Explanations to Test B
Scoring test B Using the number of correct answers from test B, find your scaled score using the chart below. In each column, the raw score is the number on the left, the scaled score is the number on the right. >49 – 180 49 – 179 48 – 177 47 – 175 46 – 173 45 – 172 44 – 170 43 – 169 42 – 167 41 – 166 Number of questions correct – scaled score 40 – 165 30 – 153 20 – 141 10 – 125 39 – 164 29 – 152 19 – 140 9 – 123 38 – 162 28 – 151 18 – 138 8 – 122 37 – 161 27 – 150 17 – 137 <8 – 120 36 – 160 26 – 149 16 – 136 35 – 159 25 – 147 15 – 135 34 – 158 24 – 146 14 – 134 33 – 157 23 – 145 13 – 132 32 – 156 22 – 144 12 – 130 31 – 154 21 – 142 11 – 127
Section 1 – Analytical Reasoning Couples Dining This puzzle requires that you use a matrix (or grid) diagram. Matrix puzzles are very common. Virtually every LSAT has at least one matrix puzzle. Typically the matrix puzzle is tested by using a schedule matrix. In the schedule matrix there will three to five days with a morning and an afternoon time slot. But, in this game we have a grid with people’s names on one axis and the types of food on the other axis. The diagram for this game is fairly elaborate. (Figure 4) Salad Entree Dessert H R D T WM IC B C F
Yes No G P if* Q
Greg orders duck, and it is safe to assume, even though it is not explicitly stated, that he will not also order the trout. Bob and Quincy have been linked with an arrow, and an asterisk, to show that they have a relationship. An arrow from the house salad to the ice cream shows that link. Finally, an asterisk next to P will remind us to look back at the rules to see how the rule effects P. We use an asterisk when the rule cannot be graphed easily.
There are no obvious warranted conclusions for this puzzle, so go directly to the questions. 1. B – OK, use rule violation answer elimination one more time. Start at the top of the rules and work your way to the bottom! Rule 1 is violated in answer choice A since Fiona and Greg order exactly the same items. See the end of this explanation for more information on how to handle ambiguous language. Rule 2 is not violated in any of the answer choices. Rule 3 is violated in answer choice E, since Paula has both an entrée and a dessert. Rule 4 is violated in answer choice D since Bob and Quincy both order the romaine salad. Rule 5 is violated in answer choice C since Fiona orders the house salad but does not order the ice cream. With A, C, D and E eliminated, B is the correct choice. This systematic approach to this question type works every time! A note about ambiguous language in the rules. Sometimes it is not clear what the rule means, as was the case with rule 1. The ambiguity will be resolved when you review the answer choices, so never let ambiguous language slow you down. E - What do you know about Bob? You know that both he and Quincy order salads, but not the same kind of salads. Thus, if Bob orders the romaine salad, then Quincy must order the house salad, and by rule 5, then he must also order ice cream, so E is correct. This is a classic example of the deductive process. The hypothetical information given (Bob orders the romaine salad) allows you to deduce something (Quincy orders the house salad) which in turn allows you to deduce something else (Quincy orders ice cream). If you ever get stuck on a question in logic games, see if you haven’t cut the deductive process short by a step or two. That is often the best tactic if you “can’t find a correct answer”. E – This is a classic example of using the contrapositive. When you have an if/then rule like the rule regarding Paula, reverse and negate the terms to form the contrapositive, which must also be true. The original rule is: if Paula orders and entrée then she does not order a dessert. When you reverse and negate the terms you get: if Paula orders a dessert, then she does not order an entrée. Here, since all of the diners order dessert, Paula orders dessert, so from the contrapositive; she does not order an entrée. Thus, Paula cannot order the duck and E is the right answer. D – If all of the women order house salads, then they also order ice cream, by virtue of rule 5. By the same reasoning used in the previous question, Paula then cannot order an entrée. You also know from rule 2 that Greg orders the duck. Hence, the maximum number of diners who could order the trout is four, answer choice D. The only remaining rule to watch out for in this scenario is that no couple orders exactly the same items, but as long as Bob orders a romaine salad instead of the house salad that Carrie orders, that rule will not be triggered. B – Again, think about what you know about ice cream. Anyone who orders the house salad also orders ice cream. Both Bob and Quincy order salads, but
not the same kind, so one of them orders the house salad and one of them orders the romaine salad. Since only one person orders ice cream in this question, it must be either Bob or Quincy, whichever one orders the house salad. So, either A or E could be true, but Carrie definitely cannot order ice cream and thus B is the correct response. D – With maximum and minimum questions, start with either the smallest number and work your way up (with a minimum question) or start with the largest number and work your way down (with a maximum question). Here, you are told that each of the diners orders an entrée. Right there are six items. Does anyone have to order something else? Yes, Bob and Quincy both order salads, so now you have at least eight items and you can eliminate A and B. Finally, as discussed in the previous question, when either Bob or Quincy orders the house salad he must then also order ice cream, so that is now nine items that must be ordered. Eliminate answer choice C. There are no other rules that say one of the diners must order anything else, so the minimum number of items ordered in this question is nine, answer choice D.
Aunt Mae’s Preserves Simple line games, like this one, are the most common puzzle type. You will always see at least one simple line game on an LSAT. Often there will be two, or even three, line games. The preserves game uses a traditional seven-position line. It is very easy to diagram the rules of this game. (Figure 3) __ (C) CDC D F L A Fig. 3 Note the (C) on opposites ends of the line. The parentheses () show that the cherry is not fixed in the positions. The line that connects the two (C)s will help us remember to keep track of the cherry preserves. Next, note the one-way arrow from (F) under position 3 to (L) under position 5. This helps us remember that the fig is not required to be in position 3, but that if it is in position 3, that L must be in position 5. Note, even if lychee is in position 5, this does not automatically require that lychee be in position 3. That is why this is a one-way arrow. Finally, note the three conditions that we could not place on the diagram, but that we were able to create shorthand notations for. (Figure 3) In this game, there were no obvious warranted conclusions, so go directly to the questions. 7. E – Here again the first question of the game is an acceptable order question. So use the rules to eliminate the answer choices. Just like question 1 from the first game, start with rule 1; see if it is violated in any of the answer choices. Work your way down the list of rules until you have only one choice left. Rule 1 is not violated in any of the answer choices. Rule 2 is violated in answer choice A, since the fig preserves are to the left of the date preserves. Rule 3 is violated in answer choice B, since the lychee preserves are to the right of the apple preserves. Rule 4 is violated in answer choice D, since the cherry preserves are not on an end of the shelf. Rule 5 is violated in answer choice C, since the fig preserves are in jar 3 but the lychee preserves are not in jar 5. Since A, B, C and D are eliminated, E must be the right answer. C – Sometimes a question will appear difficult but is actually quite simple if you follow the rules. What would preclude one of the preserves from being placed in jar 7? If it is one of the preserves that must be to the left of another preserve! Either date or lychee preserves would fit this criterion, so C is the correct response. A – When a question stem gives you two pieces of hypothetical information, usually it is the second piece that is more helpful. Here, since the cherry __ __ (F) __ __ (L) __ __ (C)
preserves are to the left of the lychee preserves, then you can deduce that the cherry preserves are in jar 1, since they must to be on one of the ends. That still doesn’t tell you much about the rest of the jars. However, once you know that the fig preserves are in jar 3, then by rule 5 the lychee preserves must be in jar 5, and by rule 2 the date preserves must be in jar 2. Right away that eliminates D and E. Also, since the apple preserves are to the right of the lychee preserves, B cannot be true, and since you know that the date preserves are in jar 2, then C, mango preserves in jar 2, cannot be true either. On this question, there is no restriction against the grape preserves being in jar 6, so A is correct. E – Again, start with what you know about the hypothetical piece of information. With the mango preserves in jar 6, the cherry preserves must now be in jar 1 since they cannot be next to the mango preserves, yet they must be on one of the ends. That eliminates answer choice B. Remember what we learned in second question? Neither the date preserves nor the lychee preserves can be in jar 7 since they both must be to the left of another type of preserves. Often the deductions made for the early questions can be very useful for later questions. Eliminate answer choices A and C. Of the remaining three types of preserves, any of them COULD be in jar 7. Note that the question asks for a complete and accurate list. In answer choice D, either the fig or grape preserves could be in jar 7, but so could the apple preserves, so E is the right answer. D – If the cherry preserves must be next to the fig preserves, then they must be in jar 7 and jar 6 respectively, since the cherry preserves must be on one of the ends of the shelf and the fig preserves must be to the right of the date preserves. If you put the cherry preserves in jar 1 and the fig preserves in jar 2, there would be nowhere to put the date preserves to the left of the fig preserves. Now, bear in mind that when a question asks for what must be true, that means it must be true at all times, not just that it could be true. Any of the remaining preserves may or may not be in jar 5, except the lychee preserves, since they must be to the left of the apple preserves. The only choice that must be true is D; the lychee preserves are not in jar 5. B – You certainly could solve this type of question by trying every answer choice to see which one works. The smarter way to solve for the answer choice that seems the most limiting, since that is the one that is most likely to restrict you to a single possible set up. There are no rules regarding the grape preserves, so A and D are unlikely to be correct. Furthermore, placing the lychee and date preserves means that the apple and the fig preserves respectively must be somewhere to their right, but we don’t know exactly where, so C and E are probably not right. B should be tempting because it gives you some significant limitations. Once the mango preserves are in jar 2, then the cherry preserves must be in jar 7 since they cannot be next to the mango yet must be on one end of the shelf. Also, once the fig preserves are in jar 3, then the lychee preserves must be in jar 5, according to rule 5, and the date preserves must be in jar 1, since they have to be to the left of the fig preserves. Finally, since the apple preserves must be to the right of the lychee
preserves, they must be in jar 6, and the only remaining jar for the grape preserves is jar 4. B is the correct response.
Section 2 – Logical Reasoning 1. D – We start with an easy question. The argument acknowledges that there are several companies located on the banks of Green River, but then lays the blame for the toxic chemicals squarely at the feet of Nopac because Nopac uses some of the chemicals in question. However, there is no direct evidence linking Nopac to the chemicals in the river, they are just as likely to come from one of the other companies as they are to have come from Nopac. D is the choice that identifies this error in reasoning and thus is the credited response. None of the other choices comes close to describing this flaw. 2. E – Make sure you definitively connect the relationships here. The one thing we know for sure is that all Italian cars are faster then all German cars and French cars. With choice A, we don’t know how German and French cars compare. In choice B, we don’t know if some American cars are faster than Italian cars (we do know that some American cars are slower then some French cars, and thus are slower than Italian cars). Choice C is another one that we don’t know the answer to. Choice D is also wrong. We know that all Italian cars are faster than some American cars, but we don’t know about all American cars. A – D all could be true, but none of them have to be true. Since all Italian cars are faster than German cars and some German cars are faster than some Swedish cars, than Italian cars must be faster than at least those Swedish cars, and E must therefore be true. 3. C – The tensile strength of the spider web is almost ten times its mass, so for the web to hold an object that object must weigh less than ten times the spider web’s weight. To conclude that a spider web could hold a rat involves the assumption that rats do not weigh more than ten times the spider web. Choice C is correct. Choice B may have caught your eye. Certainly, if the web can hold a rat, it seems logical that it can hold something that weighs less then a rat. But the more accurate and direct assumption that we need to assume is that the rat is not more than ten times the weight of the web. Notice how choice C referred to both elements, the weight of the rat and the weight of the web? Choice B did not refer to both elements of the argument. 4. A – Parallel reasoning questions are definitely the harder questions on the LSAT. Stay calm, stay focused, and dissect the argument. We are told as a fact that they only way to get in without setting off the alarm is to use the code. Don’t dream up conspiracy theories, like that the burglars are in league with the manager, or that they snuck in before midnight and hid in the building. Accept it as fact that there is only one way to get in, by using the code. Therefore, the burglars must have known the security code because that is the only way they could have gotten in without setting off the alarm that the manager set. Look for those same elements in the correct answer. There is only one thing a person can do to achieve a particular result. This person achieved that result; therefore they must
have done that one thing. In A, the only way the student could get a perfect score is if he knew all the answers before the test, much like the burglars had to know the security code to get into the bank without setting off the alarm. A is the best choice. Choice B does not match the pattern. It discusses two elements, knowing where to find the diamonds, and having tools to break in. Choices C and D are wrong, maybe this person didn’t know the cake was poisoned or the ranger patrolled, or was just taking his chances that he wouldn’t be poisoned, or caught by the ranger. Choice E is a more attractive wrong answer, but it doesn’t have the right pattern. The argument pattern was that there is only one way to achieve a goal, the goal was achieves, thus the person did the act that was necessary to achieve the goal. 5. B – Tyrone believes that this candidate is not fit for office for the several reasons stated. Ophelia believes that this candidate, despite his past, should be allowed to serve if elected. Thus, they are committed to disagreeing about choice B. In choice A they actually agree about this issue. As for choice C, Tyrone does not say that a person must have a spotless record; he says this candidate has a bad record. In regard to Choice D, we are not told about any other candidates. Choice E is not something that Ophelia addresses. 6. D – The author asserts that ancient Sumerian warriors preferred long swords as their weapon of choice because they were light and could be used a safer distance from the enemy, so as not to expose the Sumerians to as much danger. However, if D is true, and the majority of wounds to the Carpathians came from arrows, this new fact undercuts the assertion that long swords were the weapons of choice. D is correct. Choice A is somewhat appealing, but just because they used spears frequently does not mean that the swords were not their first choice. Choices B and C should have made you say, “so what?” Choice E would, at most, only slightly weaken the historians’ assertion. 7. D – This is a classic contrapositive question. The argument states that if the council relies solely on the donations of wealthy patrons, the museum will not open anytime soon. By reversing and negating those terms, the contrapositive would be that if the museum does open soon, other funding must have been acquired. D is the best choice. Alternatively, view the argument as a series of facts: the only source is private money, no public money has been sought, if rely only on wealthy private patrons it will not open. Therefore…if the museum does open, the money must have come from somewhere besides the wealthy private patrons. Choice A misguidedly focuses on matching funds. Choice B is not necessarily true. Choice C goes well beyond the facts, discussing bonds. Choice E at least discusses something relevant, but it is not a conclusion that must be true based on these facts. 8. C – Again, with assumption questions, find the assumption that connects the evidence and the conclusion. Here, the evidence concerns the ability of human children and chimpanzees to distinguish between different colors and shapes, and
the conclusion is that their brains must develop at the same rate. Only choice C links the ability to distinguish things and the conclusion about brain development. Choice A provides “who cares” information. Choice B seems to contradict the facts. Choice D is certainly a logical conclusion one could draw, but it is not an assumption. Choice E brings up a totally new subject. 9. A – The correct answer here has to identify a flaw in the reasoning of the conclusion. The correct answer should not simply dispute the facts of the argument. The test makers regularly test the distinction between sufficient and necessary conditions. Something–like feeling threatened–that is sufficient to produce a result–make it hiss and bear its claws–is not by itself necessary to produce this result. There may be other reasons that a cat would hiss and bear its claws. Thus, it is not necessary that cats feel threatened, so A is the best choice. Choice B is not a credited because it is a new fact, not a flaw in the logical reasoning of the conclusion. Choice C is a criticism of the author’s knowledge, but does not necessarily indicate a reasoning flaw. Choice D contradicts a fact, which is not what you are supposed to do in a flawed reasoning question. Choice E also is a new, contradictory fact. 10. B – Here, the author states that an encompassing physical presence needs to exist before a thing can be properly considered “in” something else. Then the author declares that “love” is not physical. The author then concludes that something cannot be “in love”. For method of argument questions where the answer choices use generic language, try to decide how the author made their argument before you look at the choices so you will not be as tempted by the language of incorrect choices like A or D. B is correct; she defines “in” as being a physical phenomenon, and then defines “love” as being a non-physical phenomenon, so the physical cannot be contained by this non-physical state. Choice A is wrong because she did not argue that being in one state precluded being in the other state, she argued that the physical could not be contained by the non-physical. Choice C is wrong; there were not two conflicting emotions. Choice D is an inscrutable answer; does she limit how her argument can be applied? No, she goes to great lengths to define two words. Choice E, the evidence she offers supports her conclusion, it does not prove her conclusion is absurd. 11. B – Here is another paradox question. The building contractor says he wants to improve the architectural aesthetic of Main Street, yet he has torn down two supposedly beautiful buildings. However, if the purpose of tearing down those buildings is to replace them with something even more pleasing, as B states, then that explains the paradox. Choice A does not address the aesthetic issue. Choice C discusses history, but we are focusing on aesthetics. Choices D and E discuss issues that are irrelevant to aesthetics. 12. E – To conclude that their would be no more divorces if couples fixed their financial problems and infidelity requires the assumption that there are no additional factors that could also cause a divorce. This is called a negative
assumption, that something besides the two suggested causes is not present. You should see at least a few of these on the LSAT. Focus on the key words in the argument, “main reasons” and “no more” divorces. The argument states as fact that these two reasons are the main reasons for divorce. It then assumes that these are the only reasons people get divorces. Then it concludes that if you can eliminate these two main reasons there will be no more divorce. Choice A is not the necessary assumption; the argument discussed both issues together and did not separate them. Choice B is not the necessary assumption; the argument never ranks the reasons. Choice C is not the necessary assumption. Who knows, maybe these couples do have financial problems, we don’t know and we don’t care. We care about divorced couples. Choice D is not the necessary assumption, since it brings up a totally new subject, marriage counseling. 13. D – The scientist believes that there may be elements smaller than neutrons, electrons and protons, but they haven’t yet proven they exist. To bolster that argument, you want a new fact that indicates that there are, in fact, elements that are smaller than an electron. If D is true, this would strongly indicate that something smaller than electrons do exist. Choice B would only partially strengthen the argument. Choice A is irrelevant; we want things that are smaller than electrons. Choices C and D discuss issues that are not related to the size of this hypothesized matter.
Section 3 – Reading Comprehension Constitutional interpretation As is often the case, one of the four passages will discuss a legal topic. The specific subject of the passage can vary widely. It may be the rights of American Indians to tribal burial grounds, privacy of e-mails in the workplace, or, in this case, constitutional interpretation. As with the other reading comprehension topics, it is not important if you have no prior knowledge of the subject. The issues you will be tested on are issues of format, not substance. That said, it is always nice to have a passage on a subject that you are familiar with. Your familiarity helps you organize the passage, deepening your comprehension. This passage employs the opinionated observer technique. A subject, the two ways to interpret the constitution, is presented, and is then illustrated with the example of how slavery and desegregation cases were interpreted. 1. B – As is typical, the first question of the set is a main idea question. In this example, don’t be fooled by choices that only address part of the issue. Both A and E are close, but they both lack the central issue, strict vs. loose constructionism. B must be the correct answer because it is the only choice that mentions the main point about the constructionism debate, which is the focus of the passage. You will occasionally see questions on the actual LSAT where only one choice includes the necessary terms. This is a good example of such a question. Choice A is overly broad; race relations were not the issue. Choice C is overly narrow; the Warren court was just one court. Choice D is too broad; the passage deals only with segregation cases. Choice E is close, but this passage is not a mere history of the court, it is an examination of a specific issue, how the court construes the constitution. D – It is very important to read the question stem carefully, especially when there are conflicting viewpoints in the passage. Even though the point of the passage is how these cases support a loose constructionist approach, this question asks why the strict constructionists would find Dred Scott favorable. It is a bit tricky. They would approve of the decision because it employed a narrow interpretation of the intent of the framers. Thus, D is the best choice. Make sure you clearly distinguish between the different opinions and viewpoints presented in the same passage, and beware of answer choices that support the opposing view. A – The entire point of discussing these three particular cases is that they support the idea that the U.S. Supreme Court follows a loose constructionist viewpoint, taking into consideration the issues of the day in making its decisions. A is the correct choice, and again, the right answer is a pretty good paraphrase of the main idea. Watch out for choices like D. Plessy and Brown dealt with public accommodations, but Dred Scott did not. An answer choice that is only partially correct is a red herring. Choices C and E don’t have any support in the passage. Choice B is incorrect; the Warren court used a loose interpretation.
C – To answer this type of question, you must read something more into the language of the passage. The last paragraph states that the Congress that passed the 14th Amendment could not have imagined black and white children going to public school together. Thus, the Warren court had to factor in social issues of the present time to make its decision, clearly a loose interpretation of the Constitution. Answer choice C points out that this could not have been a strict interpretation of the framers intent. Be careful with choice D. The Brown decision was a logical next step in the evolution of the slavery and segregation cases, not a logical extension of the 13th Amendment. The passage seems to indicate that there was social acceptance for desegregation, so choice E is wrong. D – This is a vocabulary in the context question. Occasionally you will see a question like this. Look to how the word is actually used in the sentence. The last sentence of the first paragraph says that these three decisions support the claim that judicial review follows a loose interpretation, not a strict one. Support is the word that fits best in this sentence, and D is the best choice. D – Often in reading comprehension different questions will focus on the same issue. Notice how similar question 19 is to question 17. The whole point is that the Warren court had to take into consideration a social issue (blacks and whites schooling together) that the authors of the 14th Amendment most likely never thought of. That’s why it was a loose constructionist decision. D is the correct response. Don’t make comparisons that go beyond the scope of the passage, like the one in answer choice E. There is no indication of what social issues Congress may or may not have deemed relevant when passing the 14th Amendment. Finally, although the writers of the 14th Amendment did not foresee this issue, the author did not include this information to criticize them, the author included it so as to illustrate the Warren court’s loose interpretation. Thus, A and C are wrong. A – Often the final question in the set is a main idea question, like this one. The author begins by outlining the basic tenets of both the strict constructionist view and the opposing loose constructionist view, and then sets about defending the loose constructionist approach using the slavery and segregation cases as supporting examples. The choice that best summarizes that focus is A.
Immigration issues This passage deals with a social science issue, immigration. Social sciences passages can cover issues taken from the fields of economics, political science, and others. It is normal to have one social science passage and one earth science passage. This passage employs the neutral observer technique. Two, or three, theories of an issue are presented and the author explores their strengths and weaknesses, but does not recommend one theory over the other. This passage discusses immigration. Often the LSAT will discuss a controversial issue, like abortion, race-relations, drug decriminalization, and other hot-button issues. Although immigration is not as controversial as some topics, it still fits under the hot-button classification. The interpretation of the constitution passage could also be classified as a controversial topic, since it the examples were all drawn from racial charged issues. It is likely that the LSAT uses these controversial subjects in order to test your ability to focus on the issue at hand, instead of becoming distracted by the controversy. Since lawyers and judges have to do this in the practice of law, it is fair to test your ability to do it. 8. C – This is an especially tricky main idea question, because you don’t really get a true sense of the author’s opinion until the last paragraph. This is a rarity in reading comprehension, but it can happen. View the passage as a whole and ask yourself what the purpose is. The author seems to think that both Hilliard and Braun are partially right, and the proper way to address the issue of illegal immigration lies somewhere between their two opinions. Choice A focuses solely on Hilliard’s view, while D focuses solely on Braun’s view. Choice C finds the middle ground that the author espouses in the final paragraph. Choice B and choice E discuss things that are not directly mentioned in the passage, and so there is no way they can be the main idea. A – Hilliard’s study is discussed in paragraph two, and he clearly believes that illegal immigrants can be good, productive members of their communities based on his study. He further asserts that they should be given the same sort of rights and privileges afforded to naturalized citizens. Hence, he would support a program offering some benefit to illegal immigrants for the contribution that they make. Choice A is exactly the type of program that Hilliard would encourage based on his study. Choice D isn’t bad, but there is never a discussion of making it easier for these illegal immigrants to go back to their native countries, so A is definitely better, and on the LSAT, it’s the best choice that is correct. Choice B is not relevant to anything in the passage. Choices C and E would be favored by Braun. B – Once again, when two opinions are presented in a passage, make sure you know who said what. Also, read the question carefully. Braun’s study is discussed in the third paragraph, and his thesis is that the U.S. loses tax money because working illegal immigrants do not pay them. Since Braun’s study was done in Texas and Arizona, B is the correct choice. Don’t be fooled by E, which is the basic premise of Hilliard. Choices A and C are wrong, there was no discussion of the types of jobs. There was no discussion to support choice D.
E – When more than one viewpoint is expressed, make sure you understand what the author’s viewpoint is, since that is the most important one. The author doesn’t really seem to be for or against illegal immigration. Rather, the author understands that it is an important issue and must be dealt with. By eliminating any choices that are too positive or too negative, you can quickly narrow the choices down to E. Sometimes using the process of elimination allows you to throw out four choices, leaving the correct answer! Also, in neutral observer passages, the author’s attitude is going to be neutral. B – Use the topic sentence of the paragraph to help answer the question. Even if you aren’t sure what “entrenchment and contribution” means, you know that the second paragraph is about Hilliard, who favors illegal immigrants and believes that they have something to offer their community. So, look for an answer choice that has something positive to say. Hilliard addresses the fact that many immigrants stay in the U.S. for at least a generation and contribute to their local economy. Choice B most closely captures this idea. Avoid answer choices that simply throw in a phrase from the passage. Hilliard mentioned squatter’s rights, but choice A clearly does not work here. C – If you create a skeleton outline of the passage, you can get a clear sense of what each paragraph contributes. Here, the purpose of the fourth paragraph is to finally tell you what the author thinks about the issue of illegal immigration. The author believes that state and local governments need to find a balance between Hilliard’s approach and that of Braun, which were discussed in paragraphs two and three respectively. Choice C is the best response. Again, look out for extreme language like “impossible” in choice D – that is typically the mark of a wrong answer. Choice E is wrong; how could the author give unqualified support two contradicting theories? Choices A and B are wrong, in a neutral observer passage, the author does not favor one of the theories over the other. D – A skeleton outline would be helpful here as well. The author lays out the findings of Hilliard’s study, then lays out the findings of Braun’s study, and then suggests the best course of action for state and local governments to address the illegal immigration issue. The author acknowledged the importance of the issue in paragraph one. The answer choice that most follows this skeleton outline is D.
Section 4 – Logical Reasoning 1. C – Choices A and E are bad conclusions, you cannot infer what Adrianna will do or what the standard policy at Hart Airport may be. However, it is true that the flight Adrianna’s mother is on will not land until at least two hours from now, but it is scheduled to arrive in the next hour. Thus, you can easily infer that her mother’s flight will not arrive at its scheduled time, and C is the credited response. Choice B brings up a totally new issue (which you should not do when making a conclusion) concerning the pilot’s capabilities. Choice D discusses things that will happen after the two-hour period that we have information about. So it would be a very weak conclusion if we were to discuss things that happen later than two hours. 2. D – Be careful with conclusion questions. Some of the uncredited answer choices are true, but they are evidence, not the conclusion. For choice A, it is true that the judges are too harsh in their sentencing, but that is not the main point. As to choice B, it is true that the judges have too much discretion in sentencing, but that is not the main point. The main point is that the legislature should thus enact new sentencing guidelines to deal with this problem. D is the correct answer. Do you see how D has both elements, legislating new guidelines and preventing overly harsh sentences? That is why D is the best main point answer choice. Answer choices C and E are off the subject. 3. E – The two specified requirements of the code of conduct are that the captured soldier does not divulge any information about the location of his troops or combat strategy and that he tries to escape from his captors whenever possible. Here, we know that Private Adams escaped at the first opportunity, so he performed the second requirement, but we don’t know whether or not he told his captors anything. To strengthen the conclusion that he did adhere to the code, we would want to know that he met the first requirement also. In choice E, he did not communicate with his captors in any way, so this strengthens the conclusion. Choice A doesn’t even address either of the two requirements, so it was easy to eliminate. Choice B is somewhat more related, but again, does not indicate if Adams told his captors any information. Choice C is wrong because the conclusion was about Private Adams, not his allies. For choice D, we don’t care about his previous performance; we want to know about his performance this time. 4. C – Jane chose to shop at Tam’s Grocery, which is neither the farthest nor the closest store to her house, but it does have the largest selection of fresh fruit. So a principle stating that a shopper should go where there is the greatest selection of the item they seek, as C states, would justify her decision. C is the credited response. Make sure to read the question carefully. A and D might sound good, but they justify going to Mi T-Mart and Yummy Organics respectively. Often wrong answer choices will focus on the different parts of the stimulus than the question focuses on. Choice B is new information. Choice D would not justify her going only to Tam’s.
5. B – The archaeologist’s concludes that earlier estimates are incorrect because the carbon-dating tests indicate the pottery is fifty years older then they initially estimated. The carbon dating showed the ceramic pottery to be from 450 A.D., some fifty years before the previous estimates of the earliest usage. However, if carbon dating technology has a margin of error of 60 years, then the pottery found by the archaeologist could really be from 510 A.D. If so, the previous estimates are not wrong. Choice B most weakens the argument. Choice A contradicts a fact in the argument. Choice C doesn’t add any new information of value. Choice D is irrelevant; it discusses Indonesia. Choice E is irrelevant because it discusses previous archeologists. 6. A – The author touts the benefits of water and then wonders aloud how humans could drown when their bodies are made up of a significant amount of water. What he fails to consider is that too much water could be harmful instead of beneficial. There is no discussion of how much water the human body can really withstand. That is the primary flaw in the argument and A is the best choice. Because choice A discusses quantity, it is a better choice than B, which is a bit too vague. Choice C is wrong because the flaw had nothing to do with the benefits of water. Choice D and E are irrelevant. 7. D – Again, before you look at the answer choices on this question type, decide how the argument is made. Carolyn compares leasing a car to renting an apartment in order to make her point that building ownership equity should be a major consideration when buying versus leasing a car. Analogy is a synonym for comparison, which indicates that D is the correct response. Despite her statement that David must work for a leasing agent, Carolyn does not base the logic of her argument on his motivation. Choices B and C are wrong because Carolyn introduces a new consideration; she does not critique the method of David’s argument. Choice E is wrong because it does not appeal to authority. If, for example, Carolyn had said that nine out of ten economists say that leasing is bad, then she would have appealed to authority. 8. B – David argues that someone interested in owning a car should lease instead of buy because the payments are cheaper and the interest rate is lower. Carolyn argues that they should buy instead of lease so as to build equity. Thus, they disagree about whether a person should buy instead of lease. Choices A and C are wrong, since these issues were only discussed by Carolyn. Choice D is wrong because Carolyn did not argue about interest rates. Choice E is also an issue that is discussed only by Carolyn. 9. C – Read parallel reasoning arguments very carefully. The trick here is that the first sentence refers to highly-paid CEOs, whereas Steve is only identified as a CEO– with no mention of whether he is highly paid or not. It is a logical flaw to conclude something about Steve (who may not be a highly-paid CEO) based on what is true only for highly-paid CEOs. Look for the answer choice that commits the same type
of flaw. In choice C, Han is only identified as a doctor, not a well-trained doctor, and the rest of the logic is the same as the given, so C is the credited response. Look out for choices that correct the flaw. Choice D has Sanjay as a world-class cricket player (like highly-paid CEO), which makes for a logical argument, but Steve was not identified as being highly paid, so D is not parallel. Choice A is wrong because it does not identify a specific type of attorney. Choices B and E do not even slightly follow the pattern of the argument. 10. A – This is another negative assumption. For the author to conclude that the killer whale is a natural predator of the great white shark on the basis of this one attack, it must be assumed that the killer whale was not attacking the shark for some other reason–such as the defense of the baby whale. If that were the case, then the attack does not prove that the killer whale is a predator of the great white shark and the argument would be weakened. That is one way to test an assumption answer choice. If it is a good assumption, when you take the opposite of that assumption it should weaken the argument. Choices B, C and E were completely off-target. Choice D was irrelevant, since it discusses other shark species, not great whites. 11. E – It is stated as fact that the impact of a large meteor on the Earth would definitely cause widespread global flooding. So, if no such flooding occurs in the year 2010, then such a meteor did not strike the Earth and E is logically inferable. This is another example of the contrapositive in action. The LSAT test makers are fond of testing this concept. Why is choice A wrong? It gets a bit picky. If there is global flooding it is possible that a meteor caused it, but it is also possible that something else caused the flooding. 12. D – The author concludes that Canadians must have higher cholesterol than people other parts of the world based on the fact that Canadian bacon has high fat and sodium content and those factors contribute to high cholesterol. If choice D is true, and the countries of Latin America eat more Canadian bacon, on average, than anywhere else in the world, then by the author’s own logic Latin Americans should have higher cholesterol levels than Canadians. Choices A and E are, “so what?” choices. Choice B would strengthen the conclusion that Canadians have higher cholesterol. Choice C discusses a different kind of food.