QUESTION TEXT: Many high school students interested in journalism…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle
CONCLUSION: High school counsellors should tell students what life is like for local newspaper reporters.
REASONING: Most journalists work for local newspapers. High school students interested in journalism imagine a life of glamour.
ANALYSIS: Notice that the conclusion says what counselors “should” do. On the LSAT, you can never assume anyone “should” do anything. For example, this is not a good argument, even though everyone would agree with it: “We can save these kittens from a burning building at no risk to ourselves. So we should save those kittens”.
We need to add the principle “you should save kittens, if you can do so without risking your health”. Making that underlying principle explicit supports the argument. We must find a similar principle for this question. The argument says we should tell these kids the truth. Why would someone think that is a good idea? They must believe something like “if you can correct a mistaken impression, you should”.
- The most tempting wrong answer. The conclusion is only that we should tell students what journalism is like. The argument didn’t say we should discourage students.
- The conclusion was about telling the truth, not about encouraging people to seek goals. And where did maximizing the chance of a happy life come from?
- This doesn’t match the stimulus. The conclusion wasn’t that we should encourage people to be international reporters. It was that we should let them know most reporters aren’t international.
- CORRECT. This is the most complex answer. Never ignore an answer because it uses big words! “disabuse of unrealistic conceptions” = make sure the students know the truth.
- Tempting, but we have no idea if local journalists regret their choice. It’s true that high school students want to be international journalists. But maybe once they become local journalists they’ll realize it’s actually quite fun.
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