Prepare for the LSAT with Reading Comprehension Practice Questions

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

The LSAT will ask you different types of questions. One type you will encounter on the test involves reading comprehension. Try practice exams to increase your ability to answer these questions correctly.

Reading comprehension sample questions

Since Dolly the cloned sheep arrived on the scene in 1997 and the Clinton administration banned cloning research that same year, cloning has spawned an ethical debate that is out of proportion to the procedure’s reality. Cloning produces a plant or animal that is genetically identical to its “parent.”

To make a clone, scientists remove the DNA from an embryo and replace it with the DNA from another individual, presumably but not necessarily of the same species. Then they watch and wait for it to develop, either into a more mature embryo in a petri dish or a full-grown creature gestated in a female’s womb.

Cloning could be used for many positive purposes. It could help in research on cancer, organ donation, contraception, and brain damage. Parents at risk of passing on genetic defects could have children without fear. Infertile couples wouldn’t have to use the services of a sperm or egg donor; same-sex couples could reproduce together. The parents of a dead child could have a genetic copy of it made.

Critics of cloning raise issues that are more part of the debate on genetic engineering and science fiction, suggesting that nefarious scientists might use cloning to create a master race.

Some critics dislike the idea of manipulating human reproduction, preferring to believe that all humans are the result of entirely natural processes and ignoring the many cases of genetic engineering and assisted reproduction among humans, from in vitro fertilization to choosing to have children in an attempt to get offspring of a particular sex.

Cloning does carry some legitimate risks — clones seem to age faster than normally conceived offspring, and carry a large number of genetic defects — but these are practical concerns outside the ethical points that cloning critics raise.

What many critics of cloning don’t seem to realize is that creatures that are genetically identical to other creatures arise in nature all the time — identical twins are genetically identical to one another. A human being is only partly the product of his or her genes. A clone looks like the individual that donated its genes, but in all other ways it is unique.

Critics worry that cloned children won’t be treated naturally; but what does that mean? Parents might have unreasonable expectations of a cloned child, but that happens all the time with children conceived naturally. Every child born enters the world to expectations and burdens, and no one says that the parents were therefore wrong to reproduce. Cloning is no more bizarre or artificial than other techniques of assisted reproduction.

Reproduction is an intensely personal issue, and for that reason, the government doesn’t interfere in most reproductive choices, including adoption and surrogacy. The creation of a family is always a fertile ground for dysfunction, unjustified expectations, and hurtful behavior. A cloned child, though conceived in an unusual way, would ultimately be just a child, and its parents just parents.

  1. Which one of the following titles would best suit the contents of the passage?

    • (A) Cloning and the Death of the Family

    • (B) Dolly, Dr. Frankenstein, and DNA: The Dangers of Cloning

    • (C) The Mechanics of Cloning

    • (D) Cloning: Just Another Way of Making a Baby

    • (E) The Government’s Role in Preventing Unethical Scientific Research

  2. The author of the passage would most probably agree with which one of the following statements about critics of cloning?

    • (A) People who criticize cloning are deeply devoted to religion and use their faith to justify obstructing scientific research that could have many benefits.

    • (B) Critics of cloning are correct to worry about the potentially destructive aspects of cloning, such as the creation of a master race or the manipulation of children to meet the specific needs of their parents.

    • (C) Those who worry about human cloning also object to techniques commonly used today in assisted reproduction, such as in vitro fertilization or the use of surrogate mothers.

    • (D) Most critics of cloning are worried about aspects of cloning that are not substantially different from the potential problems associated with methods of reproduction already in common use.

    • (E) Critics of cloning are most concerned about the practical drawbacks of cloning, such as the fact that clones seem to age faster than individuals conceived the normal way, and that they contain a larger than usual number of defective genes.

  3. The primary purpose of the passage is to

    • (A) argue that most critics of cloning are focusing on drawbacks that are either outlandish or no different from the drawbacks of normal reproduction and that ethically cloning is not very different from normal reproduction

    • (B) explain the process of cloning and compare it to other techniques of genetic engineering and assisted reproduction, such as in vitro fertilization

    • (C) recommend that scientists and medical ethicists carefully consider the implications of allowing or banning research into cloning

    • (D) extol the many benefits of cloning, such as allowing same-sex couples to reproduce without having recourse to an external egg or sperm donor or allowing parents to make a clone of a dead child

    • (E) warn readers of the dangers of cloning, including both the ethical dilemmas of the odd family relationships cloning could create and the physical problems involved in the process of cloning

  4. The author uses the words “nefarious” and “abominable” in the second paragraph to

    • (A) indicate that scientists who work with clones are morally bankrupt

    • (B) defend the Clinton administration’s ban on research into human cloning

    • (C) describe the personalities of people who oppose cloning research

    • (D) criticize parents who want to use cloning to create particular children

    • (E) show that the worries of cloning critics are exaggerated and based more in fantasy than fact

Answers

  1. D

  2. D

  3. A

  4. E