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Sample LSAT Questions: LSAT Critical Reasoning Section


Time ---35 Minutes

25 Questions

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1. Most consumers do not get much use out of the sports equipment they purchase. For example, seventeen percent of the adults in the United States own jogging shoes, but only forty-five percent of the owners jog more than once a year, and only seventeen percent jog more than once a week.
Which of the following, if true, casts most doubt on the claim that most consumers get little use out of the sports equipment they purchase?
(A) Joggers are most susceptible to sports injuries during the first six months in which they jog.
(B) Joggers often exaggerate the frequency with which they jog in surveys designed to elicit such information.
(C) Many consumers purchase jogging shoes for use in activities other than jogging.
(D) Consumers who take up jogging often purchase an athletic shoe that can be used in other sports.
(E) Joggers who jog more than once a week are often active participants in other sports as well.

2. It is true that it is against international law to sell plutonium to countries that do not yet have nuclear weapons. But if United States companies do not do so, companies in other countries will.
Which of the following is most like the argument above in its logical structure?
(A) It is true that it is against the police department’s policy to negotiate with kidnappers. But if the police want to prevent loss of life, they must negotiate in some cases.
(B) it is true that it is illegal to refuse to register for military service. But there is a long tradition in the United States of conscientious objection to serving in the armed forces.
(C) It is true that it is illegal for a government official to participate in a transaction in which there is an apparent conflict of interest. But if the facts are examined carefully, it will clearly be seen that there was no actual conflict of interest in the defendant’s case.
(D) It is true that it is against the law to burglarize people’s homes. But someone else certainly would have burglarized that house if the defendant had not done so first.
(E) It is true that company policy forbids supervisors to fire employees without two written warnings. But there have been many supervisors who have disobeyed this policy.

3. Extinction is a process that can depend on a variety of ecological, geographical, and physiological variables. These variables affect different species of organisms in different ways, and should, therefore, yield a random pattern of extinctions. However, the fossil record shows that extinction occurs in a surprisingly definite pattern, with many species vanishing at the same time.
Which of the following, if true, forms the best basis for at least a partial explanation of the patterned extinctions revealed by the fossil record?
(A) Major episodes of extinction can result from widespread environmental disturbances that affect numerous different species.
(B) Certain extinction episodes selectively affect organisms with particular sets of characteristics unique to their species.
(C) Some species become extinct because of accumulated gradual changes in their local environments.
(D) In geologically recent times, for which there is no fossil record, human intervention has changed the pattern of extinctions.
(E) Species that are widely dispersed are the least likely to become extinct.

4. Shelby Industries manufactures and sells the same gauges as Jones Industries. Employee wages account for forty percent of the cost of manufacturing gauges at both Shelby Industries and Jones Industries. Shelby Industries is seeking a competitive advantage over Jones Industries. Therefore, to promote this end, Shelby Industries should lower employee wages.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument above?
(A) Because they make a small number of precision instruments, gauge manufacturers cannot receive volume discounts on raw materials.
(B) Lowering wages would reduce the quality of employee work, and this reduced quality would lead to lowered sales.
(C) Jones Industries has taken away twenty percent of Shelby Industries’ business over the last year.
(D) Shelby Industries pays its employees, on average, ten percent more than does Jones Industries.
(E) Many people who work for manufacturing plants live in areas in which the manufacturing plant they work for is the only industry.

5. Large national budget deficits do not cause large trade deficits. If they did, countries with the largest budget deficits would also have the largest trade deficits. In fact, when deficit figures are adjusted so that different countries are reliably comparable to each other, there is no such correlation.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?
(A) Countries with large national budget deficits tend to restrict foreign trade.
(B) Reliable comparisons of the deficit figures of one country with those of another are impossible.
(C) Reducing a country’s national budget deficit will not necessarily result in a lowering of any trade deficit that country may have.
(D) When countries are ordered from largest to smallest in terms of population, the smallest countries generally have the smallest budget and trade deficits.
(E) Countries with the largest trade deficits never have similarly large national budget deficits.

6. Many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin supplements. Some of these cereals provide 100 percent of the recommended daily requirement of vitamins. Nevertheless, a well-balanced breakfast, including a variety of foods, is a better source of those vitamins than are such fortified breakfast cereals alone.

Which of the following, if true, would most strongly support the position above?
(A) In many foods, the natural combination of vitamins with other nutrients makes those vitamins more usable by the body than are vitamins added in vitamin supplements.
(B) People who regularly eat cereals fortified with vitamin supplements sometimes neglect to eat the foods in which the vitamins occur naturally.
(C)Foods often must be fortified with vitamin supplements because naturally occurring vitamins are removed during processing.
(D) Unprocessed cereals are naturally high in several of the vitamins that are usually added to fortified breakfast cereals.
(E) Cereals containing vitamin supplements are no harder to digest than similar cereals without added vitamins.

7. Which of the following best completes the passage below?
The more worried investors are about losing their money, the more they will demand a high potential return on their investment; great risks must be offset by the chance of great rewards. This principle is the fundamental one in determining interest rates, and it is illustrated by the fact that——.
(A) successful investors are distinguished by an ability to make very risky investments without worrying about their money
(B) lenders receive higher interest rates on unsecured loans than on loans backed by collateral
(C) in times of high inflation, the interest paid to depositors by banks can actually be below the rate of inflation
(D) at any one time, a commercial bank will have a single rate of interest that it will expect all of its individual borrowers to pay
(E) the potential return on investment in a new company is typically lower than the potential return on investment in a well-established company

8. Sales of telephones have increased dramatically over the last year. In order to take advantage of this increase, Mammoth Industries plans to expand production of its own model of telephone, while continuing its already very extensive advertising of this product.

Which of the following, if true, provides most support for the view that Mammoth Industries cannot increase its sales of telephones by adopting the plan outlined above?
(A) Although it sells all of the telephones that it produces, Mammoth Industries’ share of all telephone sales has declined over the last year.
(B) Mammoth Industries’ average inventory of telephones awaiting shipment to retailers has declined slightly over the last year.
(C) Advertising has made the brand name of Mammoth Industries’ telephones widely known, but few consumers know that Mammoth Industries owns this brand.
(D) Mammoth Industries’ telephone is one of three brands of telephone that have together accounted for the bulk of the last year’s increase in sales.
(E) Despite a slight decline in the retail price, sales of Mammoth Industries’ telephones have fallen in the last year.

9. Many institutions of higher education suffer declining enrollments during periods of economic slowdown. At two-year community colleges, however, enrollment figures boom during these periods when many people have less money and there is more competition for jobs.

Each of the following, if true, helps to explain the enrollment increases in two-year community colleges described above EXCEPT:
(A) During periods of economic slowdown, two-year community colleges are more likely than four-year colleges to prepare their students for the jobs that are still available.
(B) During periods of economic prosperity, graduates of two-year community colleges often continue their studies at four-year colleges.
(C) Tuition at most two-year community colleges is a fraction of that at four-year colleges.
(D) Two-year community colleges devote more resources than do other colleges to attracting those students especially affected by economic slowdowns.
(E) Students at two-year community colleges, but not those at most four-year colleges, can control the cost of their studies by choosing the number of courses they take each term.

10. In tests for pironoma, a serious disease, a false positive result indicates that people have pironoma when, in fact, they do not; a false negative result indicates that people do not have pironoma when, in fact, they do. To detect pironoma most accurately, physicians should use the laboratory test that has the lowest proportion of false positive results.

Which of the following, if true, gives the most support to the recommendation above?
(A) The accepted treatment for pironoma does not have damaging side effects.
(B) The laboratory test that has the lowest proportion of false positive results causes the same minor side effects as do the other laboratory tests used to detect pironoma.
(C) In treating pironoma patients, it is essential to begin treatment as early as possible, since even a week of delay can result in loss of life.
(D) The proportion of inconclusive test results is equal for all laboratory tests used to detect pironoma.
(E) All laboratory tests to detect pironoma have the same proportion of false negative results.

11. When a polygraph test is judged inconclusive, this is no reflection on the examinee. Rather, such a judgment means that the test has failed to show whether the examinee was truthful or untruthful. Nevertheless, employers will sometimes refuse to hire a job applicant because of an inconclusive polygraph test result.
Which of the following conclusions can most properly be drawn from the information above?
Most examinees with inconclusive polygraph test results are in fact untruthful.
Polygraph tests should not be used by employers in the consideration of job applicants.
An inconclusive polygraph test result is sometimes unfairly held against the examinee.
A polygraph test indicating that an examinee is untruthful can sometimes be mistaken.
Some employers have refused to consider the results of polygraph tests when evaluating job applicants.

12. According to the new office smoking regulations, only employees who have enclosed office may smoke at their desks. Virtually all employees with enclosed offices are at the professional level, and virtually all secretarial employees lack enclosed offices. Therefore, secretaries who smoke should be offered enclosed offices.
Which of the following is an assumption that enables the conclusion above to be properly drawn?
(A) Employees at the professional level who do not smoke should keep their enclosed offices.
(B) Employees with enclosed offices should not smoke at their desks, even though the new regulations permit them to do so.
(C) Employees at the secretarial level should be allowed to smoke at their desks, even if they do not have enclosed offices.
(D) The smoking regulations should allow all employees who smoke an equal opportunity to do so, regardless of an employee’s job level.
(E) The smoking regulations should provide equal protection from any hazards associated with smoking to all employees who do not smoke.

13. Dental researchers recently discovered that tooth-brushes can become contaminated wth bacterial that cause pneumonia and strep throat. They found that contamination usually occurs after toothbrushes have been used for four weeks. For that reason, people should replace their toothbrushes at least once a month.
Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the conclusion above?
(A) The dental researchers could not discover why toothbrush contamination usually occurred only after toothbrushes had been used for four weeks.
(B) The dental researchers failed to investigate contamination of toothbrushes by viruses, yeasts, and other pathogenic microorganisms.
(C) The dental researchers found that among people who used toothbrushes contaminated with bacterial that cause pneumonia and strep throat, the incidence of these diseases was no higher than among people who used uncontaminated toothbrushes.
(D) The dental researchers found that people who rinsed their toothbrushes thoroughly in hot water after each use were as likely to have contaminated toothbrushes as were people who only rinsed their toothbrushes hurriedly in cold water after each use.
(E) The dental researchers found that, after six weeks of use, greater length of use of a toothbrush did not correlate with a higher number of bacterial being present.

Questions 14-15 are based on the following.
To protect certain fledgling industries, the government of country Z banned imports of the types of products those industries were starting to make. As a direct result, the cost of those products to the buyers, several export-dependent industries in Z, went up, sharply limiting the ability of those industries to compete effectively in their export markets.

14. Which of the following can be most properly inferred from the passage about the products whose importation was banned?
(A) Those products had been cheaper to import than they were to make within country Z’s fledgling industries.
(B) Those products were ones that country Z was hoping to export in its turn, once the fledgling industries matured.
(C) Those products used to be imported from just those countries to which country Z’s exports went.
(D) Those products had become more and more expensive to import, which resulted in a foreign trade deficit just before the ban.
(E) Those products used to be imported in very small quantities, but they were essential to country Z’s economy.

15. Which of the following conclusions about country Z’s adversely affected export-dependent industries is best supported by the passage?
(A) Profit margins in those industries were not high enough to absorb the rise in costs mentioned above.
(B) Those industries had to contend with the fact that other countries banned imports from country Z.
(C) Those industries succeeded in expanding the domestic market for their products.
(D) Steps to offset rising materials costs by decreasing labor costs were taken in those industries.
(E) Those industries started to move into export markets that they had previously judged unprofitable.

16.The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.
Which of the following, if true, most severely weakens the argument presented above?
(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically.
(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be.
(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly only between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high-speed train’s stations would be.
(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently underutilized train stations in large cities.
(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground-level transportation.

17.Leaders of a miners’ union on strike against Coalco are contemplating additional measures to pressure the company to accept the union’s contract proposal. The union leaders are considering as their principal new tactic a consumer boycott against Gasco gas stations, which are owned by Energy Incorporated, the same corporation that owns Coalco.
Answer to which of the following questions is LEAST directly relevant to the union leaders’ consideration of whether attempting a boycott of Gasco will lead to acceptance of their contract proposal?
(A) Would revenue losses by Gasco seriously affect Energy Incorporated?
(B) Can current Gasco customers easily obtain gasoline elsewhere?
(C) Have other miners’ unions won contracts similar to the one proposed by this union?
(D) Have other unions that have employed a similar tactic achieved their goals with it?
(E) Do other corporations that own coal companies also own gas stations?

Questions 18-19 are based on the following.
Transnational cooperation among corporations is experiencing a model renaissance among United States firms, even though projects undertaken by two or more corporations under a collaborative agreement are less profitable than projects undertaken by a singly corporation . The advantage of transnational cooperation is that such joint international projects may allow United States firms to win foreign contracts that they would not otherwise be able to win.

18. Which of the following statements by a United States corporate officer best fits the situation of United States firms as described in the passage above?
(A) “We would rather make only a share of the profit and also risk only a share of a possible loss than run the full risk of a loss.”
(B) “We would rather make a share of a relatively modest profit than end up making none of a potentially much bigger profit.”
(C) “We would rather cooperate and build good will than poison the business climate by all-out competition.”
(D) “We would rather have foreign corporations join us in American projects than join them in projects in their home countries.”
(E) “We would rather win a contract with a truly competitive bid of our own than get involved in less profitable collaborative agreements.”

19. Which of the following is information provided by the passage above?
(A) Transnational cooperation involves projects too big for a single corporation to handle.
(B) Transnational cooperation results in a pooling of resources leading to high-quality performance.
(C) Transnational cooperation has in the past been both more common and less common than it is now among United States firms.
(D) Joint projects between United States and foreign corporation are not profitable enough to be worth undertaking.
(E) Joint projects between United States and foreign corporations benefit only those who commission the projects.

20. A compelling optical illusion called the illusion of velocity and size makes objects appear to be moving more slowly the larger the objects are. Therefore, a motorist’s estimate of the time available for crossing a highway with a small car approaching is bound to be lower than it would be with a large truck approaching.
The conclusion above would be more properly drawn if it were made clear that the
(A) truck’s speed is assumed to be lower than the car’s
(B) truck’s speed is assumed to be the same as the car’s
(C) truck’s speed is assumed to be higher than the car’s
(D) motorist’s estimate of time available is assumed to be more accurate with cars approaching than with trucks approaching
(E) motorist’s estimate of time available is assumed to be more accurate with trucks approaching than with cars approaching

21. Biological functions of many plants and animals vary in cycles that are repeated every 24 hours. It is tempting to suppose that alteration in the intensity of incident light is the stimulus that controls these daily biological rhythms. But there is much evidence to contradict this hypothesis.
Which of the following, if known, is evidence that contradicts the hypothesis stated in lines 2-5 above?
(A) Human body temperature varies throughout the day, with the maximum occurring in the late afternoon and the minimum in the morning.
(B) While some animals, such as the robin, are more active during the day, others, such as mice, show greater activity at night.
(C) When people move from one time zone to another, their daily biological rhythms adjust in a matter of days to the periods of sunlight and darkness in the new zone.
(D) Certain single-cell plants display daily biological rhythms even when the part of the cell containing the nucleus is removed.
(E) Even when exposed to constant light intensity around the clock, some algae display rates of photosynthesis that are much greater during daylight hours than at night.

22. Although migraine headaches are believed to be caused by food allergies, putting patients on diets that eliminate those foods to which the patients have been demonstrated to have allergic migraine reactions frequently does not stop headaches. Obviously, some other cause of migraine headaches besides food allergies much exist.
Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the conclusion above?
(A) Many common foods elicit an allergic response only after several days, making it very difficult to observe links between specific foods patients eat and headaches they develop.
(B) Food allergies affect many people who never develop the symptom of migraine headaches.
(C) Many patients report that the foods that cause them migraine headaches are among the foods that they most enjoy eating.
(D) Very few patients have allergic migraine reactions as children live migraine-free adult lives once they have eliminated from their diets foods to which they have been demonstrated to be allergic.
(E) Very rarely do food allergies cause patients to suffer a symptom more severe than that of migraine headaches.

23. The technological conservatism of bicycle manufacturers is a reflection of the kinds of demand they are trying to meet. The only cyclists seriously interested in innovation and willing to pay for it are bicycle racers. Therefore, innovation in bicycle technology is limited by what authorities will accept as standard for purpose of competition in bicycle races.
Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion above?
(A) The market for cheap, traditional bicycles cannot expand unless the market for high-performance competition bicycles expands.
(B) High-performance bicycles are likely to be improved more as a result of technological innovations developed in small workshops than as a result of technological innovations developed in major manufacturing concerns.
(C) Bicycle racers do not generate a strong demand for innovations that fall outside what is officially recognized as standard for purposes of competition.
(D) The technological conservatism of bicycle manufacturers results primarily from their desire to manufacture a product that can be sold without being altered to suit different national markets.
(E) The authorities who set standards for high-performance bicycle racing do not keep informed about innovative bicycle design.

24. Spending on research and development by United States businesses for 1984 showed an increase of about 8 percent over the 1983 level. This increase actually continued a downward trend evident since 1981 – when outlays for research and development increased 16.4 percent over 1980 spending. Clearly, the 25 percent tax credit enacted by Congress in 1981, which was intended to promote spending on research and development, did little or nothing to stimulate such spending.
The conclusion of the argument above cannot be true unless which of the following is true?
(A) Business spending on research and development is usually directly proportional to business profits.
(B) Business spending for research and development in 1985 could not increase by more than 8.3%.
(C) Had the 1981 tax credit been set higher than 25%, business spending for research and development after 1981 would have increased more than it did.
(D) In the absence of the 25% tax credit, business spending for research and development after 1981 would not have been substantially lower than it was.
(E) Tax credits market for specific investments are rarely effective in inducing businesses to make those investments.

25. Treatment for hypertension forestalls certain medical expenses by preventing strokes and heart disease. Yet any money so saved amounts to only one-fourth of the expenditures required to treat the hypertensive population. Therefore, there is no economic justification for preventive treatment for hypertension.
Which of the following, if true, is most damaging to the conclusion above?
(A) The many fatal strokes and heart attacks resulting from untreated hypertension cause insignificant medical expenditures but large economic losses of other sorts.
(B) The cost, per patient, of preventive treatment for hypertension would remain constant even if such treatment were instituted on a large scale.
(C) In matters of health care, economic considerations should ideally not be dominant.
(D) Effective prevention presupposes early diagnosis, and programs to ensure early diagnosis are costly.
(E) The net savings in medical resources achieved by some preventive health measures are smaller than the net losses attributable to certain other measures of this kind.

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