LSAT 12 – Section 4 – Question 01

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT12 S4 Q01
Most strongly supported +MSS
+Medium 149.171 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a most strongly supported question, indicated by: The statements above provide the most support for which one of the following conclusions?

Our stimulus begins by telling us that most regular coffee is made from arabica beans because the great majority of consumers prefer its flavor to that of robusta beans. Interesting! However, the trend completely reverses when coffee drinkers switch to decaffeinated coffee because robusta beans don’t lose that much flavor when decaffeinated compared to arabica beans. So arabica is more popular caffeinated, and robusta is more popular decaffeinated; got it! Our final sentence tells us that depending on the type of bean involved, decaffeination removes various substances. Most of these substances have no impact on flavor, but one contributes to the richness of the coffee’s flavor. Since we’ve been given two coffee beans, and then we’re told one of them has its flavor affected more when decaffeinated, and now we’ve been told that depending on the type of bean involved decaffeination can remove or reduce a substance that contributes to the coffee’s richness of flavor; the natural inference is that in robusta this substance is not affected during decaffeination, but it is in arabica. Let’s see if that ends up relating to the correct answer:

Answer Choice (A) This is a wild inference for which we have zero support; we’ve been told nothing about the supply of arabica beans, just that there is a lot of demand for them! Always avoid answers that demand you make a large assumption.

Answer Choice (B) Again, we have been told nothing about the comparative caffeine levels of the two beans. Just because one tastes better decaffeinated doesn’t necessarily mean it has less caffeine in the first place.

Answer Choice (C) We know nothing about how the various subsets of coffee drinkers compare. We were only told that (I) coffee drinkers prefer arabica, and (II) coffee drinkers who switch to decaf prefer robusta. We have no information about those who almost exclusively drink decaf.

Correct Answer Choice (D) This is exactly the inference we should have recognized in our reading of the stimulus. It seems there is a change in flavor when arabica is decaffeinated, and we’re directly told that decaffeination can affect a flavor contributing substance that is associated with richness (exactly the quality arabica is praised for), and that this depends on the type of bean, which would explain why robusta is less affected.

Answer Choice (E) Another bad inference, we have no explicit information relating to the pricing of the two beans.

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