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

Example Question #11 : Point At Issue

Cell phone technology has progressed more quickly than almost anyone could have predicted. Only fifteen years ago was it even conceivable that handheld devices might be able to both store large amounts of data and access the internet. Yet, just a few years later, cell phones accomplish both of these things and are readily accessible to the public. While technology usually advances at predictable, moderate speed, advancements during some periods are so rapid as to be truly remarkable. The development of the cell phone provides an example of just such a time.

The author of the argument is most likely to agree with which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Cell phone technology advancements are likely to slow in the near future

Technological developments proceed more quickly than other types of developments

The speed of cell phone technology development is not typical of technological developments

The rapid development of cell phone technology is likely to continue in the future

Fifteen years ago, people thought it was unlikely that a handheld device would ever be capable of accessing the internet

Correct answer:

The speed of cell phone technology development is not typical of technological developments

Explanation:

The author indicates that cell phone technology is not an isolated event, but provides an example of something that has happened at other times.  The author also makes clear, however, that the usual course is for technology to progress at predictable, moderate speeds.  As a result, the author is likely to agree that cell phone development has not been typical.

Example Question #221 : Lsat Logical Reasoning

Physical trainer: Exercise is one of the most important parts of one's day. Many people are aware that 30 minutes of exercise lowers the heart rate, burns calories, and strengthens muscles. Many people, however, do not know that 30 minutes of exercise can also provide the benefits of elevating a person's metabolism and increasing productivity at work or school.

John: I'm sure exercise is one way of losing weight, but there are other ways.  As a result, burning calories is an insignificant benefit of exercise.

John and the physical trainer most likely disagree about which of the following statements?

Possible Answers:

Most people who exercise do so in order to lose weight

Burning calories is an important benefit of exercise

Exercise is an important part of one's day

Burning calories is a necessary part of losing weight

30 minutes of exercise burns calories

Correct answer:

Burning calories is an important benefit of exercise

Explanation:

John does not question whether exercise has important benefits or whether it burns calories.  Instead, John simply questions whether burning calories is among the important benefits since calories can be burned in other ways.

Example Question #11 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Jeans have been a staple of fashion for many decades. They may have remained fashionable for so long because they are durable, comfortable, and easy to maintain.  It seems unlikely that any one of these factors alone could account for the popularity of jeans.  After all, many articles of clothing have gone out of style even though they were comfortable.  The same can be said of clothing items that were durable and clothing that was easy to maintain.

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

Possible Answers:

Jeans have been popular for longer than any other clothing item

It is impossible to explain why jeans have been popular for so long

Jeans are durable but this fact alone does not explain why they have been popular for so long

Clothing items will be popular for decades if a variety of factors are all met

Jeans are popular for three reasons--they are durable, comfortable, and easy to maintain

Correct answer:

Jeans are durable but this fact alone does not explain why they have been popular for so long

Explanation:

The author acknowledges that jeans are durable, but also makes clear that none of the three factors, alone, can explain why jeans have been so popular.  The author does not reach a firm conclusion as to what is the correct explanation.

Example Question #222 : Lsat Logical Reasoning

Teacher: Textbooks are just not effective for teaching some subjects to children.  They don't take an interest in the topics, don't really understand them, and certainly won't remember them long term.  To solve these problems we need to regularly take students to museums.  Textbooks aren't a good option anymore.

Principal: It does seem that students are often distracted in the classroom.  However, there are alternatives to textbooks that do not involve taking students to museums.  Documentaries, for instance, can be an effective learning tool.

The teacher and principal are most likely to disagree about which of the following statements?

Possible Answers:

Documentaries can be an effective learning tool

Students won't remember what they learn in textbooks long term

Textbooks are not effective

Taking students to museums is necessary

Students often do not understand the topics in textbooks

Correct answer:

Taking students to museums is necessary

Explanation:

The principal seems to suggest that museums are one of multiple alternatives to textbooks.  The teacher, on the other hand, states that students must be brought to museums.  The principal and teacher are most likely to disagree about whether taking students to museums is necessary.

Example Question #12 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

For about thirty years, government intelligence departments have spent resources equally between domestic and foreign activities. For about the same amount of time, intelligence departments have conducted covert operations in addition to intelligence gathering. This conduct has raised public concern that intelligence departments wield too much authority. In the end, though, domestic spending and covert operations may be simply a consequence of ineptness.

The author of the argument is most likely to agree with which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Intelligence departments have been inept for approximately thirty years

Intelligence departments may not wield too much power

The public's concern is justified

The public's concern is unjustified

Intelligence agencies should not engage in domestic intelligence gathering

Correct answer:

Intelligence departments may not wield too much power

Explanation:

The author states that the conduct of intelligence agencies may only indicate ineptness, in contrast with the view that the conduct indicates that the departments wield too much power.  As a result, the author would agree with the statement that intelligence departments may not wield too much power.

Example Question #13 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Director of the transportation department: We could save money over the next few years by closing lanes on highways and deferring repairs. The cost savings would be well worth the moderate increase in traffic jams. The roads will eventually need to be repaired, but the department could stay within budget over the next several years, which should be a top priority. If we continue to overspend, we may face a financial disaster.

Deputy Director: Closing road lanes would lead not only to a considerable increase in traffic jams but would also lead to increased accidents and death. That said, we’ve explored other options and closing the lanes seems to be our only viable plan to save money, and there is no question that we must accomplish that.

The Director and Deputy Director most likely disagree about whether?

Possible Answers:

closing road lanes will lead to a considerable increase in traffic jams

there are alternative ways to save money

road lanes should be closed

the department is at risk of overspending

the roads eventually should be repaired

Correct answer:

closing road lanes will lead to a considerable increase in traffic jams

Explanation:

Both people seem to agree that road lanes must be closed and that reducing spending should be a top priority.  The Director and Deputy Director disagree about whether closing road lanes will lead to a considerable increase in traffic jams.  The Director stated that the lane closures would lead only to a moderate increase.

Example Question #14 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Director: The most influential movie in history is likely Orson Welles’ classic Citizen Kane.  No other single film has helped so many filmmakers in their craft.  Indeed, a recent study showed that nearly 85% of modern films implemented at least one filmmaking technique pioneered by Citizen Kane.  The film was especially noteworthy in its cinematography, its use of multiple narrators in storytelling, and in its use of music to set a scene.

In evaluating the director’s argument it would be most helpful to know whether

Possible Answers:

 filmmakers who implemented techniques pioneered by Citizen Kane gave credit to Orson Welles after doing so

Citizen Kane is studied in more film schools than any other movie

there is evidence showing whether filmmaking techniques from any other films have been as widely implemented as have those from Citizen Kane

the study cited in the argument took into account every single modern film rather than merely accounting for a majority of them

audiences regard Citizen Kane as highly as do modern filmmakers

Correct answer:

there is evidence showing whether filmmaking techniques from any other films have been as widely implemented as have those from Citizen Kane

Explanation:

The conclusion, found in the first and second sentences of the paragraph, is that Citizen Kane is the single most influential film as far as filmmakers are concerned.  To evaluate this claim, it is necessary to know whether filmmaking techniques from other films have been as widely implemented.  Note that the argument does not claim that Citizen Kane is the most popular film among audiences or in film schools.

Example Question #11 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Reporter: News agencies are trying to determine how to adapt to the modern technology age.  Should they continue to promote old media outlets, incorporate news programs into social media, or develop an altogether new approach to breaking news stories?

News anchor: The discussion is not entirely open for debate.  While there are some decisions still to be made, it is difficult to see any plausible new approach outside of social media.

The reporter and news anchor most likely disagree about whether?

Possible Answers:

Old approaches for news agencies are feasible

There is room for disagreement about how news agencies should adapt to new technology

Social media provides a new approach for news agencies

There can be any new approaches to breaking news stories that don't involve social media

News agencies are becoming irrelevant

Correct answer:

There can be any new approaches to breaking news stories that don't involve social media

Explanation:

The reporter presents three ways for news agencies to adapt.  The news anchor does not suggest that there is no room for discussion but essentially suggests that there should only be two options for discussion.  The reporter and anchor most likely disagree about whether there can be any new approach to breaking news that doesn't involve social media.

Example Question #14 : Point At Issue

Jane: Nowadays 3D effects are seen as a distracting gimmick that most people no longer appreciate.  The recent trend toward producing more 3D movies is not a good financial strategy for movie studios.  In fact, I and my friends refuse to attend movies in 3D, and I know many others that feel the same way.

Bill: But you fail to take into account the fact that 3D ticket prices are higher than 2D ticket prices.  The difference in price offsets the lower attendance at 3D movies.  I, for one, appreciate having the choice between 2D and 3D films.

The dialogue provides the most support for the claim that Jane and Bill disagree about whether

Possible Answers:

it is financially wise for movie studios to continue producing movies in 3D

movie studios ought to offer audiences the option to choose between 2D and 3D films

people appreciate 3D effects in movies less now than they used to

ticket price differentials between 2D and 3D movies are reasonable

2D movies are superior to 3D movies in overall quality

Correct answer:

it is financially wise for movie studios to continue producing movies in 3D

Explanation:

Bill’s rebuttal to Jane’s argument is that studios can make up for the lower attendance at 3D films through increased ticket prices.  Hence, he does not agree with Jane that producing 3D movies “is not a good financial strategy for movie studios.”  The remaining answer choices do not contain statements about which Jane and Bill necessarily disagree, even though the topics may have been mentioned in the dialogue.

Example Question #15 : Determining Which Answer Best Expresses The Point At Issue

Employee 1: I am considering resigning and obtaining other available work.  I do not have any disputes with my employers and enjoy my coworkers, but the benefits are less than they were, the hours are longer, and the work has become tedious.  Many of my friends are satisfied with their jobs and employment openings are advertised everywhere.

Employee 2: I have also considered resigning. I stay because I am risk averse. Sure, this job has downsides, but our benefits here are above average and I might resign only to ask for my job again because other jobs are unavailable.

The employees are most likely to disagree about whether:

Possible Answers:

 they have disputes with their employers

other jobs are available

it is preferable to be risk averse

 employment opportunities are advertised everywhere

 their current benefits are above average

Correct answer:

other jobs are available

Explanation:

Employee 1 implicitly asserts that jobs would be available by claiming that jobs are advertised everywhere.  Employee 2 expressly challenges the assertion that jobs would be available but not the claim that employment opportunities are advertised everywhere.  Note, also, the employees do not disagree about benefits because the first asserts only that they are less than they once were.

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