GRE Practice Test - Sentence Equivalence GRE Practice Test 1

Q. 1

1.In today’s economy, many businesses struggle to stay ___________, much less profit.

  • A. Immutable
  • B. Sane
  • C. Profitable
  • D. Afloat
  • E. Solvent
  • Answer: D and E
  • Explanation

    A careful reading of the sentence suggests that the missing word is related to the financial status of the businesses being discussed. C is clearly incorrect as profit is already being brought out at the end of the sentence. A and B are also incorrect as they do not have synonyms in the list of answer options. D and E are the correct answers since in the context in which it will be used, afloat would mean the same as solvent.

Q. 2

Believe it or not, sales and discounts ___________ businesses more than they help.

  • A. Assist
  • B. Hurt
  • C. Aid
  • D. Immutable
  • E. Stabilize
  • Answer: B and D
  • Explanation

    E is incorrect as no other answer option carries the same meaning as E. There are two sets of synonyms in the list of answer options. These are A and C, and B and D. A and C cannot be the right answers as the sentence ends in help and so it is obvious that the missing word should be an antonym of help if we go by the overall meaning being conveyed by the sentence. Therefore, B and D are the correct answers as they complete the meaning of the sentence when either of them is placed in the blank.

Q. 3

With so many businesses offering sales, it takes a ___________ discount to stand out from the crowd.

  • A. Exorbitant
  • B. Low
  • C. Steep
  • D. Expendable
  • E. Indispensable
  • Answer: A and C
  • Explanation

    A careful reading of the sentence suggests that the missing word describes the type of discount that needs to be given in order to make it stand out from the crowd. Therefore, it is obvious that the missing word would be a synonym for ‘very high’. This means that B is clearly incorrect. D and E are incorrect as they do not have any synonyms in the list of answer options. In the context in which it will be used in the sentence, steep would mean the same as exorbitant and very high. Therefore, A and C are the correct answers.

Q. 4

So instead of ___________ their product, companies need to find ways to improve customer service while drawing in new customers and keeping old ones.

  • A. Advertising
  • B. Devaluing
  • C. Improving
  • D. Depreciating
  • E. Deluding
  • Answer: B and D
  • Explanation

    B and D are the only set of synonyms from the given set of answer options. Although A and C also complete the meaning of the sentence when placed in the blank, they are both incorrect as they do not carry the same meaning. E is clearly incorrect as the word does not fit in with the overall meaning being conveyed by the sentence. Therefore, B and D are the correct answers.

Q. 5

Despite the company's ___________ advertising in magazines during the past year, sales of our home appliances declined.

  • A. Abortive
  • B. Capacious
  • C. Effectual
  • D. Meagre
  • E. Extensive
  • Answer: B and E
  • Explanation

    It can be seen that the missing word is describing the type of advertising being done by the company. A is clearly incorrect as placing it in the sentence would render the sentence meaningless. C and D do not have any synonyms in the list of answer options. B and E are synonyms and they both can be used to aptly describe the type advertising being used by the company. Therefore, B and E are the correct answers.

Q. 6

Exploding a nuclear bomb nearby might ___________ a dense asteroid off track, but it could break a brittle one into

  • A. Nudge
  • B. Blow
  • C. Elbow
  • D. Blast
  • E. Smash
  • Answer: A and C.
  • Explanation

    The end of the sentence suggests that the missing word would most likely mean shifting the asteroid off its track. It could not mean blowing it into pieces as that is another scenario which is being brought out at the end of the sentence. This implies that B, D and E are all incorrect. Therefore, A and C are the correct answers as they mean the same and they complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Q. 7

Pure love of learning, of course, was a less ___________ motive for those who became educated for careers other than teaching.

  • A. Attractive
  • B. Compelling
  • C. Profitable
  • D. Coercive
  • E. Repulsive
  • Answer: B and D
  • Explanation

    The missing word is describing pure love of learning as a motive for those students who pursued studies for lucrative careers. Therefore, it is likely that the missing word would be close in meaning to being forced. The only words carrying the same meaning in the given answers list are compelling and coercive. The other options also fit well in the sentence but none of them have a synonym in the list of answer options. Therefore, it is evident that B and D are the correct answers.

Q. 8

The cannons and cutlasses a ship carries may be quite sufficient to ___________ the natives if they are troublesome.

  • A. Kill
  • B. Overawe
  • C. Intimidate
  • D. Disarm
  • E. Impress
  • Answer: B and C
  • Explanation

    A careful reading of the sentence suggests that the missing word is a synonym for scare or terrorise. The missing word could be the word kill too, but the list of answer options does not have a synonym for kill. B and C carry the same meaning and they both mean the same as scare. Therefore, B and C are the correct answers.

Q. 9

Both spoke from utter ___________ and were extremely articulate in stating their positions.

  • A. Incompetence
  • B. Ineptitude
  • C. Competence
  • D. Belief
  • E. Conviction
  • Answer: D and E
  • Explanation

    The second half of the sentence brings out that both the speakers were eloquent in stating their positions. This implies that A and B are not the correct answers even though they are synonyms. This is because one cannot be articulate and incompetent at the same time. Therefore, the correct answers are D and E as they are synonyms and they complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole when either of them is placed in the blank.

Q. 10

But neither of them thought it worth his while to look into details when it came to making the reality ___________ to the vision.

  • A. Constrained
  • B. Conform
  • C. Confrim
  • D. Comply
  • E. Coalesce
  • Answer: B and D
  • Explanation

    On reading the sentence, it can be guessed that the missing word means something that would imply that ‘the reality abides by what the vision is’. Conform and comply are synonyms which carry the same meaning as that conveyed by ‘abiding by rules’ and placing either of them in the blank completes the meaning of the sentence. Therefore, B and D are the correct answers.

Q. 11

That the people still look back to the Nehru era with a sense of ___________ shows that even things which looked manageable in his days are now out of control.

  • A. Nostalgia
  • B. Acrimony
  • C. Optimism
  • D. Pessimism
  • E. Reminiscence
  • Answer: A and E
  • Explanation

    Since the missing word is in relation to looking back upon a bygone era, it is likely that the missing word is related to memories. Nostalgia and reminiscence both carry the same meaning and they both mean looking back with fond memories. B, C and D are clearly incorrect as none of them have any synonyms in the list of answer options. Therefore, A and E are the correct answers.

Q. 12

Perhaps this is the result of a ___________ decline in the integrity of political

  • A. Sharp
  • B. Steady
  • C. Distressing
  • D. Worrying
  • E. Inconsequential
  • Answer: C and D
  • Explanation

    The missing word describes the type of decline. All the answer options can be used to aptly describe the decline but out of all the given options, C and D are the only words that will carry the same connotation when placed in the blank. Therefore, C and D are the correct answers.

Q. 13

The Indian mind delights in ___________ in ambivalence, in trying to have the best of both worlds, in harbouring a medley of conflicting ideas without much discomfort.

  • A. Ambiguity
  • B. Lucidity
  • C. Obscurity
  • D. Relaxing
  • E. Abiding
  • Answer: A and C
  • Explanation

    Out of all the given answer options, A and C are the only words that carry the same meaning which is uncertainty. Placing either of these words in the blank completes the meaning of the sentence. Therefore, A and C are the correct answers.

Q. 14

Not that all really were priests, but by virtue of being students all were awarded the legal privileges ___________ to the clergy.

  • A. Denied
  • B. Accorded
  • C. Condemned
  • D. Admitted
  • E. Deranged
  • Answer: B and D
  • Explanation

    A careful reading of the sentence suggests that the missing word would imply ‘given’; in other words, ‘privileges given to the clergy’. When used in the blank, D would carry the same connotation as implied above. Therefore, B and D would be synonyms when used in the sentence and therefore, B and D are the correct answers as they are the only synonyms in the given list of answer options.

Q. 15

Despite the passage of centuries, the French word clerc even today has the ___________ of intellectual.

  • A. Sense
  • B. Wisdom
  • C. History
  • D. Connotation
  • E. Implication
  • Answer: D and E
  • Explanation

    It is evident that the missing word is referring to the meaning of the French word clerc. Therefore, options A, B and C are all incorrect. D and E are synonyms and using them in the sentence would complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole. Therefore, D and E are the correct answers.

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