A population of game ducks at a western lake contains 55 males to every 45 females, while a population of game ducks ...

Julie on August 27, 2019

(a) vs. (c)

Hi LSAT Max, I chose (a) during a timed section but (c) during a blind review. Could you explain the two answer choices to help me see where I went wrong? Many thanks in advance for the help!

4 Replies

Meredith on November 11, 2019

I have the same question

Lauren on December 20, 2019

me too please reply

on February 4, 2021

Is C incorrect because it does not mention that the male ducks are "adult" or "older"?

Naryan on January 20 at 01:52PM

Hey @Julie, @laurenkirwan, @rinavaleriano,

This question is a bit of a notorious one so let's break it down.

Two lakes, W and E

W: 55:45 male to female ratio
E: 65:35 male to female ratio

Now we're given more info—ducks are born equally male and female. The only way you get a higher male population is by having older ducks. If this is the case....it must be true that lake E has a higher proportion of older ducks than lake W! There's just no other way the passage tells us is possible to have more males. Now, let's check our answers, remembering that our prephrase is: "higher % old male ducks in E vs W."

(A): This is perfect! They said it backwards, fine, but that's semantics. If you want to say Joe is taller than Fred, an answer choice of Fred being shorter than Joe says the same thing. This is exactly our prephrase, and ideally under timed pressure we would click it, move on, and not even read the trap answers that surely follow. But for education's sake, let's play a dangerous game and check the rest.

(B): So E has more young ducks? No way, this is actually impossible - we NEED a higher % adults.

(C): Total? Ah, this answer choice is trying to trick us with stats. Luckily, we know the difference between percentage, and total amount. We have no idea how big these lakes are. Lake E could be a teeny tiny pond with 100 ducks maximum, 65 males, and 35 females. W could be lake superior, with a million ducks—55 males for every 45 females. But in total, they would have 550,000 male ducks, WAY more than lake E. Let's put it another way: 100% of my household is vaccinated against Covid-19, but only 66% of India is vaccinated. Clearly my household has more vaccinated people, right? If you understand why that logic is flawed, you can see why C is wrong.

(D): Breeding seasons? Number of hatched eggs? This has nothing to do with the stimulus.

(E): This might be tempting, but we know only of the trends in adult males. The way females progress is a mystery to us, so we can't comment.