Free LSAT Tests: LSAT Sample Questions
Below is a sample practice test for LSAT Analytical Reasoning
Section. There are 25 sample questions with time limit of 35 minutes.
Directions: The questions in this section are based on the reasoning
contained in brief statements or passages. For some questions, more than
one of the choices could conceivably answer the question. 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. Editorial: Almost every year the Smithfield River floods the
coastal fishing community of Redhook, which annually spends $3 million
on the cleanup. Some residents have proposed damming the river, which
would cost $5 million but would prevent the flooding. However, their
position is misguided. A dam would prevent nutrients in the river from
flowing into the ocean. Fish that now feed on those nutrients would
elsewhere. The loss of these fish would cost Redhook $10 million
Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main
conclusion of the editorial's argument?
(A) The Smithfield River should be dammed to prevent flooding.
(B) Nutrients from the Smithfield River are essential to the local fish
(C) Damming the Smithfield River is not worth the high construction
costs for such a project.
(D) For Redhook to build a dam on the Smithfield River would be a
(E) The Smithfield River floods cost Redhook $3 million every year.
2. We already knew from thorough investigation that immediately prior
to the accident, either the driver of
the first vehicle changed lanes without signaling or the driver of the
second vehicle was driving with excessive
speed. Either of these actions would make a driver liable for the
resulting accident. But further evidence
has proved that the first vehicle's turn signal was not on, though the
driver of that vehicle admits to having
changed lanes. So the driver of the second vehicle is not liable for the
Which one of the following would be most important to know in evaluating
the conclusion drawn above?
(A) whether the second vehicle was being driven at excessive speed
(B) whether the driver of the first vehicle knew that the turn signal
was not on
(C) whether any other vehicles were involved in the accident
(D) whether the driver of the first vehicle was a reliable witness
(E) whether the driver of the second vehicle would have seen the turn
signal flashing had it been on
3. In some places, iceberg lilies are the mainstay of grizzly bears'
summer diets. The bears forage meadows
for the lilies, uprooting them and eating their bulbs. Although the
bears annually destroy a large percentage of the lilies, scientists have
determined that the bears' feeding habits actually promote the survival
of iceberg lilies.
Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the
apparent discrepancy in the statements above?
(A) When grizzly bears forage for iceberg lilies, they generally kill
many more lilies than they eat.
(B) Iceberg lilies produce so many offspring that, when undisturbed,
they quickly deplete the resources necessary for their own survival.
(C) A significantly smaller number of iceberg lily flowers are produced
in fields where grizzly bears forage than in fields of undisturbed
(D) The geographic regions in which iceberg lilies are most prevalent
are those regions populated by grizzly bears.
(E) Iceberg lilies contain plentiful amounts of some nutrients that are
necessary for grizzly bears' survival.
4. Advertisement: Seventy-five percent of dermatologists surveyed
prefer Dermactin to all other brands of skin cream. Why? We consulted
dermatologists during the development of Dermactin to ensure that you
have the best skin cream on the market. So if you need a skin cream, use
Dermactin. The reasoning in the advertisement is questionable because
(A) overlooks the possibility that other types of doctors have cause to
use Dermactin, which would render the sample unrepresentative
(B) fails to state the number of dermatologists surveyed, which leaves
open the possibility that the sample of doctors is too small to be
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that some dermatologists
are less qualified than others to evaluate skin cream
(D) relies on an inappropriate appeal to the opinions of consumers with
no special knowledge of skin care
(E) overlooks the possibility that for a few people, using no skin cream
is preferable to using even the best skin cream
5. Landscape architect: If the screen between these two areas is to be a
hedge, that hedge must be of either hemlocks or Leyland cypress trees.
However, Leyland cypress trees cannot be grown this far north. So if the
screen is to be a hedge, it will be a hemlock hedge.
In which one of the following is the pattern of reasoning most
similar to that in the landscape architect's argument?
(A) If there is to be an entrance on the north side of the building, it
will have to be approached by a ramp. However, a ramp would become
impossibly slippery in winter, so there will be no entrance on the north
(B) If visitors are to travel to this part of the site by automobile,
there will be a need for parking spaces. However, no parking spaces are
allowed for in the design. So if visitors are likely to come by
automobile, the design will
(C) The subsoil in these five acres either consists entirely of clay or
consists entirely of shale. Therefore, if one test hole in the area
reveals shale, it will be clear that the entire five acres has a shale
(D) Any path along this embankment must be either concrete or stone. But
a concrete path cannot be built in this location. So if there is to be a
path on the embankment, it will be a stone path.
(E) A space the size of this meadow would be suitable for a playground
or a picnic area. However, a playground would be noisy and a picnic area
would create litter. So it will be best for the area to remain a meadow.
6. Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of every
individual is to achieve happiness-that
is, the satisfaction derived from fully living up to one's potential.
They have also claimed that happiness is elusive and can be achieved
only after years of sustained effort. But these philosophers have been
unduly pessimistic, since they have clearly exaggerated the difficulty
of being happy. Simply walking along the seashore on a sunny afternoon
causes many people to experience feelings of happiness.
Which one of the following most accurately describes a reasoning flaw in
(A) It dismisses a claim because of its source rather than because of
(B) It fails to take into account that what brings someone happiness at
one moment may not bring that person happiness at another time.
(C) It allows the key term "happiness" to shift in meaning illicitly in
the course of the argument.
(D) It presumes, without providing justification, that happiness is, in
fact, the goal of life.
(E) It makes a generalization based on the testimony of a group whose
views have not been shown to be representative.
7. Global ecological problems reduce to the problem of balancing supply
and demand. Supply is strictly confined by the earth's limitations.
Demand, however, is essentially unlimited, as there are no limits on the
potential demands made by humans. The natural tendency for there to be
an imbalance between demand and sustainable supply is the source of
these global problems. Therefore, any solutions require reducing current
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument
(A) Supply and demand tend to balance themselves in the long run.
(B) It is possible to determine the limitations of the earth's
(C) Actual human demand exceeds the earth's sustainable supply.
(D) It is never possible to achieve a balance between the environmental
supply and human demand.
(E) Human consumption does not decrease the environmental supply.
8. We can now dismiss the widely held suspicion that sugar
consumption often exacerbates hyperactivity in
children with attention deficit disorder. A scientific study of the
effects of three common sugars-sucrose, fructose, and glucose-on
children who have attention deficit disorder, with experimental groups
each receiving a type of sugar in their diets and a control group
receiving a sugar substitute instead of sugar, showed no statistically
significant difference between the groups in thinking or behavior.
Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument
(A) Only one of the three types of sugar used in the study was ever
widely suspected of exacerbating hyperactivity.
(B) The consumption of sugar actually has a calming effect on some
(C) The consumption of some sugar substitutes exacerbates the symptoms
(D) The study included some observations of each group in contexts that
generally tend to make children excited and active.
(E) Some children believe that they can tell the difference between the
taste of sugar and that of sugar substitutes.
9. Philosopher: An action is morally good if it both achieves the
agent's intended goal and benefits someone other than the agent.
Which one of the following judgments most closely conforms to the
principle cited by the philosopher?
(A) Colin chose to lie to the authorities questioning him, in an attempt
to protect his friends. The authorities discovered his deception and
punished Colin and his friends severely. But because he acted out of
love for his friends, Colin's action was morally good.
(B) Derek prepared a steak dinner to welcome his new neighbors to the
neighborhood. When they arrived for dinner, Derek found out that the
newcomers were strict vegetarians. Though the new neighbors were still
grateful for Derek's efforts to welcome them, Derek's action was not
(C) Ellen worked overtime hoping to get a promotion. The extra money she
earned allowed her family to take a longer vacation that year, but she
failed to get the promotion. Nevertheless, Ellen's action was morally
(D) Louisa tried to get Henry into serious trouble by making it appear
that he stole some expensive clothes from a store. But the store's
detective realized what Louisa did, and so Louisa was punished rather
than Henry. Since she intended to harm Henry, Louisa's action was not
(E) Yolanda took her children to visit their grandfather because she
wanted her children to enjoy their vacation and she knew they adored
their grandfather. The grandfather and the children all enjoyed the
visit. Though Yolanda greatly enjoyed the visit, her action was morally
10. Columnist: A recent research report suggests that by exercising
vigorously, one significantly lowers
one's chances of developing certain cardiorespiratory illnesses. But
exercise has this effect, the report concludes, only if the exercise is
vigorous. Thus, one should not heed older studies purporting to show
that nonstrenuous walking yields the same benefits.
The reasoning in the columnist's argument is most vulnerable to
criticism on the grounds that this argument
(A) fails to consider the possibility that the risk of developing
certain cardio-respiratory illnesses can be reduced by means other than
(B) fails to consider that those who exercise vigorously are at
increased risk of physical injury caused by exercise
(C) overlooks the possibility that vigorous exercise may prevent
life-endangering diseases that have little to do with the
(D) fails to consider the possibility that those who engage in vigorous
physical exercise are more likely than others to perceive themselves as
(E) fails to show that a certain conclusion of the recent report is
better justified than an opposing conclusion reached in older studies
11. Some statisticians believe that the method called extreme value
theory (EVT) is a powerful analytical tool. The curves generated by
traditional statistical methods to analyze empirical data on human
longevity predict that some humans would live beyond 130 years.
According to the curves EVT generates, however, the limit on human
life spans is probably between 113 and 124 years. To date, no one has
lived beyond the upper limits indicated by EVT analysis. Which one of
the following can be properly inferred from the statements above?
(A) EVT is, in general, a more reliable method for projecting future
trends based on past observations than are traditional statistical
(B) EVT fits the data about the highest observed human life spans more
closely than do traditional statistical methods.
(C) According to the findings derived through the use of EVT, it is
physically impossible for any human being to live longer than 124 years.
(D) Given the results generated by EVT, there is no point in conducting
research aimed at greatly extending the upper limit on human life spans.
(E) Traditional statistical methods of empirical data analysis should
eventually be replaced by some version of EVT.
12. The number of different synthetic chemical compounds that are known
to be carcinogenic but are nonetheless used as pesticides,
preservatives, or food additives is tiny compared to the number of
nonsynthetic carcinogenic compounds widely found in plants and animals.
It is therefore absurd to suppose that the rise in the cancer rate in
recent decades is due to synthetic carcinogens.
The reasoning above is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds
that it overlooks the possibility that
(A) the rise in the cancer rate in recent decades is due to increased
exposure to nonsynthetic pollutants
(B) the rise in the cancer rate in recent decades is due to something
other than increased exposure to carcinogens
(C) some synthetic chemical compounds that are not known to be
carcinogenic are in other respects toxic
(D) people undergo significantly less exposure to carcinogens that are
not synthetic than to those that are synthetic
(E) people can vary greatly in their susceptibility to cancers caused by
13. It is a mistake to think, as ecologists once did, that natural
selection will eventually result in organisms that
will be perfectly adapted to their environments. After all, perfect
adaptation of an individual to its environment is impossible, for an
individual's environment can vary tremendously; no single set of
attributes could possibly prepare an organism to cope with all the
conditions that it could face.
Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main
conclusion of the argument?
(A) It is not possible for an individual to be perfectly adapted to its
(B) Natural selection will never result in individuals that will be
perfectly adapted to their environments.
(C) No single set of attributes could enable an individual organism to
cope with all of the conditions that it might face.
(D) Because an individual's environment can vary tremendously, no
individual can be perfectly adapted to its environment.
(E) Ecologists once believed that natural selection would eventually
result in individuals that will be perfectly adapted to their
14. It would not be surprising to discover that the trade routes
between China and the West were opened many centuries, even millennia,
earlier than 200 B.C., contrary to what is currently believed. After
all, what made the Great Silk Road so attractive as a trade route
linking China and the West-level terrain, easily traversable mountain
passes, and desert oases-would also have made it an attractive route for
the original emigrants to China from Africa and the Middle East, and
this early migration began at least one million years ago.
That a migration from Africa and the Middle East to China occurred at
least one million years ago figures in the above reasoning in which one
of the following ways?
(A) It is cited as conclusive evidence for the claim that trade links
between China and the Middle East were established long before 200 B.C.
(B) It is an intermediate conclusion made plausible by the description
of the terrain along which the migration supposedly took place.
(C) It is offered as evidence in support of the claim that trade routes
between China and the West could easily have been established much
earlier than is currently believed.
(D) It is offered as evidence against the claim that trade routes
between China and Africa preceded those eventually established between
China and the Middle East.
(E) It is the main conclusion that the argument attempts to establish
about intercourse between China and the West.
15. The typological theory of species classification, which has few
adherents today, distinguishes species solely on the basis of observable
physical characteristics, such as plumage color, adult size, or dental
structure. However, there are many so-called "sibling species," which
are indistinguishable on the basis of their appearance but cannot
interbreed and thus, according to the mainstream biological theory of
species classification, are separate species. Since the typological
theory does not count sibling species as separate species, it is
The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the
(A) the argument does not evaluate all aspects of the typological theory
(B) the argument confuses a necessary condition for species distinction
with a sufficient condition for species distinction
(C) the argument, in its attempt to refute one theory of species
classification, presupposes the truth of an opposing theory
(D) the argument takes a single fact that is incompatible with a theory
as enough to show that theory to be false
(E) the argument does not explain why sibling species cannot interbreed
16. Chiu: The belief that a person is always morally blameworthy for
feeling certain emotions, such as unjustifiable anger, jealousy, or
resentment, is misguided. Individuals are responsible for only what is
under their control, and whether one feels such an emotion is not always
under one's control.
Chiu's conclusion follows logically if which one of the following is
(A) Individuals do not have control over their actions when they feel
(B) If a person is morally blameworthy for something, then that person
is responsible for it.
(C) Although a person may sometimes be unjustifiably angry, jealous, or
resentful, there are occasions when these emotions are appropriate.
(D) If an emotion is under a person's control, then that person cannot
hold others responsible for it.
(E) The emotions for which a person is most commonly blamed are those
that are under that person's control.
17. Industrial adviser: If two new processes under consideration are
not substantially different in cost, then the less environmentally
damaging process should be chosen. If, however, a company already
employs an environmentally damaging process and retooling for a less
damaging process would involve substantial cost,
then that company should retool only if retooling is either legally
required or likely to bring long-term savings substantially greater than
Which one of the following judgments conforms most closely to the
principles described by the industrial adviser?
(A) A new law offering companies tax credits for reducing pollution
would enable a company to realize a slight long-term savings by changing
to a more environmentally sound process for manufacturing dye, despite
the substantial cost of retooling. In light of the new law, the company
should change its process.
(B) In manufacturing pincushions, a company uses a process that, though
legal, has come under heavy public criticism for the environmental
damage it causes. The company should change its process to preserve its
public image, despite some expected long-term losses from doing so.
(C) A company is considering two new processes for the manufacture of
staples. Process A is more expensive than process B but not
substantially so. However, process A is substantially less
than process B. The company should implement process A.
(D) Two new processes are being considered for the manufacture of ball
bearings. The processes are similar, except that the chemicals used in
process A will pollute a nearby river slightly more than will the
chemicals for process B. Process A is also slightly cheaper than process
B. The company should use process A.
(E) A company is considering changing its process for manufacturing
shoelaces. The new process is cheaper and less environmentally damaging
than the old. Both are legal. Changing processes would be costly, but
the cost would be almost entirely recovered in long-term savings. The
company should switch processes.
18. In a poll of a representative sample of a province's residents,
the provincial capital was the city most often selected as the best
place to live in that province. Since the capital is also the largest of
that province's many cities, the poll shows that most residents of that
province generally prefer life in large cities to life in small cities.
The argument is most vulnerable to the criticism that it
(A) overlooks the possibility that what is true of the residents of the
province may not be true of other people
(B) does not indicate whether most residents of other provinces also
prefer life in large cities to life in small cities
(C) takes for granted that when people are polled for their preferences
among cities, they tend to vote for the city that they think is the best
place to live
(D) overlooks the possibility that the people who preferred small cities
over the provincial capital did so not because of their general feelings
about the sizes of cities, but because of their general feelings about
(E) overlooks the possibility that most people may have voted for small
cities even though a large city received more votes than any other
19. Geneticist: Genes, like viruses, have a strong tendency to
self-replicate; this has led some biologists to call genes "selfish."
This term is, in this instance, intended to be defined behaviorally: it
describes what genes do without ascribing intentions to them. But even
given that genes are ascribed no intentions, the label "selfish" as
applied to genes is a misnomer. Selfishness only concerns bringing about
the best conditions for oneself; creating replicas of oneself is not
Which one of the following, if assumed, allows the geneticist's
conclusion to be properly drawn?
(A) Bringing about the best conditions for oneself is less important
than doing this for others.
(B) Creating replicas of oneself does not help bring about the best
conditions for oneself.
(C) The behavioral definition of "selfish" is incompatible with its
(D) To ignore the fact that self-replication is not limited to genes is
to misunderstand genetic behavior.
(E) Biologists have insufficient evidence about genetic behavior to
determine whether it is best described as selfish.
20. Only experienced salespeople will be able to meet the company's
selling quota. Thus, I must not count as an experienced salesperson,
since I will be able to sell only half the quota. The pattern of flawed
reasoning exhibited by the argument above is most similar to that
exhibited by which one of the following?
(A) Only on Fridays are employees allowed to dress casually. Today is
Friday but Hector is dressed formally. So he must not be going to work.
(B) Only music lovers take this class. Thus, since Hillary is not taking
this class, she apparently does not love music.
(C) Only oceanographers enjoy the Atlantic in midwinter. Thus, we may
expect that Gerald does not enjoy the Atlantic in midwinter, since he is
not an oceanographer.
(D) As this tree before us is a giant redwood, it follows that we must
be in a northern latitude, since it is only in northern latitudes that
one finds giant redwoods.
(E) Only accomplished mountain climbers can scale El Capitan. Thus,
Michelle must be able to scale El Capitan, since she is an accomplished
21. Designer: Any garden and adjoining living room that are separated
from one another by sliding glass doors can visually merge into a single
space. If the sliding doors are open, as may happen in summer, this
effect will be created if it does not already exist and intensified if
it does. The effect remains quite strong during colder months if the
garden is well coordinated with the room and contributes strong visual
interest of its own.
The designer's statements, if true, most strongly support which one
of the following?
(A) A garden separated from an adjoining living room by closed sliding
glass doors cannot be well coordinated with the room unless the garden
contributes strong visual interest.
(B) In cold weather, a garden and an adjoining living room separated
from one another by sliding glass doors will not visually merge into a
single space unless the garden is well coordinated with the room.
(C) A garden and an adjoining living room separated by sliding glass
doors cannot visually merge in summer unless the doors are open.
(D) A garden can visually merge with an adjoining living room into a
single space even if the garden does not contribute strong visual
interest of its own.
(E) Except in summer, opening the sliding glass doors that separate a
garden from an adjoining living room does not intensify the effect of
the garden and room visually merging into a single space.
22. Last summer, after a number of people got sick from eating
locally caught anchovies, the coastal city of San Martin advised against
eating such anchovies. The anchovies were apparently tainted with domoic
harmful neurotoxin. However, a dramatic drop in the population of P.
australis plankton to numbers more normal for local coastal waters
indicates that it is once again safe to eat locally caught anchovies.
Which one of the following, if true, would most help to explain why
it is now safe to lift the advisory?
(A) P. australis is one of several varieties of plankton common to the
region that, when ingested by anchovies, cause the latter to secrete
small amounts of domoic acid.
(B) P. australis naturally produces domoic acid, though anchovies
consume enough to become toxic only when the population of P. australis
is extraordinarily large.
(C) Scientists have used P. australis plankton to obtain domoic acid in
(D) A sharp decline in the population of P. australis is typically
mirrored by a corresponding drop in the local anchovy population.
(E) P. australis cannot survive in large numbers in seawater that does
not contain significant quantities of domoic acid along with numerous
23. Constance: The traditional definition of full employment as a 5
percent unemployment rate is correct, because at levels below 5 percent,
Brigita: That traditional definition of full employment was developed
before the rise of temporary and part-time work and the fall in benefit
levels. When people are juggling several part-time jobs with no
benefits, or working in a series of temporary assignments, as is now the
case, 5 percent unemployment is not full employment.
The dialogue most strongly supports the claim that Constance and
Brigita disagree with each other about which one of the following?
(A) what definition of full employment is applicable under contemporary
(B) whether it is a good idea, all things considered, to allow the
unemployment level to drop below 5 percent
(C) whether a person with a part-time job should count as fully employed
(D) whether the number of part-time and temporary workers has increased
since the traditional definition of full employment was developed
(E) whether unemployment levels above 5 percent can cause inflation
levels to rise
24. The supernova event of 1987 is interesting in that there is still
no evidence of the neutron star that current theory says should have
remained after a supernova of that size. This is in spite of the fact
that many of the most sensitive instruments ever developed have searched
for the tell-tale pulse of radiation that neutron stars emit. Thus,
current theory is wrong in claiming that supernovas of a certain size
always produce neutron stars.
Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?
(A) Most supernova remnants that astronomers have detected have a
neutron star nearby.
(B) Sensitive astronomical instruments have detected neutron stars much
farther away than the location of the 1987 supernova.
(C) The supernova of 1987 was the first that scientists were able to
observe in progress.
(D) Several important features of the 1987 supernova are correctly
predicted by the current theory.
(E) Some neutron stars are known to have come into existence by a cause
other than a supernova explosion.
25. On average, corporations that encourage frequent social events in
the workplace show higher profits than those that rarely do. This
suggests that the EZ Corporation could boost its profits by having more
during business hours.
Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the argument above?
(A) The great majority of corporations that encourage frequent social
events in the workplace do so at least in part because they are already
earning above-average profits.
(B) Corporations that have frequent staff parties after business hours
sometimes have higher profits than do corporations that have frequent
staff parties during business hours.
(C) The EZ Corporation already earns above average profits, and it
almost never brings play into the workplace.
(D) Frequent social events in a corporate workplace leave employees with
less time to perform their assigned duties than they would otherwise
(E) At one time the EZ Corporation encouraged social events in the
workplace more frequently than it currently does, but it has not always
been one of the most profitable corporations of its size.