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# For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of

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02 Nov 2010, 20:05
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For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease.
Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth. As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten.
The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two. For two primary reasons, Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country.
Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Q1. The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?
A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.

Solve this one correct under time constraint and you will be hero in my eyes and I will be asking for some explanations

Q2. Which of the following can be inferred about U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants?
A. Most of these employers pay Mexican immigrants less money than they pay American citizens.
B. Some of these employers violate wage laws.
C. Many of these employers work in the agricultural industry.
D. Without Mexican immigrants, some of these employers would be forced to close their businesses.
E. The majority of these employers show no concern for the welfare of their workers.

Q3. One function of the final paragraph of the passage is to
A. relate why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States is certain to decline.
B. detail the successes of Mexico’s family planning campaign.
C. explain why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States may not dramatically decrease.
D. specify the types of infrastructure in which Mexico must invest.
E. notify American employers that they will soon need to find alternative sources of labor.
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07 Nov 2010, 11:24
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This passage is so sneaky-- it *seems* straightforward and I wouldn't be surprised if people finished it well under time with a lot of confidence...only to find that they missed most of the questions.

Everyone's reading process differs, but so you have a sense of where I'm coming from, here's a breakdown of my mental process while reading:

For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. (OK, social science passage...it's about labor but what's the main point? Also, this is an issue that is very much in the popular consciousness-- be extremely wary of bringing in outside knowledge) These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. (Mexican workers work in US for <min wage) However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease. (Author's point of view! Probable main point of passage...bc of Mex demo shift the current Mex->US flow of migrant workers may shift or stop).

Notes:

I. For years, US employers count on low skill/pay Mex workers
Mex workers <min wage/pov line
Current Mex demo shift MAY ->flow of migrant workers shift/stop

On to P.2:

Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth. (support for author's main point-- dec. pop growth) As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. (decades-long campaign->fewer children for most) The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. (details of campaign...don't get bogged down in specifics...maybe just jot some key words) For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten.

Notes:
II. REASON for predicted imm dec is dec in pop growth
decades of fam plan campaign-> fewer kids for most
(govt clinics, contracep, sex ed)

The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. (results awesome!) In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two. (7->2 kids per woman) For two primary reasons, (structure marker, pay attention to upcoming list) Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. (1--fewer people overall...duh...other one must be more interesting) Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country. (2--hope for domestic Mex middle class)

Notes:
III.Campaign results = wow
7->2 kids/woman
2 reasons: (1) fewer people and (2) hope for domestic Mex mid-class

Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. (yup, second one is more interesting, as predicted) The critical (red flag word--pay attention) challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must (red flag word!) invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If (structure word...we're dealing w/a conditional) Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Notes:
IV. Reason (1)=YES but reason (2)= MAYBE
For (2), in next 20 yrs, Mex MUST invest in ed, training, infra, SS for aging pop
If Mex does-> predicted shift happens

I like social science passages, and there wasn't any of the highly technical language that can sometimes trip me up, so it took me 2:39 to read and take notes on this passage, which means I should spend about 1 min per question to average out to a total of 6 min for both reading and 3 questions (2 min per question). The actual reading process might be faster/slower for you--adjust the time on and approach to your questions accordingly. Also, there are some symbols I used to cut down on writing time (arrows, etc) that I can't convey easily here-- use whatever system and symbols are most efficient for you.

Now onto the questions!

Q1. a NOT question...I'm going to have to examine all of them. What a pain!
(A) I remembered something about pop diminishing in P2, but looking at my notes saw that I had "pop growth" underlined. Typical sneaky Gmat tactic! This might be our answer, but let's keep looking just in case.
(B) 2 is about a third of 7? Pretty close. Cross off.
(C) This is pretty much what P1 says...there may be a shift "one day," but for now the workers are still coming. Cross off.
(D) Where did we see that word "aging"? In my notes for P4! Yup, the pop is aging-- the passage says so....is this the result of declining birth rates? If people are having fewer kids, then the population as a whole must be skewing more toward people who are already alive (older people), so yes this is true but involves some inference. Leave for now.
(E) P.4 notes again-- middle class is a MAYBE. Cross off.

Between (A) and (D), (D) requires a few more steps to reason through, but (A) has a concrete, identifiable error. The answer is (A). If we had gone too quickly and missed that sneaky word "growth" in (A), we might have gotten rid of all the answers. When that happens (and it will!) don't despair--cycle through them again and try to zero in on those little words you may have missed the first time--- getting rid of everything is often a result of rushing through the first time.

Q2. This is an inference question, so keep an eye out for any keywords that will tell us what part(s) of the passage we should focus on. Where did it talk about US employers? According to our notes--the first paragraph.

(A) This choice is a comparison-- make sure both parts are mentioned (and again, be very wary of bringing in outside knowledge--if "most" people know something, GMAC will try to use that info trip you up, so that info is highly suspect in an answer). The passage talks about the Mexican workers' pay, but never explicitly says anything about Americans' pay. What if most of these employers don't hire Americans at all? Eliminate.
(B) "Some" is a vague term that could mean as many as 100% and as few as 1. Do we know that at least one employer violates wage laws? Yes, the US counts on the labor of Mexican immigrants who are "often more than willing" to work for a wage "below the U.S. minimum wage." You could argue, however, that there is a little outside knowledge required here, too-- the fact that the minimum wage is a "wage law." Let's hold onto it for now but keep that flaw in mind.
(C) The passage doesn't specify what industry the workers are employed in. Eliminate.
(E) The words "no concern" are quite strong, and therefore you must have strong evidence to support it. The author states that the workers are often paid less-than-minimum wage, but does this mean there is absolutely zero concern on the part of the employers? Not necessarily. Eliminate.

We had a reservation about (B), but it's the only one left after all the others are eliminated, and requires the smallest "jump."

Q3. The phrase "one function" is very open-ended-- we only need ONE function, which may or may not be the primary function, of the final paragraph. Reread our notes for that paragraph.
(A) "certain" is a red-flag word. Is this certain? No, the paragraph lists conditions that must be fulfilled for the number of immigrants to decline. Eliminate.
(B) This info is in the passage, but not in the paragraph we care about (common GMAT trap). Eliminate.
(C) Does this happen in the final paragraph? Sort of...the author says that the decline is a "maybe" not a "definite," and proceeds to state the conditions that must be fulfilled (the implication being that if those conditions are NOT fulfilled, the prediction will not come true). The paragraph is primarily concerned with those conditions, but we're only looking for "one" function. Hold onto it for now.
(D) The passage DOES list infrastructure in which Mexico must invest...IF the prediction is to come true. This answer choice, however, simply says "Mexico must invest"--a very strong statement containing the red-flag word "must." Mexico doesn't *have to* invest in those items-- if it doesn't, then the predicted shift may not happen. Eliminate.
(E) The predicted decrease is contingent on many things happening, and not a certainty. Eliminate.

Really really sneaky passage, but a great exercise in staying sharp about those little words that can make or break an answer choice.
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03 Nov 2010, 08:07
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nageshshiv wrote:
Hi samark,

Pls provide official explanation for the answers.

Nagesh

Q1. The best way to answer a question that asks for information NOT indicated in the passage is to quickly skim through the passage and eliminate any answer choice that IS indicated in the passage.

A is correct here because the passage states several times that Mexico’s population growth is diminishing due to the country’s declining birth rate. However, the passage never suggests that Mexico’s population itself is diminishing.

Population may be increasing but at a lower rate than before!

Q2. The passage states that U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants often provide low-skilled, low-paying jobs to individuals who "are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line."

Choice A is wrong because No information is provided concerning the amount of money paid to American citizens. It is possible that there are many Americans who also work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.

As for B, If some of these immigrant workers are accepting wages “well below the U.S. minimum wage,” their American employers must be violating wage laws (i.e. paying wages below what the U.S. minimum wage requires).

Q3.
The final paragraph primarily explains why the development of a healthy middle class, an important factor in limiting the desire of many Mexicans to migrate to the United States, is not a foregone conclusion.

In paragraph, it is stated that Mexico must take specific actions to foster the development of a healthy middle class. Without a healthy middle class, the author believes that large numbers of Mexicans will continue to seek work in the United States.

Hope, it helps!

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03 Nov 2010, 00:21
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(Q1) Ans: D

The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?

A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
Yes. It stated in the passage.

B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
Yes. We can infer this from passage. In 1968: a little less than 7 on average. Today: A little more than 2. We can conclude the above

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
Yes. Still a little migration exists if not ceased completely

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Stated in the passage. " ...as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population". We can't just say the declining birth reates are reason for population aging. What incase, the families are still give birth to 7 people on average but only on an average 2 are alive.

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
The passage states that " ... that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country."
That means - Healthy middle class is still a hope and not yet fully developed.

(2) A

(3) D
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03 Nov 2010, 07:50
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diebeatsthegmat wrote:
nravi549 wrote:
8:19

(Q1) Ans: D

The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?

A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
Yes. It stated in the passage.

B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
Yes. We can infer this from passage. In 1968: a little less than 7 on average. Today: A little more than 2. We can conclude the above

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
Yes. Still a little migration exists if not ceased completely

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Stated in the passage. " ...as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population". We can't just say the declining birth reates are reason for population aging. What incase, the families are still give birth to 7 people on average but only on an average 2 are alive.

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
The passage states that " ... that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country."
That means - Healthy middle class is still a hope and not yet fully developed.

(2) A

(3) D

my answers are C A D in 5 minuts and 20 second

Whats given in spoiler is the OA.
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06 Nov 2010, 08:43
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I hate these 'hide the ball' questions - I got this passage too on one of the MGMAT CATs... different set of questions though; but even that one was pretty tough and I think I got most of them wrong...

Q. 1. Point taken about A. A is not expressly suggested by the passage. But where in the passage is D expressly suggested: "As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging"? Birth rate could be declining and the death rate may have also increased?

Q. 2. OK. The passage states: "These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line." --- they are more than "willing" - fine - but it is not suggested that they are in fact paid below min wage by the employers; how can you impute that to the employers? Just because they are willing doesnt mean the employers will necessarily violate the law to pay them less. I picked A. The last sentence of the passage: "If Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past" CHEAP labor --- ok it doesn't say cheaper than U.S. employees, but I thought that would be a more reasonable jump to make than to assume the employers are violating the min wage law.

Q. 3. Again I picked the wrong answer choice! Picked E. Now looking back use of "will" in E is too extreme --- C has "may" --- so ok I agree with C. If the middle class is not developed due to lack of investment in infrastructure then at least one factor affecting labor movement "may" be affected and maybe there won't be a drastic decrease --- so ok C can work because of the "may" while the other choices have words which express certainty - will, must, certain; choice B is clearly out (looks irrelevant).

But don't agree with the answers to Q. 1 and Q. 2.
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02 Nov 2010, 20:57
Did in 7:50mins
c
a
d

Pls post OA
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03 Nov 2010, 01:16
nravi549 wrote:
8:19

(Q1) Ans: D

The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?

A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
Yes. It stated in the passage.

B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
Yes. We can infer this from passage. In 1968: a little less than 7 on average. Today: A little more than 2. We can conclude the above

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
Yes. Still a little migration exists if not ceased completely

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Stated in the passage. " ...as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population". We can't just say the declining birth reates are reason for population aging. What incase, the families are still give birth to 7 people on average but only on an average 2 are alive.

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
The passage states that " ... that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country."
That means - Healthy middle class is still a hope and not yet fully developed.

(2) A

(3) D

[Reveal] Spoiler:
ABC

I will suggest you to look out again for your self why answers are wrong. I would say that first one is really tricky, you should concentrate on what A is saying and what is given in passage. There is subtle difference.

The second one is moderate. So, I guess, you will be able to find out the flaw after some inspection.

I am not fully agree with third answer.

Consider giving Kudos if this passage challanged you!
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03 Nov 2010, 06:19
nravi549 wrote:
8:19

(Q1) Ans: D

The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?

A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.
Yes. It stated in the passage.

B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
Yes. We can infer this from passage. In 1968: a little less than 7 on average. Today: A little more than 2. We can conclude the above

C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
Yes. Still a little migration exists if not ceased completely

D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
Stated in the passage. " ...as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population". We can't just say the declining birth reates are reason for population aging. What incase, the families are still give birth to 7 people on average but only on an average 2 are alive.

E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.
The passage states that " ... that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country."
That means - Healthy middle class is still a hope and not yet fully developed.

(2) A

(3) D

my answers are C A D in 5 minuts and 20 second

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03 Nov 2010, 06:33
Hi samark,

Pls provide official explanation for the answers.

Nagesh
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03 Nov 2010, 13:09
Hi,

For question 1, The passage states that population growth is diminishing

Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth.

For 2nd Question, The below line from passages states that Workers are willing to work below the wages..But passage doesn't state that EMPLOYERS are willing to accept the workers at wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage

If the answer is "employers are violating ...." then we are pulling outside information here.

These workers, ...........are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line.
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04 Nov 2010, 00:24
nageshshiv

Look more closely here:
A says "Mexico’s population is currently diminishing." While wats given in passage is : " population growth is diminishing"

There is difference between both. Suppose in the past, population growth was 15%. Now, if the current population growth is 7%, then currently population growth is diminishing.
Which also means that now the population is increasing at slow rate, but..but..it is still increasing.

However, the first choice states that the population itself is decreasing.

I hope you get it this time..
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06 Nov 2010, 08:07
heyyy thank god people are having a hard time wid this passage !!!!!
heheh srry to say that but I did MGMAT CAT yesterday & got d passage somewhere around 23rd question ..Oyaaaa its a very very difficult one & I still don't agree with some of its answers...Well actually I did it in arnd 9 minutes & got all wrong !!!!!!

thanks ,

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08 Nov 2010, 16:02
Thanks a lot Parker
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09 Nov 2010, 06:48
parker wrote:
This passage is so sneaky-- it *seems* straightforward and I wouldn't be surprised if people finished it well under time with a lot of confidence...only to find that they missed most of the questions.

Everyone's reading process differs, but so you have a sense of where I'm coming from, here's a breakdown of my mental process while reading:

For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. (OK, social science passage...it's about labor but what's the main point? Also, this is an issue that is very much in the popular consciousness-- be extremely wary of bringing in outside knowledge) These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. (Mexican workers work in US for <min wage) However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease. (Author's point of view! Probable main point of passage...bc of Mex demo shift the current Mex->US flow of migrant workers may shift or stop).

Notes:

I. For years, US employers count on low skill/pay Mex workers
Mex workers <min wage/pov line
Current Mex demo shift MAY ->flow of migrant workers shift/stop

On to P.2:

Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth. (support for author's main point-- dec. pop growth) As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. (decades-long campaign->fewer children for most) The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. (details of campaign...don't get bogged down in specifics...maybe just jot some key words) For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten.

Notes:
II. REASON for predicted imm dec is dec in pop growth
decades of fam plan campaign-> fewer kids for most
(govt clinics, contracep, sex ed)

The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. (results awesome!) In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two. (7->2 kids per woman) For two primary reasons, (structure marker, pay attention to upcoming list) Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. (1--fewer people overall...duh...other one must be more interesting) Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country. (2--hope for domestic Mex middle class)

Notes:
III.Campaign results = wow
7->2 kids/woman
2 reasons: (1) fewer people and (2) hope for domestic Mex mid-class

Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. (yup, second one is more interesting, as predicted) The critical (red flag word--pay attention) challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must (red flag word!) invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If (structure word...we're dealing w/a conditional) Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Notes:
IV. Reason (1)=YES but reason (2)= MAYBE
For (2), in next 20 yrs, Mex MUST invest in ed, training, infra, SS for aging pop
If Mex does-> predicted shift happens

I like social science passages, and there wasn't any of the highly technical language that can sometimes trip me up, so it took me 2:39 to read and take notes on this passage, which means I should spend about 1 min per question to average out to a total of 6 min for both reading and 3 questions (2 min per question). The actual reading process might be faster/slower for you--adjust the time on and approach to your questions accordingly. Also, there are some symbols I used to cut down on writing time (arrows, etc) that I can't convey easily here-- use whatever system and symbols are most efficient for you.

Now onto the questions!

Q1. a NOT question...I'm going to have to examine all of them. What a pain!
(A) I remembered something about pop diminishing in P2, but looking at my notes saw that I had "pop growth" underlined. Typical sneaky Gmat tactic! This might be our answer, but let's keep looking just in case.
(B) 2 is about a third of 7? Pretty close. Cross off.
(C) This is pretty much what P1 says...there may be a shift "one day," but for now the workers are still coming. Cross off.
(D) Where did we see that word "aging"? In my notes for P4! Yup, the pop is aging-- the passage says so....is this the result of declining birth rates? If people are having fewer kids, then the population as a whole must be skewing more toward people who are already alive (older people), so yes this is true but involves some inference. Leave for now.
(E) P.4 notes again-- middle class is a MAYBE. Cross off.

Between (A) and (D), (D) requires a few more steps to reason through, but (A) has a concrete, identifiable error. The answer is (A). If we had gone too quickly and missed that sneaky word "growth" in (A), we might have gotten rid of all the answers. When that happens (and it will!) don't despair--cycle through them again and try to zero in on those little words you may have missed the first time--- getting rid of everything is often a result of rushing through the first time.

Q2. This is an inference question, so keep an eye out for any keywords that will tell us what part(s) of the passage we should focus on. Where did it talk about US employers? According to our notes--the first paragraph.

(A) This choice is a comparison-- make sure both parts are mentioned (and again, be very wary of bringing in outside knowledge--if "most" people know something, GMAC will try to use that info trip you up, so that info is highly suspect in an answer). The passage talks about the Mexican workers' pay, but never explicitly says anything about Americans' pay. What if most of these employers don't hire Americans at all? Eliminate.
(B) "Some" is a vague term that could mean as many as 100% and as few as 1. Do we know that at least one employer violates wage laws? Yes, the US counts on the labor of Mexican immigrants who are "often more than willing" to work for a wage "below the U.S. minimum wage." You could argue, however, that there is a little outside knowledge required here, too-- the fact that the minimum wage is a "wage law." Let's hold onto it for now but keep that flaw in mind.
(C) The passage doesn't specify what industry the workers are employed in. Eliminate.
(E) The words "no concern" are quite strong, and therefore you must have strong evidence to support it. The author states that the workers are often paid less-than-minimum wage, but does this mean there is absolutely zero concern on the part of the employers? Not necessarily. Eliminate.

We had a reservation about (B), but it's the only one left after all the others are eliminated, and requires the smallest "jump."

Q3. The phrase "one function" is very open-ended-- we only need ONE function, which may or may not be the primary function, of the final paragraph. Reread our notes for that paragraph.
(A) "certain" is a red-flag word. Is this certain? No, the paragraph lists conditions that must be fulfilled for the number of immigrants to decline. Eliminate.
(B) This info is in the passage, but not in the paragraph we care about (common GMAT trap). Eliminate.
(C) Does this happen in the final paragraph? Sort of...the author says that the decline is a "maybe" not a "definite," and proceeds to state the conditions that must be fulfilled (the implication being that if those conditions are NOT fulfilled, the prediction will not come true). The paragraph is primarily concerned with those conditions, but we're only looking for "one" function. Hold onto it for now.
(D) The passage DOES list infrastructure in which Mexico must invest...IF the prediction is to come true. This answer choice, however, simply says "Mexico must invest"--a very strong statement containing the red-flag word "must." Mexico doesn't *have to* invest in those items-- if it doesn't, then the predicted shift may not happen. Eliminate.
(E) The predicted decrease is contingent on many things happening, and not a certainty. Eliminate.

Really really sneaky passage, but a great exercise in staying sharp about those little words that can make or break an answer choice.

Thanks Parker, but I am not still convinced with 1(I had this q appearing on one of my MGMAT test on which I just managed a 36)
The later part of the passage reinforces the thought that the there is a current change in the demo. The later part of the passage talks about statistics and shows that the decline in population has already begun?

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15 Nov 2010, 19:03
For mailnavin:

You're right, the latter part of the passage definitely indicates a shift in demographics, but note the very specific wording used "the slowing of Mexico’s population growth" -- slower population growth does not equal a declining population.

Say, for example, you have a city (with attractive tax incentives) in which new technology firms are launching at a rate of 100 new firms per year. The city then decides to scale back those incentives, so that rate slows to 50 new firms per year. The number of firms is still growing (assuming no significant change in the number of firms that go out of business, or "die"), but at a slower rate.

Does that help?
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17 Nov 2010, 04:47
I got all three answers wrong..But a very good lesson learned. Be very careful and alert for the key words.
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06 Apr 2011, 21:11
I chose ABD, and I like Parker's explanation a lot about why D is wrong in Q3, and C is correct.
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13 Apr 2011, 08:23
4:55

1. A
2. B
3. E (fell for the trap)
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18 Apr 2011, 07:44
ABC in 5:20 minutes

Explanations are next to the options
samark wrote:
For years, U.S. employers have counted on a steady flow of labor from Mexico willing to accept low-skilled, low paying jobs. These workers, many of whom leave economically depressed villages in the Mexican interior, are often more than willing to work for wages well below both the U.S. minimum wage and the poverty line. However, thanks to a dramatic demographic shift currently taking place in Mexico, the seemingly inexhaustible supply of workers migrating from Mexico to the United States might one day greatly diminish if not cease.
Predictions of such a drastic decrease in the number of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, are driven by Mexico’s rapidly diminishing population growth. As a result of a decades-long family planning campaign, most Mexicans are having far fewer children than was the norm a generation ago. The campaign, organized around the slogan that “the small family lives better,” saw the Mexican government establish family-planning clinics and offer free contraception. For nearly three decades, the government’s message concerning population hasn’t wavered. In fact, the Mexican Senate recently voted to extend public school sex education programs to kindergarten.
The result of Mexico’s efforts to stem population growth is nothing short of stunning. In 1968, the average Mexican woman had just fewer than seven children; today, the figure is slightly more than two. For two primary reasons, Mexico’s new demographics could greatly impact the number of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S. First, smaller families by their nature limit the pool of potential migrants. Second, the slowing of Mexico’s population growth has fostered hope that Mexico will develop a healthy middle class of people content to make their livelihoods in their home country.
Though the former of these factors is all but assured, the growth of a healthy middle class is far from a foregone conclusion. The critical challenge for Mexico is what it does with the next 20 years. Mexico must invest in education, job training, and infrastructure, as well as a social-security system to protect its aging population. If Mexico is willing to step forward and meet this challenge, America may one day wake up to find that, like cheap gasoline, cheap Mexican labor has become a thing of the past.

Q1. The passage does NOT indicate which of the following concerning Mexico’s current demographics?
A. Due to the government’s family planning campaign, Mexico’s population is currently diminishing.(Government's family planning is reducing the population growth rate & not the population itself...Didn't spent much time on other choices)
B. On average, Mexican women are having approximately one-third the number of children that they had in 1968.
C. Many Mexicans still migrate to the United States in search of work.
D. As a result of declining birth rates, Mexico’s population is aging.
E. A healthy middle class in Mexico has not yet fully developed.

Solve this one correct under time constraint and you will be hero in my eyes and I will be asking for some explanations

Q2. Which of the following can be inferred about U.S. employers of Mexican immigrants?
A. Most of these employers pay Mexican immigrants less money than they pay American citizens.(this one is bit tricky but passage doesn't say that most of the employees pay less to the Mexicans)
B. Some of these employers violate wage laws. (Line 2 in 1st paragraph strengthen this choice)
C. Many of these employers work in the agricultural industry. (no evidence available for this)
D. Without Mexican immigrants, some of these employers would be forced to close their businesses. (Too extreme)
E. The majority of these employers show no concern for the welfare of their workers. (Not mentioned in paragraph)

Q3. One function of the final paragraph of the passage is to
A. relate why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States is certain to decline. (paragraph says that how 1 factor will help to decrease the flow of mexican workers & other doesn't so this option is out)
B. detail the successes of Mexico’s family planning campaign. (Not mentioned in 3rd paragraph)
C. explain why the number of Mexican immigrants seeking work in the United States may not dramatically decrease. (The effect of the 2nd factor mentioned in 2nd paragraph is inconclusive so this sounds the best choice among all)
D. specify the types of infrastructure in which Mexico must invest. (they details in the paragraph, does not specify the function of paragraph)
E. notify American employers that they will soon need to find alternative sources of labor.

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Re: Mexican Growth   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2011, 07:44

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