on that sentiment throughout, you should be able to recognize the subtle shifts away from it contained in choices such as (A)—where overall are the least or most dangerous places to build reactors; (B)—what part do earthquakes play in the overall safety of reactors; and (D)—how are reactors able to withstand earthquakes? Since all of these issues are beyond the scope, they have no bearing on the argument and therefore cannot be assumed by the author. • Once again, we see an assumption based on an alternative possibility. In assumption, strengthen/weaken, and logical flaw questions especially, be on the lookout for other possibilities / conclusions / explanations that the author overlooks.

42

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

© K A PL A N

43

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

44

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP ______________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section II

• Be careful of bringing your everyday-life biases to bear on your understanding of LR arguments. Here, for instance, we mustn’t let our conviction that seat belts are a good thing blind us to the author’s view (that focusing on seat belts distracts from the real policy debate over auto safety). 25. (D) Since W draws no conclusion, the facts she cites make sense only in the context of S’s argument that we shouldn’t try to halt future global warming because scientists disagree all over the place; the evidence isn’t firm; global warming may not even be real. What W does is suggest that scientists don’t bother to argue when facts are established, and that scientists do accept one fact: Global warming is happening, albeit within an uncertain 3°C range. W’s facts are the “similarities” among scientists to which (D) refers. (A) W and S are equally aware of the disagreements among scientists; it’s just that W denies those disagreements’ relevance to the global warming debate. (B) Since W doesn’t bring out her explicit point of view, we can’t be sure that W accepts S’s conclusion—indeed, their profound disagreement over the global warming trend implies that their conclusions would be very different. (C) Inferably, W’s scientists are the same as S’s. They just look at these authorities from different perspectives. (E) Another accusation of circular reasoning, but this one is balderdash. (See also Q. 2 (E) and 11 (D) in this LR section, and Q. 20 in the other.) First of all, W doesn’t explicitly offer a conclusion at all; also, her evidence is quite concrete with no hint of “circularity.” • It’s always a good idea to read the second speaker’s comment first (doing so is clever, and saves time). Just be prepared to need, and rely on, the first person’s remarks as context for understanding the overall disagreement.

© K A PL A N

45

SECTION III: LOGICAL REASONING

46

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

© K A PL A N

47

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

48

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

3. (D) This is a standard assumption question; our task is to locate the evidence and conclusion, and then to find the necessary but unstated premise that connects them. The conclusion is supplied by the first sentence, which states that computer programs should not be patented. For evidence, we’re told patents should not grant large corporations control over a methodology, and computer programs are implementations of methodologies. If the author believed that large corporations should hold patents for implementations of methodologies—the negation of choice (D)—then the argument would crumble. Obviously the author feels otherwise, which means that (D) is necessary to the argument, and must be assumed. (A) weakens the argument. If patents are designed to protect small-time inventors from exploitation, then the development of computer programs by small-time inventors would tend to support the move to patent computer programs, which is the opposite of the author’s view. (B) is irrelevant, which can be demonstrated by trying the Denial Test: If implementing a methodology requires more creative effort than does true invention, would the argument be damaged? No, so answer choice (B) isn’t necessary, and cannot be a necessary assumption. (C) is also irrelevant—whether the issue of patents for computer programs has been raised in the past is a totally different issue from the argument at hand, which focuses on the desirability, not the history, of program patenting. (E) Again with the small-time inventors . . . Small-time inventors are mentioned only in relation to the origins of the patent system, while most of the argument focuses on the relation between computer programs, patents, and large corporations. What small-time inventors believe as a group, and how their beliefs impact on their cause, are issues for another argument altogether, not this argument. This argument needs none of this to survive. • The Kaplan “Denial Test” builds strong LSAT scores in at least two ways. First, it is extremely useful as a backup, to confirm that your choice in an assumption question is in fact necessary to the argument. If the argument could stand without a particular choice, then that answer choice isn’t necessary. Second, it’s sometimes hard to see why a choice is an assumption, yet easier to see why the negation of the choice would defeat the argument. In this case, it might be difficult to see why the argument depends on answer choice (D) until you think about what would happen if answer choice (D) were false.

© K A PL A N

49

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

4. (D) Question 4 asks, “How does Larissa make her argument?,” Question 5, “What is a point at issue between Larissa and Walter?” Start with whichever question you feel more comfortable. Walter’s conclusion is that tolerating an injustice is morally wrong and shortsighted. His evidence follows the colon (always pay attention to punctuation). Larissa also believes that allowing injustices is bad policy, but disagrees with Walter as to the reason. The key to understanding Larissa’s evidence is the phrase “not because . . . but because.” She disagrees with Walter’s reason for the conclusion and provides her own. Therefore, you’re looking for an answer choice, such as (D), which states that Larissa agrees with Walter’s conclusion but disagrees with his evidence (reason). (A) might have been tricky if you didn’t read the stimulus critically. Larissa agrees with Walter’s conclusion, she only disagrees with his reasoning. (B) Larissa’s conclusion is the same as Walter’s, and she bases it on her own evidence—she doesn’t do anything with any assumptions Walter may have, let alone draw implausible consequences from them. (She does disagree with his evidence regarding the wealthy’s vulnerability to injustice, but that’s another matter.) (C) Larissa deals only with Walter’s argument, she never questions Walter himself or his authority to address matters of social policy. In order for (C) to be correct, Larissa would need to have said something like “Walter is not in a position to make his assertions because he is neither an economist nor a politician.” (E) Although Larissa believes that the possibility of social unrest is the reason that we should not tolerate injustice, she does not mention a belief that Walter should have more fully developed his argument. She simply disagrees with his rationale. • In method of argument questions, it’s often helpful to try to imagine what the stimulus would have to sound like if the choice you’re analyzing were correct. As noted in (C) above, the stimulus would have to be much different than it is for this choice to describe Larissa’s method, which allows us to confidently cross it off. 5. (E) As the analysis for Question 4 shows, Larissa and Walter agree on the conclusion, but disagree on the evidence supporting that conclusion. Walter believes that we should not tolerate injustice because it may affect a well-to-do person tomorrow. Larissa believes that we should not tolerate injustice because it’s a source of social unrest. Larissa doesn’t merely present different evidence however, she affirmatively disagrees with Walter’s reasoning. Larissa states, in the first sentence of her response, that the well-to-do can protect themselves against injustice better than the rest. Walter believes that injustices can inflict the well-to-do just as easily. So, Walter and Larissa disagree on whether the economically privileged members of a society are less exposed to certain sorts of injustices than are the economically disadvantaged—answer choice (E).

50

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

© K A PL A N

51

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

52

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

© K A PL A N

53

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

54

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

© K A PL A N

55

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

(A) is a classic distortion. “Unless [they] band together, the [rezoning] will be approved” means that in the absence of the citizens banding together, the rezoning will go through. We cannot, however, presume that that banding together would necessarily halt the rezoning (and all the subsequent developments). Maybe they would all go through anyway. (C), (D), and (E) The stimulus more or less argues that if the rezoning plan goes through, Glen Hills’ rural atmosphere might be destroyed (by the sequence of events described). We are not, however, permitted to assume that the failure of the plan will ensure the continuation of that rural atmosphere—but that’s just what (C) does. Likewise, if the apartment buildings are built, taxes will go up; but (D) just denies both terms. That’s logically forbidden, as is (E)’s inference that not building the apartment buildings will result in no overcrowded schools or congested roads. • “If X, then Y” cannot be rewritten as “If not X, then not Y.” The fallacy of denying the antecedent is no academic exercise; it’s something that happens in life, and on the LSAT, all the time. Watch out for it. 12. (D) We need to strengthen the argument that the advertising campaign was responsible for the reduction of the number of smokers—a pretty hasty conclusion, considering there’s an obvious competing explanation: cigarette prices are now 20 cents higher. It’s not going out on a limb to speculate that this factor might have played a role in the decline. In making her conclusion, the author assumes that the 20 cent increase played no part in the small decline in smoking, which would be the answer if this were an assumption question. But as you know from class and the Kaplan Previews and Reviews, a central assumption could form the basis of a strengthen or weaken question as well. Break down the assumption, and you have a weakener; shore up the assumption, and you have a strengthener. (D) does the latter: If merchants responded to the tax by lowering the price of cigarettes by the exact amount of the tax, then a price increase drops out as a candidate for the decline, the author’s central assumption is validated, and the argument that the advertising was the cause of the decline is strengthened. (A) is outside the scope. The argument deals with smoking, not tobacco consumption in general. (B) is also outside the scope. The author claims that the number of smokers has been reduced, and so smokers that are merely cutting down don’t count. (C) provides very weak evidence for the notion that the number of smokers has declined, but does not address the cause of the reduction. (E) is mostly neutral, but one could argue that if smokers are relatively poor, then they might be sensitive to the cigarette price increase. The increase would then have more of an impact than the author acknowledged, which would tend to weaken the argument. In any case, whether this choice slightly weakens or is neutral to the argument, you shouldn’t have picked it as a strengthener.

56

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

• The ability to recognize assumptions is crucial, not only for assumption questions, but for other question types as well. This is what we mean when we at Kaplan talk about the synergy that exists between Logical Reasoning question types. When looking for ways to strengthen and weaken arguments, picking up on an author’s unstated central assumption, if one exists, is more than half the battle. • When there are two competing explanations for an event, and you’re asked to support one over the other, a choice that mentions neither, or applies equally well to both, must be wrong. • Scope shifts everywhere!! Choice (B) tries to persuade you that the amount that people smoke is somehow important, when in fact the only relevant issue here is the number of smokers. • Beware of answer choices that attempt to strengthen a fact in the stimulus rather than the argument the author is trying to make. For example, answer choice (C) could be taken as a weak attempt to support the fact that smoking in the locality has declined, but does nothing to impact on the main argument concerning the reason for the decline. 13. (D) A parallel logic question easily reducible to simple algebra. No A (no historical restoration projects) are B (got permits this month). Some C (this firm’s projects) are A (restorations). Therefore some C (the firm’s projects) are not B (didn’t get permits). In the credited answer, A is “films released this season,” B is “Barker’s films,” and C is “got enthusiastic reviews,” the only difference being that answer choice (D) reverses the order in which the evidence is mentioned. (A) No A are B. Some C are D. Therefore—um—up till now, B hasn’t been an issue for E. Ah, forget it. (B) No A are B. Some C are not B. Therefore some D are B. (C) No A are B. Only B are C. Therefore some A are not C. Close but no cigar. (E) fails to give us a “No A are B” statement at all, so we can throw this one out with no further ado. • When can it pay to translate Parallel Logic into algebra? When the stimulus and choices are written in a strictly formal way, in All/Some/None terms—these are terms that can be amenable to reduction to algebra.

© K A PL A N

57

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

14. (E) Again, we seek a necessary assumption to hold an argument together. First we get a claim, followed by the phrase “whether or not this hypothesis is correct . . .”, which strongly implies that the initial sentence is largely irrelevant. And indeed, the real argument begins with the word “most”—most art criticism is directed at pieces that critics don’t like. The conclusion follows, signaled by “hence”: most art criticism is devoted to work that isn’t great. This argument seems suspect on the face of it simply because the author has failed to demonstrate the necessary connection between these two statements. Just because critics don’t like a piece of art doesn’t necessarily mean that that piece of art isn’t a great work of art. But this conclusion would be valid if we make the connection via the assumption stated in (E), which links great works of art with pieces of art that satisfies critics. Without this connection, the argument is incomplete. With it, the conclusion works: If most art criticism is devoted to art pieces that fail to satisfy critics, and great works of art are those pieces that do satisfy all critics, then it makes sense to conclude that most criticism is devoted to works other than great works of art. (A) changes the scope of the argument with a new term, “intensely,” and does nothing to bridge the gap between art that fails to satisfy and great works of art. (B) The issue is which art works are selected for criticism by the critics The question of whether art works that are truly satisfying to critics are difficult for critics to find has no necessary bearing on this issue. (C) is irrelevant. The power of critics to publicize works of art is not an issue in the argument and doesn’t provide the connection necessary to sustain the conclusion. (D) is out of the scope. The argument in no way hinges on the issue of when works of art are recognized. • Formal logic statements—signaled by words like “most,” “some,” “all,” “none,” etc.— are usually buried within casual-sounding arguments on the LR sections. Sometimes, as in this case, your job will be to recognize how two or more of these statements can be tied together logically with the addition of an intervening assumption.

58

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

© K A PL A N

59

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

60

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

(D) is even further removed from the crux of the argument; it totally ignores the main issue of why this type of book has become so popular. (E) is, at best, neutral. At worst, it’s au-contraire —if people pay attention to the reviews, this would provide even another reason (historical) for people to get into this genre. • Take whatever gifts the testmakers throw your way. The question stem out-and-out tells you what you’re trying to weaken—the booksellers’ explanation. So it’s not as if you even have to search for the conclusion; the phrase “some booksellers say that . . .” in the last sentence should have jumped off the page at you. • Don’t be surprised at the appearance of really simple questions; not every one is a logical brain-teaser. Here, the booksellers think that favorable reviews are responsible for the upsurge in the fantasy market. What would weaken this claim? Someone else saying “nope, not true. The readers don’t care about that.” And that’s choice (B). 18. (E) Having thought through the weakener for 17, all we have to do is reverse our thinking to haul in this point: To strengthen the argument, we need a choice that says that book purchasing behavior is influenced by reviews of the kind described in the stimulus. And that sentiment appears in (E): As a result of critic’s favorable reviews, adult book buyers began to see the fantasy-fiction genre as a viable option for their reading pleasure. (A) We have no idea how complex or simple the books in this genre are, and therefore have no way of knowing how the general reading level of the public affects this argument. (B), (C), and (D) all may contribute in their own ways to a general explanation of the recent popularity of fantasy-fiction books, but none offer any support for the booksellers’ specific argument—that the popularity of these books is due in some way to favorable reviews. • Don’t lose sight of the facet of the argument you’re attempting to strengthen or weaken. The booksellers’ argument in this case is not simply that fantasy-fiction books have become popular; they feel that they became popular due to favorable attention from reviewers. If the argument simply concerned the “what” and not the “why” of the matter, then (B), (C), and (D) would be viable choices as well. • Once again, try not to miss out on double question stimuli. It just seems like for every double-question stimulus on this test, the second one was a real breeze after working through the first. If you find yourself running out of time, and you think you might not get to every question on the section, you may consider flipping the pages in search of a two-for-one deal.

© K A PL A N

61

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

19. (E) Both the stimulus and the credited choice provide a chain of superlatives: The Tyler house (the Oakland roses) is the most famous in the historic district (most beautiful in the garden), and the historic district (the garden) is the most famous in the city (most beautiful in the city) , so the Tyler house (the roses) is the most famous in the city (most beautiful in the city). All of the choices come more or less close, but only (E) strictly follows this model. And of course both the stimulus and (E) are profoundly flawed: It’s quite possible that the fame of some other house in the city eclipses that of the Tyler house, or that flowers in some other city garden are more beautiful than the Oakland roses. The only evidence is the context of the house and the roses; we can’t reason from the relative fame (or beauty) of the house’s (or roses’) surroundings, to the individual itself. (A) and (C) offer incontrovertible logic. Tallness and age—unlike fame or beauty—are not relative. If Mt. Williams is the tallest peak along the coast, and the region’s tallest peaks are along the coast, then Mt. Williams is the region’s tallest. How could any mountain, elsewhere in the region, be taller? And if Susan Coleman is the oldest kid in her family, and all three Coleman kids are older than all other kids in the building, how could any kid in the building be older than Susan? (B) Whew—more tobacco smoking in Greene County than anywhere else?! Anyhow, (B)’s reference to “likelihood” knocks this one out; no such reference to the likelihood of anything happening appears in the stimulus. (D) comes very close, but the middle piece of evidence goes awry. If it read “Since the fish stores in the harbor area have the most exotic fish of any stores in the city....,” (D) would be parallel: What links the terms in the stimulus is the concept of fame (‘exoticness’ here). But the number of fish stores that the middle evidence mentions has no parallel in the stimulus. • Be sure to examine all five choices, especially when the question seems tricky and the answer choices seem close to each other. Many examinees in December, 1995 jumped on (B) and (D) here, and never even got to the credited answer. 20. (A) Compare the first two lines of Morton’s speech (his conclusion) to the last two (the evidence, signaled by the Keyword “since”). All he does is repeat his claim, that success requires a college degree, but he provides no independent evidence for same. We’ve seen this kind of circular logic before, most recently in the first LR section, Q. 2. (B) An example of mistaking correlation for cause-and-effect: “All of the students at Drake Middle School wear uniforms, and they’re all well-behaved; it must be the uniforms that make them behave.” It’s a common error, but it’s not committed here. (C) The argument, such as it is, is general in nature. That Morton ends by mentioning “a person” doesn’t change things—he’s not speaking about one specific person. (D) Morton does consider the counterexamples: He looks at them and finds them wanting; they are only “apparent” counterexamples.

62

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

© K A PL A N

63

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

64

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

© K A PL A N

65

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section III

• The Kaplan Denial Test works nicely on Paradox questions as well as on Inference and Assumption questions. In all cases, the right answer—if denied—must contradict the text. (A wrong choice, such as answer choice (D), can be denied with no effect on the argument; see above.) Try denying the choices to see whether you have picked a winner. 25. (E) More fossils, and more beetles, too! The last time they were in the paradox of question 2. No paradox here, just another assumption. This stimulus describes a pretty nifty procedure: The research team first establishes the temperature tolerances of current existing beetles, and then finds and dates fossils of the same beetle species. The purpose is to establish maximum summer temperatures for particular years in Britain by matching the tolerances of existing beetles to the places and periods determined by the fossils. If a current species X beetle can withstand a maximum of 90 degrees, and a fossil of a species X beetle is traced to a county in Britain, 15,000 years ago, the researchers would conclude that the maximum temperature in that county 15,000 years ago was 90 degrees. But the researchers are assuming that the tolerances of the beetle species studied haven’t changed in the interim time period. The argument therefore needs the assumption in (E)—if the tolerances have changed, the whole connection is shot to hell and the researchers can no longer use their findings as a reliable indicator of temperature conditions in bygone years. (A) is irrelevant. Even if beetles functioned better in cold weather, the research team could still use their presence to set maximum temperatures as long as their tolerances have not changed. (B) Why would this be necessary to the argument? The fossils of various species found in the same place could belong to the same time period without causing a problem for the researchers. (C) is an irrelevant comparison. Presumably, the process of dating beetle fossils needs to be reliable, but it need not be more reliable that the process of dating other organisms in order for this argument to remain valid. (D) is long and wrong. The highest actual temperature couldn’t have been higher than the temperature tolerances for any one of the beetles known to have lived there. If the highest actual temperature was an average of the highs for each beetle, this would necessitate that it was higher than some beetles’ tolerance (unless all the tolerances were exactly equal), which, according to the setup of the study, is impossible. • Always try to pre-phrase your answer. Some questions are simply not amenable to pre-phrasing, but others, like this one involving a fairly blatant assumption, are. When you have an inkling of what you’re looking for, you can save time by scanning the choices aggressively, looking for the one that matches your prediction. In this one, you may have been able to skip past the nightmarish (D) if your scan revealed that (E) was the ticket.

66

© K A PL A N

© K A PL A N

67

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

Passage 1—Zora Neale Hurston (Q. 1-8)
Topic and Scope: Zora Neale Hurston; specifically, different assessments of her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Purpose and Main Idea: The author’s purpose is to explain why Hurston’s novel has only recently received widespread praise, her main idea being simply that the development of new strands of literary criticism accounts for this turnaround. Paragraph Structure: ¶1 introduces the passage’s basic question: Why was such an important and eventually influential novel dismissed when it first appeared? ¶2 says that the novel was misunderstood and condemned, especially in the Black literary community, because it was out of step with the Black “protest fiction” of the time. ¶3 explains that the rise of feminist and Afrocentric literary criticism has been behind the new appreciation of Hurston’s novel. The Big Picture: • Passages like this one—where topic, scope, and purpose become clear early on—are a good place to begin work on the Reading Comprehension section on test day. Passages that begin with a lot of unfocused details are best left for later in the section. • This passage features a classic structure that you’ll surely see on test day. A “problem” is presented up front; and the rest of the passage is devoted to probing and “solving” this problem. • Book review passages often mention different authors and different works. Keep them straight in your mind—the questions will probably test to see that you’re aware of the differences between/among authors and books. The Questions: 1. (E) Lines 15-18 say that Wilson’s work, “unlike” Hurston’s, was totally ignored upon its publication. But, like Hurston’s work, it has recently been the object of literary inquiry. (A) The passage doesn’t say when Wilson’s book was published, so we can’t conclude that it was written at the same time as Hurston’s novel. Moreover, Wilson's work didn’t receive any critical attention. (B) According to the passage (lines 1-5), it’s Hurston’s novel that has heavily influenced the writing of later Black women.

68

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

© K A PL A N

69

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

70

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

5. (C) ¶2 strongly implies that Wright’s Native Son fell into the genre of “protest fiction,” which explored the issue of racism in the United States. In other words, whereas Hurston’s novel concentrated on the life of one individual in the Black community (lines 39-40), Wright’s novel focused on the entire community. (A) Since Wright’s book fit into the dominant genre of the era, it’s highly unlikely that it got a worse reception than Hurston’s novel, especially since we’re told that Wright's novel was “much acclaimed.” (B) Au contraire. Wright’s novel is far more typical of mid-century Black writing than Hurston’s. (D) We can’t say that Wright’s book has got more folklore in it than Hurston’s, because the passage doesn’t tell us exactly what’s in his book. Except for the one reference, Native Son is outside the scope of the passage. (E) No comparison is possible between Wright’s book and Hurston’s on the issue of feminist and Afrocentric attention, because the passage doesn’t provide us with feminist and Afrocentric comments on Wright’s novel. • Many inference questions will contain wrong choices that fall outside the scope of the text. Here, choices (A), (D), and (E) are all outside the scope. • Wrong answers often blow up the importance of a detail. Notice how, in this passage, Native Son is only dragged in as a single simple point of comparison with These Eyes..., yet Q. 6's wrong choices all imply that the passage has much more to say about Wright's novel than that. 6. (B) Lines 29-33 say that Black writers of the 1940s believed that Black literature should fall into the “protest fiction” genre—that is, they believed that it should tackle the issue of racism against Blacks. The novel outlined in choice (B) has just such a focus. (A), (C), (D), and (E) None of the novels in these choices focuses on racial discrimination. (D)’s “unjust working conditions” is not the same as racial discrimination. • One or two questions on test day may ask you to apply information in the passage to an “outside scenario.” If you don’t see the idea that the question’s testing right away, move on to another question. There’s no sense wasting time; the answer to this sort of question won’t be found in the passage. Come back to it later if you’ve got time.

© K A PL A N

71

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

7. (C) In ¶2, the author notes that some mid-century reviewers dismissed Hurston’s book because it doesn’t deal with racism, the issue that interested them. In ¶3, the author notes that later reviewers, influenced by feminism or Afrocentrism, applauded the book because it deals with issues of concern to feminists and Blacks. Hence, the author is likely to agree with the notion that literary critics’ “ideological perspectives and assumptions about the purpose of art” color their analysis of art. (A) and (D) The author would probably disagree with these statements. After all, she largely attributes the early demise, as well as the later revival, of Hurston’s novel to the efforts of literary critics. (B) The author doesn’t discuss any “experimental” works of fiction, whatever that term means. Thus, there’s no telling what she’d have to say about how literary critics initially view them. (E) is too strong. True, the author notes that literary critics make much of the ideological premises of a book; but there’s nothing in the passage to indicate that she thinks that they hone in on this aspect of a work above all else. • Most passages will have one or two challenging questions. Don’t let them bog you down. Remember, you don’t get extra credit for answering hard questions correctly: All Q's are worth the same. Do all of the easy questions first; then come back to the tougher ones if you’ve got the time. 8. (B) The passage is mainly about the reassessment of Hurston’s novel that grew out of new forms of literary criticism. (A) What misconception? (C) distorts the contents of the passage. True, the author discusses early and more recent critiques of Hurston’s novel; but she doesn’t attempt to “reconcile” them. (D) What conventional approach? (E) What new discovery? • If you got Question #3, you should’ve gotten this one. When two questions probe the same issue, use the answer to the easier one to help you get the tougher one.

72

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

Passage 2—”Hard” Cases in Law (Q. 9-15)
Topic and Scope: The concept of “hard” (tough; controversial) legal cases; specifically, to what extent such cases are “legally determinate,” defined by the author as “decidable under existing law.” Purpose and Main Idea: The author’s purpose is to compare two legal thinkers' views of the law as a means of evaluating when and how controversial cases can be decided under existing law. By the end, certainly in the final sentence, we see that the author finds merit in both views but, in the main, finds Hart's conception of the open-endedness of legal terminology to be both persuasive and useful. Paragraph Structure: ¶1 presents some fundamental terminology and definitions—”hard” cases and “determinate”—as it lays out the passage’s fundamental issue: How can hard cases be decided? ¶2 belongs to Hart: his conception of law as legal rules with “opentextured” general terminology; an extended example; and the suggestion that some cases need to be decided on moral or political, rather than strictly legal, grounds because their terminology isn't specific or determinate enough. Dworkin is the focus of ¶3: To him the law isn't just Hart's rules, but also includes principles, and the two work in tandem to render “legal indeterminacy”—the deciding of cases on other than legal grounds—a non-issue. ¶4, as noted above, is comfortable with both concepts—both rules and principles—as the author forges a middle ground, deciding finally that there do exist difficult cases and a branch of law where things are simply not cut-and-dried, and judges must exercise some discretion. The Big Picture: • This passage is a strong candidate for being left until last: It's dense and difficult from the first few lines. Most students find this kind of windy text to be more manageable if it's approached after a lot of easier points are under one's belt. • Don't be nervous when a passage seems to involve a lot of intricate field-specific jargon, as this passage does. If the jargon important enough, then it will be clearly defined. • It is quite possible that you successfully attacked all or a majority of this passage's 7 questions without really knowing what the author was talking about. Don’t worry, because that is quite common. The beauty of LSAT Reading Comprehension is that if we get the gist of what's being discussed in a passage, we get a strong handle on the questions posed.

© K A PL A N

73

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

The Questions: 9. (C) Dworkin's concept is legal principles; Hart's is open-textured legal rules; ¶4 indicates the author's level of comfort with both; and (C) sums it all up and gets the topic and scope right, to boot. (A) begs the question of the topic and scope—the determinacy of “hard” cases—and comes down squarely on the side of the need for resolving all cases through law alone, something the author rejects. (B) is the choice for those who grab ¶1 and not much else. The definition of “hard” cases is a jumping-off point for the real issue of how such cases are to be decided, and (B) mentions none of that. (D)'s negative judgment of Dworkin's concept of legal principles is not supported by the author—indeed, the author embraces the concept in ¶4. (E) is a pretty radical distortion of this passage's content and tone. Hart's definition of legal terminology as “open textured” implies (quite sensibly) that language has some inherent flexibility of meaning—even legal language—and that judges need to exercise some judgment as a result; but all of that is a far cry from accusations of “inherent inconsistency” and “defects and gaps in the law.” • As long as you recognize the “middle ground” between Hart and Dworkin that the author is trying to forge in ¶4, you should be able to reject the four uncredited choices without straining for full comprehension of the text. • We must always be conscious of topic and scope, and never more so than in global questions, where dozens of wrong choices can be put by the wayside simply because they deviate from the author's broadest terms of argument. 10. (C) This choice nicely paraphrases lines 40-41. (A) sounds like a plausible definition of the term “legal principles” on its face, but it has nothing to do with Dworkin or, indeed, with anything else in the passage. (B) Legal principles, as defined by Dworkin, don’t explain legal rules: They coexist with them, within the body of established law (see lines 35-37). (D) Dworkin believes that law exists outside of legal rules. (E) Dworkin seems to be opposed to the notion that some cases need judicial discretion (lines 42-45), so he would not coin the term “legal principles” to mean cases that required same.

74

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

• You're pointed to ¶2 by this stem, but again, you don't necessarily need chapter-andverse understanding of ¶2. When you're asked for a definition, as you are here, ignore distractions and just concentrate on the definition that the author provides. 11. (D) The answer comes from the final sentence—as well as the realization that rules are Hart's concept, principles are Dworkin's, and the author is trying to effect a synthesis of the two in the final paragraph. The “penumbra of both rules and principles,” of course, is (lines 1516) the place where things are not cut-and-dried and determinate. (A) The author never posits which—rules or principles—is appealed to more often in hard cases. (B) “Official recognition,” whatever that means, has nothing to do with this “think piece” on legal determinacy, the author's effort to work out a theory of one part of the law. (C) Far from arguing that rules have been superseded by principles, the author believes that both exist in the law. (E) No, the author hints strongly that those cases “in the penumbra of both rules and principles” (lines 56-57) will, in fact, require judges' discretion for their decidability. • Even when you can't quite pinpoint where in the passage an answer is to be found, you can be bold in rejecting choices (such as answer choice (C) and answer choice (E) here) that are wildly at odds with the author's point of view. 12. (D) This choice sums up lines 18-22. (A) and (B) are off because the word “vehicle” is a term, not a rule or principle in and of itself. (C) and (E) Au contraire, “vehicle” was chosen precisely because it does not necessarily have one settled meaning (C), because it's Hart's concept in action (E). • Don't strain too hard on “purpose of a detail” questions. Try to take them at face value. 13. (B) This answer comes directly out of lines 8-11, which tie Hart's concept to the standard law and describe Hart's ideas as “clear” and “persuasive.” (A) “Clear” and “persuasive” don't imply that a work or theory covers a topic “exhaustively.” No evidence for this one.

© K A PL A N

75

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

(C) and (D) are each half-right, half-wrong. Interesting, sure; plausible, o.k.; but “impractical” or “unwieldy”? It's unlikely that a theoretical think piece like this one would traffic much in practicality anyway; but if anything, the author does seem to see practical and workable (as opposed to “unwieldy”) value in Hart's concept (see ¶4). (E) Hopelessly wrong. No matter how far back in history Hart's work dates—and of course we get no info to that effect—the author seems to find it relevant and well worth studying. • Don't just answer tone questions in a seat-of-the-pants way. Scour the passage for explicit textual support for your choice. 14. (B) Some examinees, thrown by all of the heavy-duty terminology in ¶1, failed to see that “determinate” is clearly defined by lines 6-7 and paraphrased in (B). Very straightforward. A demonstration of how one's frame of mind can make or break a particular LSAT question. (A) Penalties—sentences, punishments, etc.—are way beyond the scope of this investigation. (C) The concept of judicial discretion doesn't come into the passage until much later, and then only in passing. This choice picks up on some terminology from the previous sentence (lines 1-3) but is otherwise incoherent. (D) defines “indeterminate” pretty well. (E) No reference to codified procedures can be found anywhere near line 6. • Frame of mind is so important. Remember that if you're struggling with a passage's dense ideas or difficult jargon, so is everyone else; and trust that a general sense of the issues involved should be enough for at least the lion's share of the questions. • Remember, too, that even difficult passages come equipped with less than challenging questions. Like this one.

76

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

15. (E) This choice as written basically just sums up two lines, lines 46-47, but that fact shouldn't unduly trouble you: After all, ¶4 is where the passage's individual discussions of Hart and Dworkin is heading—it is, therefore, the most important ¶—and lines 46-47 do encapsulate ¶4. So despite (E)'s evocation of only two lines, they are the most important lines and can stand acceptably as the author's purpose. (A) Nonsense. The in-practice role of the legislative branch is about as far removed from this passage's concerns as can be. (B) is an issue that was raised and disposed of in ¶1. The topic may be “hard” cases, but the scope moves away from their definition to their determinacy, something that (B) ignores but (E) exploits. (C) paraphrases lines 38-41, but these lines aren't nearly as all-encompassing as lines 46-47. And in terms of the author's main purpose, Dworkin certainly doesn't deserve the pride of place that (C) assigns him. (D) If anyone is in the “critiquing Hart” business, it's Dworkin and not our author, who is trying to synthesize the views of the two thinkers. • When working with global questions, make a special effort to pre-phrase an answer, in order to avoid being sidetracked by tangential issues.

© K A PL A N

77

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

Passage 3—Impose a CO2 Tax? (Q. 16-21)
Topic and Scope: A tax on CO2 emissions as a way of reducing air pollution; specifically, whether and how governments should impose such a tax. Purpose and Main Idea: The author’s purpose is fairly clearly announced in lines 17-19, and expanded in lines 44-45—overall, he wonders, what are the issues involved in imposing that pollution tax? A flat-out conclusion that the tax is, or is not, desirable would act as a strong main idea, but the author falls short of providing one; he sees the upsides and downsides of the idea, but makes no final recommendation. Paragraph Structure: ¶1 announces the issue quite blatantly, and the rhetorical question (lines 3-7) sets the tone for the rest of the inquiry: Why impose a CO2 tax rather than any number of other ways to control pollution? The rest of ¶1 describes the advantages of the tax. ¶2 explores the uncertainty (announced in lines 17-19) over how high a tax would need to be, to be effective; and then the new issue it introduces, that of cooperation between nations, turns out to drive ¶3. That ¶ lists the difficulties in convincing all nations to impose the tax, a topic that segues neatly into ¶4's consideration of the pros and cons of unilateral imposition of the CO2 tax. The Big Picture: • Not every passage contains a “main idea.” Don't strain to find one. Some passages (like this one) simply explore the pros and cons of an issue, or lay out a narrative with no real persuasive purpose. The best clue that a passage can be boiled down to one “big idea” is the presence of a question explicitly asking for one. • Not every passage contains a main idea, but every passage has a purpose. Every author has a solid reason for writing what she does. Explore that, first and foremost.

78

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

The Questions: 16. (B) The details of the tax come up in ¶1, where we're told that “a carbon tax would vary with the type of fuel” (lines 12-13). “Type” isn't immediately visible among the choices, so we need to look to two lines earlier, where we see that the type of fuel is pegged to the amount of pollution each creates—choice (B). (A) Tricky, because it sounds superficially plausible; but it's unsupported by anything in ¶1, or anywhere else for that matter. (C) and (E) The size of the CO2 -burning industries, and the number of users, are never discussed. These choices seem to have been jury-rigged to fill out the set of five. (D) Economic implications aren't mentioned until ¶2, and even then they're described as being uncertain, so how could the author believe that they would cause the variance in the amount of the tax? • Your pre-phrased answer may not always appear among the choices. Instead of forcing a choice to fit, go back to the text and reread the relevant paragraph. You may have missed something. 17. (A) Nothing could be clearer than line 22's Keywords “for example,” indicating that what it's an example of can be found just earlier. And indeed, (A) is an easy paraphrase of lines 1921. (B)'s reference to “most accurate information available” is puzzling at best, and misleading at worst: Right after presenting the example, our author (in lines 27-34) makes it clear that the writer's information is highly speculative in nature. (C) No, the stats are cited approvingly. (D) Incentives for emissions reductions are the topic of ¶1, not ¶2. (E) Read carefully! Lines 22-27 don't show how to calculate an effective tax; they show the results of such calculations. Exactly how the writer came up with those figures is never discussed by our author. • Never stop looking for, and relying on, Keywords.

© K A PL A N

79

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

18. (A) A difficult question—difficult because it's based on a dense part of the passage, and because it's logic-based—worth skipping over in your first pass through the passage and questions. The premise of the tax, as outlined in ¶1, is that the highest-polluting fuel would be taxed the highest, an incentive to fuel users to switch to less-polluting (and, inferably, lower-taxed) fuels and to reduce energy use altogether. But if (A) is true, if the highesttaxed and highest-polluting fuel is the cheapest, then that would be a disincentive to switch according to plan. Industry might well stick with the more damaging fuel and pay the higher tax on it, because doing so could result in net savings. (B) The Toronto Conference doesn't come up until several lines later. Besides, if as (B) says, all fuels would be taxed higher, then that would have no effect on the conclusion in question. (C) Irrelevant distinction that fails to affect the likelihood of industry substituting lesspolluting fuels for the higher-taxed ones. (D) and(E) sound so similar that some examinees may smell a rat, and suspect that one of them must be right and the other wrong. But whether it's gas or coal that proves to provide less CO2 than was once thought, we are still no closer to damaging the author's conviction that industry will be moved to switch fuels after the tax is imposed. • The LSAT shouldn't be fought as a siege. Never dig in your heels and dwell on one particular difficult question—especially when there may be many easier questions just around the bend. Circle the toughie, and go on for now. 19. (B) As noted above, this one sums up the topic and scope and the author's overall movement through the passage. (A) ¶2 only. (C) Lines 27-34 only. (D) Answered by lines 1-3. Then what? This one misses the entire thrust of the passage. (E) Never discussed. Too specific and technical for this kind of general-audience piece, anyway. • This, like all other global questions, warrants reference to the entire passage as a whole. Anticipate that wrong choices will be too narrow, or irrelevant to the issues at hand.

80

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

20. (C) This one requires an understanding of the sweep of ¶4—and the whole sweep, because if you stop reading at line 48 you probably end up choosing wrong choice (D). Up to line 48, the author describes the benefits of a country imposing the tax on its own, but thereafter lays out the negatives. In the end, the conclusion that as a result of unilateral action, probably more CO2 would enter the atmosphere than before, strongly suggests that the author votes “thumbs down” to a unilaterally-imposed tax, and for the reason summed up neatly by (C). (A) has the thrust of the discussion 180 degrees off. The rest of the world would initially benefit, but the taxing country would be harmed. (B) Au contraire, other countries would benefit—at least initially. (D) Again, a tempting choice if one goes no further than line 48. (E) The whole idea of countries being “inspired” to do positive and idealistic things is markedly absent from ¶4. • A good rule of thumb: When you think you've found your answer in the text, read on just a little bit further, to see whether an unexpected but relevant shift occurs nearby. 21. (E) Look just prior to line 41 for the definition of the “free rider” effect: What we get is a country refusing to cooperate in a group venture, and profiting rather than being punished for its include-me-out attitude. That's the position (E)'s shepherd is happily in, continuing to graze his sheep on fields that everyone else is eschewing in favor of purchased feed. (A)'s city is trying to negotiate a good deal for itself—not exactly selfless or altruistic, but not an individual stepping to its own beat against the wishes of others. (B) Self-interest (\$) motivates this guy, but again, he's not benefiting from his refusal to go along with everyone else. (C) Here's someone Doing The Right Thing despite the apathy of his neighbors. (D) Read carefully! The homeowner's purchase of bottled water is a different approach to the problem of contaminated groundwater from that of his neighbors and their fund, but does not amount to his profiting from going in a different direction. • Analogy questions can be tricky. Get support from the text, and don't settle for a choice that seems to relate to the given situation; demand a close fit.

© K A PL A N

81

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

Passage 4—African Drought (Q. 22-27)
Topic and Scope: Sub-Saharan West Africa’s drought; specifically, a hypothesis that explains why sub-Saharan West Africa has been caught up in a long and severe drought. Purpose and Main Idea: The author’s purpose is to describe and assess a widespread hypothesis (the “cooling” theory) about the cause of sub-Saharan West Africa’s drought; the author’s main idea is that this hypothesis is unconvincing. Paragraph Structure: ¶1 sets out the basic hypothesis: A cooling of the Northern Hemisphere has caused the drought. ¶s 1 and 2 explain the reasoning behind this hypothesis. Essentially, atmospheric dust has reflected sunlight away from the ground, lowering the Northern Hemisphere’s air temperature, which, in turn, has affected wind patterns, ultimately leading to less rainfall in sub-Saharan West Africa. Moreover, this detrimental development, proponents of the hypothesis believe, might be long term. ¶3 shifts gears from description to opinion. In this ¶, the author basically says that the hypothesis is refuted by the meteorological facts. The Big Picture: • This passage contains a mass of details. Don’t worry about assimilating all of them during a first read through. Instead, get a sense of each ¶’s purpose. This way you’ll know instantly where to find the details that you may need. • It’s sometimes easier to grasp a complicated scientific process if you create a picture of it in your mind. Passages like this one that have long descriptions of a process are very susceptible to this strategy. Even non-meteorologists and non-geographers can get an adequate sense of the cooling hypothesis if s/he pictures the process mentally. • Tough passages often have easy questions. Don’t blow off a tough passage because you think that you won’t be able to answer any of the questions. You’ll be sacrificing some easy points if you do.

82

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

The Questions: 22. (B) This choice encompasses the passage’s topic (African drought); scope (a widespread hypothesis about the cause of the drought); and purpose (to describe and take issue with this hypothesis). (A) Au contraire. The author says that the “cooling hypothesis,” which is based on the role of atmospheric dust, is “not well supported” by the meteorological facts. (C) focuses on a detail in ¶2, not the passage as a whole. (D) Like (C), this choice focuses on a detail in ¶2. Besides, this view is held by proponents of the “cooling hypothesis.” It’s not the author’s view. (E) is beyond the scope of the passage, which offers no information about when the African drought is likely to end. • The two most frequent “trap” choices on global questions are choices that focus on details, and choices that go beyond the scope of the text. Watch out for them. 23. (B) In ¶3, the author says that the “cooling hypothesis” is “not well supported”; and he offers a number of meteorological facts that appear to undermine it. But he knocks the hypothesis in a very restrained tone. That’s why “cautious skepticism” is a better description of his attitude than “vehement opposition” (A). (C) The author’s not “ambivalent” about the hypothesis. Lines 48-50 suggest that he gave it some credence at some point, but that's only the slightest of suggestions. (D) and (E) suggest that the author’s a proponent of the hypothesis. That clearly isn’t the case. • When you’re asked about the author’s attitude, you’ll generally be able to eliminate three choices with relative ease. Of the last two, the more moderate one will usually (but not always) be correct because most LSAT passages, if they are opinionated, contain moderate opinions appropriate to scholarly discourse. And should some author's opinions be vehement, the evidence for that vehemence will be clearly placed in the passage for all to see.

© K A PL A N

83

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV

24. (D) Lines 33-34 is where this “circumpolar vortex,” so called, is first mentioned; and what “is causing” (line 32) it? Lines 30-32 tell us. Expansion of the circumpolar vortex, according to those who endorse the “cooling hypothesis,” occurs when there’s a growth in the temperature differential between the tropical latitudes and more northerly latitudes. (A) focuses on the tropics exclusively—no can do. (B) distorts a detail in ¶2. If anything, the circumpolar vortex might expand if there’s heavier than normal snowfall for an extended period. (C) is beyond the scope of the passage, which doesn’t mention temperature differentials between water and land. (E) The significant difference is between the tropical latitudes, on the one hand, and the middle and high latitudes, on the other. • When students complain about “detail questions,” this and Q. 25 are their nightmares. Both are prime examples of why it’s important to go back to the passage for details. All of Q. 24's choices might have looked convincing at first glance, and only by rereading lines 29-34 could you confidently zero in on choice (D). 25. (A) Note that the question asks specifically about Northern Hemisphere landmasses, not about the Northern Hemisphere in general. That makes the information in lines 8-12 relevant here, and clearly those temperatures declined after 1945. (A) just describes that the other way round: Temps were higher, before. Incidentally, information in lines 58-63 isn’t relevant because it refers to the Northern Hemisphere in general. (B) Since we’re not given actual figures, we have no way to compare the pre-1945 period to the 1980s. All we know is that temperatures were warmer in both eras than they were between 1945 and the early 1970s. (C) Lines 8-12 state otherwise. (D) and (E) We aren’t given the actual data that would permit either comparison. • This question, like Q. 24, is very difficult; it may be arguable which is the hardest in the entire Reading Comprehension section, but it's surely one of these two. Thus, either or both are good candidates to tackle after you’ve completed all of the other questions (unless, of course, you happen to see an answer right away). Remember, questions like these one aren’t worth more than easy questions; so, don’t waste a lot of time on them if you don’t see a quick path to the answer.

84

© K A PL A N

LSAT PREP _____________________________________________________________ LSAT Test XVII Explained: Section IV