LSAT 14 – Section 2 – Question 20

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT14 S2 Q20
Necessary assumption +NA
+Medium 148.518 +SubsectionMedium

This is a necessary assumption question and the stem asks: the argument is based on which one of the following assumptions?

The first sentence asks as a concession to the opposing side: as subsidies go down, it’s obviously very hard to maintain the quality of service. In the next sentence, we see an important “pivoting” word: however. This sentence is saying that even though we have less money, the amount of passengers riding has gone up. The next sentence is the conclusion and the “this fact” at the beginning of the sentence refers to the sentence right before it about the number of riders increasing. The conclusion is that their quality of service has been satisfactory. So, even though they have less money, riders are still riding. From this much, doesn’t our conclusion seem like a bit of a stretch? For example, let’s pretend that the NYC subway system is getting less and less money every year. Do you think New Yorkers will ride the train because the quality of service is fine or because they may not have any other choice? The former could be true, but the latter is more likely to be true. Now, we’re not trying to weaken the argument, but this level of analysis is still very important.

Answer Choice (A) This answer choice is pointing out the wishes of taxpayers. The argument does not depend on what taxpayers wish. If we negate this, it doesn’t do anything to the argument.

Correct Answer Choice (B) This is conditional language - do you see the “some” and the “if”? This is a “some” conditional, so we can flip the NC and SC as we please, but let’s flip these two. If some people are dissatisfied with the service, they will not ride the train. Remember what our argument is: people are riding the subway regardless of the reduction in subsidy, therefore they must be satisfied. Does our argument depend on this? Absolutely. Let’s negate it to check: if some people were dissatisfied with the service, they would still take the train. That destroys our argument.

Answer Choice (C) This is an attractive answer choice, but is improvement necessary to the argument? No! The riders could be totally okay with the way the train is now, and that’s why they’re satisfied with the service.

Answer Choice (D) This answer choice is incorrect for similar reasons to the answer choice above. Is a decrease in quality of service necessary for satisfaction with the service? No! What if they’re still satisfied even if the quality of service went down just a little bit? That would not affect the argument at all.

Answer Choice (E) This answer choice is noting that even though the subsidy itself was decreased, the revenue will offset the reduction. Is this necessary for our argument that the passengers are satisfied? No! Would this be nice to have, sure; however, even if this didn’t happen, our argument would be intact.

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