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GRE Verbal

2- and 3-blank Text completion & Sentence Equivalence
by

Shanna Charles

on 5 July 2012

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Transcript of GRE Verbal

GRE VERBAL:
Test Completion
Try it:
Set up your scratch paper:
i ii
x
x
x x
Step 1:
Step 2:
Cover the answers and find a story.
Look for clues and trigger words
Determine if the word should have a positive or a negative connotation.
Step 3:
Come up with your own words for the blanks and jot them down on the scratch paper.
Step 4:
Use process of elimination (POE)
Additional tips:
Don't try to deal with all the blanks at once. Take them one at a time.
Start with whichever blank is easier for you to start with
If there is no clear clue, look for a relationship between blanks
Practice Question
Many popular musicians have (i) _____ new digital technologies that allow them unprecedented control over their music. These musicians use computers to (ii) ____________ and modify their songs, resulting ina level of musical precision often unattainable naturally. Of course, though, as is often the case with new technologies, some traditionalists (iii) ________ these developments.
Blank (i)
Relationship Between Blanks:
Many 2- and 3-blank text completions hinge on the use of trigger words, and don't contain overtly obvious clues. In actuality, the relationship between the blanks IS the clue.
Example:
Jenkins is an artist known for engendering strong reactions in his viewers; in fact, some of his more (i) ______ paintings have caused viewers extreme (ii) ________.
Blank (i)
Ominous
Accomplished
Innovative
Blank (ii)
Discouragement
Discomposure
Resoluteness
VOCABULARY
VOCABULARY
VOCABULARY!

Sentence Equivalence
Directions:
For the following questions, select TWO answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole AND produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning.
General information:
6 answer choices
You must pick TWO answers
More vocabulary-driven than sentence completion questions
Generally, the two correct answers will be synonyms, but they don't need to be EXACT synonyms, as long as the meaning of the sentence stays the same
Both answers must be correct to get credit
You can expect 3 -5 sentence equivalence questions in each GRE verbal section
these questions will appear one after another
E
X
A
M
P
L
E
Anthropologists contend that the ancient Mesopotamians switched from grain production to barley after excessive irrigation and salt accumulation made the soil _______ grains.
A. indifferent to
B. inhospitable to
C. unsuitable for
D. acrimonious to
E. benignant to
F. inured to
Strategy:
1. Set up your scratch paper
2. Cover the answers and find the story.
Look for triggers and clues (just like sentence completion questions) *Triggers are prevelant in sentence equivalence questions
Since the meaning of the sentence must stay the same with the two words you select, you must first BE CERTAIN YOU UNDERSTAND THE STORY BEING TOLD BY THE SENTENCE IN THE FIRST PLACE
If you don't understand the sentence after the first or second reading, mark it and move on. Return to the sentence after doing a few other questions.
3. Come up with your own word or phrase for the blank.
Remember, your word/phrase does not have to be a big ETS word
keep it literal: don't add any concepts or ideas that aren't already in the sentence
4. Use Process of Elimination
Be fast - either you know the word and it works, you know the word and it doesn't work, or you don't know the word (which means you should do what to it?)
Additional POE Strategies
Positive and Negative Words
Determine whether you need a positive or a negative word in the blank, then, if you don't know the meaning of a word, try to at least determine whether the word has a positive or a negative connotation. Eliminate any words that don't have the appropriate connotation.
While the first speaker at the conference was confusing and unclear, the second speaker was ___________.
A. articulate
B. experienced
C. melancholy
D. ambiguous
E. eloquent
F. vociferous
Example:
Synonym/No Synonym
If you're pretty familiar with the words in the answer choices, eliminate any answer choice that has no synonym among the remaining answer choices.
You can also identify pairs of words as synonyms and lump them together.
Example:
Because mercury has a variety of innocuous uses, including in thermometers and dental fillings, few people realize that it is one of the most _______ substances on the planet.
A. acidic
B. irritating
C. mundane
D. deleterious
E. disagreeable
F. pernicious
If you've never seen the word before
Don't panic! Just work with the words you do know and trust in the process of elimination.
What kinds of tricks can you use to help you cross off words??
Clues!
Triggers!
Positives/Negatives!
Example:
Despite their outward negativity, many a cynic harbors an inner faith in the ___________ of mankind.
A. benevolence
B. precocity
C. parsimony
D. ignobility
E. antipathy
F. probity
Remember!
incorporated

synthesized

alleviated
Blank (ii)
energize

delineate

recast
Blank (iii)
balk at

revel in

retaliate at
Put it together:
Federal efforts to regulate standards on educational achievements have been met by (i)_________ from the states; local governments feel that government imposition represents an undue infringement on their (ii) ______________.
Blank (i)
receptivity
intransigence
compromise
Blank (ii)
autonomy
legislation
comportment
The Details:
Expect about 6 per section.
Some test comprehension (context-driven)
Some test vocabulary (these are the ones
with scary words!)
Teachers of composition urge their students to (i) _______ in their writing and instead use clear, simple language. Why use (ii) _______ vocabulary when a (iii) _______ phrasing conveys one's meaning so much more effectively?
Remember this?
Blank (i)
exscind obloquy
eschew obfuscation
evince ossification
Blank (ii)
recreant
redolent
recondite
Blank (iii)
arcane
limpid
droll
How do you approach questions like this?
Teachers of composition urge their students to (i) _______ in their writing and instead use clear, simple language. Why use (ii) _______ vocabulary when a (iii) _______ phrasing conveys one's meaning so much more effectively?
Blank (i)
exscind obloquy
eschew obfuscation
evince ossification
Blank (ii)
recreant
redolent
recondite
Blank (iii)
arcane
limpid
droll
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