DISCUSSION: The author shows uncertainty in the third paragraph. They say we can’t know what the Mexican American population believed, since we only have evidence about the leaders. See lines 51-60.
When you first read a passage, you should take careful note of an author’s opinions, including things such as uncertainty. Then, if and when a question refers to that belief, you’ll know where to look.
For a few answers, we may not know exactly what the author thinks. But that’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for something where the author literally expresses uncertainty.
- First, the short version. The author had a clear answer for the question in this answer choice: no, we can’t know the effect of the increase. Lines 57-58 say this directly. The question was asking for uncertainty, but on this question the author is very sure that we can’t know.
Proportion vs. Number: This answer makes a second, major error. This answer refers to the an increase in the number of Mexican Americans born in America. But the author only referred to the proportion, on line 41.
Number and proportion are two very different concepts. But they’re often confused, and the LSAT mercilessly exploits this confusion.
An example of a number is: 5 million Mexican Americans born in the USA. An example of a proportion is: 45% of Mexican Americans were born in the USA.
Proportion is more relevant in assessing the beliefs of a community, since it refers to the total percent of a community that may share certain beliefs. Number is not the right term.
In any case, this answer would still be wrong, even if it had said number, because the author had no uncertainty on this issue. See lines 57-58.
- The author doesn’t express uncertainty about the historians, who are mentioned on line 5. It’s true we don’t know the author’s precise opinion. But that’s not what this question asked. We’re looking for something where the author literally said: “I don’t know”.
- The author has an answer to this question: no, there wasn’t. See lines 30-36.
- CORRECT. See lines 51-60, especially 51-52: “it is not clear how far….”. On this issue, the author’s opinion is that we can’t know.
- The author did not say “it is unclear how the league and the Congress” interacted.
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