Answer Key: Sample Verbal Reasoning Questions
1. Sentence to be completed: It is truly paradoxical that the Amazon, the lushest of all rainforests, is rooted in the most BLANK of all soils.
Answer: D-impoverished, E-infertile
2. Sentence to be completed: Cynics believe that people who BLANK compliments do so in order to be praised twice.
Answer: C-deflect, E-shrug off
3. Sentence to be completed: A restaurant's menu is generally reflected in its decor; however despite this restaurant's BLANK appearance it is pedestrian in the menu it offers.
Answer: A-elegant, F-chic
4. Sentence to be completed: International financial issues are typically BLANK by the United States media because they are too technical to make snappy headlines and too inaccessible to people who lack a background in economics.
Answer: A-neglected, B-slighted
5. Sentence to be completed: While in many ways their personalities could not have been more different-she was ebullient where he was glum, relaxed where he was awkward, garrulous where he was BLANK-they were surprisingly well suited.
Answer: D-laconic, F-taciturn
7. B-They had little working familiarity with such forms of American music as jazz, blues, and popular songs.
8. E-neglected Johnson's contribution to classical symphonic music
9. C-The editorial policies of some early United States newspapers became a counterweight to proponents of traditional values.
11. Blank (i) C-multifaceted
Blank (ii) F-extraneous
Answer in Context: The multifaceted nature of classical tragedy in Athens belies the modern image of tragedy: in the modern view tragedy is austere and stripped down, its representations of ideological and emotional conflicts so superbly compressed that there's nothing extraneous for time to erode.
12. Blank (i) C-ambivalence
Blank (ii) E-successful
Blank (iii) H-assuage
Answer in Context: Murray, whose show of recent paintings and drawings is her best in many years, has been eminent hereabouts for a quarter century, although often regarded with ambivalence, but the most successful of these paintings assuage all doubts.
13. B-a doctrinaire
Answer in Context: Far from viewing Jefferson as a skeptical but enlightened intellectual, historians of the 1960's portrayed him as a doctrinaire thinker, eager to fill the young with his political orthodoxy while censoring ideas he did not like.
Answer in Context: Dramatic literature often recapitulates the history of a culture in that it takes as its subject matter the important events that have shaped and guided the culture.
15. B-an intellectual
Answer in Context: Although the movement to preserve historic buildings is not usually thought of as an intellectual phenomenon, it deserves mention in the history of ideas because it launched the critique of the ideology of progress.
. Answer in Context: Personal sacrifice without the promise of immediate gain is an anomaly in this era when a sense of entitlement is the most powerful predisposition shaping individual actions.
17. E-affirm the thematic coherence underlying Raisin in the Sun
18. C-The painter of this picture could not intend it to be funny; therefore, its humor must result from a lack of skill.
19. Sentence 5-But the play's complex view of Black self-esteem and human solidarity as compatible is no more "contradictory" than Du Bois's famous, well-considered ideal of ethnic self-awareness coexisting with human unity, or Fanon's emphasis on an ideal internationalism that also accommodates national identities and roles.
20. C-Because of shortages in funding, the organizing committee of the choral festival required singers to purchase their own copies of the music performed at the festival.
21. Blank (i) C-mimicking
Blank (ii) D- transmitted to
Answer in context: New technologies often begin by mimicking what has gone before, and they change the world later. Think how long it took power-using companies to recognize that with electricity they did not need to cluster their machinery around the power source, as in the days of steam. Instead, power could be transmitted to their processes. In that sense, many of today's computer networks are still in the steam age. Their full potential remains unrealized.
22. Blank (i) B-opaque to,
Blank (ii) D-an arcane
Answer in context: There has been much hand-wringing about how unprepared American students are for college. Graff reverses this perspective, suggesting that colleges are unprepared for students. In his analysis, the university culture is largely opaque to entering students because academic culture fails to make connections to the kinds of arguments and cultural references that students grasp. Understandably, many students view academic life as an arcane ritual.
23. Blank (i) C. defiant
Blank (ii) D. disregard for
Answer in context: Of course anyone who has ever perused an unmodernized text of Captain Clark's journals knows that the Captain was one of the most defiant spellers ever to write in English, but despite this disregard for orthographical rules, Clark is never unclear.
24. A-There have been some open jobs for which no qualified FasCorp employee applied.
25. C-presenting a possible explanation of a phenomenon
26. A-The pull theory is not universally accepted by scientists.
B-The pull theory depends on one of water's physical properties.
27. E-the mechanism underlying water's tensile strength
28. C-During the next 15 years, it will be impossible, just by switching to biodiesel, to meet the government's stated goal with respect to reducing air pollution.
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