LSAT Logical Reasoning : Determining which answer best expresses the point at issue

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for LSAT Logical Reasoning

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Paul: The U.S. should prohibit deer hunting for at least ten years. If the deer population continues to decrease, other species will be affected, which would harm industries in various parts of the country.

Lisa: While I believe that hunting is cruel, the only way to protect drivers from deer is to hunt them. Humans should be valued above deer and industries.

Paul and Lisa are most likely to agree that

Possible Answers:

Hunting should be prohibited in order to protect various species

Hunting deer is cruel

Deer hunting should be permitted only if there is no other available means of protecting drivers

Deer hunting harms U.S. industry

Deer pose an unacceptable danger to drivers

Correct answer:

Deer hunting harms U.S. industry

Explanation:

Both people have different reasons for objecting to hunting deer. They also disagree about whether deer hunting should be prohibited. Both, however, agree that deer hunting may harm industry.

Example Question #2 : Point At Issue

Roger: The only reason diesel cars are not commonly used in the United States is that people believe they are more costly to fuel and maintain than gasoline cars. Fueling diesel cars is less expensive than fueling gasoline cars because they get many more miles per gallon. Diesel cars also last many more years. While other countries transition to diesel, the United States follows a myth.

Tamara: Many people in the United states do not even know that purchasing a diesel car is an option. Others may choose to purchase a gasoline car because they overemphasize the purchase price difference.

Roger and Tamara most likely disagree about which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Diesel cars should be used more often than they are

Diesel cars are not commonly used in the United States because people believe they are more costly to operate than gasoline cars

Diesel cars are more costly than gasoline cars

Diesel cars last many more years than gasoline cars

There is a purchase price difference between diesel and gasoline cars

Correct answer:

Diesel cars are not commonly used in the United States because people believe they are more costly to operate than gasoline cars

Explanation:

Roger asserts that incorrect beliefs are the only reason people do not drive diesel cars. Tamara directly counters that assertion by presenting several alternative reasons for why diesel cars are not used.

Example Question #3 : Point At Issue

The spiritual basketball coach encourages his players to practice Zen meditation techniques only when facing difficult opponents. These meditation techniques are a more highly disciplined form of the ritual meditation that the coach has his players practice on a regular basis prior to games and involves unique practices such as chanting and fasting.

Which one of the statements below does NOT follow logically from the passage above?

Possible Answers:

The ritual daily meditation that the players practice is largely undisciplined.

The coach has his players meditate in preparation for facing their opponents.

The coach believes that mediation benefits his players.

Some meditation practices are less disciplined than Zen meditation.

The ritual daily meditation does not involve chanting and fasting.

Correct answer:

The ritual daily meditation that the players practice is largely undisciplined.

Explanation:

The author states that there are differences between Zen meditation and the meditation that the coach has his players practice on a regular basis. This question asks for the answer choice that cannot be inferred or is not stated in the passage. The only answer choice that does not logically flow and is not a valid inference is: “The ritual daily mediation that the players practice is largely undisciplined.” The author only implies that the daily meditation is less disciplined than Zen meditation; and not necessarily an undisciplined practice.  

Example Question #4 : Point At Issue

Plug-in hybrid vehicles are much more cost-effective than vehicles powered by traditional gasoline engines. These hybrid vehicles cost only twice as much as gasoline vehicles in the same class, but consume only 1/10 of the gasoline while traveling an equal distance. Despite hybrid manufacturers’ exhaustive efforts to publicize the advantages of plug-in hybrid vehicles, industry analysts predict that these hybrid vehicles will sell poorly.

Each of the following, if true, provides support for the industry analysts’ prediction EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

A foreign automaker is about to reveal a vehicle powered exclusively by solar technology that costs less than a gasoline vehicle in the same class.

Most car purchasers focus on the short-term sticker price of the vehicle rather than the long-term savings from fuel economy.

Plug-in hybrids only come in pastel body colors, colors that most people find unappealing.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles will come with financing plans that are not provided for traditional gasoline vehicles.

A car manufacturer of vehicles powered exclusively by gasoline engines has launched an advertising campaign claiming that the cost of charging a plug-in hybrid vehicle costs more than filling the tank of a gasoline vehicle.

Correct answer:

Plug-in hybrid vehicles will come with financing plans that are not provided for traditional gasoline vehicles.

Explanation:

This EXCEPT question is looking for the one answer choice that does not support the prediction that plug-in hybrid vehicles will sell poorly. The answer choice: “Plug-in hybrid vehicles will come with financing plans that are not provided for traditional gasoline vehicles” will either have no effect or a positive effect on the sales of plug-in vehicles. In either scenario, the answer choice does not support the argument and is the correct answer choice. All the other answer choices support the argument.

Example Question #2 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Learning a sport is much like getting to know a new friend. In the beginning, it can feel uncomfortable when getting to know a new friend, but comfort and affinity tend to increase as familiarity develops. Similarly, as a person practices playing a new sport, he or she will tend to _______.

Which one of the following most logically completes the argument?

Possible Answers:

improve his or her skills with the sport and level of athleticism.

meet new people, and feel more comfortable making new friends.

focus on improving in that sport, while diverting attention away from other activities.

feel more at ease with the sport and gain more joy than discomfort from it as time goes on. 

ignore the uncomfortable aspects of taking on a new sport and hope that the future holds more optimistic possibilities. 

Correct answer:

feel more at ease with the sport and gain more joy than discomfort from it as time goes on. 

Explanation:

As a person gets to know a friend, the initial uncomfortable feeling is replaced by a feeling of familiarity and comfort. The text states that getting to know a friend is like playing sports. Therefore, as a persons practices playing that new sport, he or she should also beging to feel more comfortable. 

The correct answer choice, that the person will "feel more at ease with the sport and gain more joy than discomfort from it as time goes on," is the closest to feeling more comfortable. 

Example Question #3 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Although the therapist uses hypnosis for all of her clients, she uses a more intensive version of hypnosis for clients who have suffered acute trauma. While her usual hypnosis techniques usually take about twenty minutes to perform, her more intensive version usually requires at least an hour to complete and takes place at a different clinic. 

Which of the following statements does not logically flow from the text above?

Possible Answers:

Victims of trauma often require more intensive levels of treatment than other clients. 

The therapist believes that hypnosis can help all of her patients. 

Hypnosis is a widely accepted practice in the field of therapy. 

The practice of hypnosis includes varying levels of intensity. 

The therapist's usual hypnosis practice does not take place at a different clinic. 

Correct answer:

Hypnosis is a widely accepted practice in the field of therapy. 

Explanation:

The correct answer is:

Hypnosis is a widely accepted practice in the field of therapy. 

While the text explains how this particular therapist practices hypnosis, it does not reflect on how accepted hypnosis is in the general field of therapy. 

Example Question #4 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Marie: Local charities need to proactively recruit volunteers.  Otherwise, they are likely to continue being understaffed.  The functioning of these charities depends on volunteers, and people will only volunteer if they know there is a need.  If charities can let enough people know about that need, people will volunteer.

Tony: The charities also need more funding. Without funds, it does not matter how many volunteers sign up to help charities.  If charities do try to recruit more volunteers, they will have to find new tactics because people know the need is great.

Marie and Tony most likely disagree about whether

Possible Answers:

local charities should try to recruit volunteers

the functioning of charities depends on volunteers

people know there is a need for volunteers

there is a need for increased funding

local charities are understaffed

Correct answer:

people know there is a need for volunteers

Explanation:

There is no indication in the passage that Marie and Tony disagree about whether there is a need for volunteers or for funding, though they appear to disagree about the magnitude of the needs.  Neither is there a direct conflict about whether charities should recruit.  The parties only explicitly disagree about whether people know there is a need.

Example Question #7 : Point At Issue

John: There are very few reasons to support the new state immigration laws, and several reasons to oppose them. Most importantly, the laws fail to include any "Dream Act" provision for immigrant college students, and thus provide no incentive for persons here illegally to gain a higher education.

Mary: But you've failed to mention the sweeping reforms to the residency process included in the laws. Those reforms make understanding levels of citizenship much simpler for those who don't speak English. If parents of college students can't even figure out their own statuses, they're unlikely to understand how to improve the status of their children.

The dialogue provides the most support for the claim that John and Mary disagree over whether

Possible Answers:

the lack of a "Dream Act" provision is the most important consideration in supporting or opposing the new state immigration laws

there are several reasons to oppose the new state immigration laws

a "Dream Act" provision will be effective for the majority of immigrant college students

college students should be able to gain residency based on completion of a higher education

the new state immigration laws are superior in some ways to the prior laws

Correct answer:

the lack of a "Dream Act" provision is the most important consideration in supporting or opposing the new state immigration laws

Explanation:

John specifically states that the lack of a “Dream Act” provision is the most important omission in the new laws. Mary implies that process reforms are more important, as they make the laws easier to understand for non-English speakers and thus are a precursor to other substantive provisions.

Example Question #9 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

The government has finally developed a strategy for combating corporate crime that could be effective.  Instead of fruitlessly attempting to find culpable individuals within a corporation, the government now prosecutes corporations directly. The evidence against individuals within a corporation is often too weak to sustain convictions, but the evidence against these individuals, taken as a whole, is often sufficient to convict the corporation for which they work.

With which of the following would the author most likely agree?

Possible Answers:

The new government policy will be more effective than prior policies

The government's policy of prosecuting corporations could be successful

The government still prosecutes a substantial number of individuals for corporate crimes

A government policy regarding corporate crime is effective when it dissuades corporate crime

Individuals are usually less culpable for corporate crimes than the corporations for which they work

Correct answer:

The government's policy of prosecuting corporations could be successful

Explanation:

While the author views the new government policy favorably, the author does not suggest that the policy will be effective.  Instead, the author prefers the policy to previous policy and believes the policy could be effective.

Example Question #9 : Point At Issue

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees individuals the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. This raises the question as to what makes a search unreasonable. In Katz v. United States, the Supreme Court held that a search is unreasonable when a person has a subjective expectation of privacy, and society is prepared to recognize that expectation as reasonable. However, this definition raises yet another question: when is an expectation of privacy reasonable?

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the excerpt?

Possible Answers:

A search is considered to be unreasonable when a person has a subjective expectation of privacy.

The Fourth Amendment is designed to safeguard our privacies, but those privacies are not always protected because of how vague the amendment is. 

Katz v. United States is an important Fourth Amendment case dictating the limits of what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure. 

It is inconclusive as to what is considered to be a reasonable expectation of privacy, and therefore the Fourth Amendment does not always offer sufficient protection. 

Although the Fourth Amendment limits the extent to which individuals can be subject to searches and seizures, it is still unclear as to what those limits are. 

Correct answer:

Although the Fourth Amendment limits the extent to which individuals can be subject to searches and seizures, it is still unclear as to what those limits are. 

Explanation:

This option is the only one that properly captures the main message of the excerpt. The other answer choices either misstate information or are too narrowly constructed. 

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