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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: RC 16 ~ 20
Page: 352

During the nineteenth century, occupational information about women that was provided by the United States census—a population count conducted each decade—became more detailed and precise in response to social changes. Through 1840, simple enumeration by household mirrored a home-based agricultural economy and hierarchical social order: the head of the household (presumed male or absent) was specified by name, whereas other household members were only indicated by the total number of persons counted in various categories, including occupational categories. Like farms, most enterprises were family-run, so that the census measured economic activity as an attribute of the entire household, rather than of individuals.

The 1850 census, partly responding to antislavery and women's rights movements, initiated the collection of specific information about each individual in a household. Not until 1870 was occupational information analyzed by gender: the census superintendent reported 1.8 million women employed outside the home in "gainful and reputable occupations." In addition, he arbitrarily attributed to each family one woman "keeping house." Overlap between the two groups was not calculated until 1890, when the rapid entry of women into the paid labor force and social issues arising from industrialization were causing women's advocates and women statisticians to press for more thorough and accurate accounting of women's occupations and wages.
The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) explain and critique the methods used by early statisticians
(B) compare and contrast a historical situation with a current-day one
(C) describe and explain a historical change
(D) discuss historical opposition to an established institution
(E) trace the origin of a contemporary controversy




Each of the following aspects of nineteenth-century United States censuses is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT the

(A) year in which data on occupations began to be analyzed by gender
(B) year in which specific information began to be collected on individuals in addition to the head of the household
(C) year in which overlap between women employed outside the home and women keeping house was first calculated
(D) way in which the 1890 census measured women’s income levels and educational backgrounds
(E) way in which household members were counted in the 1840 census




It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations
(C) People engaged in social movements
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises
(E) Men engaged in agriculture




The author uses the adjective “simple” in line 5 most probably to emphasize that the

(A) collection of census information became progressively more difficult throughout the nineteenth-century
(B) technology for tabulating census information was rudimentary during the first half of the nineteenth century
(C) home-based agricultural economy of the early nineteenth century was easier to analyze than the later industrial economy
(D) economic role of women was better defined in the early nineteenth century than in the late nineteenth century
(E) information collected by early-nineteen-century censuses was limited in its amount of detail




The passage suggests which of the following about the “women’s advocates and women statisticians” mentioned in lines 27-28?

(A) They wanted to call attention to the lack of pay for women who worked in the home.
(B) They believed that previous census information was inadequate and did not reflect certain economic changes in the United States.
(C) They had begun to press for changes in census-taking methods as part of their participation in the antislavery movement.
(D) They thought that census statistics about women would be more accurate if more women were employed as census officials.
(E) They had conducted independent studies that disputed the official statistics provided by previous United States censuses.





I chose the answer A, but OA is C. I chose A because I think the word "critique" does not only mean to criticize, it also means to evaluate. And I did not choose C, because I there are several changes in the text not one. Would like to hear what you think?

Originally posted by Ergenekon on 15 Feb 2015, 06:02.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 18 Aug 2019, 21:21, edited 5 times in total.
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New post 24 Oct 2015, 18:45
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Lucky2783 wrote:
It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations
(C) People engaged in social movements
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises
(E) Men engaged in agriculture.

How come B , could someone please explain .
i see E as a clear winner .
no ?


I am happy to give my 2 cents on this question. At first I also marked E as the correct answer, but researching more on the 1st paragraph, I found B is the correct answer.

Note that the paragraph says the head of the household (usually male) was specified byname, and other members were indicated by total number of persons counted in occupational categories. Therefore, we could infer 2 points:

- We don't know the total number of men (or women), just the name of the head of household; -> E is incorrect.
- We do know the total number of people in occupational categories (farming, non-farming, etc.) -> B is correct.

Please feel free to correct me!
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New post 15 Feb 2015, 10:23
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The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) explain and critique the methods used by early statisticians

There is NOTHING that critique the method used for the census. Infact, there is a chronological excursus from X to Y, from a date throughout an evollution to another date. In othe words: a chronological history

(B) compare and contrast a historical situation with a current-day one

No comparison

(C) describe and explain a historical change

Right choice. Look , for instance, at the first phrase of the second paragraph : The 1850 census, partly responding to antislavery and women’s rights movements, initiated the collection of specific information about each individual in a household. Not until 1870 was occupational information analyzed by gender . A clearly indication of a change. Chronologically


(D) discuss historical opposition to an established institution

No opposition

(E) trace the origin of a contemporary controversy

No clues about this controversy

Hope this helps
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New post 17 Feb 2015, 02:21
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carcass wrote:
The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) explain and critique the methods used by early statisticians

There is NOTHING that critique the method used for the census. Infact, there is a chronological excursus from X to Y, from a date throughout an evollution to another date. In othe words: a chronological history

(B) compare and contrast a historical situation with a current-day one

No comparison

(C) describe and explain a historical change

Right choice. Look , for instance, at the first phrase of the second paragraph : The 1850 census, partly responding to antislavery and women’s rights movements, initiated the collection of specific information about each individual in a household. Not until 1870 was occupational information analyzed by gender . A clearly indication of a change. Chronologically


(D) discuss historical opposition to an established institution

No opposition

(E) trace the origin of a contemporary controversy

No clues about this controversy

Hope this helps



Thanks for your reply. However, are you sure that the word "critique" can be used only as "criticism"? Because "critique" has another meaning to - evaluation, review etc. And I have encountered such question, which I cannot find now, where that word was used as "review".
And I did not like C because there wasn't one change, but several changes. However, it says : a historical change
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New post 17 Feb 2015, 04:20
I think that hystorical change they means: the scenario, the whole changes. In this regard, it is not wrong.

Moreover critique means suggesting alternative pathways not necessarily is something that countercat in its entirely a fact. It can agree to a certain point.

Last but not least: it is an official problem, so they set the rules. There is nothing to spend over

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New post 15 Mar 2015, 08:51
It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations
(C) People engaged in social movements
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises
(E) Men engaged in agriculture.

How come B , could someone please explain .
i see E as a clear winner .
no ?
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New post 20 Jun 2015, 20:59
carcass:
Ergenekon:
Can you please explain Answers for Question 3 and Question 5.
For Question 3 E seems to be more appropriate than the answer , and in Question 5 how to elimintate option D , as the answer B is also not mentioned in the passage, it is something we are assuming.So how to do that process??

It will be helpful if you provide with some insight on this.
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New post 21 Jun 2015, 12:34
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roopika2990 wrote:
Lucky2783 wrote:
It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations
(C) People engaged in social movements
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises
(E) Men engaged in agriculture.

How come B , could someone please explain .
i see E as a clear winner .
no ?



I agree ... the whole point of 1840 census was to count head of household (man or absent) not people in general



This is an inference question. It means , the answer MUST BE TRUE according to the passage. The second paragraph says that they started gender specific census after 1840. So option E (which mentions "men " is ruled out. Although in 1840 the census mentioned that majority of people worked in a farming activity. This means the census has information on people involved in non farming activity.

I am unable to highlight the specific portion of the passage to explain in a better way. Still, hope you understood the message.
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New post 26 Oct 2015, 10:51
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tronghieu1987 wrote:
Lucky2783 wrote:
It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations
(C) People engaged in social movements
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises
(E) Men engaged in agriculture.

How come B , could someone please explain .
i see E as a clear winner .
no ?


I am happy to give my 2 cents on this question. At first I also marked E as the correct answer, but researching more on the 1st paragraph, I found B is the correct answer.

Note that the paragraph says the head of the household (usually male) was specified byname, and other members were indicated by total number of persons counted in occupational categories. Therefore, we could infer 2 points:

- We don't know the total number of men (or women), just the name of the head of household; -> E is incorrect.
- We do know the total number of people in occupational categories (farming, non-farming, etc.) -> B is correct.

Please feel free to correct me!

-------------------------------------------
I also chose E at first. But after reading your explanation, I got it.
I guess the consensus probably looked like below:

Farming: 10,000 Households -- lists by names i.e. McDonald's, etc etc
Non-farming: Smiths (1 work in Factory), 4 dependent( 2 work in textile industry, 2 stay home)

I can see how B is correct.
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New post 16 Aug 2016, 05:27
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Interesting passage . Took 7 mins 50 seconds , including 2 mins to read the passage .
- The author talks about a census taking method in the 1840’s
- He then goes on to describe the changes in the method

1. I was successfully able to narrow down to A and C , but was not sure about the final answer
(A) Incorrect – The author of the passage does not state any opinion. A Critique is an opinion. Hence Incorrect.
(C) Correct


2. D – The passage merely states that the 1890’s census measured women’s income levels and educational backgrounds. But, there is no mention of the way in which this was done.

3.B- People engaged in non farming occupations

4. E - information collected by early-nineteen-century censuses was limited in its amount of detail

5. This is more of an inference question and the answer to it lies in the interpretation of Paragraph 2
End of second paragraph talk about Women’s Advocates pressing for more thorough and accurate counting of women’s occupations and wages. This goes to say that the previous census information did not provide an adequate reflection of the economic changes in the United States.
Hence – Option (B).
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New post 25 Oct 2016, 02:12
Q3 - I will help here in understanding why option B is a correct inference about counting in 1840.

Excerpt to be focused -
Through 1840, simple enumeration by household mirrored a home-based agricultural economy and hierarchical social order: the head of the household (presumed male or absent) was specified by name, whereas other household members were only indicated by the total number of persons counted in various categories, including occupational categories.

well , It says that the other members(other than the head(male)) of a household were also counted in various categories , including occupational categories (farming/non-farming)
The only reason why male (head of the household) is mentioned is to specify the name (of the Household).

Eg - Johnson's (total members - 5 , 2 working as farmers , 1 work somewhere else, etc.)

I hope it helps.
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New post 01 May 2018, 01:46
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P1 - US census report for women occupations. 1840, how it works?
P2 - 1850 change in census; 1870 1.8 mil women employed ; 1890 industrialization; new occupations and wages.

Main idea - Evolution of census report wrt women occupations.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) explain and critique the methods used by early statisticians --- no critique
(B) compare and contrast a historical situation with a current-day one --- no compare
(C) describe and explain a historical change --- right on track.
(D) discuss historical opposition to an established institution --- miles away from reality.
(E) trace the origin of a contemporary controversy --- no controversy
-------------------------------------------

2. Each of the following aspects of nineteenth-century United States censuses is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT the

(A) year in which data on occupations began to be analyzed by gender - 1870
(B) year in which specific information began to be collected on individuals in addition to the head of the household - 1840
(C) year in which overlap between women employed outside the home and women keeping house was first calculated - 1870
(D) way in which the 1890 census measured women’s income levels and educational backgrounds - answer.
(E) way in which household members were counted in the 1840 census - P1

-------------------------------------------

3. It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?
Pre-thinking - report give name of head of family + total number of persons counted in various categories

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home - no
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations - yes, correct.
(C) People engaged in social movements - not even mentioned.
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises - not exclusively mentioned
(E) Men engaged in agriculture - not exclusively mentioned, but head is named others are in count colum.

-------------------------------------------
4. The author uses the adjective “simple” in line 5 most probably to emphasize that the
just number is collected for rest of the people and nothing more. so format was very simple. Only E is describing it correctly.

(E) information collected by early-nineteen-century censuses was limited in its amount of detail

-------------------------------------------
5. The passage suggests which of the following about the “women’s advocates and women statisticians” mentioned in lines 27-28?

lines to look for - when the rapid entry of women into the paid labor force and social issues arising from industrialization were causing women's advocates and women statisticians to press for more thorough and accurate accounting of women's occupations and wages.

(B) They believed that previous census information was inadequate and did not reflect certain economic changes in the United States.
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New post 06 Sep 2018, 07:01
Lucky2783 wrote:
It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations
(C) People engaged in social movements
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises
(E) Men engaged in agriculture.

How come B , could someone please explain .
i see E as a clear winner .
no ?

Hey, I forst chose E as well, but after reading first paragraph carefully, I understood that E is correct. What the paragraph says is that those that were in farming "census measured economic activity as an attribute of the entire household, rather than of individuals" while those outside farming were counted individually "indicated by the total number of persons"
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New post 15 Sep 2018, 04:41
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It took me 8 minutes to solve the RC. though I choose 1 incorrect answer and 4 correct answers.
I got Q5 wrong :P

Q1- primary purpose: such questions require holistic answers.
C- is the winner here.
few options talked of the current day, but the passage deals with the time frame of the 19th century only. Hence all those options are wrong.

Q2-D: this was easy and can be clearly found out by careful reading.

Q3- B: only information given in para about this is " the head of the household (presumed male or absent) was specified by name"
There can be more males and females in a family. thus nothing can be said specifically about any particular gender.
A,D,E are eliminated
B is the winner as it is given in para that families were listed in census based on economic. social movements are not exactly an economic activity.

Q4- Meaning of simple: E is correct, as it reflects the right meaning.

Q5- i got C but answer is B :P
why is choose C:
They had begun to press for changes in census-taking methods- till here it's perfect.
as part of their participation in the antislavery movement.- but this is nowhere mentioned in para.

Option B: They believed that previous census information was inadequate and did not reflect certain economic changes in the United States.- this look correct when i revisited the question
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New post 24 Oct 2018, 20:16

Passage Map:



1) During the nineteenth century, occupational information about women that was provided by the United States census—a population count conducted each decade—became more detailed and precise in response to social changes. => Main Idea. Development of consensus with time

2) The 1850...1870 ...1890 => History of consensus. How it became more detailed with time.
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New post 01 Apr 2019, 13:44
aragonn wrote:
5. The passage suggests which of the following about the “women’s advocates and women statisticians” mentioned in lines 27-28?

lines to look for - when the rapid entry of women into the paid labor force and social issues arising from industrialization were causing women's advocates and women statisticians to press for more thorough and accurate accounting of women's occupations and wages.

(B) They believed that previous census information was inadequate and did not reflect certain economic changes in the United States.


Hi aragonn,

For Q5 I opted for C instead of B and later on realized why C is incorrect but still did not understood how B is the answer, could you please assist.
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New post 28 Apr 2019, 04:50
3. It can be inferred from the passage that the 1840 United States census provided a count of which of the following?

(A) Women who worked exclusively in the home
(B) People engaged in nonfarming occupations
(C) People engaged in social movements
(D) Women engaged in family-run enterprises
(E) Men engaged in agriculture

This is an inference question, so we should indentify the piece of information the passage is delivering indirectly. The question asks what was counted during 1980 year census. The passage says that household’s head, male, was specified by name, despite being present or absent. Other family members, male or female, were categorized by their occupations, not by their names or genders. So the number of women and men in families was not counted. Only occupational categories, they were involved in, were indicated. It may look the following way:

Household №32 – Grey’s (in total 5 members, 3 in farming, 2 in mining (or other nonfarming economic activities))

Like farms, most enterprises were family-run, so that – this part says that apart from farms (agriculture) there were other enterprises (nonfarming). Thus the 1840 census counted people both in farming and nongaming activities, not specifying their genders or names. That’s what B actually is saying here. Because census didn’t count the number of men E is incorrect.

please, put kudos if this helped!
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New post 28 Apr 2019, 06:36
5. The passage suggests which of the following about the “women’s advocates and women statisticians” mentioned in lines 27-28?

(A) They wanted to call attention to the lack of pay for women who worked in the home.
(B) They believed that previous census information was inadequate and did not reflect certain economic changes in the United States.
(C) They had begun to press for changes in census-taking methods as part of their participation in the antislavery movement.
(D) They thought that census statistics about women would be more accurate if more women were employed as census officials.
(E) They had conducted independent studies that disputed the official statistics provided by previous United States censuses.

This one is Inference type question. What we can learn about “women’s advocates and women statisticians” from the passage is that from 1890 they began to have more thorough censuses because changes happening to labor force and industrialization (e.g. occupation type by gender, women employment outside the home) had not been reflected in former censuses. Thus we can infer that, those advocates and statisticians began to dig deeper because they believed that former censuses were inadequate. That is what B talks about. Although initially I didn’t like B since “they believed” sounded as an assumption, the absurdity of other choices makes it soundest one.
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New post 12 Jul 2019, 16:36
Passage Map: Overall the passage describes changes to the collection of data via censu over time, and specifically how collection of data on women changed in response to social changes
P1: To describe what was collected in initial census' and define frequency of the census
P2: To describe latter census collections and how data about women became more specified

Question 3
In the last sentence of the first paragraph "most enterprises" are compared to "farms" ("like farms,....). This delineates between farms and other businesses. In addition, via this comparison, we are only told that businesses were family run.
A is incorrect because its not stated or inferred anywhere
B is broad, but correct because farms are compared to "most enterprises" (run by families) allowing us to infer that some people in other businesses that weren't farms.
C is incorrect because its not stated anywhere, nor inferred
D is incorrect because we are told that the 1840 census does not go down to this level of granularity in data
E is incorrect because we aren't told specifically the role each gender played. From the 1840 census an inference is made about the roles played by families in business


Question 4
The simple remuneration described insinuate that the deductions made were relatively easy via the use of numbers.
A is incorrect as this is not stated at all. In fact it is inferred that things got easier
B is incorrect because no 'technology' is mentioned. The physical/ technological methods of collection aren't described at all in the passage.
C is lured me, but its incorrect for two reasons: (1) enumeration by household led to deductions about both home-based ag. economy AND hierarchial social order; (2) the impact of the industralisation on statistics isnt discussed; instead, we 'industralisation' is used to refer to the social changes that prompted Women's advocates and staticians to demand more granular data.
D is incorrect because we know the opposite to be true. More granular data was collected over time.
E is correct. Enumeration (without knowing the actual textbook definition) stuck out to me as the tabulation or calculation of information. The fact this was the process by which census data was collected, and that it was "simple, leads me to conclude that it was also limited. In addition, the 1840s census is discussed to establish a point of reference for how each census, per decade, changed in the data collected.
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Re: During the nineteenth century, occupational information about women th   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2019, 16:36
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During the nineteenth century, occupational information about women th

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