LSAT 11 – Section 2 – Question 03

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT11 S2 Q03
Method of reasoning or descriptive +Method
+Easiest 148.469 +SubsectionMedium
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We can identify this question as Method of Reasoning because of the question stem: “The method of the argument is to…”

When dealing with a Method of Reasoning question, we know we are looking for an answer choice that correctly describes the structure of our entire argument. Our correct answer is going to fit the argument exactly. Our wrong answer choices likely explain argument structures we are familiar with, but that simply don’t apply to the specific question we are looking at. Knowing what the right and wrong answers are going to do, we can jump into the stimulus.

The speaker begins by telling us Juanita has two options to get to the zoo; taking the number 12 bus or the subway. This indicates we’re using an exclusive “or.” We know Juanita cannot physically take the bus and the subway at the same time. Next we learn that Juanita does in fact end up at the zoo by the end of the day, but the number 12 bus is not in operation. Thus, the argument concludes that Juanita must have used the other available option – using the subway.

Thinking in terms of conditional reasoning, we could sketch the relationships by identifying:

Getting to the zoo → riding the bus or the subway

From here we can use the contrapositive to confirm the validity of our argument. When we use the contrapositive of an “or” statement, it turns into and.

If we don’t ride the bus and we don’t ride the subway → Juanita isn’t getting to the zoo.

Determining an argument to be valid means we can prove the premises guarantee the truth of the conclusion. That’s the reason we know we are dealing with a valid argument here. The conclusion affirms one option must have happened for Juanita to get to the zoo. So if one of the two options are closed, the conclusion does follow that Juanita must have used the alternative form of transportation.

Knowing the breakdown of our stimulus, we can jump into the answer choices.

Answer Choice (A) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. If our argument concerned a group having knowledge of some concept, the discussion would go beyond Juanita’s use of transportation.

Answer Choice (B) If the argument were proving that something is not exclusive, we would expect our conclusion to assert that “these two things can happen at the same time.” But this does not align with the content of our conclusion, meaning we can eliminate this answer choice.

Correct Answer Choice (C) This is exactly what we are looking for! This is the only answer choice that highlights how our argument comes to its conclusion by outlining the alternative given an impossible option.

Answer Choice (D) There is no reference in the text to say there is some sort of exception in the case of Juanita making their way to the zoo. We can eliminate this answer choice for that reason.

Answer Choice (E) To say that the argument discusses what “typically occurs” indicates our stimulus would discuss the frequency at which Juanita takes transportation or goes to the zoo. Without this information in our stimulus we can eliminate this answer choice.

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