LSAT Logical Reasoning : Main Point / Main Conclusion

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for LSAT Logical Reasoning

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : Main Point / Main Conclusion

Most business executives believe that corporate taxes should never be raised. Our mayor, who is running for reelection, has suggested raising the corporate income tax by fifteen percent next year. He argues that the increase will help balance the municipal budget. Clearly, though, he will lose the election, and the proposal will ultimately be discarded.  

Which of the following best expresses the main conclusion in the passage above?

Possible Answers:

The mayor will raise the corporate income tax rate.

The mayor's proposal to raise corporate taxes will be discarded.

Most business executives believe that corporate taxes should never be raised.

The proposed tax increase will help balance the municipal budget.

Business leaders will prevent the mayor from being reelected.

Correct answer:

The mayor's proposal to raise corporate taxes will be discarded.

Explanation:

It is essential to identify which components of the paragraph provide background information, and which are directly relevant to the argument being advanced. In this question, most of the initial sentences outline context. In the last sentence, a conclusion is drawn, making it the easily recognizable main conclusion of the argument. 

Example Question #31 : Main Point / Main Conclusion

Despite the discoloration present on the patient's legs, there is no reason to suspect that she has poor circulation. Many individuals have unique skin pigmentation on their lower extremities. In fact, it is likely that this discoloration has been present since birth. 

Which of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the above passage?

Possible Answers:

The patient's discoloration has been present since birth.

Many individuals have unique pigmentation on their lower extremities.

There is no reason to believe that the patient has poor circulation. 

There is reason to believe that the patient has poor circulation. 

The patient is suffering from discoloration on the legs.

Correct answer:

There is no reason to believe that the patient has poor circulation. 

Explanation:

The conclusion is quickly drawn in the opening sentence. The succeeding discussion simply explains the reasoning behind the conclusion, and is therefore not relevant to the answer. 

Example Question #31 : Main Point / Main Conclusion

No two snowflakes can be exactly the same. Last week, a famous chemist examined fifty different snowflakes under a powerful microscope. After careful examination, he concluded that two of the specimens were structurally and aesthetically identical. Clearly, though, his conclusion must be mistaken. 

Which of the following best characterizes the main conclusion of the above passage?

Possible Answers:

A famous chemist examined fifty snowflakes under a powerful microscope.

No two snowflakes can be exactly the same. 

The famous chemist misled the public with his conclusions.

The snowflakes cannot be structurally and aesthetically identical.

Two of the snowflakes were identical.

Correct answer:

The snowflakes cannot be structurally and aesthetically identical.

Explanation:

The last sentence forms a concrete opinion on the fact presented earlier in the passage, by rejecting the conclusion reached by the famed chemist.

Example Question #31 : Main Point / Main Conclusion

80% of families own a pet of some variety. The Jones family has three cats and two dogs, but none of them are technically pets. All of their animals live outside, and no true pet sleeps outdoors. 

Which of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the above passage?

Possible Answers:

No true pet sleeps outdoors.

The Jones family does not allow animals inside their home.

The Jones family does not have pets.

The Jones family has three cats and two dogs.

80% of families own a pet of some variety.

Correct answer:

The Jones family does not have pets.

Explanation:

The first sentence is merely background information. Sentence two offers the main conclusions of the passage, as supported by the premises given in sentence three.

Example Question #32 : Main Point / Main Conclusion

The prime minister should support the ban on chemical weapons. All chemical weapons can cause significant numbers of civilian casualties, which is a breach of international law. No political figure may ever violate international laws or treaties, even when it serves their strategic interests.

 

Which of the following best characterizes the main conclusion of the above argument?

Possible Answers:

The prime minister should support the ban on chemical weapons.

Chemical weapons are a violation of international law.

The ban on chemical weapons does not serve the prime minister's strategic interests.

All chemical weapons cause significant numbers of civilian casualties.

The prime minister is a political figure.

Correct answer:

The prime minister should support the ban on chemical weapons.

Explanation:

In this passage, the conclusion is drawn immediately. The rest of the passage is devoted to offering premises in support of that position.

Example Question #32 : Main Point / Main Conclusion

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.

Assistant 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's main point is which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Paying for road repairs causes the department to spend above its budget

The department should be able to afford repairs in a few years

The department should close road lanes for several years to save money

Road lane closures leads to only a moderate increase in traffic jams

The department should close road lanes for several years for safety reasons

Correct answer:

The department should close road lanes for several years to save money

Explanation:

The Director's main point is that road lanes should be closed in order to save money.  The other statements are either support for that main point or in conflict with the Director's argument.

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