LSAT 9 – Section 4 – Question 12

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT9 S4 Q12
Sufficient assumption +SA
+Easiest 147.179 +SubsectionMedium

This is a Sufficient Assumption (SA) question and we know this because of the question stem: “… an assumption that would make the conclusion in the passage a logical one?”

Sufficient assumption questions tend to be very formal. We’re looking for a rule that would validate (not just strengthen) the conclusion, specifically by bridging the premise and conclusion through the rule. Not only are we extrapolating the rule from our argument, but we’re also using that rule to render the argument “valid.” The way to prephrase our answer choice is by tying our premises and conclusion together into a rule: “If [premise] à then [conclusion].”

Our first sentence is describing how some accountants use adding machines while some use computers. I can’t give examples of the two, but it doesn’t matter. If it did, the stimulus would specify. What is important about the difference between the two is given in the next sentence: complex computers are faster than adding machines: they’re efficient compared to adding machines as we can do more in less time. So far, this makes sense.

The next sentence begins with a conclusion indicator. I haven’t seen anything that looks like a conclusion, but let’s read the whole sentence before we put labels on anything. The author explicitly assumes that the costs of the two machines are equal and then claims that accountants who use complex computers earn more per hour than accountants who use adding machines.

Hang on a minute – there’s a huge gap here between doing more calculations per hour and earning more per hour. These two things aren’t necessarily related. What if they work on salary and their bonuses do not depend on how much work they do? What if they only get a fixed number of clients and finishing work sooner rather than later has no bearing on how much they will earn?

If order to bridge this gap in our prephrase, we can simply say something like “the more calculations accountants are able to do, the more they can earn.

Answer Choice (A) This is incorrect. Our rule doesn’t care about the number of accountants that are using the complex machine. The rule wants to address the gap between using the machine and how it affects earnings.

Answer Choice (B) This is close, but it’s wrong. Earnings are affected by the number of calculations one can perform, it’s not about the number of hours. If it was about the number of hours, it would be better to use a slower calculator as it would take more time to do the job.

Correct Answer Choice (C) It’s a paraphrase of our prephrase.

Answer Choice (D) This is not correct because this would weaken the conclusion: they’d be able to charge more using the adding machine and, assuming the price charged is proportional to earnings, they would be able to earn more.

Answer Choice (E) This answer choice establishes a vague relationship between earning and money. It’s not enough. We need a positive relationship between the two.

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