LSAT Test Prep: Analytical Reasoning Reading Sample

Test takers spend lots of time preparing for the analytical reasoning section of the LSAT. The following example is a reading section followed by the type of questions you can expect on test day.

The questions in this article refer to the following scenario.

A gourmet ice cream parlor offers a super-deluxe banana split intended to be shared by a group of people. The banana split comes in a long dish that contains five individual cups positioned side by side in a straight line. Each cup can hold up to two scoops of ice cream.

A group of teenagers orders one of these banana splits. They request seven scoops of ice cream — three chocolate and four vanilla. Each scoop has one topping: Two scoops are topped with sprinkles, and five scoops are topped with nuts. The teenagers specify the following conditions:

A cup containing a scoop of vanilla with nuts cannot be immediately next to a cup containing a scoop of chocolate with sprinkles.

No cup can contain both vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

  1. Which one of the following could be a complete and accurate arrangement of ice cream flavors and toppings in the five cups?

    • (A)1: two scoops of vanilla with sprinkles; 2: nothing; 3: one scoop of chocolate with nuts; 4: one scoop of chocolate with nuts; 5: one scoop of chocolate with nuts, two scoops of vanilla with nuts

    • (B)1: one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles, one scoop of vanilla with nuts; 2: two scoops of vanilla with nuts; 3: one scoop of chocolate with sprinkles; 4: one scoop of chocolate with nuts; one scoop of chocolate with nuts

    • (C)1: one scoop of vanilla with nuts, one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles; 2: one scoop of vanilla with nuts, one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles; 3: one scoop of chocolate with sprinkles; 4: one scoop of chocolate with nuts; 5: one scoop of chocolate with nuts

    • (D)1: nothing; 2: two scoops of vanilla with nuts; 3: two scoops of chocolate with nuts; 4: two scoops of vanilla with sprinkles; 5: one scoop of chocolate with nuts

    • (E)1: two scoops of vanilla with nuts; 2: one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles; 3: one scoop of chocolate with nuts; 4: one scoop of chocolate with nuts, one scoop of chocolate with sprinkles; 5: one scoop of chocolate with nuts

  2. Which one of the following CANNOT be false?

    • (A)At least one cup contains exactly one scoop of chocolate ice cream.

    • (B)At least one cup contains exactly one scoop of ice cream with sprinkles.

    • (C)At least one cup contains exactly one scoop of ice cream with nuts.

    • (D)At least one scoop of vanilla ice cream has sprinkles.

    • (E)At least one scoop of chocolate ice cream has sprinkles.

  3. What is the maximum number of cups that could contain exactly one scoop of ice cream?

    • (A)one

    • (B)two

    • (C)three

    • (D)four

    • (E)five

  4. If the third cup has no ice cream in it, and no cup containing a scoop of vanilla is adjacent to another cup containing a scoop of vanilla, then which one of the following could be false?

    • (A)Exactly one cup contains exactly one scoop of ice cream.

    • (B)No scoop of chocolate is in a cup immediately next to a cup containing a scoop of vanilla.

    • (C)None of the scoops of chocolate have sprinkles on them.

    • (D)None of the cups contain exactly one scoop of vanilla.

    • (E)All the scoops of vanilla are in the second and fourth cups.

  5. If two scoops of chocolate with sprinkles are in the fourth cup, and at least one scoop of vanilla with nuts is in the second cup, then all the following must be false EXCEPT

    • (A)A scoop of chocolate with nuts is in the first cup.

    • (B)A scoop of chocolate with nuts is in the second cup.

    • (C)A scoop of chocolate with nuts is in the fourth cup.

    • (D)A scoop of chocolate with nuts is in the fifth cup.

    • (E)Two scoops of ice cream are in the fifth cup.

  6. If each of the scoops of chocolate ice cream is in its own cup, and all the scoops of vanilla have nuts on them, then which one of the cups CANNOT contain vanilla ice cream?

    • (A)the first cup

    • (B)the second cup

    • (C)the third cup

    • (D)the fourth cup

    • (E)the fifth cup

  7. Each of the following could be a complete description of the contents of the first and second cups EXCEPT:

    • (A)1: two scoops of chocolate with nuts; 2: one scoop of vanilla with nuts

    • (B)1: one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles, one scoop of vanilla with nuts; 2: one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles

    • (C)1: empty; 2: one scoop of chocolate with nuts

    • (D)1: one scoop of chocolate with sprinkles; 2: one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles

    • (E)1: one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles; 2: empty

Answer Key

  1. D. 1: nothing; 2: two scoops of vanilla with nuts; 3: two scoops of chocolate with nuts; 4: two scoops of vanilla with sprinkles; 5: one scoop of chocolate with nuts

  2. A. At least one cup contains exactly one scoop of chocolate ice cream.

  3. C. three

  4. E. All the scoops of vanilla are in the second and fourth cups.

  5. D. A scoop of chocolate with nuts is in the fifth cup.

  6. C. the third cup

  7. E. 1: one scoop of vanilla with sprinkles; 2: empty

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