By Lisa Zimmer Hatch, Scott A. Hatch, Amy Hackney Blackwell

Logical reasoning is a large part of taking the LSAT. These questions require you to read a passage and choose the best answer. Make sure you practice these before test day.

Logical reasoning sample questions

  1. The president has proposed an initiative to help people stay married by teaching them skills needed to maintain relationships and raise healthy children. This initiative would focus on low-income unmarried people, who studies have shown are not likely to marry, even after having children. We should support this initiative because it would be beneficial to our most vulnerable citizens: the children of poor, unmarried women.

    Which one of the following is an assumption required by this argument?

    • (A) If more poor people were married, society would be plagued by less drug dependency, crime, and teen pregnancy.

    • (B) People with higher incomes do not need as much help in maintaining their marriage and raising their children.

    • (C) Children raised by a mother and father who are married to one another are better off than children raised by a mother alone.

    • (D) The majority of welfare payments go to unmarried parents; encouraging marriage would reduce the number of people on welfare.

    • (E) Other governmental programs also designed to assist the family have been successful.

  2. Isabel: The novels depicting the end of the world and the annihilation of people who do not espouse a particular religion are dangerous. They encourage members of that religion to see nonbelievers as evil people who deserve a horrific fate. Ferdinand: I think you are overstating the significance of popular fiction. People read these books for entertainment purposes and do not allow them to affect their beliefs or actions.

    Which one of the following statements is most strongly supported by this conversation?

    • (A) Ferdinand and Isabel disagree about the religious nature of these popular novels.

    • (B) Isabel believes that the end of the world is not a suitable topic for a popular novel.

    • (C) Ferdinand disagrees with Isabel that the books are popular.

    • (D) Isabel believes that popular fiction can affect people’s beliefs and actions.

    • (E) Isabel and Ferdinand disagree about the amount of violence that is appropriate in a work of popular fiction.

  3. Politician: Environmentalists claim that pollution is leading to global warming, which supposedly will raise the Earth’s temperatures and lead to the melting of polar ice caps, rising overall sea levels, and various other catastrophes. They must not have been paying attention to winters lately; the last five years have seen record low temperatures in January and February. Therefore, global warming clearly is not happening.

    The reasoning in the politician’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that the argument

    • (A) relies on evidence that presupposes the truth of the conclusion that it seeks to support

    • (B) uses an emotional appeal instead of arguing based on facts

    • (C) seeks unethically to minimize the negative effects of a troubling phenomenon

    • (D) relies on evidence too partial to establish the conclusion drawn

    • (E) suggests unfairly that environmentalists are politically biased

  4. People should not focus just on immediate payoffs when deciding on a course of action; many acts bring few immediate payoffs but result in larger payoffs in the future.

    Which one of the following most closely conforms to this principle?

    • (A) A college graduate with a lucrative job offer decides to decline it and instead borrow several thousand dollars to attend medical school in the hopes of receiving a much larger future income as a physician.

    • (B) Investing in the stock market is a wise choice for anyone with enough excess cash; the stock market has historically outperformed other forms of saving, though occasionally investors have lost all their money.

    • (C) Parents should encourage their children to attend religious services every week because people with strong religious faith tend to be more successful than those without faith.

    • (D) Building houses for Habitat for Humanity is a good activity, allowing poor people to become homeowners with all the pride of ownership and responsibility for paying for their own property.

    • (E) It makes sense to buy the best furniture one can afford; good pieces will last a long time, whereas cheaper furniture breaks quickly and must be replaced.

  5. Studies show that women make at least half of all car-purchasing decisions. Women notice details that men don’t; for example, women notice drink holders and a back seat that allows them to reach children in child seats. Women are more likely to choose cars based on environmental friendliness. Only a few car models have been designed with women in mind, but these vehicles outsell others by a huge margin.

    Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information in this passage?

    • (A) More car manufacturers should work to reduce emissions from their vehicles instead of building large, gas-guzzling vehicles.

    • (B) Most purchasers of minivans are women who drive their children to multiple places and thus appreciate the size, safety, and convenience of minivans.

    • (C) All car manufacturers should conduct careful market research to determine what their customers want in vehicles.

    • (D) Car manufacturers that design cars according to female tastes can earn larger profits than those who do not.

    • (E) Because station wagons were very popular with women in the 1970s and 1980s, car manufacturers should make more station wagons to maximize profits.

Answers

  1. C. Children raised by a mother and father who are married to one another are better off than children raised by a mother alone.

  2. D. Isabel believes that popular fiction can affect people’s beliefs and actions.

  3. D. relies on evidence too partial to establish the conclusion drawn

  4. A. A college graduate with a lucrative job offer decides to decline it and instead borrow several thousand dollars to attend medical school in the hopes of receiving a much larger future income as a physician.

  5. D. Car manufacturers that design cars according to female tastes can earn larger profits than those who do not.