GRE Practice Test (Verbal Reasoning)

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The city has been plagued by _____ in recent years, and the mayor's chances of reelection appear _____.

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The sentence indicates that the city has been plagued by something. "Plagued" is a negative word, and the only negative word among the choices is violence. It makes sense that if violence is a problem for a city, it could negatively affect the mayor's chances of reelection, so the logical choice for the second blank is slim. Improvements, meaning positive changes, does not make sense. Visitors, meaning those who visit, does not make sense. Gardeners, meaning those who work or tend a garden, does not make sense. Tourists, meaning travelers or visitors to an area, does not make sense.

As we got to know Andreas better, we realized that all of his stories of fortune and fame were _____.

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The sentence indicates that the writer came to know Andreas better, which suggests that the writer learned things about Andreas as time passed. The statement that his stories of wealth and fame were just a _____, gives the sentence a negative connotation and indicates that the stories were something other than what they appeared to be. Therefore, the correct choice is ruse. Biography, which is the story of someone's life, does not make sense, given the context of the sentence. Lullaby, which is a song usually sung to small children, does not make sense. Secret, which is something kept from others, does not make sense, as the sentence states that Andreas told stories about wealth and fame to other people. Lunacy, which means insanity, does not make sense.

Thomas, who is a musical _____, showed off his amazing _____ at an early age.

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The primary clue in this sentence is the word remarkable, which has a positive meaning. The correct choice is prodigy, which means a person with remarkable talent, and talent, which means a special ability to do something well. Teacher/ painting does not make sense, as the sentence states that whatever Thomas is, it is related to "musical." Vagabond/travels does not make sense, as the sentence describes Thomas as "musical." Helper/compassion does not make sense as the pair has nothing to do with being musical. Mendicant/treats makes does not make sense as the pair has nothing to do with being musical.

Since she grew up in southern Florida, Zoe was ____to harsh winters, and got to be very ____when she found herself driving through a Chicago snowstorm.

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The fact that Zoe grew up in south Florida, where the weather is generally warm year-round, suggests that she is not used to harsh winters, and that driving in a snowstorm might be difficult for her. Therefore, the correct answer is unaccustomed/nervous. Resigned/confused does not make sense, either as a pair or in the context of the rest of the sentence. Impervious, which means not bothered by something, does not make sense, and apathetic, which means indifferent, does not make sense. Immune/giddy does not make sense as a pair or in the context of the rest of the sentence. Nostalgic/tearful does not make sense in the context of the sentence.

David had already won wide ____ as a documentary filmmaker by the time he was thirty.

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The sentence indicates that David won something, which is generally a positive experience. The fact that he won something "as a documentary filmmaker" suggests that David won something because of his work. Therefore, the correct answer is acclaim, which means public praise. Blame, which is a negative word, does not make sense. Hostility, also a negative word, does not make sense. Creativity is not something that a person "wins." Novelty is also something a person does not win, and is therefore incorrect.

Thousands of _____ original copies were an unfortunate _____of the region’s most recent conflict.

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The fact that this sentence mentions a conflict and uses the word "unfortunate" is an indication that some harm befell thousands of manuscripts. If whatever happened to the manuscripts is viewed as unfortunate, it can reasonably be inferred that the manuscripts had some sort of value---in terms of their financial worth or their historic or cultural value. Therefore, the correct answer is irreplaceable/casualty. Modern/growth does not make sense in the context of the sentence. Medical/consequence does not make sense in the context of the sentence. Paper/admiration does not make sense as a pair or in the context of the sentence. Worthless/addition does not make sense in the context of the sentence.

He may barely have imagined that he would be _____ into a conspire to outwit the government.

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The sentence states that "he could hardly have imagined," which suggests that something has happened suddenly, or perhaps that something has happened which was beyond the man's control. In that context, the only choice that makes sense is thrust. Using the word thrust indicates that the man came to be unexpectedly involved in a scheme. Welcomed does not make sense. Held does not make sense, as a person wouldn't be "held in a scheme." Journeyed does not make sense. Pirated does make sense in the context of the sentence.

In a ponder of linguistics, analysts _____ the ordinary discourse designs of juvenile ladies in eight _____ countries.

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The sentence indicates that a study of linguistics has taken place which involved eight countries. If researchers studied speech patterns of people from eight countries, the most likely choices for the first blank would be "compared" or "contrasted." Therefore, the correct answer is compared/European. Challenged/foreign is incorrect, because stating that researchers "challenged the typical speech patterns" does not make sense. Plagiarized/European does nto make sense. Annotated/unfortunate does not make sense in the context of the sentence. Watched/populated does not make sense.

I didn’t gain my degree with the deliberate of utilizing it to seek after a career; I did it for my own _____.

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Most people go to college and get degrees for the purpose of getting a job. This sentence states that the author did not get a degree for that reason, but had another motivation, perhaps bettering his/herself. Therefore, edification, which means the improvement of a person morally or intellectually, is the correct choice. Ramification, which means a consequence, does not make sense. Resonance, which means the quality of being resonant, does not make sense. Doctrine, which means beliefs, does not make sense. Elements, which means an essential part of something, does not make sense.

Choose the sentence from the passage that best expresses Picasso's artistic individuality. (1) Pablo Picasso is probably the most important figure of 20th century, in terms of art, and art movements that occurred over this period. (2) To say that Pablo Picasso conquered western art is, by today, the merest usual place. (3) Before the age of 50, the Spanish born artist had become the most well known name in modern art, with the most distinct style and eye for artistic creation. (4) There had been no other artists, prior to Picasso, who had such an impact on the art world, or had a mass following of fans and critics alike, as he did.

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The correct answer would be sentence (3) “Before the age of 50…”, as it tells about Picasso’s “distinct” style.

The teacher expressed ______ that he would not endure late work in any form which the numerical grade for such work would continuously be zero.

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The correct answer is “unequivocally” because the meaning of unequivocally is “without doubt.” This supports the word “always” in the sentence, which indicates an unbending stance on the issue. None of the other choices make sense, in light of the information given in the rest of the sentence.

Select two words, either of which might total this sentence, and give suitable meaning. “A life-long Democrat, Congressperson Strom Thurman was so enraged by the governmentally commanded integration of southern schools within the early 1970s that he publically ____ the Democratic platform that upheld the integration and joined the restriction, the Republican Party.”

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These words are correct because the sentence reads that Thurman was incensed, or very angry, and that he joined the Republican party because the Democratic party supported a policy he rejected.

Select two words, either of which seems to total this sentence and give fitting meaning. “While the vast majority of Americans bolster endeavors to constrain hate-speech, a few are concerned that intemperate limits may in a roundabout way _____ the first Amendment and restrain free speech.”

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These two words correctly complete the sentence with similar meaning because the sentence compares limiting hate-speech to limiting free speech. To limit free speech the First Amendment would have to be repealed, or revoked or abrogated.

Catriona has _____ much of her life to Irish step dancing, and her _____ has come about in her winning various grants, both broadly and globally.

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The sentence states that Catriona has won numerous awards for her dancing, which suggests a level of expertise. It can reasonably be inferred that she has spent a great deal of time practicing. Therefore, the correct answer is devoted/dedication. Wasted/folly changes the meaning of the sentence completely. Appointed/failure does not make sense as a pair or in the context of the sentence. Resisted/stubbornness changes the meaning of the sentence completely. Released/apathy does not make sense as a pair or in the context of the sentence.

The passage addresses which criticism of Americanization? “Americanization, which critics assert is a form of imperialism, as American culture and brands usurp those native to other nations, has spread throughout the developed and undeveloped world, leading to global recognition of brands such as McDonalds and terms such as hashtag and meme. Each of these invasive elements of American culture, according to sociologists, has the potential to completely erase an element of native culture. In the early twentieth century, however, Americanization was synonymous with progress, as other nations hoped to match the industrial and technological successes of the United States. For example, in Germany, prior to the World Wars, government and business leaders referred to the American obsession with efficiency as rationalization. Adopting American manufacturing techniques led to Germany significantly improving their own practices and, eventually, surpassing the United States to become the world standard of efficient manufacturing.”

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This answer is correct because Americanization is compared to imperialism, which is the process by which one nation’s authority is asserted over another nation or group.

As arranged by the Aztecs, hot tamales were _____ cooked over hot ashes buried within the ground.

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The sentence references a way of cooking which was practiced by the Aztecs, who were an ancient people. The fact that they were an ancient people would suggest that this way of cooking might be the way tamales were originally prepared, or that this was at least a method of cooking long ago. Therefore, originally is the correct answer. Predictably, which means in a manner that can be predicted is incorrect, as most people would not expect a dish to be cooked over ashes in the ground. The remaining choices do not make sense in the context of the sentence.

Reflect on the entry and select the explanation that best restates critics’ complaints about Banksy and Dismaland? “Culture jamming is a form of subversive art that uses corporate logos to support commentary on social justice, income inequality, and the plight of exploited workers. Activists co-opt recognizable logos, such as McDonald’s arches or the Nike swoosh, to foreground issues often unfamiliar to day-to-day consumers of these companies’ goods and services. In the summer of 2015, Banksy, the performance artist and noted culture jammer, was the focus of international news, as he unveiled a short-term exhibition in a beach town in England. The exhibition, called Dismaland, co-opted several familiar logos, including that of Disney, to make topical points within the familiar, yet subverted, setting of what he called a bemusement park. Critics argued, however, that by seeking an international stage, Bansky was not subverting, but rather reinforcing, the globalization of the consumer culture he claimed to abhor.”

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This answer is correct because critics claim that Banksy’s work reinforces the globalization of consumer culture. That is, although culture jamming is intended to interrupt the spread of consumer culture, by drawing attention to his subverted logos, Banksy actually led audiences to become more aware of the companies they represent.

Living close to an army base, we got to be _____ to the sound of helicopters flying overhead, in any case, when I moved close an air terminal, I was ____for the sound of gigantic planes.

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One might assume that a person living near an army base would often hear helicopters, and might, in time, become used to the sound. The word however indicates that when the person moved near an airport, things were different or unexpected in some way. Therefore, inured (which means accustomed to something) and unprepared is the correct answer. Enraged/hopeful is incorrect as "enraged to the sound" is improper usage and the two words together in the context of the sentence does not make sense. Anxious/abominable would also be improper usage of both words and does not make sense. "Indifferent for the sound" is improper usage, making attuned/indifferent incorrect. Agitated/lonely does not make sense.

Select two words, either of which may total this sentence, and give fitting meaning. “While the debate team’s contention was actually ____, the subject was so provocative that the gathering of people was inclined to concur with their opponents.”

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Both cogent and compelling mean logical and convincing. In this sentence, it is clear the argument was effective, but the audience had strongly held beliefs.

My uncle is fantastically liberal; over the a long time, numerous individuals of my family have been _____ of his _____.

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The first part of the sentence indicates that the person's uncle is very generous. It stands to reason that the clause following the semicolon would also address the uncle's generosity in some fashion. Beneficiaries, which means people who benefit from something, and largesse, which means generosity in bestowing gifts, are the correct answer choice. Witness/moodiness does not make sense in the context of the sentence. Victims/generosity does not make sense as a pair or in the context of the sentence. Unwitting/tendencies does not make sense. Objects/eccentricities does not make sense in the context of the sentence.

Select two words, either of which may total this sentence, and give fitting meaning. “The pressure within the conference room was lightened by a minute of ____ when Dwindle told a joke.”

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Both levity and mirth refer to humor or situations that cause laughter. Laughter would alleviate tension.

The siblings had a _____relationship and their quarrels were the stuff of legend among their relatives.

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The fact that the siblings have legendary feuds indicates that their relationship is not harmonious. Therefore, contentious, which means controversial, is the correct answer. Platonic, which means friendly, is incorrect. Light-hearted, which means cheerful in nature, is incorrect. Affable, which means likable or friendly, is incorrect. Opinionated, which means dogmatic in one's opinions, does not make sense in the context of the sentence.

Select two words, either of which seems to total this sentence and give fitting meaning. “Professor Martin gestured weakly as the ____ youthful lady bored him with a breathless monolog covering a run of themes, from her current boyfriend to her childhood pets.”

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Both loquacious and garrulous mean chatty or talkative. Chatty carries the additional connotation of talking about topics with little substance. The fact that the professor can only “nod helplessly” provides context supporting the conclusion that the speaker is very talkative.

In spite of the fact that Joe had been a committed representative for years when the company was bought out by a new owner, he was _____ to a lower-paying position.

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Select two words, either of which may total this sentence, and give suitable meaning. “Eager to gain validity among a bunch of social equity demonstrators, Mel gushed _____ talk with respect to societal standards, but it was clear that he was not well-informed on the issues around which he complained.”

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Both iconoclastic and dissident refer to being skeptical of the status-quo and expressing a dislike for conventions. Mel was able to express ideas that seemed to show this irreverence for these norms, but he did not completely understand the norms to begin with.

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