LSAT 12 – Section 1 – Question 11

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT12 S1 Q11
Strengthen +Streng
+Easier 147.398 +SubsectionMedium
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We should recognize that this is a strengthening question, as the question stem says: Which one of the following, if true, would most help to support the conclusion about the German new-car market?

The stimulus begins by telling us about a recent upsurge in demand for used cars in Germany. It continues by further specifying that this demand is coming from former East Germans who can’t afford to buy new cars and who didn’t have access to cars before the unification of East and West Germany. For real-world context, after World War II Germany was split into the allied-controlled democratic West Germany and Soviet-controlled communist East Germany, which weren’t reunited until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Because there is now more demand for used cars than there are used cars available, the price of used cars has also risen. The next sentence tells us that West Germans, because of this rise in used car value due to East German demand, will be selling their old cars. From all of this information, the author concludes that the new car market will improve as well. This is the conclusion we have been tasked with strengthening.

The first thing we should notice once we finish reading the stimulus is that our conclusion is about new cars while all the support is information about used cars. There is a gap in the argument; specifically, what we need is a reason for why (i) increased East German used car demand, (ii) higher used car prices, and (iii) West Germans selling their used cars, could improve the market for new cars. Let’s take a look at the answer choices:

Answer Choice (A) While this answer choice does mention new cars, it doesn’t help us because it only does so in comparison to West German used car demand, which we know little about. Our conclusion is that the new car market will improve, it is a prediction about a future change. The relative size of one portion of the new car market to one portion of the used car market has no bearing on whether or not the German new car market as a whole will improve.

Answer Choice (B) This does nothing to support our prediction. For one, most European countries could not include Germany, in which case this answer would have zero impact on our prediction. And even if this answer explicitly says Germany was a part of this majority, this just gives a reason why buying a used car might be preferable to buying a new car, and no information suggesting there will be improvement in the new car market.

Answer Choice (C) Who cares? The average number of cars the majority of Germans own across their lifetime has little impact on whether the German new car market will overall improve after the changes in the used car market.

Correct Answer Choice (D) This is exactly what we are looking for. It bridges the gap between one of our premises, the one about an increasing number of West Germans selling their used cars, and our conclusion about the new car market. If West Germans generally buy a new car when they sell a used car, and an increasing number of them are going to be selling their used cars, it seems reasonable that the market for new cars will improve because their will be increased demand from these West Germans selling their old cars.

Answer Choice (E) We aren’t told if these North American cars are used or new, and this a preference of specifically East Germans who we know cannot afford new cars, so this information does nothing for our new car market prediction.

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