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Inferences about views | Quick guide

What would they agree with?

Some questions in the Reading Comprehension section will ask you to make an inference about the views of the author or of people or groups mentioned in the passage.
“Inference” simply means that the views may not be explicitly stated in the passage (very rarely do authors of LSAT passages write “I believe that _____”), but the correct choice will be a viewpoint that is supported or justified by something that is explicitly stated in the passage.
In other words, you have to “connect the dots” yourself, but the dots will be right there for you in the passage!
There are two main variants of inference about views questions: “agree” and “disagree” questions. The approach and strategies are virtually the same for both.


  • “It can most reasonably be inferred that the researchers mentioned in paragraph 4 would agree with which one of the following statements?”
  • “It can be inferred from the passage that the author most clearly holds which one of the following views?”
  • “It can be inferred from the passage that Ellison most clearly holds which one of the following views regarding _____?”
  • “It can be inferred from the passage that the author’s view of Justin’s work differs most significantly from that of most Justin admirers in which one of the following ways?”
Or, for the “disagree” variants:
  • “Given the information in the passage, the author is LEAST likely to believe which one of the following?”

Spotting inferences

High-level reading requires us to understand—and make use of—the ways in which written texts communicate lots of information implicitly. The more you practice analyzing passages and questions in detail, the better you will become at quickly spotting the support for the right answers when you're faced with harder, more subtle questions.


  • Use process of elimination to get rid of inferences that can’t be supported, until you find one that is.
  • Don’t get thrown by the word “inference” On many more basic inference questions, you’ll find all the support you need for the answer in one part of the passage. The correct option might not go much farther than simply restating an idea that is made explicit in the passage—the implication is often just under the surface. The answer is always the choice that has the most support in the passage; it won’t be a choice that requires you to make a creative leap of interpretation.
  • On more challenging inference questions, you may have to pull together information from various parts of the passage to identify the answer. The last sample question above—the one about Justin—is more advanced: you have to
1) identify the author’s opinion
2) identify the admirers’ opinion 3) compare both opinions

Common wrong choice types

  • Wrong viewpoint Many tempting choices in these questions reflect viewpoints that are present in the passage, but they just aren’t the viewpoint the question is asking about! For example, the above question about Ellison’s viewpoint (if the author isn’t Ellison) would likely include a wrong choice that reflects the author’s viewpoint instead. (Authors don’t always agree with the experts they mention.)
  • Too strong or extreme Some incorrect choices will reflect the basic idea of the correct viewpoint, but take it further than what can be supported by the passage. Be wary of “extreme,” all-encompassing words like “always,” “all,” “never”. Authors of passages on the LSAT generally don’t make broad, unilateral points like this, since they don’t want to claim something they can’t support!

Comparative Reading variants

You will often encounter questions on comparative reading sets that ask you to draw an inference about views. Sometimes these questions will ask you to determine what the author of one passage would think about a point made in the other passage:
  • “If the author of passage A were to read passage B, he or she would be most likely to agree with which one of the following?”
Here, the strategy is the same as for a single-passage inference about views question, with the added task of having to “”compare the two authors’ views** on the given topic.
You’ll also frequently encounter questions that ask you what the two authors would agree or disagree on:
  • It is most likely that the authors of the two passages would both agree with which one of the following statements?
Your task is to find the common ground in their viewpoints.
Remember, passages in comparative reading sets are always paired for a reason—they deal with the same or closely related topics, and the authors usually have dissimilar viewpoints. Sometimes their viewpoints will be in direct opposition, but usually the relationship between the viewpoints is more nuanced than that. The authors often agree on some basic points while disagreeing on others. Sometimes they draw different conclusions from the same facts, or recommend different plans-of-action. Sometimes one argues in favor of a conventional theory, while the other advocates a newer alternative.
Whatever the relationship is, it’s important to understand the nuances of the two authors’ respective viewpoints before answering these questions.

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