LSAT Prep test 83 LR 1 Question 10

The line reference for pt 83 – Logical Reasoning section 1 Q10: One adaptation that enables an animal species to survive despite predation…

Paradox: A paradox or discrepancy exists when an argument contains two or more seemingly inconsistent statements. It’s your job to find the answer choice that “explains the surprising result.”

Fact 1: Effective camouflage helps certain prey species survive despite predation

Fact 2: Some prey species survive a long time with only black-and-white colouration and that seems unlikely to prove effective camouflage and they have few, if any, other means to protect themselves.

Analysis: With a paradox question we have to accept both facts as true. So, the paradox is: how do these animals with the poor ability to hide from predators keep surviving? Keep in mind the stimulus says “unlikely to provide effective camouflage”, it does not say it CANNOT provide ANY camouflage. So, the answer will likely stem around this and maybe show us a way that being black-and-white can actually give these animals camouflage or protection.

A) This would just explain how the species has not gone extinct YET… and also it can actually deepen the mystery as to how they survive. This is almost implying they flourish?
B) This does not help us explain the mystery of how these black-and-white animals survive.
C) CORRECT – This means that maybe animals see in black-and-white, so maybe being black-and-white is actually camouflaging for them.
D) “Avoid encounters with one another” – why would this be relevant at all. This does not say how they avoid predator species…
E) It says ‘it is not as great of a liability at night as in day’ – that still implies it is a liability. So this does not explain how black-and-white colouring helps. Maybe, if it said “these animals only come out at night so being black helps” it could be the right answer. But, that is not what it is saying, saying the colouring is always a liability (as this answer does) would only make the paradox worse.

Upcoming LSAT 2021 Test Dates

LSAC has not released all of their test dates for the coming year as they are trying to determine what tests will be LSAT flex or if they can go back to doing the tests in-person. For now the released test dates are:

January 16/17 2021

February 20/21 2021

April 10/11 2021

I will keep you updated with the current updates with the test! Good luck and send me an email if you would like us to help you with your LSAT journey.

Question of the Day! PrepTest 55, S.1, Q.15

A lot of people studying for the LSAT have troubles with inference questions. One question that was giving some of my students trouble is from Prep Test 55, Section 1, Question 15.

This question is about Zach’s Coffee Shop. (I cannot legally post the question unless I give licensing fees to LSAC). However, I am going to explain why each answer choice is wrong or right.

Analysis of the Question:  Zach’s coffeeshop has poetry readings almost every Wednesday. And then the question tells us that Every day that holds a poetry reading has 1/2 priced coffee.

We are looking for an inference – which is a statement that must be true based on a sentence or combination of sentences.

Therefore, something that MUST be true based on the stimulus is that – on the Wednesday’s with a poetry reading, the coffeeshop must offer 1/2 priced coffee. Let’s take a look at the answer choices to see if something matches our prediction.

Answer Choices:

(A) The stimulus does not tell us that Wednesday is the most common day to offer 1/2 priced coffee, since the stimulus does not tell us that they ONLY offer 1/2 priced coffee when there are free poetry readings. For all we know the coffeeshop offers 1/2 priced coffee everyday.

(B) Like A, the stimulus does not tell us that the coffeeshop only has poetry readings on Wednesday’s. Perhaps they have free poetry readings every single Friday.

(C) We know that: if there is a free poetry reading —> then there is 1/2 priced coffee. But, we cannot assume the reverse. We don’t know that every time there is 1/2 priced coffee there is also a free poetry reading. Be careful not to mix up necessary and sufficient conditions!

(D) CORRECT – We know that: Almost every Wednesday –> free poetry reading —> 1/2 priced coffee! Which is what this question is saying. If you were confused by the “most, if not all” part of the question, just note that — they could still offer 1/2 priced coffee on the Wednesday’s without poetry readings. They don’t have to have 1/2 priced coffee on those days, but they could offer it. That is why it is possible that they could offer 1/2 priced coffee on all Wednesdays. (“Almost every” means 51-99%, but since the 1% of days could still have 1/2 priced coffee for all we know – this answer choice is correct)

(E) Since we now understand why the coffeeshop could offer 1/2 priced coffee every Wednesday. This answer choice must be false, since we do not need to have a day without 1/2 priced coffee. (and “some” means – at least one)

If you have any questions about this feel free to send me a message or post in the comments below!

Formal Logic – Necessary & Sufficient?

One of the major concepts to understand on the LSAT is the use of formal logic. Formal logic is found predominantly in the Analytical Reasoning section of the LSAT, but it is also found in the Logical Reasoning section in inference questions and assumption questions.

Formal logic is founded on the understanding of necessary and sufficient assumptions. A necessary assumption is something that MUST be true, whereas a sufficient assumption is something that COULD be true. Formal logic is the use of rules to make deductions.

In the Analytical Reasoning section of the LSAT you want to diagram formal logic and necessary/sufficient problems. For If—then statements you want to diagram them as:

If A then B:         A —–> B

The left side of the arrow (A) is the sufficient condition, and then right side of the arrow is the necessary condition (B). Thus, it is possible for A to happen (although it doesn’t have to happen), but if A does happen then B MUST happen as well.

When you have a conditional statement you can also write the if—–then statement’s contra-positive. A contra-positive is just a further deduction that can be made from a conditional statement. To do this you will negate both terms and then flip them to the other side of the arrow.

If A then B:      ~B —-> ~A

Other Examples:

1) If not X then Y:      ~X —–> Y     OR     ~Y —–> X

2) if not S then not T:    ~S —-> ~T    OR    T —-> S

Another common type of formal logic seen on the LSAT is the “only if” statement.  For example, A only if B. Only if means that if A does happen then B must also happen. That means that:

A only if B can be rewritten as: if A then B:     A—–> B

Once again the contra-positive would be ~B —-> ~A

Another common type of formal logic seen on the LSAT is the “if and only if” and “if but only if” statements. “If and only If” is a bi-conditional logical connective between statements. This means that the truth of one of these statements requires the reverse to also be true. For example:

A if but only if B can be written as: if A then B AND if B then A:      A <—–> B

The contra-positive would be: ~A <—–> ~B

Also, the phrase “if and only if” means the same thing as “if but only if” in terms of formal logic and would be written the same way as the above example.

***”~” means NOT ***

Starting to study for the LSAT?

Starting to study for the LSAT can be a daunting task. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, whether to take a course, hire a tutor or self study. All of these options can be good options – it just depends on your personal preference. Hiring a tutor gives you more one-on-one attention – for my clients I am always available to them outside of our sessions as well, if they ever have a quick question while doing their homework they can always e-mail me and I will reply back as soon as I can (I don’t charge for quick help to my clients). However, classes are a good option as well if you prefer to go with a big company – they have a structured plan to teach the material – however the downside is you have to move at the pace of the rest of the class. Finally, depending on the person self-study can be a viable option – you can always purchase LSAT books and go through the material at your own pace – however the downside is you cannot ask for clarification if you get stuck.

Regardless of the method of study you choose, the best place to start when studying for the LSAT is to take a diagnostic test. LSAC offers some free diagnostic tests online, which you can download. When you take your diagnostic you should try to simulate testing conditions as best as you can. Each section should be timed for 35 minutes. Take a short 5 to 10 minute break in between writing each section of the test, but try to write your whole diagnostic in one sitting.

Once you have finished your diagnostic test check the answers and see how many you got right in each section. There is no penalty for wrong answers. Then convert your raw score into a reported score from 120 to 180. Once you have your reported score you can figure out what your percentile would be (see below for a chart).

This will give your starting point for what you are scoring before studying. However, do NOT be discouraged if you aren’t scoring really high at the beginning. It takes practice, patience and time to get better and to start to understand/see the patterns and tricks that are present in the LSAT. By taking a diagnostic it can give you an understanding of the type of questions and the format of the LSAT – which is always the best place to start on your journey towards writing your actual LSAT test.

The LSAT is not a race – it is a marathon. The more time and energy you put in the more you will get back. The next step is to decide which study plan is right for yourself, whether you get a tutor, take a course or self study.

Also, you should look into what time of year you are hoping to write your LSAT. You need to register early to make sure the test centers near your location don’t fill up. The tests are usually held in February, June, September and December – although this year the fall test is to be held October 3, 2015. Good luck on your journey everyone!

  • 180: 99.9%
  • 179: 99.9%
  • 178: 99.9%
  • 177: 99.8%
  • 176: 99.7%
  • 175: 99.5%
  • 174: 99.3%
  • 173: 99.0%
  • 172: 98.6%
  • 171: 98.2%
  • 170: 97.4%
  • 169: 96.6%
  • 168: 95.8%
  • 167: 94.5%
  • 166: 93.2%
  • 165: 91.5%
  • 164: 89.9%
  • 163: 87.7%
  • 162: 85.3%
  • 161: 83.0%
  • 160: 80.3%
  • 159: 77.2%
  • 158: 73.7%
  • 157: 70.8%
  • 156: 66.9%
  • 155: 63.4%
  • 154: 60.2%
  • 153: 56.0%
  • 152: 51.6%
  • 151: 47.8%
  • 150: 44.4%
  • 149: 40.3%
  • 148: 36.8%
  • 147: 33.5%
  • 146: 30.0%
  • 145: 26.7%
  • 144: 23.7%
  • 143: 20.5%
  • 142: 18.1%
  • 141: 15.8%
  • 140: 13.4%
  • 139: 11.6%
  • 138: 9.7%
  • 137: 8.5%
  • 136: 6.9%
  • 135: 5.9%
  • 134: 4.8%
  • 133: 3.9%
  • 132: 3.2%
  • 131: 2.6%
  • 130: 2.1%
  • 129: 1.7%
  • 128: 1.3%
  • 127: 1.1%
  • 126: 0.8%
  • 125: 0.7%
  • 124: 0.5%
  • 123: 0.4%
  • 122: 0.3%
  • 121: 0.3%
  • 120: 0.0%