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# In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial

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Senior Manager
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In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2010, 03:14
Quote:
[...]In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century. It appears that such births were the primary source of the increase in the free African American population for this period. [...]

Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
A) No free African Americans in the American colonies were the offspring of white slave owners.
B) Some colonial legislatures passed laws to prevent interbreeding between white colonists and African Americans.
C) White servants were not as numerous as African American slaves in early America.
D) Most African Americans in the South were born into slavery.
E) Records exist to document all births of free African Americans in colonial America.

Here is MGMAT answer which I find questionable:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
(B) CORRECT. The second paragraph begins with "despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century." This implies that the legislatures took action to prevent these births.

But when you read it correctly, it talks about "In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers", we know nothing about "Some colonial legislatures passed laws to prevent interbreeding between white colonists and African Americans". I do not consider a white servant woman as a colonist.

What do you think?

PS: I didn't provide the full passage to avoid any copyright problem. I can post it if it's really necessary, but the other section of the passage don't help except to eliminate the other answer choices which in such case makes them all incorrect. If you have access to MGMAT test #3, it's called "Slaves - Inference".
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Re: Problem with MGMAT Test #3 RC: slaves [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2010, 18:58
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B) is indeed the right answer, partly because it's reasonable to identify white servant women with white colonists, and partly because no other answer is appropriate. Answers A) and E) are too extreme, and answers C) and D) are out of scope of the argument.

If the colonial legislatures passed laws that applied to the white servant women (and the implication is that they did), then it's reasonable to say that those women qualify as colonists themselves, even if they're not very high status colonists. Sometimes on inference questions you have to have a little bit of cognitive flexibility, because the inferred conclusion will not be completely airtight.

GMAT question writers will sometimes use substitutions or synonyms so that the conclusion doesn't restate the exact language from the set-up (and thus give away the right answer too easily). You rightly point out a small gap here between the premises in the argument and the conclusion in the answer choice, but it's small enough here to be forgivable.
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Re: Problem with MGMAT Test #3 RC: slaves [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2010, 03:08
Thanks.
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Re: Problem with MGMAT Test #3 RC: slaves [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2010, 07:56
B is best option here.

The first clause of the passage gives the answer(below)
despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures,

indicates that there is legislation to prevent interbreeding.
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Re: In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial [#permalink]

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01 May 2012, 12:03
A) No free African Americans in the American colonies were the offspring of white slave owners.
B) Some colonial legislatures passed laws to prevent interbreeding between white colonists and African Americans.
C) White servants were not as numerous as African American slaves in early America.
D) Most African Americans in the South were born into slavery.
E) Records exist to document all births of free African Americans in colonial America.

I did use POE here to reach B
Re: In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial   [#permalink] 01 May 2012, 12:03
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# In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial

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