LSAT 12 – Section 4 – Question 16

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT12 S4 Q16
Most strongly supported +MSS
+Harder 149.171 +SubsectionMedium

As we should be able to tell, this is a most strongly supported question: If under the circumstances described above cars continue to meet emission standards, which one of the following is the most strongly supported inference?

The stimulus tells us about “chlorofluorocarbons”, solvents that are really useful for cleaning electronic sensors in cars. I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what a “chlorofluorocarbon” is, so I’m just going to abbreviate them as CFs. The second sentence begins with the referential phrase these solvents and tells us that CFs have contributed significantly to automaker’s being able to meet emission standards. Unfortunately, for some reason CFs need to be phased out, and of all times right when emission standards are tightening! If we read our question stem carefully, we know we are supposed to add one more premise into this concoction; the cars are going to continue to meet emission standards.

You should always treat a MSS question as being given a set of premises in the stimulus, and your job is to select the conclusion in the answer choices that requires the least amount of assumptions to follow. Let’s see what we end up with:

Answer Choice (A) We need to assume a lot about automakers for this to follow. For all we know they all despise each other and will never cooperate.

Answer Choice (B) This would be sufficient to compensate for the loss of CFs, but it certainly isn’t necessary to do so. For this conclusion to follow from the stimulus, we would have to assume that no other possible solutions are in play. That’s a big assumption.

Answer Choice (C) Similar to B, you can see how this might help meet more stringent emission standards without CFs, but to say that it will happen requires a lot of assumptions. What about all the other ways automakers might meet emission standards?

Answer Choice (D) We’ve been told nothing about whether CFs will be replaced, only that they will be phased out. Maybe they will be phased in favor of a cleaning method that doesn’t involve solvents?

Correct Answer Choice (E) Since emission standards are stricter, and CFs are no longer an option, but cars will continue to meet emission standards, it is safe to assume that something else will make up for the loss of CFs. This answer is essentially the same as B but with way less assumptions since it is much more general; rather than tunneling in on one possible solution, it merely infers that there will be something which does what is needed to replace CFs.

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