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LSAT Practice Tests: Sample LSAT Questions

Below is a full section of LSAT critical reasoning questions with answer and complete explanation.

1. Advocates of a large-scale space-defense research project conclude that it will represent a net benefit to civilian business. They say that since government-sponsored research will have civilian applications, civilian businesses will reap the rewards of government-developed technology.
Each of the following, if true, raises a consideration arguing against the conclusion above, EXCEPT:
(A) The development of cost-efficient manufacturing techniques is of the highest priority for civilian business and would be neglected for civilian business and would be neglected if resources go to military projects, which do not emphasize cost efficiency.
(B) Scientific and engineering talent needed by civilian business will be absorbed by the large-scale project.
(C) Many civilian businesses will receive subcontracts to provide materials and products needed by the research project.
(D) If government research money is devoted to the space project, it will not be available for specifically targeted needs of civilian business, where it could be more efficiently used.
(E) The increase in taxes or government debt needed to finance the project will severely reduce the vitality of the civilian economy.Sample LSAT Questions

Explanation: Choice C describes a benefit to civilian business of the research project, and therefore provides support to the conclusion that the project will represent a net benefit to civilian business, rather than arguing against that conclusion. Choice C is therefore the best answer.
Each of the other choices presents a disadvantage of the project for civilian business that might outweigh the stated benefit, so none is correct. Cost efficiency, vital to civilian business, would be neglected (choice A); technical talent needed by civilian business would b e unavailable (choice B); the government funding could be used more efficiently if directed specifically to the needs of civilian business (choice D); and the burden of financing the project would hamper civilian business (choice E).

2. In an attempt to promote the widespread use of paper rather than plastic, and thus reduce nonbiodegradable waster, the council of a small town plans to ban the sale of disposable plastic goods for which substitutes made of paper exist. The council argues that since most paper is entirely biodegradable, paper goods are environmentally preferable.
Which of the following, if true, indicates that the plan to ban the sale of disposable plastic goods is ill suited to the town council’s environmental goals?
(A) Although biodegradable plastic goods are now available, members of the town council believe biodegradable paper goods to be safer for the environment.
(B) The paper factory at which most of the towns-people are employed plans to increase production of biodegradable paper goods.
(C) After other towns enacted similar bans on the sale of plastic goods, the environmental benefits were not discernible for several years.
(D) Since most townspeople prefer plastic goods to paper goods in many instances, they are likely to purchase them in neighboring towns where plastic goods are available for sale.
(E) Products other than those derived from wood pulp are often used in the manufacture of paper goods that are entirely biodegradable.

Explanation: If choice D is true, townspeople are likely to circumvent the local ban by purchasing disposable plastic goods in neighboring towns. The ban is thus likely to be largely ineffectual. Choice D is therefore the best answer.
None of choices A, B, C, or E indicates that the ban is ill chosen as a means of reaching the town council’s environmental goals. Choice A indicates that the town council’s basic criterion is avoidance of harm to the environment, not merely biodegradability. Choice B does nothing to call the ban into question, whether or not the factory sells biodegradable paper goods locally. Choice C suggests that environmental benefits would ensure, albeit not immediately. Choice E merely provides background details about paper that is completely biodegradable.

3. Since the deregulation of airlines, delays at the nation’s increasingly busy airports have increased by 25 percent. To combat this problem, more of the takeoff and landing slots at the busiest airports must be allocated to commercial airlines.
Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the effectiveness of the solution proposed above?
(A) The major causes of delays at the nation’s busiest airports are bad weather and overtaxed air traffic control equipment.
(B) Since airline deregulation began, the number of airplanes in operation has increased by 25 percent.
(C) Over 60 percent of the takeoff and landing slots at the nation’s busiest airports are reserved for commercial airlines.
(D) After a small Midwestern airport doubled its allocation of takeoff and landing slots, the number of delays that were reported decreased by 50 percents.
(E) Since deregulation the average length of delay at the nation’s busiest airports has doubled.

Explanation: The passage presents a problem-delays at airports-and proposes a solution-allocating more slots to commercial airlines. Choice A states, however, that the major causes of the delays lie elsewhere, thereby casting doubt on the effectiveness of the proposed solution, and is thus the best answer.
None of the other choices gives any reason to think that allocating slots will not be an effective solution. Choice B describes another part of the problem, but says nothing about who uses the additional airplanes. Choice C implies that at least some slots are available to be allocated to commercial airlines. Choice D gives one example where allocation was in fact successful, and choice E gives additional information about the scope of the problem.

4. The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hours each week, the fewer sick days they take. Even employees who exercise only once a week during working hours take less sick time than those who do not exercise. Therefore, if companies started fitness programs, the absentee rate in those companies would decrease significantly.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) Employees who exercise during working hours occasionally fall asleep for short periods of time after they exercise.
(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or to join a corporate fitness program.
(C) Employees who exercise only once a week in their company’s fitness program usually also exercise after work.
(D) Employees who exercise in their company’s fitness program use their working time no more productively than those who do not exercise.
(E) Employees who exercise during working hours take slightly longer lunch breaks than employees who do not exercise.

Explanation: Even supposing that increasing the frequency of exercise leads to less sick time being taken, starting a company-supported fitness program might not produce significantly lowered absentee rates if employees who are frequently absent would not cooperate with such a program. Choice B says that such cooperation is unlikely and is the best answer.
Choices A and E suggest that exercise during working hours has undesirable consequences, and choice D indicates that such exercise fails to produce an added benefit, but none of these bears on sick time taken. Choice C concerns exercise done after work by employees participating in a fitness program, but provides no indication of the effect, if any, of that exercise on sick time taken.

5. Many people argue that tobacco advertising plays a crucial role in causing teen-agers to start or continue smoking. In Norway, however, where there has been a ban on tobacco advertising since 1975, smoking is at least as prevalent among teen-agers as it is in countries that do not ban such advertising.
Which of the following statements draws the most reliable conclusion from the information above?
(A) Tobacco advertising cannot be the only factor that affects the prevalence of smoking among teen-agers.
(B) Advertising does not play a role in causing teen-agers to start or continue smoking.
(C) Banning tobacco advertising does not reduce the consumption of tobacco.
(D) More teen-agers smoke if they are not exposed to tobacco advertising than if they are.
(E) Most teen-agers who smoked in 1975 did not stop when the ban on tobacco advertising was implemented.

Explanation: If tobacco advertising were the only factor that affected teenage smoking, there would be a difference in the prevalence of smoking between countries that ban such advertising and those that do not. According to the passage, there is no difference, so tobacco advertising cannot be the only factor. Therefore, choice A is the best answer.
Since no information is given about what effect, if any, the Norwegian ban on tobacco advertising had on teenage smoking in Norway, none of choices B through E can be concluded, since each makes some claim about the effects of tobacco advertising, or of banning such advertising, on teenage smoking or on tobacco consumption.

6. Laws requiring the use of headlights during daylight hours can prevent automobile collisions. However, since daylight visibility is worse in countries farther from the equator, any such laws would obvisouly be more effective in preventing collisions in those countries. In fact, the only countries that actually have such laws are farther from the equator than is the continental United States.
Which of the following conclusions could be most properly drawn from the information given above?
(A) Drivers in the continental United States who used their headlines during the day would be just as likely to become involved in a collision as would drivers who did not use their headlights.
(B) In many countries that are farther from the equator than is the continental United States poor daylight visilibty is the single most important factor in automobile collisions.
(C) The proportion of automobile collisions that occur in the daytime is greater in the continental United States than in the countries that have daytime headlight laws.
(D) Fewer automobile collisions probably occur each year in countries that have daytime headlight laws than occur within the continental United States.
(E) Daytime headlight laws would probably do less to prevent automobile collisions in the continental United States than they do in the countries that have the laws.

Explanation: Since the laws are more effective in countries farther from the equator than the United States, the laws would probably do less to prevent collisions in the United States than they do in the countries that now have such laws—countries that are all farther from the equator than the United States. So choice E is the best answer.
The passage does not indicate that the use of headlights during the day is totally ineffective, so choice A is incorrect. No information is given about the importance of daylight visibility relative to other causes of collisions, so choice B is incorrect. The passage contains no quantitative information for comparing the United States to countries that have the laws, so neither C nor D is correct.

7. A company’s two divisions performed with remarkable consistency over the past three years: in each of those years, the pharmaceuticals division has accounted for roughly 20 percent of dollar sales and 40 percent of profits, and the chemicals division for the balance.
Which of the following can properly be inferred regarding the past three years from the statement above?
(A) Total dollar sales for each of the company’s divisions have remained roughly constant.
(B) The pharmaceuticals division has faced stiffer competition in its markets than has the chemecials division.
(C) The chemicals division has realized lower profits per dollar of sales than has the pharmaceuticals division.
(D) The product mix offered by each of the company’s divisions has remained unchaged.
(E) Highly profitable products accounted for a higher percentage of the chemicals division’s sales than of those of the pharmaceuticals divisions.

Explanation:  The pharmaceuticals division made 40 percent of the profits on only 20 percent of the sales, while the chemicals division, making up the balance, made 60 percent of the profits on 80 percent of the sales. Thus, the chemicals division made a lower profit per dollar of sale than the pharmaceuticals division, as choice C asserts. Choice C is the best answer.
The passage provides no information about total dollar sales, so choice A is incorrect, nor about the severity of competition, so choice B is incorrect. Similarly, no information is provided about the mix of products offered, nor about the breakdown between highly profitable and not highly profitable products in either division, so neither choice D nor choice E is correct.

8. According to a review of 61 studies of patients suffering from severely debilitating depression, a large majority of the patients reported that missing a night’s sleep immediately lifted their depression. Yet sleep-deprivation is not used to treat depression even though the conventional treatments, which use drugs and electric shocks, often have serious side effects.
Which of the following, if true, best explains the fact that sleep-deprivation is not used as a treatment for depression?
(A) For a small percentage of depressed patients, missing a night’s sleep induces a temporary sense of euphoria.
(B) Keeping depressed patients awake is more difficult than keeping awake people who are not depressed.
(C) Prolonged loss of sleep can lead to temporary impairment of judgment comparable to that induced by consuming several ounces of alcohol.
(D) The dramatic shifts in mood connected with sleep and wakefulness have not been traced to particular changes in brain chemistry.
(E) Depression returns in full force as soon as the patient sleeps for even a few minutes.

Explanation: The more severely sleep-deprived a patient would be, the more likely it would be that the patient would, whenever possible, catch at least a few minutes of sleep, and according to choice E, depression would then return in full force. This could explain why sleep-deprivation is not used to treat depression, so choice E is the best answer.
If sleep-deprivation could be used as an effective treatment for severely debilitating depression, the benefit derived would be so great that the occasional extra benefit of euphoria (choice A), the need for expending some extra effort (choice B), the occasional drawback of impaired judgment (choice C), and the lack of thorough scientific understanding (choice D) would each be a comparatively insignificant consideration.

Questions 9 – 10 are based on the following.
According to the Tristate Transportation Authority, making certain improvements to the main commuter rail line would increase ridership dramatically. The authority plans to finance these improvements over the course of five years by raising automobile tolls on the two high-way bridges along the route the rail line serves. Although the proposed improvements are indeed needed, the authority’s plan for securing the necessary funds should be rejected because it would unfairly force drivers to absorb the entire cost of something from which they receive no benefit.

9. Which of the following, if true, would cast the most doubt on the effectiveness of the authority’s plan to finance the proposed improvements by increasing bridge tolls?
(A) Before the authority increases tolls on any of the area bridges, it is required by law to hold public hearings at which objections to the proposed increase can be raised.
(B) Whenever bridge tolls are increased, the authority must pay a private contractor to adjust the automated toll-collecting machines.
(C) Between the time a proposed toll increase is announced and the time the increase is actually put into effect, many commuters buy more tokens than usual to postpone the effects of the increase.
(D) When tolls were last increased on the two bridges in question, almost 20 percent of the regular commuter traffic switched to a slightly longer alternative route that has since been improved.
(E) The chairman of the authority is a member of the Tristate Automobile Club that has registered strong opposition to the proposed toll increase.

Explanation: Increasing bridge tolls might not increase revenues if such increases prompt a significant percentage of regular bridge users to switch to alternative routes. Choice D says that a previous increase prompted such switches. Choice D, by establishing a strong precedent for commuters’ responding to higher tolls by avoiding them altogether, raises doubts about the plan’s effectiveness and is thus the best answer.
Choices A and E suggest that the plan might face opposition but not that it will be defeated not that the anticipated revenue will not be generated. Therefore neither A nor E is correct. Weighed against five years’ projected revenues, the considerations raised in choices B and C would not have a significant impact. Thus neither B nor C is correct.

10. Which of the following, if true, would provide the authority with the strongest counter to the objection that its plan is unfair?
(A) Even with the proposed toll increase, the average bridge toll in the tristate region would remain less than the tolls charged in neighboring states.
(B) Any attempt to finance the improvements by raising rail fares would result in a decrease in ridership and so would be self-defeating.
(C) Automobile commuters benefit from well-maintained bridges, and in the tristate region bridge maintenance is funded out of general income tax revenues to which both automobile and rail commuters contribute.
(D) The roads along the route served by the rail line are highly congested and drivers benefit when commuters are diverted from congested roadways to mass transit.
(E) The only alternative way of funding the proposed improvements now being considered is through a regional income tax surcharge, which would affect automobile commuters and rail commuters alike.

Explanation: The plan is called unfair because it forces drivers to pay for something from which they receive no benefit. Choice D, however, claims that drivers would receive a benefit: a decrease in traffic congestion on the roads along the rail line. Choice D thereby strongly counters the charge of unfairness and is thus the best answer.
The charge of unfairness is not countered by indicating that the amounts involved are relatively low (choice A), or that a seemingly fair funding alternative is unworkable (choice B). Income tax funding as described in choices C and E might be viewed as less unfair than the proposed funding from bridge tolls, but it gives no reason for regarding the bridge tolls as anything but unfair.

11. Manufacturers sometimes discount the price of a product to retailers for a promotion period when the product is advertised to consumers. Such promotion often result in a dramatic increase in amount of product sold by the manufacturers to retailers. Nevertheless, the manufacturers could often make more profit by not holding the promotions.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim above about the manufacturers’ profit?
(A) The amount of discount generally offered by manufacturers to retailers is carefully calculated to represent the minimum needed to draw consumers’ attention to the product.
(B) For many consumer products the period of advertising discounted prices to consumers is about a week, not sufficiently long for consumers to become used to the sale price.
(C) For products that are not newly introduced, the purpose of such promotions is to keep the products in the minds of consumers and to attract consumers who are currently using competing products.
(D) During such a promotion retailers tend to accumulate in their warehouses inventory bought at discount; they then sell much of it later at their regular price.
(E) If a manufacturer fails to offer such promotions but its competitor offers them, that competitor will tend to attract consumers away from the manufacturer’s product.

Explanation: Choice D indicates that during promotions retailers buy much greater quantities of products at discounted prices than they in turn sell to consumers during those promotions. There is, then, much merchandise that retailers sell at their regular price on which the manufacturers, however, do not realize normal profits. Since this loss of normal profits might outweigh the benefits of attracting new consumers during the promotion period, the manufacturers might be better off not holding the promotions. Choice D is, therefore, the best answer.
Attracting consumers’ attention (choice A), noninterference with sales at regular, non-promotional prices (choice B), and attracting and holding customers (choices C and E) are all features of promotions compatible with manufacturers making high profits, so none of these choice is correct.

12. When people evade income taxes by not declaring taxable income, a vicious cycle results. Tax evasion forces lawmakers to raise income tax rates, which causes the tax burden on nonevading taxpayers to become heavier. This, in turn, encourages even more taxpayers to evade income taxes by hiding taxable income.
The vicious cycle described above could not result unless which of the following were true?
(A) An increase in tax rates tends to function as an incentive for taxpayers to try to increase their pretax incomes.
(B) Some methods for detecting tax evaders, and thus recovering some tax revenue lost through evasion, bring in more than they cost, but their success rate varies from years to year.
(C) When lawmakers establish income tax rates in order to generate a certain level of revenue, they do not allow adequately for revenue that will be lost through evasion.
(D) No one who routinely hides some taxable income can be induced by a lowering of tax rates to stop hiding such income unless fines for evaders are raised at the same time.
(E) Taxpayers do not differ from each other with respect to the rate of taxation that will cause them to evade taxes.

Explanation: For tax evasion to force a raise in income tax rates it must be true that tax evasion causes actual tax revenues to fall short of revenue needs. This is the situation that choice C describes; choice C is therefore the best answer.
None of the other choices states a requirement for the vicious cycle to result. Increasing in pretax incomes (income A) would tend to work against perpetuation of the cycle. Success at catching tax evaders (choice B) should likewise have an inhibiting effect. Choice D describes how problems in breaking existing habits of tax evasion might be overcome. Choice E essentially denies that raising the tax rate in response to some tax evasion could cause additional tax-payers to evade taxes.

13. When people evade income taxes by not declaring taxable income, a vicious cycle results. Tax evasion forces lawmakers to raise income tax rates, which causes the tax burden on nonevading taxpayers to become heavier. This, in turn, encourages even more taxpayers to evade income taxes by hiding taxable income.
The vicious cycle described above could not result unless which of the following were true?
(A) An increase in tax rates tends to function as an incentive for taxpayers to try to increase their pretax incomes.
(B) Some methods for detecting tax evaders, and thus recovering some tax revenue lost through evasion, bring in more than they cost, but their success rate varies from year to year.
(C) When lawmakers establish income tax rates in order to generate a certain level of revenue, they do not allow adequately for revenue that will be lost through evasion.
(D) No one who routinely hides some taxable income can be induced by a lowering of tax rates to stop hiding such income unless fines of evaders are raised at the same time.
(E) Taxpayers do not differ from each other with respect to the rate of taxation that will cause them to evade taxes.

Explanation: MegaCorp wishes to at least meet customer expectations. Since these expectations will always tend to move beyond whatever level of quality MegaCorp happens to have attained, MegaCorp will, as choice C indicates, be able to meet its goal only if continuing improvements in the quality of its products are possible. Choice C is thus the best answer.
Choice A is incorrect since success in attracting customers depends only on actual product quality, not on a company’s goals regarding quality. Since quality improvements can themselves shape customer expectations, choice B is incorrect. Since nothing has been said to indicate a difficulty with maintaining a given level of product quality, choice D is incorrect. Since having a goal does not imply meeting it, choice E is incorrect.

14. The local board of education found that, because the current physics curriculum has little direct relevance to today’s world, physics classes attracted few high school students. So to attract students to physics classes, the board proposed a curriculum that emphasizes principles of physics involved in producing and analyzing visual images.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest reason to expect that the proposed curriculum will be successful in attracting students?
(A) Several of the fundamental principles of physics are involved in producing and analyzing visual images.
(B) Knowledge of physics is becoming increasingly important in understanding the technology used in today’s world.
(C) Equipment that a large producer of photographic equipment has donated to the high school could be used in the proposed curriculum.
(D) The number of students interested in physics today is much lower than the number of students interested in physics 50 years ago.
(E) In today’s world the production and analysis of visual images is of major importance in communications, business, and recreation.

Explanation: For the proposed curriculum change to attract students to physics classes, producing and analyzing visual images must have direct relevance to today’s world. Choice E provides have direct relevance to today’s world. Choice E provides evidence that this is so, and thus is the best answer.
Choices A and C mention things relevant to the new curriculum: that it would indeed teach physics and that equipment facilitating its implementation is available. Choice B underscores how desirable it would be for the new curriculum to succeed, and choice D establishes that there is past precedent that more students can be attracted to physics. Not one of choices A, B, C, or D, however, indicates why the new curriculum would be thought to be attractive to students, so none of them is correct.

15. Unlike the wholesale price of raw wool, the wholesale price of raw cotton has fallen considerably in the last year. Thus, although the retail price of cotton clothing at retail clothing stores has not yet fallen, it will inevitably fall.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) The cost of processing raw cotton for cloth has increased during the last year.
(B) The wholesale price of raw wool is typically higher than that of the same volume of raw cotton.
(C) The operating costs of the average retail clothing store have remained constant during the last year.
(D) Changes in retail prices always lag behind changes in wholesale prices.
(E) The cost of harvesting raw cotton has increased in the last year.

Explanation: The argument concludes that declining wholesale prices for raw cotton, will produce declining retail prices for cotton products. Choice A weakens the argument by pointing to higher processing costs for raw cotton, which could offset lower wholesale prices. A is therefore the best answer.
Choice B is incorrect because the argument focuses on incorrect because it in effect denies that lower wholesale prices for cotton have been offset by rising operating costs. Choice D is incorrect because it is entirely consistent with the prediction made. Choice E is incorrect because the rising cost of harvesting raw cotton, though possibly affecting wholesale prices, cannot affect the relationship between wholesale and retail prices.

16. Many companies now have employee assistance programs that enable employees, free of charge, to improve their physical fitness, reduce stress, and learn ways to stop smoking. These programs increase worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lessen insurance costs for employee health care. Therefore, these programs benefit the company as well as the employee.

Which of the following, if true, most significantly strengthens the conclusion above?
(A) Physical fitness programs are often the most popular services offered to employees.
(B) Studies have shown that training in stress management is not effective for many people.
(C) Regular exercise reduces people's risk of heart disease and provides them with increased energy.
(D) Physical injuries sometimes result from entering a strenuous physical fitness program too quickly.
(E) Employee assistance programs require companies to hire people to supervise the various programs offered.

Explanation: The conclusion is that the programs benefit both companies and employees. For companies, reducing employees’ risk of heart disease is likely to reduce insurance costs, and increasing employee energy is likely to increase worker productivity. For employees, the benefits of having a reduced risk of heart disease and of having increased energy are self-evident. Choice C is the best answer.
Knowing which programs are popular does not bear on what benefits the programs confer, so choice A is incorrect. B and D indicate ways in which the programs can fail to provide the intended results, so neither of these is the correct answer. Having to hire additional personnel does not benefit a company, so choice E is not correct.

17. Small-business groups are lobbying to defeat proposed federal legislation that would substantially raise the federal minimum wage. This opposition is surprising since the legislation they oppose would, for the first time, exempt all small businesses from paying any minimum wage.
Which of the following, if true, would best explain the opposition of small-business groups to the proposed legislation?
(A) Under the current federal minimum-wage law, most small businesses are required to pay no less than the minimum wage to their employees.
(B) In order to attract workers, small companies must match the wages offered by their larger competitors, and these competitors would not be exempt under the proposed laws.
(C) The exact number of companies that are currently required to pay no less than the minimum wage but that would be exempt under the proposed laws is unknown.
(D) Some states have set their own minimum wages---in some cases, quite a bit above the level of the minimum wage mandated by current federal law---for certain key industries.
(E) Service companies make up the majority of small businesses and they generally employ more employees per dollar of revenues than do retail or manufacturing businesses.

Explanation: The opposition of small-business groups despite an exemption apparently favoring them would be less surprising if, in fact, the exemption did not favor them. Choice B is thus the best answer because it explains that small businesses would have to match the higher wages that larger businesses are required to pay.
Choice A confirms that the new exemption constitutes a significant change but does not explain small-business opposition to that changes, so choice A is incorrect. Choice C is incorrect because the exact numbers represented by the small-business groups are surely irrelevant. Choice D suggests that in some states the proposed legislation would make no difference, and choice E suggests that most small businesses should value the exemption. Neither choice explains small-business opposition.

18. Reviewer: The book Art's Decline argues that European painters today lack skills that were common among European painters of preceding centuries. In this the book must be right, since its analysis of 100 paintings, 50 old and 50 contemporary, demonstrates convincingly that none of the contemporary paintings are executed as skillfully as the older paintings.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the reviewer's argument?
(A) The paintings chosen by the book's author for analysis could be those that most support the book's thesis.
(B) There could be criteria other than the technical skill of the artist by which to evaluate a painting.
(C) The title of the book could cause readers to accept the book's thesis even before they read the analysis of the paintings that supports it.
(D) The particular methods currently used by European painters could require less artistic skill than do methods used by painters in other parts of the world.
(E) A reader who was not familiar with the language of art criticism might not be convinced by the book's analysis of the 100 paintings.

Explanation: Because the number of old and contemporary paintings vastly exceeds the 50 of each type analyzed by Art’s Decline, the reviewer’s argument will be logically flawed if those 100 paintings do not constitute a reasonably representative sample. Choice A says that the sample might be grossly biased, so A is the best answer.
Choices B and D are both incorrect because a sharply defined focus is not a flaw in an argument; the reviewer makes clear that only artistic skill and only European painters are being considered. The reviewer’s argument that the book supports its central thesis well is not weakened just because there may be readers less methodical and less competent than the reviewer. Therefore, neither C nor E is correct.

19. The pharmaceutical industry argues that because new drugs will not be developed unless heavy development costs can be recouped in later sales, the current 20 years of protection provided by patents should be extended in the case of newly developed drugs. However, in other industries new-product development continues despite high development costs, a fact that indicates that the extension is unnecessary.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the pharmaceutical industry's argument against the challenge made above?
(A) No industries other than the pharmaceutical industry have asked for an extension of the 20-year limit on patent protection.
(B) Clinical trials of new drugs, which occur after the patent is granted and before the new drug can be marketed, often now take as long as 10 years to complete.
(C) There are several industries in which the ratio of research and development costs to revenues is higher than it is in the pharmaceutical industry.
(D) An existing patent for a drug does not legally prevent pharmaceutical companies from bringing to market alternative drugs, provided they are sufficiently dissimilar to the patented drug.
(E) Much recent industrial innovation has occurred in products---for example, in the computer and electronics industries---for which patent protection is often very ineffective.

Explanation: The pharmaceutical industry’s argument is best supported by an explanation of why the patent period sufficient for other industries to recoup their development costs is insufficient for the pharmaceutical industry. Choice B is the best answer because it provides an explanation: required clinical trials prevent new drugs from being sold for much of the time they receive patent protection.
Choice A is incorrect: the fact that the pharmaceutical industry’s request is unique does nothing to justify that request. Choice C and E, if true, could undermine the pharmaceutical industry’s argument, so they are incorrect. Choice D indicates that alternative drugs might render patent protection worthless, but that is clearly no reason to extend the protection.

Questions 20-21 are based on the following.
Bank depositors in the United States are all financially protected against bank failure because the government insures all individuals' bank deposits. An economist argues that this insurance is partly responsible for the high rate of bank failures, since it removes from depositors any financial incentive to find out whether the bank that holds their money is secure against failure. If depositors were more selective, then banks would need to be secure in order to compete for depositors' money.

20. The economist's argument makes which of the following assumptions?
(A) Bank failures are caused when big borrowers default on loan repayments.
(B) A significant proportion of depositors maintain accounts at several different banks.
(C) The more a depositor has to deposit, the more careful he or she tends to be in selecting a bank.
(D) The difference in the interest rates paid to depositors by different banks is not a significant
factor in bank failures.
(E) Potential depositors are able to determine which banks are secure against failure.

Explanation: Giving potential depositors a financial incentive to select only secure banks will not lead to increased bank security unless the potential depositors can distinguish banks that actually are secure from those that are not. Choice E is a statement of this prerequisite and is thus the best answer.
The argument is about choosing or avoiding banks likely to fail, regardless of how the failure comes about, so neither choice A nor choice D is specifically assumed. The argument is consistent with each depositor’s money being held by a single bank, so B is not assumed. The argument neither asserts nor assumes that depositors currently exercise care in selecting the banks where they deposit their money. Therefore choice C, in particular, is not assumed.

21. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the economist's argument?
(A) Before the government started to insure depositors against bank failure, there was a lower rate of bank failure than there is now.
(B) When the government did not insure deposits, frequent bank failures occurred as a result of depositors' fears of losing money in bank failures.
(C) Surveys show that a significant proportion of depositors are aware that their deposits are insured by the government.
(D) There is an upper limit on the amount of an individual's deposit that the government will insure, but very few individuals' deposits exceed thislimit.
(E) The security of a bank against failure depends on the percentage of its assets that are loaned out and also on how much risk its loans involve.

Explanation: The argument that deposit insurance, because of its impact on depositors’ choices of banks, is partially responsible for the high rate of bank failures would be weakened if deposit insurance also prevented certain bank failures. Choice B suggests that deposit insurance does prevent certain bank failures, and is thus the best answer.
Choice A weakly supports the view that insuring deposits contributes to bank failures. Choice C supports the economist’s position that depositors take the safety of deposits into account. Choice D supports the argument’s relevance by indicating that virtually all depositors can afford to be nonselective. It follows that none of these three choices is correct. Choice E is incorrect because it fails to establish any connection between deposit insurance and the factors controlling bank failures.

22. Passengers must exit airplanes swiftly after accidents, since gases released following accidents are toxic to humans and often explode soon after being released. In order to prevent passenger deaths from gas inhalation, safety officials recommend that passengers be provided with smoke hoods that prevent inhalation of the gases.

Which of the following, if true, constitutes the strongest reason not to require implementation of the safety officials' recommendation?
(A) Test evacuations showed that putting on the smoke hoods added considerably to the overall time it took passengers to leave the cabin.
(B) Some airlines are unwilling to buy the smoke hoods because they consider them to be prohibitively expensive.
(C) Although the smoke hoods protect passengers from the toxic gases, they can do nothing to prevent the gases from igniting.
(D) Some experienced flyers fail to pay attention to the safety instructions given on every commercial flight before takeoff.
(E) In many airplane accidents, passengers who were able to reach emergency exits were overcome by toxic gases before they could exit the ariplane.

Explanation: A strong reason for rejecting the recommendation would be that the hoods endanger passengers. Passengers delayed in exiting the plane are more exposed to the risk of a gas explosion. Choice A says that the hoods would delay passengers and is thus the best answer.
If some airlines are unwilling to buy the hoods, it might be necessary to require them to, so B is incorrect. That the hoods protect from only one major risk is no reason in itself for rejection, so D is incorrect. Choice E is not a good answer; it supports the recommendation by indicating that he hoods might enable more passengers to exit a plane.

23. In 1960, 10 percent of every dollar paid in automobile insurance premiums went to pay costs arising from injuries incurred in car accidents. In 1990, 50 percent of every dollar paid in automobile insurance premiums went toward such costs, despite the fact that cars were much safer in 1990 than in 1960.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy outlined above?
(A) There were fewer accidents in 1990 than in 1960.
(B) On average, people drove more slowly in 1990 than in 1960.
(C) Cars grew increasingly more expensive to repair over the period in question.
(D) The price of insurance increased more rapidly than the rate of inflation between 1960 and 1990.
(E) Health-care costs rose sharply between 1960 and 1990.

Explanation: If cars were safer in 1990 than in 1960, car accidents should have resulted in fewer and in less severe injuries. Yet coverage of injuries took up a greater share of insurance premiums. One possible explanation is that the treatment cost per injury rose sharply. Choice E supports this explanation and is thus the best answer.
Choice A and B both suggest that the number of injuries decreased. Since such a decrease would not explain why injuries take up a greater share of insurance premiums, both of these choices are incorrect. Choice C is incorrect because it suggests, falsely, that costs not related to injuries rose disproportionately. Choice D is incorrect because it does not deal with shifts in the cost components that insurance premiums cover.

24. Caterpillars of all species produce an identical hormone called "juvenile hormone" that maintains feeding behavior. Only when a caterpillar has grown to the right size for pupation to take place does a special enzyme halt the production of juvenile hormone. This enzyme can be synthesized and will, on being ingested by immature caterpillars, kill them by stopping them from feeding.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the view that it would not be advisable to try to eradicate agricultural pests that go through a caterpillar stage by spraying croplands with the enzyme mentioned above?
(A) Most species of caterpillar are subject to some natural predation.
(B) Many agricultural pests do not go through a caterpillar stage.
(C) Many agriculturally beneficial insects go through a caterpillar stage.
(D) Since caterpillars of different species emerge at different times, several sprayings would be necessary.
(E) Although the enzyme has been synthesized in the laboratory, no large-scale production facilities exist as yet.

Explanation: Since the enzyme kills caterpillars of all species, spraying croplands might not be advisable if caterpillars of beneficial insect species would also be killed. According to choice C, there are many such beneficial species. Choice C thus supports the view that spraying would be inadvisable and is the best answer.
Choice A is incorrect because spraying, if effective, would make natural predation irrelevant. Choice B is incorrect because the existence of pests that the spraying inadvisable. Choice D and E each raise a point concerning details of how and when spraying programs might be implemented, without challenging the advisability of such programs. Both choices are therefore incorrect.

25. Although aspirin has been proven to eliminate moderate fever associated with some illnesses, many doctors no longer routinely recommend its use for this purpose. A moderate fever stimulates the activity of the body's disease-fighting white blood cells and also inhibits the growth of many strains of disease-causing bacteria.

If the statements above are true, which of the following conclusions is most strongly supported by them?
(A) Aspirin, an effective painkiller, alleviates the pain and discomfort of many illnesses.
(B) Aspirin can prolong a patient's illness by eliminating moderate fever helpful in fighting some diseases.
(C) Aspirin inhibits the growth of white blood cells, which are necessary for fighting some illnesses.
(D) The more white blood cells a patient's body produces, the less severe the patient's illness will be.
(E) The focus of modern medicine is on inhibiting the growth of disease-causing bacteria within the body.

Explanation: By stimulating disease-fighting white blood cells and inhibiting the growth of disease-causing bacteria, moderate fever can aid the body in fighting infection. However, aspirin can eliminate moderate fever. Thus, as choice B states, aspirin can prolong a patient’s illness by eliminating moderate fever and thereby also eliminating its disease-fighting effects. B is the best answer.
Choice A is not the correct answer because no mention is made of aspirin’s role as a painkiller. The passage also says nothing about aspirin’s effect on the growth or production of white blood cells, mentioning only its effect on their activity, so neither C nor D is correct. Because the statements given could be true regardless of the focus of modern medicine, E is also incorrect.

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