LSAT Practice Logical Reasoning Questions

Directions: The questions in this section are based on the reasoning given in brief statements or passages. It is possible that for some questions there is more than one answer. However, you are to choose the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question. You should not make assumptions that are by commonsense standards implausible, superfluous, or incompatible with the passage. After you have chosen the best answer, blacken the corresponding space on your answer sheet.

1. Nutritionist: Obesity is becoming a very serious problem in this country, and we must actively pursue a means of combating it. I have recently conducted a 12-week weight loss study to see which is the best method for obese adults to lose weight. My study shows that the consumption of a healthy, balanced diet and the incorporation of exercise were highly successful. All patients who participated in my study lost weight by eating the recommended diet and by adding a little exercise each day.

Which of the following statements, if true, most seriously undermines the statement above?

  1. The nutritionist's income is subsidized by a government agency committed to encouraging people to lose weight by adding daily exercise.
  2. All of the patients had a very similar physical makeup and metabolic rate, two significant factors that affect the ability to lose weight.
  3. The nutritionist has been unable to come to an agreement with a colleague on what constitutes a healthy diet.
  4. All of the nutritionist's patients incorporated exactly the same form of exercise to their daily routine.
  5. There were only eighty patients who participated in the nutritionist's weight loss study.

2. A company specializing in the sales of industrial flooring has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn. Mike has worked for this company for fifteen years and now holds a senior sales position. In recent years, his sales record has been stellar, but over the last few months, his sales have been low due to the slowdown. His boss has asked to meet with him next week. Mike is convinced that the company will not fire him: "I've been working with the company for well over a decade, and I have an excellent sales record. If anyone can find a way to boost sales and benefit the company, I'm the person. Therefore, I have no doubt that my job is safe."

The flaw in Mike's reasoning is that he

  1. believes that his loyalty to the company will guarantee that he keeps his job
  2. does not realize that the company is already bankrupt and has to lay off many employees
  3. equates his past success with future opportunity regardless of the economic conditions
  4. is a close friend of his boss and knows that his boss would not risk firing a friend
  5. assumes that the company has as much confidence in his ability to improve his sales record as he does

Questions 3 and 4

The vast majority of extant music from the medieval period is recorded on manuscripts. The production of medieval manuscripts was very costly, because all manuscripts were painstakingly copied by hand onto an expensive form of parchment. As a result, few people were able to produce or own them, and the Catholic Church, which had literate scribes as well as considerable wealth, produced and maintained most manuscripts during the Middle Ages. Any medieval music not recorded on manuscripts has now been lost to history. Most of the medieval music still in existence is sacred music.

3. The claims made in the above passage, if true, best support which of the following statements?

  1. The greatest music of the medieval period was sacred music, and for this reason it was recorded on manuscripts.
  2. Because the Church did not value popular music, the scribes were not allowed to copy it onto manuscripts.
  3. As the Catholic Church was the center of medieval life, popular music paralleled sacred music very closely.
  4. In addition to the Church, many wealthy aristocratic households held large numbers of music manuscripts.
  5. Because the Church primarily recorded sacred music on manuscripts, historians are unable to confidently describe medieval popular music.

4. The passage above implies all of the following EXCEPT:

  1. The parchment on which medieval music was copied was difficult to produce.
  2. Few were qualified for the time-consuming task of copying manuscripts.
  3. The Church was selective about what music was copied down.
  4. The copying of manuscripts was limited to people who knew how to read.
  5. Most of the non-sacred music from the medieval period has been lost to history.

5. Lito: The island of Kauai features a number of one-lane bridges that are potentially very dangerous. Kauai has recently seen a rise in the number of tourists visiting the island, and most tourists are not familiar with navigating the one-lane bridges. Over the last year, the number of car accidents has increased, and most of these accidents have occurred at the one-lane bridges. These bridges need to be widened to accommodate tourists and prevent future accidents.

Miteki: Kauai has a traditional commitment to environmental integrity. The one-lane bridges were installed to minimize the impact on the island environment. To widen the one-lane bridges could have a dangerous effect on the native plant and animal life.

As a response to Lito's argument, Miteki's comment is flawed because she

  1. relies on faulty information to support her argument
  2. uses circular reasoning to make her main points
  3. focuses on a minor issue instead of a more important one
  4. responds to a supporting point instead of a main point
  5. fails to address the substance of Lito's claim by making a secondary argument

6. Art scholar Herbert Read has noted of Impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir that he was the final painter representing the artistic tradition that started at Rubens and ended at Watteau. Peter Paul Rubens, the Flemish artist who flourished in the seventeenth century, is renowned for his creative choice of subject matter, from landscapes to allegory. Antoine Watteau, the French-born painter who died early in the eighteenth century, is generally remembered for his ability to interweave themes from Italian theatre into his paintings. During the late nineteenth century in which he thrived, the French artist Renoir was particularly renowned for his application of light and shading, his use of vibrant color, and his ability to create an intimate scene.

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

  1. Like Rubens and Watteau, Renoir selected subject matter that was creative and theatrical.
  2. Read believes that Rubens, Watteau, and Renoir are among the greatest painters in Western history.
  3. Read believes that apart from Renoir, no great artist of note has arisen since the early eighteenth century.
  4. Relative to other painters of Renoir's era and later ones, Renoir best carried on the tradition of individual style that defined earlier artists.
  5. The painters who had the greatest impact between the seventeenth and late nineteenth centuries were either Flemish or French.

7. School Principal: Recent testing indicates that students in our school are struggling in math. At this time, the students are spending only forty-five minutes each day on math lessons. The testing also indicates that students are excelling in reading, however. The students currently spend one and a half hours each day on reading. Therefore, we need to increase the amount of time spent on math in order to improve the math skills of students in our school.

The weakness in the school principal's argument is similar to the weakness in which of the following arguments?

  1. Family psychologists have found that the children with the best speech development are those whose parents read to them at an early age. Therefore, all parents should read to their young children in order to enhance their speech development skills.
  2. Travel agents routinely see that families who have the most comfortable and relaxing vacations are those who stay in three- or four-star resorts. Therefore, any family hoping to have a comfortable and relaxing vacation should restrict accommodation choices to three- and four-star resorts.
  3. Research has shown that traders who put their money in options tend to be more likely to suffer from losing trades. Research also suggests that traders who put their money in stocks, which require a larger investment up front, tend to be more successful. Therefore, traders should put their money into stocks if they hope to have winning trades.
  4. Studies suggest that students who are most successful in college have attended advanced placement classes in high school. Therefore, those students who hope to be most successful in college should strive to be accepted into advanced placement classes.
  5. Caitlyn and Moira discovered that Caitlyn was spending a little more than Moira at the grocery story each month. But Moira usually stopped at the grocery store several times each week, while Caitlyn never shopped more than once a week. Therefore, Caitlyn and Moira are actually spending the same amount, because Moira must pay the extra cost of gas for several trips to the store.

8. The CEO of a major fast-food chain just released a statement indicating that the chain has revamped its ingredient list and revised its menu options so that all selections on the menu are now healthier than any of the menus from competing fast-food chains. Among the changes that will be made, the fast-food chain will be eliminating unsaturated fats and downsizing portions. He claims, "We've heard the request of our customers for healthier meals, and with the changes we're making we'll be offering our customers better choices. Our customers will now have healthy fast-food options that put all other fast-food chains to shame."

Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the CEO's claim of offering healthier selections to customers?

  1. While the fast-food chain is improving certain ingredients, they are still including additives that tend to make customers addicted to the fast food.
  2. The CEO is receiving a large bonus for the potential boost in sales that the new menu options are expected to bring.
  3. A focus group unanimously complained that the food was bland and not as tasty as items on the previous menu.
  4. The fast-food chain has begun marketing heavily to children, encouraging children to ask for the healthier options when ordering in a restaurant.
  5. The fast-food chain has not removed many of its previous menu items but has instead simply replaced the unhealthy ingredients with healthier options and reduced the portion sizes.

9. Head of a regional psychiatric association: As an organization, we have found that patients over the last two decades are increasingly likely to suffer from depression that in some cases can lead to an early death. At the same time, we have found that those patients who already practice some form of spirituality tend to be less likely to suffer from depression and thus to live longer and healthier lives. A recent study in a major psychological journal confirms this experience. As a result, we suggest that our members begin encouraging their patients to explore spirituality in the hopes that it will provide them with longer and healthier lives.

The primary argument made by the head of the regional psychological association depends on which of the following assumptions?

  1. All of the patients being treated by psychiatrists in the regional psychiatric association are suffering from depression.
  2. All patients noted for their longer and healthier lives were practicing the same form of spirituality.
  3. All members of the psychiatric association must also pursue spirituality in order to make educated recommendations to their patients.
  4. When untreated, depression is a serious condition that leads to death.
  5. All forms of spirituality are equally healthy, and any form of spirituality will provide patients with longer and healthier lives.

10. Economists have noted in recent weeks that the price per barrel of crude oil has decreased sharply over the last few months, dropping as much as seventy percent. They have also found, however, that the price of gasoline at the pump has not seen a similarly sharp reduction, and gasoline prices have dropped only about fifty percent.

Given the statements above, which of the following most helps to explain the difference between the drop in the price of crude oil per barrel and the drop in the price of gasoline at the pump?

  1. The demand for crude oil worldwide has suddenly decreased; this has led to a drop in the price of crude oil.
  2. While crude oil prices were high, refineries that processed crude oil into gasoline absorbed a large part of the cost; these refineries are now recovering some profit by not yet passing the decreased price in crude oil to customers at the pump.
  3. Oil companies have recently discovered a large and previously untapped oil reserve; this discovery immediately sent crude oil prices plummeting.
  4. A major wind energy company unexpectedly announced plans to provide a large-scale alternative energy option to citizens in several nations; this created a competition for crude oil that negatively affected its price.
  5. Due to the increasingly low cost of crude oil, the cost of production now exceeds the return in value; this has forced some oil production companies to go out of business.

Logical Reasoning Answers

Question 1

Overview: This question asks students to select the statement that most seriously undermines the nutritionist's claims that his method of applying diet and exercise alone helped patients struggling with obesity to lose weight and that this method of losing weight is the best method. The student must consider each answer choice in the context of what the nutritionist says in order to determine which answer is most correct.

The Correct Answer:

B: The nutritionist's statement that a healthy, balanced diet and the incorporation of daily exercise is strongly undermined by the information that significant factors in weight loss include physical makeup and metabolism, and that the nutritionist worked only with adults with very similar physical makeups and metabolisms. This information throws into question whether the nutritionist's methods would work for adults with different physical makeups and metabolism, thereby undermining the claim the nutritionist's method for weight loss is the best method. Therefore, answer choice (B) is the correct answer.

The Incorrect Answers:

A: Answer choice (A), although tempting, is ultimately irrelevant to the nutritionist's direct claims about the best method for weight loss; answer A is considered an ad hominem claim, that is, a claim directed about a person making an argument rather than about the merits of the argument itself. Simply because the nutritionist receives funding from the government does not mean that the nutritionist's study is biased. Nothing in the passage suggests that it is. Answer choice (A) is not correct.

C: Like answer choice (A), answer choice (C) is interesting but does nothing to undermine the nutritionist's claims. It is not surprising to learn that another nutritionist disagrees with him, but disagreement with a colleague does not necessarily undermine his test results. Answer choice (C), therefore, is incorrect.

D: Far from undermining the test results and the nutritionist's claims, answer choice (D) actually supports them. This is because different methods of exercise might have different results regarding weight loss. Thus answer choice (D) can be eliminated at once.

E: The statement about the number of patients provides further information about how the nutritionist carried out his test. However, it does not necessarily undermine the results. Eighty patients could conceivably provide the nutritionist with a large enough study group to derive useful results, so this choice does not necessarily undermine his claims. Answer choice (E) is incorrect.

Question 2

Overview: Question 2 presents a scenario in which someone (Mike) is attempting to predict future events on the basis of his past experience. Three important factors must be considered: (1) the company for which Mike works is suffering due to the economic downturn, (2) the detail that Mike has had a strong sales record in the past but has struggled to maintain it in recent months because of the weak economy, and (3) the fact that Mike's boss has asked to see him. Mike concludes that his boss will not fire him because of his time with the company, his excellent record, and his potential to succeed in spite of the crisis. The student is asked to consider how Mike's reasoning is flawed.

The Correct Answer:

C: Answer choice (C) is the only selection that takes all of the elements into account and summarizes the substance of the problem with Mike's argument: he believes his success in the past will translate automatically to future success, despite his failure over the last few months to keep his sales high. He also believes that the company will look only at his past success and will not consider current factors, including his recent struggles and the economic situation as a whole. Thus answer choice (C) is correct.

The Incorrect Answers:

A, E: Although answer choices (A) and (E) do address separate parts of the problem with Mike's reasoning, neither addresses all of it. Mike's belief in his loyalty to the company ("I've been working with the company for well over a decade") and in the company's confidence in his ability to overcome the tough economy ("If anyone can find a way to boost sales and benefit the company, I'm the person") both contribute to the flaw in his argument, but neither encompasses it fully. Both answer choices (A) and (E), therefore, are incorrect.

B: Answer choice (B) provides an interesting piece of information, but in terms of Mike's argument it is largely irrelevant and does not address the flaw in Mike's reasoning in any way. It contributes a piece of information that might support the theory that the company will indeed fire Mike, but it fails to explain how Mike's own argument is problematic. D Answer (D), again, is interesting but irrelevant to Mike's argument and does not address the flaw in his reasoning. That Mike is a close friend of his boss might make it more difficult for his boss to fire him, but since Mike does not mention this in his statement in any way, it cannot be assumed that

Questions 3 and 4

Overview: Questions 3 and 4 regard a passage about the manuscript history of medieval music, noting specifically four important facts: (1) manuscripts were expensive to produce, (2) the Catholic Church was one of the few institutions able to take on this expense, because it had both the wealth and the human resources as represented by scribes, (3) most extant music from the medieval period has been recorded on manuscripts, and (4) the majority of this music is sacred music. The passage includes the added suggestion that most popular music from that era is unknown today because very little was recorded on manuscripts.

Question 3

The Correct Answer:

E: In question 3, the student is asked to select a statement that is supported by the claims made in the passage. To do this, the student must infer from what is stated directly. Based on these claims, answer choice (E) is the only one that fulfills this requirement. The passage states quite clearly, "Any medieval music not recorded on manuscripts has now been lost to history. Most of the medieval music still in existence is sacred music." If most extant medieval music is sacred music, and any music not recorded on manuscripts has been lost to history, then it follows that most popular music was not recorded on manuscripts and thus has been lost to history. It can safely be inferred from this fact that historians do not know much about popular medieval music because they have almost nothing to study. Answer choice (E) is correct.

The Incorrect Answers:

A: Answer choice (A) is incorrect because the passage does not offer an evaluative judgment on the music that is still extant, nor does it suggest anywhere that sacred music was recorded because it was the "greatest music" of the period. Historians might rightly debate this issue, but the passage does not discuss it or imply anything about it.

B: As with answer choice (A), the passage does not imply answer choice (B). The passage describes facts about the way medieval music was recorded and about what medieval music still exists, but it does not provide an answer to why most of the extant music from the Middle Ages is sacred music. Therefore, in no place in the passage does the author suggest that the Church recorded only medieval music because it did not value popular music. Answer (B) should be eliminated immediately.

C: While answer choice (C) might very well be true, the substance of this statement is not discussed at all in the passage and cannot be inferred from any statement made within it. Answer (C) is thus irrelevant and should be eliminated immediately.

D: The passage does indicate that the Church was not necessarily the only institution to have the means of affording manuscripts: "As a result, few were able to produce or own them, and the Catholic Church, which had literate scribes as well as considerable wealth, produced and maintained most manuscripts during the Middle Ages." This suggests logically that other institutions such as the aristocracy might very well have been able to produce and maintain some of the manuscripts. But nowhere does the passage discuss the contents of aristocratic households or that aristocrats might have held large numbers of manuscripts, so this statement cannot be inferred from the passage.

Question 4

The Correct Answer:

A: In question 4, the student is asked to consider which statement cannot be inferred from the passage. The passage makes a number of claims about manuscripts in the medieval period, but the only comment on the parchment from which the manuscripts were made is that it was expensive. It might seem logical to argue that if the parchment was expensive, it must also have been difficult to produce, but there is no statement in the passage that supports this claim in any way, so the conclusion cannot be drawn safely. Therefore, answer choice (A) is correct.

The Incorrect Answers:

B: The passage notes that the manuscripts were "painstakingly copied by hand" and that the only people qualified to do this work were the scribes (who were literate), suggesting that the work required a great deal of time and effort and that few people were able to copy manuscripts. From this, answer choice (B) may be inferred from the passage and is thus incorrect.

C: The passage claims that the Church produced most of the manuscripts. The passage also indicates that the majority of extant medieval music is sacred (i.e., deriving from the Church), so it may be inferred that the Church was selective about what music was copied down. Therefore, the passage does imply the statement in answer choice (C). (Note that this does not necessarily suggest that the Church did not value popular music - see answer choice (B) from question 3 - but that it was selective. The two qualities must be distinguished from one another.)

D: The passage notes that the manuscripts were "copied by hand" and that the Church had "literate scribes" to do this job, suggesting that within the Church they alone were qualified to copy down manuscripts. As a result, the passage does imply that only the literate (those who know how to read) were allowed to copy down manuscripts. Note that the question does not say that of all members of society, the scribes alone were allowed to copy down manuscripts. It is entirely possible that literate members of the aristocracy copied down manuscripts. What is significant with regard to this question is that scribes were literate, not that they were members of a certain class within society.

E: The passage comments, "Any medieval music not recorded on manuscripts has now been lost to history. Most of the medieval music still in existence is sacred music." From this it may rightly be inferred that most non-sacred music from the medieval period has been lost to history, so the passage implies answer choice (E), and answer choice (E) is incorrect.

Question 5

Overview: Question 5 records a conversation between Lito and Miteki, with Lito making an argument about an action she believes needs to be taken and Miteki responding to that argument. Specifically, Lito notes that the one-lane bridges on the island of Kauai have become dangerous due to the increase of tourist traffic and argues that the bridges should be widened. Miteki rebuts with a comment that Kauai is committed to protecting the plant and animal life on the island and that widening the bridges could endanger these plants and animals. The question asks the reader to identify the flaw in Miteki's response.

The Correct Answer:

E: In her response, Miteki ignores the substance of Lito's argument - the potential danger from the one-lane bridges and the need to widen them - and instead tries to redirect the conversation toward a related but different topic, specifically the environmental impact of widening the bridges. Thus, answer choice (E) correctly evaluates the flaw in Miteki's response: she fails to address the core of Lito's comments and instead develops a secondary argument.

The Incorrect Answers:

A: The conversation does not discuss the accuracy of the information in either Lito's argument or Miteki's, so there is no way to know whether Miteki is relying on faulty information. Answer choice (A) may be eliminated immediately.

B: Although Miteki's response does indeed fail to address the substance of Lito's argument, her mistake is not that of circular reasoning, so answer choice (B) may also be eliminated immediately.

C: There is no suggestion in the conversation that either topic is more important than the other, so the judgment that the substance of Miteki's response is less important than Lito's cannot be inferred from the conversation. Moreover, such a judgment does not address the flaw in Miteki's reasoning, so answer choice (C) cannot be correct.

D: Miteki responds to Lito by picking up on one element of his argument - the one-lane bridges - and then developing an unrelated argument of her own. She does not, however, develop any of Lito's supporting claims (i.e., that the number of accidents has increased, that there are more tourists in Kauai), so answer choice (D) is incorrect.

Question 6

Overview: Question 6 offers a quotation from an art scholar about the Impressionist artist Renoir, in which Renoir is discussed within the context of two earlier artists. The passage offers details about these earlier artists, as well as information about Renoir's personal artistic style. The question asks for a statement that best summarizes the conclusion of the passage. Because the passage does not state its main point directly, the student must infer that statement of summary from the information within the passage.

The Correct Answer:

D: In describing each of the three artists named - Rubens, Watteau, and Renoir - the passage offers very different details about each one. Rubens is remembered for "creative choice of subject matter," Watteau for his "ability to interweave themes from Italian theatre into his paintings," and Renoir for "his application of light and shading, his use of vibrant color, and his ability to create an intimate scene." None of these qualities is closely related, so the only answer that explains the purpose of each description is answer choice (D), in which Renoir is noted for following a tradition of individual style. What is more, Read notes Renoir as the "final representative," so it is safe to say that Read believes there is no painter after Renoir who has this quality. Answer choice (D) is thus correct.

The Incorrect Answers:

A: The only artist noted specifically for his subject matter is Rubens, and the passage does not indicate that this quality may be attributed either to Watteau or Renoir, so answer choice (A) is incorrect.

B: Herbert Read comments on Renoir carrying on the "artistic tradition that started at Rubens and ended at Watteau," but this statement does not indicate Read's personal opinion about whether or not all three men may be considered the greatest artists in Western history, so answer choice (B) cannot be correct.

C: Read notes that Renoir is the "final painter" of a certain artistic quality, but he makes no comment about artists after Renoir, nor does he suggest that no great artists have arisen since Renoir. It is, of course, possible that he makes this claim elsewhere in his analysis, but the claim is not recorded in this particular passage, so answer choice (C) cannot be inferred and is thus incorrect.

E: Again, Read makes no comment on whether or not Rubens (Flemish), Watteau, and Renoir (both French) were the greatest painters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. What is more, Read notes that Renoir carries on a tradition that "runs directly from Rubens to Watteau," so it is very possible that the unnamed painters who fell between Rubens and Watteau were not Flemish or French.

Question 7

Overview: This question presents a statement by a school principal regarding how well students are doing in certain subject areas. The students recently completed some testing, and the principal notes that the students scored badly in the math tests compared to their performance on reading tests. The principal then notes that students spend more class time on reading than on math and concludes that students need to spend as much time on math as on reading in order to improve the math scores. The question asks the student to compare the flaw in the principal's reasoning to the flaw in the reasoning of the answer choices.

In order to find an answer choice with a comparable flaw, it is first necessary to identify how the principal's argument proceeds and then decide where the flaw develops. The principal first looks at the test results of two different subjects and sees that the students did badly on one and well on the other. Looking for a quality that distinguishes these two, the principal realizes that the students spend less time on math than on reading. Thus, the conclusion follows that students should spend as much time on math as on reading. The problem with this is that the argument assumes quantity = quality, with no regard for other considerations, such as the skills of the math teachers at the school, the usefulness of the curriculum, and so forth. The correct answer choice will follow this pattern of quantity = quality, with a specific outcome desired based on the investment of a certain quantity and a disregard for other significant considerations.

The Correct Answer:

C: The reasoning in answer choice (C) is similarly flawed to the principal's reasoning in that two items are compared (options trading and stock trading), and the outcome is assumed to be based on the invested quantity (money in options vs. money in stocks). The argument indicates that traders invest more money in stocks than they do in options and that they also tend to make more money. No other considerations are mentioned in this comparison, such as the skill of the trader, the history of the stock's movement, and so forth. The conclusion about outcome is reached solely upon the basis of the quantity invested, so the reasoning in answer choice (C) most closely parallels the principal's reasoning.

The Incorrect Answers:

A, D: Answer choices (A) and (D) are incorrect, because the conclusions reached in both arguments do not parallel the principal's conclusion in any way. The argument in choice (A) is that parents should read in order to help improve their children's speech development skills. The argument in choice (D) is that students should take certain kinds of high school classes to be successful in college. Both answer choices suggest that a specific action should be taken to achieve results of certain quality, but the formula quantity = quality is not present in any form in either answer choice.

B: This answer choice seems promising at first, with the conclusion that the number of stars identifying a resort (quantity) translates automatically to the comfort of a stay there (quality). But unlike the principal's conclusion, this conclusion does not require a specific change in the quantity of action or investment to reach it, so it is not close enough to parallel it. Had answer choice (B) indicated that the resorts with the most stars tend to be the most successful, with the conclusion that a specific resort should improve its business plan and seek to obtain more stars, it would be comparable. As it is, though, answer choice (B) may be eliminated.

E: Answer choice (E) has no relevance to the principal's conclusion and can be eliminated immediately. The conclusion in (E) relates only to quantity; the question of quality does not arise at any point in this particular example.

Question 8

Overview: Question 8 presents a scenario in which the CEO of a fast-food chain makes an announcement about upcoming revisions to the chain's menu. The company is completely overhauling its menu items so that all items offered will now be healthier. Specifically, the announcement notes that the company will be removing unhealthy fats and offering smaller portions. The question asks the student to consider which of the answer choices most undermines the effect of the CEO's announcement. To find the correct answer, it is necessary to focus on the details in the CEO's comments and on what, in particular, would call into question the validity of the CEO's remarks.

The Correct Answer:

A: Answer choice (A) states that although the fast-food chain is indeed making the announced changes in its menu, it is also retaining certain addictive additives that have, by implication, long been in its food. As a result, the continued inclusion of these additives calls into question the company's actual commitment to offering healthy foods and raises questions about the claim that the company's food will be a healthier option than that offered by other fast-food chains. Therefore, choice (A) most seriously undermines the CEO's statements.

The Incorrect Answers:

B: That the CEO is receiving a large bonus is potentially suspicious, but it does not by itself undermine the CEO's claim about providing healthier food options. In other words, nothing about the bonus suggests that the menu will not in fact offer healthier items than before; answer choice (B) does not address evidence for or against the CEO's. There is no reason to be surprised that the company is rewarding the CEO in advance for a plan that will benefit the company. Thus, answer choice (B) is incorrect.

C: The response of the focus group calls into question the way that customers will respond to the food, but it does not call into question the CEO's comments about the healthy qualities of the food. Thus, answer choice (C) may be eliminated immediately.

D: While the merits of advertising to young children might be arguable, the ads themselves seem to support the company's claim that it is offering healthier choices by encouraging children to request the better menu items when they visit the fast-food chains. As a result, this answer choice seems to bring some validity to the CEO's claims of a commitment to better health, and it is incorrect.

E: The CEO makes no claim to having removed all items from the old menu. Instead, he claims that the ingredients have been improved and the menu revised. Answer choice (E) does more to support the CEO's claims than it does to undermine it, so it is incorrect.

Question 9

Overview: In question 9, the head of a regional psychiatric association makes a statement about a study that suggests the importance of spirituality in helping patients live longer, healthier lives. The head of the association also comments that depression has been noted, in some cases, to shorten the lives of patients. The speaker concludes that members of the psychiatric association should encourage patients to pursue spirituality in the expectation that it will provide them with longer and healthier lives. The question asks the student to consider on which assumption the speaker's conclusion is based.

The Correct Answer:

E: In reaching his conclusion, the head of the psychiatric association does not distinguish between different forms of spirituality. As a result, the conclusion he reaches suggests that all forms of spirituality are equally healthy and that all will be equally beneficial to the patients. Answer choice (E) therefore, is, the most correct answer.

The Incorrect Answers:

A: While the head of the psychiatric association indicates that some of the patients being treated by members of the association have suffered from depression, he does not indicate that all of them have. Therefore, answer choice (A) may be eliminated, because the conclusion in the passage is clearly not based on this assumption.

B: As the head of the psychiatric association only mentions the practice of spirituality as being healthy, it cannot be assumed from the passage that he bases his conclusions on the practice of a specific kind of spirituality or that the patients who experienced positive results from the practice of spirituality were practicing the same form. Answer (B) cannot be correct.

C: The head of the psychiatric association indicates that the positive aspects of spirituality were observed among the patients, but he does not comment anywhere on whether members of the psychiatric association practice spirituality or whether they should. Rather, his conclusions relate directly to the patients practicing spirituality, and it cannot be assumed that his conclusion is based on the importance of spirituality to the association members. (It might be true that he also recommends the practice of spirituality to members, but this is an inference from his comments, not an assumption on which they are based.)

D: The head of the psychiatric association does say specifically that depression, "in some cases can lead to an early death." He does not suggest, however, that the result of depression is inevitably death. Further, his conclusion that the members of the psychiatric association should encourage patients to practice spirituality is not based on the assumption that depression will always lead to death, but rather that it can shorten the lives of some patients. Answer choice (D) is incorrect.

Question 10

Overview: In question 10, the student is asked to consider which of the answer choices most explains the disparity in price drop between the cost of crude oil per barrel and the cost of gasoline at the pump. In order to determine the difference, it is necessary to think about the specific statements made within the passage. This question asks for inferences only inasmuch as those inferences can be made directly from the information in the passage. Several of the answer choices provide distant possibilities, but only one sufficiently explains the discrepancy in price without deviating from the details of the passage. Question 10 presents a scenario involving cause-and-effect, and cause and effect are what students need to consider: what cause directly explains the effect of a drop in the price of crude oil that is not reflected in prices at the gasoline pump?

The Correct Answer:

B: Answer choice (B) is the correct answer because it provides a logical explanation for the disparity in price while not deviating from the details in the passage. The cause suggested is that refineries have had to absorb the higher price of crude oil in recent months; this has had the effect of those refineries delaying passing on the lower price of crude oil to customers at the gas pump.

The Incorrect Answers:

A, C: Although answer choices (A) and (C) provide some explanation for the drop in the price of crude oil per barrel, they provide absolutely no explanation for the higher price at the gasoline pump, leaving open the question regarding the disparity in price. As a result, both may be eliminated immediately.

D: Answer choice (D) also offers some indication about what might affect the price of crude oil per barrel, but it fails to address the discrepancy in price, that is, why the cost of crude oil has decreased without a corresponding drop in prices at the gasoline pump. If anything, answer choice (D) raises further questions, since if there are alternative energy options, the price of gasoline should naturally decrease according to the laws of supply and demand.

E: Answer choice (E), although it reflects a potential result of continued low crude oil prices, does not address the question of why gasoline prices are still high in comparison to crude oil prices. While it might be inferred that the loss of oil production companies entails less competition (and therefore higher prices), there is not enough information in the passage to imply such a conclusion or to select (E) as the best answer.

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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