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Catalog of question types | Reading comprehension

LSAT Reading Comprehension question types catalog

Main point: “What’s the point?”

These questions ask you to sum up the content of the passage or pair of passages, to identify the central idea, or to identify the main point that the author or authors are making. You might also be asked to identify the most appropriate title for a passage.
Examples:
Which of the following describes the central idea of the passage?
Which one of the following most accurately states the main point of the passage?
Which one of the following most accurately expresses the central idea of the passage?
Comparative Reading variations:
Which one of the following is a topic that is central to both passages?
Both passages seek an answer to which one of the following questions?
Which one of the following most accurately describes the central point of contention between the passages?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Recognition: “What’s in it?”

These questions ask you to recognize things that are explicitly stated in the passage. Some of them ask you to select the only choice that contains info stated in the passage, and some of them ask you to select the only choice that contains info that is NOT stated in the passage.
Examples:
Which of the following does the passage list as a reason to go sky-diving?
The passage includes all of the following explanations for our fascination with light sabres EXCEPT
The passage provides information sufficient to answer which one of the following questions?
Comparative Reading variations:
Both passages refer to which one of the following?
Which one of the following is discussed in passage A but not in passage B?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Clarifying meaning: “What does it mean?”

The task for these questions is to demonstrate that you understand the use of a word, a phrase or a term in the context of a passage by choosing an alternative with an equivalent meaning.
Examples:
Which one of the following comes closest to capturing what the term "rule" means in line ___?
The words "that kind of finesse" (line ___ ) refer primarily to
Comparative Reading variations:
The role of the word "selectively" in passage B (line ___) is most closely related to the role of which one of the following words in passage A?
In passage B, which one of the following is an example of "inputs" as that term is used in the second paragraph of passage A?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Purpose of reference: “Why did the author include that?”

Purpose of Reference questions ask you to explain why the author refers to a specific thing. In other words, what function does the reference serve within the larger point that is being made?
Examples:
The primary purpose of the first sentence of the fourth paragraph is to
Which of the following is the most likely reason the author mentions cupcakes in the second paragraph?
The author quotes the biologist Stephen Jay Gould in the second paragraph primarily in order to do which one of the following?
Comparative Reading variations:
Both passages mention propaganda primarily in order to
The discussion of photosynthesis in passage A differs from that in passage B in which one of the following ways?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Organizing information: “How does the passage work?”

Broadly speaking, Organizing Information questions ask you to understand how the structure of the passage works. What role does each paragraph play within the larger point?
Examples:
The primary purpose of the third paragraph is to
Which one of the following most accurately describes the relationship between the final paragraph and the first paragraph?
Which one of the following most accurately describes the organization of the passage?
Comparative Reading variations:
Which one of the following most accurately characterizes the relationship between the two passages?
Passage A, unlike passage B, seeks to advance its arguments by
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Inferences about views: “Would they agree?”

These questions ask us to select an idea, position, or view that we can reasonably infer that the author (or a person or group referenced in the passage) would agree with, based on information presented in the passage.
Examples:
Which of the following views about social media apps would be most likely to be endorsed by the Teachers’ Association?
The author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following statements?
It can be inferred from the passage that legal theorists who recommend the use of civil sanctions to combat corporate wrongdoing believe that
Comparative Reading variations:
The authors of the passages would be most likely to agree that
The authors would be most likely to disagree over whether
The author of passage B would be most likely to give which one of the following answers to the question posed at the end of the first paragraph of passage A?
The author of passage A would be most likely to raise which one of the following as an objection to the overall argument in passage B?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Inferences about information: “What does this fact suggest?”

These inference questions focus on what can be inferred from facts presented in a passage. According to the principles and information presented, if one thing is true, then what else is supported? What also might or must be true? These questions test your ability to ‘read between the lines’ and determine what is most strongly implied.
Examples:
According to facts presented in the passage, which of the following would be the most likely outcome of a territorial dispute between a blue jay and a red squirrel?
Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information in the passage?
The passage suggests that which one of the following is most likely to have been true of medieval guilds?
Comparative Reading variations:
Each passage gives information suggesting that which one of the following statements is true?
Which one of the following can be inferred from the two passages taken together?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Inferences about attitudes: “What is the author’s attitude?”

These questions ask us to make inferences about the author’s attitude towards something, or about a person or group’s attitude towards a thing, idea, person or group.
Examples:
Which of the following best describes the author’s attitude towards graphic novels?
The author's stance toward the arguments of the strict constructionist Darwinians can most accurately be described as one of
The author's view of Mace Windoo's character is most accurately reflected in the author’s use of which one of the following words?
Comparative Reading variations:
Passage B differs from passage A in that passage B displays an attitude toward the ideas it discusses that is more
It can be inferred that the author of passage B regards the approach of the author of passage A as
Given the style and tone of each passage, which one of the following is most likely to correctly describe the expected audience of each passage?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Applying to new contexts: “Which choice demonstrates an extension of the information or ideas discussed in the passage?”

This type of question asks you to apply a principle or idea presented in the passage to a new context presented in the choices. The task is to generalize ideas to a broader or analogous context.
Examples:
Which of the following experiments is most likely to produce data that would be most relevant to the study described in the third paragraph?
Which of the following is most clearly an example of an application of the principle “look before you leap” as it is discussed in the passage?
Comparative Reading variations:
Which one of the following conforms to the policy advocated by the author of passage A but not advocated by the author of passage B?
It can be inferred that both authors would be most likely to regard which one of the following as exemplifying Cather's narrative technique?
Based on what can be inferred from the passages, which one of the following acts would have been illegal under Roman law, but would not be illegal under Canadian and U.S. common law?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Discovering principles and analogies: “What is the principle?” “Which choice is analogous?”

Can you identify the choice that best expresses the principle that is at work in a particular case or line of reasoning? Can you select the scenario that best exemplifies or is most similar to a situation described in the passage? These questions test your ability to abstract, extract and distill essential structures or principles from info presented in the passage.
Examples:
Which of the following situations is most analogous to that of the Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly as she is described in the passage?
Which one of the following is most analogous to the relationship of a television viewer to the television industry, as that relationship is described in lines ____?
As described in the last paragraph of the passage, the cosmologists' approach to solving the dark matter problem is most analogous to which one of the following?
Which one of the following principles is operative in the author's argument?
Which one of the following principles most likely governs the author's evaluation of Rosie's narrative?
Comparative Reading variations:
Based on what can be inferred from their titles, the relationship between the documents in which one of the following is most analogous to the relationship between passage A and passage B?
Which one of the following plays a role in passage B that is most analogous to the role played in passage A by the mention of Anju's motorcycle?
Which one of the following principles underlies the argument in passage A, but not that in passage B?
Which one of the following principles is most likely to be endorsed by the authors of both passages?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Additional evidence: “Which of the following would strengthen/weaken the argument?”

These questions test your ability to evaluate the effect that additional evidence has on a claim or line of reasoning presented in the passage. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to find info that supports an argument. Sometimes, your task is to find the choice that contains information that would most weaken or undermine a claim or line of reasoning.
Examples:
Which of the following, if discovered, would serve to strengthen the paleontologists’ theory about the social grooming of velociraptors most?
Which one of the following, if true, would most seriously challenge the climatologist’s claim about the implications of ocean acidification?
Which one of the following would, if true, most increase the likelihood that the author's recommendations for aiding New Zealand's wool industry will be successful?
Comparative Reading variations:
Which one of the following, if true, would cast doubt on the argument in passage A and support the argument in passage B?
Which one of the following most accurately describes how the research results presented in passage B bear on the claims made in passage A?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Primary purpose: “Why did the author write the passage?”

Primary purpose questions ask you to identify the function of the passage as a whole. Not to be confused with Main Point questions, which ask you to identify the actual claim or central idea, Primary Purpose questions are intended to address more holistic concerns about how the main point is developed or why the passage may have been written in the first place.
Examples:
The primary purpose of the passage is to
In the passage, the author's primary concern is to
Comparative Reading variations:
Both passages are primarily concerned with
Which one of the following is a central purpose common to both passages?
For more info about these questions and how to approach them, check out this article.

Want to join the conversation?

  • blobby green style avatar for user Zachary Matot
    If you don't believe in yourself, who else is going to believe in you?
    Health is wealth 🙏
    (15 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Upri
    Mace Windu is spelled incorrectly as Mace Windoo bruh
    (5 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user ricked rolled
    how to find an answer
    (4 votes)
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  • male robot hal style avatar for user code
    super long
    (3 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • male robot johnny style avatar for user John Bryan
    In the quoted topic, the word "in" is missing from the last line. It should follow the first word in the last line, "presented". The last line should read "presented in passage B..."

    "Additional evidence: “Which of the following would strengthen/weaken the argument?”
    These questions test your ability to evaluate the effect that additional evidence has on a claim or line of reasoning presented in the passage. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to find info that supports an argument. Sometimes, your task is to find the choice that contains information that would most weaken or undermine a claim or line of reasoning.
    Examples:
    Which of the following, if discovered, would serve to strengthen the paleontologists’ theory about the social grooming of velociraptors most?
    Which one of the following, if true, would most seriously challenge the climatologist’s claim about the implications of ocean acidification?
    Which one of the following would, if true, most increase the likelihood that the author's recommendations for aiding New Zealand's wool industry will be successful?
    Comparative Reading variations:
    Which one of the following, if true, would cast doubt on the argument in passage A and support the argument in passage B?
    Which one of the following most accurately describes how the research results presented passage B bear on the claims made in passage A?"
    (2 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
  • blobby green style avatar for user guehriaselim
    Could someone explain to me the difference between the main point and the primary purpose? Is it that the primary purpose asks the same thing structure-wise?
    (2 votes)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
    • blobby green style avatar for user ompandya2806
      In my opinion, main point is kind of conclusion of ABC paragraph/passage while for 'primary purpose' it is for what is the author trying to do by writing this ABC paragraph/passage. For example, it might be that main point is XYZ is an apple and primary purpose is that author is trying to convince that XYZ is an apple because it does not look like an orange.
      (1 vote)