The correct answer is E.

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PrepTest 30, Section 2, Question 20

Explanation:

This one's tricky. It's an Inference question, a kind that's typically not vulnerable to prephrasing, and it has a formal logic element jumbling together the terms "some," "only," "not," and the hypothetical "if." Eeek! Surely no picnic. But there is a clever way into this, and it involves working backwards, beginning at the end. That's where the most concrete information appears, so it makes sense to note that and work from there. Here's what we know: There is public support for the project; the critics acknowledge it. "If the critics were right about this" (referring to something that comes earlier), then there would NOT be support. But there is support, so guess what? The critics must be wrong. About what? About "this." What's "this"? It's what the critics "maintain" in the first sentence: Public funding for the project is justified only if the public can see the benefit. In other words, the critics believe that the public seeing the benefit is required for public funding to be justified—the "only if" tells us that. And if the critics are wrong in thinking so, as we deduced above from the latter part of the stimulus, then the public seeing a benefit is NOT required for the justification of the public funding, choice (E).

Not fun, eh? The wrong choices ain't no pleasure cruise, either:

(A) goes too far. An indication of the public benefit associated with a project may not be necessary, but that doesn't mean that it's irrelevant.

(B), (C) The argument concerns the requirements for justification. The critics argue that something is necessary to justify continued funding, but the scientist's argument is set up to imply that this belief is wrong, that such a requirement does not exist. We cannot tell from the argument, therefore, whether the funding is actually justified (B) or what would best indicate such a justification (C). The scientist doesn't get into all that—she merely argues (albeit in a roundabout way) that the critics' criterion for justification is bogus.

(D) Au contraire: The scientist's argument suggests that the public supports the project despite the fact that no benefit to the public is indicated.

Inference questions—particularly those that involve elements of formal logic—are among the most complicated, yet most frequently tested, question types on the Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT. But not to worry. At Kaplan, we'll teach you how to deconstruct all argument structures in Logical Reasoning and the rest of the LSAT, and delve deep into answer choice construction, so you'll know exactly why right answer are right and wrong answers are wrong. You'll leave confident in your approach to LR on Test Day.