Hello Everyone!

Let's take a look at this question to find any ways to quickly rule out options to get us to the correct answer! First, here is the original question with the main differences between each option highlighted in orange:

While most of the earliest known ball courts in Mesoamerica date to 900–400 b.c.,

waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics found at San Lorenzo attest to the fact that the Mesoamerican ballgame was well established by the mid-thirteenth century b.c.

(A)

waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and

representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics found at San Lorenzo

attest(B)

waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and

the painting of representations of ballplayers on ceramics found at San Lorenzo

attests(C)

waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and

ceramics painted with representations of ballplayers found at San Lorenzo

attests(D)

the finding of waterlogged latex balls at El Manati and

the painting of representations of ballplayers on ceramics found at San Lorenzo

attests(E)

the finding of waterlogged latex balls at El Manati and

of representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics at San Lorenzo

attestRight away, we see 3 places where there are differences between each option:

1. How they begin (waterlogged latex balls found / the finding of waterlogged latex balls)

2. How they end (attest / attests)

3. How they deal with the ceramic paintings of ballplayersTo answer this question as quickly as possible, start with an item on our list that will eliminate 2-3 answers right away. For us, the easiest way to do this is by dealing with #2 on our list: attest / attests.

The verb "attest/attests" is referring back to BOTH the waterlogged latex balls and the ceramic paintings; therefore,

we MUST use the plural verb "attest" to agree with its plural subject! Let's see how each option stacks up:

(A) waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics found at San Lorenzo

attest(B) waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and the painting of representations of ballplayers on ceramics found at San Lorenzo

attests(C) waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and ceramics painted with representations of ballplayers found at San Lorenzo

attests(D) the finding of waterlogged latex balls at El Manati and the painting of representations of ballplayers on ceramics found at San Lorenzo

attests(E) the finding of waterlogged latex balls at El Manati and of representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics at San Lorenzo

attestWe can eliminate options B, C, and D quickly because they use a singular verb with a plural subject!Now that we only have options A & E to choose from, let's look at both answers to see which one is the better choice:

(A)

waterlogged latex balls found at El Manati and

representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics found at San Lorenzo

attestThis is the

CORRECT answer because it uses the correct plural verb "attest" to agree with its plural subject. It also uses clear and concise wording to convey the intended meaning:

the two types of artifacts found are proof the game existed at that time!

(E)

the finding of waterlogged latex balls at El Manati and

of representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics at San Lorenzo attest

This is

INCORRECT because it changes the original meaning. The phrases "

the finding of waterlogged latex balls" and the finding "

of representations of ballplayers painted on ceramics" change the focus. By saying "the finding of" these two artifacts is the proof of how long this game existed, we're ignoring the important fact that

the existence of these two artifacts is the proof - NOT the action of someone finding them!

There you go - option A is the correct choice!Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.

_________________

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