The sample questions on the following pages are typical of the Logical Reasoning questions you will find on the LSAT.
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.
Laird: Pure research provides us with new technologies that contribute to saving lives. Even more worthwhile than this, however, is its role in expanding our knowledge and providing new, unexplored ideas.
Kim: Your priorities are mistaken. Saving lives is what counts most of all. Without pure research, medicine would not be as advanced as it is.
Laird and Kim disagree on whether pure research
derives its significance in part from its providing new technologies
expands the boundaries of our knowledge of medicine
should have the saving of human lives as an important goal
has its most valuable achievements in medical applications
has any value apart from its role in providing new technologies to save lives
Explanation for Question 1
This question asks you to identify the point on which Laird and Kim disagree with respect to pure research. Laird identifies two contributions of pure research: its medical applications (“technologies that contribute to saving lives”) and its role in expanding knowledge and providing new ideas. Of these, Laird considers the second contribution to be more worthwhile. Kim, on the other hand, maintains that “Saving lives is what counts most of all.” Since pure research saves lives through medical applications, Kim disagrees with Laird about whether pure research has its most valuable achievements in medical applications. The correct response, therefore, is (D).
Response (A) is incorrect since we can determine, based on their statements, that Laird and Kim agree that pure research “derives its significance in part from its providing new technologies.” Laird explicitly cites the value of pure research with respect to providing new technologies. Kim indicates agreement with (A), at least in the case of medical technologies, by asserting that “Without pure research, medicine would not be as advanced as it is.”
Response (B) is incorrect since we can determine, based on their statements, that Laird and Kim would likely agree that pure research “expands the boundaries of our knowledge of medicine.” Laird notes that pure research provides us with new technologies that have medical applications. Kim points out that “Without pure research, medicine would not be as advanced as it is.”
Response (C) is incorrect. Kim indicates agreement that pure research “should have the saving of human lives as an important goal” since Kim’s position is that “Saving lives is what counts most of all.” Since Laird cites the saving of lives as one way in which pure research is worthwhile or valuable, Laird also indicates agreement that pure research “should have the saving of human lives as an important goal,” although Laird indicates that expanding knowledge and providing new ideas should be an even more important goal of pure research. The same activity can of course have more than one goal.
Response (E) is incorrect. Laird clearly agrees that pure research has value “apart from its role in providing new technologies to save lives,” given that Laird explicitly cites a second way in which pure research is valuable. However, nothing in what Kim says suggests disagreement with (E). Kim’s position is that the greatest value of pure research is its role in providing new technologies to save lives. We cannot infer from this that Kim believes this role to be the only value of pure research.
This question was of medium difficulty, based on the number of test takers who answered it correctly when it appeared on the LSAT.