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Includes a vocabulary-building chapter

by Merriam-Webster–with Greek and
Latin roots, quizzes, and a practice exam

GRE is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS). This book is not endorsed or approved by ETS.
About The Thomson Corporation and Peterson’s
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4th Edition

RED ALERT Introduction to the GRE CAT . . . . . . . . . . 1

DIAGNOSTIC TEST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Analytical Writing Measure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Verbal Ability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

RED ALERT GRE Analytical Writing Measure

Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
UNIT 1 Analytical Writing Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

RED ALERT Verbal Ability Strategies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

UNIT 2 Sentence Completion Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
UNIT 3 Analogy Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
UNIT 4 Antonym Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

RED ALERT Reading Comprehension Strategies. . . 87

UNIT 5 Reading Comprehension Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

RED ALERT Why Study Vocabulary for the GRE? . . 107

UNIT 6 Merriam-Webster’s Roots to Word Mastery. . . . 109

RED ALERT Quantitative Ability Strategies . . . . . . . . 167

UNIT 7 Mathematics Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

RED ALERT Quantitative Comparisons Strategies . . 261


RED ALERT Data Analysis Strategies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283

UNIT 9 Data Analysis Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284


PRACTICE TEST 1 Analytical Writing Measure . . . . . . . . . 291

PRACTICE TEST 2 Analytical Writing Measure . . . . . . . . . 292
PRACTICE TEST 1 Verbal Ability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
PRACTICE TEST 2 Verbal Ability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302
PRACTICE TEST 1 Quantitative Ability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
PRACTICE TEST 2 Quantitative Ability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337

APPENDIX A The GRE CAT Success Math Review . . . . . 358
APPENDIX B The GRE CAT Success Stress-Busting
Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 403
APPENDIX C Applying to Graduate School . . . . . . . . . . . 411
APPENDIX D Writing a Good Personal Essay . . . . . . . . . 424

www.petersons.com vi GRE CAT Success



The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is primarily a multiple-choice test that most
graduate schools use for admission into their graduate programs that measures your verbal, quantita-
tive, and writing skills. Fortunately, because most of this test is in a multiple-choice format, you can
study for it by using this book and learning some of the “tricks-of-the trade” that have been developed
by educators who have helped thousands of students prepare for this and similar exams. We’ll also
show you how to ace the Analytical Writing section and provide sample essays to use as models.
The Graduate Record Examination Program, which is administered by the Educational Testing
Service (ETS), is offered year-round at hundreds of test centers around the world. You can schedule
your appointment at a time that is convenient for you. You can also retake the test up to five times in
one year but no more than once in any given month.
ETS also offers Subject Tests in eight discipline areas (Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology,
Literature in English, Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Psychology),
each of which measures achievement in specific fields. If you are planning to take the General Test or
any of the Subject Tests, you can obtain a registration packet and additional information about each
test, by writing directly to:
Graduate Record Examination
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, New Jersey 08541
Since 1999, the regular “pencil and paper” test for the Graduate Record Examination has been largely
discontinued, and only the computerized version, known as the computer-adaptive test (CAT), is
available in the United States and many other countries.


A computer-adaptive test is—as the title says—adaptive. That means that each time you answer a
question, the computer adjusts to your responses when determining which question to present next.
If you answer the question correctly, you are presented with a question of increased difficulty. If you
answer the question incorrectly, you will receive a question of lesser difficulty. For example, the first
question in a section will be of moderate difficulty. If you answer it correctly, the computer adapts so
that the next question is slightly more difficult. If your answer was incorrect, the next question will
be somewhat easier. The computer will continue presenting questions based on your responses, with
the goal of determining your ability level.


It is important to understand that the questions at the beginning of a section affect your score
more than those at the end. That’s because the early questions are used to determine your general
ability level. Once the computer determines your general ability level, it presents questions to identify
your specific ability level. As you progress farther into a section, it will be difficult to raise your score
very much, even if you answer most items correctly. That’s because the later questions affect your
score less, as they are used to pinpoint your exact score once the computer has identified your
general ability level.
Therefore, take as much time as you can afford to answer the early questions correctly. Your
score on each section is based on the number of questions you answer correctly as well as the
difficulty level of those questions. You will receive a score on each of the sections, whether or not
you complete all of the questions. If you do not answer any of the questions in a section, a “No
Score” will be reported.
Because of the nature of this type of test, you must answer each question as it is presented to
you before you get the next question. If you don’t answer the question, you can’t go forward. And
once you answer a question, you can’t go back either, since the computer has already selected the
next question, based on what you answered. Also, once you exit a section, you cannot go back.
If you are not computer literate, don’t worry. You will only be required to have basic computer
skills, and fortunately, you will have a tutorial prior to taking the exam, in order to demonstrate that
you are capable of taking the test. Of course, it would be helpful to practice on a computer prior to
taking the actual test, especially since the Analytical Writing portion of the exam will require typing
skills. At the test center, you will have up to 4 hours for your test appointment, but only 2 hours and
15 minutes are allotted for the actual exam. So you will have enough time to take the tutorial and
answer most of the other questions that you will receive, along with an ETS survey.

The scoring for the GRE CAT is similar to the scoring for the pencil-and-paper test. The number of
correct answers is adjusted to the difficulty level of the questions you answered. As we mentioned
earlier, this is why it is important to answer the first questions correctly, so that the difficulty level
increases, as does your score. The final score incorporates the properties of the questions, how many
questions you answered correctly, and the number of questions that you answered. Your score report
will range from 200 to 800, will be separated into separate scores for each section, and will be
accompanied by a percentile rank for those sections.
One advantage of the CAT exam is that you will receive your verbal and quantitative scores as
soon as you complete the test, if you wish. You can cancel the test at that time before getting your
scores, if you think you did poorly. If you click on the “Test Quit” box on your screen, you will exit
the test, and no scores will be reported—not even for those sections you have already completed. If
you decide to see your scores, you will also receive a paper report in the mail within six weeks after
taking the test.
Another advantage of taking the CAT is that the test is offered year-round at hundreds of test
centers around the world. You can schedule your appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
You can also retake the test up to five times in one year but no more than once in any given month.

www.petersons.com RED 2 ALERT GRE CAT Success



This book has been written for you—the student—to help you prepare for this examination. It will
provide you with the tools and the understanding of the overall test and guide you, step-by-step,
through each of the major areas covered on this examination. There is a logical approach to this
process and to the format of this book. Let’s take a closer look at this book in order to get a fuller
understanding of how you can benefit from using it.
Actually, we should start at the end. At the back of the book you’ll find a CD-ROM. This disk
contains practice CATs. We suggest that you go through this book first, take the paper-and-pencil tests
in the book, study the review sections, and then go to the CD to take the tests, which will simulate
the actual GRE experience.
First, let’s look at the basic make-up of the GRE. The test includes three major areas: Verbal
(English), Quantitative (Mathematics), and Analytical Writing Assessment. You will also have one or
two experimental sections that will be either Verbal or Quantitative and that do not count toward
your final score. (ETS pretests questions to gather statistical information about them before using them
on a real test.) Later on in this introductory section, we will cover these areas in more depth. How-
ever, it is important that you understand how the test is constructed. Within the three major sections,
there are different types of questions, and unlike the old written test, these questions are integrated
within a section. For example, in the old exam, you would first be asked seven Sentence Completion
Questions, then nine Analogies, and so on. On the CAT, these questions are integrated within the
Verbal section, and you won’t know what type of question you will be asked next.
The Analytical Writing Measure was formerly a separate, independent test. However, as of
October 2002, it replaced the Analytical Ability section. It is identical to the former GRE Writing
Assessment test.
We have prepared this book in order to give you practice answering the different questions as
well as in-depth review material. Obviously, you won’t encounter the randomized and adaptive
questions in the book, so instead, we focus here on comprehension. You must first understand what
the different questions are that you will encounter, in order for you to do well on the actual test.
The first part of the book is a Diagnostic Test. In actuality, we have presented three separate
tests, one in each of the subject areas. Its purpose is to help you zero in on those specific topics that
give you trouble. Armed with this knowledge, you can then focus your studying on those areas that
need more review. The point is to save you time and effort, and it doesn’t make sense to study an
entire course if you really only need to focus on one or two sections. Therefore, it is important in this
studying process to take the Diagnostic Test, check your answers carefully (reading the explanations,
if necessary), and then identify those areas that need additional work.
In the second section of the book, each type of question is reviewed. Various strategies for
attacking each type of question are presented. Following each set of strategies, there are also addi-
tional review questions in order for you to practice the material. But keep in mind that depending
upon how you scored on your Diagnostic Test, you may not have to read this entire book.
Following the review section are six complete Practice Tests—two in each of the three subject
areas. Depending upon the amount of time you have to study prior to taking the actual GRE, you
should try to take these tests under actual conditions, if possible. Score your tests and then check the
explanations of those questions you answered incorrectly.

GRE CAT Success RED 3 ALERT www.petersons.com


However you normally study, we strongly recommend that you try to follow one of the courses
of study presented in the GRE Study Plans below. These plans offer approaches that will best use your
available time. The plans are flexible, as any plan should be. After you take the Diagnostic Test, revise
the study plan to fit your needs, weaknesses, and schedule.
Let’s take a closer look at the components of the exam, in order to prepare you for what you
will encounter—assuming this is the first time you’ve picked up a GRE review book. If you’ve already
taken the test and are studying to take it again or you’ve used another book prior to this, you’re
probably very familiar with the different types of questions that you will encounter. In that case, skip
this chapter and move on to the Diagnostic Test and the review sections.


As we mentioned earlier, this section replaces the Analytical Ability section that was on the previous
GRE exams. The Analytical Writing Measure (AWM) is identical to the former GRE Writing Assessment
test that was given separately from the GRE General Test. The AWM consists of two analytical writing
tasks. The first 45-minute assignment is an Issue task. The second is an Argument task. The Issue task
asks you to write from any perspective on a given opinion, and you’ll have a choice from two tasks
randomly selected by the computer. The Argument task asks you to critique an argument by analyzing
the issues presented, how logical it is, and so on. You are not asked to take sides.

There are four major question types in the Verbal Ability section: Analogies, Antonyms, Sentence
Completions, and Reading Comprehension. There are a total of 30 questions in this section, as
1. Sentence Completion—6 questions
2. Analogies—7 questions
3. Reading Comprehension—8 questions
4. Antonyms—9 questions
Each Verbal Ability test is only 30 minutes, so time is of the essence. Throughout this book, we
continually stress the idea of making time count, and one of the most important time-savers is to be
intimately familiar with the directions for the questions. If you have to take the time to read them
over again when you take the actual GRE, you’re losing time. Keep in mind that with 30 questions to
be answered in 30 minutes, you have about 1 minute to answer each question.
This portion of the GRE essentially is a test of vocabulary. The stronger your vocabulary, the
easier it will be to answer the questions in the Antonyms, Sentence Completions, and Analogies. The
Reading Comprehension test will measure your ability to understand reading passages, and a com-
mand of vocabulary will be useful here as well. The review units will give you some strong pointers
and additional practice. There are several basic skills involved in this section, and in order to do well,
you must learn those skills. Our inclusion of “Merriam-Webster’s Roots to Word Mastery” will help to
improve your vocabulary.

www.petersons.com RED 4 ALERT GRE CAT Success



The quantitative section of the GRE requires a basic understanding of fundamental mathematical
concepts. You are asked to solve problems and to utilize mathematical reasoning. Fortunately, most of
the mathematics on this test is high school level and should not be that difficult. Unfortunately, by the
time you have reached your last year in college or have been out of college for some time and are
getting ready to take the GRE, you have probably forgotten most of your high school math. We have
provided you with a basic math review, covering all of the topics that will be included on this portion
of the test.
The mathematics section of the test includes three main areas and contains 28 questions to be
answered in 45 minutes—about 1 minutes per question.
1. Quantitative Comparisons—14 questions
2. Basic Mathematics—9 questions
3. Data Analysis—5 questions

Quantitative Comparisons
The Quantitative Comparison questions require you to be able to reason quickly and accurately
about two quantities provided. Thus, not only does this section require you to have mathematical
ability, but it also requires a sense of logic and reasoning. The chapter on Quantitative Comparisons
offers numerous fully explained examples as well as dozens of practice questions.

Basic Mathematics
Basic Mathematics involves traditional computational skills and includes arithmetic, algebra, and
geometry. Fortunately, even if your math skills are somewhat weak, you can develop strong question-
answering skills, that improve your chances of accurately narrowing your choices.

Data Analysis
The Data Analysis section is a test of interpretation of charts, graphs, and tables. Much of the
information is fairly clear, but many of the questions require you to analyze the material, select the
data required, and then perform a variety of calculations. Don’t be misled by apparently easy answers.
It’s likely that you’ll have to perform one or more mathematical operations in order to find the correct

There are a few things you should keep in mind when taking the GRE CAT—some that are generic
tips and other that are CAT-specific. Although these may have appeared earlier in this chapter, they
are important enough for you to read them again—and learn them.
1. You do not need to be computer literate in order to take the test. You will receive a
tutorial before the exam, so that you are totally familiar with the computer, word
processing, answering a test question, and using the mouse.
2. You must answer every question as it is presented to you. If you don’t answer a question and
accept it at the time, you cannot get the next question. As we said earlier, take more time on
the early questions, since they will count for more than those at the end of the test.

GRE CAT Success RED 5 ALERT www.petersons.com


3. Questions are not grouped by type within each section. Thus, you might find it disruptive
to jump back and forth from one question type to another, but you should learn to develop
your own method of dealing with this.
4. During the test, there is a time display that you can turn on or off. When there are 5
minutes remaining for a section, the time will automatically turn on and flash briefly to alert
you. It will be helpful, though, to occasionally monitor how much time remains.
5. Use the process of elimination. One of the basic methods of answering multiple-choice
questions is the process of elimination. Cross off the wrong answers and work toward the
correct one. Eliminate those that are obviously incorrect. Select the one that strikes you as
correct right from the start. The more choices you eliminate, the better your odds are for
getting the correct answer.

Now that you have a good idea of what the exam consists of and how it is presented, it’s time to
begin studying. Try to pick a study plan that makes sense to you—it’s good discipline for test prepara-
tion. Then start by taking the Diagnostic Tests that follow. By the time you have completed all of the
material in this book, you should be ready to score high on the actual GRE. Good luck!


There are several ways to prepare for the GRE. We offer you these different study plans to help
maximize your time and studying. The first is a 10-Week Plan that involves concentrated studying and
a focus on the sample test results. The second is the 20-Week Plan, or Semester Plan, that is favored
by schools. Finally, the Panic Plan is for those of you who have only a few weeks to prepare.
Obviously, the more time you have to prepare, the easier it will be to review all of the material and
find yourself somewhat more relaxed when taking the actual exam. These plans are not set in
stone—feel free to modify them to suit your needs and your own study habits. But start immediately.
The more you study and review the questions, the better your results will be.


Week 1 Lesson 1 Diagnostic Test
Take the entire paper-and-pencil Diagnostic Test in one sitting. There are three sections:
Verbal, Math, and Analytical Writing Assessment. Save the grading for Lesson 2.

Lesson 2 Diagnostic Answers

Spend the time checking all of your answers and reading through the explanations.
Although these first two lessons are an enormous amount of work, it is well worth it
to be able to analyze your strengths and weaknesses at this point. It will enable you to
select those subject areas that you should focus on and the areas in which to spend
the most amount of time studying.
Once you have determined the areas that need further study, amend this plan to
suit your own needs. If you have done well on the Diagnostic Test, you might just
want to take each of the Practice Tests separately or section by section, carefully
checking your answers as you complete each portion of the test.

www.petersons.com RED 6 ALERT GRE CAT Success


Week 2 Lesson 1 Analytical Writing Measure

Read through the first part of the Red Alert on Analytical Writing, focusing on the
Issues section. Write outlines for several Issue essays. Write a response to the issue
in Unit 1.

Lesson 2 Analytical Writing Measure

Read through the Red Alert part on Argument tasks. Write outlines for several Argu-
ment essays. You can select any of them. Write a response to the argument in Unit 1.

Week 3 Lesson 1 Verbal

Study the Red Alert section for the Verbal test. Also, answer the questions in Units 2
(Sentence Completions), 3 (Analogies), and 4 (Antonyms).

Lesson 2 Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary

Read through the overview section for Reading Comprehension, and then answer the
questions in Unit 5. Try to apply some of the Reading Comprehension strategies
offered in the Red Alert. Begin to build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster’s Roots
to Word Mastery. You may find it useful to pace yourself through this review by
returning to it over the remaining weeks.

Week 4 Lesson 1 Mathematics Review

This is the major mathematics overview section. Begin with Quantitative Ability
Strategies. It is in this Red Alert section that you can review all of the mathematics that
will be covered on the test. In this first lesson, start with Arithmetic and read up to
Decimals. Answer the questions that accompany each subsection.

Lesson 2 Mathematics Review

Read and study from Decimals up to Algebra. This is somewhat complicated material,
especially if you have been away from mathematics for some time. By working
through the accompanying problems, you will begin to get a feel again for the types of
questions that you might encounter as well as help yourself to refresh your knowledge
of the subject.

Week 5 Lesson 1 Mathematics Review

Read from Algebra to Plane Geometry. Answer the questions and make sure you
understand the answers before you move on to a new topic.

Lesson 2 Mathematics Review

Complete the section on Plane Geometry. Study the review material and take the quiz.

GRE CAT Success RED 7 ALERT www.petersons.com


Week 6 Lesson 1 Quantitative Comparisons

This section of the GRE seems to present a lot more problems than many of the other
sections on the test, perhaps because it involves as much reasoning as it does compu-
tational skills. Read through the Red Alert and answer the questions.

Lesson 2 Mathematics Review

This is the home stretch. Complete unit on Data Analysis. Now it’s time to move on to
the practice tests and evaluate your progress.

Week 7 Lesson 1 Analytical Writing Measure Practice Test 1

This is a somewhat difficult portion of the test, unless you’re an excellent writer.
Write the two essays that are presented here. Check your response against the sample

Lesson 2 Analytical Writing Measure Practice Test 2

Write the two essays that are presented here. Check your response against the sample

Week 8 Lesson 1 Verbal Ability Practice Tests

Take the two tests and answer all of the questions you can, and then guess at those you
don’t know. Circle those questions that you guessed at, so that you can zero in on those
specific answers and so that you don’t delude yourself into thinking that you really knew
those answers in the first place. There is a lot of work here, so it would make sense to
break this and subsequent lessons into separate time periods during the day.
It is more important to understand the type of question and to make sure you
have memorized the directions for every part of the test. Check all of your answers.
Keep track of those types of questions that are still giving you problems.

Lesson 2 Quantitative Ability Practice Tests

Take the two Mathematics tests and answer all of the questions you can. Again, circle
those questions that you guessed at, so that you can zero in on those specific answers.
Try to break this lesson into two separate mini-lessons.
Check all of your answers to all parts of the test.

Week 9 Lesson 1 GRE Diagnostic Test on CD

Take the GRE CAT Diagnostic Test. Keep a written record of what types of questions
gave you problems.

Lesson 2 GRE Untimed Practice Test on CD

Take the GRE CAT Untimed Practice Test. Keep a written record of what types of
questions gave you problems.

www.petersons.com RED 8 ALERT GRE CAT Success


Week 10 Lesson 1 GRE CAT Test on CD

This is the computer-adaptive Practice Test. By now, you should be ready for this
test-taking format. Carefully check your understanding of the answers. Take the test as
many times as you need.

Lesson 2 Final Review

It’s time to do a final review of your understanding of all of the parts of the tests. Try
to analyze everything you’ve learned by using the book and taking the paper-and-pencil
and the CAT tests. What’s left to review? Consult your notes and go back to the book
to reread whatever you had trouble with.

THE 20-WEEK PLAN—1 Lesson Per Week

If you have the luxury of time, the 20-Week Plan will enable you to better utilize your study time. You
can spread out your plan into one lesson a week. This plan is ideal because you are not under any
pressure and can take more time to review the material in the Red Alert chapters. You will also have
enough time to go back and double-check the answers to those questions that might have given you
problems. The basis for all test success is practice, practice, practice.


Not everyone has the time to study in the proper way for the GRE. School pressures may be great or
your job may monopolize your time. You can’t do everything at once. With this in mind, perhaps we
can offer a few helpful hints to get you through this period.
1. Read through the ETS test booklet and this GRE CAT Success book and memorize the
directions. We’ve said it earlier, and it bears repeating. It’s a way of saving time when you
take the actual test and of maximizing the time you have to work on the questions.
2. Read the introduction to this book. It will help you be prepared for the different types of
questions you will encounter and give you an idea of how much time you will have on
each section of the test.
3. If you don’t have time to take the CATs, take the paper-and-pencil diagnostic GRE test as
well as the Practice Tests at the end of this book. By doing so, you will have had some
practice answering the types of questions that will appear on the actual test.
4. Try to take as many of the GRE CATs as you can. It will be great practice, not only for
understanding how the test works, but also for more computer experience.
5. Focus whatever time you have left on those specific areas of the test that gave you the
most difficulty when you took the practice tests in this book.
Whatever time you have before the exam, keep in mind that the more you practice on the actual
question types that will appear on the exam, the better you will come to understand them, thereby
improving your chances for a higher score.

GRE CAT Success RED 9 ALERT www.petersons.com

Diagnostic Test

Directions: Present your perspective on one of the issues below, using relevant
reasons and/or examples to support your views. (Note: On page 27, a sample
response is provided for the first issue only. While your essay will be quite
different, compare it to the sample in terms of organization, grammar, and logic.)

“Students would benefit if they worked in groups rather than working alone on
major class projects.”

“In today’s technological world, printed books are not as important as they once
were. The computer has replaced the printed page.”

Directions: Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.

Time—30 minutes.

The following advertisement appeared in a big-city want-ad section:

“In a dead-end job? Tired of being bossed around? Want the independent
lifestyle of being in business for yourself? Then telemarketing is for you! Work
in the privacy of your own home, inviting clients to take advantage of our
tremendous super-values, money-savers, coupon specials, and one-time-only
offers! No time clock! No quotas! No deadlines! Work from our huge list of
potential customers, right at your own desk or easy chair (or stay in bed!).
Starter kit, first client list, phone dialogue check-off list, tips on how to keep
them interested, what to do about cranks and hang-ups—the whole package
comes to your mailbox in five days! Send $29.99 for your passport to financial
paradise! This is how you can start being in charge of your life.”




Directions: Each of the following sentences has one or two blanks, indicating
that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five lettered words or
sets of words. Choose the word or set of words for each blank that best fits the
meaning of the sentence as a whole.

1. In a fit of ______, the ______ child, tired of waiting, whined to his mother
that he no longer wanted the baseball player’s autograph.
(A) exhaustion. .unruly
(B) pique. .petulant
(C) crying. .apathetic
(D) rage. .indifferent
(E) insouciance. .vexed
2. Attracted to ______ at celebrations, the ______ manager fortunately resided
in the building where he attended parties.
(A) charades. .aesthetic
(B) canapés. .zany
(C) potables. .bibulous
(D) parsimony. .execrable
(E) fustian. .stupefied
3. ______ by the ______ graduation requirements, the student diligently
prepared for the upcoming examination.
(A) Dissuaded. .negligible
(B) Persuaded. .acrimonious
(C) Undismayed. .marginal
(D) Undaunted. .stringent
(E) Aghast. .picayune
4. Because of his ______ record of lying to police, the suspect was regarded as
a(n) ______ criminal.
(A) irascible. .disputatious
(B) chaste. .incorrigible
(C) circuitous. .insipid
(D) inveterate. .habitual
(E) crass. .impecunious

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5. In a child’s early years, he is ______, accepting instruction and quickly

learning new skills; however, by adolescence, this same child is typically
not as ______.
(A) quixotic. .pragmatic
(B) fulsome. .acquiescent
(C) docile. .malleable
(D) sybaritic. .facetious
(E) resilient. .truant
6. Since the terms of the proposed agreement between the vendors were
______, both businessmen were ______ and hesitant to sign.
(A) benign. .edified
(B) recondite. .stymied
(C) vaunted. .nebulous
(D) equivocal. .exigent
(E) irrefutable. .fallow


Directions: Each item below consists of a word printed in capital letters,

followed by five lettered words or phrases. Choose the lettered word or phrase
that is more nearly opposite in meaning from the word in capital letters. Since
some of the questions require you to distinguish fine shades of meaning, be sure
to consider all the choices before deciding which one is best.

(A) boon
(B) fear
(C) curse
(D) virulent
(E) allergic
(A) salacious
(B) immune
(C) prized
(D) odious
(E) gaudy
(A) torrid
(B) synthetic
(C) indifferent
(D) mellifluous
(E) nefarious

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(A) valorous
(B) obliterated
(C) satiated
(D) captious
(E) abstruse
(A) prosaic
(B) paucity
(C) succulence
(D) sluggish
(E) vacancy
(A) treason
(B) ignorance
(C) patriotism
(D) perfidy
(E) havoc
(A) harbinger
(B) presentiment
(C) amulet
(D) contempt
(E) quotidian
(A) galactic
(B) opulent
(C) plenary
(D) verdant
(E) neophyte
(A) fatiguing
(B) hypnotic
(C) stimulating
(D) innocuous
(E) prodigious

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Directions: Each passage in this group is followed by questions based on the

content. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question.
Answer all questions following a passage on the basis of what is stated or
implied in that passage.

Line There is some evidence to suggest that Neanderthals were cannibalistic. The cave
dwellers, who lived as long as 125,000 years ago, were an important link in the
evolution of humankind. They had brains as large as modern man and developed a
“culture” of their own that included the burying of their dead with perhaps a
5 religious ceremonial aspect attached to the custom. In addition, they made
jewelry-like ornaments that demonstrate a sense of creativity and aestheticism.
However, in a recent report in Science magazine, there is evidence presented that
shows that Neanderthals may have slaughtered some of their numbers and actually
butchered them for the meat.
10 Since Neanderthals were cave-dwellers, the evidence was discovered in one
such cave near the Rhone River in France. Shockingly enough, human bones were
found that bore the signs of deliberate butchering. The bones were from adults,
teenagers, and even children of six or seven years of age and were 100,000 years
old. They were found next to deer bones. Not unlike those bones, the human bones
15 showed signs of slashes at the joints like the elbow, foot, and ankle, indicating that
muscles and tendons were deliberately cut to facilitate the removal of “meat.” Flint
could have been used for this purpose. Some bones had been smashed to remove
their marrow, and skulls had been broken to remove the brains.
Although this likelihood of cannibalism is substantiated by this ancient
20 evidence, what cannot be proven is whether it was a regularly practiced custom
among the Neanderthals to methodically slaughter their own kind or only practice
cannibalism out of the necessity caused by famine. While many cultures through-
out time and from around the world have placed a taboo on such practices,
instances of cannibalism have occurred as tradition, religious ritual, or out of
25 necessity in other places and eras. The “practice” of the Neanderthals may be one
of the earliest precedence for such behavior and forever taint the image of early
man as a primitive brute rather than the growing consensus that they, with a
brain as large as contemporary man, were more like us than not.

1. The burying of the dead with an attendant religious ceremony would be a

benchmark of cultural development because it is
(A) typical of most species to acknowledge mortality and mourn the
passing of their own kind.
(B) a ritual that has been practiced historically by humans in many cultures
throughout the world.
(C) foreign to all species that have been observed in nature.
(D) indicative of a species with the brain size of modern man.
(E) atypical of cave dwellers from the same region and time in France.

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2. As used in line 6 “aestheticism” most closely means

(A) the ability to manipulate metals.
(B) a capacity to polish gem stones.
(C) an ability to evaluate the financial worth of objects.
(D) an appreciation of beauty.
(E) both (A) and (B).
3. The evidence of cannibalism is supported by the fact that the bones were
(A) found near the bones of deer.
(B) completely lacking tendons, muscle, and flesh.
(C) scorched from being burned over an open fire.
(D) those of children and teenagers.
(E) cut at the joints.
4. The main point of the article is that Neanderthals did practice cannibalism as
(A) supported by evidence that was discovered.
(B) part of their culture.
(C) a necessity because of famine.
(D) a religious ritual.
(E) a regularly practiced custom or out of need.

Line In a seemingly repeating cycle, two diet “fads” seem to follow one another; the
Low-Carb (carbohydrate) approach versus the High-Carb method. Currently, the
former is the one in vogue with millions of people across the America eating a
high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. So bring on the bacon, ham, eggs, cheese and
5 any other high-fat food, but eliminate as many carbohydrates as possible like pasta,
bread, fruit, soda, and high-sugar alcoholic beverages.
The many versions of Low-Carb diets decrease carbohydrates, thereby, causing
blood-sugar levels to fall. This causes the pancreas to produce less insulin. Insulin
stimulates energy and without this resource, the body is forced to burn fat reserves
10 to create needed energy. The result is a quick loss in weight. Conversely, when one
eats carbohydrates they are reduced by enzymes into simple sugars. These sugars
stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin, which allows sugars to enter tissue.
Although cells use the sugar for energy, the excess sugars are stored as fat. Since
many Americans, especially young people, have high-sugar diets, most of the excess
15 is stored as fat. If blood levels can be dropped low enough, the body will burn this
excess fat. While this mechanism is agreed upon by many scientists, there is some
disagreement about how people lose weight on Low-Carb diets.
Most people who write the diet books are not medical doctors and have
come under criticism for not understanding the process of weight loss and the
20 harmful effects of Low-Carb, high-protein diets. According to some doctors and
scientists, the reason why people lose weight on these diets is that by reducing
the ingestion of carbs, there is a corresponding reduction in caloric intake;
therefore, people are simply consuming less calories. Similarly, since Americans
traditionally have eaten so much sugar and sugar products, when the consumption
25 of those are reduced, caloric intake is lessened, and it results in a weight loss. In
addition to the misunderstandings regarding the process of weight loss, these

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same doctors and scientists contend that a Low-Carb, high-protein diet can be
harmful in a number of significant ways. The lack of fiber in the diet can cause
constipation, weakness, nausea, as well as dehydration. Also, the high-protein diet
30 is a great strain on the kidneys. These are major bad health effects compared to
the additional side-effect of halitosis (bad breath).
The important thing to remember about “diets” is that unless they involve a
change of lifestyle that can be maintained for a lifetime, they are just a “quick fix”
for short-term weight loss, not a solution to an ongoing problem. In addition, even
35 some of these short-term solutions can affect health adversely, so when one
considers a change in eating habits, consulting a doctor who is a specialist in this
area would be beneficial.

1. A Low-Carb diet affects the blood sugar level by

(A) having enzymes reduce the blood sugar into simple sugars, which are
more readably burned.
(B) causing the pancreas to produce less insulin, thereby lowering the
blood sugar level and the energy level.
(C) stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin to burn excess fat
that has been stored.
(D) allowing excess sugars to be secreted so they can’t be stored as excess
fat in the cells of the body.
(E) lowering it through lack of absorption of sugar by the cells in tissue.
2. The passage implies that the debate between designers of these diets and
doctors and scientists centers on the process of weight loss and adverse
effects on health in regards to
(A) whether excess fat is burned or there is simply less intake of calories.
(B) the kinds of adverse health effects that may result.
(C) which diet, Low-Carb or High-Carb, is more effective for weight loss.
(D) both (B) and (C)
(E) both (A) and (B)
3. The main point of the article is that
(A) no one should try to alter their diet in an attempt to lose weight.
(B) doctors and scientists disagree with the writers of diet books.
(C) the mechanism by which Low-Carb diets work is debatable.
(D) reduction of caloric intake will result in weight loss.
(E) any change in diet must be one that can be maintained for a lifetime.
4. The overall tone of the article can be described as
(A) informative and whimsical.
(B) adversarial but supportive.
(C) informative but cautionary.
(D) supportive but cautionary.
(E) adversarial and whimsical.

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Directions: In each of the following questions, a related pair of words or

phrases is followed by five lettered pairs of words or phrases. Select the lettered
pair that best expresses a relationship similar to that expressed in the original pair.

(A) perspicacious : perception
(B) stylish : panache
(C) ductile : refractory
(D) prolix : taciturnity
(E) turgid : drought
2. DOG : CANINE ::
(A) feline : cat
(B) porcine : pig
(C) fish : aquarium
(D) vulture : vulpine
(E) bear : ursine
(A) rack : framework
(B) citadel : dragon
(C) dormer : roof
(D) well : ink
(E) liter : grain
(A) fortuitous : unlucky
(B) wary : rash
(C) tapering : invigorate
(D) enervating : weaken
(E) vacillating : vivify
(A) particular : finicky
(B) military : precise
(C) pacific : muddled
(D) vitriolic : scathing
(E) fastidious : slovenly

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(A) artist : brush
(B) spade : gardener
(C) spatula : bartender
(D) needle : farrier
(E) decoupage : writer
(A) submission : subjugation
(B) truth : probity
(C) recalcitrant : amiable
(D) slake : thirst
(E) carnage : accident

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Directions: Each of the questions 1–14 consists of two quantities, one in Column
A and one in Column B. You are to compare the two quantities and choose:
(A) if the quantity in Column A is greater;
(B) if the quantity in Column B is greater;
(C) if the two quantities are equal;
(D) if the relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
Note: Since there are only four choices, NEVER MARK (E).
Numbers: All numbers used are real numbers.
Figures: Position of points, angles, regions, etc., can be assumed to be in the order
shown; and angle measures can be assumed to be positive.
Lines shown as straight can be assumed to be straight.
Figures can be assumed to lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated.
Figures that accompany questions are intended to provide information useful in an-
swering the questions. However, unless a note states that a figure is drawn to scale,
you should solve these problems NOT by estimating sizes by sight or by measure-
ment, but by using your knowledge of mathematics.

Column A Column B
A, B, C, D, and E are consecutive even integers

1. A18 E

2. A number between 10 and 20 A number between 15 and 25

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Column A Column B
y 5 22

3. x2y x2y

ABCD is a square
AB 5 3

4. AC 5

5. =17 1 =32 =49

z 3z

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Column A Column B
The average of w, x, y, and z is 28, and w 1 x 5 56.

7. w1x y1z

x2 1 x 5 20

8. x 5


9. CB AC

10. 0.81 =0.81

a is 4 times b.

a b
b a

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Column A Column B
(9)(27)(81) 5 3

12. x 8

(p 1 q)3 5 64
p . 0, q , 0

13. ?p? ?q?

Angles A and B are complementary

14. x 12

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Directions: Each of the questions 15–28 has five answer choices. For each of
these questions, select the best of the answer choices given.

15. What percent of 25 is =25?

(A) 20%
(B) 25%
(C) 33 %
(D) 50%
(E) 75%
16. In the equation p 5 qr, if q is multiplied by 7 and r is divided by 7, then
p is
(A) multiplied by 7
(B) multiplied by 49
(C) divided by 7
(D) divided by 49
(E) left unchanged
17. The price of a cassette deck was increased from $90 to $120. This repre-
sents what percent of increase in the price of the cassette deck?
(A) 25%
(B) 30%
(C) 33 %
(D) 75%
(E) 133 %
18. How many minutes would it take a typist to complete a 300-word letter if
he can type 2 words in 10 seconds?
(A) 2
(B) 10
(C) 15
(D) 20
(E) 25
19. What is the value of 2x3 2 y2 1 z if x 5 22, y 5 21, and z 5 3?
(A) 213
(B) 26
(C) 24
(D) 10
(E) 12

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20. In the figure above, PQRS is a parallelogram. If a 5 50, then what is the
value of b?
(A) 25
(B) 50
(C) 65
(D) 70
(E) 100
21. Four managers at Shop-Well receive incentive bonuses. The total amount of
money available for the four bonuses is $32,000. If Manager A gets $9,000,
and Manager B gets $2,000 more than each of Managers C and D, what is
the amount of Manager C’s bonus?
(A) $5,000
(B) $6,000
(C) $7,000
(D) $7,500
(E) $8,000
22. If WXYZ is a four-digit number that is divisible by 2 and by 5, what is the
value of Z?
(A) 0
(B) 2
(C) 4
(D) 5
(E) It cannot be determined.
23. If xy Þ 0 and 15xy2 2 10xy3 5 0, what is the value of y?
(C) 2
(D) 3
(E) 6

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Questions 24–28 refer to the following graphs.

24. What was the amount of student aid provided through federal loans during
the 2000–2001 academic year?
(A) $11,280,000
(B) $32,400,000
(C) $3,240,000,000
(D) $11,280,000,000
(E) $32,400,000,000
25. By what percent did the amount of total aid awarded increase from the
1990–1991 academic year to the 2000–2001 academic year?
(A) 40%
(B) 50%
(C) 60%
(D) 150%
(E) 250%
26. Which of the following best describes the change in the amount of aid
provided by state grants from the 1990–1991 academic year to the 2000–
2001 academic year?
(A) It remained constant.
(B) It decreased slightly.
(C) It increased slightly.
(D) It more than doubled.
(E) It more than quadrupled.

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27. How much more grant money was awarded through other federal programs
than through federal campus-based aid during the 1990–1991 academic
(A) $0.36 billion
(B) $0.48 billion
(C) $3.6 billion
(D) $4.8 billion
(E) $48 billion
28. By approximately what percent did the amount of money awarded through
Federal Pell Grants increase from the 1990–1991 academic year to the
2000–2001 academic year?
(A) 38%
(B) 42%
(C) 52%
(D) 56%
(E) 62%

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Quick Score Answers

Verbal Ability
Sentence Reading
Completion Antonyms Comprehension Analogies Mathematics
1. B 1. A Passage 1 1. B 1. C 15. A
2. C 2. C 1. B 2. E 2. D 16. E
3. D 3. D 2. D 3. D 3. B 17. C
4. D 4. A 3. E 4. D 4. B 18. D
5. C 5. B 4. E 5. E 5. A 19. D
6. B 6. C 6. B 6. D 20. C
Passage 2
7. D 7. C 7. C 21. C
1. B
8. C 8. B 22. A
2. E
9. C 9. D 23. B
3. E
10. D 24. E
4. C
11. A 25. D
12. A 26. D
13. A 27. B
14. C 28. D


Sample Response to First Issue—Score 5–6
The statement “Students would benefit if they worked in groups rather than working
alone on major class projects” is a valid one for many reasons. In the era of technological
advancement in classroom resources and equipment and an increasing multicultural
environment in the classroom, it is especially important for students of any age to learn to
utilize all available resources, especially their peers, when in an academic setting. In the
following essay, I will explain three central reasons why students should, in fact, spend a
sizeable amount of time working together in groups in the classroom, especially on large
First, students who begin major academic projects in groups or teams develop one of
the most common and most serviceable skills for idea generation—brainstorming. Partici-
pating in brainstorming sessions allows students to learn to think creatively, to think
quickly, and to interact appropriately with peers. Brainstorming is usually a flurry of ideas
at first, then a redefining of those ideas, discussion of why an idea will or will not work,
exclusion of ideas that the group believes will not work, and finally, a group decision that
delineates the assigned project. Skills built by brainstorming are teamwork, listening,
critical thinking, logic, compromise, communication, and organization.
Second, working as a group to test ideas or points of view is beneficial. Knowledge
of the assigned project, researching skills, and reporting of ideas are all essential tasks that
major academic projects require. Students working within a group or team must use their
individual knowledge, research, and reporting to enhance the group project. Personal gain
is a secondary benefit to the responsibility to the team. Peer pressure compels individuals
to bring only their best attributes to the team project. Knowing that each idea or issue

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will be tested by the group encourages students to clearly and concisely communicate
ideas and research to the team.
Third, the skills discussed above allow students to practice proficiencies that will be
useful in almost any career. Placing students in situations that emulate workplaces
promotes positive reinforcement of appropriate communication skills, problem-solving
facility, teamwork, compromise, and the organization and completion of both small and
large tasks. Instead of reading about the workplace in a solitary assignment, students
actually practice workplace skills with their group. This promotes successful activity on
the job once a student has begun a career.
Of course, there are benefits to individual research and learning as well. Research
can be conducted at the student’s own pace, the student can choose projects that are of
great interest to him or her, and individual accomplishment is certainly a self-esteem
booster for most students. However, group projects challenge the student to discover
ways to learn in different styles from what he or she is used to, thereby expanding the
methods of learning. Also, working in groups helps students develop problem-solving
skills, since not all students are working at the same pace with the same ideas, or in the
same manner. Flexibility, empathy, and responsibility are all important aspects of group
For the reasons listed above, I believe that it is essential that students spend a
sizeable amount of time working together in groups in the classroom. The benefits far
outweigh the negative aspects, and teamwork in the classroom promotes involvement,
skill building, and a sense of accomplishment.

Sentence Completion
1. The correct answer is (B). Pique means “irritation” or “resentment,” while
petulant means “peevish.” The context clue in this sentence is “whined.”
Choice (A), exhaustion and unruly, can describe a child’s condition; however, to
say “a fit of exhaustion” is illogical. In choice (C), if the child were crying, then he
would not be apathetic, or “without interest or feeling.” Choice (D) offers a similar
contrast. Rage does not accompany indifference. Choice (E), insouciance, or
“lighthearted nonchalance,” does not logically exist with vexed, which means
2. The correct answer is (C). In this sentence, “celebrations” and “parties” are
context clues. Potables refer to “something suitable for drinking”; bibulous means
“inclined to drink.” In choice (A), charades is a party game; aesthetic refers to
“beauty.” In choice (B), canapés are cocktail food; zany means “goofy.” In choice
(D), parsimony refers to “stinginess” while execrable means “detestable.” In choice
(E), fustian is a “pretentious writing or speech” while stupefied means “astonished.”
3. The correct answer is (D). “Diligently prepared” suggests hard work. In choice
(D), undaunted means “undiscouraged” while stringent means “very strict.” The
original sentence, then, suggests that the student takes into account the strict
requirements for graduation and works hard. In choice (A), dissuaded means
“advised against,” while negligible means “insignificant.” This pair does not logically
complete the sentence. Neither does the pair in choice (B). Persuaded has a positive
connotation, but acrimonious, which means “caustic,” has a negative connotation.
The choices in (C) begin well: undismayed is appropriate for a “diligent” student;
however, marginal suggests the requirements are so easy, the student does not need
to study much. In choice (E), aghast means “horrified,” while picayune means
“trivial.” These words are paired illogically.

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4. The correct answer is (D). This kind of sentence can often be approached by
inserting some words that you can think of that will logically fit the context; then
see if your choices—or at least one of them—are among those offered. Choice (D)
presents inveterate, meaning “chronic” or “confirmed”; habitual is a close synonym.
The choices offered in the other items are not logically paired to complete these
blanks. Choice (A), irascible, means “bad tempered” while disputatious means
“controversial.” In choice (B), chaste means “pure,” while incorrigible means
“unmanageable.” Choice (C) offers circuitous, which means “roundabout,” and
insipid, which means “tasteless” or “dull.” Choice (E) presents crass, which means
“gross” or “insensitive,” and impecunious, which means “penniless.”
5. The correct answer is (C). The context clues here are “child’s early years,” which
contrast “adolescence.” Choice (C) offers docile, which means “easily taught,” and
malleable, which means “adaptable” or “flexible.” Choice (A) offers quixotic, which
means “imaginary” and “idealistic to an extreme degree”—like Don Quixote, from
whose name the word is derived—and pragmatic, which means “practical.” In
choice (B), fulsome means “disgusting,” while acquiescent means “agreeable.” In
choice (D), sybaritic means “sensual” and facetious means “humorous.” Choice (E)
offers resilient, which means “pliant,” and truant, which refers to someone who
stays out of school without permission.
6. The correct answer is (B). The context clue is “hesitant.” Choice (B) presents
recondite, which means “hard to understand,” and stymied, which means “per-
plexed” or “confused.” Choice (A) begins with benign, which means “harmless,” and
edified, which means “educated.” Choice (C) offers vaunted, which means “boast-
ful,” and nebulous, which means “vague.” Choice (D) has equivocal, which looks
like a likely choice; it means “undecided,” but exigent means “demanding.” Choice
(E) presents irrefutable, which means “undeniable,” and fallow, which means “idle”
or “left unplanted.”

1. The correct answer is (A). Anathema means “curse.” Choice (A), boon, means
“gift.” Notice that curse, the synonym for anathema, is one of the choices. Watch
for this practice of including synonyms among the choices so that you won’t be
misled. Choice (D), virulent, means “noxious, full of poison.” The other choices are
2. The correct answer is (C). Tawdry means “gaudy” or “cheap.” Choice (A),
salacious, means “lascivious” or “lewd.” Choice (D), odious, means “hateful.” See
again the synonym gaudy among the choices.
3. The correct answer is (D). Mellifluous means “honey-toned” or “sweetly flowing.”
Acerbic means “bitter” or “harsh.” Choice (A), torrid, means “very hot” or “scorch-
ing.” Choice (E), nefarious, means “wicked.”
4. The correct answer is (A). Pusillanimous means “cowardly.” Valorous is “heroic.”
Choice (B), obliterated, means “destroyed.” Choice (C), satiated, means “glutted.”
Choice (D), captious, means “highly critical.” Choice (E), abstruse, means “difficult
to comprehend.”
5. The correct answer is (B). Surfeit means “excess,” while paucity means “a lack
of” or “dearth.” Choice (A), prosaic, means “ordinary.” Choice (C), succulence,
means “juiciness.” Choice (D), sluggish, means “moving slowly.”

GRE CAT Success 29 www.petersons.com


6. The correct answer is (C). Sedition means “treason,” which is listed first among
the choices. Choice (D), perfidy, is closely related to sedition; it means “treachery.”
Choice (E), havoc, means “commotion” or “pandemonium.”
7. The correct answer is (D). Contempt means “disdain.” Choice (A), harbinger, is a
“forerunner” or “hint of what is to come.” Choice (B), presentiment, also means
“omen.” Choice (C), amulet, is a “fetish” or “magic charm.” Choice (E), quotidian,
means “daily.”
8. The correct answer is (C), Plenary means “full” or “complete.” Inchoate means
“imperfectly formed” or “incipient.” Choice (A), galactic, pertains to the galaxy;
choice (E), neophyte, is a “beginner.” Choice (D), verdant, means “lush and green.”
Choice (B), opulent, means “rich” or “wealthy.”
9. The correct answer is (C). Soporific means “sleep-inducing.” Choice (D), innocu-
ous, means “harmless.” Choice (E), prodigious, means “gigantic.”

Reading Comprehension
Passage 1
1. The correct answer is (B). Choice (B) establishes the burying of the dead and an
attendant religious ceremony to commemorate it as a common practice among
diverse cultures throughout the world. Choice (A) is incorrect because it is common
knowledge that it is not typical behavior for most species to practice such a ritual.
Choice (C) is incorrect because of the key word “all.” Often in multiple-choice
questions, answers that state something categorically are not the right choice. Choice
(C), therefore, makes too sweeping an assertion. Choice (D) is incorrect; although
the Neanderthal had brains as large as modern man, there is no direct correlation
between that fact and the burying of the dead with religious ceremony. Choice (E) is
incorrect because although cannibalism may be the aberration in light of the new
evidence discovered, burying the dead may or may not have been a common
2. The correct answer is (D). The ornaments are not functional in nature but meant to
be appreciated as an expression of creativity and for their beauty. Choices (A) and (B)
are incorrect because although they fit the context of “jewelry” in the sense that some
jewelry consists of metals and/or gem stones and the ability to manipulate those materi-
als, there is no mention of such materials in the article. Choice (C) is incorrect because
in the context of Neanderthal “culture,” one can infer that there is not a monetary
structure to evaluate worth. Choice (E) is incorrect because both choices have been
eliminated as stated above.
3. The correct answer is (E). It states in paragraph two that the cuts at the joints
facilitated the removal of meat by cutting through tendons and muscle. Choice (A) is
incorrect because it is not conclusive evidence just because the deer bones were a
source of meat, too. Choice (B) is incorrect because the bones would lack all of that
matter because of their age. Choice (C) is incorrect because nowhere in the article
does it mention the bones being scorched. Choice (D) is incorrect because it implies
that the young were eaten by the old; however, bones of adults were also found,
and all showed signs of cannibalism.

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4. The correct answer is (E). Researchers can only speculate as to whether cannibal-
ism among the Neanderthals was a regularly practiced custom or done out of need
because of famine. While choices (A) and (B) are true, they are incomplete because
they cannot definitively prove whether cannibalism was a custom or a necessity.
Choice (C) is incorrect because it falsely states that famine was the cause of cannibal-
ism; that relationship was not clearly established in the article. Choice (D) is
incorrect because although Neanderthals perhaps had a religious observance of
death, this is not always connected to the practice of cannibalism.

Passage 2
1. The correct answer is (B). In paragraph two, the process by which the blood
sugar is lowered is described. Choice (A) is incorrect. Although it correctly states
that the blood sugar level is reduced, the process is misstated. Choice (C) is incor-
rect because it mistakenly states that the pancreas increases the production of insulin
to burn excess fat. Choice (D) is incorrect because nowhere in the article is there an
explanation regarding secretions. In paragraph three, there is mention of the adverse
affect of this diet on the kidneys, but not in relation to the secretion of sugars to
induce weight loss. Choice (E) is incorrect. Although it correctly refers to the
lowering of the blood sugar, it misstates the process.
2. The correct answer is (E). Choices (A) and (B) are incorrect because they only
state one main discrepancy between the designers of the diets and the doctors and
scientists. Choice (C) is incorrect because a Low-Carb diet is mentioned only briefly
and is not compared to a High-Carb diet in terms of effectiveness. Choice (D) is
incorrect. As a general “rule,” usually when there is a choice that combines choices,
it is the correct choice. However, choice (D), although combining choices like
choice (E), incorporates choice (C), which was already determined to be incorrect.
3. The correct answer is (E). Often, the main point of a piece of writing will be in
the concluding paragraph as it is in this example. Choice (A) is incorrect. Although
the article is cautionary in regards to “fad” diets, it is not adverse to a change in diet
for better health. Choices (B), (C), and (D) are incorrect. Although they are state-
ments that are made in the article, no one of them represents the main point. They
provide the evidence that supports the main point.
4. The correct answer is (C). The first three paragraphs are informative and lead to
the cautionary stance that is stated in the last paragraph. Choices (A) and (E) are
incorrect because the term “whimsical” (fanciful, unpredictable) does not relate to
this article at all. Choice (B) is incorrect because the article is adversarial but does
not conclude by supporting a High-Carb diet. Choice (D) is incorrect because the
tone is not supportive but cautionary.

1. The correct answer is (B). A person who has charisma is amicable. In choice (B),
the same relationship exists: a person who has panache, which means “verve,” is
stylish. In choice (A), perspicacious means “keen” or “insightful”; someone with
perception is perspicacious. However, notice that the order has been reversed in this
item. Watch out for this technique. In choice (C), ductile means “easily molded,”
which is the opposite of refractory, meaning “stubborn.” In choice (D), prolix
means “wordy,” which is the opposite of taciturnity, meaning “silence.” In choice
(E), turgid means “swollen,” while drought means “dry” or “without water.”

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2. The correct answer is (E). All of the choices offer animals; the word order is most
important. Most of the choices offer an adjectival form based on Latin roots. Canine,
for instance, is derived from the Latin canis for “dog.” Choice (E) reflects the same
order: bear 1 adjective form ursine, which is derived from ursa, “bear.” Choice (A)
has the right words; feline does refer to cats. However, the order is reversed here.
The same is true for choice (B). Porcine means “pig-like,” but the order does not
match that in the question. Choice (C) omits the adjectival form. Choice (D) offers
the correct order of animal 1 adjectival; however, vulpine refers to foxes, not
3. The correct answer is (D). A sconce holds candles; a well can hold ink. The
relationship in these two is the same. In choice (A), rack is a kind of framework. In
choice (B), citadel is a fort; it does not hold a dragon. In choice (C), dormer is a
characteristic of some roofs. In choice (E), liter is a type of measure for liquids,
which grain clearly is not.
4. The correct answer is (D). Tenacious means “persistent” or “holding fast.” The
pairs of words are then synonyms. Enervating means “weaken.” In choice (A),
fortuitous, which means “lucky,” is the opposite of unlucky. In choice (B), wary,
which means “cautious,” is the opposite of rash, which means “reckless.” In choice
(C), tapering is “diminishing,” while invigorating means to “strengthen.” In choice
(E), vacillating means “wavering,” while vivify means to “give life to.”
5. The correct answer is (E). The original pair, meticulous and messy, are antonyms.
In choice (E), fastidious, which means “excessively attentive to details,” is the
opposite of slovenly, which means “messy.” Choice (A) offers a pair of words that
are antonyms, but the order is reversed. Among the other choices, pacific means
“calm,” and vitriolic means “caustic,” which is synonymous with scathing.
6. The correct answer is (B). A trowel is a tool used by a mason, someone who lays
bricks or stones; a spade or shovel is a tool used by a gardener. Choice (A) offers a
craftsman with a tool, but the order is reversed. Choice (C) presents a cooking tool,
a spatula, which is not used by a bartender. Choice (D) offers a needle, a tool not
used by a farrier, someone who shoes horses. Finally, in choice (E), decoupage is a
type of decoration using cutout pictures, gluing them to surfaces, and then varnish-
ing them. A writer does not use this type of “tool.”
7. The correct answer is (C). The original pair, veracity and falsehood, are antonyms.
Veracity means “truth.” Choice (C) presents a similar pair: recalcitrant means
“rebellious” or “disobedient.” Amiable means “agreeable.” In choice (A), submission
and subjugation are virtual synonyms. In choice (B), truth and probity are also
synonyms. In choice (D), the relationship changes: slake means to “quench.” In
choice (E), carnage is “massive bloodshed,” which does not necessarily occur in an
accident; this pair is not opposite either.

1. The correct answer is (C). Consecutive even integers differ by two. Thus,
A 1 2 5 B, A 1 4 5 C, A 1 6 5 D, and, finally, A 1 8 5 E.
2. The correct answer is (D). There is no way to tell which number is bigger. For
example, both numbers could be 16. Or, the number in Column A could be 19 and
the number in Column B could be 16. Or, the number in Column A could be 11 and
the number in Column B could be 24, etc.
3. The correct answer is (B). If x 5 7 and y 5 22, we have x2y 5 (7)2(22) 5
49(22) 5 298, while x 2 y 5 7 2 (22) 5 7 1 2 5 9.

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4. The correct answer is (B). Using the fact that the hypotenuse of an isosceles
triangle is equal to the length of the legs times =2, we can determine that AC is
equal to 3=2. Since =2 ' 1.4, AC is approximately 3(1.4) 5 4.2 , 5.
5. The correct answer is (A). Clearly the entry in Column B is equal to 7. To answer
the question, all we need is a reasonable estimate of the value of the expression in
Column A. Since =17 is a bit bigger than 4, and =32 is bigger than 5, the
expression in Column A must be greater than 9.
6. The correct answer is (D). The entries in the two columns are equal if z 5 0. On
the other hand, if z is, say, equal to 1, the entry in Column B is larger.
7. The correct answer is (C). We are given that the average of w, x, y, and z is 28.
This means that 5 28. We also know that w 1 x is 56, so
56 1 y 1 z
5 28. We can now manipulate this equation to determine the value of
y1 z. First, multiply both sides by 4. 56 1 y 1 z 5 112, or y 1 z 5 56.
8. The correct answer is (B). Begin by solving the given equation:

x2 1 x 5 20
x2 1 x 2 20 5 0
~x 1 5!~x 2 4! 5 0
Therefore, x 5 25 or 4. In either case, the value in Column B is larger.
9. The correct answer is (D). The fact that a . c tells us that CB . AB. However,
we know nothing about the length of AC.
10. The correct answer is (B). Column B is equal to 0.9, which is larger than 0.81.
Note that when an expression such as =0.81 is given, the principal (positive)
square root is intended. If the equation x2 5 0.81 were given, x could equal either
0.9 or 20.9.
11. The correct answer is (A). The given information tells us that a 5 4b. Therefore,
a b 1
5 4, while 5 .
b a 4
12. The correct answer is (A). Note that 9 5 32, 27 5 33, and 81 5 34. Thus,
(9)(27)(81) 5 (32)(33)(34) 5 39, and this means that x 5 9.
13. The correct answer is (A). For (p 1 q)3 to be 64, which is positive, p 1 q must be
positive. Since we are given that p is positive and q is negative, the absolute value of
p must be greater than that of q.
14. The correct answer is (C). If angles A and B are complementary, angle C has to be
a right angle. By the Pythagorean Theorem, AC 5 12.
15. The correct answer is (A). To begin,=25 5 5, so we need to find what percent
1 1
5 is of 25. Since 5 is of 25, and 5 20%, 5 is 20% of 25.
5 5
16. The correct answer is (E). Beginning with p 5 qr, multiply q by 7 and divide r by 7:
~7q! SD
5 ~qr!
5 qr. Thus, the equation would be left unchanged.

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17. The correct answer is (C). To find the percent of increase, divide the amount of
the increase by the original value, and express the result as a percent:
30 1 1 1
Percent of increase 5 5 . The fraction expressed as a percent is 33 %.
90 3 3 3
18. The correct answer is (D). This problem can be completed by solving a proportion:

2.5 words 300 words

10 seconds x seconds
Next, cross multiply: 2.5 x 5 3000. Therefore, x 5 5 1,200. Since it takes 1,200
seconds to type the letter dividing by 60, we get 20 minutes.
19. The correct answer is (D). Substituting the given values into
2x3 2y2 1 z , we get:
2x3 2y2 1 z 5 2(22)3 2(21)2 1 3
5 2(28) 2 (1) 1 3
5 82113
5 10
20. The correct answer is (C). If a 5 50, the measure of angle QPS is 50°, since
opposite angles in a parallelogram are equal. Since a straight angle has 180°, it must
be true that b 1 b 1 50 5 180. Therefore, 2b 5 130, so b 5 65.
21. The correct answer is (C). After Manager A gets $9,000, there is $23,000 of bonus
money left. Let C 5 the amount of Manager C’s bonus. Then, C 5 D, and
B 5 C 1 $2,000. Therefore, since B 1 C 1 D 5 $23,000, we can see that
(C 1 $2,000) 1 C 1 C 5 $23,000. 3C 1 $2,000 5 $23,000. 3C 5 $21,000 or
C 5 $7,000.
22. The correct answer is (A). For a number to be divisible by 2, its last digit must be
even, that is, either 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8. For a number to be divisible by 5, it must end in
0 or 5. Thus, the only way a number can be divisible by both 2 and 5 is if its last
digit is 0.
23. The correct answer is (B). Begin by factoring the left-hand side of
15xy2 2 10xy3 5 0. The equation becomes: 5xy2~3 2 2y! 5 0. Since we are told that
xy Þ 0, we know that neither x nor y is 0. Thus, 3 2 2y must equal 0.
3 2 2y 5 0
3 5 2y
24. The correct answer is (E). The amount of student aid provided through federal
loans during the 2000–2001 academic year was 54% of the total amount of 60 bil-
54% of $60 billion 5 .54 3 $60 billion
5 $32.4 billion
5 $32,400,000,000

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25. The correct answer is (D). Total aid in the 1990–1991 academic year was $24
billion. Total aid in the 2000–2001 academic year was $60 billion. The percent of
increase can be computed by dividing the increase by the original value and express-
ing the result as a percent.
Percent of increase 5 36 4 24 5 1.5 5 150%
26. The correct answer is (D). The amount of aid provided by state grants in the
1990–1991 academic year was 6% of $24 billion 5 $1.44 billion. The amount of aid
provided by state grants in the 2000–2001 academic year was 6% of $60 billion 5
$3.6 billion. Thus, the amount of aid more than doubled.
27. The correct answer is (B). The quickest way to solve this problem is to note that
other federal programs contributed 2% more money than did federal campus-based
aid. The total amount of aid was $24 billion. Thus, 2% of $24 billion 5 $.48 billion.
28. The correct answer is (D). The amount of money awarded through Pell Grants in
the 1990–1991 academic year was 16% of $24 billion 5 $3.84 billion. The amount of
money awarded through Pell Grants in the 2000–2001 academic year was 10% of
$60 billion 5 $6.0 billion. The percent of increase was approximately (2.16 4 3.84)
3 100% ' 56%.

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The GRE Analytical Writing Measure (AWM) test became a required component of the GRE compre-
hensive examination starting in October 2002. The Analytical Writing Measure is designed to allow the
candidate to demonstrate skills in logical reasoning and composition. These skills are becoming more
and more important, not only in your graduate college experience, but also in the global workplace.
By doing well on this section of the GRE test, you are demonstrating to potential graduate
schools the following:
• You can recognize and restate complex ideas.
• You can analyze the structure of an argument.
• You can advocate a point of view and support it with evidence.
• You can construct a well-organized discussion of controversial topics.
• You have control of the mechanics and stylistic elements of standard English.
Essentially, the Analytical Writing Measure calls for two kinds of thinking:
1. Constructive: In the constructive portion of the test, called “the issue task,” you are asked
to construct a strong, logical, well-supported argument in favor of or against a controversial
issue of importance, one that can be argued on either side with equal success.
2. Analytical: In the analytical portion, called “the argument task,” you are asked to take apart
the logical argument of another’s point of view, recognizing its components and assessing
the success or failure of the argument’s support.
The combined test calls for you to think clearly, creatively, logically, and methodically and to express
your points of view and conclusions in strong, well-organized rhetoric.


Beginning with our first exposure to the topic, unknown to you before the test time, we can proceed
in easy steps:
1. Do I understand the topic’s balanced points of view?
2. Does one side of the controversy seem on its face to be more valid?
3. Can I build an argument by listing support in outline form in favor of my view?
4. Can I refute the support elements of the opposing view?
5. Can I express my view in strong English writing style, with appropriate mechanics?


Sample Outline
“Present Your Perspective on an Issue”
Suppose your topic reads, “Science is a need for order; art is a rage for chaos.”

Step 1. Understanding
Do you understand the statement? How would you paraphrase it? What element submits to agreement
or disagreement? To comparison or contrast?
In this example, what does “chaos” mean? Is the statement contrasting science and art as diametri-
cally opposed? What is meant by “need” versus “rage”? Are “order” and “chaos” mutually exclusive?

Step 2. Reaction
What is your first reaction to the statement? Does it “ring true”? Or does it “sound phony”? Do you
feel it is overly simple? Too vague? Too specific? What examples spring to mind on each side of the
question? How are the abstractions solidified by example and illustration?
In this example, do you like the juxtaposition of “rage” and “chaos,” or does it disturb you? Do
you have preconceived notions about the value or nonvalue of art? Do you admire scientific
inquiry, or do you find it uncreative? Is Picasso a good example of “chaos”? Does the taxonomy
of Mendeleev’s chart serve as “scientific order”? How about the asymmetrical planetary orbits?
Could the universe’s “chaos” contradict the statement? While Escher’s drawings are “chaos,” are
they also examples of “rage”?

Step 3. Commitment
Commit to an agreement or disagreement stance. Does the preponderance of examples that come to
mind support or refute the statement? Which side seems more supportable? What immediately
apparent flaws are there in the opposite view? List the arguments on both sides, preparing to support
your evidence and attack the opposing evidence.
In this example, you decide that science does indeed seem to seek out and even demand order,
even when that order must be forced on it. You think of the exceptions to the Mendeleev’s
chart, those elements that do not really fit neatly into rows. You think of “chaos theory,” an
attempt to give order even to the idea of non-order. You remember the “chaotic” lives of artists,
their daring innovations, their powerful, even violent attacks on conventions and “rules.” You
determine that artists do in fact direct their creative energies on an assault on order, and you are
prepared to defend the statement. List the chaotic artists you can recall, and list all the failures of
science to order the universe:
Art Science
Picasso Missing quark
Pollock Failure of unified field theory
Breughel, etc. Mathematical enigmas, surds, etc.

Step 4. Defense
Begin to write your essay. Start with an introduction, in which you set the tone (“Scientists would like
us to think that everything is in place in the universe, but the artist is always there to remind us of
the omnipresence of the impulse toward chaos. . . .”). Answer the counterarguments. Refute the

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opposing view. Anticipate how someone would argue the other side of the question, dismissing their
contentions and defusing their examples. In this example, “If a scientist tries to suggest that chaos
theory is anti-order, remind him or her of Mandelbaum’s fractals, which become orderly, predictable
designs despite all efforts to randomize the results. Even Nature makes clouds, leaves, snow, and
waves by orderly design.” “The French Academy’s strict rules automatically excluded some of the
greatest artists of their time—Van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse, Modigliani.”
End the first paragraph with your thesis statement: “Clearly, science seeks order, while art gives
voice to the energy of chaos in all its forms.”
Gradually unfold your argument, support by support, illustrating each support with strong, visual
examples: “Mathematics, the language of science, is the numbering of everything that exists; even
impossible ideas such as pi are subjected to a number, even if it goes on infinitely. When a notion is
mathematically absurd, we still give it a neat, orderly name: surd.” “If the rage for chaos ever had a
signature, it is in the violent, physical exertions of throwing paint arbitrarily on canvas that made
Pollock’s work absolutely unique in art history.”
Conclude your essay by recapping your view, summarizing your arguments, and ending with a
convincing, specific statement that “clinches” your argument.
In this example: “Clearly, then, the underlying difference between science and art is the struggle
between a belief in a Grand Design reflected in the benign neatness of ‘everything in its place’
and a grim but honest belief that individuality, newness, creativity, invention, and chaos are the
ultimate definitions of humankind, represented by the artist in the studio, staring at the blank
canvas, about to make something, whether or not the universe has a pigeonhole for it.”

Step 5. Composition
Write your essay, and review your mechanics, especially sentence structure, removing weak verb
constructions, strengthening clichés with fresh rewordings, and editing out extraneous verbiage,
wheel-spinning, and the like.


Directions: You will have 45 minutes to plan, outline, and compose an essay that presents your
perspective on one of several topics. You may not choose your own topic on which to write.
The topic chosen will take the form of a quotation, stating or suggesting a controversy, with two, or
several, points of view available for discussion. You need not agree with the quotation; rather, you are
to find a supportable thesis in favor of or opposed to the implications of the topic. Personal observa-
tions, your education, or your general knowledge on a subject can be the basis for your approach.
University/college faculty members will read and evaluate your essay based on the following:
• Considerations of the complexities and implications of the issue
• Organization, development, and expression of your ideas
• Your ability to support your ideas with reason, example, and good sense
• Your demonstrated control of the conventions of standard written English
First, think carefully about the issue itself, and plan your writing approach. Think logically, and
organize your ideas as they develop. Begin your writing when you have ordered your ideas in some
logical fashion. Leave time to reread and revise your essay, including re-ordering of your argumentive
supports for added strength.

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Directions: Present your perspective on the issue below, using relevant reasons and/or examples to
support your views.

“Students with physical disabilities should be given special classes in special classrooms.”

“The death penalty acts as a preventative to violent crime in others.”

“Same-sex marriages do not meet the requirements of a true marriage.”

“A person with a gun is less likely to be the victim of a crime.”

“An individual’s right to choose must be protected by the government.”

“Modern art is a trick played on a gullible public hungry for anything new.”

“America is not good at preserving its architectural heritage.”

“Poverty is a necessary ingredient of the free-enterprise system.”


To take an argument apart, you can follow these steps:
1. Can I examine an argumentive claim,
2. separate its thesis statement from its support claims,
3. assess the logical value of each support claim,
4. recognize argumentive fallacies embedded in the rhetoric,
5. and express my assessment of the argument’s strengths and weaknesses?

Your task here is to ask, “How well reasoned is this argument? Is the thesis statement clearly articu-
lated? Does the reader follow the supports in an organized way? Has the writer used measured,
reasonable examples to illustrate those supports? Has the writer avoided logical fallacies, such as
generalization, post hoc, argument by analogy, and the like? Has the arguer convinced through strong
evidentiary expression?”
1. Do I understand the topic’s balanced but controversial issue?
2. Do I recognize a clear thesis statement in the opening paragraph?
3. Can I list in outline form the evidence presented in favor of that view?
4. Does the argument contain fallacies, false statistics, or illogical rhetoric?
5. Am I convinced or unconvinced by the argument’s structural support?

Sample Outline
“Analyze an Argument”
Suppose your essay argues in favor of stricter controls on illegal immigration into the U.S. from
Mexico. It cites statistics (calling them “startling” and “overwhelming”), gives anecdotal evidence of
the failure of the present system, and calls for a physical barrier between the countries, reinforced by
an increase in border patrol personnel.

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Step 1
Do you understand the argument’s thesis? Is it clearly stated in the opening paragraph? Does the
rhetoric contain the sense of “should” or “it is necessary to”?

Step 2
How does the author line up the support elements? Is there a number in the thesis statement (such as
“for the following six reasons . . .”)? Can you assign a number to each support element? Are they
arranged in ascending or descending order of power to convince or in some other logical order? Or
are they arbitrary or haphazardly arranged?

Step 3
What is the tone of the support material? Reasoned, logical, with qualifying statements of comparison
(such as “by and large,” “the trend is . . . ,” “it would make sense that . . . ,” etc.) or is it slanted,
impassioned, emotional (such as “disease-ridden peons,” “lazy, corrupt border guards,” “deadly
economic parasites,” etc.)?

Step 4
Is each separate support convincing in its own right, or do logical fallacies insert themselves in the
support (such as “We let Mexican lettuce workers unionize, and now look at the soaring price of
food”)? Does each element have a logical “weight” to it?

Step 5
Is the conclusion warranted by the evidence? Has the author given the reader enough facts and
reasoning to actually convince?


Within a 30-minute time limit, you will be called upon to read a short essay supporting one specific
point of view. Your task is as follows:
• Find its thesis statement.
• Order its support statements.
• Evaluate the strength of the general argument and support statements made.
• Examine the rhetorical devices and linguistic choices.
• Find possible argumentative fallacies.
• Determine the validity of the argument made.
Most importantly, you are asked to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than to
agree or disagree with the position it presents.
You will then write an analytical essay presenting your findings. Begin your writing when you
have ordered your ideas in some logical fashion. Leave time to reread and revise your essay for
sense and for mechanics.

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Directions: Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.

1. The following appeared in a national political magazine article:

“Rather than constantly fighting against the strict interpretations of the Supreme Court regarding
the outmoded and dated wording of the U.S. Constitution, Congress should call for a Third
Constitutional Convention, whose agenda would be to redesign the Constitution around the
exigencies and consequences of 200 years of change. No one should be ‘bearing arms’ based on
the single phrase in the 2nd Amendment, nor should criminals live a life of comfort and ease
because chunky peanut butter is ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’ ”

2. The following appeared in a magazine subscribed to by the large-vehicle and excavation equipment
“We’re advocating replacing the term ‘strip mining’ with ‘improvement mining,’ because new
methods of replenishing the land, planting grasses, and in some cases even landscaping the
terrain have actually benefited the region and its citizens. Parks, walking paths, open spaces
uncluttered by the haphazard contours of Mother Nature now grace many rural areas, after the
mighty but environment-friendly tools of modern industry have been hauled away on low-boys.
Communities should thank us.”

3. The following appeared in a nationally syndicated op-ed column of several large-city newspapers:
“Any vestigial objections to an expanded military presence, and the budget to support it,
disappear in the face of these recent bioterrorist threats. Until there is a well-armed, well-trained
soldier at every post office in this country, there will be no such thing as homeland security, and
those who oppose spending the money can take the responsibility when anthrax becomes the
Bubonic Plague of the twenty-first century.”

4. A recent automobile newsletter, sent to national car dealers, said the following:
“We are predicting that the internal combustion engine will be the next victim of OPEC’s
near-monopoly. The American public, fed up with the wildly fluctuating price of fossil fuel, a
price held hostage at every international political flare-up, will turn to hydrogen fuel cells by
2010. The small-car mentality, blind to safety issues, drives the market for these two-seat scoot-
ers, stripped of comfort, but high on feisty American autonomy and independence.”

5. The following appeared on the syllabus of a college English class:

“Attendance is required to make this kind of instruction effective. We understand the complexi-
ties, contingencies, and emergencies of your everyday modern life and expect you to prioritize
your tasks according to your own values. In this sense, all absences are excused absences; that is,
excused by yourself. However, if your college education is important, you should give attendance
a very high priority, because absences, especially contiguous absences, interrupt the developmen-
tal flow of the instructional material and reduce the student’s ability to focus on the topics, a
focus necessary to build the cumulative reading/writing skills necessary to complete the course.
Rule of thumb: More than three absences will probably affect your grade indirectly.”

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6. The following letter to the editor appeared in a mountain state newspaper:

“There is a certain dignity to the proposition that Montana should enforce its own sovereignty.
By the strength of its preservation of the original principles of the Founding Fathers, by its
pioneering spirit, but its belief in the power of the individual to get into and out of his own
scrapes without the condescending intervention of a bureaucratic hegemony 2000 miles away,
and by the isolation, beauty, and sheer precipitous fact of its symbolic mountain terrain, Montana
no more feels obligated to identify with the corruption, sloth, and self-indulgence of the rest of
the so-called United States.”

7. The following appeared in a letter to a U.S. senator from one of his constituents:
“Please don’t vote for the upcoming bill giving government subsidies to the elderly for their
medications. My family has been in the pharmacy business for three generations, and my uncle
now runs a small chain of pharmacies in our community. He says the subsidies would ruin his
business, because the government checks never come on time, and the elderly customers he has
now will go to the big pharmacy in town, which can afford to wait for those government
checks. Who is there to help the small-business person when things get tough? Certainly not the
federal government. My uncle’s business will go under if he starts to lose all his best customers.”

8. The following appeared in a journal on criminal justice:

“Prisoners’ rights regarding conjugal visits in the penitentiary are jeopardized by the small-
mindedness of ultra-conservative wardens and the dominantly white male boards of administra-
tion who hire them. To them, normal healthy relations of any kind are antithetical to the
unwritten law of every penitentiary: Make the inmates’ lives as miserable and unproductive as
possible, even when common decency and the natural impulse toward human companionship
dictate to the contrary.

Writing and analyzing arguments can be an overwhelming and daunting task, unless you understand
the simple outline steps toward breaking down a complex argument into its component parts. The
following checklist can be used with sample essays in practice and can help you plan your strategies
for the actual test:
1. Simplify the argument.
2. Rephrase the argument.
3. Make sure you know the definition of all the words.
4. Find and number the supports.
5. List examples from both sides of an argument.
6. Mentally argue the other side to find weaknesses.
7. Circle “loaded” words with rhetorical connotations.
8. Identify fallacies.
9. Write your draft.
10. Revise your draft.

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Unit 1

Directions: Present your perspective on the issue below, using relevant

reasons and/or examples to support your views. Time—45 minutes (Note: In the
actual GRE, you will be given a choice of two issues.)

“Financial gain should be the most important factor in choosing a career.”

Directions: Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.

The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper:

“In the first four years that Jones-Harrison has served as President of the
country of Salmantir, the consumer spending has decreased and the unem-
ployment rate has increased. Two businesses have closed for each new
business that has opened. Under Bentley, who served for four years before
Jones-Harrison, the unemployment rate decreased and the consumer spend-
ing increased. Clearly, the residents of Salmantir would be best served if they
voted Jones-Harrison out of office and reelected Bentley.”



There is no right or wrong answer to a GRE essay topic—only a strong response
or a weak one. Your point of view and approach to an issue or argument will
differ from those of other test-takers, and therefore your essays will differ from the
ones given below. We provide these poor responses, notes for improvement, and
then high-level responses to serve as models for how you might construct a
response to the given topics. When you review your own essay or have someone
else review it, look for clear construction, logic, and good grammar, and follow
the strategies found in the previous pages.

Response of Score 3
“Financial gain should be the most important factor in choosing a career.”
Financial gain is an extremely important factor to consider in choosing a career
path. Without adequate monetary income, it would be very difficult to maintain
appropriate shelter, nourishing food, and reliable transportation. However, in the
essay that follows, I will argue that ample financial gain, while especially impor-
tant, should not be the most imperative factor when deciding how to spend your
professional life.
In a capitalistic society, there is a certain percentage of people who believe
that financial gain should be the foremost consideration when deciding a career
path. Because most sectors of the United States economy spent 15 years (from the
mid-eighties to the end of the 1990’s) in tremendous fiscal growth, a bull market,
and exponential explosion in personal finances, those individuals who strove for
and created their own wealth only to see it plummet in the past 24 months could
argue that securing adequate finances, if not wealth, should be the most important
factor in determining a career path.
These individuals created, then maintained, a lifestyle that required substan-
tial income. Beautiful homes, exotic vacations, luxury vehicles, Ivy League
educations, nightly socializing, and lavish entertainment cost tens of thousands of
dollars each year. When the stock market began its swift decline in October of
2000, many of these individuals lost sizeable amounts of money and were forced
to condense spending on non-essential items. Closure of large corporations forced
an increase in unemployment of white-collar jobs. Political and commercial
scandals pulled even more money out the economy. Due to these hardships, the
individuals who have been forced to live more conservatively than they are use to
could argue that it takes a significant amount of money to fund a “moderate”
lifestyle. Their skewed definition of a “moderate” lifestyle includes the homes,
vacations, luxury vehicles, Ivy League educations, socializing, and entertainment.
Because they grew accustomed to that level of lifestyle, they considered it
“moderate”, or normal. Now that they have had to cut back, they feel the loss of
status and material goods could be salvaged if only there was a way to produce
more income.
Alternately, individuals who chose a career based more upon their interests,
skills, talents, and even their “callings” rather than finances have not had to make

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such drastic adjustments as the economy has fluctuated. They have lived more
conservatively overall, and have not felt the pressure of substantially decreased
income. Also, because they chose occupations that were fulfilling both personally
and professionally, they tend to have higher levels of job satisfaction and a desire
to continue to further to develop skills in their field. Statistics have shown that
the happier a person is at his or her job, the happier his or her overall life is.
Of course, financial security is also necessary for a comfortable life. There-
fore, career choices should be made first upon skills, interests, and talents, and
secondarily upon financial security. Both are necessary for a well rounded and
fulfilling life.

Notes for Improvement

While this essay is appropriate in overall length and contains an adequate analysis
of the topic, there are areas in the essay where the writer tries to convey a point
and writes around the point without getting directly to it. For example, when the
writer discusses why the wealthier sector of society feels economic distress more
acutely than other sectors, he or she could make the point more succinctly.
Coherence is compromised with long sentences and ideas that, although valid, are
not as well organized as they could be.
This writer has also focused upon current economic conditions a little too
heavily and made the assumption that the wealthy suffer more in economic
downturns than do other sectors of the population. While this discussion may be
related to his or her point, it is laboriously presented and takes up too much of
the discussion. More importantly, it is largely irrelevant to the main point.
Cutting down on run-on sentences would help this writer clarify and
condense, as would limiting the use of unnecessary adjectives. And, while the
writing is generally acceptable, there are errors in grammar and syntax that
detract from its effectiveness. The example below represents a score of 5 or 6 and
is more concisely presented, substantially more cohesive, and grammatically

Response of Score 5–6

Financial gain is an important consideration when choosing a career. Without
adequate income, it is difficult to maintain shelter, food, and transportation. In
this essay, however, I will argue that financial gain, while important, should not
be the most important factor when deciding how to spend your professional life.
People who choose occupations that are closely aligned with their interests,
talents, and beliefs will spend their work time engaged in more fulfilling activity.
Since one is likely to spend at least half of one’s waking weekday hours at work,
fulfillment there is crucial to one’s happiness. Numerous studies have shown that
the happier a person is at work, the happier he or she is in other aspects of life.
If a person is fulfilled by the work itself, that sense of fulfillment is an
experience that can easily be renewed each day simply by going to work. But
what of people focused solely on financial gain? When they suffer a financial
decline, their source of satisfaction may not be so easily renewed. Throughout the

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1990s, many people accumulated unprecedented wealth. They may not have
enjoyed their work—they may even have short-changed their nonwork lives to
accumulate money—but at least they had the satisfaction of seeing their portfolios
grow. As their wealth increased, they may have leveraged it to borrow money for
a more expensive car or home. Then the bear market of 2000–2003 struck. Much
of their financial gain—the very thing that made their work worthwhile—
evaporated and left behind no sense of fulfillment or satisfaction.
During this same time period, the people who chose personally fulfilling
work still had access to it, while people who chose financial gain alone were left
holding decimated balance statements and perhaps crushing debt. For these
people, renewal of their sense of fulfillment would take much longer than driving
to work the next day.
For these reasons, financial gain should not be the most important factor in
choosing a career. It is an end-product of work rather than integral to the daily
experience of work. The person who enjoys work for itself day by day is more
likely to experience fulfillment and better positioned to renew that sense of
fulfillment in financially difficult times.


The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper:
“In the first four years that Jones-Harrison has served as President of the
country of Salmantir, the consumer spending has decreased and the unem-
ployment rate has increased. Two businesses have closed for each new
business that has opened. Under Bentley, who served for four years before
Jones-Harrison, the unemployment rate decreased and the consumer spend-
ing increased. Clearly, the residents of Salmantir would be best served if they
voted Jones-Harrison out of office and reelected Bentley.”

Sample Response—Score 2
This argument makes several good points, but it is not strong enough to be
completely believable. Examples and statistics are given but not everyone would
agree with the writer of this argument, just because there are facts presented.
Just because more businesses have closed than opened, doesn’t mean
Jones-Harrison has done a bad job. Also, it is possible that when Bentley was
President, the general economy is better or there were more jobs available; And it
isn’t the fault of a President if the consumer spending decreases.
Overall, Jones-Harrison may not want to run for reelection, and Bentley may
not want to by President again in the country. Basically, the writer doesn’t give
enough information to tell.
Before an election could occur, condition could change for the better, and
the people might be very happy with Jones-Harrison as President after all in
the position.

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Notes for Improvement

There are several areas where the analysis of this argument could be made more
coherent. First, the analysis is too brief to represent a thorough identification of
claims, exploration of alternative explanations, and a discussion of the line of
reasoning. The organization of thoughts and ideas presented by the writer of the
analysis is unclear and follows no logical arrangement.
Second, this analysis does not delve into why the argument is effective or
not. Rather, it states reasons why the events may or may not have occurred and
injects the analyzer’s opinions into the analysis. A successful analysis steers clear
of personal opinion or taking one side over the other. The analysis would have
been more effective if this writer had acknowledged the claims and given evi-
dence to support the claims or reasons why the claims could not be substantiated.
Third, this analysis does list alternatives to the argument: Jones-Harrison may
not want to run for reelection, Bentley may not want to be President again, and
before an election could occur, conditions could change for the better and the
people might be happy with Jones-Harrison as President after all. But, the alterna-
tives are to the actions of the participants in the argument, not to the validity of
the argument itself. Remember to analyze the argument, not the actions pre-
sented in the argument.
The writer of the analysis does point out some logical inconsistencies (“Just
because more businesses have closed than opened, doesn’t mean Jones-Harrison
has done a bad job” and “Also, it is possible that when Bentley was President, the
general economy is better or there were more jobs available”). But he or she does
not develop or organize them or present them in a grammatically correct manner.
The essay also contains dangling modifiers, standard punctuation errors, and
subject–verb agreement errors. These errors strongly detract from the cohesive-
ness of the analysis. There is also a lack of organization and coherence in the
structure of the sentences and paragraphs. The lack of transitions makes the
analysis difficult to follow.
With the linguistic weaknesses in the analysis (simple sentences, inexpressive
language, grammatical errors) and the failure of the writer to construct a critique
based on logical analysis, this essay would score a 2. The essay below implements
the points just discussed and demonstrates how to raise the score to a 5 or 6.

Sample Response—Score 5–6

This argument is presented clearly and backs up several of its claims with facts,
and the writer is passionate about his or her issue. However, the argument isn’t
strong enough to be convincing. Examples are given and a conclusion is drawn,
but the items offered as evidence are assumptions without justification, and the
ideas and facts offered as evidence can be disputed with simple logic. The essay
that follows will demonstrate the weak points in the argument, as well as suggest
ways to clarify and strengthen the argument.
Each of the four sentences in the argument contains an underlying assump-
tion that can be easily and logically challenged. In the first sentence, the implica-
tion is that President Jones-Harrison is solely responsible for a decline in consumer

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spending and an increase in unemployment in Salmantir. A President does not

exclusively control all of the economic factors that affect consumer spending and
employment. The general condition of the national economy; the growth or
decline of industry in the area; and local and national leadership other than that of
the President are just a few of the factors that influence consumer spending and
the stability of a workforce.
The second sentence states that more businesses have closed than opened
under President Jones-Harrison. There is no mention of the types of businesses,
the demographics of the country, the strength of the general economy, the
availability of funds for new business owners, or the conditions of the businesses
prior to Jones-Harrison’s taking office. Again, the assumption that Jones-Harrison is
solely responsible is a fallacious one.
The third sentence implies that Bentley controlled consumer spending and
employment better than Jones-Harrison has, but Bentley could not have controlled
these things any more than Jones-Harrison can. The general economy may have
been stronger, nonpresidential leadership may have been more proactive, and any
number of other reasons could explain the superior consumer spending and
employment under Bentley.
The final sentence boldly states that the residents of Salmantir would be
better off replacing Jones-Harrison with Bentley. Jones-Harrison may not want to
run for reelection, however, and Bentley may not be interested in seeking public
office again. The factors listed in the paragraphs above will most likely not change
with a change in president, and if they do change, it will be a slow change based
on numerous factors other than just a change in presidential leadership.
Overall, this argument would have been more convincing if, in discussing the
employment and consumer spending situation of Salmantir, factors other than
presidential leadership were discussed. The line of reasoning in the argument is
not based on reasoned, logical, or supported claims. The argument for one
presidential candidate over another should be based upon a complete understand-
ing of the issues of the community and the political, professional, and personal
stance of each candidate. Ill-founded confidence in a candidate could lead to
national turmoil.

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To succeed on this part of the GRE, you need to become familiar with the types of questions that the
test contains. These include vocabulary questions dealing with sentence completion, analogies,
reading passages, and antonyms. The section that follows offers explanation, strategies, and practice
with each type of question. Working through this information should help you improve your scores
on the examination. Each review contains sample questions with explanations of what skills and
techniques should be used for success. Working your way carefully through each section, you will
increase your understanding of the kinds of questions as you strengthen your skills.

In a sentence completion question, one or more words have been removed. You are required to
supply the missing word(s) that will best complete a sentence. These questions demand skill in
figuring out meanings from context. Choose words that BEST fit the meaning of the sentence. In
order to handle this type of question, you should first read the sentence as you see it without trying
to fill in the word(s). After reading, consider the MAIN IDEA of the sentence and THEN read the
choices. Remember, BOTH words must fit into the meaning of the sentence; therefore, read your
choice into the sentence supplying and evaluating BOTH words.

Choose words that best fit the meaning of the sentence:

The zoology students sat quietly in their observation post; they were pleasantly surprised to
observe, over the course of two days, a band of gorillas build a ______ camp each night. This
always followed a day of ______ for the berries and leaves that constitute their diet.
(A) solid..trading
(B) sturdy..roaming
(C) interesting..seeking
(D) makeshift..foraging
(E) circular..farming

Your knowledge of the meanings of words and the ability to use those words appropriately within a
given context will help you answer sentence completion questions. In addition, each sentence
provides key words, specific examples, or an overall logic that helps direct you to the correct answer,
regardless of your knowledge of the subject. The following strategies listed are also useful.


1. Relationships: As you read the sentence, note key words that show relationships. For
example, but, although, however, and on the other hand indicate contrasting ideas. And,
another, and the same denote similarity. Therefore, as a result, consequently, since, and
because signify a cause–effect relationship. In the example, followed indicates a time
2. Grammar and Logic: Eliminate any choices that make no sense or that are grammatically
incorrect. Choice (C) cannot be correct because the first blank requires a word beginning
with a consonant. Choice (E) cannot be correct because farming does not apply to gorillas
or their food.
3. Both blanks: Be sure that your choice of answer offers words that fit both blanks logically.
Often only one of a pair may seem a sensible choice. Read through both words in each
possible answer because both words must make sense. For example, in choice (A), solid
logically could be used to complete the sentence; however, trading—a human activity—
does not fit logically into the context of the sentence. Also, if two choices still seem to be
possibly correct answers, examine the choice of vocabulary carefully to determine any
nuances of meaning. Choices (B) and (D) both offer words that could be used to complete
the sentence; however, since the camp is remade each night, it is probably makeshift
rather than sturdy. Also, while the gorillas may be said to be roaming for food, foraging is
a more specific and suitable word because it means “searching for food.”


I attend the local college games, especially the one with our arch rival, State College. This year
was extremely tough for us. State led throughout the game; but, after the ______ of a strong rally
late in the ball game, we really thought we had a great chance of winning. Therefore, we were
doubly ______ when our team lost.
(A) lack. .surprised
(B) threat. .amused
(C) dispute. .annoyed
(D) excitement. .disappointed
(E) skill. .doubtful

Using the aforementioned clues and procedures, select the answer you think is best.

Rule 1 The key words in the sentence that help you determine this answer are strong, rally, and
lost. You can determine that by looking at the entire selection to see what its intent is.

Rule 2 indicates that choice (A) is not possible because it would make sense ONLY if the team
had won.

Rule 3 indicates that choice (B) cannot be correct. While the word threat seems reasonable, the
word amused does not. Applying this rule also helps you make the right selection of choice (D)
by pointing out that in the context of strong, rally, and lost, logically this one is the correct
choice. Choices (C) and (E) offer words whose meanings are incorrect in the context of the
sentence; therefore, rule 3 applies to them as well.

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Traditionally, countries with ______ borders requiring ______ must maintain a large army and
support it by imposing taxes.
(A) historic. .markers
(B) vulnerable. .defense
(C) vague. .exploration
(D) unwanted. .elimination
(E) contested. .estimation
Now, by applying the three rules again, which choice did you make?
Let’s look at choice (A) first. While historic will work in the sentence, markers does not because
it makes no sense. A country does NOT employ an army to maintain its markers; therefore, rule
3 fits here.
Choice (B) offers two words that are logical options, so rule 3 applies again. However, you must
be sure to read all of the possible choices before you select an answer.
Choices (C) and (D) present options that are NOT logical. A vague border would not require
exploration; an unwanted border does not require an army to eliminate the border. Choice (E)
makes no sense at all. Therefore, rule 2 applies to all three of these selections.

An analogy question presents two words that are related in some way, and it requires you to first
discover the relationship, then find another pair of words that is related in the same way. Note the
following example:
(A) reporting : informing
(B) training : helping
(C) discovering : exploring
(D) marketing : research
(E) creating : destroying
To answer analogy questions, use the following strategies:
1. First, determine the relationship between the first pair of words and state that relationship in
the form of a complete sentence: “Advertising is a means of selling products to an audience.”
2. Then find a pair of words in the answer choices that can be substituted for the original
pair: “Reporting is a means of informing an audience.” None of the other choices expresses
quite the same relationship. Although you can say, “Training is a means of helping an
audience,” the context is much more general. Choice (A) is the best.
3. You may ask, “What if I do not know the definition of some word? How do I make a choice?” It
is essential that you establish a logical connection between the original pair of words. If you are
unsure of the definition of either, you must consider whether you are willing to risk a guess. The
question may be one you choose to skip at this point and perhaps return to if you have time.
Remember as well that your score is calculated by penalizing you one fourth of a point for each
incorrect answer. Omitting a question neither reduces nor adds to your score.

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Types of Relationships in Analogy Questions

The following table illustrates some of the most common types of relationships you will encounter in
analogy questions:
Type of Analogy Example
Action of Object PLAY : CLARINET ::
incise : knife
Cause to Effect SUN : SUNBURN ::
overeating : indigestion
Item to Category IGUANA : REPTILE ::
cat : mammal
Object to Its Function PENCIL : WRITING ::
tractor : plowing
Object to Its Material CURTAINS : CLOTH ::
windows : glass
Part to Whole PAGE : BOOK ::
limb : tree
Time Sequence RECENT : CURRENT ::
antique : obsolete
Word to Antonym ASSIST : HINDER ::
enthrall : bore
portent : omen
Worker and Creation ARTIST : SKETCH ::
composer : etude
Worker and Workplace CHEF : KITCHEN ::
judge : courtroom
Word and Word Derived from ACT : ACTION ::
image : imagine

Now, using the two previously described procedures and the preceding table, look at these examples.

Example 1

(A) trousers : speech
(B) glasses : vision
(C) earmuffs : movement
(D) blinders : hearing
(E) glove : hand

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The correct answer is (B). Now, consider the relationship between the words MNEMONIC :
MEMORY. A mnemonic device helps one to remember. Choices (A), (C), (D), and (E) cannot be
logical answers because none of these offers the same relationship. Speech has no relationship to
trousers. Earmuffs have no relationship to movement, and blinders have no relationship to hearing.
While a glove covers a hand, it does not help to produce a hand. Choice (B) is correct because
glasses are designed to aid vision or to help one to see. The relationship is identical to that of the
original pair; it is a Cause to Effect relationship.

Example 2

(A) risible : yawns
(B) bilious : smiles
(C) lachrymose : tears
(D) ribald : moans
(E) frown : grin

The correct answer is (C). Again, using the previously described procedures, you can determine
that a waggish remark is designed to produce laughs. Looking at choices (A), (B), (D), and (E), you
can see that they are incorrect because they do not produce the same relationship. Risible means
laughable, while bilious refers to a yellowish coloration of the skin, and ribald pertains to coarse,
offensive humor. Choices (A) and (E) are incorrect because the relationship in each is Word to
Antonym, while choices (B) and (D) are wrong because the relationship in each is not Cause to Effect.

Example 3

(A) liturgy : ribald
(B) encomium : complimentary
(C) harangue : restrained
(D) paean : scurrilous
(E) anecdote : story

The correct answer is (B). The relationship is Word to Synonym since a philippic is a kind of
speech that is, by definition, vituperative or scathing. Choices (A), (C), and (D) have the relationship
of Word to Antonym. Choice (B), on the other hand, is correct because an encomium is a kind of
speech that is, by definition, complimentary. Choice (E) is incorrect since the relationship is Item to

Antonym questions require you to use your vocabulary skills as well as to develop relationships and
thought processes.
Antonym questions provide a single word and ask you to select from a list of words the ONE that
is most opposite in meaning.

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Example 1
(A) indifference
(B) wrath
(C) zeal
(D) expression
(E) bewilderment
Several strategies can help you to answer antonym questions:
1. Try to define the meaning of the question word yourself before reviewing the choices.
Remember to look for a word that is most nearly opposite in meaning. Be careful NOT to
choose a synonym, such as indifference in the preceding example.
2. If no answer is immediately apparent, eliminate the obviously incorrect choices. Keep in
mind that many words have more than one meaning. If no choice seems to have the
opposite meaning, think of other meanings for the question word.
3. Choose the word that is most nearly opposite in meaning. In the preceding example, both
wrath and zeal indicate strong emotional involvement. However, wrath refers to intense
anger, while zeal refers to intense enthusiasm. The correct answer, therefore, would be
choice (C), zeal.

Example 2
(A) prevent
(B) drain
(C) expose
(D) revive
(E) stick
The correct answer is (D). Using the procedure already described, consider the meaning of wilt.
You probably thought of a flower as it begins to suffer from a loss of water, or because of extreme
heat. You recognize that the wilting flower is about to die. So, what you need is an opposite. Neither
choices (A), (B), (C), nor (E) denotes the same relationship. Indeed, prevent, choice (A), seems to
ward off the wilting condition. Choices (B) and (E) make no sense. Choice (C) might be the CAUSE of
the wilting, but it would not be the opposite of wilt. Therefore, the answer is choice (D), revive. The
word revive means to bring back to life or to stop the wilting. The meaning is opposite.

Example 3
(A) spontaneous
(B) conclusive
(C) disruptive
(D) vindictive
(E) strenuous

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The correct answer is (A). Using the procedure, what do you discover? Premeditated means to plan
or set out to accomplish. One might even say that premeditated is planned. So, we need an antonym
that indicates no planning at all. Choice (A) is correct. Spontaneous indicates an action that is NOT
planned or premeditated. Choice (B) at first seems a possible choice; however, when we think about
it, conclusive means either closing or decisive. Premeditated is NOT opening or tentative; therefore,
the answer is not correct. Choice (C) indicates a loss of control that has nothing to do with our word.
Choice (D) evokes the meaning of a grudge or an attempt to make up for something that has already
happened. Premeditated activities are not always vindictive. Choice (E) means using great amounts of
energy. Premeditated activities are not necessarily strenuous.

Do you see how the reasoning process works? Now, let us try one more.

Example 4
(A) rarity
(B) mobility
(C) complexity
(D) narrowness
(E) roughness
The correct answer is (D). Remembering the procedure, did you decide that breadth means broad
or wide? Good, that is correct! Now, look at the answers. Choice (A) cannot be correct because
something broad does not have to be common, which would be necessary for rarity to be the
opposite. In addition, choice (B) cannot be correct because something that is broad is not always
stationary; therefore, mobility as the opposite would not be true either. Choice (C) cannot be correct
because something broad or wide does not have to be simple; therefore, the opposite cannot be
complex. Choice (E) cannot be correct because something broad does not have to be smooth, which
would make roughness an antonym. You see that something that has breadth MAY be the opposite of
all of these things, but none of them is required for the definition to fit. Choice (D) is correct because
something that has breadth cannot be narrow.

Now it’s time to practice what you have learned in this section. Following are three review sections:
Sentence Completions, Analogies, and Antonyms. Go through each section, answering all of the
questions and then carefully checking your answers. If you are still having problems with any one
section, come back to this chapter and reread it.

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Unit 2

Directions: Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating
that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five lettered words or
sets of words. Choose a set of words for each pair of blanks that best fits the
meaning of the sentence as a whole.

1. Philosophers tell us that one’s lifetime is ______ when considered from the
viewpoint of ______ making humans appear much less important than they
think in the grand scheme of things.
(A) laudatory. .prestidigitation
(B) jaded. .youth
(C) ephemeral. .eternity
(D) superfluous. .transience
(E) gauche. .theology
2. The primitive emotions of love and hate, even though extreme opposites,
are found in varying degrees even in the most ______ and ____ person,
according to sociologists.
(A) brackish. .mature
(B) sylvan. .intellectual
(C) celestial. .civilized
(D) beneficent. .stable
(E) defunct. .healthy
3. When surveying the rule of the elderly king, we could only conclude that as
he neared his ______ he became a(n) ______ ruler, which was obvious by
his inattention to some matters.
(A) pinnacle. .blatant
(B) dotage. .effete
(C) prime. .voluble
(D) euphony. .dissident
(E) prerogative. .covert
4. Surveying the college course guide, we could conclude that ______ is a
phase of the study of ______.
(A) nihilism. .gynecology
(B) hypertension. .etymology
(C) recidivism. .criminology
(D) altruism. .paleontology
(E) hallucination. .chivalry


5. A refugee may be forced to ______ allegiance to his former country and

______ all of his former friends in order to work in a new country.
(A) fabricate. .garble
(B) fetch. .extradite
(C) fluctuate. .expurgate
(D) abjure. .forsake
(E) lacerate. .occlude
6. Some experts think that the origin of schizophrenia is ______; others
believe it is ______.
(A) contiguous. .environmental
(B) congenital. .environmental
(C) congenital. .deleterious
(D) contagious. .pathological
(E) exogenous. .celestial
7. Even though we had heard that Professor Smith of the English Department
taught an easy class, we knew that ______ and ______ are usually studied
by those who enjoy the language.
(A) liturgy. .pantheism
(B) philology. .etymology
(C) prosody. .ubiquity
(D) tautology. .simony
(E) raillery. .verity
8. When I am ______, I am also ______, I explained to my friends who
wondered at my long face.
(A) scintillating. .verbose
(B) quiescent. .succinct
(C) lugubrious. .lachrymose
(D) reviled. .providential
(E) providential. .rubicund
9. One of the things we learned in health class is that when eating, it is
important to ______ thoroughly in order for proper ______ to occur.
(A) rankle. .temerity
(B) mitigate. .digestion
(C) transmute. .veneration
(D) query. .progeny
(E) masticate. .digestion
10. Compelled by my professor to attend a lecture by an aging former teacher, I
found the lecture was full of ______, and, as I had suspected and dreaded, it
became most ______.
(A) clichés. .bromidic
(B) gabble. .blatant
(C) foibles. .bombastic
(D) histrionics. .insidious
(E) metaphors. .laconic

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11. After introducing two of my friends, I learned that the introduction was a
disaster because her ______ immediately led her to suspect his ______ in
discussing his life experiences.
(A) philology. .valiant
(B) rancor. .secular
(C) vigilance. .petulance
(D) perspicacity. .fraudulence
(E) vagary. .indolent
12. My friends were absolutely amazed when attending a religious convocation
where the ______ outbursts of the congregation were ignored by the
(A) heretical. .indigent
(B) heinous. .indolent
(C) profane. .ecclesiastic
(D) ebullient. .commissary
(E) flagrant. .exodus
13. After ruining her dress, I would have preferred her most biting ______ to
the ______ looks she directed my way.
(A) euphemisms. .consummate
(B) anodynes. .feckless
(C) diatribes. .reproachful
(D) effigies. .refulgent
(E) histrionics. .penitent
14. During the fearful storm, the people in its path ______ God for divine
(A) importuned. .intervention
(B) imputed. .favors
(C) expiated. .revelation
(D) deprecated. .power
(E) immortalized. .gifts
15. After studying psychology for a quarter, I can see that my friend is a ______
because he is always ______ favors from others.
(A) sycophant. .currying
(B) benediction. .eliciting
(C) brigand. .flouting
(D) facade. .brandishing
(E) tryst. .avowing
16. Many of my peers have turned to religion, realizing that the ______ in the
church was a sign of ______ rather than money-hungry leaders.
(A) tithe. .redress
(B) windfall. .sacrilege
(C) skeptic. .predilection
(D) wraith. .piety
(E) schism. .sedition

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17. After the burglarizing of my home, I overheard the detective remark to the
police officer that apparently the thief had moved in a ______, ______
(A) sensuous. .tangible
(B) furtive. .surreptitious
(C) phlegmatic. .probing
(D) moribund. .menial
(E) ostentatious. .patrician
18. During our commencement, the student body president delivered the
______, which had a ______ effect on the audience.
(A) martinet. .pernicious
(B) patrimony. .depraved
(C) salutatory. .bracing
(D) elixir. .blatant
(E) cudgel. .brusque
19. Returning home for vacation, I learned that my mother’s new medicine had
made her extremely ______ and ______.
(A) articulate. .copious
(B) doltish. .overt
(C) autocratic. .congruent
(D) torpid. .phlegmatic
(E) ludicrous. .remiss
20. When I interviewed for a journalist’s position, I was told that often the
editor was very ______; he made numerous ______.
(A) sedentary. .rifts
(B) fastidious. .emendations
(C) saline. .parables
(D) maudlin. .orifices
(E) onerous. .idylls
21. My erratic brother gives us all kinds of problems; his occasional ______
______ are frightening to the family members.
(A) spurious. .tacks
(B) transitory. .oblations
(C) turgid. .zephyrs
(D) sporadic. .fulminations
(E) perfidious. .nosegays
22. When listening to nursery rhymes, my daughter likes the part in which the
______ witch uses a tiny doll as a ______.
(A) ductile. .missal
(B) eviscerated. .derelict
(C) exacting. .crux
(D) malevolent. .fetish
(E) doughty. .doxology

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23. When my Criminal Justice class observed a courtroom proceeding, we

watched while one accused was examined; the ______ heard the testimony
and ______ the man to jail.
(A) iconoclast. .condoled
(B) bourgeois. .denuded
(C) doggerel. .eulogized
(D) consort. .imbibed
(E) arbiter. .remanded
24. My friend’s uncle is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous; his ______ led to
an ______ liver disease.
(A) dipsomania. .ineluctable
(B) avarice. .auspicious
(C) volition. .unctuous
(D) sojourn. .audacious
(E) tableau. .incipient
25. Can you believe that I won the photo contest with the ______ of the two
pictures that was most ______, even though I only tried to hang them
where there were nails!
(A) sophistry. .hallow
(B) juxtaposition. .esthetic
(C) trappings. .emaciated
(D) pseudonym. .facile
(E) corollary. .extraneous
26. In Biology class, we learned about animal families, so that I was able to
understand that members of the ______ family are ______ and why my
farmer uncle grows grass.
(A) bovine. .herbivorous
(B) anthropoid. .adamant
(C) conduit. .corpulent
(D) congenital. .incarnadine
(E) heretic. .chivalrous
27. When my sister got her first job, her novice ______ led to a ridiculous
(A) collusion. .consanguinity
(B) synthesis. .cordovan
(C) colophon. .temerity
(D) ineptitude. .imbroglio
(E) chauvinism. .quirk
28. In Meteorology, we learned that the ______ around the moon is a(n) ______
(A) parody. .audacious
(B) oblation. .heretic
(C) hiatus. .onerous
(D) corona. .auspicious
(E) dregs. .organic

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29. During the time of Teddy Roosevelt, soldiers in battle might see the ______
troop appear over the ______.
(A) equestrian. .butte
(B) albino. .heyday
(C) exorbitant. .pendant
(D) diabolic. .ventricle
(E) incendiary. .rhesus
30. After a year of hard work in the metropolitan rush, as a relief from ______
pressures, many plan to ______ on their vacation.
(A) inveterate. .pique
(B) urban. .rusticate
(C) pent. .prate
(D) neolithic. .venerate
(E) laconic. .slake

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Quick Score Answers

1. C 6. B 11. D 16. A 21. D 26. A
2. D 7. B 12. C 17. B 22. D 27. D
3. B 8. C 13. C 18. C 23. E 28. D
4. C 9. E 14. A 19. D 24. A 29. A
5. D 10. A 15. A 20. B 25. B 30. B


1. The correct answer is (C). The key words are less important. A good word would
be “unimportant.” That eliminates choices (A), (D), and (E). The trigger for the
second blank is grand scheme of things. A good word choice would be “lifetime.”
That eliminates choice (B).
2. The correct answer is (D). The clue in the sentence is emotions . . . are found.
The trigger words are even in the most. A good word for a person who would have
both qualities would be “good.” That eliminates choices (A), (B), and (E). Since
celestial means “heavenly,” it cannot apply to a person. This eliminates choice (C).
3. The correct answer is (B). The key word here is elderly. A good word would be
“senile.” This eliminates choices (A) and (E). The trigger for the second blank is
inattention. A good word would be “tired.” That eliminates choices (C) and (D).
4. The correct answer is (C). It is the only choice that correctly describes a phase of
an academic subject.
5. The correct answer is (D). The key word is refugee. A good word for what a
refugee must do is “surrender.” That eliminates choices (A), (C), and (E). A good
word for another act for a refugee would be “forgo.” That eliminates choice (B).
6. The correct answer is (B). The key words are some experts think. A good word
for what some would believe is “genetic.” That would eliminate choices (A) and (E).
The trigger for the second blank is others believe. A good word for the opposite of
what is in the first blank would be “acquired.” That eliminates choices (C) and (D).
7. The correct answer is (B). The key word is English. A good word for a characteris-
tic of an English teacher is “scholar.” That eliminates choices (A), (D), and (E). The
trigger for the second blank is language. That eliminates choice (C).
8. The correct answer is (C). The key words are long face. A good word would be
“sad.” That eliminates choices (A), (D), and (E). Another good word is “tearful.” That
eliminates choice (B).
9. The correct answer is (E). The key word is eating. A good word is “chew.” That
would eliminate choices (A), (B), and (D). A good word for the result of chewing is
“utilize.” That eliminates choice (C).
10. The correct answer is (A). The key word for the second blank is dreaded. A good
choice would be “boring.” That eliminates choices (B), (D), and (E). The trigger
word for the first blank is aging. A good choice would be “overused phrases.” That
eliminates choice (C).

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11. The correct answer is (D). The key word is suspect. A good word would be
“distrust.” That eliminates choices (A) and (E). The trigger for the second blank is
discussing his life experiences. A good word would be “honesty.” That eliminates
choices (B) and (C).
12. The correct answer is (C). The key words for the second blank are church leader.
A good word would be “priest.” That eliminates choices (A), (B), and (E). The trigger
for the first blank is outbursts. A good word would be “irreligious.” That eliminates
choice (D).
13. The correct answer is (C). The key words are would have preferred. A good word
is “cursing.” That eliminates choices (A), (B), and (D). The trigger for the second
blank is looks. A good word is “blaming.” That eliminates choice (E).
14. The correct answer is (A). The key words are fearful storm. A good word would
be “prayed.” That eliminates choices (C), (D), and (E). The trigger for the second
blank is divine. A good word would be “assistance.” That eliminates choice (B).
15. The correct answer is (A). The key words for the second blank are favors from
others. A good word would be “begging.” That eliminates choices (C), (D), and (E).
For the first blank, key words are studying psychology, which would lead one to
observe behavior. A good word would be “flatterer.” That eliminates choice (B).
16. The correct answer is (A). The key word is money-hungry. A good word would
be “begging.” That eliminates choices (C), (D), and (E). The trigger words for the
second blank are turned to. A good word would be “good.” That eliminates
choice (B).
17. The correct answer is (B). The key word is burglarizing. Two synonyms are
needed, as indicated by the comma between the blanks. A good word would be
“sneaky.” That eliminates choices (A), (C), and (E). Another good word for such
behavior would be “careful.” That eliminates choice (D).
18. The correct answer is (C). The key word is commencement. A good word for a
speech delivered on such an occasion is “address.” That eliminates choices (A), (B),
and (E). The trigger for the second blank is effect. A good word would be “energiz-
ing.” That eliminates choice (D).
19. The correct answer is (D). The key here is that we need synonyms, as indicated
by the pairing divided by “and.” A good word for the result of medication is
“drowsy.” This eliminates choices (A), (C), and (E). Another good word is “sleepy.”
This eliminates choice (B).
20. The correct answer is (B). The key word here is editor. A good word for the work
of an editor is “exacting.” That eliminates choices (A), (C), and (D). The trigger for
the second blank is numerous. A good word would be “corrections.” This eliminates
choice (E).
21. The correct answer is (D). The key words are erratic and problems. We need an
adjective and a noun, as indicated by the lack of a comma between the two words.
A good word choice would be “infrequent.” That eliminates choices (A) and (E). The
trigger for the second blank is frightening. A good word would be “displays.” That
eliminates choices (B) and (C).
22. The correct answer is (D). The key words are nursery rhymes. A good word for a
witch in such a work would be “evil.” That eliminates choices (A), (C), and (E). The
trigger for the second blank is doll. A good word would be an “effigy.” That elimi-
nates choice (B).

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23. The correct answer is (E). The key word is courtroom. A good word for one who
hears in a courtroom is “judge.” That eliminates choices (B), (C), and (D). The
trigger words for the second blank are to jail. Good word choices would be “sent
back.” That eliminates choice (A).
24. The correct answer is (A). The clue here is Alcoholics Anonymous. A good word
would be “alcoholism.” That eliminates choices (B), (D), and (E). The trigger for the
second blank is liver disease. A good word would be “cirrhosis.” That eliminates
choice (C).
25. The correct answer is (B). The clue here is hang them. A good word would be
“arrangement.” That eliminates choices (A), (D), and (E). The trigger for the second
blank requires a result. A good word would be “interesting.” That eliminates
choice (C).
26. The correct answer is (A). The key word for the second blank is grass. That
eliminates choices (B), (C), and (E). The clue for the first blank is animal. A good
word would be “cow.” That eliminates choice (D).
27. The correct answer is (D). The key words are first job and novice. A characteristic
of a beginner would be “lack of training.” That eliminates choices (B), (C), and (E).
The trigger for the second blank is ridiculous. A good word would be “confusion.”
That eliminates choice (A).
28. The correct answer is (D). The key words here are around the moon. A good
word would be “circle.” That eliminates choices (A), (B), and (E). The trigger for the
second blank is sign. A good word would be “beautiful.” That eliminates choice (C).
29. The correct answer is (A). The key words here are Teddy Roosevelt, whom we
revere as our president, who rode with the cavalry. A good word would be “horse.”
That eliminates choices (C), (D), and (E). The trigger for the second word is over.
A good word would be “rise.” That eliminates choice (B).
30. The correct answer is (B). The key words are metropolitan rush. A good word
would be “city.” That eliminates choices (C), (D), and (E). The trigger for the second
blank is vacation. A good word would be “country.” That eliminates choice (A).

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Unit 3

Directions: In each of the following questions, a related pair of words or

phrases is followed by five lettered pairs of words or phrases. Select the lettered
pair that best expresses a relationship similar to that expressed in the original

(A) smooth : soft
(B) rough : smooth
(C) tall : high
(D) rough : tough
(E) often : frequent
2. NEEDLE : SEW ::
(A) pencil : paper
(B) radio : electricity
(C) picture : color
(D) towel : dry
(E) book : cover
(A) camp : fire
(B) jog : fatigue
(C) sing : voice
(D) tight : choke
(E) play : win
(A) hat : shoes
(B) right : left
(C) rug : carpet
(D) introduction : epilogue
(E) step : stair
(A) hammer : nail
(B) light : bulb
(C) oven : fire
(D) bicycle : ride
(E) drill : bit


(A) honey : milk
(B) shovel : hoe
(C) key : door
(D) pit : peach
(E) volume : monograph
(A) bow : gun
(B) Ford : car
(C) sand : glass
(D) tent : camp
(E) stagecoach : jet
(A) house : man
(B) tree : bark
(C) cabin : hunter
(D) tent : camping
(E) tepee : Indian
(A) confusion : adaptation
(B) priest : officer
(C) time : minutes
(D) team : player
(E) breeze : sunshine
10. APPLE : PIE ::
(A) dentist : teeth
(B) milk : cake
(C) sin : evil
(D) flour : bread
(E) eat : salad
(A) snake : bite
(B) frog : swim
(C) mayor : city
(D) student : college
(E) land : human
(A) car : tire
(B) fast : long
(C) charcoal : flame
(D) cool : freezing
(E) light : dark

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(A) star : flag
(B) face : head
(C) mountain : field
(D) tadpole : frog
(E) animal : fur
(A) land : lake
(B) valley : hill
(C) wolf : dog
(D) Europe : Ireland
(E) New York : Rochester
15. RAIN : DROP ::
(A) milk : bucket
(B) ice : skid
(C) water : icicle
(D) snow : flake
(E) pudding : bowl
(A) Russia : France
(B) Italy : Sicily
(C) Lima : Peru
(D) New York : New York City
(E) England : Ireland
17. BLADE : SKATE ::
(A) car : gas
(B) chair : leg
(C) table : knife
(D) wheel : bike
(E) bowl : soup
(A) sociology : anthropology
(B) medicine : law
(C) history : biology
(D) obstetrics : thanatology
(E) geology : chemistry
(A) player : coach
(B) farmer : cowboy
(C) senator : congressman
(D) typist : secretary
(E) janitor : engineer

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(A) message : messenger
(B) capitalist : interest
(C) mother : daughter
(D) reporter : editor
(E) lieutenant : army
(A) bread : toast
(B) orange : kumquat
(C) prune : plum
(D) apple : berry
(E) wash : hang
(A) energy : resistance
(B) ship : harbor
(C) dissect : join
(D) disease : epidemic
(E) surgeon : operation
(A) camp : counselor
(B) hospital : health
(C) school : books
(D) palace : royal
(E) airport : hangar
24. RUNG : LADDER ::
(A) buckle : belt
(B) logs : cabin
(C) step : stairway
(D) bricks : concrete
(E) limbs : body
(A) spring : fall
(B) 2 p.m. : 5 p.m.
(C) Sunday : Friday
(D) light : dark
(E) sun : moon
(A) ring : bell
(B) staff : stick
(C) courage : strength
(D) dust : chalk
(E) gravity : pull

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(A) oxygen : breathe
(B) gold : jewelry
(C) mercury : liquid
(D) plant : grow
(E) steel : solid
28. BOMB : TARGET ::
(A) aim : miss
(B) train : station
(C) brow : forehead
(D) ball : throw
(E) vest : suit
(A) toothpick : tooth
(B) ocean : lake
(C) shrub : tree
(D) raspberry : apple
(E) star : galaxy
(A) clamp : hold
(B) fire : flames
(C) dollar : penny
(D) trail : path
(E) swellings : mumps

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Quick Score Answers

1. B 6. E 11. C 16. C 21. C 26. E
2. D 7. E 12. D 17. D 22. D 27. C
3. B 8. E 13. D 18. D 23. B 28. B
4. D 9. B 14. D 19. D 24. C 29. E
5. E 10. D 15. D 20. D 25. B 30. E


1. The correct answer is (B). The words are antonyms. Only choice (B) contains
antonyms; therefore, the best answer is choice (B). Choice (A) is incorrect; smooth
and soft are similar and not opposites. Choice (C) is incorrect for the same reason;
tall and high are similar. Choice (D) is incorrect; rough and tough are rhyming
words and slightly similar, and therefore incorrect. Choice (E) is incorrect; often and
frequent are synonyms.
2. The correct answer is (D). The relationship is Object to Its Function. A needle is
used by a person to sew; a towel is used by a person to dry, therefore choice (D) is
correct. Choice (A) is incorrect; pencil and paper do have a relationship; however, if
paper is a noun, the relationship is not Object to Its Function. If it is a verb, there is
no relationship because a pencil is not used to paper a wall. Choice (B) is incorrect;
a radio uses electricity. Choice (C) is incorrect; a picture might have color. Choice
(E) is incorrect; a book has a cover. In choices (A), (B), (C), and (E), the relationship
is not that of Object to Its Function.
3. The correct answer is (B). Fasting causes hunger; jogging causes fatigue. The
relationship is Cause to Effect. Choice (A) is incorrect; a camp does not cause a fire.
The camp may have a fire as a part of its program, but it does not cause the fire.
Choice (C) is incorrect; sing does not cause voice. A voice is needed to sing, but will
not necessarily cause singing. Choice (D) is incorrect; something tight may or may
not cause one to choke. Choice (E) is incorrect; playing does not cause winning.
One may wish that it did, but it does not. Only choice (B) has the proper Cause to
Effect relationship.
4. The correct answer is (D). Both sets list a beginning and an end—an appetizer
begins the meal, a dessert ends the meal; an introduction begins a speech, an
epilogue ends the speech. Choice (A) is incorrect; while a hat is on the head and
shoes are on the feet, this is not a relationship of beginning and ending. Choices (B),
(C), and (E) are incorrect. The relationship of right and left is Opposites; the same is
true of rug and carpet, and of step and stair.
5. The correct answer is (E). A candle cannot serve its purpose without a wick;
similarly, a drill cannot serve its purpose without a bit. The relationship is Part to
Whole. Choice (A) is incorrect; a hammer pounds a nail, but the nail is not part of
the hammer. Choice (B) is incorrect; a bulb may give light but light is not part of
the bulb. Choice (C) is incorrect; there may be fire in an oven, but fire is not part of
the oven. Choice (D) is incorrect; a bicycle is used to ride but requires a third party
to accomplish it.

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6. The correct answer is (E). A barrel is a large container; a vial is a small container.
A volume is a large book; a monograph is a small one. The relationship is Oppo-
sites. Choice (A) is incorrect; honey and milk are natural products but have no
relationship as opposites. Choice (B) is incorrect; shovel and hoe are both objects
used for basically the same purpose and are not opposites. Choice (C) is incorrect; a
key is used to open a door; it is not the opposite of a door. Choice (D) is incorrect;
a pit is a part of a peach and therefore not an opposite.
7. The correct answer is (E). A rocket is a modern projectile; an arrow is an archaic
one. A jet is a modern means of transportation; a stagecoach is an archaic one. The
relationship is that of old and new, or Opposites. Choice (A) is incorrect; the bow
and the gun are both weapons but do not have the old/new relationship. Choice (B)
is incorrect; a Ford is a make of car, and without the proper relationship. Choice (C)
is incorrect; sand is used to make glass, but it is not the opposite of glass. Choice
(D) is incorrect; a tent is used in camping, which does not have the old/new
relationship. Only choice (E) has the same old/new relationship.
8. The correct answer is (E). An igloo is the precise name for an Eskimo house, just
as a tepee is the precise name for an Indian house; the relationship is Synonyms.
While choice (A) is similar, it is not precise; it is too general; mankind does live in a
house, but the meaning is not precise. Choice (B) is incorrect; a tree is covered with
bark, but the two are not synonymous. Choice (C) is incorrect; the relationship is
imprecise; a hunter might use a cabin, but these words are not synonyms. Choice
(D) is incorrect; a tent is used for camping, but it is not a synonym for camping.
9. The correct answer is (B). A church and the state are organizations in a society.
The head of a church is a priest; the head of a state is an officer; the relationship is
Parts of a Whole. Choice (A) is incorrect; confusion might cause adaptation; but it
is not a part of adaptation. Choice (C) is incorrect; time is measured in minutes but
the minutes are parts of an hour, not time. Choice (D) is incorrect; a team is made
up of players, but the two are not part of the same whole. Choice (E) is incorrect;
breeze and sunshine are both attributes of weather, but the relationship is not as
specific as choice (B).
10. The correct answer is (D). Apples are made into a pie; flour is made into bread.
The relationship is Object to Outcome. Choice (A) is incorrect; a dentist works on
teeth but does not make them. Choice (B) is incorrect; milk is sometimes used in
making a cake, but the function is not as specific. Choice (C) is incorrect; sin is not
made into evil; sin and evil are synonymous. Choice (E) is incorrect; one might eat a
salad, but the relationship is different, because it has a verb and a noun, rather than
two nouns.
11. The correct answer is (C). The head of a nation is a president; the head of a city
is a mayor; the relationship is Part to Whole. Choice (A) is incorrect; a snake may
bite; however, the snake is not head of the bite. Choice (B) is incorrect; a frog may
swim but is not head of the swim. Choice (D) is incorrect; a student may attend
college, but a student is not the head of the college. Choice (E) is incorrect; a
human may use the land, but is not the head of it.
12. The correct answer is (D). Tepid is moderate: boiling is extreme. Similarly, cool is
moderate; freezing is extreme. The words are Opposites. Choice (A) is incorrect; a
car has a tire, but the two words are not opposites. Choice (B) is incorrect; fast and
long do not have opposite connotations. Choice (C) is incorrect; charcoal is ignited
by a flame, but these words are not opposites. Choice (E) is incorrect; while light
and dark are opposites, there is not the specific relationship of temperature, as in
choice (D).

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13. The correct answer is (D). A caterpillar becomes a butterfly; a tadpole becomes a
frog. The relationship is Object to Outcome. Choice (A) is incorrect; the flag may
have a star, but a star will not become a flag. Choice (B) is incorrect; a face will not
become a head; the face is part of the head. Choice (C) is incorrect; a mountain
may contain a field, but it will not become a field. Choice (E) is incorrect; an
animal will not become fur but is covered in fur. Only choice (D) has the correct
14. The correct answer is (D). North America is the continent where the country of
Canada is found. Europe is the continent where the country of Ireland is found.
The relationship is Part to Whole. Choice (A) is incorrect; a land is not necessarily
where a lake is found; the relationship is nonspecific. Choice (B) is incorrect; a
valley is not necessarily where a hill is found. Choice (C) is incorrect; a wolf is not
where a dog is found: Choice (E) is incorrect; while New York is where Rochester is
found, the specific relationship is continent to country, not state to city.
15. The correct answer is (D). Rain falls in drops; snow falls in flakes. The relation-
ship is Whole to Part. Choice (A) is incorrect; milk does not come in a bucket.
Choice (B) is incorrect; ice may relate to skid, but ice is not a part of a skid. Choice
(C) is incorrect; water may become an icicle, but an icicle is not a part of water. The
relationship is imprecise. Choice (E) is incorrect; pudding may be served in a bowl,
but the relationship is not Whole to Part. Only choice (D) has the appropriate
16. The correct answer is (C). Antwerp is a city in Belgium; Lima is a city in Peru.
Both Belgium and Peru are countries. Choice (A) is incorrect; Russia and France are
both countries; however, there is not the relationship of City to Country. Choice (B)
is incorrect; Italy and Sicily are both countries. Choice (D) is incorrect; New York is
a state, and New York City is a city, but the relationship we seek is city to country.
Choice (E) is incorrect; England is a country, as is Ireland. Only choice (C) has the
proper relationship of city to country.
17. The correct answer is (D). A blade on a skate touches the ground; a wheel on a
bike touches the ground. Choice (A) is incorrect; a car uses gas, but the relationship
is not precise. Choice (B) is incorrect; a chair has a leg on which to stand, but the
relationship is Object to Part, rather than Part to Object. Choice (C) is incorrect; a
table may have a knife on it, but the knife is not a part of the table. Choice (E) is
incorrect; a bowl may contain soup, but soup is not part of a bowl.
18. The correct answer is (D). Pediatrics deals with children; geriatrics deals with the
aged. Similarly, obstetrics deals with birth, and thanatology deals with death. The
relationship is Opposites. Choices (A), (B), (C), and (E) are incorrect; sociology and
anthropology are both the study of man; medicine and law are both courses of
professional study; history and biology are both courses of study; geology and
chemistry are both courses of study in science; however, none has the same
relationship as choice (D).
19. The correct answer is (D). A bookkeeper is a novice accountant as a typist is a
novice secretary. The relationship is Cause to Effect. Choice (A) is incorrect; a
player needs a coach and may one day become a coach, but a coach does not have
to be a player. Choice (B) is incorrect; a farmer is not a novice cowboy. Choice (C)
is incorrect; a senator is not a novice congressman. Choice (E) is not correct; a
janitor is not a novice engineer.

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20. The correct answer is (D). A lawyer may become a judge; a reporter may become
an editor. The relationship is the ultimate of accomplishments for the professional.
Choice (A) is incorrect; a messenger carries a message; but there is no relationship.
Choice (B) is incorrect; a capitalist may collect interest; but there is not the same
relationship. Choice (C) is incorrect; a mother will not necessarily become a
daughter; the reverse may be true. She is her mother’s daughter. The relationship is
not the same. Choice (E) is incorrect; a lieutenant does not become an army; a
lieutenant is part of an army.
21. The correct answer is (C). A raisin is a dried grape; a prune is a dried plum. The
relationship is Object to Outcome. Choice (A) is incorrect; while bread may become
toast, it does not represent the process of drying. Choice (B) is incorrect; an orange
does not dry into a kumquat. Choice (D) is incorrect; an apple does not become a
berry; there is no relationship. Choice (E) is incorrect; one may hang the wash to
dry, but the relationship is not the same.
22. The correct answer is (D). Starvation is associated with famine as disease is
associated with an epidemic. The relationship is Object to Outcome. Choice (A) is
incorrect; energy may be associated with resistance but is not the outcome. Choice
(B) is incorrect; a ship will enter a harbor but will not result in the harbor. Choice
(C) is incorrect; dissect means to take apart; which is the opposite of join. The
relationship is Opposites. Choice (E) is incorrect; a surgeon will perform an opera-
tion but will not cause it. The surgeon is not an object.
23. The correct answer is (B). One seeks justice in court and health in a hospital. The
relationship is Cause to Effect. Choice (A) is incorrect; a camp will not seek a
counselor in the same capacity of cause/effect. Choice (C) is incorrect; books are
used in a school, but there is not the cause-and-effect relationship. Choice (D) is
incorrect; a palace is royal, but there is no seeking of effect. Choice (E) is incorrect;
an airport may contain a hangar, but it is not Cause to Effect.
24. The correct answer is (C). A rung is part of a ladder as a step is part of a stair-
way. They are both used to go up and down. Choice (A) is incorrect; a belt may
contain a buckle, but it is not used in the same way. Choice (B) is incorrect; logs
make a cabin, but the comparison is not used similarly. Choice (D) is incorrect;
bricks and concrete are used in construction, but without the precise relationship.
Choice (E) is incorrect; limbs are part of a body, but the usage is different.
25. The correct answer is (B). Afternoon is to dusk as 2 p.m. is to 5 p.m. 2 p.m. is
usually afternoon; 5 p.m. can be dusk. The relationship is synonymous. Choice (A) is
incorrect; spring and fall are seasons that occur with different manifestations.
Choice (C) is incorrect; Sunday and Friday are days of the week, but without
relationship. Choice (D) is incorrect; light and dark are opposites. Choice (E) is
incorrect; sun and moon are both planets, but without the relationship of afternoon
and dusk.
26. The correct answer is (E). A vibration causes sound; gravity causes a pull. The
relationship is Object to Effect. Choice (A) appears to be similar; however, a ring
does not cause a bell. Choice (B) is incorrect; a staff is a stick; the relationship is
synonymous. Choice (C) is incorrect; courage and strength are similar, but not with
the relationship of vibration and sound. Choice (D) is incorrect; dust comes from
chalk but does not cause chalk. Choice (E) has the same relationship.

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27. The correct answer is (C). Hydrogen is a gas; mercury is a liquid. Both hydrogen
and mercury are elements. The relationship is Part to Whole. Choice (A) is incorrect;
we breathe oxygen, but the relationship is not the same. Choice (B) is incorrect; we
use gold to make jewelry but the relationship is not the same. Choice (D) is incor-
rect; a plant will grow, but there is not a Part-to-Whole relationship. Choice (E) is
incorrect; steel is solid; but the relationship is not Part to Whole.
28. The correct answer is (B). A bomb travels to a target as a train travels to a
station. The relationship is Object to Outcome. Choice (A) is incorrect; aim and
miss have a negative relationship. Choice (C) is incorrect; brow and forehead are
synonyms. Choice (D) is incorrect; while we may throw a ball, the destination is not
mentioned. Choice (E) is incorrect; a vest is part of a suit. Only choice (B) has the
proper relationship.
29. The correct answer is (E). An atom is a part of a molecule; a star is part of a
galaxy. The relationship is Part to Whole. Choice (A) is incorrect; a toothpick is not
part of a tooth. Choice (B) is incorrect; an ocean is not a part of a lake—both are
bodies of water. Choice (C) is incorrect; a shrub is not a part of a tree. Choice (D) is
incorrect; a raspberry is not a part of an apple.
30. The correct answer is (E). One of the symptoms of measles is spots. One of the
symptoms of mumps is swellings. The relationship is Effect (the symptom) to Cause
(the disease). Choice (A) is incorrect; a clamp is not a symptom of holding; a clamp
will hold. Choice (B) is incorrect; fire and flames are synonyms. Choice (C) is
incorrect; a dollar is not a symptom of a penny. Choice (D) is incorrect; trail and
path are synonyms.

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Unit 4

Directions: Each question below consists of a word printed in capital letters,

followed by five lettered words or phrases. Choose the lettered word or phrase
that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters. Since some
of the questions require you to distinguish fine shades of meaning, be sure to
consider all the choices before deciding which one is best.

(A) scurrilous
(B) pusillanimous
(C) propitious
(D) mettlesome
(E) militant
(A) timidity
(B) palpable
(C) raillery
(D) libel
(E) forensic
(A) quiescent
(B) cursory
(C) extol
(D) gyrate
(E) imbibe
(A) surreptitious
(B) tractable
(C) jaded
(D) iconoclast
(E) garish
(A) glaucous
(B) docile
(C) extricate
(D) panegyric
(E) mnemonics


(A) trepidation
(B) perspicuity
(C) frugal
(D) garish
(E) ignorant
(A) enlarge
(B) extrude
(C) intrepid
(D) pique
(E) vacillate
(A) urbane
(B) travail
(C) sentient
(D) prevaricate
(E) maladroit
(A) flail
(B) impute
(C) ignoble
(D) affable
(E) indifference
(A) amenity
(B) corpulent
(C) exonerate
(D) hellish
(E) indolent
(A) incongruous
(B) poignant
(C) imprudent
(D) volition
(E) syncopate
(A) turgid
(B) listen
(C) resurgent
(D) rapacity
(E) vilify

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(A) venerate
(B) maintain
(C) transpire
(D) obdurate
(E) lacerate
(A) submissive
(B) paroxysm
(C) cryptic
(D) exhort
(E) divert
(A) exogenous
(B) approbation
(C) decry
(D) covetous
(E) deference
(A) censure
(B) invoke
(C) sequence
(D) coherence
(E) paradox
(A) magnate
(B) canter
(C) inflate
(D) spin
(E) stabilize
(A) lie
(B) correct
(C) increase
(D) remark
(E) integrate
(A) audacious
(B) congruous
(C) obsolete
(D) ominous
(E) chronicle

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(A) daring
(B) rigorous
(C) perceptive
(D) frugal
(E) unctuous
(A) mend
(B) tolerate
(C) profligate
(D) accept
(E) masticate
(A) negligent
(B) fortuitous
(C) delude
(D) repressive
(E) extrinsic
(A) production
(B) gamut
(C) analysis
(D) success
(E) allegory
(A) relegate
(B) facilitate
(C) clean
(D) stain
(E) discuss
(A) exorbitant
(B) verbal
(C) orthodox
(D) clerical
(E) stoic
(A) seclusion
(B) limpid
(C) repulsion
(D) anachronism
(E) gibe

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(A) cogent
(B) voluble
(C) prodigal
(D) dulcet
(E) acme
(A) honest
(B) adroit
(C) theological
(D) vituperative
(E) harsh
(A) foible
(B) modern
(C) affable
(D) pragmatic
(E) foment
(A) vermilion
(B) malaise
(C) aphorism
(D) fecund
(E) homogeneous

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Quick Score Answers

1. B 6. E 11. C 16. A 21. A 26. C
2. A 7. A 12. B 17. E 22. A 27. B
3. A 8. A 13. B 18. C 23. D 28. A
4. B 9. E 14. A 19. B 24. D 29. B
5. B 10. D 15. E 20. A 25. C 30. E


1. The correct answer is (B). Intrepid means valorous and heroic; pusillanimous
means mean-spirited or cowardly, and is therefore the opposite. Choice (A) is
incorrect; while close in meaning, scurrilous means abusive language. Choice (C) is
incorrect; propitious, meaning favorable circumstances, is close in meaning to
intrepid; therefore, it is not an opposite. The same is true for choices (D) and (E),
both of which mean helpful or brave.
2. The correct answer is (A). Effrontery means audacity, boldness; timidity means
shy or awkward. The two words are opposites, and therefore antonyms. Choice (B)
is incorrect because it means touchable and has no relationship to effrontery. Choice
(C) is incorrect; good-natured has only a vague relationship with effrontery. Choice
(D) is incorrect because it means a false statement, which is not the opposite of
effrontery. Choice (E) means used in a court of law and has no relationship with
3. The correct answer is (A). Turbulent means disorderly or unruly; quiescent means
quiet, still, resting, or inactive, the opposite of turbulent. Choice (B) is incorrect;
cursory means scant, which is not the opposite of turbulent. Choice (C) is incorrect;
meaning praise. Choice (D) means to revolve, which has only a scant relationship to
turbulent. Choice (E) is incorrect; meaning to drink, there is no relationship. Choice
(A) is closest to being an exact opposite.
4. The correct answer is (B). Inexorable means uncompromising or rigid; tractable
means yielding or docile. Choice (A) is incorrect; surreptitious means stealthy,
which has no relationship to inexorable. Choice (C) means to become dull from
overwork or overuse, which is not the opposite of inexorable. Choice (D) is
incorrect; an iconoclast is one who destroys religious symbols. Choice (E) is incor-
rect; garish means gaudy.
5. The correct answer is (B). Peremptory means authoritative or positive; docile
means complacent or changeable. Choice (A) is incorrect; glaucous means pale or
bluish gray, which has no relationship to peremptory. Choice (C) means release, and
has no relationship to peremptory. Choice (D), which means elaborate praise, while
seemingly a bit of an opposite to peremptory, actually has no relationship.
Choice (E) is incorrect; mnemonics means a memory aid, which has nothing to do
with peremptory.

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6. The correct answer is choice (E). Sagacious means rational or knowledgeable;

ignorant means unknowing. The two are opposites, and therefore antonyms. Choice
(A) is incorrect; trepidation means dread and is not an opposite. Choice (B),
perspicuity, means lucidity, which is similar to sagacious. Choice (C) means miserly,
which has no relationship. Choice (D), garish, means gaudy, which, again, has no
7. The correct answer is (A). Truncate means amputate or shorten; enlarge means to
grow or lengthen. Choice (B) is incorrect; extrude means to push or throw out,
which, while similar to enlarge, is not as close to being the opposite of truncate as
is enlarge. Choice (C) means valorous and heroic, which has no relationship to
truncate. Choice (D), pique, means to irk or annoy, which has no relationship.
Choice (E), vacillate, is incorrect because it means to switch back and forth; this
word has no connection with truncate.
8. The correct answer is (A). Uncouth means barbarous or crude; urbane means
proper and sophisticated. Choice (B) is incorrect; travail means toil and has no
relationship at all. Choice (C), sentient, is incorrect because it means conscious, and
has no relationship. Choice (D), prevaricate, mean falsehood, and while prevaricate
may be uncouth, it is not the opposite. Choice (E) is incorrect; maladroit means
inept and is close in meaning to uncouth and therefore incorrect.
9. The correct answer is (E). Zeal means enthusiasm or keenness; indifference
means cool or without interest. Choice (A) is incorrect; flail means to beat, which
might be done with zeal, but is not the opposite. Choice (B), impute, is incorrect,
meaning to attribute, which is not an opposite. Choice (C) is incorrect; ignoble
means common or ordinary, and is not related to zeal at all. Choice (D) means
cordial or friendly. Only choice (E) is opposite.
10. The correct answer is (D). Empyrean means heavenly or celestial; hellish means
acting with wickedness. Choice (A) is incorrect; amenity means an agreeable or
pleasing manner, which is similar in meaning to empyrean and therefore not an
antonym. Choice (B) means obese, which has no relationship to empyrean. Choice
(C) means to free from blame, which is not an antonym. Choice (E) means disin-
clined or lazy, which has no relationship to empyrean. Only choice (D) is the
11. The correct answer is (C). Judicious means discreet or sensible; imprudent means
without care or thinking. Choice (A) is incorrect; incongruous means incompatible,
which is slightly the opposite, but not the exact opposite. Choice (B) is incorrect;
poignant means sharp, which is not the opposite of sensible. Choice (D) means
conscious choice, and is not the opposite of judicious. Choice (E) is a term used in
music, which has no relationship to judicious.
12. The correct answer is (B). Vociferate means to bellow or shout; listen means to
pay attention or be silent. Choice (A) is incorrect; turgid means ornate language,
which might describe one who is vociferating, but it is not the opposite. Choice (C)
is incorrect; resurgent means to return or come back, and has no relationship.
Choice (D) is incorrect; it means greedy, and is not the opposite of vociferate.
Choice (E) is incorrect; vilify means to slander, which might be done in a vociferous
way, but is not the opposite. Only choice (B) is correct.

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13. The correct answer is (B). Abjure means to forswear or repudiate; maintain means
to keep or hold fast, which is opposite in meaning. Choice (A) is incorrect; venerate
means to adore, which has no relationship. Choice (C), transpire, means to become
known or occur, which has a similarity as an opposite, but it is not directly opposite of
abjure. Choice (D), obdurate, means stubborn, which is not the best choice. Choice
(E) means to tear out roughly, which has no relationship.
14. The correct answer is (A). Recalcitrant means obstinate or rebellious; submissive
means to give in and be obedient. Choice (B) means a sudden outburst, which
recalcitrant might describe, but paroxysm is not the opposite. Choice (C) means
secret or puzzling, which has no relationship. Choice (D) means to appeal urgently,
which might be done in a recalcitrant manner, but it is not the opposite. Choice (E)
means to turn aside, which might be the result of recalcitrant behavior, but is not
the opposite of it.
15. The correct answer is (E). Obduration means condemnation or reproof; deference
means courtesy and kindness. Choice (A), exogenous, is incorrect; the meaning is
out-of-body origin, which has nothing to do with obduration. Choice (B), approba-
tion, is incorrect; the meaning is warm praise, which is similar to an opposite, but
not the most opposite. Choice (C) is incorrect; decry means to put down and
disapprove, which is similar to obduration and therefore not opposite. Choice (D) is
incorrect; covetous means to want what others have and has no relationship to
obduration. Only choice (E) is correct.
16. The correct answer is (A). Encomium means adulation or praise; censure means
criticism or castigation. Choice (B) is incorrect; invoke means to ask or pray for, and
is not the opposite. Choice (C) is incorrect; sequence means logical order, and has
no relationship with encomium. Choice (D) is incorrect; coherence means the
quality of being understandable; an encomium might be delivered in a coherent
manner; the meanings are not opposite. Choice (E) means seemingly contradictory
but actually true, which is not the opposite of encomium.
17. The correct answer is (E). Fluctuate means undulate or move; stabilize means to
make steady or to maintain a given level. Choice (A) is incorrect; magnate means a
powerful person; while such a person might fluctuate, the meaning is not opposite.
Choice (B) is incorrect; canter is a gait of a horse, which might occur in a fluctuat-
ing manner, but is not the opposite. Choice (C) means to enlarge, which is not the
opposite of fluctuate. Choice (D) is incorrect; spin means to turn, which might be
done in a fluctuating manner. Only choice (E) is the direct opposite.
18. The correct answer is (C). Mitigate means to lessen or ameliorate; increase means
to grow. Choices (A), (B), and (D) are incorrect; lie, choice (A), means a falsehood,
which might be spoken to mitigate a problem; correct (B) means proper and
provable, which might mitigate a situation; remark choice (D) is a statement that
might mitigate something; however, none is an opposite. Choice (E) is incorrect;
integrate means to bring together, which is not opposite.
19. The correct answer is (B). Anomalous means abnormal or inconsistent; congru-
ous means appropriate or fitting. Choice (A) is incorrect; audacious means bold or
daring, which is slightly similar to anomalous but not the opposite. Choice (C),
absolute, means out of date and might be slightly similar. Choice (D), ominous;
means threatening, which is definitely not the opposite. Choice (E), chronicle, means
a narrative, which has no relationship with anomalous.

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20. The correct answer is (A). Timorous means afraid or faint-hearted; daring means
brave. Choice (B) is incorrect; rigorous means harsh and a rigorous act, which
might make one timorous, is not the opposite. Choice (C) is incorrect; perceptive
means to know quickly, which is not the opposite of timorous. Choice (D) is
incorrect; frugal means stingy or miserly, but a frugal person is not the opposite of a
timorous one. Choice (E) is incorrect; unctuous means oily or excessively smooth
manner. Only choice (A) is the opposite.
21. The correct answer is (A). Lacerate means to rend or sever; mend means to repair
or make new. Choice (B) is incorrect; tolerate means to endure, which is similar to
mend, but not the opposite of lacerate. Choice (C), profligate, means wildly
extravagant, which is not the opposite of lacerate. Choice (D) is incorrect; accept
means to receive, which has no relationship with lacerate. Choice (E), masticate,
means to chew, which may be done in a lacerating manner, but it is therefore not
the opposite.
22. The correct answer is (A). Circumspect means careful or watchful; negligent
means careless. Choice (B) is incorrect; fortuitous means by accident or chance,
which is similar to negligent but not the most nearly opposite of circumspect.
Choice (C) is incorrect; delude means to deceive, which is not the opposite.
Choice(D) is incorrect; repressive means keeping under control, which is not the
opposite of circumspect. Choice (E), extrinsic, means not essential, which is not the
opposite. Only choice (A) is the most nearly opposite.
23. The correct answer is (D). Fiasco means flop or failure; success means victory or
achievement. Choice (A) is incorrect; production means a creation, which might
become a fiasco, but it is not the most nearly opposite. Choice (B) is incorrect;
gamut means the range; a fiasco might cover a gamut but is not the opposite.
Choice (C) is incorrect; analysis means separating parts from a whole, which may or
may not be a fiasco, but the word is not opposite. Choice (E) is incorrect; allegory is
a story with a literal and a symbolic meaning, and it is not the opposite of fiasco.
24. The correct answer is (D). Etiolate means to blanch or whiten; stain means to soil
or blacken. Choice (A) is incorrect; relegate means to send or consign. Choice (B) is
incorrect; facilitate means to make easier; there is no relationship with etiolate.
Choice (C) is incorrect; clean is similar to etiolate. Choice (E) means to talk, which
has no relationship.
25. The correct answer is (C). Heretic means schismatic or nonconforming; orthodoxy
means conforming to a religious doctrine. Choice (A) is incorrect; exorbitant means
exceeding all bounds, which might describe heretic. Choice (B) is incorrect; verbal
means oral. Choice (D) is incorrect; clerical means of or relating to the clergy, which
might describe the opposite of heretic, but it is not most nearly opposite. Choice (E)
is incorrect; stoic means unaffected by joy or pleasure, which might describe a
heretic, but is certainly not opposite. Only choice (C) is most directly opposite.
26. The correct answer is (C). Predilection means inclination or liking; repulsion
means disinclined or not to one’s liking. Choices (A), (B), (D), and (E) are incorrect;
seclusion, choice (A), means isolation; limpid, choice (B), means clearness; anachro-
nism, choice (D), means chronologically out of order; and a gibe, choice (E), is a
taunting remark—all of these might be one’s predilection or repulsion, but none of
them is an opposite of predilection.

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27. The correct answer is (B). Laconic means brief or terse; voluble means readily flow-
ing of speech or lengthy conversation. Choice (A) is incorrect; cogent means appealing
to the intellect by clear presentation, which might be done in a laconic manner, but it
is not the opposite. Choice (C) is incorrect; prodigal means extravagant or wasteful,
which is similar to the opposite but not most nearly opposite. Choice (D) is incorrect;
dulcet is sweetly pleasing, which might be in a laconic manner if we stretch it, but
which is definitely not opposite. Choice (E) is incorrect; acme is the pinnacle or top
and has no relationship to laconic.
28. The correct answer is (A). Mendacious means deceitful or dishonest; honest is the
opposite. Choice (B) is incorrect; adroit means skillful and adept, which has no
relationship to mendacious. Choice (C) is incorrect; theological means relating to
religious study, which could be described as honest, but it is not the opposite of
mendacious. Choice (D) is incorrect; vituperative means bitter, which could
describe a mendacious person, but not an honest one. Choice (E) is incorrect; harsh
means coarse or rough, which might describe someone who is mendacious, but is
not the opposite.
29. The correct answer is (B). Antediluvian means ancient or hoary; modern means
new and fresh. Choice (A) is incorrect; foible means minor weakness, which might
be described by either antediluvian or modern, but is not the opposite of antedilu-
vian. Choice (C), affable, means cordial or friendly, which might be similarly
descriptive, but is not the opposite. Choice (D), pragmatic, means in a practical
manner, which is not directly opposite. Choice (E) is incorrect; foment means incite
or promote, which would not be the opposite.
30. The correct answer is (E). Motley means mixed or variegated; homogeneous
means same type or without mixture. Choice (A) is incorrect; vermilion is the bright
red color that might be made from a motley group of colors and therefore not
opposite. Choice (B) is incorrect; malaise is a vague feeling, which is not the
opposite. Choice (C) is incorrect; an aphorism is a short saying about life, which
would not be the opposite. Choice (D) is incorrect; fecund means productive and is
not the opposite.

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The GRE CAT requires that you read various kinds of passages and then show how well you under-
stand them by answering reading comprehension questions. The passages may be selections from a
work of literature; persuasive arguments for or against some idea; or passages about the biological or
physical sciences, the humanities, or the social sciences.
There are basically four types of questions concerning the reading comprehension selections:
1. Comprehension: Questions that test your comprehension require you to understand the
material given in the reading selection. Remember, the material contained will NOT assess your
prior knowledge of the subject but will assess your ability to understand the material covered by
the selection under consideration.
2. Evaluation: Questions that test your ability to evaluate require you to look at the
material of the reading selection and determine how reliable or accurate that information is
in view of the selection presented. Again, this material will NOT assess your prior knowl-
edge but will present facts and conclusions that you must evaluate for reliability.
3. Application: Questions that test your ability to apply require you to read the material pre-
sented and to then apply or use that material in a different situation. Often this involves situa-
tions in which a fact is presented and the question deals with the opposite of that fact. This
means that you must apply what is presented and draw a conclusion regarding the opposite
4. Incorporation of new information: Questions that test your ability to deal with new
information presented in the light of that which is familiar require you to reevaluate the
conclusions you have drawn in light of new facts or observations. Often this type of
selection will present a “tried and true” situation about which you may or may not have
prior knowledge. After this presentation, the selection will introduce new findings or
additional pertinent information that may change—dramatically or slightly—the outcomes
or conclusions.
The following guidelines should help you answer Reading Comprehension questions:
1. You will see only the passage and the first question, so old paper-and-pencil techniques of
reading all of the questions first don’t work. Thus, the first task is to read the first few
sentences of the passage to get an idea of the topic.
2. Read the first and final sentences of each paragraph, and skip through the rest of it quickly
to see what else you might notice.


3. Read the final few sentences of the passage.

4. Read all the answer choices. Base your answers solely on material that is actually found in
the passage. Do not choose an answer simply because it is a true fact in your own experi-
ence or because you hold an opinion about the answer.
5. Do not be misled by answers that are partially correct, or whose scope is too narrow or too
broad for the content of the passage. Watch, too, for answers that contradict or distort the
facts in the passage and avoid these.
6. Be very careful not to choose an answer that concerns a side effect, precursor, or outcome
of the material contained in the selection. Remember, your answer choices must be based
on the material you have read.


The Main Idea of the Passage
Questions concerning the main idea of a reading selection test your ability to read for the theme or
main idea that is the SUBJECT of the selection. Some main ideas impart a moral or teaching; others
deal with cause and effect; still others deal with the presentation of a situation.

Specific Details in the Passage

Questions about specific details are simply a matter of reading for meaning. Often, the answers are
verbatim in the material presented. Reading for detail requires that you focus on what you are reading.

Inferences or Conclusions Based on the Passage

Remember, “inference” means deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be
true, or the act of reasoning from factual knowledge or evidence. With that in mind, these questions
require you to understand the logic of the author’s statements and decide what is or is not reasonable.

The Meaning of Words in the Passage

Remember, this material does not require previous knowledge on your part; therefore, there may well
be words included with which you are not familiar and may have never seen or used in your real life.
Often, these words are placed in the selection deliberately in order to test your ability to evaluate
them within a specific context. This means that when the question deals with a word whose meaning
you do not readily know, you must determine its meaning by looking at the sentence, or perhaps the
paragraph, in which it is used. Evaluate the material presented around the word, and often you can
determine its meaning. Another way is to look at the root of the word by eliminating the affixes and
looking at the base.

The Mood or Tone of the Passage

The mood or tone of the passage, or other evidence of the writer’s attitude toward the subject is
often quite simply the author’s purpose for writing.

Specific Techniques Used by the Writer of the Passage

Many of the passages you will read will have the writer presenting an argument on a given subject.
Argumentation is a technique. At times the author may relate an anecdotal account of an actual

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happening; this is narrative, or telling a story. Much of the material presented for your comprehension
is expository in technique. Exposition is explaining and elaborating. Often this technique is a “how
to” organization. Another of the more popular techniques is description, which is a technique used
frequently. This simply presents material in which the writer describes a situation, scene, or emotion.

The Writer’s Logic, Organization, or Message

Questions on the writer’s techniques require you to determine the author’s purpose, argument, or

Now, let us look at some examples of the questions you may encounter.

First, here is a brief article. Read this using the techniques just presented.

NOTE: Articles on the actual test will be longer.


Line The United States and other Western industrial countries may face a period of “jobless
growth” in the 1980s, even if President Carter and other nations’ leaders succeed in their
declared aim of expanding business investment and ending the world recession.
This is the warning that an increasing number of economists, officials, and business
5 people are giving Western governments as they prepare for the Bonn economic summit
meeting, to be held this month. It reflects fears that any upturn in business spending,
stimulated by the summit meeting, will merely accelerate the present trend toward
replacing human workers with sophisticated new machinery instead of creating additional
10 “The evidence that we have is suggesting increasingly that the employment-
displacing effects of automation, anticipated for the 1950s, are now beginning to arrive
on a serious scale in the 1970s,” concludes an unpublished report by the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, which monitors the economic progress of
Western nations.

1. An ironic economic prediction contained in this article is that

(A) unpublished statements can have a great effect.
(B) an upturn in business spending may lead to great unemployment.
(C) economic experts frequently know little about their subject.
(D) a world recession seems inevitable.
(E) economic recovery is a worldwide problem.

2. It is apparent that statements alluded to in this selection stem from thoughts expressed
prior to
(A) a meeting of the Common Market nations.
(B) a conference of the United Nations.
(C) an international economic summit meeting.
(D) a disarmament conference.
(E) no particular meeting.

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3. It would seem that the disappointing effects of automation indicated here

(A) were impossible to predict.
(B) took the economic community by surprise.
(C) are largely to be discounted.
(D) cannot be avoided.
(E) had been anticipated more than twenty years ago.

Let’s Check Your Answers

1. The correct answer is (B). This is where you must use your ability to infer. The irony involved lies, of
course, in the fact that an upturn in business—generally looked upon as a favorable development—may
actually have an ADVERSE effect in at least one important area of the economy. Choice (A) is incorrect.
There is nothing ironic about this fact; in addition, it is not a major point of the article. NOTE: Here you
are utilizing the ability to discard ideas, no matter how true you know them to be, because they are NOT a
major part of the article. You are also using your ability to discern the main idea. Choice (C) is incorrect.
While this does indeed have an ironic tinge, it is NOT indicated as a matter of discussion in the article.
NOTE: Again, you are discarding information that is NOT a part of the discussion. Choice (D) is incorrect.
First, there is nothing ironic about this; second, the trend indicated by the article is in the opposite
direction. Again, you are using your ability to discern the main idea or focus of the piece and to determine
or infer as well. Choice (E) is incorrect. This is simply a matter of fact, without any ironic tinge. In
addition, it is not a major aspect of the matter under discussion in this particular article. Again, you are
using your ability to determine the focus or main idea.
2. The correct answer is (C). The topic sentence of the second paragraph substantiates this statement: “. . .
as they prepare for the Bonn economic summit meeting . . .” Here you are drawing information directly
from the material presented. You have read carefully and can therefore go directly to the material ques-
tioned. Choices (A), (B), (D), and (E) are all incorrect. These answers are presented in an irrelevant manner
in order to encourage you to read for detail. While they sound reasonable, there is no correlation at all to
what you have read. You must use your ability to focus on what you are reading and thereby be able to
differentiate the material presented from that which “sounds good.”
3. The correct answer is (E). The final paragraph indicates that these effects “anticipated for the 1950s” are
now beginning to arrive. Here you are inferring or drawing a conclusion, but, as well, you are using your
ability to discern the main idea. You are also determining cause and effect and are extending the meaning
presented by the material. Choice (A) is incorrect. This is contrary to the point made in the concluding
paragraph. Here is an example of material that, while “sounding good,” is an answer that is contrary to the
material presented. Choice (B) is incorrect. Again, there is every indication in the article that this was not
so. Choice (C) is incorrect. On the contrary, these effects are being taken quite seriously. Here you are
using your ability to read for meaning and to determine cause and effect. Choice (D) is incorrect. There is
no indication of a conclusion supporting this thought. Remember, you must read carefully enough to
discern what material IS supported by the details of the selection. Now, with these ideas in mind, take the
following sample test, which incorporates many of the types of information described above. Follow the
procedure above.

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The passage below is followed by questions based on its content. Answer the questions following the
passage on the basis of what is stated or implied about the planet Mars in the passage.

Line Mars revolves around the Sun in 687 Earth days, which is equivalent to 23 Earth months.
The axis of Mars’s rotation is tipped at a 25-degree angle from the plane of its orbit,
nearly the same as the Earth’s tilt, which is about 23 degrees. Because the tilt causes the
seasons, we know that Mars goes through a year with four seasons just as the Earth does.
5 From the Earth, we have long watched the effect of the seasons on Mars. In the
Martian winter, in a given hemisphere, there is a polar ice cap. As the Martian spring
comes to the northern hemisphere, for example, the north polar cap shrinks, and
material in the planet’s more temperate zones darkens. The surface of Mars is always
mainly reddish, with darker gray areas that, from the Earth, appear blue green. In the
10 spring, the darker regions spread. Half a Martian year later, the same process happens in
the southern hemisphere.
One possible explanation for these changes is biological: Martian vegetation could be
blooming or spreading in the spring. However, there are other explanations. The theory
that currently seems most reasonable is that each year during the northern hemisphere
15 springtime, a dust storm starts, with winds that reach velocities as high as hundreds of
kilometers per hour. Fine, light-colored dust is blown from slopes, exposing dark areas
underneath. If the dust were composed of certain kinds of materials, such as limonite, the
reddish color would be explained.

1. It can be inferred that one characteristic of limonite is its

(A) reddish color.
(B) blue-green color.
(C) ability to change colors.
(D) ability to support rich vegetation.
(E) tendency to concentrate into a hard surface.

2. According to the author, seasonal variations on Mars are a direct result of the
(A) proximity of the planet to the Sun.
(B) proximity of the planet to the Earth.
(C) presence of ice caps at the poles of the planet.
(D) tilt of the planet’s rotational axis.
(E) length of time required by the planet to revolve around the Sun.

3. It can be inferred that, as spring arrives in the southern hemisphere of Mars, which of the
following is also occurring?
(A) The northern polar cap is increasing in size.
(B) The axis of rotation is tipping at a greater angle.
(C) A dust storm is ending in the southern hemisphere.
(D) The material in the northern temperate zones is darkening.
(E) Vegetation in the southern temperate zones is decaying.

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Let’s Check Your Answers

1. The correct answer is (A). The final sentence of the article contains this information.
2. The correct answer is (D). This is explained in paragraph 1, the very beginning of the article.
3. The correct answer is (A). This information can be inferred from paragraph 2 where the statement is
made that “. . . the north polar cap shrinks . . .” Therefore, in the opposite season, the polar cap would
As you check your answers, be especially aware of the other choices. In some cases, the other
choices actually contain words from the article; however, the sequence is different or the inference is
Following this overview is a section with several sample passages for your review. Read through the
passages and answer the questions. Check your answers carefully, and try to analyze those types of
questions that give you difficulty. If necessary, reread this overview for clarification.

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Unit 5

Directions: Each passage in this group is followed by questions based on its

content. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question.
Answer all questions following a passage on the basis of what is stated or
implied in that passage.

Passage 1
Line On April 1, 1865, a party of Union soldiers surprised a lone Confederate scout in a
clearing off the White Oak Road, a few miles outside Petersburg, Virginia. The end
was coming quickly for the South. Already that day, Major General Philip Sheri-
dan’s cavalry had captured the vital road junction to the west of Five Forks, and
5 the Army of the Potomac was poised to sever the last railroad links to beleaguered
Petersburg. Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s men, holding the town, faced the
prospect of having to fight the enemy in the open once more after months of
static siege warfare.
The Union patrol grew confident when its three members spotted a ragged
10 Southerner in the open. The soldiers called for him to surrender. But their
self-assurance evaporated when he not only failed to drop his weapon, but swung
it up to cover the Yankees. Immediately, they recognized his piece as a Spencer
repeating rifle. Surprised and intimidated by his possession of the arm, the
Federals meekly threw down their rifle-muskets and raised their hands. Aware of
15 the weapon’s capacity for discharging explosives in quick succession, they
surrendered, intimidated by the southerner’s possession of the superior weapon.
Private Berry Benson, a member of an elite unit of South Carolina sharpshooters,
marched his captives off to the rear. Only he knew that his Spencer’s magazine
was empty. He had run out of cartridges for the captured weapon just the day
20 before, expending his meager supply of forty rounds in beating back a Federal
Benson’s minor exploit went unnoticed amid the disaster that was engulfing
the Confederacy that spring, but it symbolized both the valor and thwarted
ingenuity of his nation’s war effort. The story of the confederate Spencer lends a
25 unique footnote to the history of a struggle waged largely by a series of gallant
Southern makeshifts. The arm that Private Benson carried toward Appomattox
reflected the plight of a resourceful imagination stifled by technological inferiority.
Outgunned or not, the Southern troops were still formidable fighters, and
inevitably some of the repeaters fell into their hands. As early as October 1863,


30 Union Colonel John T. Wilder’s famed “Lightning Brigade” was chagrined to

report guerrillas had seized a supply wagon loaded with Spencers and 4,000
rounds of ammunition near Decherd, Alabama.

1. Which of the following statements is true, according to the selection?

(A) The weaponry of the North was superior to that of the South.
(B) The weaponry of the South was superior to that of the North.
(C) Northern soldiers knew that they were winning and could surrender
this small battle without it affecting the outcome of the war.
(D) The war did not depend upon one soldier.
(E) Southern soldiers were braver than Northern soldiers.
2. In comparison with the other weapons used in the Civil War, the Spencer
rifle was
(A) superior in its capacity to withstand excessive use.
(B) easy for the soldiers to carry.
(C) simple to load and operate.
(D) powerful in its discharge of explosives.
(E) all of the above.
3. Evidence that the war was drawing to a close was apparent because
(A) more Southern soldiers had been killed in battle than Northern
(B) the Northern soldiers had moved into and occupied the capital of the
(C) Northern generals were better trained than Southern generals.
(D) Northern soldiers had captured a key intersection and were in com-
mand of the railroad.
(E) Southern generals had surrendered.
4. Private Berry Benson was an elite soldier with possession of special knowl-
edge that
(A) there were others of his number waiting to ambush the Union patrol.
(B) the war was almost over and a Union patrol would not shoot a lone
(C) he would rather be on the Union side than the side of the South.
(D) his weapon was empty of ammunition, but he knew its superiority and
therefore perpetuated the ruse of its power.
(E) the Union soldiers had unloaded guns.
5. The sentence “The arm that Private Benson carried toward Appomattox
reflected the plight of a resourceful imagination stifled by technological
inferiority” means that
(A) the North was inferior to the South.
(B) the South had more ingenuity than the North.
(C) the South was reduced to using whatever faculties were available,
including confiscated weapons.
(D) Spencer rifles were in great demand as technological advances.
(E) all of the above.

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6. On the previous day, Private Benson had been instrumental in

(A) fending off a Union attack.
(B) stealing a weapon.
(C) surrendering to the enemy.
(D) saving his unit from further attack.
(E) marching into a slaughter.
7. According to the article, the fact that the Southern soldier was in possession
of a Northern weapon was
(A) unexplainable, since the South was on the verge of losing the entire
(B) evidence of a traitor in the midst of the Northern armies.
(C) Colonel Wilder’s idea of the gross inferiority of the training of North-
ern soldiers.
(D) not an isolated incident since an entire cache of weapons had been
seized with their ammunition.
(E) a total surprise to the entire Northern army.

Passage 2
Line Black holes, when imagined, are unimaginable. But popular culture got used to
them anyway. Black holes are the stars of movies, the heroes of books, the
byword for all kinds of bad risks. They are overfamiliar and all but cliché. Luckily,
astronomers are not bored yet. In the last few years, they have found increasing
5 evidence of black holes both in our galaxy and outside it. These days, what’s most
unbelievable about black holes is that they seem to be real.
For certain stars, black holes are the afterlife. Stars the size of our sun spend
their lives burning fuel and radiating light, balancing the radiation’s push outward
against gravity’s pull inward. As a star runs out of fuel, gravity begins to win. The
10 star condenses and shrinks smaller and smaller until gravity’s pull is again bal-
anced, this time by the force that keeps electrons from crowding too close
together. The star, now called a white dwarf, shines for a while, then gradually
cools and dims.
In stars with masses more than eight times the sun’s, gravity is correspond-
15 ingly stronger. These stars die with a bang in supernova explosions, which blow
away much of the star’s mass. If what remains is less than three solar masses,
gravity jams the negatively charged electrons and the positively charged protons
together. The opposite charges neutralize each other, and the remnant core, now
composed entirely of neutrons, is called a neutron star. It has shrunk to about ten
20 miles in diameter. Matter this compact “beggars description,” says Jeffrey McClin-
tock, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for astrophysics in
Massachusetts. If the Great Lakes were made this compact, they would fit into a
bathroom sink. “ ‘Compact’ is the word we like to use,” McClintock adds, “be-
cause ‘dense’ doesn’t even cover it.” Neutron stars shine when they’re formed,
25 most brightly in X rays; they also have magnetic fields that can send out crisp
pulses of radio waves.

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In stars with masses forty times the sun’s, gravity is strong enough to make
the unthinkable happen. These stars also die violently. If the remaining core is
bigger than a neutron star—that is, greater than three solar masses—it condenses
30 to nothingness, or near enough to make no difference. Physicists call this point a
singularity and tend not to talk about it because they have no clue as to what
happens to matter at these densities. “It most likely goes unstable,” says McClin-
tock. “Does it exist anymore? I don’t know. It’s basically out the window. The
elementary particles themselves are torn into fragments whose nature is not
35 known and cannot be guessed.” Scientists do know that matter at these densities
loses all properties except for mass, rotation, and charge. Says McClintock: “The
trees out there, those pearls, the computer—any property they have, once in the
black hole—they don’t have anymore.” The physicists’ phrase is “black holes have
no hair.” “That means black holes don’t have you-name-it, just-list-it,” says McClin-
40 tock. “Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing.”

8. Which of the following statements bears out an allusion to the relationship

between gravity and the black hole?
(A) Gravity has no relationship to the black hole at all.
(B) The black hole is a byproduct of gravity’s effect on the universe.
(C) A star’s loss of gravity allows the black hole to provide an afterlife.
(D) Gravity increases the likelihood that black holes will cease to exist.
(E) A black hole and gravity are the same thing.
9. The logical connection between stars and the black hole is that
(A) for some, the black hole is the remnant or finality of the star.
(B) all stars sink into the black hole and disappear for eternity.
(C) the black hole is the birthplace of all stars.
(D) bright stars exist alongside the black hole, which contributes to their
(E) there is no logical connection.
10. Astronomers and the public have differing views toward black holes.
Specifically the
(A) astronomers see the phenomenon as a scientific wonder, and the
public sees it as a hoax.
(B) public is bored with the black hole as a subject of media exposure and
literature, while the astronomers are eagerly pursuing the study of the
black hole.
(C) astronomer sees the black hole as a fluke, while the public believes
that there is a signal for the end of the world in it.
(D) public wants to visit the black holes, while the astronomers fear what
may be lurking there.
(E) public wants to know more about black holes, but the astronomer is
not willing to share.

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11. Which of the following statements is true, according to this selection?

(A) The core of the black hole is a magnetic mass more than eight times
the sun’s.
(B) Neutron stars have more of a likelihood of sinking into the black hole
than do the supernova stars.
(C) Stars larger than our sun usually explode at their death, unlike stars,
which are smaller and less bright.
(D) The density of the magnetic field determines the destiny of the star.
(E) The compact density of the exploded star is easily explainable in terms
that a layperson can understand.
12. The author uses the comparison to the Great Lakes in order to
(A) show the differences in sizes of stars.
(B) illustrate the effect of explosions in outer space upon matter existing
(C) allow the novice to see that outer space defines our understanding.
(D) illustrate the significance of density of matter when it is reduced to
(E) create the illusion of an earthly equivalent to outer space’s matter.
13. In comparison with the sun, some stars
(A) are larger in size.
(B) are smaller in size.
(C) have a gravity pull that is significantly larger.
(D) have a gravity pull that is significantly smaller.
(E) all of the above
14. The “death” of a star has long been a subject of interest to mankind, and
especially to astronomers. One might infer from this article that
(A) stars die different deaths, depending upon their size and gravity.
(B) all stars die after a period of time and form black holes.
(C) many stars explode violently, while others fade slowly.
(D) the death of a star is determined by the presence of matter in outer
(E) outer space is littered with dead stars.
15. One should conclude from this reading that the word mass has to do with
(A) what is left after a star explodes.
(B) the core or center of black hole.
(C) the actual physical makeup of the star.
(D) the remnants of a dead star.
(E) the central ingredient for a black hole.
16. The author uses the word singularity as an indicator for the
(A) density of the mass within a black hole.
(B) degree of compact gravity contained within a supernova.
(C) condensation to near nothingness of large masses.
(D) afterlife of certain stars forming a black hole.
(E) fuel required to assure the continued life of a star.

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17. The conclusion that one may reach from this selection is that
(A) black holes are formed by the collision of stars in outer space.
(B) scientists have decided not to investigate black holes because of a lack
of information.
(C) physicists exploring black holes find unexplainable conditions.
(D) black holes change the identity of their contents to nothing.
(E) all of the above

Passage 3
Line Teachers and librarians need to be aware of the emotional, intellectual, and
physical changes that young adults experience, and they need to give serious
thought to how they can best accommodate such changes. Growing bodies need
movement and exercise, but not just in ways that emphasize competition. Because
5 they are adjusting to their new bodies and a whole host of new intellectual and
emotional challenges, teenagers are especially self-conscious and need the
reassurance that comes from achieving success and knowing that their accom-
plishments are admired by others. However, the typical teenage lifestyle is already
filled with so much competition that it would be wise to plan activities in which
10 there are more winners than losers; for example, publishing newsletters with
many student-written book reviews, displaying student artwork, and sponsoring
science fiction, fantasy, or other special-interest book discussion clubs. A variety
of small clubs can provide multiple opportunities for leadership, as well as for
practice in successful group dynamics. Making friends is extremely important to
15 teenagers, and many shy students need the security of some kind of organization
with a supportive adult barely visible in the background.
In these activities, it is important to remember that young teens have short atten-
tion spans. A variety of activities should be organized so that participants can remain
active as long as they want and then go on to something else without feeling guilty
20 and without letting the other participants down. This does not mean that adults must
accept irresponsibility. On the contrary, they can help students acquire a sense of
commitment by planning for roles that are within their capabilities and their attention
spans and by having clearly stated rules. Teenagers need limitations, but they also
need the opportunity to help establish what these limits and expectations will be.
25 Adults also need to realize that the goal of most adolescents is to leave
childhood behind as they move into adulthood. This has implications for whether
libraries treat young adult services as a branch of the children’s or the adults’
department. Few teenagers are going to want to sit on small children’s chairs or
compete with nine- and ten-year-olds when they pick books off the shelves.
30 Neither are they going to be attracted to books that use the word children or
picture preteens on the covers.
Young adults want a wide variety of informational books about aspects of their
lives that are new; for example, the physical development of their bodies, the new
freedom they have to associate mainly with peers instead of family, and the added
35 responsibilities they feel in deciding what kinds of adult roles they will fit.

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18. Which of the following statements accurately reflects the view of the
(A) The reading material available in libraries and schools meets the
emotional, intellectual, and physical changes for students.
(B) Reading material meets the needs of life changes for teens.
(C) Librarians direct students to the material that is appropriate.
(D) Teachers are ready to assist students with reading material.
(E) Young adults need to have the option for reading material that speaks
to the needs of their developing physical and emotional makeup.
19. It is to be inferred from the passage that
(A) authors must be ready to write books for teens.
(B) students respond to reading material that uses their lives as a back-
(C) literature must be found to speak to the specific needs of changing
(D) children’s literature is appropriate for adolescents.
(E) students are eager to read.
20. As compared with children’s literature, adolescent literature
(A) deals with the emotional needs.
(B) concerns itself with intellectual changes.
(C) approaches the physical needs.
(D) has topics that interest adolescent students.
(E) all of the above
21. This selection makes the point that meeting the needs of adolescent
students often requires incorporating
(A) some type of organization that incorporates adult support.
(B) supervised reading programs.
(C) a strict academic environment.
(D) adult supervision of social programs.
(E) competitive activities.
22. The particular recommendation of this article is that
(A) children and adolescents need to be separated.
(B) the needs of adolescents are greater than those of children.
(C) libraries and classrooms are constructed for all students.
(D) the needs of changing adolescents must be accommodated.
(E) services are readily available to meet the needs of all children.
23. One would conclude from this reading that
(A) there is a great market for authors of adolescent literature.
(B) libraries and classrooms need restructuring.
(C) the provision of appropriate reading material for adolescents can be
helpful to their maturation.
(D) role models are difficult to find for today’s students.
(E) activities for students should provide a high profile for writing.

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24. The main idea of this article is the

(A) need for having clubs for students that will help them to compete.
(B) reality that student activities can help to provide a non-threatening
environment for youth.
(C) environment for learning is set by furnishings.
(D) implication that teachers and librarians should be aware of ways to
assist young adults in coping with life’s changes.
(E) students have great needs that are not being met.
25. According to this selection, the primary desire of young adults is for
literature that will
(A) let them see themselves in a favorable light.
(B) provide them with a pattern to follow.
(C) give exciting looks into the future as an adult.
(D) allow separation from the family unit.
(E) provide information about moving from childhood to adulthood.

Passage 4
Line One by one, it seems, American values are being restored. First, there was Liberty
in New York, then Freedom in Washington. The statues, that is, both stalwart
women worn by a century or more of exposure to the elements. Liberty received
her face-lift right on her pedestal in New York Harbor in the mid-1980s, but
5 before Freedom could be cleaned and repaired in 1993, the 19.5-foot, 7.5-ton
bronze figure had to be removed from the top of the U.S. Capitol. Enter a large
orange helicopter named Bubba.
One morning in May 1993, a Sikorsky S-64F rose quickly from the Capitol
grounds and hovered above the dome. With the aid of a gyro-coupled flight
10 control system, pilot Max Evans held that spot in the sky while a rigging crew on
the dome attached four dangling cables to a framework of bars and nylon straps
that supported the statue. With the connections secure, the helicopter’s hoist
began lifting, threading the statue through the scaffolding that had been erected
around it. The statue swayed slightly, but did not twist on the short trip down.
15 The company that operates Bubba has a suspension system that ensures that the
load turns only with the helicopter.
The Skycrane has three pilots: two facing forward, one aft. The aft pilot sits
in a glass-enclosed booth, looking directly at the hoist. The aircraft is under his
control as the cables are attached to the payload and the lift begins. Once all
20 obstacles are cleared, the pilots in front take over.
A cheer rose from hundreds of onlookers as the helicopter lowered the
statue to the ground and workers bolted it to a metal base constructed on the
Capitol’s east Plaza, the statue’s temporary home. The three pilots, wearing tan
jumpsuits, stood by their helicopter and received some rare public adulation. “We
25 were in Columbus last week on a much more difficult job,” one of them said with
a grin. “We lifted a transformer through a narrow opening and carried it a block,
and no one said a thing.”

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This was the first time Freedom had been moved since 1863, when pieces of
the statue were first hoisted atop the dome by steam engine and bolted together.
30 It took less than 10 minutes to lift the statue off the dome. Freedom was returned
to its original position after the restoration.

26. The author implies that

(A) statues should be refurbished often.
(B) using a helicopter for such a delicate operation is inefficient.
(C) today’s technology allows major tasks to be performed in an efficient
manner when viewed in a historical perspective.
(D) helicopters are made for a variety of tasks.
(E) our nation’s historical statues must receive care that will allow them to
extend into the next century.
27. Which of the following statements accurately portrays the main idea of this
(A) The methods for moving a statue are complicated.
(B) The Sikorsky S-64F helicopter is an efficient machine.
(C) Moving a historical statue is similar to moving a transformer.
(D) When dealing with matters of history, all care must be taken.
(E) The statues Liberty and Freedom had to be refurbished.
28. The mention of the crew and its part in the operation is included for the
purpose of
(A) showing the humanity of the operation.
(B) illustrating the involvement of humanity in a technological operation.
(C) depicting the statues as “human” as well.
(D) showing how insufficient technology is, in that it requires human
(E) confusing the reader.
29. As compared with Liberty, Freedom was
(A) a gift from American schoolchildren.
(B) restored on the ground.
(C) given a long overdue face-lift.
(D) restored with technology.
(E) made of marble.
30. The specially equipped helicopter included
(A) a special control system.
(B) a hoisting system.
(C) a special suspension system.
(D) a specially trained crew.
(E) all of the above.

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Quick Score Answers

1. A 6. A 11. C 16. C 21. A 26. C
2. D 7. D 12. D 17. D 22. D 27. B
3. D 8. C 13. E 18. E 23. C 28. B
4. D 9. A 14. A 19. B 24. D 29. B
5. C 10. B 15. C 20. E 25. E 30. E


1. The correct answer is (A). The Southern soldier’s possession of a Spencer rifle
“surprised and intimidated” the Northern soldiers, who threw down their weapons.
They recognized the weapon as one of theirs (“the captured weapon;” line 19). The
rifle is also described as a superior weapon. Choice (B) is incorrect. It is the opposite
of the thrust of the selection. Choice (C) is incorrect. Although the war was coming
to an end, the Northern soldiers were prepared to confront the Southern soldier
until they saw his weapon. Choice (D) is incorrect. There is no evidence to draw
this conclusion. Choice (E) is incorrect. Although the Southern soldier bravely
covered the Northern soldiers with his empty weapon, this is not an indicator of the
bravery of the South or the lack of bravery of the North.
2. The correct answer is (D). In the second paragraph, we learn that the Union
soldiers, “aware of the weapon’s capacity for discharging explosives in quick
succession,” surrendered. Choice (A) is incorrect; that the weapon was “sturdy”
means that it would withstand use is not mentioned in this selection. Choice (B) is
incorrect; there is no evidence in the selection that the Spencer was the premier
small weapon. A small weapon is usually a pistol, not a rifle. Choice (C) is incorrect;
there is no indication that the weapon was “simple to operate and load.” Thus,
choice (E) cannot be a correct choice.
3. The correct answer is (D). The author states that “. . . cavalry had captured the
vital road junction to the west . . . and the Army was poised to sever the last railroad
link.” Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no direct evidence of this fact in the selection.
Choice (B) is incorrect; there is no mention of the capital of the South. Choice (C) is
incorrect; the training of generals is not mentioned, nor is there an allusion to it.
Choice (E) is incorrect; there is no evidence of the surrender of Southern generals.
4. The correct answer is (D). The author states that “only he [Benson] knew that his
Spencer’s magazine was empty.” Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no mention of the
remainder of Benson’s South Carolina unit. Choice (B) is incorrect; while the author
does opine that the war is about to end, there is no indication but that the Union
patrol would take the lone prisoner. Choice (C) is incorrect; Benson’s allegiance to
the South is never questioned. Choice (E) is incorrect; though it is not mentioned,
the Union guns were obviously loaded. Benson’s gun was not loaded.

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5. The correct answer is (C). The Southern soldier had a captured weapon, and even
though it was not loaded, he used its known superiority to his advantage. Choice (A)
is incorrect. There is no evidence to indicate this fact. Choice (B) is incorrect; this
one soldier was a lone example and not indicative of the entire Southern armies.
Choice (D) is incorrect; while the guns were important, that is not the meaning of
the sentence. Choice (E) is incorrect because choices (A), (B), and (D) are not true
6. The correct answer is (A). The author states that Benson had used his weapon to
“beat back a Federal attack.” Choice (B) is incorrect; Benson had not stolen the
weapon, but had captured it at some previous time, not necessarily the previous day.
Choices (C) and (D) are incorrect; there is no evidence that Benson surrendered or
saved his unit. Choice (E) is incorrect; there is no evidence at all of a slaughter or of
Benson marching into one.
7. The correct answer is (D). This is stated in the last paragraph of the selection.
Choice (A) is incorrect; although it was true that the South was about to lose, the
possession of the weapon had no connection with that fact. Choice (B) is incorrect;
there is no evidence of treason in the article. Choice (C) is incorrect; Colonel Wilder
had reported the capture of weapons in Alabama. Choice (E) is incorrect; while the
patrol was surprised, there is no evidence that they represented the entire Union

8. The correct answer is (C). The author states that a star running out of fuel is the
victim of gravity and that the black hole is the star’s afterlife. Choice (A) is incorrect
because the entire article deals with the reality of gravity as a part of the phenom-
enon of the black hole. Choice (B) is incorrect; there is no information to support
this statement. Choice (D) is incorrect; gravity actually works with the black hole
and would not add to the likelihood of the demise. Choice (E) is incorrect; gravity
contributes to the function of the black hole but is not the same thing.
9. The correct answer is (A). The author states that for some stars the black hole is
the final resting place or “afterlife.” Choice (B) is incorrect because there is no
mention of eternity; therefore, there is no information to support this theory. Choice
(C) is incorrect; the birthplace of stars is not mentioned. Choice (D) is incorrect;
there is no evidence that stars shine brighter adjacent to a black hole. Choice (E) is
incorrect because choice (A) provides the connection.
10. The correct answer is (B). In the opening paragraph, the author makes the
statement that using the black hole as a subject for literature and film has bored the
public, while the astronomer is still discovering truths. Choice (A) is incorrect; there
is no evidence presented that the public considers the black hole a hoax. Choice (C)
is incorrect; there is no evidence that astronomers view the black hole as a fluke,
but rather as an interesting subject. Choices (D) and (E) are incorrect; there is no
supporting evidence in the selection.
11. The correct answer is (C). The third paragraph of the article begins with a
sentence that states this premise. Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no evidence to
support this. Choice (B) is incorrect; in fact, the neutron star is often the by-product
of the supernova explosion. Choice (D) is incorrect; this is a false premise.
Choice (E) is incorrect; the opposite is true, according to McClintock, when he says
it “beggars description.”

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12. The correct answer is (D). The illustration is intended to show that something of
enormous size when reduced as significantly as this article is discussing becomes a
unit we can easily recognize—a bathroom sink. Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no
attempt in this article to divide the different sizes of stars. Choice (B) is incorrect; at
first glance this would seem correct—however, the term “matter existing there”
renders this a false statement. Choice (C) is incorrect; again, at first glance this
appears correct—however, remember the need to separate what we think we know
from what is in the article. The illustration is used to assure that we DO understand.
Choice (E) is incorrect; there is nothing in the article to support this statement.
13. The correct answer is (E). There is evidence in the article for all of the answers.
Choice (A) is correct; the first sentence of the third paragraph renders this true.
Choice (B) is correct; paragraph 2 provides the evidence for this inference. Choices
(C) and (D) are correct; paragraph 3 provides information for this conclusion.
14. The correct answer is (A). The evidence presented in this article allows the reader
to infer that there are differences, and that these differences lie in the composition
of the star. Choice (B) is incorrect; this is a commonly held theory of laypeople—
however, you have been cautioned not to select what you think to be true, but to
base your choice on the material presented. There is no support for this theory in
this article. Choice (C) is incorrect; there is evidence to support the first part of this
premise, but not the last part; therefore, the answer is incorrect. Choices (D) and (E)
are incorrect; there is no evidence to support either of these theories.
15. The correct answer is (C). Throughout the article, the author refers to the physical
being of the stars as a “mass,” and the condensation of that physical property by
gravity as a “mass.” Choice (A) is incorrect; after the violent death of a star, there are
fragments only. Choice (B) is incorrect; the core or center is a “singularity.” Choice
(D) is incorrect; the remnants of a dead star vary in designation from fragments to
singularity. Choice (E) is incorrect. There is no evidence in this article to the central
ingredient for a black hole.
16. The correct answer is (C). The author states that physicists prefer not to discuss
the central condensation but to refer to it as “singularity” because they have no clue
as to what happens. Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no evidence of a name for this
condition. Choice (B) is incorrect; a supernova is a very bright star. Choice (D) is
incorrect; the afterlife of such a star is not discussed in this article. Choice (E) is
incorrect; there is no discussion of “fuel.”
17. The correct answer is (D). In the last paragraph, the author explains that property
is changed to nothing. Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no reference to the collision
of stars in this selection. Choice (B) is incorrect; the opposite is true. McClintock
indicates that the investigation is ongoing. Choice (C) is incorrect; while there is an
indication that the singularity condition of the black hole is puzzling, the explanation
is that the condensation is so infinitesimal as to defy description. Choice (E) is
incorrect, because choice (D) is correct.

18. The correct answer is (E). Choice (A) is incorrect; the first sentence of the
selection makes the point that the material SHOULD meet the needs. Choice (B) is
incorrect; the point is clearly made that the material SHOULD meet these needs.
Choice (C) is incorrect; again, the point is made that this SHOULD happen.
Choice (D) is incorrect; teachers SHOULD be ready to do this.

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19. The correct answer is (B). The author makes the point that literature speaking to
the needs of teens is preferred. Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no mention of
authors in the selection. Choice (C) is incorrect; while there is mention of the
availability of such material, there is no mention that it MUST be found. Choice (D)
is incorrect; the point is made that children’s literature is NOT appropriate for
adolescents. Choice (E) is incorrect; while this may or may not be a true statement,
there is no mention of this in the selection.
20. The correct answer is (E). The author makes the point that the literature that
interests adolescents deals with the emotional needs—choice (A); concerns itself
with intellectual changes—choice (B); approaches the physical needs—choice (C);
and has topics that interest adolescent students—choice (D). Therefore, choice (E)
is correct.
21. The correct answer is (A). The author of the selection makes the point that
students need “security . . . with a supportive adult barely visible in the back-
ground.” Choice (B) is incorrect; there is no mention of supervised reading pro-
grams. Choice (C) is incorrect; the author makes no mention of a strict academic
environment. Choice (D) is incorrect; the author indicates that librarians and
teachers should assist, but there is no requirement for adult supervision of social
programs. Choice (E) is incorrect; competitive activities are mentioned as being one
of the negatives for teens.
22. The correct answer is (D). The author makes the direct statement and supports it
with a variety of examples that support the fact that the needs of changing adoles-
cents—emotional, physical, and intellectual—must be accommodated. Choice (A) is
incorrect. The author does not state a need for separation but for accommodation.
Choice (B) is incorrect; while there may be some evidence that adolescent needs are
greater, the author does not make this as a point. Choice (C) is incorrect; the author
clearly states that having adolescents utilize furniture made for children in libraries
and classrooms is unsatisfactory. Choice (E) is incorrect; the author’s point is that all
services are NOT readily available to meet the needs of all children.
23. The correct answer is (C). This selection infers that the provision of appropriate
reading material for adolescents can be helpful to their maturation. Choice (A) is
incorrect; while there may be a great market for authors of adolescent literature, this
point is not made in this selection. Choice (B) is incorrect; while this may be a true
statement, it is not a part of this selection. Choice (D) is incorrect; again, this may be
true—however, there is no mention of role models in this selection. Choice (E) is
incorrect; the point is made that activities for students should provide more winners
than losers, but there is no indication of a necessary high profile.
24. The correct answer is (D). The topic sentence of the first paragraph gives this
indication. Choice (A) is incorrect; discussed in the passage, it is not the entire
concept of the selection. Choice (B) is incorrect; there is no mention of a non-
threatening environment. Choice (C) is incorrect; there is a point that furnishings
may be unpleasant when designed for children but used by adolescents, but this is
not the main idea of the selection. Choice (E) is incorrect; while this may be a true
statement, it is not the main idea of this selection.
25. The correct answer is (E). In the last paragraph of the selection, this point is made.
Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no mention of this in the selection. Choice (B) is incor-
rect; while the inference is that students need a guide, there is no indicator of the need
for a “pattern.” Choice (C) is incorrect; there is no mention of looking ahead. Choice
(D) is incorrect; the point is made that young adults are associating mainly with peers
and not family, but there is no indication of a “separation.”

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26. The correct answer is (C). The comparison between the steam engine that placed
the statue there and the fact that it took less than 10 minutes to hoist it by helicop-
ter implies that modern technology, when viewed in a historical perspective, is far
more efficient than technology in the past. Choice (A) is incorrect; there is no
indicator that statues should be refurbished often. Choice (B) is incorrect; indeed,
the use of the efficient helicopter is applauded. Choice (D) is incorrect; while this is
a true statement, it is not the author’s inference. Choice (E) is not correct; although
probably true, it is not the author’s inference.
27. The correct answer is (B). The author extols the virtues of the Sikorsky S-64F
helicopter. Choice (A) is incorrect; the author makes the movements of the helicop-
ter seem simple. Choice (C) is incorrect; the mention of the transformer is an aside.
Choice (D) is incorrect; although perhaps true, this is not the main idea. Choice (E)
is incorrect; again, although true, this is not the main idea of this selection.
28. The correct answer is (B). Putting the crew in and including its comments
involves humanity. Choice (A) is incorrect; while this may be a truth, it is not the
author’s intent. Choice (C) is incorrect; there is no effort to “humanize” the statues.
Choice (D) is incorrect; there is no effort on the author’s part to demean technology.
Choice (E) is incorrect; the author makes no effort to confuse the reader.
29. The correct answer is (B). The author states that Liberty was kept on her pedestal
for her face-lift, while Freedom was brought to the ground. Choice (A) is incorrect;
there is no mention of this fact. Choice (C) is incorrect; while perhaps true, this is
not stated in the selection. Choice (D) is incorrect; this is not discussed with relation
to Liberty. Choice (E) is incorrect; there is no mention of the composition of
30. The correct answer is (E). All answers are correct and are spelled out in the
selection. There is a gyro-coupled flight control system, which makes choice (A)
correct. There is a third pilot to handle the hoisting system, which makes choice (B)
correct. The special suspension system is mentioned, making choice (C) correct. The
crew and its work is mentioned, making choice (D) correct. Therefore, choice (E) is
the correct choice.

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If you’re a native speaker of English, you already know thousands of words. (The average person has a
working vocabulary of over 10,000 words—and is probably capable of at least recognizing thousands
more.) After four years of college, you probably have an extensive vocabulary of words drawn from
many fields of study, to say nothing of the words you hear, see, and use in everyday life. Is it really
necessary for you to study vocabulary in preparation for the GRE?
For most people, the answer is yes.
The test-makers consider vocabulary so important that they test it in several ways on the GRE.
1. As you know, the verbal sections of the exam include antonym questions, which require
you to pick a word whose meaning is the opposite of some other word. In Unit 4, we
provided you with a number of hints and strategies for tackling these items effectively.
Then there are indirect and hidden vocabulary questions—of which there are plenty.
2. Your ability to fully understand reading comprehension passages will often turn on your
knowledge of vocabulary. The broader, more varied, and more accurate your vocabulary
knowledge, the better your chances of answering the questions that cover these passages
quickly and correctly.
3. Analogy questions obviously depend to a large extent on vocabulary. It’s difficult—though
not impossible, as we discussed in Unit 3—to decipher the analogy relationships unless you
understand the words that are involved. One typical group of analogy items includes the
words proficiency, embellish, carping, reclusive, tactile, criterion, intransigent, and
strenuous, among others. (How many of these can you define?) You don’t have to throw
up your hands in despair if an analogy item contains a word or two you don’t know; there’s
more than one way to skin that cat. But the process will be a lot easier and faster if you
know most of the words used, or at least have a nodding acquaintance with them.
4. The better your vocabulary knowledge, the easier you’ll find it to understand the sentence
completion items (which are, in effect, mini-reading passages, each one sentence long).
Even an occasional math item is made a little more complicated by the use of a challenging
vocabulary word.
5. Your performance on the Analytical Writing Measure will be aided by vocabulary knowl-
edge that is both broad and deep: broad, in the sense that you have a relatively large and
varied pool of words to draw upon; deep, in the sense that your understanding of indi-
vidual words is accurate and sophisticated. The words you use in your essays will have a
significant impact on the grades you receive. Reliance on rudimentary or narrow vocabulary
makes you sound “less smart”; so does misusing words.




There are some topics you can easily cram. Vocabulary isn’t one of them. Words generally stick in the
mind not the first or second time you learn them but the fourth or fifth time. Try to begin your vocabu-
lary study several weeks before the exam. Take fifteen or twenty minutes a day to learn new words. Peri-
odically review all the words you’ve previously studied; quiz yourself, or have a friend quiz you. This
simple regimen can enable you to learn several hundred new words before you take the GRE.


Don’t try to gobble dozens of words in one sitting. They’re likely to blur into an indistinguishable
mass. Instead, pick a reasonable quantity—say, ten to fifteen words—and study them in some depth.
Learn the definition of each word; examine the sample sentence provided in the word list; learn the
related words; and try writing a couple of sentences of your own that include the word. Refer to your
own dictionary for further information if you like.


Language is a living thing. Words are used by humans, innately creative beings who constantly twist,
reshape, invent, and recombine words. (Think of the jargon of your favorite sport or hobby, or the
new language currently blossoming in cyberspace, for some examples.) As a result, most words
belong to families in which related ideas are expressed through related words. This makes it possible
to learn several words each time you learn one.


Make a deliberate effort to include the new words you’re learning in your daily speech and writing. It
will impress people (professors, bosses, friends and enemies) and it will help solidify your memory of
the words and their meanings. Maybe you’ve heard this tip about meeting new people: if you use a
new acquaintance’s name several times, you’re likely never to forget it. The same is true with new
words: use them, and you won’t lose them.


Get into the habit of reading a little every day with your dictionary nearby. When you encounter a
new word in a newspaper, magazine, or book, look it up. Then jot down the new word, its definition,
and the sentence in which you encountered it in a notebook set aside for this purpose. Review your
vocabulary notebook periodically—say, once a week. Use the words you learn this way. Your note-
book will reflect the kinds of things you read and the kinds of words you find most difficult. And the
fact that you’ve taken the time and made the effort to write down the words and their meanings will
help to fix them in your memory. Chances are good that you’ll encounter a few words from your
vocabulary notebook on the exam.

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Unit 6

If you’re like many students today preparing for the GRE, you probably have
never taken a course in Latin, which means you may never have learned how
most English words came to be based on words from older languages. And you
may never have realized how the study of word roots can lead to a much larger
vocabulary than you now have. Studying and mastering vocabulary words can
certainly improve your GRE Verbal and Analytical Writing scores. So to maximize
your chances of scoring high on your test, this unit will set you on the path to
learning a broad range of vocabulary words.
You’ll learn 50 of the Greek and Latin roots that form the foundation of most
of the words in the English language as well as 150 English words based on those
roots. Many of these 150 words will actually lead you to several more words each.
By learning the word credible, you’ll also understand credibly and credibility the
next time you hear them; by learning gratify, you’ll also learn gratifying and
gratification; and by learning theology, you’ll understand theological, theologi-
cally, and theologian when you run across them. So learning the roots and words
in this chapter will help you to learn thousands of words.
Ancient Greek and Latin have been the sources of most words in the English
language. (The third-biggest source is the family of Germanic languages.) And not
just of the older words: Almost the entire English vocabulary was created long
after the fall of the Roman empire, and it continues to expand to this day. Of the
new words that are constantly being invented, the majority—especially those in
the sciences, where most new words are introduced—are still based on Greek and
Latin roots. Even new buzzwords that you think appear out of nowhere may be
Greek or Latin in origin. For instance, morph is a short form of metamorphose,
which comes almost straight from Latin; def is short for definitely, which is also
based on Latin; hype is probably short for hyperbole, which comes straight from
Greek; and rad is short for radical, which comes from the Latin radix—which
actually means “root”!
While root study is very valuable, be cautious when you begin exploring it. A
portion of a word may resemble a root only by coincidence. For example, the
word center doesn’t have anything to do with the root cent (meaning “hundred”),
and the words interest and interminable don’t have anything to do with the root

For more vocabulary-building exercises, visit Merriam-Webster’s Web site at



inter (meaning “between”). It may take time to recognize which words actually
contain the roots you think you see in them. Another problem is that not every
root you think you’ve identified will necessarily be the right one. For example,
ped may mean either “foot” or “child,” and liber may mean either “book” or
“free.” A third problem is that many common roots are too short to recognize or
change their spelling in a confusing way from word to word. So even though
perception, deceive, recipe, capture, and receipt can all be traced to the same
Latin root, the root changes form so much—cip, cept, cap, etc.—that root study
probably won’t help the student looking for a memory aid. Similarly, when the
Latin word ad (meaning “to” or “toward”) becomes a prefix, it usually changes to
ac-, ad-, af-, ag-, am-, an-, or some other form, so the student can rarely recognize
it. In addition, the meanings of some roots can change from word to word. So
even though the cip-cept-cap root means “grasp,” “seize,” or “take,” it may seem
to change its meaning completely when combined with a prefix (per-, de-, etc.).
As long as you are aware of such difficulties, root study is an excellent way
to learn English vocabulary (not to mention the vocabularies of Spanish, French,
Italian, and Portuguese, all of which are based on Latin). In fact, it’s the only
method of vocabulary acquisition that relies on broadly useful memory aids.
Without it, vocabulary study consists of nothing but trying to memorize unrelated
words one by one by one.
So from here on, it’s up to you. The more fun you can have learning your
new vocabulary, the better you’ll do. And it can be fun. For one thing, the results
are instantaneous—you can show off your new knowledge any time you want.
And you’ll almost feel your mind expanding as your vocabulary expands. This is
why people talk about the “power” of a large vocabulary; you’ll soon realize your
mental capacities are actually becoming more powerful with every new word.
Take every opportunity to use the words you’re learning; the most effective
way to keep a new word alive in your vocabulary is to use it regularly. Look and
listen for the new words you’ve learned—you’ll be surprised to find yourself
running into them often, especially if you’ve also begun reading more demanding
books and magazines in your leisure time. Challenge your friends with them, even
if just in a joking way. Make up games to test yourself, maybe using homemade
And don’t stop acquiring new vocabulary words after you’ve mastered this
unit. Whenever you’re reading, look for roots in the new words you keep
encountering and try to guess each word’s meaning before looking it up in a
dictionary (which you should try to keep close at hand). Once you’ve acquired
the habit, you’ll be astonished at how quickly your vocabulary will grow.

We introduce you to 50 of the most useful Greek and Latin roots (omitting the
prefixes and suffixes that almost everyone knows—anti-, co-, de-, -ism, mis-, non-,
un-, vice-, etc.). We call these roots useful because they are common and also
because they nearly always keep their meaning in an obvious way when they
appear in an English word. So if you encounter an unfamiliar word on your test,
these roots may be the key to making an educated guess as to its meaning.

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Each root is discussed in a short paragraph. Each paragraph is followed by

three vocabulary words derived from the root. For each word, we provide the
pronunciation, the definition, and a sentence showing how the word might
actually be used in writing or conversation.
You’ll be quizzed after every 15 words, and finally you’ll be tested on every one
of the 150 words. (All answers are given at the end of the unit.) These tests will en-
sure that the words and roots become permanently fixed in your memory, just as if
you’d been drilled on them in class.
For further study on your own, near the end of the chapter we list an
additional 50 useful roots, along with three English words based on each one.

GRE CAT Success 111 www.petersons.com


Pronunciation Guide: \@\ abut \@r\ further \a\ ash \ā\ ace \ä\ mop, mar
\au̇\ out \ch\ chin \e\ bet \ē\ easy \g\ go \i\ hit \ı̄\ ice \j\ job \Î\ sing
\ō\ go \ȯ\ law \ȯi\ boy \th\ thin \th\ the \ü\ loot \u̇\ foot \y\ yet
\zh\ vision

agr Beginning Latin students traditionally learn the word agricola, meaning “farmer,”
in their very first class. Though most of us tend to think of the Romans as soldiers,
senators, and citizens of the city of Rome, most inhabitants of the empire were actually
farmers. We see the root today in words such as agriculture.
agronomy \@-'grä-n@-mē\ A branch of agriculture dealing with field-crop production
and soil management.
• The poor country was in dire need of an agronomy team to introduce its
farmers to new crops and techniques.
agrochemical \µa-grō-'ke-mi-k@l\ An agricultural chemical (such as an herbicide or
an insecticide).
• The river’s pollution was easily traced to the runoff of agrochemicals from the
agrarian \@-'grer-ē-@n\ Of or relating to fields, lands, or farmers, or characteristic of
farming life.
• The team of sharply dressed lawyers seemed nervous and awkward in this
agrarian landscape of silos and feed stores.

ante Ante means “before”; its opposite, post, means “after.” Both almost always appear
as prefixes (that is, at the beginnings of words). Ante is easy to confuse with anti,
meaning “against.” Antebellum means “before the war,” and we often speak of the
antebellum South—that is, the South before the Civil War, not the “antiwar” South.
antedate \'an-ti-µdāt\ 1: To date as of a date prior to that of execution. 2: To precede
in time.
• It appeared that Crowley had antedated his check to the contractors, helping
them evade taxes for work done in the new year.
antecedent \µan-t@-'sē-d@nt\ Prior, preceding.
• As Mrs. Perkins told it, the scuffle had started spontaneously, and any anteced-
ent events involving her rowdy son had been forgotten.
anterior \an-'tir-ē-@r\ Situated before or toward the front.
• Dr. Singh was going on about anterior and posterior knee pain, but in her
agony Karen could hardly remember a word.

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anthro The Latin anthro means “man” or “mankind.” Thus, in English we call the
study of mankind anthropology. Anthro is very close to the Greek and Latin andro,
which shows up in such words as android.
anthropoid \'an-thr@-µpoid\ Any of several large, tailless apes.
• The anthropoids—chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons—
had diverged from the human evolutionary line by 5 million years ago.
misanthrope \'mi-s@n-µthrōp\ A person who hates or distrusts mankind.
• Over the years she had retreated into an increasingly bitter solitude, and her
former friends now dismissed her as a misanthrope.
philanthropy \f@-'lan-thr@-pē\ Active effort to promote human welfare.
• His philanthropy was so welcome that no one cared to inquire how he’d come
by his fortune.

aqu The Greek and Latin root aqu- refers to water. The ancient world regarded all
matter as made up of four elements—earth, air, fire, and water. Today, the root is
found in such familiar words as aquarium, aquatic, and aquamarine.
aquaculture \'ä-kw@-µk@l-ch@r\ The cultivation of the natural produce of water, such
as fish or shellfish.
• Having grown hugely, the aquaculture industry now produces 30 percent of the
world’s seafood.
aquifer \'a-kw@-f@r\ A water-bearing stratum of rock, sand, or gravel.
• The vast Ogallala aquifer, which irrigates most of the Great Plains, is monitored
constantly to ensure that it isn’t dangerously depleted.
Aquarius \@-'kwar-ē-@s\ 1: A constellation south of Pegasus pictured as a man
pouring water. 2: The 11th sign of the zodiac in astrology.
• Many believe that the great Age of Aquarius began in 1962; others believe it
commenced in 2000 or hasn’t yet begun.

arti This root comes from the Latin word for “skill.” Art could also mean simply
“cleverness,” and we still describe a clever solution as artful. Until recent centuries,
almost no one made a real distinction between skilled craftsmanship and what we
would now call art. So the words artistic and artificial turn out to be very closely
artifice \'är-t@-f@s\ 1: Clever skill. 2: A clever trick.
• She was stunned to find she’d been deceived by a masterpiece of artifice—the
lifelike figure of a seated man talking on the phone, a lit cigarette in his right
artifact \'är-ti-µfakt\ A usually simple object, such as a tool or ornament, made by
human workmanship.
• Among the artifacts carried by the 5,000-year-old Iceman was a fur quiver with
fourteen arrow shafts.
artisan \'ar-t@-z@n\ A skilled worker or craftsperson.
• Ducking down an alley, he weaved quickly through the artisans hawking their
wares of handworked brass and leather.

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Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. Carnegie spread his ________________ more widely than any previous

American, building almost 1,700 libraries.

2. A long list of __________________s—mainly herbicides and pesticides—

were identified as health threats.

3. News of the cave’s discovery soon leaked out, and local youths were soon
plundering it of its Indian ________________s.

4. Stalin moved swiftly to uproot Russia’s _______________ traditions and

substitute his new vision of collectivized agriculture.

5. They had drilled down 85 feet before they struck the ______________ and
water bubbled to the surface.

6. The first X-ray image, labeled “________________,” showed a frontal view of

her heart.

7. George Washington Carver, a hero of American ________________, trans-

formed Southern agriculture through his research into the peanut.

8. The throne itself, its surface glittering with ornaments, was the most
extravagant example of the sculptor’s ________________.

9. In his lecture on “The ________________ Causes of the Irish Famine,” he

expressed wonder at rural Ireland’s absolute dependency on the potato by

10. Before the development of ________________, the Atlantic salmon was

threatened by overfishing.

11. Her brother, always suspicious and unfriendly, was by now a genuine
________________, who left his phone unplugged and refused all

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12. Any contracts that ________________ the new law by five years or more
will remain in effect.

13. The man resembled an ________________, with powerful sloping shoulders

and arms that seemed to brush the ground.

14. A young boy pouring water into the basin below reminded her of the
astrological symbol of ________________.

15. All the handcrafts turned out to be the work of a large family of

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bene In Latin, bene means “well”; its near-opposite, mal, means “bad” or “poorly.”
Both usually appear at the beginnings of words. We may hope to use this root often to
list benefits and describe beneficial activities.
benediction \µbe-n@-'dik-sh@n\ The pronouncement of a blessing, especially at the
close of a worship service.
• The restless children raced out to the church picnic immediately after the
beneficent \b@-'ne-f@-s@nt\ Doing or producing good; especially performing acts of
kindness or charity.
• Even the busy and poor willingly contribute to organizations recognized as
benefactor \'be-n@-µfak-t@r\ A person or group that confers aid, such as a charitable
• Construction of the new playground had been funded by a generous benefac-

bio Bio comes from the Greek word for “life.” Thus, biology means the study of all
living forms and life processes, and biotechnology uses the knowledge gained
through biology. Antibiotics fight off bacteria, which are life forms, but not viruses,
which may not be.
bionic \bı̄-'ä-nik\ Having normal biological ability enhanced by electronic or
mechanical devices.
• A 1970s TV series featuring “the Bionic Woman” sparked interest in robotics.
biopsy \'bı̄-µäp-sē\ The removal and examination of tissue, cells, or fluids from the
living body.
• Until the biopsy results came back, there was no way to tell if the lump was
symbiosis \µsim-bē-'ō-s@s\ The intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms,
especially when mutually beneficial.
• In a display of symbiosis, the bird stands on the crocodile’s teeth and pecks
leeches off its gums.

chron This root comes from the Greek word for “time.” A chronicle records the
events of a particular time. Chronometry is the measuring of time, which can be
done with a chronometer, a timepiece more accurate than an ordinary watch or
chronic \'krä-nik\ Marked by long duration or frequent recurrence; habitual.
• Her roommate was a chronic complainer, who started off every day grumbling
about something new.
anachronism \@-'na-kr@-µni-z@m\ 1: The error of placing a person or thing in the
wrong period. 2: One that is out of its own time.
• After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some analysts felt that NATO was an
chronology \kr@-'nä-l@-jē\ An arrangement of events in the order of their occur-
• Keeping a journal throughout her trip gave Joan an accurate record of its
chronology afterward.

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circum Circum means “around” in Latin. So to circumnavigate is “to navigate

around,” often around the world, and circumference means the “distance around” a
circle or other object. A circumstance is a fact or event accompanying (“standing
around”) another.
circumvent \µs@r-k@m-'vent\ To evade or defeat, especially by trickery or deception.
• During Prohibition, many citizens found ways to circumvent the laws against
circumspect \µs@r-k@m-'spekt\ Careful to consider all circumstances and conse-
quences; cautious; prudent.
• Unlike his impulsive twin brother, Claude was sober, circumspect, and thought-
circumstantial \µs@r-k@m-'stan-sh@l\ 1: Describing evidence based on inference, not
directly observed facts. 2: Incidental.
• The fact that he was gone all night was only circumstantial evidence, but still
extremely important.

cosm Cosm comes from the Greek word meaning “order.” Ultimate order, for the
Greeks, related to the universe and the worlds within it, so cosmos for us means the
universe. A cosmonaut was a space traveler from the former Soviet Union.
cosmopolitan \µkäz-m@-'pä-l@-t@n\ International in outlook; sophisticated; worldly.
• The cosmopolitan actress Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium and educated
in England but won fame in America.
cosmology \käz-'mä-l@-jē\ 1: A branch of astronomy dealing with the origin and
structure of the universe. 2: A theory that describes the nature of the universe.
• New Age philosophies and science fiction suggest a variety of possible cosmolo-
microcosm \'mı̄-kr@-µkä-z@m\ An individual or community thought of as a miniature
world or universe.
• Early thinkers saw the whole human world as a microcosm of the universe,
which was considered the macrocosm.

GRE CAT Success 117 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. In ant–aphid ________________, the aphids are protected by the ants, who

“milk” them for their honeydew.

2. A ________________ witch could end a drought by casting a spell to bring


3. The diner’s hours depended on such ________________ factors as whether

the cook’s car had gotten repossessed.

4. Phenomena such as time warps and black holes made theoretical

________________ the strangest subject in the curriculum.

5. Church members were surprised by the closing ________________, “May

God deny you peace, but grant you love.”

6. Neuroscientists believe they will soon have developed a complete

________________ ear.

7. Identifying a suspicious tumor almost always calls for a ________________


8. The children’s clinic was built soon after a significant gift by a single

9. Both candidates had managed to ________________ campaign finance laws

through fraud.

10. Measles and flu are acute illnesses, while asthma and diabetes are
________________ conditions.

11. Shakespeare’s Macbeth, set in the eleventh century, contains such

________________s as a reference to clocks.

12. A detailed ________________ of the actions of company executives from

April to July revealed some suspicious patterns.

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13. Office life, with all its dramas and secrets, seemed to her a
________________ of the world outside.

14. When we have only flimsy evidence, we should be ________________ in

our opinions.

15. With its international nightlife and a multitude of languages spoken on its
beaches, Martinique is a ________________ island.

GRE CAT Success 119 www.petersons.com


cred This root comes from credere, the Latin verb meaning “to believe.” Thus some-
thing incredible is almost unbelievable. We have a good credit rating when institu-
tions believe in our ability to repay a loan, and we carry credentials so that others will
believe we are who we say we are.
credence \'krē-d@ns\ Mental acceptance as true or real; belief.
• Giving credence to gossip—or even to corporate financial reports these
days—is risky.
credible \'kre-d@-b@l\ Trustworthy; believable.
• The defense team doubted that the ex-convict would make a credible witness.
creed \'krēd\ A statement of the essential beliefs of a religious faith.
• The Nicene Creed of A.D. 381 excluded Christian beliefs considered incorrect.

dis In Latin, dis means “apart.” In English, its meanings have increased to include “do
the opposite of” (as in disobey), “deprive of” (as in disillusion), “exclude or expel
from” (disbar), “the opposite or absence of” (disaffection), and “not” (disagree-
disarming \di-'sär-miÎ\ Reducing hostility or criticism; ingratiating.
• Their ambassador to the United Nations has a disarming manner but a cunning
disburse \dis-'b@rs\ To pay out; distribute.
• The World Bank agreed to disburse $20 million to Bolivia in recognition of its
economic reforms.
discredit \dis-'kre-d@t\ 1: To cause disbelief in the accuracy or authority of. 2: To
• Lawyers with the states suing the tobacco company sought to discredit testi-
mony of its chief witness.

dyna The Greek root dyna means “to be able” or “to have power.” Dynamite has
enough power to blow up the hardest granite bedrock. A dynamic person or group is
powerful and energetic. A dynamometer measures mechanical force, which is mea-
sured in dynes.
dynamo \'dı̄-n@-µmō\ 1: A power generator. 2: A forceful, energetic person.
• The early dynamo was a mysterious mechanism for many, who saw no relation
between steam and electric current.
dynasty \'dı̄-n@-stē\ 1: A line of rulers from the same family. 2: A powerful group or
family that maintains its position for a long time.
• After the Mongols and before the Manchus, the Ming dynasty provided China a
very stable era.
hydrodynamic \µhı̄-drō-dı̄-'na-mik\ Of or relating to the motion of fluids and the
forces acting on moving bodies immersed in fluids.
• Water temperature, resistance, and depth are among the hydrodynamic aspects
of rowing.

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dys In Greek, dys means “bad” or “difficult.” As a prefix in English, it has the additional
meanings “abnormal” and “impaired.” Dyspnea is difficult or labored breathing.
Dyspepsia is indigestion (or ill humor). A dysfunctional family is one that functions
dyslexia \dis-'lek-sē-@\ A disturbance of the ability to read or use language.
• Dyslexia is regarded as the most widespread of the learning disabilities.
dysentery \'di-s@n-µter-ē\ An infectious intestinal disease with abdominal pain and
severe diarrhea.
• Considering the poor sanitation, travelers were not surprised to find dysentery
dystrophy \'dis-tr@-fē\ A disorder involving wasting away of muscular tissue.
• The telethon raises over $50 million a year to battle muscular dystrophy and
related diseases.

epi Coming from the Greek, this root means various things, particularly “on” and
“over.” An epicenter is the part of the earth’s surface directly over the focus of an
earthquake. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin, overlying the inner “dermis.”
An epitaph is an inscription upon a tomb in memory of the person buried there.
epithet \'e-p@-µthet\ A characterizing and often abusive word or phrase.
• Classic epithets used by Homer include “rosy-fingered dawn” and “Zeus, the
epigraph \'e-p@-µgraf\ 1: An engraved inscription. 2: A quotation set at the beginning
of a literary work to suggest its theme.
• Chapter 5, describing the great battle, bears the Shakespearean epigraph “Let
slip the dogs of war.”
epilogue \'e-p@-µlȯg\ A concluding section, especially to a literary or musical work.
• Not until the novel’s epilogue do we realize that all the characters were based
on the author’s family.

GRE CAT Success 121 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. Most early Christian ________________s developed around the act of

baptism, where adult candidates proclaimed their faith.

2. With his ________________ smile and quiet humor, he charms even the
wariest clients.

3. Amoebic ________________ is not just traveler’s diarrhea—it is contracted

by people who live in unclean conditions, too.

4. The dictator scornfully attempted to ________________ the proceedings at

his war crimes trial.

5. New reports lent ________________ to the captive’s story that the enemy
had fled.

6. When students with undiagnosed ________________ go on to higher

education, their coping mechanisms often fall apart.

7. Henry Ford founded a ________________; his great-grandson is now the

company’s chairman.

8. The listing of ________________s included 40,000 reports of inscriptions

found on Roman ruins.

9. Katie’s research focused on the ________________ drag of small sea kayaks.

10. Relief agencies explored how best to ________________ funds and food to
the disaster victims.

11. At the close of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero speaks the wise

12. Lou Gehrig’s disease is one of about forty diseases in the area of muscular

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13. The shoplifter hurled obscene ________________s at the guard conducting

her to the office.

14. Her story is hardly ________________, since she’s already changed the facts

15. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of New York was considered a ________________

in an already dynamic city.

GRE CAT Success 123 www.petersons.com


extra This root, from Latin, places words “outside” or “beyond” their usual or routine
territory. Extraterrestrial events take place “beyond” the Earth. Something extrava-
gant, such as an extravaganza, goes beyond the limits of moderation. And extra is
itself a word, a shortening of extraordinary, “beyond the ordinary.”
extrapolate \ik-'stra-p@-µlāt\ To project (known data) into an unknown area to arrive
at knowledge of the unknown area.
• Her department pored over export-import data endlessly in order to extrapolate
present trade trends and predict the future.
extrovert \'ek-str@-µv@rt\ An outgoing, sociable, unreserved person.
• Linda’s boss is an extrovert, always happiest in a roomful of people.
extraneous \ek-'strā-nē-@s\ Not forming a vital part; irrelevant.
• Coaching in diving and dance often seeks to reduce extraneous movements.

fid Fid comes from fides, the Latin word for “faith.” An infidel is someone who lacks
a particular kind of religious faith. An affidavit is a sworn statement, a statement you
can have faith in. Something that’s bona fide is in “good faith”—absolutely genuine,
the real deal.
fiduciary \f@-'dü-shē-µer-ē\ 1: Involving a confidence or trust. 2: Held or holding in
trust for another.
• Corporate directors have often forgotten their fiduciary responsibility to their
companies’ stockholders.
confidante \'kän-f@-µdänt\ A person to whom secrets are entrusted, especially a
• The famed advice columnist Ann Landers was in many ways America’s confi-
fidelity \f@-'de-l@-tē\ 1: The quality or state of being faithful. 2: Accuracy, as in sound
• Harriet’s comment left Lisa wondering about her husband’s fidelity.

geo From the Greek word for “earth,” geo almost always appears as a prefix. Geogra-
phy describes the Earth’s surface; geology deals with its history. We measure the
Earth—and relationships of its points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids—using geom-
geopolitical \µjē-ō-p@-'li-ti-k@l\ Combining geographic and political factors such as
economics and population spread, usually with reference to a state.
• Any invasion might trigger a series of geopolitical consequences, including the
fall of other governments.
geosynchronous \µjē-ō-'siÎ-kr@-n@s\ Having an orbit such that its position is fixed
with respect to the Earth.
• Satellites in geosynchronous orbits are usually positioned over the equator.
geothermal \µjē-ō-'th@r-m@l\ Of, relating to, or using the heat of the Earth’s interior.
• Geothermal energy technology is most developed in areas of volcanic activity.

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graph This root is taken from the Greek word meaning “to write.” Something graphic
is “vividly described.” Graphology is the study of handwriting. A graph is a diagram
representing changes in something that varies. But graph, or graphy, actually most
often appears at the end of a word.
spectrography \spek-'trä-gr@-fē\ The dispersing of radiation (such as electromag-
netic radiation or sound waves) into a spectrum to be photographed or mapped.
• Spectrography can determine what elements stars are made of and how fast
they are moving.
seismograph \'sı̄z-m@-µgraf\ An apparatus for measuring and recording earthquake-
related vibrations.
• Only recently have seismographs been enabling earthquake predictions that
actually save lives.
topography \t@-'pä-gr@-fē\ 1: The detailed mapping of geographical areas showing
their elevations and natural and manmade features. 2: The contours of a geographical
• Watching for the next El Niño, NASA monitors ocean surface topography from
space for clues.

grat This root comes from gratus, the Latin word meaning “pleasing, welcome, or
agreeable,” or from gratia, meaning “grace, agreeableness, or pleasantness.” A meal
that is served graciously will be received with gratitude by grateful diners, unless
they want to risk being called ingrates.
gratify \'gra-t@-µfı̄\ 1: To be a source of pleasure or satisfaction. 2: To give in to;
indulge or satisfy.
• The victim’s family was gratified by the guilty verdict in the murder trial.
ingratiate \in-'grā-shē-µāt\ To gain favor by deliberate effort.
• Backers of the proposed new mall sought to ingratiate themselves with
community leaders.
gratuitous \gr@-'tü-@-t@s\ Uncalled for; unwarranted.
• Luckily for Linda and all concerned, her gratuitous and offensive remark was
not recorded.

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Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. An ________________ may assume that introverts are odd and antisocial.

2. To be named a child’s guardian is to enter an important ________________


3. Broadcast journalists’ microphones now reduce surrounding

________________ noise to a whisper.

4. He kept the embarrassing details a secret from everyone but Kendra, his
longtime ________________.

5. The growth of telecommunications is causing a rapid increase in the

number of _________________ satellites.

6. Her scheme to ________________ herself with the president began with

freshly baked cookies.

7. ________________ energy usually derives from the heat associated with

young volcanic systems.

8. CAT scans and ________________ are being used to analyze old bones from
the Southwest.

9. After polling 840 well-chosen Americans, the firm ________________s its

results to the entire country.

10. The stock-market chart looked as if it had been produced by a

________________ set on the San Andreas fault.

11. Chief Justice John Marshall called for an oath of ________________ to the

12. Haters of junk e-mail formed NAGS—Netizens Against ________________


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13. The map detailed the region’s ________________, indicating the approxi-
mate altitude of every square foot of land.

14. He hoped the award would ________________ her without swelling her

15. Foster was devoted to national politics, but had no interest in wider
________________ issues.

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hydr Hydr flows from the Greek word for “water.” Hydrotherapy uses water for
healing physical infirmities. Water may spout from a hydrant. “Water” can also be
found in the lovely flower called hydrangea: its seed capsules resemble ancient Greek
water vessels.
hydraulic \hı̄-'drȯ-lik\ 1: Operated or moved by water. 2: Operated by the resistance
offered or the pressure transmitted when a quantity of liquid is forced through a
small opening or tube.
• The hydraulic brake system used in automobiles is a multiple piston system.
dehydrate \dē-'hı̄-µdrāt\ 1: To remove water from. 2: To lose liquid.
• To minimize weight on the challenging trail, the hikers packed dehydrated fruits
and vegetables.
hydroelectric \µhı̄-drō-i-'lek-trik\ Of or relating to production of electricity by water-
• Hydroelectric power sounded clean and renewable, but some asked about its so-
cial and environmental impact.

hyper This Greek prefix means “above and beyond it all.” To be hypercritical or
hypersensitive is to be critical or sensitive beyond what is normal. To hyperextend
means to extend a joint (such as a knee or elbow) beyond its usual limits. Clicking on
a hyperlink may take you beyond the Web site where you found it.
hyperbole \hı̄-'p@r-b@-lē\ Extravagant exaggeration.
• The article called him the college’s most popular professor, which even he
thought was hyperbole.
hypertension \µhı̄-p@r-'ten-sh@n\ The condition accompanying high blood pressure.
• Hypertension ran in Rachel’s family and seemed to be linked to her relatives’
heart attacks.
hyperventilate \µhı̄-p@r-'ven-t@l-µāt\ To breathe rapidly and deeply.
• Competitive short-distance runners hyperventilate briefly before running.

hypo Coming from Greek, hypo as a prefix can mean “under” or “below normal.” A
hypocrite says or does one thing while thinking or feeling something entirely different
underneath. Many hypo- words are medical. A hypodermic needle injects medication
under the skin. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, can be just as unhealthy as
hypochondriac \µhı̄-p@-'kän-drē-'ak\ A person depressed in mind or spirits because
of imaginary physical ailments.
• My grandmother is a hypochondriac; every time she hears about a new disease
on the news, she thinks she has caught it.
hypothetical \µhı̄-p@-'the-ti-k@l\ Involving an assumption made for the sake of
• The dating service provides hypothetical questions designed to predict success
or failure.
hypothermia \µhı̄-pō-'th@r-mē-@\ Subnormal body temperature.
• Confusion and slurred speech are signs of hypothermia, a silent killer in all

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inter This prefix is the Latin word meaning “between or among.” Someone who
interferes comes between two people; a player who intercepts a pass comes
between the ball and its intended receiver. An intermission is a break between acts of
a play. An international event takes place between or among nations.
intercede \µin-t@r-'sēd\ 1: To act between parties as a mediator. 2: To plead on
another’s behalf.
• The bishop prayed, asking Mother Mary to intercede for us.
interdict \'in-t@r-µdikt\ To destroy, cut off, or damage.
• U.S. Kosovo Force soldiers sought to interdict weapons at the Serbian and
Albanian borders.
interface \'in-t@r-µfās\ 1: A surface forming a common boundary between two
bodies, spaces, or phases. 2: The place where independent systems meet and act on
each other.
• Long before the computer age, the auto dashboard was designed as a
man2machine interface.

jur Jur comes from the Latin verb jurare, “to swear or take an oath,” and the noun
juris, “right” or “law.” A jury, made up of jurors, makes judgments based on the law.
A personal injury caused by another person is “not right.”
perjury \'p@r-j@-rē\ Violation of an oath to tell the truth; lying under oath.
• Lying to a TV reporter is one thing; perjury before a Senate committee is
jurisprudence \µju̇r-@s-'prü-d@ns\ 1: A system of laws. 2: The science or philosophy
of law.
• Juliana’s heroes were the crusaders of 20th-century jurisprudence, especially
Thurgood Marshall.
abjure \ab-'ju̇r\ 1: To give up, renounce, recant. 2: To abstain from.
• To the prison counselor, the three conspirators always solemnly abjured a
future life of crime.

GRE CAT Success 129 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. The novelist Lord Archer was found guilty of ________________ for lying
during his libel suit.

2. “As a _______________ example,” she said, “let’s suppose it were the other
way around.”

3. Jared led the team up the river to visit the principal ________________
power plant in the region.

4. In the thinner air near the mountain top, the climbers began to

5. ________________ technology uses fluid to give bulldozers and cranes their

great power.

6. There are often no warning signs before ________________ triggers a

stroke, heart attack, or heart failure.

7. By 19 he was a ________________, calling his mother daily about some new

ache or sniffle.

8. They urged the UN Secretary-General to ________________ in the bloody

Middle East conflict.

9. By then her face was caked with ice and ________________ had caused her
heart to stop.

10. In Web site design, a user-friendly ________________ is essential.

11. Accepting the peace prize, Hume again stressed the need to
________________ violence.

12. To preserve fruits, we learned how to can and freeze and even
________________ them.

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13. Feminist ________________ is a philosophy of law based on the political,

economic, and social equality of the sexes.

14. Jason’s mom said he read thick books and took quantities of notes, but this
was surely ________________.

15. Once the enriched uranium left the lab, there would be no chance to
________________ it.

GRE CAT Success 131 www.petersons.com


mal Mal, from the Latin, means “bad.” Malodorous things smell bad. A malefactor is
someone guilty of bad deeds. A malady is a disease or disorder. Malnutrition is faulty
or inadequate nutrition. Dismal means particularly bad.
malevolent \m@-'le-v@-l@nt\ Having, showing, or arising from intense ill will, spite,
or hatred.
• Bookstores report that children still like stories with hairy beasts and malevo-
lent aliens.
malign \m@-'lı̄n\ To speak evil of; defame.
• Amanda didn’t wish to malign her neighbors, but the late-night partying had to
malpractice \µmal-'prak-t@s\ An abandonment of professional duty or a failure of
professional skill that results in injury, loss, or damage.
• The soaring cost of malpractice insurance forced many doctors into early retire-

mar From the Latin word mare, meaning “sea,” mar brings its salty tang to English in
words like marine, “having to do with the sea,” and submarine, “under the sea.” It
also forms part of such place names as Del Mar (“of the sea”), California. Aquamarine
is the color of clear seawater in sunlight.
maritime \'mar-@-µtı̄m\ Of or relating to the sea, navigation, or commerce of the sea.
• She achieved a national practice in maritime law, specializing in ship insurance.
marina \m@-'rē-n@\ A dock or basin providing secure moorings for pleasure boats.
• Florida has marinas all along its coast to meet the needs of watercraft from
enormous yachts to flimsy sailboats.
mariner \'mar-@-n@r\ A sailor.
• Ann was haunted by some lines about the old mariner in Coleridge’s famous

morph This form comes from the Greek word for “shape.” It appears in anthropo-
morphic, meaning “having human form.” And morph is itself a new English word; by
morphing, filmmakers can alter photographic images or shapes digitally, transforming
them in astonishing ways.
amorphous \@-'mȯr-f@s\ Shapeless; formless.
• The sculptor swiftly molded an amorphous lump of clay into a rough human
metamorphosis \µme-t@-'mȯr-f@-s@s\ 1: A change in physical form or substance. 2: A
fundamental change in form and often habits of an animal as part of the transforma-
tion of a larva into an adult.
• Day by day we watched the gradual metamorphosis of the tadpoles into frogs.
morphology \mȯr-'fä-l@-jē\ A branch of biology dealing with the form and structure of
• As an example, she mentioned the morphology of whales, whose fins evolved
from legs.

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mort / mori These roots come from the Latin noun mors (and its related form
mortis), meaning “death.” A mortuary is a place where dead bodies are kept until
burial, and a mortician prepares corpses for burial or cremation. Memento mori, a
Latin phrase used in English, means “a reminder of death,” such as a skull.
moribund \'mȯr-@-b@nd\ 1: Dying or approaching death. 2: Inactive or becoming
• Evidence of the sagging industrial economy could be seen in the moribund
factories and towns.
mortify \'mȯr-t@-µfı̄ \ 1: To subdue or deaden (the body) with self-discipline or
self-inflicted pain. 2: To embarrass greatly; humiliate.
• The parents’ attempts to act youthful mortified their kids, who almost died of
embarrassment when their friends were around.
mortality \mȯr-'ta-l@-tē\ 1: The state of being subject to death. 2: The proportion of
deaths to population.
• The preacher takes every occasion to remind us of our mortality, as does the
insurance agent.

mut Mut comes from the Latin mutare, “to change.” Science-fiction movies often
focus on weird mutations, changes in normal people or animals that lead to death,
destruction, or comedy. A governor may commute or change a prison sentence; a
person commuting between cities “exchanges” one location for another.
permutation \µp@r-myu̇-'tā-sh@n\ 1: The changing of the order of a set of objects. 2:
An ordering of a set of objects.
• The letters A, B, and C have six possible permutations: ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA,
CAB, and CBA.
immutable \i-'myü-t@-b@l\ Unchangeable or unchanging.
• The physical world is governed by the immutable laws of nature.
transmute \trans-'myüt\ To change in shape, appearance, or nature, especially for
the better; transform.
• A meek person may dream of being transmuted into a tyrant, or a poor person
into a rich one.

GRE CAT Success 133 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. The ________________ at Hyannis has over 180 slips for deep-draft sail-
boats, motorboats, and yachts.

2. ________________ suits are being filed today against even fine doctors who
have made no errors.

3. The monarch’s transformation from caterpillar to butterfly represents a

dramatic ________________.

4. Computer users were warned about a ________________ virus hiding in

e-Christmas cards.

5. The fabled dream of the alchemist was to ________________ lead into gold.

6. The store’s nautical antiques and pond yachts should interest the armchair

7. It would ________________ her if she ever heard herself described as


8. Al Capp’s Shmoo was an ________________ blob-like creature who some-

times helped his friends solve mysteries.

9. The moment he left the party, she started to ________________ him


10. In terms of ________________, bats’ wings are skeletal hands with very long
fingers, webbed with membranes.

11. The day the first CD appeared in the stores, the vinyl LP was

12. The number of different ways eight people can line up in a row provides a
nice illustration of ________________s.

www.petersons.com 134 GRE CAT Success


13. Detailed ________________ records are kept by the National Center for
Health Statistics.

14. The National ________________ Museum was displaying personal posses-

sions of the Bounty mutineers.

15. In an ever-changing world, people hunger for standards and qualities that
are ________________.

GRE CAT Success 135 www.petersons.com


neo Old as its Greek source, neo means “new.” Neon was a new gas when found in 1898.
A neoconservative is a liberal who has become a conservative. A neophyte is a new
convert, or a beginner. And a neologism is a new word.
neoclassical \µnē-ō-'kla-si-k@l\ Of or relating to a revival or adaptation of the style of
classical antiquity.
• Neoclassical paintings are dignified and restrained, and they often radiate a noble
Neolithic \µnē-@-'li-thik\ Of or relating to the latest period of the Stone Age, character-
ized by polished stone implements.
• Doctors have asked how the life spans of the Neolithic farmers compared with
those of earlier hunter-gatherers.
neoplasm \'nē-@-µpla-z@m\ A new growth of tissue serving no useful purpose in the
body; tumor.
• Using digital X rays, the dentist examined Tom’s gums for neoplasms and cysts.

omni This comes from the Latin prefix meaning “all.” Thus an omnidirectional
antenna will draw in stations from all directions. Something omnipresent is thought
to be present at all places and at all times. An omnivorous animal might eat almost
everything. Some companies apparently meaning to be everything to their customers
name themselves simply “Omni.”
omnibus \'äm-ni-b@s\ Of, relating to, or providing for many things at once.
• The Senate’s omnibus bill includes money for everything from snail research to
new bombers.
omnipotent \äm-'ni-p@-t@nt\ Having unlimited authority or influence; almighty.
• The question arises, If God is good and omnipotent, why do bad things happen?
omniscient \äm-'ni-sh@nt\ Having infinite awareness, understanding, insight, or knowl-
• His stories usually have an omniscient narrator, who reveals the thoughts of all
the characters.

ortho Ortho comes from orthos, the Greek word for “straight,” “right,” or “true.”
Orthotics is a therapy that straightens out the stance or posture of the body by
providing artificial support for weak joints or muscles. Orthograde animals, such as
humans, walk with their bodies in an upright position. Orthography is correct
orthodox \'ȯr-th@-µdäks\ 1: Holding established beliefs, especially in religion. 2:
Conforming to established rules or traditions; conventional.
• Gerald preferred orthodox, mainstream cancer treatments to untested alterna-
tive therapies.
orthopedist \µȯr-th@-'pē-dist\ A medical specialist concerned with correcting or
preventing skeletal deformities.
• A local orthopedist eventually managed to correct the child’s spinal curvature.
orthodontic \µȯr-th@-'dän-tik\ Pertaining to irregularities of the teeth and their correction.
• As much as she dreaded braces, Jennifer knew the time had come for orthodontic

www.petersons.com 136 GRE CAT Success


pan Directly from Greek, pan means “all”; as a prefix in English it can also mean
“completely,” “whole,” or “general.” A panoramic view is a complete view in every
direction. Pantheism is the worship of all gods. A pandemic outbreak of a disease
will affect an exceptionally high proportion of the population, though probably not
literally “all” people.
panacea \µpa-n@-'sē-@\ A remedy for all ills or difficulties; a cure-all.
• Educational reform is sometimes seen as the panacea for society’s problems.
panoply \'pa-n@-plē\ 1: A magnificent or impressive array. 2: A display of all
appropriate accessory items.
• The full panoply of a royal wedding was a thrilling sight for millions.
pantheon \'pan-thē-µän\ 1: The gods of a people. 2: A group of illustrious people.
• Even during Dickens’s lifetime, the critics had admitted him into the literary

phon This Greek root means “sound” or “voice.” It shows up in such words as
telephone (“far sound”), microphone (“small sound”), and xylophone (“wood
sound”). Phonics teaches reading by focusing on the sounds of letter groups. A
phonograph is an instrument for reproducing sounds.
cacophony \ka-'kä-f@-nē\ Harsh or discordant sound.
• According to his grandfather, popular music since Bing Crosby had been
nothing but cacophony.
phonetic \f@-'ne-tik\ Relating to or representing the sounds of the spoken language.
• Some schools teach reading by the phonetic method, linking sounds with
polyphonic \'pä-lē-'fä-nik\ Of or relating to music in which two or more indepen-
dent melodies are sung or played against each other in harmony.
• Children singing “Three Blind Mice” are performing the simplest kind of
polyphonic music.

GRE CAT Success 137 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. Some saw the antidepressant drug Prozac as a psychological


2. Prehistory, the period of no written records, included the

________________ and Bronze Ages.

3. Suzanne, age 16, said if she were ________________ for a day, she would
bring about world peace and save the rainforest.

4. Adventurous young people often challenge ________________ religious

belief systems.

5. The ________________ Trade and Competitiveness Act touched on many

aspects of labor, global commerce, and regulation.

6. The conductor chose a balanced program by composers from the musical


7. A ________________ alphabet was developed by NATO to be understand-

able by all allies in the heat of battle.

8. The checkup produced one cause for concern: a small ________________

on the bile duct.

9. My ________________ traces all our lower back problems to the time when
the first humans stood erect.

10. Sandra’s new sequencer could take complex ________________ music and
convert it into written notation.

11. Even several university degrees and eyes in the back of your head do not
make you ____________.

12. Looking down the long row of ________________ buildings, we almost

thought we were in ancient Rome.

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13. His mouth was a disaster area, and his crooked rows of teeth had never had
a minute of ________________ attention.

14. Out over the ocean, the winter sky spread a brilliant ________________ of

15. The kids who liked producing the most outrageous music soon were styling
themselves the “________________ Club.”

GRE CAT Success 139 www.petersons.com


photo Coming from the Greek word for “light,” photo enlightens us in words like
photography, which is the use of light to create an image on film or paper. A
photocopy is a printed copy made by light on an electrically charged surface. A
photogenic person is one highly suitable for being photographed.
photon \'fō-µtän\ A tiny particle or bundle of radiant energy.
• Star Trek’s photon torpedoes destroy their targets with intense radiation in the
X-ray range.
photosynthesis \µfō-tō-'sin-th@-s@s\ The process by which green plants use light to
produce organic matter from carbon dioxide and water.
• Sagebrush is a hardy plant that can carry on photosynthesis at very low
photoelectric \µfō-tō-i-'lek-trik\ Relating to an electrical effect from the interaction of
light with matter.
• Photoelectric cells would trigger the yard lights when they sensed motion.

post Post comes from a Latin word meaning “after” or “behind.” A postscript is a note
that comes after an otherwise completed letter, usually as an afterthought. Postpar-
tum refers to the period just after childbirth and all of its related concerns. To
postdate a check is to give it a date after the date when it was written.
posterior \pä-'stir-ē-@r\ Situated behind or on the back; rear.
• A posterior view of the animal revealed unusual coloring and an extremely long
posthumous \'päs-ch@-m@s\ Following or happening after one’s death.
• The late singer achieved posthumous success when her film became a huge hit.
postmortem \µpōst-'mȯr-t@m\ 1: Occurring after death. 2: Following the event.
• In 1999 the institute had issued a postmortem report on the Bosnian war,
“NATO’s Empty Victory.”

pre One of the most common of all English prefixes, pre comes from prae, the Latin
word meaning “before” or “in front of.” A TV program precedes another by coming
on before it. You predict an event by saying it will happen before it does. A person
who presumes to know assumes something before having all the facts.
precocious \pri-'kō-sh@s\ Showing mature qualities at an unusually early age.
• Some thought the sitcom’s precocious child star was cute; others thought she
was a show-off.
prerequisite \prē-'re-kw@-z@t\ An action, event, or object required in advance to
achieve a goal.
• Certain courses were prerequisites for majoring in engineering at the university.
predisposed \µprē-di-'spōzd\ Influenced in advance or made persuadable.
• The commissioner was predisposed to vote for the project since its developer
had given his campaign a large contribution.

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prim Prim comes from primus, the Latin word for “first.” A prime minister is the
chief minister of a ruler or state. Something primary is first in time, rank, or impor-
tance. Something primitive seems to be in an early stage of development.
primal \'prı̄-m@l\ 1: Original or primitive. 2: First in importance.
• Much of civilization seems designed to disguise or soften the rawness of our
primal urges.
primordial \prı̄-'mȯr-dē-@l\ Existing in or from the very beginning.
• He assumed his ancestors emerged from the primordial ooze, and not as gods.
primate \'prı̄-māt\ A member of an order of mammals that includes humans, apes,
and monkeys.
• Do we have anything important to learn about human behavior from our
cousins the primates?

rect This root comes directly from the Latin word rectus, meaning “straight” or
“right.” A rectangle is a four-sided figure whose straight sides meet at right angles. To
correct something is to make it right. To stand erect is to stand straight.
rectitude \'rek-t@-µtüd\ Correctness in judgment; moral integrity.
• The school superintendent wasn’t popular, but no one could question his
fairness and rectitude.
rectify \'rek-t@-µfı̄ \ To make or set right; correct.
• Problems with the Bowl Championship Series were rectified by a simple
four-team playoff.
rectilinear \µrek-t@-'li-nē-@r\ Characterized by straight lines.
• In its rectilinear structure, the sculpture reflects the surrounding office buildings.

GRE CAT Success 141 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. Hamstrings, deltoids, and gluteus maximus are human muscles on the

_______________ side.

2. The lighting engineering firm offered ________________ sensors for many


3. The West Point students’ reputation for ________________ was badly

damaged by the cheating scandal.

4. Average parents of specially gifted or ________________ children face

unusual challenges.

5. With the dead man now proven innocent, his relatives sought a
________________ pardon.

6. The power of lasers results from a focused concentration of


7. For many, retreating to a rough-hewn home in the woods seems to satisfy a

________________ urge.

8. Some children may be ________________ to asthma by their genes.

9. Green plants don’t graze, hunt, or shop; they make food by using sunlight
through ________________.

10. The association called on Congress to ________________ the unfairness of

health care funding.

11. During the ________________ exam, the medical examiner discovered a

mysterious blackening of the liver tissue.

12. Her study of baboons earned Gloria a fellowship to the ________________

research center.

www.petersons.com 142 GRE CAT Success


13. Over ten billion years ago, the Milky Way was just a giant
________________ gas cloud.

14. Simple ________________ designs with bold vertical and horizontal lines
dominated the hotel’s decor.

15. Detailed knowledge of psychology is not a ________________ for interview-

ing of job applicants.

GRE CAT Success 143 www.petersons.com


retro Retro means “back,” “behind,” or “backward” in Latin. Retro itself is a fairly new
word in English, meaning “nostalgically old-fashioned,” usually when describing styles
or fashions. To retrogress is to go back to an earlier and usually worse state. A
retrograde action is a backward or reverse action.
retroactive \µre-trō-'ak-tiv\ Intended to apply or take effect at a date in the past.
• The fact that the tax hike was retroactive was what annoyed the public the
retrofit \'re-trō-µfit\ To furnish something with new or modified parts or equipment.
• Owners were offered “fast-track” permits to retrofit their homes against
retrospective \µre-tr@-'spek-tiv\ Of or relating to surveying the past.
• Excitement grew in anticipation of the rare retrospective exhibition of Avedon’s

scrib / scrip These roots come from the Latin verb scribere, “to write.” A script is
written matter, such as lines for a play. Scriptures are sacred writings. Scribble means
to write or draw carelessly. A written work that hasn’t been published is a manu-
circumscribe \'s@r-k@m-µskrı̄b\ To limit the range or activity of.
• Various laws have circumscribed the freedom of labor unions to strike and
inscribe \in-'skrı̄b\ 1: To write, engrave, or print. 2: To dedicate (a book) to
• As Mike turned to leave, the store clerk offered to inscribe the diamond ring
proscribe \prō-'skrı̄b\ 1: To prohibit. 2: To condemn or forbid as harmful.
• If the doctor proscribes certain foods, you’d better not eat them.

sub Sub means “under,” as in subway, submarine, and substandard. A subject is a

person who is under the authority of another. Subconscious activity exists in the
mind just under the level of awareness. To subdue is to bring under control.
subjugate \'s@b-ji-µgāt\ To bring under control; conquer; subdue.
• Bringing criminal charges against reporters seemed a government attempt to
subjugate the media.
subliminal \s@-'bli-m@-n@l\ Not quite strong enough to be sensed or perceived
• Worried parents claimed that some songs contained disturbing subliminal
subversive \s@b-'v@r-siv\ 1: Tending to overthrow or undermine by working secretly
from within. 2: Tending to corrupt someone or something by weakening loyalty,
morals, or faith.
• In the 1950s the nation became alarmed that subversive communists were
lurking everywhere.

www.petersons.com 144 GRE CAT Success


syn From the Greek word meaning “with” or “together with,” syn as a prefix in
English can also mean “at the same time.” Thus synesthesia is the remarkable
awareness of another sense (such as color) at the same time as the one being
stimulated (such as sound). Synergy is the useful “working together” of distinct
elements. Syntax is about how words are put together.
synthesis \'sin-th@-s@s\ The combination of parts or elements into a whole.
• Chemical analysis separates a substance into its elements; chemical synthesis
combines elements to produce something new.
synopsis \s@-'näp-s@s\ A condensed statement or outline.
• Having read the synopsis, Bill did not feel a need to read the full report.
syndrome \'sin-µdrōm\ A group of signs and symptoms that occur together and
characterize a particular abnormality.
• Sufferers from chronic fatigue syndrome fought for a decade to have their
symptoms recognized as a specific illness.

tele Tele comes from the Greek word for “far off”; in English its basic meaning is
“distant” or “at a distance.” A telescope looks at faraway objects. A telephoto lens on
a camera magnifies distant objects for a photograph. A television allows us to watch
things taking place far away (or sometimes not far enough away).
teleological \µte-lē-@-'lä-ji-k@l\ Relating to design, purpose, or cause, especially in
• The traditional teleological argument claims that humans are so remarkable that
only God could have designed them.
telepathic \µte-l@-'pa-thik\ Communicating from one mind to another without known
sensory means.
• Suzanne never considered herself telepathic, but she awoke with a start when
her brother died at 2:00 a.m. 3,000 miles away.
telemetry \t@-'le-m@-trē\ The transmission, especially by radio, of measurements
made by automatic instruments to a distant station.
• Satellite telemetry allowed the tracking of this year’s great caribou migration.

GRE CAT Success 145 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. Highly responsive to each other’s actions, the twins at times seemed almost

2. The catalog featuring vintage dinnerware of the 1940s through the 1970s
was really a ________________ display of modern design.

3. As a semi-invalid, she led a ________________d life, rarely venturing beyond

her garden.

4. Approval of the pay increase was confirmed, ________________ to January


5. Did an early experiment in ________________ advertising at a movie theater

result in increased popcorn sales?

6. A cherub helped an angel ________________ words so beautiful they fell

like roses from her feather pen.

7. Her new album seemed to be a ________________ of country and world


8. The scary part was when the ________________ failed and the astronauts
vanished from the screens.

9. Once in power, the mullahs proceeded to ________________ the Western-

ized women of Tehran.

10. Smoking is now ________________d in many U.S. medical and restaurant


11. A Hollywood-based Web site offers a helpful ________________ of the plots

of hundreds of films.

12. The mayor hoped to ________________ the vehicles to increase the

mobility of the disabled.

www.petersons.com 146 GRE CAT Success


13. The new special police unit was entrusted with intelligence gathering and
monitoring _________________ activities.

14. Schizophrenia is a ________________ related to a variety of causative


15. The claim that a gopher’s cheek pouches are intended for carrying food is,
to zoologists, a ________________ statement.

GRE CAT Success 147 www.petersons.com


terr This root was dug up from the Latin terra, “earth.” Terra firma is a Latin phrase
that means “firm ground,” as opposed to the swaying seas. A terrace is a leveled area
along a sloping hill; territory is a specific piece of land. A terrier, literally an “earth
dog,” was originally used by hunters to dig for small game.
subterranean \µs@b-t@-'rā-nē-@n\ Underground.
• The region, it was believed, was home to subterranean beings that emerged
from their burrows only at night.
terrestrial \t@-'res-trē-@l\ 1: Having to do with the earth or its inhabitants. 2: Having
to do with land as distinct from air or water.
• Unlike frogs, most toads are terrestrial, entering the water only to lay their eggs.
terrain \t@-'rān\ The surface features of an area of land.
• Mountain unicycling proved especially challenging over such rough terrain.

therm Still warm from centuries of use, therm comes from the Greek word meaning
“heat.” A thermometer measures heat; a thermostat makes sure it stays at the same
level. A rising body of warm air, used by hawks and sailplanes, is called a thermal.
thermal \'th@r-m@l\ 1: Of, relating to, or caused by heat. 2: Designed to prevent loss
of body heat.
• Thermal vents on the ocean floor release steam as hot as 600°.
thermodynamic \µth@r-mō-dı̄-'na-mik\ Of or relating to the physics of heat.
• A chemical’s thermodynamic properties indicate how it will behave at various
thermonuclear \µth@r-mō-'nü-klē-@r\ Of or relating to changes in the nucleus of atoms
of low atomic weight brought about by very high temperatures.
• In those days thermonuclear devices were being proposed for such uses as exca-
vating canals.

trans This root comes across from Latin to indicate movement “through, across, or
beyond” something. A translation carries the meaning across languages. A TV signal is
transmitted or “sent through” the air (or a cable) to your set. Public transportation
carries you across a distance, though you may need to transfer from one bus or
subway across to another.
transient \'tran-sh@nt\ 1: Passing through a place and staying only briefly. 2: Of brief
• Tristan’s inn in Vermont attracted transient tourists to come to gaze at the
autumn foliage.
transcendent \tran-'sen-d@nt\ 1: Exceeding usual limits; surpassing. 2: Beyond
• The symphony’s hushed ending, with the solo violin melody trailing off into
silence, is almost transcendent.
transfusion \trans-'fyü-zh@n\ 1: The process of diffusing into or through. 2: The
process of moving (as of blood) into a vein.
• Travelers needing blood transfusions have usually suffered severe accidents.

www.petersons.com 148 GRE CAT Success


uni Uni comes from the Latin word for “one.” A uniform is clothing of one design. A
united group has one opinion or forms one unit. A unitard is a one-piece combina-
tion leotard and tights, very good for skating, skiing, dancing—or riding a one-wheeled
unicameral \µyü-ni-'kam-r@l\ Having a single legislative house or chamber.
• Passing new laws was comparatively quick and easy in the unicameral govern-
unilateral \µyü-ni-'la-t@-r@l\ Having, affecting, or done by one side only.
• Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from Afghanistan, in return for nothing, aston-
ished the world.
unison \'yü-n@-s@n\ 1: Sameness of musical pitch. 2: A state of harmonious agree-
ment; accord.
• Unable to read music well enough to harmonize, the village choir sang only in

viv Viv comes from vivere, the Latin verb meaning “to live or be alive.” A vivid
memory is a lively one. A survivor has lived through something terrible. A revival
brings something back to life—whether an old film, interest in a long-dead novelist, or
the religious faith of a group.
vivacious \v@-'vā-sh@s\ Lively, sprightly.
• For the cheerleading squad, Sheri chose the most outgoing, energetic, and
vivacious candidates.
vivisection \µvi-v@-'sek-sh@n\ Experimental operation on a living animal.
• The firm reluctantly agreed to avoid research involving vivisection in favor of
alternative methods.
convivial \k@n-'viv-y@l\ 1: Enjoying companionship in feasting and drinking. 2: Fes-
• Alberta was known for hosting relaxed and convivial gatherings, where the
wine flowed freely.

GRE CAT Success 149 www.petersons.com


Answers appear at the end of this unit.

1. At the height of the Cold War, some Americans began digging

________________ fallout shelters.

2. The ________________ properties of metals affect technologies we don’t

think of as heat-related.

3. Forty-nine states have bicameral legislatures; only Nebraska’s is


4. Any chemical reaction that produces heat is a ________________ reaction.

5. Over such rugged ________________, mules were the only hope for
transporting needed supplies.

6. It’s a noisy, _________________ crowd that gathers at McSorley’s Restaurant

after 5:00.

7. His bright idea turned out to be a ________________ one, and he had soon
moved on to something new.

8. He returned from the backpacking trip energized as if he’d been given a

______________ of new blood.

9. Detonating a ________________ bomb requires temperatures exceeding a

million degrees Fahrenheit.

10. While singing in parts is difficult, singing modern compositions for

________________ voices has challenges of its own.

11. Jessie was so ________________ that she livened up every party she ever

12. She emerged from the concert hall in a daze, feeling she had undergone a
________________ experience.

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13. Alabama has over 500 species of marine mollusks, and many
________________ mollusks as well.

14. Animal lovers of every stripe wrote in, claiming that ________________ had
little scientific merit.

15. After failed negotiations with its neighbors, Iran announced a

________________ decision to develop its own oil wells in the Caspian Sea.

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Fill in each blank in the sentences on the following pages with one of the following words. Answers
appear at the end of this unit.
abjure discredit marina primate
agrarian dynamo mariner primordial
agrochemical dynasty maritime proscribe
agronomy dysentery metamorphosis rectify
amorphous dyslexia microcosm rectilinear
anachronism dystrophy misanthrope rectitude
antecedent epigraph moribund retroactive
antedate epilogue morphology retrofit
anterior epithet mortality retrospective
anthropoid extraneous mortify seismograph
aquaculture extrapolate neoclassical spectrography
Aquarius extrovert Neolithic subjugate
aquifer fidelity neoplasm subliminal
artifact fiduciary omnibus subterranean
artifice geopolitical omnipotent subversive
artisan geosynchronous omniscient symbiosis
benediction geothermal orthodontic syndrome
benefactor gratify orthodox synopsis
beneficent gratuitous orthopedist synthesis
bionic hydraulic panacea telemetry
biopsy hydrodynamic panoply teleological
cacophony hydroelectric pantheon telepathic
chronic hyperbole perjury terrain
chronology hypertension permutation terrestrial
circumscribe hyperventilate philanthropy thermal
circumspect hypochondriac phonetic thermodynamic
circumstantial hypothermia photoelectric thermonuclear
circumvent hypothetical photon topography
confidante immutable photosynthesis transcendent
convivial ingratiate polyphonic transfusion
cosmology inscribe posterior transient
cosmopolitan intercede posthumous transmute
credence interdict postmortem unicameral
credible interface precocious unilateral
creed jurisprudence predisposed unison
dehydrate malevolent prerequisite vivacious
disarming malign primal vivisection
disburse malpractice

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1. Keith ________________d the novel “To Melissa, my only muse and

2. After the first trial, Collins was called to answer charges of
________________ and evidence tampering.
3. Is it ________________ to say that an eagle’s wings were “designed” for
4. Rafael’s clumsy attempt to ________________ the contract led to his arrest
for fraud.
5. Some interactive games let players achieve virtual destruction worse than
that of a ________________ bomb.
6. After his divorce, his legal practice shrank and a ________________ suit
almost bankrupted him.
7. ________________ apes resemble humans in that they lack tails and walk
8. The “facts” on the “Astounding Facts” Web site turned out not to be very
9. ________________ runoff is blamed for creating a huge “dead zone” in the
Gulf of Mexico.
10. Most people picture ________________s as underground lakes rather than
as expanses of soaked gravel.
11. The Water-Carrier, ________________, is an old constellation carved in
stones of the Babylonian Empire.
12. The formal gardens were showplaces of ________________, with every tree
and shrub shaped by human hands.
13. Aaron’s fossil hunting in Alaska led to his unearthing of unusual ancient
14. The prison’s star inmate, he had undergone a ________________ from
hardened criminal to contributing citizen.
15. The blonde Evita was seen by Argentina’s poor as a ________________
angel dispensing charity.
16. Paleolithic hunters, with their tools of chipped stone, gave way to
________________ farmers, with their polished stone tools.
17. What anonymous ________________ had contributed $500,000 to the
medical fund?

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18. Her aunt, previously blind, could now recognize faces with her new
________________ eye.
19. For years Carol had managed her ________________ heart condition
through careful diet and exercise.
20. Using a telephone in a play set in 1765 is an obvious ________________.
21. Veterinarians have often relied on ________________ examinations in
diagnosing disease.
22. A newly hired 22-year-old had easily managed to ________________ the
computer security system.
23. The sunny and ________________ Doris Day started out as a jazz singer in
the 1940s.
24. When asked about Russia’s own success fighting corruption, the official
quickly became ________________.
25. The club was chic and ________________, and everyone seemed to have a
French or German accent.
26. Rural Maine is home to many ________________s: woodworkers, potters,
weavers, and the like.
27. The findings of Copernicus and Galileo proposed nothing less than a new
28. Some building codes require ________________ sensors, which are quick to
detect smoky fires.
29. The ________________ provided needed services after an exhausting day on
choppy seas.
30. The game of Monopoly seems to present a ________________ of the world
of real-estate dealing.
31. Scientists often refer to the ocean’s surface as the ocean-atmosphere
32. A new find lends ________________ to the claim that the first Americans
came from Europe.
33. She was skeptical about what lay behind his smooth and ________________
34. Society often depends on ________________ to fill the gaps left by govern-
ment spending.

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35. The new president turned out to be a ferociously energetic human

36. Each winter, outdoor adventure groups often publicize the best ways to
avoid frostbite and ________________.
37. She was always reading about alternative therapies, but her doctor was as
________________ as they come.
38. Muscular ________________ is actually a family of disorders that causes
muscle degeneration.
39. A passage from Othello appeared as the ________________ of the long-
awaited report.
40. The author’s ________________ listed the adventurers’ whereabouts five
years after their rescue.
41. She told him his concerns were ________________ and he should stick to
the subject at hand.
42. A data recorder and transmitters and receivers formed part of the satellite’s
________________ system.
43. A prominent political ________________, the Kennedy family has seen many
of its members elected to office.
44. He was a drifter, hardly the kind of person for a ________________ respon-
sibility such as executor of a will.
45. “Attack ads” attempt to ________________ political candidates, often with
half-truths and lies.
46. Whether the coup succeeded or failed depended on the ________________
of the general’s soldiers.
47. The clinic, in Canada’s far north, serves a ________________ Inuit popula-
tion not likely to return for regular checkups.
48. Could ________________ tensions in faraway Asia actually affect the
national elections?
49. Study of the sun’s magnetic fields requires ________________ to reveal the
solar spectrum.
50. For the America’s Cup yachts, the keel by itself presents complex
________________ problems.
51. Severe stomach distress ruined their trip, and it turned out they both had

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52. The Princeton Earth Physics Project tracks earthquakes using a network of
53. There were arguments about how best to ________________ financial aid
following the disaster.
54. Sandra knew it would ________________ her husband if she wore the
necklace he’d given her.
55. The fetus had gotten turned around into the ________________ position,
which can make the birthing process difficult.
56. Much modern ________________ still is practiced in small mom-and-pop
fishpond operations.
57. Those lurching virtual-reality thrill rides are powered by ________________,
pressurized-fluid technology.
58. Nick, the family ________________, played touch football, organized
reunions, and was his company’s top salesman.
59. Astonishing examples of cooperative living between species appear as
60. Having quit smoking, he was told he must now adopt a strict diet for his
61. The meteorite, billions of years old, offered clues about the
________________ solar system.
62. Best-selling novelists can sell a book idea to their publishers with nothing
but a short ________________.
63. The Garden of Eden is the biblical vision of a ________________ paradise.
64. Melanie’s problems with spelling and math were finally traced to
65. Having entered the virtual body, the doctor may test a range of
________________ drug interactions.
66. The response from the opposition was full of ________________ insults and
67. A United Nations force was asked to ________________ on behalf of both
combatants and restore peace.
68. With public-relations help, the Nigerians hoped to ________________
reports of genocide during the Biafran war.

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69. As a context for discussion, Abu handed out a detailed ________________ of

Muslim history.
70. At halftime, the ________________ mass of band musicians abruptly
snapped into a tight formation.
71. The greatest Supreme Court justices could often be called philosophers of
72. The awesome ________________ of the procession made the hometown
parade seem like a coronation.
73. Fascinated by plant breeding, Heather began to enroll in ________________
74. After a terrible two-month binge, he solemnly ________________d alcohol
75. That nasty remark was her first hint that her beloved Alex had a
________________ streak.
76. Two ________________ power plants were being built near the volcano’s
77. Following the hijackings, the airline was forced to ________________ its jets
with new cockpit doors.
78. To celebrate its seagoing history, the port city established a
________________ museum.
79. A specialist in vertebrate ________________, he usually explained skeleton
structures in terms of evolution.
80. Looser laws in Canada may make it harder for the U.S. to ________________
drug trafficking.
81. Devout medieval Christians sought to “________________ the flesh”—to
reduce their sensitivity to hunger, cold, and discomfort.
82. Shuffling the deck ensures that the cards will be dealt in almost infinite
83. The foes of freedom have tried to suppress books, films, and songs, calling
them ________________.
84. The congregation then recites the ________________, a concise statement
of Christian beliefs.
85. Many ________________ sculptures from the 1780s could be mistaken for
works from ancient Rome.

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86. It would take a heartfelt apology to ________________ the situation.

87. Before taking Tree Physiology, you must have completed such
________________s as Forest Botany.
88. The Senate finally threw everything together into a single
________________ bill.
89. Though there had been no eyewitnesses, the ________________ evidence
was enough to convict him.
90. After a time, the supposed illnesses of a ________________ no longer attract
the sympathy of friends.
91. The investigation was focusing on a 48-year-old man—a single, unemployed
loner and ________________.
92. One need not be ________________ to write an encyclopedia, but it would
93. The company produces a sports guard, dentures, braces, and other
________________ appliances.
94. Lawyers argued that the state constitution ________________d the legisla-
ture’s power in cases like this one.
95. Having failed to form a coalition, the president began to consider taking
________________ action.
96. Apollo and Dionysus were two of the most widely worshiped gods in the
Greek ________________.
97. New to New York, Carol couldn’t fall asleep with the ________________ of
street sounds.
98. With her fortune declining, even Lady Armstrong could see that the great
estate was ________________.
99. To prevent moisture-related spoilage, Gretchen said we could
________________ some foods.
100. The lawyers had argued that her injuries were actually ________________ to
the accident.
101. With a liver ________________, a small piece of tissue can be examined for
signs of disease.
102. Several simultaneous melodies combined to form a rich texture of
________________ sound.

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103. The river’s ________________ dams block downstream movement of large

wood, disturbing aquatic habitats.
104. The verdict awarded her complete survivor’s benefits, ________________ to
the date of her husband’s death.
105. She would later claim that she had ________________d her grief into the
songs that made her famous.
106. The university awarded ________________ degrees to seniors killed in the
107. Sandra tried using ________________ motivational tapes while sleeping to
improve her attitude.
108. ________________ reading ability in children may not be matched by
advanced writing skills.
109. Lottman’s film was an odd ________________ of ancient myth, film noir,
and alternative comics.
110. Gazing into a campfire at night, we feel a ________________ connection
with our prehistoric ancestors.
111. Any system that turns heat into mechanical energy represents a
________________ process.
112. A salty ________________ may throw a tub of sea jargon at you to expose
your ignorance.
113. It required all his charm to ________________ himself with the power
114. Several Roman emperors, convinced that they were ________________,
declared themselves gods.
115. Sitting up straight at the table isn’t necessarily an outward sign of moral
116. The U.S. Geographic Survey has modeled and mapped the entire American
117. The center compiled data on illness and ________________ from blood
118. The region’s ________________ is dramatic, with sheer cliffs descending to
parched plains.
119. Hilda’s sleek, ________________ designs featured sharp clean lines and
squared corners.

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120. His CAT scan revealed a large ________________, but it turned out to be
121. With remarkable skill and patience, the ________________ had restored
Tyler’s spine by surgical means.
122. The ________________ exhibit on Project Apollo began with its birth in
123. Brett’s doctors called on his close relatives to donate blood for the
124. Even in war there are rules and norms of behavior that ________________
the worst offenses.
125. The Founding Fathers rejected the idea of a ________________ legislature,
favoring a House and Senate to balance each other.
126. Wherever the great khan’s army marched, it would conquer and
________________ the local tribes.
127. From these incomplete statistics we can easily ________________ the
complete data.
128. People with this rare ________________ are smart and mentally retarded at
the same time.
129. Some groups argue that ________________ is a barbaric and unjustified
form of animal cruelty.
130. Audrey claims to have ________________ communication with her pet
ferrets while she’s at the office.
131. Many have wondered if some murderers were biologically
________________ to kill.
132. In 1880 a traveling salesman might have tried to sell you a single
________________ for everything from mumps to arthritis.
133. Prehistoric peoples in harsh climates often lived in caves or even
________________ dwellings.
134. He delivered his praise as solemnly as a priest’s ________________.
135. ________________ orbits are ideal for maintaining contact with a specific
location on Earth.
136. We distinguish between outright lies on the one hand and mere
________________ on the other.

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137. These get-togethers start out quietly but always become ________________,
and sometimes even rowdy.
138. She emitted the kind of radiant energy that isn’t measured in
139. Giant tubeworms live on the ocean floor near ________________ vents
spouting scalding water.
140. The broken jawbone was clearly visible in the X-ray image that showed an
________________ view of his skull.
141. The mob outside the ________________ research center called for an end to
tests on monkeys.
142. After awakening from her coma, she recounted a ________________
experience of light and bliss.
143. Phyllis used the ________________ approach with her first-graders, sound-
ing out syllables one by one.
144. The student complaint involved the alleged yelling of racial
145. The new Web site, called “________________.com,” is “for those who like
to tell and those who like to listen.”
146. It’s common, but also dangerous, for freedivers to ________________ in
order to stay underwater longer.
147. The rebellious workers began chanting in ________________, “No Contract,
No Work!”
148. Economic growth in poor countries often depends on ________________
reform and rural development.
149. In green plants, light energy is converted into chemical energy during
150. Alicia kept a fixed and ________________ order to her household, especially
in the sock drawers.

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The roots and derived words in the table below are intended for further study. Learn the meanings of
any of the words you are unfamiliar with (perhaps by drilling yourself with homemade flash cards),
and try using each of them in sentences. Try to think of other terms that use each of the roots in the
left-hand column.

aud (“hear”) auditor audition auditory

aut/auto (“same, self”) automaton autonomy autocratic
bell (“war”) bellicose belligerent antebellum
bi (“two”) bipartisan binary bipolar
carn (“flesh”) carnage incarnation carnal
cata (“down”) catalyst catacomb catatonic
cent (“hundred”) centenary centigrade centimeter
cid (“kill”) genocide infanticide fungicide
corp (“body”) corporal corpulent corporeal
crac/crat (“power”) bureaucrat aristocracy autocrat
crypt/cryph (“hidden”) cryptic apocryphal crypt
culp (“guilt”) culpable exculpate mea culpa
cur (“care”) curator sinecure curative
dec (“ten”) decathlon decimate decibel
demo (“people”) demotic endemic demographic
dict (“speak”) diction edict indict
domin (“lord”) domineer predominant dominion
duct (“lead”) abduct duct induct
ego (“I”) alter ego egocentric egoist
equi (“equal”) equivocal equity equilibrium
eu (“good”) euphemism euphoria euthanasia
flu (“flow”) influx confluence fluent
grad (“step”) degradation gradient gradation
grav (“heavy”) grave gravitate gravitas
hemi/demi/semi (“half”) hemiplegic semiconductor demigod
homo (“same”) homogeneous homogenize homologous
later (“side”) bilateral collateral unilateral
medi (“middle”) mediate intermediary median
mono (“single”) monotone monologue monotheism
neuro (“nerve”) neurology neuron neurotransmitter

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50 MORE ROOTS (continued)

nom (“name”) misnomer nomenclature nominal

patr/pater (“father”) patriarch patrimony patrician
pun/pen (“punish”) punitive impunity penal
peri (“around”) peripheral peripatetic perimeter
phob (“fear”) agoraphobia xenophobia acrophobia
plac (“please”) placate implacable placebo
popul (“people”) populist populace depopulate
proto (“first”) protocol protagonist prototype
quadr (“four”) quadrennial quadriplegic quadruped
sacr/sanct (“holy”) sanctify sacrosanct sanctuary
simil/simul (“like”) simile simulate assimilate
son (“sound”) sonority sonata sonic
super/supra (“above”) superannuated superimpose superfluous
the/theo (“god”) theocracy monotheism theology
topo (“place”) topical topographical utopia
tri (“three”) trilogy trinity trimester
turb (“confused”) perturb turbid turbine
ver/veri (“true”) aver veracity veritable
verb (“word”) verbiage verbose proverb
vert (“turn”) subvert revert avert

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1. philanthropy 6. anterior 11. misanthrope
2. agrochemical 7. agronomy 12. antedate
3. artifact 8. artifice 13. anthropoid
4. agrarian 9. antecedent 14. Aquarius
5. aquifer 10. aquaculture 15. artisan

1. symbiosis 6. bionic 11. anachronism
2. beneficent 7. biopsy 12. chronology
3. circumstantial 8. benefactor 13. microcosm
4. cosmology 9. circumvent 14. circumspect
5. benediction 10. chronic 15. cosmopolitan

1. creed 6. dyslexia 11. epilogue
2. disarming 7. dynasty 12. dystrophy
3. dysentery 8. epigraph 13. epithet
4. discredit 9. hydrodynamic 14. credible
5. credence 10. disburse 15. dynamo

1. extrovert 6. ingratiate 11. fidelity
2. fiduciary 7. geothermal 12. gratuitous
3. extraneous 8. spectrography 13. topography
4. confidante 9. extrapolate 14. gratify
5. geosynchronous 10. seismograph 15. geopolitical

1. perjury 6. hypertension 11. abjure
2. hypothetical 7. hypochondriac 12. dehydrate
3. hydroelectric 8. intercede 13. jurisprudence
4. hyperventilate 9. hypothermia 14. hyperbole
5. hydraulic 10. interface 15. interdict

1. marina 6. mariner 11. moribund
2. malpractice 7. mortify 12. permutation
3. metamorphosis 8. amorphous 13. mortality
4. malevolent 9. malign 14. maritime
5. transmute 10. morphology 15. immutable

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1. panacea 6. pantheon 11. omniscient
2. Neolithic 7. phonetic 12. neoclassical
3. omnipotent 8. neoplasm 13. orthodontic
4. orthodox 9. orthopedist 14. panoply
5. omnibus 10. polyphonic 15. cacophony

1. posterior 6. photon 11. postmortem
2. photoelectric 7. primal 12. primate
3. rectitude 8. predisposed 13. amorphous
4. precocious 9. photosynthesis 14. rectilinear
5. posthumous 10. rectify 15. prerequisite

1. telepathic 6. inscribe 11. synopsis
2. retrospective 7. synthesis 12. retrofit
3. circumscribe 8. telemetry 13. subversive
4. retroactive 9. subjugate 14. syndrome
5. subliminal 10. proscribe 15. teleological

1. subterranean 6. convivial 11. vivacious
2. thermal 7. transient 12. transcendent
3. unicameral 8. transfusion 13. terrestrial
4. thermodynamic 9. thermonuclear 14. vivisection
5. terrain 10. unison 15. unilateral

1. inscribe 16. Neolithic 31. interface
2. perjury 17. benefactor 32. credence
3. teleological 18. bionic 33. disarming
4. antedate 19. chronic 34. philanthropy
5. thermonuclear 20. anachronism 35. dynamo
6. malpractice 21. postmortem 36. hypothermia
7. anthropoid 22. circumvent 37. orthodox
8. credible 23. vivacious 38. dystrophy
9. agrochemical 24. circumspect 39. epigraph
10. aquifer 25. cosmopolitan 40. epilogue
11. Aquarius 26. artisan 41. extraneous
12. artifice 27. cosmology 42. telemetry
13. artifact 28. photoelectric 43. dynasty
14. metamorphosis 29. marina 44. fiduciary
15. beneficent 30. microcosm 45. malign

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46. fidelity 81. mortify 116. terrain

47. transient 82. permutation 117. mortality
48. geopolitical 83. subversive 118. topography
49. spectrography 84. creed 119. rectilinear
50. hydrodynamic 85. neoclassical 120. neoplasm
51. dysentery 86. rectify 121. orthopedist
52. seismograph 87. prerequisite 122. retrospective
53. disburse 88. omnibus 123. transfusion
54. gratify 89. circumstantial 124. proscribe
55. posterior 90. hypochondriac 125. unicameral
56. aquaculture 91. misanthrope 126. subjugate
57. hydraulic 92. omniscient 127. extrapolate
58. extrovert 93. orthodontic 128. syndrome
59. symbiosis 94. circumscribe 129. vivisection
60. hypertension 95. unilateral 130. telepathic
61. primordial 96. pantheon 131. predisposed
62. synopsis 97. cacophony 132. panacea
63. terrestrial 98. moribund 133. subterranean
64. dyslexia 99. dehydrate 134. benediction
65. hypothetical 100. antecedent 135. geosynchronous
66. gratuitous 101. biopsy 136. hyperbole
67. intercede 102. polyphonic 137. convivial
68. discredit 103. hydroelectric 138. photon
69. chronology 104. retroactive 139. thermal
70. amorphous 105. transmute 140. anterior
71. jurisprudence 106. posthumous 141. primate
72. panoply 107. subliminal 142. transcendent
73. agronomy 108. precocious 143. phonetic
74. abjure 109. synthesis 144. epithet
75. malevolent 110. primal 145. confidante
76. geothermal 111. thermodynamic 146. hyperventilate
77. retrofit 112. mariner 147. unison
78. maritime 113. ingratiate 148. agrarian
79. morphology 114. omnipotent 149. photosynthesis
80. interdict 115. rectitude 150. immutable

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The GRE CAT test combines three different types of questions: Quantitative Comparisons, Problem
Solving, and Data Interpretation. There are a total of 28 questions in this section, and you will have
45 minutes in which to complete this section. The following is the breakdown of question types.

Quantitative Comparison 14 questions

Problem Solving (multiple-choice) 9 questions
Data Interpretation (tables, charts, graphs) 5 questions
All of the questions in this section are based on the mathematics that is usually covered in high school
math classes—arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
There are two different types of arithmetic questions that will appear on the GRE—one that asks
you to perform a computation (add the fractions, multiply the decimals, manipulate the percents), and
one that asks you to solve a word problem. Similarly, there will be algebraic computation problems
(solve the equation, factor the expression, manipulate the square roots), as well as algebraic word
problems. As far as the geometry problems are concerned, you will only be asked to solve problems
by working with geometric properties. You will not need to create proofs or state definitions.
In the following pages, you will find a thorough review of all of the mathematics covered on the
GRE CAT. Prior to that, hints and strategies for the Quantitative Ability sections are given, as well as a
discussion of the Quantitative Comparison and Data Interpretation formats. Read these sections
carefully, and remember what you have read when you begin to work the practice tests.


1. If you are not able to answer a question in one or two minutes (at the most), take a guess.
If you don’t answer a question, you can’t move on. Wasting time with a question may mean
you won’t have time to work on subsequent ones. Keep in mind that as you answer and
complete a question, the next one will be slightly more difficult if you answered it cor-
rectly, and a little easier if you answered it incorrectly.
2. Do not waste any time doing computations that are not necessary. Remember that one of
the choices must be the correct one. Estimate as much as you possibly can as you try to
determine which of the answers must be correct.
3. Be particularly careful when answering Quantitative Comparison questions, as these are the
only questions on the entire GRE for which there are four answer choices instead of the
usual five. Never mark (E) as the answer for a Quantitative Comparison question.



4. Be careful (especially when solving geometry problems) to express your answer in the same
units of measure as the multiple-choice answers.
5. All fractions that appear as the answers to questions will be expressed in reduced form.
Therefore, if you solve a problem and obtain a fraction as the answer, this fraction must be
reduced before you will find it among the multiple-choice answers. Similarly, all square root
answers must be expressed in reduced form. In geometrical problems involving p, look at
the answer choices to determine if you are supposed to leave the answer in terms of p or
use the approximate value .
6. Of course, you are not permitted to use a calculator to perform your computations. This
means that you should brush up on the rules for multiplying and dividing numbers with
decimals, etc. However, the problems are, in general, designed not to include messy
computations. If you ever find yourself thinking “I wish I had a calculator to help me with
this problem,” look at the problem again carefully. There is probably an easier way to do it
that you may have missed.
7. If the answer you obtain doesn’t match one of the choices given, it might still be right. Try
to write it in a different form, and then see if it matches. For example, the answer 2x 1 3x
can also be written as x(x 1 3).
8. Make sure to answer the question that is being asked. Sometimes people get a problem
wrong because, after finding the value of x, they choose that value as the answer, when the
problem was actually asking for the value of x 1 2.
9. If you are stuck, try looking at the multiple-choice answers. Since one of them has to be
right, the answers may give you some idea of how to proceed.
10. If you have no idea how to answer a question, be sure to make your best guess before
moving on. Since there is no penalty on the GRE for a wrong answer, never leave a
question unanswered.
In the following sections, all of the principles of mathematics that you need to know for the GRE are
reviewed. There are also numerous problems for you to solve. If you have difficulty with any of them,
first check the answers carefully, and then review the material again. Finally, try to answer the
questions without using the answers.

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Unit 7


The set of numbers {1, 2, 3, 4, . . .} is called the set of counting numbers and/or
natural numbers, and/or sometimes the set of positive integers. (The notation,
{ }, means “set” or collection, and the three dots after the number 4 indicate that
the list continues without end.) Zero is usually not considered one of the count-
ing numbers. Together, the counting numbers and zero make up the set of whole
Place Value
Whole numbers are expressed in a system of tens, called the decimal system. Ten
digits—0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9—are used. Each digit differs not only in face
value but also in place value, depending on where it stands in the number.

Example 1
237 means:
(2 { 100) 1 (3 { 10) 1 (7 { l)
The digit 2 has face value 2 but place value of 200.

Example 2
35,412 can be written as:
(3 { 10,000) 1 (5 { 1000) 1 (4 { 100) 1 (1 { 10) 1 (2 { 1)
The digit in the last place on the right is said to be in the units or ones place; the
digit to the left of that in the tens place; the next digit to the left of that in the
hundreds place; and so on.

Odd and Even Numbers

A whole number is even if it is divisible by 2; it is odd if it is not divisible by 2.
Zero is thus an even number.

2, 4, 6, 8, and 320 are even numbers; 3, 7, 9, 21, and 45 are odd numbers.


Prime Numbers
The positive integer p is said to be a prime number (or simply a prime) if p 5 1,
or the only positive divisors of p are itself and 1. The positive integer 1 is called a
unit. The first ten primes are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, and 29. All other
positive integers that are neither 1 nor prime are composite numbers. Composite
numbers can be factored, that is, expressed as products of their divisors or
factors; for example, 56 5 7 { 8 5 7 { 4 { 2. In particular, composite numbers can
be expressed as products of their prime factors in just one way (except for
To factor a composite number into its prime factors, proceed as follows. First
try to divide the number by the prime number 2. If this is successful, continue to
divide by 2 until an odd number is obtained. Then attempt to divide the last
quotient by the prime number 3 and by 3 again, as many times as possible. Then
move on to dividing by the prime number 5 and other successive primes until a
prime quotient is obtained. Express the original number as a product of all its
prime divisors.

Find the prime factors of 210.
2 )210
3 )105
5 ) 35
210 5 2 { 3 { 5 { 7 (written in any order)
and 210 is an integer multiple of 2, of 3, of 5, and of 7.

Consecutive Whole Numbers

Numbers are consecutive if each number is the successor of the number that
precedes it. In a consecutive series of whole numbers, an odd number is always
followed by an even number and an even number by an odd. If three consecutive
whole numbers are given, either two of them are odd and one is even or two are
even and one is odd.

Example 1
7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 are consecutive whole numbers.

Example 2
8, 10, 12, and 14 are consecutive even numbers.

Example 3
21, 23, 25, and 27 are consecutive odd numbers.

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Example 4
21, 23, and 27 are not consecutive odd numbers because 25 is missing.

The Number Line

A useful method of representing numbers geometrically makes it easier to
understand numbers. It is called the number line. Draw a horizontal line, consid-
ered to extend without end in both directions. Select some point on the line and
label it with the number 0. This point is called the origin. Choose some conve-
nient distance as a unit of length. Take the point on the number line that lies one
unit to the right of the origin and label it with the number 1. The point on the
number line that is one unit to the right of 1 is labeled 2, and so on. In this way,
every whole number is associated with one point on the line, but it is not true
that every point on the line represents a whole number.

Ordering of Whole Numbers

On the number line the point representing 8 lies to the right of the point repre-
senting 5, and we say 8 . 5 (read “8 is greater than 5”). One can also say 5 , 8
(“5 is less than 8”). For any two whole numbers a and b, there are always three
a , b, a 5 b, or a.b
If a 5 b, the points representing the numbers a and b coincide on the number line.

Operations with Whole Numbers

The basic operations on whole numbers are addition (1), subtraction (2),
multiplication ({ or 3), and division (4). These are all binary operations—that is,
one works with two numbers at a time in order to get a unique answer. The
operations of addition and multiplication on whole numbers are said to be closed
because the answer in each case is also a whole number. The operations of
subtraction and division on whole numbers are not closed because the unique
answer is not necessarily a member of the set of whole numbers.


31457 a whole number

4 { 3 5 12 a whole number
2 2 5 5 23 not a whole number
3485 not a whole number

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If addition is a binary operation, how are three numbers—say, 3, 4, and 8—added?
One way is to write:
(3 1 4) 1 8 5 7 1 8 5 15
Another way is to write:
3 1 (4 1 8) 5 3 1 12 5 15
The parentheses merely group the numbers together. The fact that the same
answer, 15, is obtained either way illustrates the associative property of addition:
(r 1 s) 1 t 5 r 1 (s 1 t)
The order in which whole numbers are added is immaterial—that is, 3 1 4 5 4 1 3.
This principle is called the commutative property of addition. Most people use this
property without realizing it when they add a column of numbers from the top down
and then check their result by beginning over again from the bottom. (Even though
there may be a long column of numbers, only two numbers are added at a time.)
If 0 is added to any whole number, the whole number is unchanged. Zero is
called the identity element for addition.

Subtraction is the inverse of addition. The order in which the numbers are written
is important; there is no commutative property for subtraction.
The Þ is read “not equal.”

Multiplication is a commutative operation:
43 { 73 5 73 { 43
The result or answer in a multiplication problem is called the product.
If a number is multiplied by 1, the number is unchanged; the identity
element for multiplication is 1.
Zero times any number is 0:
42 { 0 5 0
Multiplication can be expressed with several different symbols:
9 { 7 { 3 5 9 3 7 3 3 5 9(7)(3)
Besides being commutative, multiplication is associative:
(9 { 7) { 3 5 63 { 3 5 189
9 { (7 { 3) 5 9 { 21 5 189

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A number can be quickly multiplied by 10 by adding a zero at the right of the

number. Similarly, a number can be multiplied by 100 by adding two zeros at the
38 { 10 5 380
100 { 76 5 7600

Division is the inverse of multiplication. It is not commutative:
The parts of a division example are named as follows:
divisorq dividend
If a number is divided by 1, the quotient is the original number.
Division by 0 is not defined (has no meaning). Zero divided by any number
other than 0 is 0:
0 4 56 5 0

Divisors and Multiples

The whole number b divides the whole number a if there exists a whole number
k such that a 5 bk. The whole number a is then said to be an integer multiple of
b, and b is called a divisor (or factor) of a.

Example 1
3 divides 15 because 15 5 3 { 5. Thus, 3 is a divisor of 15 (and so is 5), and 15 is
an integer multiple of 3 (and of 5).

Example 2
3 does not divide 8 because 8 Þ 3k for a whole number k.

Example 3
Divisors of 28 are 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, and 28.

Example 4
Multiples of 3 are 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, . . .

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1. What is the prime factorization of 78?
2. What are the divisors of 56?
3. Which property is illustrated by the following statement?
(3 1 5) 1 8 5 3 1 (5 1 8)
4. Which property is illustrated by the following statement?
(5 { 7) { 3 5 (7 { 5) { 3
5. Find the first five multiples of 7.


1. 78 5 2 { 39 5 2 { 3 { 13
2. The divisors of 56 are 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 14, 28, 56
3. The Associative Property of Addition
4. The Commutative Property of Multiplication
5. 7, 14, 21, 28, 35

If a and b are whole numbers and b Þ 0, the symbol (or a/b) is called a fraction. The
upper part, a, is called the numerator, and the lower part, b, is called the denomina-
tor. The denominator indicates into how many parts something is divided, and the
numerator tells how many of these parts are taken. A fraction indicates division:
5 8q7
If the numerator of a fraction is 0, the value of the fraction is 0. If the denomina-
tor of a fraction is 0, the fraction is not defined (has no meaning):
0 17
50 not defined (has no meaning)
17 0
If the denominator of a fraction is 1, the value of the fraction is the same as the
5 18
If the numerator and denominator are the same number, the value of the fraction is 1:

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Equivalent Fractions
Fractions that represent the same number are said to be equivalent. If m is a count-
a m3a a m a a
ing number and is a fraction, then: 5 because 5 1 and 1 3 5
b m3b b m b b

2 4 6 8
5 5 5
3 6 9 12
These fractions are all equivalent.

Inequality of Fractions
If two fractions are not equivalent, one is smaller than the other. The ideas of
“less than” and “greater than” were previously defined and used for whole
a c
For the fractions and :
b b
a c
, if a , c
b b
That is, if two fractions have the same denominator, the one with the smaller
numerator has the smaller value.
If two fractions have different denominators, find a common denominator by
multiplying one denominator by the other. Then use the common denominator to
compare numerators.

5 4
Which is smaller, or ?
8 7
8 { 7 5 56 5 common denominator
5 7 35 4 8 32
3 5 3 5
8 7 56 7 8 56
Since 32 , 35,
32 35 4 5
, and ,
56 56 7 8

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Reducing to Lowest Terms

The principle that
m3a a
m3b b
can be particularly useful in reducing fractions to lowest terms. Fractions are
expressed in lowest terms when the numerator and denominator have no com-
mon factor except 1. To reduce a fraction to an equivalent fraction in lowest
terms, express the numerator and denominator as products of their prime factors.
Each time a prime appears in the numerator over the same prime in the denomi-
nator, , substitute its equal value, 1.

Reduce to an equivalent fraction in lowest terms.
30 2 {3 { 5 5 5
5 51{1{ 5
42 2 { 3 { 7 7 7
In practice, this can be done even more quickly by dividing the numerator and
denominator by any number, prime or not, which will divide both evenly. Repeat
this process until there is no prime factor remaining that is common to both
numerator and denominator:
30 15 5
5 5
42 21 7


A proper fraction is a fraction whose numerator is smaller than its denominator.
Proper fractions always have a value less than 1:
3 5 121 0
4 8 132 1
An improper fraction is a fraction with the numerator equal to or greater than the
denominator. Improper fractions always have a value equal to or greater than 1:
3 17 9 15
2 17 1 14
A mixed number is a number composed of a whole number and a proper
fraction. It is always greater than 1 in value:
7 1 3
3 5 11
8 4 14
7 7
The symbol 3 means 3 1 and is read “three and seven-eighths.”
8 8

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To Change a Mixed Number into an Improper Fraction

Multiply the denominator by the whole number and add this product to the
numerator. Use the sum so obtained as the new numerator, and keep the original

Write 9 as an improper fraction.
4 ~11 3 9! 1 4 99 1 4 103
9 5 5 5
11 11 11 11
Note: In any calculations with mixed numbers, first change the mixed numbers to
improper fractions.

To Change an Improper Fraction into a Mixed Number

Divide the numerator by the denominator. The result is the whole-number part of
the mixed number. If there is a remainder in the division process, because the
division does not come out evenly, put the remainder over the denominator
(divisor). This gives the fractional part of the mixed number:

20 2
5 3q20 56
3 3
2 remainder

Proper and Improper Fractions
Multiply the two numerators and then multiply the two denominators. If the
numerator obtained is larger than the denominator, divide the numerator of the
resulting fraction by its denominator:
3 15 45 3 22 66 10
3 5 3 5 51
8 11 88 8 7 56 56
Multiplication of fractions is commutative.
Three or more fractions are multiplied in the same way; two numerators are
done at a time and the result multiplied by the next numerator.
The product in the multiplication of fractions is usually expressed in lowest

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In multiplying fractions, if any of the numerators and denominators have a
common divisor (factor), divide each of them by this common factor and the
value of the fraction remains the same. This process is called canceling or

9 10
27 90
3 5?
18 300
2 100

27 90 27 9 10
3 5 3 Divide second fraction by
18 300 18 30 10
9 1
27 9 Cancel: 18 and 9 each divisible by 9; 27 and 30 each divisible
5 3
18 30 by 3
2 10

931 9 Multiply numerators;

5 5
2 3 10 20 multiply denominators
Another method:
3 3
27 9 333 9 Cancel: 27 and 18 have common factor 9; 9 and 30
3 5 5
18 30 2 3 10 20 have common factor 3
2 10
Note: Canceling can take place only between a numerator and a denominator, in
the same or a different fraction, never between two numerators or between two

Mixed Numbers
Mixed numbers should be changed to improper fractions before multiplying. Then
multiply as described above.

To multiply
4 5
7 8
change 3 to an improper fraction:
5 ~8 3 3! 1 5 24 1 5 29
3 5 5 5
8 8 8 8

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4 29 29
3 5
7 8 14
The answer can be left in this form or changed to a mixed number:

Fractions with Whole Numbers

Write the whole number as a fraction with a denominator of 1 and then multiply:
3 3 7 21 1
375 3 5 55
4 4 1 4 4
Note: When any fraction is multiplied by 1, its value remains unchanged. When
any fraction is multiplied by 0, the product is 0.

Division of fractions involves reciprocals. One fraction is the reciprocal of another
if the product of the fractions is 1.

Example 1
3 4
and are reciprocals since
4 3
1 1
3 4 131
3 5 51
4 3 131
1 1

Example 2
and 3 are reciprocals since
1 3
3 51
3 1
To find the reciprocal of a fraction, interchange the numerator and denominator—
that is, invert the fraction, or turn it upside down.

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Proper and Improper Fractions

Multiply the first fraction (dividend) by the reciprocal of the second fraction
(divisor). Reduce by cancellation if possible. If you wish to, change the answer to
a mixed number when possible:


9 4 9 7
4 5 3
2 7 2 4
4 7 4 7
The reciprocal of is because 3 5 1
7 4 7 4


Mixed Numbers and/or Whole Numbers

Both mixed numbers and whole numbers must first be changed to equivalent
improper fractions. Then proceed as described above.
Note: If a fraction or a mixed number is divided by 1, its value is unchanged.
Division of a fraction or a mixed number by 0 is not defined. If a fraction is
divided by itself or an equivalent fraction, the quotient is 1:

19 19 19 7 19 7
4 5 3 Reciprocal of is
7 7 7 19 7 19


Fractions can be added only if their denominators are the same (called the
common denominator). Add the numerators; the denominator remains the same.
Reduce the sum to the lowest terms:
3 2 1 31211 6 3
1 1 5 5 5
8 8 8 8 8 4

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When the fractions have different denominators, you must find a common
denominator. One way of doing this is to find the product of the different

5 1
1 5?
6 4
A common denominator is 6 { 4 5 24.

5 4 20 1 6 6
3 5 and 3 5
6 4 24 4 6 24
5 1 20 6
1 5 1
6 4 24 24
20 1 6

Least-Common Denominator
A denominator can often be found that is smaller than the product of the different
denominators. If the denominator of each fraction will divide into such a number
evenly and it is the smallest such number, it is called the least (or lowest)
common denominator, abbreviated as LCD. Finding a least-common denominator
may make it unnecessary to reduce the answer and enables one to work with
smaller numbers. There are two common methods.

First Method By inspection

5 1
1 5?
6 4
LCD 5 12 because 12 is the smallest number into which 6 and 4 divide evenly.
5 2 10
12 4 6 5 2 multiply 3 5
6 2 12
1 3 3
12 4 4 5 3 multiply 3 5
4 3 12

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5 1 10 3
1 5 1
6 4 12 12

Second Method By Factoring

This method can be used when the LCD is not recognized by inspection.
Factor each denominator into its prime factors. The LCD is the product of the
highest power of each separate factor, where power refers to the number of times
a factor occurs.

5 1
1 5?
6 4
Factoring denominators gives:
652{3 and 452{2
LCD 5 2 { 2 { 3
5 12
Convert to LCD:

5 2 10 1 3
3 5 3 5 12
6 2 12 4 3
5 1 10 3
1 5 1
6 4 12 12
The denominators 4 and 6 factor into 2 { 2 and 2 { 3, respectively. Although the
factor 2 appears three times, its power is 22 from factoring 4. The factor 3
appears once, so its power is 31. Therefore, the LCD as a product of the highest
power of each separate factor is 2 3 2 3 3.

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The factoring method of adding fractions can be extended to three or more


1 3 1
1 1 5?
4 8 12
Factoring denominators gives:
452{2 852{2{2 12 5 2 { 2 { 3
LCD 5 2 { 2 { 2 { 3
5 24
Convert to LCD:
1 6 6 3 3 9 1 2 2
3 5 3 5 3 5
4 6 24 8 3 24 12 2 24
1 3 1 6 9 2
1 1 5 1 1
4 8 12 24 24 24


Addition of Mixed Numbers

Change any mixed numbers to fractions. If the fractions have the same denomina-
tor, add the numerators. If the fractions have different denominators, find the LCD
of the several denominators and then add numerators. Reduce the answer if
possible. Write the answer as a mixed number if you wish.

2 1 2
2 15 11 5?
3 2 9
Factoring denominators gives:
353 252 953{3
LCD 5 2 { 3 { 3
5 18

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Convert to LCD:
8 6 48 11 9 99 11 2 22
3 5 3 5 3 5
3 6 18 2 9 18 9 2 18
2 1 2 8 11 11
2 15 11 5 1 1
3 2 9 3 2 9
48 99 22
5 1 1
18 18 18
48 1 99 1 22
169 7
5 59
18 18

Fractions can be subtracted only if the denominators are the same. If the denomi-
nators are the same, find the difference between the numerators. The denomina-
tor remains unchanged.

19 2
2 5?
3 3
19 2 2
When fractions have different denominators, find equivalent fractions with a
common denominator, and then subtract numerators.

7 3
2 5?
8 4
Factoring denominators gives:
852{2{2 452{2
LCD 5 2 { 2 { 2

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Convert to LCD:
7 7 3 2 6
5 3 5
8 8 4 2 8
7 3 7 6
2 5 2
8 4 8 8

Mixed Numbers
To subtract mixed numbers, change each mixed number to a fraction. Find the
LCD for the fractions. Write each fraction as an equivalent fraction whose
denominator is the common denominator. Find the difference between the

3 5
3 22 5?
8 6
LCD 5 24

3 5 27 17
3 22 5 2
8 6 8 6
81 68
5 2
24 24
If zero is subtracted from a fraction, the result is the original fraction:
3 3 0 3
205 2 5
4 4 4 4

GRE CAT Success 185 www.petersons.com


In the following problems, perform the indicated operations and reduce the
answers to lowest terms.
5 4
1. 3
12 15
1 3
2. 4
2 8
5 2
3. 1
12 3
2 5
4. 2
3 11
1 4
5. 3 3
3 5
4 1
6. 7 22
5 3

1 1
5 4 5 4 1
1. 3 5 3 5
12 15 12 15 9
3 3
1 3 1 8 1 8 4
2. 4 5 3 5 3 5
2 8 2 3 2 3 3
5 2 5 8 13 1
3. 1 5 1 5 51
12 3 12 12 12 12
2 5 22 15 7
4. 2 5 2 5
3 11 33 33 33
1 4 10 4 10 4 8 2
5. 3 3 5 3 5 3 5 52
3 5 3 5 3 5 3 3
4 1 39 7 117 35 82 7
6. 7 22 5 2 5 2 5 55
5 3 5 3 15 15 15 15

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Earlier, we stated that whole numbers are expressed in a system of tens, or the
decimal system, using the digits from 0 to 9. This system can be extended to
fractions by using a period called a decimal point. The digits after a decimal point
form a decimal fraction. Decimal fractions are smaller than 1—for example, .3,
.37, .372, and .105. The first position to the right of the decimal point is called
the tenths’ place, since the digit in that position tells how many tenths there are.
The second digit to the right of the decimal point is in the hundredths’ place. The
third digit to the right of the decimal point is in the thousandths’ place, and so

Example 1
.3 is a decimal fraction that means
1 3
33 5 read “three-tenths.”
10 10

Example 2
The decimal fraction of .37 means

1 1 10 1
33 173 533 173
10 100 100 100

30 7 37
5 1 5 read “thirty-seven hundredths.”
100 100 100

Example 3
The decimal fraction .372 means
300 70 2 372
1 1 5
1000 1000 1000 1000
read “three hundred seventy-two thousandths.”
Whole numbers have an understood (unwritten) decimal point to the right of the
last digit (i.e., 4 5 4.0). Decimal fractions can be combined with whole numbers
to make decimals—for example, 3.246, 10.85, and 4.7.
Note: Adding zeros to the right of a decimal after the last digit does not change
the value of the decimal.

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Rounding Off
Sometimes a decimal is expressed with more digits than desired. As the number of
digits to the right of the decimal point increases, the number increases in accu-
racy, but a high degree of accuracy is not always needed. Then, the number can
be “rounded off” to a certain decimal place.
To round off, identify the place to be rounded off. If the digit to the right of
it is 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4, the round-off place digit remains the same. If the digit to the
right is 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, add 1 to the round-off place digit.

Example 1
Round off .6384 to the nearest thousandth. The digit in the thousandths’ place is
8. The digit to the right in the ten-thousandths’ place is 4, so the 8 stays the same.

Example 2
.6386 rounded to the nearest thousandth is .639, rounded to the nearest hun-
dredth is .64, and rounded to the nearest tenth is .6. After a decimal fraction has
been rounded off to a particular decimal place, all the digits to the right of that
place will be 0.
Note: Rounding off whole numbers can be done by a similar method. It is less
common but is sometimes used to get approximate answers quickly.

Example 3
Round 32,756 to the nearest hundred. This means, to find the multiple of 100
that is nearest the given number. The number in the hundreds’ place is 7. The
number immediately to the right is 5, so 32,756 rounds to 32,800.


Changing a Decimal to a Fraction
Place the digits to the right of the decimal point over the value of the place in
which the last digit appears and reduce if possible. The whole number remains
the same.

Change 2.14 to a fraction or mixed number. Observe that 4 is the last digit and is
in the hundredths’ place.
14 7
.14 5 5
100 50
2.14 5 2

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Changing a Fraction to a Decimal

Divide the numerator of the fraction by the denominator. First put a decimal point
followed by zeros to the right of the number in the numerator. Add and divide
until there is no remainder. The decimal point in the quotient is aligned directly
above the decimal point in the dividend.

Change to a decimal.
When the division does not terminate with a 0 remainder, two courses are

First Method Divide to three decimal places.

Change to a decimal.
The 3 in the quotient will be repeated indefinitely. It is called an infinite decimal
and is written .833 . . .

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Second Method Divide until there are two decimal places in the quotient and then write the
remainder over the divisor.

Change to a decimal.
6q5.00 5 .83

Addition of decimals is both commutative and associative. Decimals are simpler to add
than fractions. Place the decimals in a column with the decimal points aligned under
each other. Add in the usual way. The decimal point of the answer is also aligned un-
der the other decimal points.

43 1 2.73 1 .9 1 3.01 5 ?

For subtraction, the decimal points must be aligned under each other. Add zeros
to the right of the decimal point if desired. Subtract as with whole numbers.

21.567 21.567 39.00
2 9.4 2 9.48 2 17.48
12.167 12.087 21.52

Multiplication of decimals is commutative and associative:
5.39 3 .04 5 .04 3 5.39
(.7 3 .02) 3 .1 5 .7 { (.02 3 .1)

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Multiply the decimals as if they were whole numbers. The total number of decimal
places in the product is the sum of the number of places (to the right of the decimal
point) in all of the numbers multiplied.

8.64 3 .003 5 ?
8.64 2 places to right of decimal point
3 .003 13 places to right of decimal point
.02592 5 places to right of decimal point
A zero had to be added to the left of the product before writing the decimal point
to ensure that there would be five decimal places in the product.
Note: To multiply a decimal by 10, simply move the decimal point one place to
the right; to multiply by 100, move the decimal point two places to the right.

To divide one decimal (the dividend) by another (the divisor), move the decimal
point in the divisor as many places as necessary to the right to make the divisor a
whole number. Then move the decimal point in the dividend (expressed or under-
stood) a corresponding number of places, adding zeros if necessary. Then divide as
with whole numbers. The decimal point in the quotient is placed above the decimal
point in the dividend after the decimal point has been moved.

Divide 7.6 by .32.
.32q7.60 5 32q760.00
Note: “Divide 7.6 by .32” can be written as . If this fraction is multiplied by
an equivalent fraction is obtained with a whole number in the denominator:
7.6 100 760
3 5
.32 100 32
Moving the decimal point two places to the right in both divisor and dividend is
equivalent to multiplying each number by 100.

GRE CAT Success 191 www.petersons.com


Special Cases
If the dividend has a decimal point and the divisor does not, divide as with whole
numbers and place the decimal point of the quotient above the decimal point in
the divisor.
If both dividend and divisor are whole numbers but the quotient is a
decimal, place a decimal point after the last digit of the dividend and add zeros as
necessary to get the required degree of accuracy. (See Changing a Fraction to a
Decimal, page 189).
Note: To divide any number by 10, simply move its decimal point (understood to
be after the last digit for a whole number) one place to the left; to divide by 100,
move the decimal point two places to the left; and so on.

Percents, like fractions and decimals, are ways of expressing parts of whole
numbers, as 93%, 50%, and 22.4%. Percents are expressions of hundredths—that
is, of fractions whose denominator is 100. The symbol for percent is “%.”

25 1
25% 5 twenty-five hundredths 5 5
100 4
The word percent means per hundred. Its main use is in comparing fractions with
equal denominators of 100.


Changing a Percent to a Decimal
Divide the percent by 100 and drop the symbol for percent. Add zeros to the left
when necessary:
30% 5 .30 1% 5 .01
Remember that the short method of dividing by 100 is to move the decimal point
two places to the left.

Changing a Decimal to a Percent

Multiply the decimal by 100 by moving the decimal point two places to the right,
and add the symbol for percent:
.375 5 37.5% .001 5 .1%

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1. Change the following decimals into fractions, and reduce.
a. 1.16
b. 15.05
2. Change the following fractions into decimals.
In the following problems, perform the indicated operations.
3. 3.762 1 23.43
4. 1.368 2 .559
5. 8.7 3 .8
6. .045 4 .5


16 8 4
1. a. 1.16 5 1 51 51
100 50 25
5 1
b. 15.05 5 15 5 15
100 20
2. a. 5 8q3.000
.666 . . .
b. 5 3q2.00
3. 3.762

GRE CAT Success 193 www.petersons.com


4. 1.368
5. 8.7
6. .5.q0.0.45
\ \

Changing a Percent to a Fraction

Drop the percent sign. Write the number as a numerator over a denominator of
100. If the numerator has a decimal point, move the decimal point to the right the
necessary number of places to make the numerator a whole number. Add the
same number of zeros to the right of the denominator as you moved places to the
right in the numerator. Reduce where possible.

20 2 1
20% 5 5 5
100 10 5
36.5 365 73
36.5% 5 5 5
100 1000 200

Changing a Fraction to a Percent

Use either of two methods.

First Method Change the fraction into an equivalent fraction with a denominator of 100. Drop
the denominator (equivalent to multiplying by 100) and add the % sign.

Express as a percent.
6 5 30
3 5 5 30%
20 5 100

Second Method Divide the numerator by the denominator to get a decimal with two places (express
the remainder as a fraction if necessary). Change the decimal to a percent.

Express as a percent.
5 20q6.00 5 30%
20 60

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1. Change the following percents into decimals:
a. 37.5%
b. 0.5%
2. Change the following decimals into percents:
a. 0.625
b. 3.75
3. Change the following fractions into percents:
4. Change the following percents into fractions:
a. 87.5%
b. 0.02%


1. a. 37.5% 5 0.375
b. 00.5% 5 0.005
2. a. 0.625 5 62.5%
b. 3.75 5 375%

3. a. 5 8q7.000 5 87.5%
b. 0.365
5 200q73.000 5 36.5%
875 35 7
4. a. 87.5% 5 0.875 5 5 5
1,000 40 8
2 1
b. 0.02% 5 0.0002 5 5
10,000 5,000

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When doing percent problems, it is usually easier to change the percent to a
decimal or a fraction before computing. When we take a percent of a certain
number, that number is called the base, the percent we take is called the rate,
and the result is called the percentage or part. If we let B represent the base, R
the rate, and P the part, the relationship between these quantities is expressed by
the following formula:
All percent problems can be done with the help of this formula.

Example 1
In a class of 24 students, 25% received an A. How many students received an A?
The number of students (24) is the base, and 25% is the rate. Change the rate to a
fraction for ease of handling and apply the formula.

25 1
25% 5 5
100 4

1 24
5 3
4 1

5 6 students
To choose between changing the percent (rate) to a decimal or a fraction, simply
decide which would be easier to work with. In Example 1, the fraction was easier
to work with because cancellation was possible. In Example 2, the situation is the
same except for a different rate. This time the decimal form is easier.

Example 2
In a class of 24 students, 29.17% received an A. How many students received an
A? Changing the rate to a fraction yields
29.17 2917
100 10,000
You can quickly see that the decimal is the better choice.
29.17% 5 .2917 .2917
P5R3B 3 24
5 .2917 3 24 1.1668
5 7 students 5.834

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Example 3
What percent of a 40-hour week is a 16-hour schedule?
40 hours is the base and 16 hours is the part.

16 5 R { 40
Divide each side of the equation by 40.



40% 5 R

Example 4
A woman paid $15,000 as a down payment on a house. If this amount was 20% of
the price, what did the house cost?
The part (or percentage) is $15,000, the rate is 20%, and we must find the
base. Change the rate to a fraction.

20% 5


$15,000 5 3B
Multiply each side of the equation by 5.
$75,000 5 B 5 cost of house

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Percent of Increase or Decrease

This kind of problem is not really new but follows immediately from the previous
problems. First calculate the amount of increase or decrease. This amount is the
P (percentage or part) from the formula P 5 R { B. The base, B, is the original
amount, regardless of whether there was a loss or gain.

By what percent does Mary’s salary increase if her present salary is $20,000
and she accepts a new job at a salary of $28,000?
Amount of increase is:

$28,000 2 $20,000 5 $8000


$8000 5 R { $20,000
Divide each side of the equation by $20,000. Then:
8000 40
5 5 R 5 40% increase
20,000 100

Discount and Interest

These special kinds of percent problems require no new methods of attack.

Discount The amount of discount is the difference between the original price and the sale,
or discount, price. The rate of discount is usually given as a fraction or as a
percent. Use the formula of the percent problems P 5 R { B, but now P stands
for the part or discount, R is the rate, and B, the base, is the original price.

Example 1
A table listed at $160 is marked 20% off. What is the sale price?
5 .20 { $160 5 $32
This is the amount of discount or how much must be subtracted from the original
price. Then:
$160 2 $32 5 $128 sale price

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Example 2
A car priced at $9000 was sold for $7200. What was the rate of discount?

Amount of discount 5 $9000 2 $7200

5 $1800

Discount 5 rate { original price

$1800 5 R { $9000
Divide each side of the equation by $9000:
1800 20
5 5 R 5 20%
9000 100

Successive Discounting
When an item is discounted more than once, it is called successive discounting.

Example 1
In one store, a dress tagged at $40 was discounted 15%. When it did not sell at
the lower price, it was discounted an additional 10%. What was the final selling

Discount 5 R { original price

First discount 5 .15 { $40 5 $6

$40 2 $6 5 $34 selling price after first discount

Second discount 5 .10 { $34 5 $3.40

$34 2 $3.40 5 $30.60 final selling price

Example 2
In another store, an identical dress was also tagged at $40. When it did not sell, it
was discounted 25% all at once. Is the final selling price lower or higher than in
Example 1?

Discount 5 R { original price

5 .25 { $40

5 $10

$40 2 $10 5 $30 final selling price

This is a lower selling price than in Example 1, where two successive discounts
were taken.

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Interest Interest problems are similar to discount and percent problems. If money is left in
the bank for a year and the interest is calculated at the end of the year, the usual
formula P 5 R { B can be used, where P is the interest, R is the rate, and B is the
principal (original amount of money borrowed or loaned).

Example 1
A certain bank pays interest on savings accounts at the rate of 4% per year. If a
man has $6700 on deposit, find the interest earned after 1 year.


Interest 5 rate { principal

P 5 .04 { $6700 5 $268 interest

Interest problems frequently involve more or less time than 1 year. Then the
formula becomes:
Interest 5 rate { principal { time

Example 2
If the money is left in the bank for 3 years at simple interest (the kind we are
discussing), the interest is
3 { $268 5 $804

Example 3
Suppose $6700 is deposited in the bank at 4% interest for 3 months. How much
interest is earned?
Interest 5 rate { principal { time
3 1
Here the 4% rate is for 1 year. Since 3 months is 5
12 4
Interest 5 .04 { $6700 { 5 $67

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1. Janet received a rent increase of 15%. If her rent was $785 monthly before
the increase, what is her new rent?
2. School bus fares rose from $25 per month to $30 per month. Find the
percent of increase.
3. A dress originally priced at $90 is marked down 35%, then discounted a
further 10%. What is the new, reduced price?
4. Dave delivers flowers for a salary of $45 a day, plus a 12% commission on
all sales. One day his sales amounted to $220. How much money did he
earn that day?
5. A certain bank pays interest on money market accounts at a rate of 6% a
year. If Brett deposits $7,200, find the interest earned after one year.


1. Amount of increase 5 $785 3 15% 5 $785 3 .15 5 $117.75

New rent 5 $902.75
2. Amount of increase 5 $30 2 $25 5 $5
5 1
Percent of increase 5 5 5 20%
25 5
3. Amount of first markdown 5 $90 3 35% 5 $90 3 .35 5 $31.50
Reduced price 5 $90 2 $31.50 5 $58.50
Amount of second markdown 5 $58.50 3 10%
5 $58.50 3 .1 5 $5.85
Final price 5 $58.50 2 $5.85 5 $52.65
4. Commission 5 $220 3 12% 5 $220 3 .12 5 $26.40
Money earned 5 $45 1 $26.40 5 $71.40
5. Interest 5 $7,200 3 6% 5 $7,200 3 .06 5 $432

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In describing subtraction of whole numbers, we said that the operation was not
closed—that is, 4 2 6 will yield a number that is not a member of the set of
counting numbers and zero. The set of integers was developed to give meaning to
such expressions as 4 2 6. The set of integers is the set of all signed whole
numbers and zero. It is the set {…, 24, 23, 22, 21, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, …}
The first three dots symbolize the fact that the negative integers go on
indefinitely, just as the positive integers do. Integers preceded by a minus sign
(called negative integers) appear to the left of 0 on a number line.

Decimals, fractions, and mixed numbers can also have negative signs. Together with
positive fractions and decimals, they appear on the number line in this fashion:

- 23 -.5 0 1 212

All numbers to the right of 0 are called positive numbers. They have the sign 1,
whether it is actually written or not. Business gains or losses, feet above or below
sea level, and temperature above and below zero can all be expressed by means
of signed numbers.

If the numbers to be added have the same sign, add the numbers (integers,
fractions, decimals) as usual and use their common sign in the answer:

19 1 ~18! 1 ~12! 5 119 or 19

24 1 ~211! 1 ~27! 1 ~21! 5 223
If the numbers to be added have different signs, add the positive numbers and
then the negative numbers. Ignore the signs and subtract the smaller total from
the larger total. If the larger total is positive, the answer will be positive; if the
larger total is negative, the answer will be negative. The answer may be zero. Zero
is neither positive nor negative and has no sign.


13 1 ~25! 1 ~28! 1 ~12! 5 ?

13 1 ~12! 5 15

25 1 ~28! 5 213

213 1 5 5 28
Since the larger total (13) has a negative sign, the answer is 28.

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The second number in a subtraction problem is called the subtrahend. In order to
subtract, change the sign of the subtrahend and then continue as if you were
adding signed numbers. If there is no sign in front of the subtrahend, it is
assumed to be positive.

Subtract the subtrahend (bottom number) from the top number.
15 5 235 235 42
5 15 242 42 35
10 210 7 277 7

If two and only two signed numbers are to be multiplied, multiply the numbers as you
would if they were not signed. Then, if the two numbers have the same sign, the product
is positive. If the two numbers have different signs, the product is negative. If more than
two numbers are being multiplied, proceed two at a time in the same way as before,
finding the signed product of the first two numbers, then multiplying that product by the
next number, and so on. The product has a positive sign if all the factors are positive or
there is an even number of negative factors. The product has a negative sign if there is an
odd number of negative factors.

23 { (15) { (211) { (22) 5 2330
The answer is negative because there is an odd number (three) of negative
The product of a signed number and zero is zero. The product of a
signed number and 1 is the original number. The product of a signed number and
21 is the original number with its sign changed.


25 { 0 5 0

25 { 1 5 25

25 { ~21! 5 15

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If the divisor and the dividend have the same sign, the answer is positive. Divide
the numbers as you normally would. If the divisor and the dividend have different
signs, the answer is negative. Divide the numbers as you normally would.


3 1
2 3 4 ~22! 5 51
2 2

8 4 ~2.2! 5 240
If zero is divided by a signed number, the answer is zero. If a signed number is
divided by zero, the answer does not exist. If a signed number is divided by 1, the
number remains the same. If a signed number is divided by 21, the quotient is
the original number with its sign changed.


0 4 ~22! 5 0

2 40 not defined

2 2
3 3

4 4 21 5 24

Perform the indicated operations:
1. 1 6 1 (25) 1 (12) 1 (28) 5
2. 2 5 2 (24) 1 (22) 2 (16) 5
3. 23 { (15) { (27) { (22) 5
4. 9 4 (2.3) 5

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1. 16 1 ~25! 5 11
11 1 ~12! 5 13
13 1 ~28! 5 25
2. 25 2 ~24! 5 25 1 4 5 21
21 1 ~22! 5 23
23 2 ~16! 5 29
3. 23 { ~15! 5 215
215 { ~27! 5 1105
1105 { ~22! 5 2210

4. 9 4 (2.3) 5 230


The product 10 { 10 { 10 can be written 103. We say 10 is raised to the third
power. In general, a 3 a 3 a ... a n times is written an. The base a is raised to
the nth power, and n is called the exponent.

32 5 3 { 3 read “3 squared”
23 5 2 { 2 { 2 read “2 cubed”
54 5 5 { 5 { 5 { 5 read “5 to the fourth power”
If the exponent is 1, it is usually understood and not written; thus,
a1 5 a
a2 5 a 3 a and a3 5 a 3 a 3 a
a2 3 a3 5 (a 3 a)(a 3 a 3 a) 5 a5
There are three rules for exponents. In general, if k and m are any counting
numbers or zero, and a is any number,
1 m
Rule 1: ak 3 am 5 ak
Rule 2: am { bm 5 (ab)m
Rule 3: (ak)n 5 akn

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Rule 1: 22 { 23 5 4 3 8 5 32 and 22 3 23 5 25 5 32
Rule 2: 32 3 42 5 9 3 16 5 144 and 32 3 42 5 (3 3 4)2 5 122 5 144
Rule 3: (32)3 5 93 5 729 and (32)3 5 36 5 729

The definition of roots is based on exponents. If an 5 c, where a is the base and
n the exponent, a is called the nth root of c. This is written a 5 =c. The
symbol = is called a radical sign. Since 54 5 625, =625 5 5 and 5 is the
fourth root of 625. The most frequently used roots are the second (called the
square) root and the third (called the cube) root. The square root is written =
and the cube root is written = .

Square Roots
If c is a positive number, there are two values, one negative and one positive,
which when multiplied together will produce c.

14 { (14) 5 16 and 24 { (24) 5 16
The positive square root of a positive number c is called the principal square root
of c (briefly, the square root of c) and is denoted by =c :
=144 5 12
If c 5 0, there is only one square root, 0. If c is a negative number, there is no
real number that is the square root of c:
=24 is not a real number
Cube Roots
Both positive and negative numbers have real cube roots. The cube root of 0 is 0.
The cube root of a positive number is positive; that of a negative number is

Therefore = 852
23 { (23) { (23) 5 227
Therefore = 227 5 23
Each number has only one real cube root.

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Fractional Exponents
The values of k, m, and n from the three exponent rules can be expanded to
include positive and negative fractions. In particular, roots can be expressed as
1 1
fractional exponents. In Rule 3, (ak)n 5 akn. Let k 5 . Then (an )n 5 a1 5 a and
m m m
an is the nth root of a. Rule 2, a 3 b 5 (a 3 b) , which is true when a and b
are any numbers and n is an integer, can be extended to include the case in
which the exponent is a fraction. Suppose m 5 . Then:
1 1 1
ak 3 bk 5 (a 3 b)k
k k k
or = a 3 b 5 =a 3 =b
This last formulation justifies the simplification of square roots. If the number
under the radical sign is a square number, the process will terminate in a number
without the radical sign. If the number is not square, the process should terminate
when the number remaining under the radical sign no longer contains a square.

Example 1
Simplify =98

=98 5 =2 3 49
5 =2 3 =49 where 49 is a square number

5 =2 3 7
Therefore, =98 5 7=2 and the process terminates because there is no whole
number whose square is 2. 7=2 is called a radical expression or simply a

Example 2
Which is larger, ~=96! 2
or =214?
~=96!2 5 =96 3 =96
5 =96 3 96 5 96
=214 5 27 5 128 because 214 5 27 3 27 by Rule 1 or
because =214 5 (214)2 5 27 by Rule 3.
Since 128 . 96,

=214 . ~=96!2

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Example 3
Which is larger, 2=75 or 6=12?
These numbers can be compared if the same number appears under the radical
sign. Then the greater number is the one with the larger number in front of the
radical sign.
=75 5 =25 3 3 5 =25 3 =3 5 5=3
2=75 5 2~5=3! 5 10=3
=12 5 =4 3 3 5 =4 3 =3 5 2=3
6=12 5 6~2=3! 5 12=3
Since 12=3 . 10=3, 6=12 . 2=75

Note: Numbers such as =2 and =3 are called irrational numbers to distinguish

them from rational numbers, which include the integers and the fractions.
Irrational numbers also have places on the number line. They may have positive
or negative signs. The combination of rational and irrational numbers, all the
numbers we have used so far, make up the real numbers. Arithmetic, algebra, and
geometry deal with real numbers. The number p, the ratio of the circumference
of a circle to its diameter, is also a real number; it is irrational, although it is
approximated by 3.14159.... Instructions for taking the GRE say that the numbers
used are real numbers. This means that answers may be expressed as fractions,
decimals, radicals, or integers, whatever is required.

Radicals can be added and subtracted only if they have the same number under
the radical sign. Otherwise, they must be reduced to expressions having the same
number under the radical sign.

Example 4
Add 2=18 1 4=8 2 =2.
=18 5 =9 3 2 5 =9 3 =2 5 3=2
2=18 5 2~3=2! 5 6=2
=8 5 =4 3 2 5 =4 3 =2 5 2=2
4=8 5 4~2=2! 5 8=2

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2=18 1 4=8 2 =2 5 6=2 1 8=2 2 =2 5 13=2
Radicals are multiplied using the rule that:
k k k
= a 3 b 5 =a 3 =b

Example 5

=2~=2 2 5=3! 5 =4 2 5=6 5 2 2 5=6

A quotient rule for radicals similar to the product rule is:
k k
a =a
= 5 k
b = b

Example 6
9 =9 3
= 5 5
4 =4 2

1. Simplify =162
2. Find the sum of =75 and =12
3. Combine =80 1 =45 2 =20
4. Simplify =5~2=2 2 3=5!
5. Divide and simplify
6. Calculate 52 3 23

GRE CAT Success 209 www.petersons.com



1. =162 5 =2 { 81 5 =2 { =81 5 9=2

2. =75 1 =12 5 5=3 1 2=3 5 7=3
3. =80 1 =45 2 =20 5 4=5 1 3=5 2 2=5 5 5=5
4. =5~2=2 2 3=5! 5 2=10 2 3=25 5 2=10 2 3~5!
5 2=10 215
15=96 15~4=6! 60=6
5. 5 5 5 12=3
5=2 5=2 5=2
6. 52 3 23 5 25 3 8 5 200

Algebra is a generalization of arithmetic. It provides methods for solving problems
that cannot be done by arithmetic alone or that can be done by arithmetic only
after long computations. Algebra provides a shorthand way of reducing long
verbal statements to brief formulas, expressions, or equations. After the verbal
statements have been reduced, the resulting algebraic expressions can be simpli-
fied. Suppose that a room is 12 feet wide and 20 feet long. Its perimeter (mea-
surement around the outside) can be expressed as:
12 1 20 1 12 1 20 or 2(12 1 20)
If the width of the room remains 12 feet but the letter l is used to symbolize
length, the perimeter is:
12 1 l 1 12 1 l or 2(12 1 l)
Further, if w is used for width, the perimeter of any rectangular room can be
written as 2(w 1 l). This same room has an area of 12 feet by 20 feet or 12 { 20.
If l is substituted for 20, any room of width 12 has area equal to 12l. If w is
substituted for the number 12, the area of any rectangular room is given by wl or
lw. Expressions such as wl and 2(w 1 l) are called algebraic expressions. An
equation is a statement that two algebraic expressions are equal. A formula is a
special type of equation.

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If we are given an expression and numerical values to be assigned to each letter,
the expression can be evaluated.

Evaluate 2x 1 3y 2 7 if x 5 2 and y 5 24.
Substitute given values
2(2) 1 3(24) 2 7 5 ?
Multiply numbers using rules for signed numbers
4 1 (212) 2 7 5 ?
Collect numbers
4 2 19 5 215
We have already evaluated formulas in arithmetic when solving percent, discount,
and interest problems.

The formula for temperature conversion is:
F5 C 1 32
where C stands for the temperature in degrees Celsius and F for degrees Fahren-
heit. Find the Fahrenheit temperature that is equivalent to 20°C.
F5 (20°C) 1 32 5 36 1 32 5 68°F

A more difficult problem than evaluating an expression or formula is to translate
from a verbal expression to an algebraic one:
Verbal Algebraic
Thirteen more than x x 1 13
Six less than twice x 2x 2 6
The square of the sum of x and 5 (x 1 5)2
The sum of the square of x and the square of 5 x2 1 52
The distance traveled by a car going
50 miles an hour for x hours 50x
The average of 70, 80, 85, and x 70 1 80 1 85 1 x

GRE CAT Success 211 www.petersons.com


After algebraic expressions have been formulated, they can usually be simplified
by means of the laws of exponents and the common operations of addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division. These techniques will be described in the
next section. Algebraic expressions and equations frequently contain parentheses,
which are removed in the process of simplifying. If an expression contains more
than one set of parentheses, remove the inner set first and then the outer set.
Brackets, [ ], which are often used instead of parentheses, are treated the same
way. Parentheses are used to indicate multiplication. Thus 3(x 1 y) means that 3
is to be multiplied by the sum of x and y. The distributive law is used to accom-
plish this:
a(b 1 c) 5 ab 1 ac
The expression in front of the parentheses is multiplied by each term inside. Rules
for signed numbers apply.

Simplify 3[4(2 2 8) 2 5(4 1 2)].
This can be done in two ways.

Method 1 Combine the numbers inside the parentheses first:

3@4~2 2 8! 2 5~4 1 2!# 5 3@4~26! 2 5~6!#

5 3@224 2 30#

5 3@254# 5 2162

Method 2 Use the distributive law:

3@4~2 2 8! 2 5~4 1 2!# 5 3@8 232 2 20 2 10#

5 3@8 2 62#

5 3@254# 5 2162
If there is a (1) before the parentheses, the signs of the terms inside the paren-
theses remain the same when the parentheses are removed. If there is a (2)
before the parentheses, the sign of each term inside the parentheses changes
when the parentheses are removed.

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Once parentheses have been removed, the order of operations is multiplica-

tion and division, then addition and subtraction from left to right.

(215 1 17) { 3 2 [(4 { 9) 4 6] 5 ?
Work inside the parentheses first:
(2) { 3 2 [36 4 6] 5 ?
Then work inside the brackets:
2 { 3 2 [6] 5 ?
Multiply first, then subtract, proceeding from left to right:
The placement of parentheses and brackets is important. Using the same numbers
as above with the parentheses and brackets placed in different positions can give
many different answers.

215 1 [(17 { 3) 2 (4 { 9)] 4 6 5 ?
Work inside the parentheses first:
215 1 [(51) 2 (36)] 4 6 5 ?
Then work inside the brackets:
215 1 [15] 4 6 5 ?
Since there are no more parentheses or brackets, proceed from left to right,
dividing before adding:
1 1
215 1 2 5 212
2 2

GRE CAT Success 213 www.petersons.com


When letter symbols and numbers are combined with the operations of arithmetic
(1, 2, {, 4) and with certain other mathematical operations, we have an alge-
braic expression. Algebraic expressions are made up of several parts connected
by a plus or a minus sign; each part is called a term. Terms with the same letter
part are called like terms. Since algebraic expressions represent numbers, they
can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided.
When we defined the commutative law of addition in arithmetic by writing a
1 b 5 b 1 a, we meant that a and b could represent any number. The expres-
sion a 1 b 5 b 1 a is an identity because it is true for all numbers. The
expression n 1 5 5 14 is not an identity because it is not true for all numbers; it
becomes true only when the number 9 is substituted for n. Letters used to
represent numbers are called variables. If a number stands alone (the 5 or 14 in
n 1 5 5 14), it is called a constant because its value is constant or unchanging. If
a number appears in front of a variable, it is called a coefficient. Because the letter
x is frequently used to represent a variable, or unknown, the times sign 3, which
can be confused with it in handwriting, is rarely used to express multiplication in
algebra. Other expressions used for multiplication are a dot, parentheses, or
simply writing a number and letter together:
5 { 4 or 5(4) or 5a
Of course, 54 still means fifty-four.

Addition and Subtraction

Only like terms can be combined. Add or subtract the coefficients of like terms,
using the rules for signed numbers.

Example 1
Add x 1 2y 2 2x 1 3y.
x 2 2x 1 2y 1 3y 5 2x 1 5y

Example 2
Perform the subtraction:
230a 2 15b 1 4c
2 (2 5a 1 3b 2 c 1 d)
Change the sign of each term in the subtrahend and then add, using the rules for
signed numbers:
230a 2 15b 1 4c
5a 2 3b 1 c 2 d
225a 2 18b 1 5c 2 d

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Multiplication is accomplished by using the distributive property. If the multiplier
has only one term, then
a(b 1 c) 5 ab 1 bc

Example 1

9x~5m 1 9q! 5 ~9x!~5m! 1 ~9x!~9q!

5 45mx 1 81qx
When the multiplier contains more than one term and you are multiplying two
expressions, multiply each term of the first expression by each term of the
second, and then add like terms. Follow the rules for signed numbers and
exponents at all times.

Example 2
~3x 1 8!~4x2 1 2x 1 1! 5 3x~4x2 1 2x 1 1! 1 8~4x2 1 2x 1 1!
5 12x3 1 6x2 1 3x 1 32x2 1 16x 1 8
5 12x3 1 38x2 1 19x 1 8
If more than two expressions are to be multiplied, multiply the first two, then
multiply the product by the third factor, and so on, until all factors have been
Algebraic expressions can be multiplied by themselves (squared) or raised to
any power.

Example 3

~a 1 b!2 5 ~a 1 b!~a 1 b!

5 a~a 1 b! 1 b~a 1 b!

5 a2 1 ab 1 ba 1 b2

5 a2 1 2ab 1 b2
since ab 5 ba by the commutative law

Example 4

~a 1 b!~a 2 b! 5 a~a 2 b! 1 b~a 2b!

5 a2 2 ab 1 ba 2 b2

5 a2 2 b2

GRE CAT Success 215 www.petersons.com


When two or more algebraic expressions are multiplied, each is called a factor
and the result is the product. The reverse process of finding the factors when
given the product is called factoring. A product can often be factored in more
than one way. Factoring is useful in multiplication, division, and solving equations.
One way to factor an expression is to remove any single-term factor that is
common to each of the terms and write it outside the parentheses. It is the
distributive law that permits this.

Example 1
3x3 1 6x2 1 9x 5 3x(x2 1 2x 1 3)
The result can be checked by multiplication.
Expressions containing squares can sometimes be factored into expressions
containing letters raised to the first power only, called linear factors. We have
seen that:
(a 1 b)(a 2 b) 5 a2 2 b2
Therefore, if we have an expression in the form of a difference of two squares, it
can be factored as:
a2 2 b2 5 (a 1 b)(a 2 b)

Example 2
Factor 4x2 2 9.
4x2 2 9 5 (2x)2 2 (3)2 5 (2x 1 3)(2x 2 3)
Again, the result can be checked by multiplication.
A third type of expression that can be factored is one containing three terms,
such as x2 1 5x 1 6. Since:
(x 1 a)(x 1 b) 5 x(x 1 b) 1 a(x 1 b)
5 x2 1 xb 1 ax 1 ab
5 x2 1 (a 1 b)x 1 ab
an expression in the form x2 1 (a 1 b)x 1 ab can be factored into two factors of
the form (x 1 a) and (x 1 b). We must find two numbers whose product is the
constant in the given expression and whose sum is the coefficient of the term
containing x.

Example 3
Find factors of x2 1 5x 1 6.
First find two numbers which, when multiplied, have 16 as a product. Possibili-
ties are 2 and 3, 22 and 23, 1 and 6, 21 and 26. From these, select the one pair
whose sum is 5. The pair 2 and 3 is the only possible selection, and so:
x2 1 5x 1 6 5 (x 1 2)(x 1 3) written in either order

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Example 4
Factor x2 2 5x 2 6.
Possible factors of 26 are 21 and 6, 1 and 26, 2 and 23, 22 and 3. We must
select the pair whose sum is 25. The only pair whose sum is 25 is 1 1 and 26,
and so
x2 2 5x 2 6 5 (x 1 1)(x 2 6)
In factoring expressions of this type, notice that if the last sign is plus, both a and
b have the same sign and it is the same as the sign of the middle term. If the last
sign is minus, the numbers have opposite signs.
Many expressions cannot be factored.

Method 1 Division
36mx2 4 9m2x

5 4m21x1 5

Method 2 Cancellation
4 1
36mx 36mxx 4x
2 5 5
9m x 9mmx m
1 1
This is acceptable because
ac a c
bc b c
and 5 1 so that
ac a
bc b
If the divisor contains only one term and the dividend is a sum, divide each term
in the dividend by the divisor and simplify as you did in Method 2.
3x2 x 2
9x 1 3x 1 6x 9x3 3x2 6x
3 2
5 1 1
3x 3x 3x 3x
5 3x2 1 x 1 2

Example 5
This method cannot be followed if there are two or more terms in the denomina-
tor since:
a a a
Þ 1
b1c b c

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In this case, write the example as a fraction. Factor the numerator and denomina-
tor if possible. Then use laws of exponents or cancel.

Example 6
Divide x3 2 9x by x3 1 6x2 1 9x.
Write as:
x3 2 9x
x3 1 6x2 1 9x
Both numerator and denominator can be factored to give:

x~x2 2 9! x~x 1 3!~x 2 3! x 2 3

2 5 5
x~x 1 6x 1 9! x~x 1 3!~x 1 3! x 1 3

1. Simplify: 4[2(327) 2 4(216)]
2. Subtract: (225x 1 4y 2 12z)
2 (4x 2 8y 2 13z)
3. Multiply: (5x 1 2)(3x2 2 2x 1 1)
4. Factor completely: 2x3 1 8x2 2 90x
5. Factor completely: 32x2 2 98
x2 1 2x 2 8
6. Divide:
x2 2 x 2 20

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1. 4[2(327) 2 4(216)] 5 4[2(24)24(8)]

5 4[28 2 32] 5 4(240)
5 2160
2. (225x 1 4y 2 12z) 2 (4x 2 8y 2 13z)
5 225x 1 4y 2 12z 2 4x 1 8y 1 13z
5 229x 1 12y 1 z
3. (5x 1 2)(3x2 2 2x 1 1) 5 5x (3x2 2 2x 11) 1 2(3x2 2 2x 1 1)
5 15x3 2 10x2 1 5x 1 6x2 2 4x 1 2
5 15x3 2 4x2 1 x 1 2
4. 2x3 1 8x2 2 90x 5 2x (x2 1 4x 2 45) 5 2x (x 1 9)(x 2 5)
5. 32x2 2 98 5 2(16x2 2 49) 5 2(4x 2 7)(4x 1 7)
x2 1 2x 2 8 ~x 1 4!~x 2 2!
6. 5
x2 2 x 2 20 ~x 2 5!~x 1 4!
~x 1 4!~x 2 2! x 22
5 5
~x 2 5!~x 1 4! x 25

Solving equations is one of the major objectives in algebra. If a variable x in an
equation is replaced by a value or expression that makes the equation a true
statement, the value or expression is called a solution of the equation. (Remem-
ber that an equation is a mathematical statement that one algebraic expression is
equal to another.)
An equation may contain one or more variables. We begin with one variable.
Certain rules apply to equations whether there are one or more variables. The
following rules are applied to give equivalent equations that are simpler than the
Addition: If s 5 t, then s 1 c 5 t 1 c.
Subtraction: If s 1 c 5 t 1 c, then s 5 t.
Multiplication: If s 5 t, then cs 5 ct.
Division: If cs 5 ct and c Þ 0, then s 5 t.
To solve for x in an equation in the form ax 5 b with a Þ 0, divide each side of
the equation by a:
ax b b
5 yielding x5
a a a
Then, is the solution to the equation.

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Example 1
Solve 4x 5 8.
4x 8
Write 5 x52
4 4

Example 2
Solve 2x 2 (x 2 4) 5 5(x 1 2) for x.
2x 2 (x 2 4) 5 5(x 1 2)
2x 2 x 1 4 5 5x 1 10 Remove parentheses by distributive law.
x14 5 5x 1 10 Combine like terms.
x 5 5x 1 6 Subtract 4 from each side.
24x 5 6 Subtract 5x from each side.
x 5 6 Divide each side by 24.
5 3 Reduce fraction to lowest terms.
Negative sign now applies to the entire
Check the solution for accuracy by substituting in the original equation:
3 3 3
2(2 ) 2 (2 24) 0 5 (2 1 2)
2 2 2
23 2 2 S D
0 5 SD
11 0 5
23 1
2 2
6 11 0 5
2 1 check
2 2 2

Solve the following equations for x:
1. 3x 2 5 5 3 1 2x
2. 3(2x 2 2) 5 12
3. 4(x 2 2) 5 2x 1 10
4. 7 2 4(2x 2 1) 5 3 1 4(4 2 x)

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1. 3x 2 5 5 3 1 2x
22x 22x
2. 3~2x 2 2! 5 12
6x 2 6 5 12
6x 5 18
3. 4~x 2 2! 5 2x 1 10
4x 2 8 5 2x 1 10
4x 5 2x 1 18
2x 5 18
4. 7 2 4~2x 2 1! 5 3 1 4~4 2 x!
7 2 8x 1 4 5 3 1 16 2 4x
11 2 8x 5 19 2 4x
11 5 19 1 4x
28 5 4x
x 5 22


In many cases, if you read a word problem carefully, assign a letter to the quantity
to be found, and understand the relationships between known and unknown
quantities, you can formulate an equation in one unknown.

Number Problems and Age Problems

These two kinds of problems are similar to each other.

One number is 3 times another, and their sum is 48. Find the two numbers.
Let x 5 second number. Then the first is 3x. Since their sum is 48,

3x 1 x 5 48
4x 5 48
x 5 12
Therefore, the first number is 3x 5 36.
36 1 12 5 48 check

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Consecutive Number Problems

This type usually involves only one unknown. Two numbers are consecutive if one
is the successor of the other. Three consecutive numbers are of the form x, x 1 1,
and x 1 2. Since an even number is divisible by 2, consecutive even numbers are of
the form 2x, 2x 1 2, and 2x 1 4. An odd number is of the form 2x 1 1.

Find three consecutive whole numbers whose sum is 75.
Let the first number be x, the second x 1 1, and the third x 1 2. Then:

x 1 ~x 1 1! 1 ~x 1 2! 5 75
3x 1 3 5 75
3x 5 72
x 5 24
The numbers whose sum is 75 are 24, 25, and 26. Many versions of this problem
have no solution. For example, no three consecutive whole numbers have a sum
of 74.

1. If 18 is subtracted from six times a certain number, the result is 96. Find
the number.
2. A 63-foot rope is cut into two pieces. If one piece is twice as long as the
other, how long is each piece?
3. Peter is now three times as old as Jillian. In six years, he will be twice as
old as she will be then. How old is Peter now?
4. The sum of two consecutive odd integers is 68. Find the integers.

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1. Let x 5 the number.

Then, 6x 2 18 5 96
6x 5 114
x 5 19
The number is 19.
2. Let x 5 the length of the short piece.
Then, 2x 5 the length of the longer piece.
And, x 1 2x 5 63
3x 5 63
x 5 21
2x 5 42
The pieces are 21 feet and 42 feet.

3. Let J 5 Jillian’s age now;

3J 5 Peter’s age now;
J 1 6 5 Jillian’s age in 6 years;
3J 1 6 5 Peter’s age in 6 years.
3J 1 6 5 2 ~J 1 6!
3J 1 6 5 2J 1 12
3J 5 2J 1 6
3J 5 18
Peter is currently 18 years old.
4. Let x 5 the first odd integer.
Then, x 1 2 5 the second odd integer, and,
x 1 x 1 2 5 68
2x 1 2 5 68
2x 5 66
x 5 33
x 1 2 5 35
The numbers are 33 and 35.

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An equation may have other letters in it besides the variable (or variables). Such
an equation is called a literal equation. An illustration is x 1 b5 a, with x the
variable. The solution of such an equation will not be a specific number but will
involve letter symbols. Literal equations are solved by exactly the same methods as
those involving numbers, but we must know which of the letters in the equation
is to be considered the variable. Then the other letters are treated as constants.

Example 1
Solve ax 2 2bc 5 d for x.

ax 5 d 1 2bc
d 1 2bc
x5 if a Þ 0

Example 2
Solve ay 2 by 5 a2 2 b2 for y.

y~a 2 b! 5 a2 2 b2 Factor out common term.

y~a 2 b! 5 ~a 1 b!~a 2 b! Factor expression on right side.
y5a1b Divide each side by a 2 b if a Þ b.

Example 3
Solve for S in the equation
1 1 1
5 1
Multiply every term by RST, the LCD:

ST 5 RT 1 RS
ST 2 RS 5 RT
S~T 2 R! 5 RT
S5 If T Þ R

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An equation containing the square of an unknown quantity is called a quadratic
equation. One way of solving such an equation is by factoring. If the product of
two expressions is zero, at least one of the expressions must be zero.

Example 1
Solve y2 1 2y 5 0.

y~y 1 2! 5 0 Remove common factor.

y 5 0 or y 1 2 5 0 Since the product is 0, at least one of
the factors must be 0.
y 5 0 or y 5 22
Check by substituting both values in the original equation:

~0!2 1 2~0! 5 0
~22!2 1 2~22! 5 4 2 4 5 0
In this case there are two solutions.

Example 2
Solve x2 1 7x 1 10 5 0.

x2 1 7x 1 10 5 ~x 1 5! ~x 1 2! 5 0
x1 550 or x 1 2 5 0
x 5 25 or x 5 22
(25)2 1 7(25) 1 10 5 25 2 35 1 10 5 0
(22)2 1 7(22) 1 10 5 4 2 14 1 10 5 0
So far, each quadratic we have solved has had two distinct answers, but an
equation may have a single answer (repeated), as in

x2 1 4x 1 4 5 0
~x 1 2!~x 1 2! 5 0
x 1 2 5 0 and x 1 2 5 0
x 5 22 and x 5 22
The only solution is 22.

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Rewriting Equations
Certain equations written with a variable in the denominator can be rewritten as

Solve 2 1 5 5 x.
24 1 5x 5 x2 Multiply both sides by x Þ 0.
2x 1 5x 2 4 5 0 Collect terms on one side of equals and
set sum equal to 0.
x2 2 5x 1 4 5 0 Multiply both sides by 21.
~x 2 4!~x 2 1! 5 0 Factor
x 2 4 5 0 or x 2 1 5 0
x 5 4 or x 51
Check the result by substitution:
4 4
2 1 5 0 4 and 2 1 5 0 1
4 1
21 1 5 5 4 24 1 5 5 1
Some equations containing a radical sign can also be converted into a quadratic
equation. The solution of this type of problem depends on the principle that
If A 5 B then A2 5 B2
and If A2 5 B2 then A 5 B or A 5 2B

Solve y 5 =3y 1 4.

y 5 =3y 1 4
y2 5 3y 1 4
y2 2 3y 2 4 5 0
~y 2 4!~y 1 l! 5 0
y 5 4 or y 5 21
Check by substituting values into the original equation:
y54 y 5 21
40 =3~4! 1 4 and 21 0 =3~21! 1 4
4 0 =16 21 0 =23 1 4
454 21 Þ 1
The single solution is y 5 4: the false root y 5 21 was introduced when the
original equation was squared.

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Solve the following equations for the variable indicated:
1. Solve for W: P 5 2L 1 2W
2. Solve for x: ax 1 b5 cx 1 d
3. Solve for x: 8x2 2 4x 5 0
4. Solve for x: x2 2 4x 5 21
5. Solve for y: =y 11 2 3 5 7

1. P 5 2L 1 2W
2W 5 P 2 2L
P 2 2L
2. ax 1 b5 cx 1 d
ax 5 cx 1 d 2 b
ax 2 cx 5 d 2 b
x~a 2 c! 5 d 2 b
x5 ~if a Þ c!
3. 8x2 2 4x 5 0
4x~2x 21! 5 0
4x 5 0, 2x 2 1 5 0
x 5 0,
4. x2 2 4x 5 21
x2 2 4x 2 21 5 0
~x 2 7!~x 1 3! 5 0
x 5 7, 23
5. =y 1 1 2 3 5 7
=y 1 1 5 10
~=y 1 1! 2
5 102
y 1 1 5 100
y 5 99

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For each of the sets of numbers we have considered, we have established an
ordering of the members of the set by defining what it means to say that one
number is greater than the other. Every number we have considered can be
represented by a point on a number line.
An algebraic inequality is a statement that one algebraic expression is
greater than (or less than) another algebraic expression. If all the variables in the
inequality are raised to the first power, the inequality is said to be a linear
inequality. We solve the inequality by reducing it to a simpler inequality whose
solution is apparent. The answer is not unique, as it is in an equation, since a
great number of values may satisfy the inequality.
There are three rules for producing equivalent inequalities:
1. The same quantity can be added or subtracted from each side of an
2. Each side of an inequality can be multiplied or divided by the same
positive quantity.
3. If each side of an inequality is multiplied or divided by the same
negative quantity, the sign of the inequality must be reversed so that
the new inequality is equivalent to the first.

Example 1
Solve 5x 2 5 . 29 1 3x.

5x . 24 1 3x Add 5 to each side.

2x . 24 Subtract 3x from each side.
x . 22 Divide by 12.
Any number greater than 22 is a solution to this inequality.

Example 2
Solve 2x 2 12 , 5x 2 3.

2x , 5x 1 9 Add 12 to each side.

23x , 9 Subtract 5x from each side.
x . 23 Divide each side by 23, changing sign of inequality.
Any number greater than 23—for example, 22 , 0, 1, or 4—is a solution to this
particular inequality.

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Graphing Equations
The number line is useful in picturing the values of one variable. When two
variables are involved, a coordinate system is effective. The Cartesian coordinate
system is constructed by placing a vertical number line and a horizontal number
line on a plane so that the lines intersect at their zero points. This meeting place
is called the origin. The horizontal number line is called the x axis, and the
vertical number line (with positive numbers above the x axis) is called the y axis.
Points in the plane correspond to ordered pairs of real numbers.

The points in this example are:

x y
0 0
1 1
3 21
22 22
22 1

Solving Simultaneous Linear Equations

Two linear equations can be solved together (simultaneously) to yield an answer
(x, y) if it exists. On the coordinate system, this amounts to drawing the graphs of
two lines and finding their point of intersection. If the lines are parallel and
therefore never meet, no solution exists.
Simultaneous linear equations can be solved in the following manner without
drawing graphs. From the first equation find the value of one variable in terms of
the other; substitute this value in the second equation. The second equation is
now a linear equation in one variable and can be solved. After the numerical value
of the one variable has been found, substitute that value into the first equation to
find the value of the second variable. Check the results by putting both values
into the second equation.

Example 1
Solve the system
2x 1 y 5 3
4x 2 y 5 0
From the first equation, y 5 3 2 2x. Substitute this value of y into the second
equation to get
4x 2 ~3 22x! 5 0
4x 2 3 1 2x 5 0
6x 5 3

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Substitute x 5 in the first of the original equations:

2SD 1


Check by substituting both x and y values into the second equation:

4SD 1
1 ~22! 5 0


Example 2
A change-making machine contains $30 in dimes and quarters. There are 150
coins in the machine. Find the number of each type of coin.
Let x 5 number of dimes and y 5 number of quarters. Then:
x 1 y 5 150
Since .25y is the product of a quarter of a dollar and the number of quarters, and
.10x is the amount of money in dimes,
.10x 1 .25y 5 30
Multiply the last equation by 100 to eliminate the decimal points:
10x 1 25y 5 3000
From the first equation, y 5 150 2 x. Substitute this value in the equivalent form
of the second equation.

10x 1 25~150 2 x! 5 3000

215x 5 2750

x 5 50
This is the number of dimes. Substitute this value in x 1 y 5 150 to find the
number of quarters, y 5 100.

.10~50! 1 .25~100! 5 30

$5 1 $25 5 $30

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1. Solve for x: 12x , 5(2x 1 4)
2. Solve for y: 6y 1 2 , 8y 1 14
3. Find the common solution:
x 2 3y 5 3
2x 1 9y 5 11
4. A coin collection consisting of quarters and nickels has a value of $4.50.
The total number of coins is 26. Find the number of quarters and the
number of nickels in the collection.
5. Mr. Linnell bought 3 cans of corn and 5 cans of tomatoes for $3.75. The
next week, he bought 4 cans of corn and 2 cans of tomatoes for $2.90.
Find the cost of a can of corn.


1. 12x , 5~2x 1 4!
12x , 10x 1 20
2x , 20
x , 10

2. 6y 1 2 , 8y 1 14
6y , 8y 1 12
22y , 12
y . 26
3. x 2 3y 5 3
2x 1 9y 5 11
Multiply the first equation by 3.
3~x 2 3y! 5 3~3!
2x 1 9y 5 11

3x 2 9y 5 9
2x 1 9y 5 11
5x 5 20

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Now substitute this answer for x in the second equation.

2~4! 1 9y 5 11
8 1 9y 5 11
9y 5 3
4. Let Q 5 the number of quarters in the collection.
Let N 5 the number of nickels in the collection.

Then, .25Q 1 .05N 5 4.50

Q 1 N 5 26
Multiply the top equation by 100 to clear the decimals:
25Q 1 5N 5 450
Q 1 N 5 26
Multiply the bottom equation by 25 and add:

25Q 1 5N 5 450
25Q 2 5N 5 2130
20Q 5 320
Q 5 16
N 5 10
There are 16 quarters and 10 nickels.
5. Let c 5 the cost of a can of corn.
Let t 5 the cost of a can of tomatoes.
3c 1 5t 5 3.75
4c 1 2t 5 2.90
Multiply the top equation by 2, the bottom one by 25, and add:

6c 1 10t 5 7.50
220c 2 10t 5 214.50
214c 5 27.00
c 5 .50
A can of corn costs 50¢.

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Many problems in arithmetic and algebra can be solved using the concept of ratio to
a a c
compare numbers. The ratio of a to b is the fraction . If the two ratios and
b b d
represent the same comparison, we write:
a c
b d
This equation (statement of equality) is called a proportion. A proportion states
the equivalence of two different expressions for the same ratio.

Example 1
In a class of 39 students, 17 are men. Find the ratio of men to women.
39 students 2 17 men 5 22 women
Ratio of men to women is 17/22, also written 17;22.

Example 2
A fertilizer contains 3 parts nitrogen, 2 parts potash, and 2 parts phosphate by
weight. How many pounds of fertilizer will contain 60 pounds of nitrogen?
The ratio of pounds of nitrogen to pounds of fertilizer is
3 to 3 1 2 1 2 5 .
Let x be the number of pounds of mixture. Then:
3 60
7 x
Multiply both sides of the equation by 7x to get:
3x 5 420
x 5 140 pounds


Several statistical measures are used frequently. One of them is the average or
arithmetic mean. To find the average of N numbers, add the numbers and divide
their sum by N.

Example 1
Seven students attained test scores of 62, 80, 60, 30, 50, 90, and 20. What was the
average test score for the group?
62 1 80 1 60 1 30 1 50 1 90 1 20 5 392
Since there are 7 scores, the average score is
5 56

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Example 2
Joan allotted herself a budget of $50 a week, on the average, for expenses. One
week she spent $35, the next $60, and the third $40. How much can she spend
in the fourth week without exceeding her budget?
Let x be the amount spent in the fourth week. Then:

35 1 60 1 40 1 x
5 50
35 1 60 1 40 1 x 5 200
135 1 x 5 200
x 5 65
She can spend $65 in the fourth week.

If a set of numbers is arranged in order, the number in the middle is called the

Find the median test score of 62, 80, 60, 30, 50, 90, and 20. Arrange the numbers
in increasing (or decreasing) order
20, 30, 50, 60, 62, 80, 90
Since 60 is the number in the middle, it is the median. It is not the same as the
arithmetic mean, which is 56.
If number of scores is an even number, the median is the arithmetic mean of the
middle two scores.

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Plane geometry is the science of measurement. Certain assumptions are made
about undefined quantities called points, lines, and planes, and then logical
deductions about relationships between figures composed of lines, angles and
portions of planes are made, based on these assumptions. The process of making
the logical deduction is called a proof. In this summary we are not making any
proofs but are giving the definitions frequently used in geometry and stating
relationships that are the results of proofs.


A line in geometry is always a straight line. When two straight lines meet at a
point, they form an angle. The lines are called sides or rays of the angle, and the
point is called the vertex. The symbol for angle is ∠. When no other angle shares
the same vertex, the name of the angle is the name given to the vertex, as in
angle A:

An angle may be named with three letters. Following, for example, B is a point on
one side and C is a point on the other. In this case the name of the vertex must
be the middle letter, and we have angle BAC.

Occasionally an angle is named by a number or small letter placed in the angle.

Angles are usually measured in degrees. An angle of 30 degrees, written 30°, is an

angle whose measurement is 30 degrees. Degrees are divided into minutes;
608 (read “minutes”) 5 1°. Minutes are further divided into seconds; 609 (read
“seconds”) 5 18.

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Vertical Angles
When two lines intersect, four angles are formed. The angles opposite each other
are called vertical angles and are equal to each other.

a and c are vertical angles. ∠a 5 ∠c

b and d are vertical angles. ∠b 5 ∠d

Straight Angle
A straight angle has its sides lying along a straight line. It is always equal to 180°.

∠ABC 5 ∠B 5 180°
∠B is a straight angle.

Adjacent Angles
Two angles are adjacent if they share the same vertex and a common side but no
angle is inside another angle. ∠ABC and ∠CBD are adjacent angles. Even though
they share a common vertex B and a common side AB, ∠ABD and ∠ABC are not
adjacent angles because one angle is inside the other.

Supplementary Angles
If the sum of two angles is a straight angle (180°), the two angles are supplemen-
tary and each angle is the supplement of the other.

∠G is a straight angle 5 180°.

∠a 1 ∠b 5 180°
∠a and ∠b are supplementary angles.

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Right Angles
If two supplementary angles are equal, they are both right angles. A right angle is
one-half a straight angle. Its measure is 90°. A right angle is symbolized by N .

∠G is a straight angle.
∠b 1 ∠a 5 ∠G, and ∠a 5 ∠b.
∠a and ∠b are right angles.

Complementary Angles
Complementary angles are two angles whose sum is a right angle (90°).

∠Y is a right angle.
∠a 1 ∠b 5 ∠Y 5 90°.
∠a and ∠b are complementary angles.

Acute Angles
Acute angles are angles whose measurement is less than 90°. No two acute angles
can be supplementary angles. Two acute angles can be complementary angles.

∠C is an acute angle.

Obtuse Angles
Obtuse angles are angles that are greater than 90° and less than 180°.

∠D is an obtuse angle.

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Example 1
In the figure, what is the value of x?


Since the two labeled angles are supplementary angles, their sum is 180°.

~x 1 30°! 1 2x 5 180°
3x 5 150°
x 5 50°

Example 2
Find the value of x in the figure.


Since the two labeled angles are vertical angles, they are equal.
x 1 40° 5 2x
40° 5 x

Example 3
If angle Y is a right angle and angle b measures 30°158, what does angle a

Since angle Y is a right angle, angles a and b are complementary angles and their
sum is 90°.

∠a 1 ∠b 5 90°
∠a 1 30°158 5 90°
∠a 5 59°458

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A line in geometry is always assumed to be a straight line. It extends infinitely far
in both directions. It is determined if two of its points are known. It can be
expressed in terms of the two points, which are written as capital letters. The
following line is called AB.

Or, a line may be given one name with a small letter. The following line is called
line k.

A line segment is a part of a line between two endpoints. It is named by its

endpoints, for example, A and B.

AB is a line segment.
It has a definite length.
If point P is on the line and is the same distance from A as from B, then P is the
midpoint of segment AB. When we say AP 5 PB, we mean that the two line
segments have the same length.

A part of a line with one endpoint is called a ray. AC is a ray of which A is an

endpoint. The ray extends infinitely far in the direction away from the endpoint.

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Parallel Lines
Two lines meet or intersect if there is one point that is on both lines. Two
different lines may either intersect in one point or never meet, but they can never
meet in more than one point.

Two lines in the same plane that never meet no matter how far they are extended
are said to be parallel, for which the symbol is \. In the following diagram a \ b.

If two lines in the same plane are parallel to a third line, they are parallel to each
other. Since a \ b and b \ c, we know that a \ c.

Two lines that meet each other at right angles are said to be perpendicular, for
which the symbol is ⊥. Line a is perpendicular to line b.

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Two lines in the same plane that are perpendicular to the same line are parallel to
each other.

Line a ⊥ line c and line b ⊥ line c. Therefore, a \ b.

A line intersecting two other lines is called a transversal. Line c is a transversal
intersecting lines a and b.

The transversal and the two given lines form eight angles. The four angles
between the given lines are called interior angles; the four angles outside the
given lines are called exterior angles. If two angles are on opposite sides of the
transversal, they are called alternate angles.

∠z, ∠w, ∠q, and ∠p are interior angles.

∠y, ∠x, ∠s, and ∠r are exterior angles.
∠z and ∠p are alternate interior angles; so are ∠w and ∠q.
∠y and ∠s are alternate exterior angles; so are ∠x and ∠r.
Pairs of corresponding angles are ∠y and ∠q; ∠z and ∠r; ∠x and ∠p; and ∠w
and ∠s. Corresponding angles are sometimes called exterior-interior angles.

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When the two given lines cut by a transversal are parallel lines:
1. the corresponding angles are equal.
2. the alternate interior angles are equal.
3. the alternate exterior angles are equal.
4. interior angles on the same side of the transversal are supplementary.

If line a is parallel to line b:

1. ∠y 5 ∠q, ∠z 5 ∠r, ∠x 5 ∠p, and ∠w 5 ∠s.
2. ∠z 5 ∠p and ∠w 5 ∠q.
3. ∠y 5 ∠s and ∠x 5 ∠r.
4. ∠z 1 ∠q 5 180° and ∠p 1 ∠w 5 180°
Because vertical angles are equal, ∠p 5 ∠r, ∠q 5 ∠s, ∠y 5 ∠w, and ∠x 5 ∠z. If
any one of the four conditions for equality of angles holds true, the lines are
parallel; that is, if two lines are cut by a transversal and one pair of the corre-
sponding angles is equal, the lines are parallel. If a pair of alternate interior angles
or a pair of alternate exterior angles is equal, the lines are parallel. If interior
angles on the same side of the transversal are supplementary, the lines are

In the figure, two parallel lines are cut by a transversal. Find the measure of angle y.

3 50˚

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The two labeled angles are supplementary.

2x 1 ~3x150°! 5 180°
5x 5 130°
x 5 26°
Since ∠y is vertical to the angle whose measurement is 3x 1 50°, it has the same
y 5 3x 1 50° 5 3(26°) 1 50° 5 128°

A polygon is a closed plane figure composed of line segments joined together at
points called vertices (singular, vertex). A polygon is usually named by giving its
vertices in order.

Polygon ABCDE
In the figure, points A, B, C, D, and E are the vertices, and the sides are AB, BC,
CD, DE, and EA. AB and BC are adjacent sides, and A and B are adjacent vertices.
A diagonal of a polygon is a line segment joining any two nonadjacent vertices.
EB is a diagonal.

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Polygons are named according to the number of sides or angles. A triangle is a

polygon with three sides, a quadrilateral a polygon with four sides, a pentagon a
polygon with five sides, and a hexagon a polygon with six sides. The number of
sides is always equal to the number of angles.

The perimeter of a polygon is the sum of the lengths of its sides. If the polygon is
regular (all sides equal and all angles equal), the perimeter is the product of the
length of one side and the number of sides.

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Congruent and Similar Polygons

If two polygons have equal corresponding angles and equal corresponding sides,
they are said to be congruent. Congruent polygons have the same size and shape.
They are the same in all respects except possibly position. The symbol for
congruence is ≅.

When two sides of congruent or different polygons are equal, we indicate the fact
by drawing the same number of short lines through the equal sides.

This indicates that AB 5 EF and CD 5 GH.

Two polygons with equal corresponding angles and corresponding sides in
proportion are said to be similar. The symbol for similar is z.

Similar figures have the same shape but not necessarily the same size.
A regular polygon is a polygon whose sides are equal and whose angles are equal.

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A triangle is a polygon with three sides. Triangles are classified by measuring their
sides and angles. The sum of the angles of a plane triangle is always 180°. The
symbol for a triangle is D. The sum of any two sides of a triangle is always greater
than the third side.

Equilateral Triangles
Equilateral triangles have equal sides and equal angles. Each angle measures 60°
(180°) 5 60°.

AB 5 AC 5 BC.
∠A 5 ∠B 5 ∠C 5 60°.

Isosceles Triangles
Isosceles triangles have two sides equal. The angles opposite the equal sides are
equal. The two equal angles are sometimes called the base angles and the third
angle is called the vertex angle. Note that an equilateral triangle is isosceles.

FG 5 FH.
∠G 5 ∠H.
∠F is vertex angle.
∠G and ∠H are base angles.

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Scalene Triangles
Scalene triangles have all three sides of different length and all angles of different
measure. In scalene triangles, the shortest side is opposite the angle of smallest
measure, and the longest side is opposite the angle of greatest measure.

AB . BC . CA; therefore, ∠C . ∠A . ∠B.

Right Triangles
Right triangles contain one right angle. Since the right angle is 90°, the other two
angles are complementary. They may or may not be equal to each other. The side of
a right triangle opposite the right angle is called the hypotenuse. The other two sides
are called legs. The Pythagorean theorem states that the square of the length of
the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the legs.

AC is the hypotenuse.
AB and BC are legs.
∠B 5 90°.
∠A 1 ∠C 5 90°.
a2 1 c2 5 b2.

If ABC is a right triangle with right angle at B, and if AB 5 6 and BC 5 8, what is
the length of AC?

AB2 1 BC2 5 AC2

62 1 82 5 36 1 64 5 100 5 AC2
AC 5 10
If the measure of angle A is 30°, what is the measure of angle C ?
Since angles A and C are complementary:
30° 1 C 5 90°
C 5 60°

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If the lengths of the three sides of a triangle are a, b, and c and the relation
a2 1 b2 5 c2 holds, the triangle is a right triangle and side c is the hypotenuse.

Show that a triangle with sides 5, 12, and 13 is a right triangle.
The triangle will be a right triangle if a2 1 b2 5 c2.
52 1 122 5 132
25 1 144 5 169
Therefore, the triangle is a right triangle and 13 is the length of the hypotenuse.

Area of a Triangle
The altitude (or height) of a triangle is a line segment dropped as a perpendicular
from any vertex to the opposite side. The area of a triangle is the product of
one-half the altitude and the base of the triangle. (The base is the side opposite
the vertex from which the perpendicular was drawn.)


Find the area A of the following isosceles triangle.

In an isosceles triangle the altitude from the vertex angle bisects the base (cuts it
in half).

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The first step is to find the altitude. By the Pythagorean theorem,

a2 1 b2 5 c2; c 5 13, a 5 h, and b 5 (10) 5 5.
h2 1 52 5 132
h2 1 25 5 169
h2 5 144
h 5 12
A5 { base { height
5 { 10 { 12
5 60

Two triangles are similar if all three pairs of corresponding angles are equal. The
sum of the three angles of a triangle is 180°; therefore, if two angles of triangle I
equal two corresponding angles of triangle II, the third angle of triangle I must be
equal to the third angle of triangle II, and the triangles are similar. The lengths of
the sides of similar triangles are in proportion to each other. A line drawn parallel
to one side of a triangle divides the triangle into two portions, one of which is a
triangle. The new triangle is similar to the original triangle.


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In the following figure, if AC 5 28 feet, AB 5 35 feet, BC 5 21 feet, and EC 5 12
feet, find the length of DC if DE \ AB.

Because DE \ AB, DCDE z DCAB. Since the triangles are similar, their sides are in
DC 12
28 21
12 { 28
DC 5 5 16 feet

A quadrilateral is a polygon of four sides. The sum of the angles of a quadrilateral
is 360°. If the opposite sides of a quadrilateral are parallel, the quadrilateral is a
parallelogram. Opposite sides of a parallelogram are equal and so are opposite
angles. Any two consecutive angles of a parallelogram are supplementary. A
diagonal of a parallelogram divides the parallelogram into congruent triangles. The
diagonals of a parallelogram bisect each other.

AD \ BC ∠A 1 ∠B 5 180°
∠D 5 ∠B BP 5 PD
∠A 5 ∠C

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A rhombus is a parallelogram with four equal sides. The diagonals of a rhombus
are perpendicular to each other.

A rectangle is a parallelogram with four right angles. The diagonals of a rectangle

are equal and can be found using the Pythagorean theorem if the sides of the
rectangle are known.

AB2 1 BC2 5 AC2

A square is a rectangle with four equal sides.

A trapezoid is a quadrilateral with only one pair of parallel sides, called bases. The
nonparallel sides are called legs.

AD \ BC.
AD and BC are bases.
AB and DC are legs.
h 5 altitude

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Finding Areas
The area of any parallelogram is the product of the base and the height, where
the height is the length of the altitude, a line segment drawn from a vertex
perpendicular to the base.

Since rectangles and squares are also parallelograms, their areas follow the same
formula. For a rectangle, the altitude is one of the sides, and the formula is length
times width. Since a square is a rectangle for which length and width are the
same, the area of a square is the square of its side.
The area of a trapezoid is the height times the average of the two bases. The
formula is:
b1 1 b2
The bases are the parallel sides, and the height is the length of an altitude to one
of the bases.

Example 1
Find the area of a square whose diagonal is 12 feet. Let s 5 side of square.
By the Pythagorean theorem:

s2 1 s2 5 122
2s2 5 144
s2 5 72
s 5 =72
Use only positive values because this is the side of a square.
Since A 5 s2
A 5 72 square feet

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Example 2
Find the altitude of a rectangle if its area is 320 and its base is 5 times its altitude.
Let altitude 5 h. Then base 5 5h. Since A 5 bh,

A 5 ~5h!~h! 5 320
5h2 5 320
h2 5 64
If a quadrilateral is not a parallelogram or a trapezoid but it is irregularly shaped,
its area can be found by dividing it into triangles, attempting to find the area of
each, and adding the results.

Circles are closed plane curves with all points on the curve equally distant from a
fixed point called the center. The symbol ( indicates a circle. A circle is usually
named by its center. A line segment from the center to any point on the circle is
called the radius (plural, radii). All radii of the same circle are equal.

C 5 center
CP 5 radius 5 r

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A chord is a line segment whose endpoints are on the circle. The diameter of a
circle is a chord that passes through the center of the circle. The diameter, the
longest distance between two points on the circle, is twice the length of the
radius. A diameter perpendicular to a chord bisects that chord.

AB is a chord.
C is the center.
DCE is a diameter.
FCG is a diameter.
AB ⊥ DCE so AP 5 PB.
A central angle is an angle whose vertex is the center of a circle and whose sides
are radii of the circle. An inscribed angle is an angle whose vertex is on the circle
and whose sides are chords of the circle.

∠ACB is a central angle.

∠RST is an inscribed angle.

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An arc is a portion of a circle. The symbol ∩ is used to indicate an arc. Arcs are
usually measured in degrees. Since the entire circle is 360°, a semicircle (half a
circle) is an arc of 180°, and a quarter of a circle is an arc of 90°.

ABD is an arc.

AB is an arc.

BD is an arc.
A central angle is equal in measure to its intercepted arc.

Perimeter and Area

The perimeter of a circle is called the circumference. The length of the circumfer-
ence is pd, where d is the diameter, or 2pr, where r is the radius. The number p
is irrational and can be approximated by 3.14159..., but in problems dealing with
circles it is best to leave p in the answer. There is no fraction exactly equal to p.

Example 1
If the circumference of a circle is 8p feet, what is the radius?
Since C 5 2pr 5 8p, r 5 4 feet.
The length of an arc of a circle can be found if the central angle and radius are

known. Then, the length of arc is (2pr), where the central angle of the arc is
n°. This is true because of the proportion:
Arc central angle
Circumference 360°

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Example 2
If a circle with a radius of 3 feet has a central angle of 60°, find the length of the
arc intercepted by this central angle.
Arc 5 (2p3) 5 p feet
The area, A, of a circle is pr2, where r is the radius. If the diameter is given
instead of the radius,

A5p SD

Example 3
Find the area of a circular ring formed by two concentric circles with radii of 6
and 8 inches, respectively. (Concentric circles are circles with the same center.)
The area of the ring will equal the area of the large circle minus the area of
the small circle.
Area of ring 5 p82 2 p62
5 p(64 2 36)
5 28p square inches

Example 4
A square is inscribed in a circle whose diameter is 10 inches. Find the difference
between the area of the circle and that of the square.
If a square is inscribed in a circle, the diagonal of the square is the diameter
of the circle. If the diagonal of the square is 10 inches, then, by the Pythagorean
theorem, the side of the square s is =50, and the area of the square is 50 square

2s2 5 100
s2 5 50

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If the diameter of the circle is 10, its radius is 5 and the area of the circle is p52
5 25p square inches. Then, the difference between the area of the circle and the
area of the square is:
25p 2 50 square inches
5 25 (p22) square inches

Distance Formula
In the arithmetic section, we described the Cartesian coordinate system when
explaining how to draw graphs representing linear equations. If two points are
plotted in the Cartesian coordinate system, it is useful to know how to find the
distance between them. If the two points have coordinates (a, b) and (p, q), the
distance between them is:
d5 =~a 2 p!2 1 ~b 2 q!2
This formula makes use of the Pythagorean theorem.

Find the distance between the two points (23, 2) and (1, 21).

Let (a, b) 5 (23, 2) and (p, q) 5 (1, 21). Then:

d5 =~2321!2 1 @2 2 ~21!#2
5 =~24!2 1 ~2 1 1!2
5 =~24!2 1 32
5 =16 1 9 5 =25 5 5

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1. In triangle QRS, ∠Q 5 ∠R and ∠S 5 64°. Find the measures of ∠Q and ∠R.
2. In parallelogram ABCD, ∠A and ∠C are opposite angles. If ∠A 5 12x° and
∠C 5 (10x 1 12)°, find the measures of ∠A and ∠C.
3. What is the area of a trapezoid whose height is 5 feet and whose bases are
7 feet and 9 feet?

4. In the preceding figure, CF \ BG. Find the length of CF.

5. The hypotenuse of a right triangle is 25 feet. If one leg is 15 feet, find the
length of the other leg.
6. Find the area of a circle whose diameter is 16 inches.
7. Find the distance between the points (21, 22) and (5, 7).


1. ∠Q 1 ∠R 1 ∠S 5 180°
∠Q 1 ∠R 1 64° 5 180°
∠Q 1 ∠R 5 116°
Since ∠Q 5 ∠R, they each must have measures of 58°.
2. The opposite angles in a parallelogram are equal. Thus,
12x 5 10x 1 12
2x 5 12
Thus, 12x 5 12(6) 5 72.
∠A and ∠C both measure 72°.

3. A5h S D
b1 1 b2

55 S D SD
5 5~8! 5 40

The area of the trapezoid is 40.

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4. Since CF \ BG, DACF z DABG.

6 8
Therefore, 5
CF 12
8 CF 5 72
CF 5 9 inches.
5. Using the Pythagorean theorem,
a2 1 152 5 252
a2 1 225 5 625
a2 5 400
a 5 =400 5 20
The length of the other leg is 20.
6. If d 5 16, r 5 8. A 5 pr2 5 p(8)2 5 64p The area of the triangle is 64p.
7. d5 =~5 2 ~21!!2 1 ~7 2 ~22!!2
5 =62 1 92 5 =36 1 81 5 =117
The distance between the points is equal to =117.

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Quantitative Comparison questions are the only questions on the entire GRE CAT that are not ar-
ranged in the standard multiple-choice format. Instead, in each of these questions you are given two
quantities, one in Column A and one in Column B. Your job, simply put, is to determine which of
these two quantities is larger.
The answer scheme is simple. If the quantity in Column A is larger, you should answer (A). If the
quantity in Column B is larger, you should answer (B). If the two quantities are of identical size, the
correct answer is (C). Finally, if it is not possible to tell which quantity is larger, the answer is (D).
Occasionally there will be some additional information given to help you determine the relative
size of the two quantities. This information, when given, will be centered just above the Column A
and Column B entries.
Following are the actual directions as they appear on the GRE. They should be memorized so
that you do not waste time reading them when you take the actual test.

Numbers: All numbers used are real numbers.
Figures: Position of points, angles, regions, etc., can be assumed to be in the order shown; and angle
measures can be assumed to be positive.
Lines shown as straight can be assumed to be straight.
Figures can be assumed to lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated.
Figures that accompany questions are intended to provide information useful in answering the
questions. However, unless a note states that a figure is drawn to scale, you should solve these
problems NOT by estimating sizes by sight or by measurement, but by using your knowledge of



Directions: Each of the Questions 1–15 consists of two quantities, one in

Column A and one in Column B. You are to compare the two quantities and
(A) if the quantity in Column A is greater;
(B) if the quantity in Column B is greater;
(C) if the two quantities are equal;
(D) if the relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
Note: Since there are only four choices, NEVER mark (E).

In a question, information concerning one or both of the quantities to be com-
pared is centered above the two columns. A symbol that appears in both columns
represents the same thing in Column A as it does in Column B.

Example 1
Column A Column B
236 216
The correct answer is (A). 2 3 6 5 12, 2 1 6 5 8

Examples 2–4 refer to DPQR


Example 2
Column A Column B
The correct answer is (D). Equal measure cannot be assumed, even though PN
and NQ appear equal.

Example 3
Column A Column B
x y
The correct answer is (B). We know that N is between P and Q.

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Example 4
Column A Column B
w1z 180

The correct answer is (C). The line PQ is a straight line.

To gain a better understanding of choices (A) through (D), we will now look at
four examples. These examples have been selected so that the answer to the first
one is (A), the answer to the second is (B), and so on.

Directions: Each of the Questions 1–15 consists of two quantities, one in

Column A and one in Column B. You are to compare the two quantities and
(A) if the quantity in Column A is greater;
(B) if the quantity in Column B is greater;
(C) if the two quantities are equal;
(D) if the relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
Note: Since there are only four choices, NEVER mark (E).

Column A Column B
1. 1 x

The correct answer is (A). The equation given in the common information can
1 1
be solved to determine that x 5 5 4. Since 1 . 5 4, the answer is (A).
x x

2. =26 2 =10 =26 2 10

The correct answer is (B). The entry in Column B is equal to 4. While we
cannot exactly determine the value of Column A, if we estimate =26, and =10,
we can see that its value is close to 2.

3. 162 z

The correct answer is (C). Since a triangle contains 180°, y 1 4y° 1 90° 5
180°. Thus, 5y° 5 90° and y° 5 18°. Since z 1 y 5 180, z must be 162, and the
answer is (C).

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Column A Column B
x 5 64
4. 2 x

The correct answer is (D). Solving the equation given as common information, we
can determine that x is either 2 or 22. Thus, x is either less than or equal to 2.


Before we look at some specific problem-solving strategies for Quantitative
Comparison questions, let us examine some general strategies.

General Strategies
1. Remember that your goal is to do as little work as possible to answer the question. You
frequently don’t need to determine the actual size of the quantities in Columns A and B to
know which one is larger. As a simple example, if you have enough information to deter-
mine that the quantity in Column A is positive and the quantity in Column B is negative,
then the quantity in Column A is bigger, regardless of its actual value.
2. Unlike every other type of question on the GRE CAT, Quantitative Comparison questions
have only four possible choices.
3. Be sure that you understand the meaning of the answer choices. For example, choice (A)
indicates that the quantity in Column A is always bigger than the quantity in Column B. If
choice (A) is sometimes, but not always, bigger, the answer is choice (D). Similarly, choice
(C) is the answer only if the quantities are always equal.
4. Be sure that you do only as much math as is absolutely necessary to determine which
quantity is bigger. Estimate and approximate as much as possible. You can often answer a
question correctly by doing very little actual mathematical computation.
5. Whenever both of the given quantities are purely numerical (contain only numbers, no
letters), then both quantities have a definite size, and the answer cannot be choice (D). If
you are not sure how to answer a problem with two purely numerical entries, be sure to
guess either choices (A), (B), or (C).


Whenever you can, eliminate common factors and terms from Column A and
Column B. Then, simply compare the remaining quantities. Often, sums and
products can be compared term by term, or factor by factor.
Column A Column B
1. (108)2 2 (13)2 (108 213)2

The correct answer is (A). The quantity in Column A, when factored, becomes
(108 2 13)(108 1 13). The quantity in Column B is equal to (108 213)(108 2 13).
Upon canceling the common factor of (108 2 13), we see that we are comparing
(108 1 13) in Column A to (108 2 13) in Column B.

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Column A Column B
5 6 7 5 6 7
2. 1 1 1 1
6 7 8 7 8 9
The correct answer is (A). Simply note that each term in Column A is bigger
than the corresponding term in Column B.

3. 6(125)4 2(125)12

The correct answer is (C). Cancel the common factor of 125 from both sides.
Then, both sides become equal to 24.

Remember that you can often determine which quantity is bigger by simply
estimating sizes.

221 667
333 999

The correct answer is (B). Note that the quantity in Column A is less than
2 2
and that the quantity in Column B is greater than .
3 3

A Quantitative Comparison question can be treated as if it were an algebraic

inequality, with your job being to position the correct inequality sign (5, ,, .)
between entries. As such, you may perform any operation to both columns of the
question that you can perform on both sides of an inequality. This means,
whenever you wish, you can add or subtract the same number to Column A and
Column B, multiply or divide both columns by the same positive number, or
square both columns (if both entries are positive). This strategy can be used to
change the operations of subtraction and division to the relatively less confusing
operations of addition and multiplication.
Column A Column B
5. =89,905 300

The correct answer is (B). Square both sides. Column A becomes 89,905 and
Column B becomes 90,000.
6. =3 =3
The correct answer is (B). Do not waste any time estimating the values of the
quantities. Simply multiply both entries by =3. Column A is then equal to =3 3
=3 5 3, while Column B is equal to 3 =35 4. Since 4 . 3, the answer is (B).
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Column A Column B
5 1 5 6
7. 9 1 10 2
6 7 6 7
The correct answer is (C) Eliminate the subtraction in Column B by adding to
5 1 6
both entries. Column A then becomes 9 1 1 5
6 7 7
5 5 5 6 6 5
9 1 1 5 10 . Column B becomes 10 2 1 5 10 .
6 6 6 7 7 6

Whenever you are comparing quantities containing variables, remember to

consider both positive and negative values of the variables. Similarly, remember
that the variables could have fractional values.
Column A Column B
8. x y

The correct answer is (D). Many people might answer (B) for this, assuming
that x 5 4 and y 5 5. However, remember that x and y could also be fractional.
For example, x could be 4.5, while y is 4.1.
If the column entries contain algebraic operations, it frequently helps to begin by
performing these operations.
Column A Column B
a 5 22, c 5 5
9. 3a(2b 1 5c) 2a(3b 1 5c)

The correct answer is (B). To begin, expand both expressions. The entry in
Column A becomes 6ab 1 15ac. Column B becomes 6ab 1 10ac. Cancel the
common factor of 6ab and you’ll see that we are actually comparing 15ac in
Column A to 10ac in Column B. We know that a 5 22 and c 5 5. Thus, the
entry in Column A becomes 2150, while Column B becomes 2100.

See if the common information can be manipulated to a form that is similar in

appearance to the entry in one of the columns.
Column A Column B
5p 1 7q 5 13
10. 40 15p 1 21q

The correct answer is (A). If you multiply both sides of the equation given as
common information by 3, you will obtain 15p 1 21q 5 39. Thus, the value of
the expression in Column B is 39.

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When either of the column entries contain variables, it is often very helpful to
substitute numerical values for these variables and observe what happens. Any
substitution you make will enable you to eliminate two of the possible answer
choices. Suppose, for example, that you plug a value into the quantities, and for
this particular value the quantity in Column A turns out to be bigger. This means
that the answer cannot be choice (B) or choice (C). Either Column A is always
larger, choice (A), or sometimes larger, choice (D).
Column A Column B
r r21
s s21
The correct answer is (D). Try to substitute values for r and s. If, for example,
r r21
r 5 s 5 2, 5 . Thus, we know that the answer is either choice (C) or
s s21
choice (D). Now let r 5 0 and s 5 2. Then, the value in Column A becomes 0,
and the value in Column B becomes 2 . This result indicates that the correct
answer is (D).
Remember that powers of, roots of, and divisions by numbers between 0 and 1
behave differently than those with numbers greater than 1. For example, if you
square a number larger than 1, the resulting number is larger than the original;
yet, if you square a number less than 1 but greater than 0, the resulting number is
smaller than the original. Also, remember that powers of even and odd numbers
behave differently. The following examples illustrate some of these variations.
Column A Column B
12. x2 x3

The correct answer is (D). While intuition tells us that cubing a positive
number yields a larger result than squaring the number, this result is actually true
only for numbers bigger than 1. In fact, x2 5 x3 if x 5 1, and if x , 1, x2 . x3.
1 1 1
For example, if x 5 , then x2 5 and x3 5 . Thus, there is no way to tell if
2 4 8
x2 or x3 is larger.
13. x2 x3

The correct answer is (B). As long as we know that x . 1, we have x3 . x2.

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Column A Column B
14. 12 12z

The correct answer is (A). When 12 is divided by z, 0 , z , 1, will yield a

number greater than 12, while 12 multiplied by z, 0 , z , 1, will yield a number
smaller than 1.
Now turn to the Quantitative Comparisons practice section that follows and try
your hand at what you’ve learned.

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Unit 8

Directions: Each of the questions 1–15 consists of two quantities, one in

Column A and one in Column B. You are to compare the two quantities and
(A) if the quantity in Column A is greater;
(B) if the quantity in Column B is greater;
(C) if the two quantities are equal;
(D) if the relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
Note: Since there are only four choices, NEVER MARK (E).

All numbers used are real numbers.

Position of points, angles, regions, etc. can be assumed to be in the order shown,
and angle measures can be assumed to be positive.
Lines shown as straight can be assumed to be straight.
Figures can be assumed to lie in a plane unless otherwise indicated.
Figures that accompany questions are intended to provide information that is
useful in answering the questions. However, unless a note states that a figure is
drawn to scale, you should solve these problems NOT by estimating sizes by sight
or by measurement, but by using your knowledge of mathematics.

Common Information
In a question, information concerning one or both of the quantities to be com-
pared is centered above the two columns. A symbol that appears in both columns
represents the same thing in Column A as it does in Column B.

Example 1
Column A Column
236 216
The correct answer is (A). Since 2 3 6 5 12, 2 1 6 5 8


Examples 2–4 refer to DPQR

Example 2

Column A Column B
The correct answer is (D). Equal measure cannot be assumed, even though PN
and NQ appear equal.

Example 3
x y
The correct answer is (B). N is between P and Q.

Example 4
w1z 180
The correct answer is (C). PQ is a straight line.

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Directions: Each of the questions 1–30 consists of two quantities, one in

Column A and one in Column B. You are to compare the two quantities and
(A) if the quantity in Column A is greater;
(B) if the quantity in Column B is greater;
(C) if the two quantities are equal;
(D) if the relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
Note: Since there are only four choices, NEVER MARK (E).

Column A Column B
2 1
1. 7 7
3 3

12 S DS D

1 1 1 4
2. 12 2 2
10 5 3 15

1 3
3. of .25
3 5

1 1
4. The number of ’s The number of ’s (one-sixteenths)
16 16
1 3 1 3
(one-sixteenths) in of . in of .
3 4 4 4

5. Average price per pound of a Average of $1.09, $2.19, and $4.75

mixture of 3 lbs. of nuts at $1.89
per pound and 2 lbs. of pecans at
$1.49 per pound

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Column A Column B
6. N 3 (N 1 1) N2 1 1

7y 5 28

7. y (22)2

8. x2y y2x

9. 6x 1 7y 5 45 xy

r5 z
p5 z

p z2

11. (y 1 3)2 (y 1 3)

12. S D
3 2

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Column A Column B

13. a° 1

=7 3
3 =7

10b 2 17 5 13
9z 2 27 5 0

15. b z

16. .2y 5 2.6 6y 2 5.7 5 5y 1 7.3

x 20
x y
Perimeter 5 72 Area 5 320

17. x y

x 1 3 . 26

18. x 218

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Column A Column B
x Þ 3, x Þ 0

19. x23
Reciprocal of x
x2 2 3x

a1b 7
b 2

20. a:b 2.75

x 5 3y

21. x:y y:x


2x3 2 3x2 2x 2 3


23. Average of x 2 8 and 3x 1 2 4x2 2 9

2x 1 3

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Column A Column B

24. x2 1 x
S D =3

∠BFC and ∠DFE are right angles.

25. ∠3 ∠1

Questions 26 and 27 refer to the drawing below.

26. ∠4 ∠2

27. ∠4 1 ∠3 ∠1 1 ∠2 1 ∠3

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Column A Column B
Questions 28 and 29 refer to the drawing below,

Line r is parallel to line s.

28. ∠k ∠g

29. ∠j ∠l

30. ∠H ∠L

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Quick Score Answers

1. A 6. D 11. D 16. C 21. A 26. A
2. A 7. C 12. B 17. A 22. C 27. C
3. B 8. D 13. C 18. D 23. C 28. C
4. A 9. D 14. B 19. C 24. C 29. A
5. B 10. C 15. C 20. B 25. C 30. A


1. The correct answer is (A).
Column A Column B
2 1
7 7
3 3

12 S DS D

4 5 5 6
3 Simplify denominator. 3 Simplify denominator.
5 12 6 15
1 1 1 1
4 5 1 5 6 1
3 5 3 5
5 12 3 6 15 3
1 3 1 3
Cancel 5’s and 4’s. Cancel 5’s and 6’s.
2 1
7 . 7 (Consider the size of the numerators since the denominators are the
3 3

2. The correct answer is (A). Find the least-common denominator.

Column A Column B
1 3 3 4 2 8
3 5 Change 3 5
10 3 30 15 2 30
1 6 6 11 8
3 5 Hence .
5 6 30 30 30
1 10 10
3 5
3 10 30
19 30 19
Subtract 1 2 5 2
30 30 30

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3. The correct answer is (B).

Column A Column B

1 3 Convert .25 to a fraction and reduce

of 25
3 5
.25 5
1 3 Cancel out 25’s:
Multiply 3
3 5
25 1
Cancel out 3’s: 5
100 4
1 3 1
3 5
3 5 5

Same numerator, smaller denominator—greater (larger) fraction.

4. The correct answer is (A).

Column A Column B

1 3 1 3
Multiply 3 Multiply 3
3 4 4 4
Cancel out 3’s: 1 3 3
1 3 5
4 4 16
1 3 1
3 5
3 4 4

1 4 4
3 5
4 4 16

4 3
16 16
Or, simply notice that the numerator in Column A is larger than that of Column B
and, therefore, must contain more sixteenths.

5. The correct answer is (B).

Column A Column B
Multiply $1.89 3 3 5 $5.67 Add $1.09 1 $2.19 1 $4.75 5 $8.03
Multiply $1.49 3 2 5 $2.98 Divide $8.03 4 3 5 $2.68
Add $5.67 1 $2.98 5 $8.65
Divide $8.65 4 5 lbs. 5 $1.73
$1.73 . $2.68
6. The correct answer is (D). N 3 (N 1 1) 5 N2 1 N. Thus, N2 1 N and N2 1 1
cannot have any relationship determined since N does not have any given
numerical value.

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7. The correct answer is (C). Solve

7y 5 28
~22!2 5 ~222!~22!
8. The correct answer is (D). No relationship can be determined since there are no
values for x or y.
9. The correct answer is (D). No relationship can be determined between x and y.
p r
10. The correct answer is (C). . Thus, p 3 5 p 3 r. Invert divisor and multiply
1 1
2 3 2 3
z 3 z. Substitute values for p and r: 3 3 z 3 z. Cancel out 2’s and 3’s:
3 2 3 2
1z2 5 z2.
11. The correct answer is (D). (y 1 3)2 5 (y 1 3)(y 1 3). Column A has two factors
of (y 1 3). Column B has one factor of (y 1 3). No relationship can be determined
since y has no numerical value.
12. The correct answer is (B).
Column A Column B

3 2
5 2
3 3
2 5
6 3 15
5 5
10 5 25

9 15
25 25
13. The correct answer is (C). a° has a value of 1.
14. The correct answer is (B). Multiply both sides by 3=7. Then, Column A becomes
=73 3 7 5 7 3 7 5 7. Column B becomes 3 3 3 7 5 9.
= = = =
3 =7
15. The correct answer is (C).
Column A Column B

10b 2 17 5 13 9z 2 27 5 0
1 17 1 17 1 27 1 27
10b 5 30 9z 5 27
(additive inverse) (additive inverse)
b53 z53

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16. The correct answer is (C).

Column A Column B
.2y 5 2.6 6y 2 5.7 5 5y 1 7.3
Divide by .2 25y 1 5.7 5 5y 1 5.7
y 5 13 (additive inverse)
y 5 13.0
17. The correct answer is (A).
Column A Column B

2l 1 2w 5 p y~20! 5 area

2 x 1 2~x! 5 72
20y 5 320
Divide by 20
8 y 5 16
x 1 2x 5 72
8 10x
x1 5 72
5 5
x 5 72
Divide by . Invert the divisor and
5 5
multiply by x 5 72 3
18 18
Cancel out 18’s:
72 5
x5 3
1 18
x 5 20
18. The correct answer is (D). Solve
x 1 3 . 26
23 23
x . 29
Multiply by 3

3 S1
x . 29 D
x . 227
Thus x . 227, but we have no way of telling if x . 218.

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19. The correct answer is (C).

Column A Column B
Reciprocal of x x23 x23 1
Factor 2 5 5
x 2 3x x~x 2 3! x
1 1
x x

a1b 7
20. The correct answer is (B). Solve 5 product extremes equals product of
b 2
means 2~a 1 b! 5 7b

2a 1 2b 5 7b
2 2b 5 2b ~additive inverse!
Divide by 2b

2a 5b
2b 2b
a 5
a:b 5 5
b 2
a:b 5 5 2.50
2.50 , 2.75
x 3
21. The correct answer is (A). Solve x 5 3y. Divide by y: 5
y 1
Column A Column B
x:y 5 3:1 y:x 5 1:3
3 1
1 3
2x3 2 3x2 x2~2x 2 3!
22. The correct answer is (C). Factor 5 5 2x 2 3.
x2 x2
23. The correct answer is (C).
Column A Column B

x 2 81 3x 1 2 4x2 2 9 ~2x 2 3!~2x 1 3!

Factor 5
2 2x 1 3 2x 1 3
4x 2 6 Reduce and cancel out
2x 2 3.
2x 2 3

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24. The correct answer is (C).

Column A Column B

Substitute x 5
x2 1 x
S D S= DS= D

5 SD1 2 1


1 1 5
5 1 4
4 2
25. The correct answer is (C).
∠3 1 ∠2 5 90° complementary angles
∠2 1 ∠1 5 908 complementary
∠3 5 ∠1 angles complementary to the same angle are equal.
26. The correct answer is (A). ∠4 5 ∠1 1 ∠2 exterior angle is equal to the sum of
two nonadjacent interior angles ∠4 . ∠2.
27. The correct answer is (C). ∠4 1 ∠3 5 180° supplementary angles 5 180°.
∠1 1 ∠2 1 ∠3 5 180° sum of angles in a triangle 5 180°.
28. The correct answer is (C). ∠k 5 ∠g alternate interior angles are equal.
29. The correct answer is (A). ∠l 5 55° alternate interior angles are equal. ∠j 1 55°
supplementary angles 5 180°
∠j 5 125°
∠j . ∠l
30. The correct answer is (A).
Column A Column B
∠H 1 50°1 50° 5 180°. Sum of ∠L 1 70° 1 50° 5 180°. Sum of
the angles in a triangle 5 180°. the angles in a triangle 5 180°.

∠H 1 100 5 180 ∠L 1 120 5 180

∠H 5 80 ∠L 5 60
∠L 5 60

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Data Analysis questions are based on data contained in tables and graphs. Typically, all five questions
in this portion of the test are based on one or two tables or graphs. In each question you will need to
make use of a portion of the data contained in the table or graph.
On the following pages you will find a thorough review of graph and table reading and analysis.
Before you go over this information, read and remember the following suggestions and reminders:
1. If a problem involves more than one graph or table, make sure to use the appropriate one
to answer the question you are working on.
2. Many of the graphs on the GRE CAT contain a tremendous amount of information. Do not
try to understand such a graph all at once. Instead, analyze it carefully, focusing on impor-
tant information such as:
• the title of the graph and any subtitles;
• the quantities represented by the axes of a line or bar graph, or by the sectors of a
circle graph;
• any numerical scaling factor use (for example, “all numbers in millions”);
• any legends indicating what particular symbols or shadings represent; and
• the range of numerical values that the graph represents.
3. Some questions that appear to involve a lot of computation can actually be answered
quickly by estimating and approximating values. Always remember that one of the multiple-
choice answers must be correct.
4. Make sure that you do not confuse decimals and percents. Some graphs may indicate
percents along their axes; others may contain actual numerical values.
5. As always, use only information given in the graphs to help you answer the questions. Do
not ever use any outside knowledge that you may have.
6. If possible, see if answers can be visualized. For example, if a problem asks for the average
of two of the numbers on a graph, try to estimate the midpoint of the two numbers instead
of doing the actual computation.


Unit 9

Tables and graphs give visual comparisons of amount. They show relationships
between two or more sets of information. It is essential to be able to read tables
and graphs correctly.

Tables present data corresponding to classifications by row and column. Tables al-
ways state the units (thousands of people, years, millions of dollars, for example) in
which the numbers are expressed. Sometimes the units are percents. Both specific
and general questions can be answered by using the information in the table.
(Notice that in this table the numbers are given in thousands, so that the
number speaking German at home, for example, is not 1,261 but 1,261,000.)

Persons 5 Years Old and Over Speaking Various Languages at Home, by Age
(Numbers in thousands: civilian noninstitutional population)

5 years
Language spoken old and 5 to 13 14 to 17 18 to 24 25 to 44 45 to 64 65 to 74 75 years
at home over years years years years years years and over
Total 200.812 30,414 15,955 27,988 59,385 43,498 15,053 8,519
Percent 15.1 7.9 13.9 29.6 21.7 7.5 4.2
Speaking English 176.319 15.4 8.0 14.1 29.5 21.5 7.4 4.0
Speaking other 17,985 14.4 6.9 12.6 30.8 21.8 7.5 6.0
Chinese 514 12.5 5.8 15.8 34.8 21.2 6.8 3.1
French 987 8.1 5.5 10.2 29.9 30.4 9.9 6.0
German 1,261 5.4 7.1 10.8 24.3 27.4 12.8 12.2
Greek 365 16.7 4.9 10.4 38.1 21.9 4.4 3.6
Italian 1,354 7.5 4.9 8.1 19.3 31.5 15.1 13.7
Japanese 265 7.9 6.8 7.9 27.2 36.6 9.4 3.8
Korean 191 16.2 5.8 17.8 35.6 19.9 3.7 1.0
Filipino 419 10.7 5.3 8.6 40.8 20.3 7.2 6.9
Polish 731 2.7 1.4 3.7 13.8 45.7 21.6 10.9
Portuguese 245 15.9 8.6 12.2 33.9 22.0 3.7 3.3
Spanish 8,768 20.2 8.8 15.4 34.6 15.8 3.1 2.2
Yiddish 234 8.5 0.4 3.0 15.8 20.9 29.1 21.8
Other 2,651 10.0 4.9 10.8 30.3 23.3 10.1 10.6
Not reported 6,508 11.1 8.4 13.5 26.9 25.1 9.5 5.6


Example 1
What language is spoken at home by almost one-half of those not speaking English
at home?
Spanish; 8,768/17,985 is about 48%.

Example 2
What language has the highest percent of its speakers in the 45- to 64-year-old age
Polish, with 45.7%

Example 3
How many persons between the ages of 18 and 24 speak Korean at home?
There are 191,000 of all ages speaking Korean, of which 17.8% are between
18 and 24:
.178 3 191,000 5 33,998 persons
Bar Graphs
Bar graphs may be horizontal or vertical, but both axes are designed to give informa-
tion. The height (or width) of the bar is proportional to the number or percent rep-
resented. Bar graphs are less accurate than tables but give a quick comparison of
information. There may be only two variables, as in the following graph. One is the
year and the other is the percentage of the labor force made up of women.

Women as a Percentage of the Labor Force

Between which 10 years does the chart show the greatest percent increase of
women in the labor force?
For each of the 10-year periods there is some increase. Subtract each percent
from the one to the right of it; four subtractions. The greatest increase, 4.6%,
occurs between 1970 and 1980.
In this bar graph, percents are written at the top of each bar. This is not always
the case. If the numbers are not given, you must read across, using a ruler or
card, to the relevant axis and estimate the height.

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Bar graphs such as the following one can compare two sets of data for varying
years. This graph shows, for example, that 86.8% of the male population 16 years
old and over was in the labor force in 1950. In that same year, 33.9% of the
female population was in the labor force. It gives different information than the
previous graph.

Percentage of Population 16 Years Old

and Over in the Labor Force

Explain the apparent discrepancy for the year 1990 between the percentage for
women in this graph (47.8%) and that in the previous graph (40.3%).
This graph shows that 47.8% of all women were in the labor force in
1990—that is, 47.8% of 100 women were working. The previous graph
showed that 40.3% of 100 workers, or 40.3%, were women. There is no
discrepancy. The populations are different.
These graphs are similar to bar graphs, but each bar contains more than one kind
of information and the total height is the sum of the various components. The
following graph gives percentages for college graduates on the bottom and high
school graduates on the top. There might well be other gradations, such as “some
college” above the college section and “some high school” above the high school
section as well.

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Percent of Persons 25 Years Old and Over Who

Were High School and College Graduates,
by Region: 1980, 1990, and 2000

Example 1
For each of the 3 years, which region consistently has the lowest percentage of
college graduates?
North Central

Example 2
Which region has the lowest total educational attainment for each of the 3 years?

Example 3
In 2000, which region had the highest percentage of high school graduates, and
what was it?
For 2000, subtract the percent for college graduates from the total percent;
four subtractions. The highest is the West, with 75.8% 2 20.1% 5 55.7%.

Example 4
Which region had the greatest percentage increase of college graduates between
1990 and 2000?
The West, with 20.1% 2 13.8% 5 6.3%.

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Circle Graphs—Pie Charts

Percent Distribution of Voters in the Last Election by
Years of School Completed and Family Income

Years of School Completed Family Income

(Restricted to Persons Living in Primary Families)

Circle graphs, also known as pie charts, show the breakdown of an entire
quantity, such as a college budget, into its component parts. The circle represent-
ing 100% of the quantity is cut into pieces, each piece having a certain percentage
value. The sum of the pieces is 100%. The size of the piece is proportional to the
size of the percent. To make a circle graph, you must have an instrument called a
protractor, which measures degrees. Suppose the measured quantity is 10% of the
whole. Because 10% of 360° is 36°, a central angle of 36° must be measured and
radii drawn. This piece now has an area of 10% of the circle. When answering
questions on circle graphs, compare percentages.

Example 1
Of those who voted in the last election, what percentage attended college at some
This information is in the first graph. Add 20.6% to 19.3% to get 39.9%.

Example 2
Of those who voted in the last election and who reported their income levels,
what percentage had a family income below $10,000?
This information is in the second graph. Add 4.2% to 11.6% to get 15.8%.

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Line Graphs
Like bar graphs, line graphs follow vertical and horizontal information axes, but
the line graph is continuous. There may be a single broken line or there may be
several, comparing three or four stocks or incomes or, as in the case of this
graph, numbers of workers in selected occupations. The line graph shows trends:
increasing, decreasing, or not changing.
In the graph below, the actual number of people in an occupation in a given year
must be estimated. For example, the number of social workers in 1985 seems to be 14
million, and the number of white-collar workers for the same year is about 40 million.

Number of Workers in Selected Occupations

(In Millions)

Example 1
In 1995, what was the total number of workers in all four occupations?
Estimate each number by comparison with the values at the left. Then add the
four. Estimates: farm workers, 3 million; social workers, 18 million; blue-collar
workers, 35 million; and white-collar workers, 52 million. Total, 108 million.
Since the scale on graphs is usually marked in large increments, since the lines
used are often thick, and since the estimates must often be made on the side of
the graph far from the scale, use whole numbers as much as possible when
estimating. Use only the fraction one-half (1/2) if your judgment tells you some-
thing less than a whole number should be used. Because all the information must
be estimated, units less than one-half will not significantly affect your answer. Do
not spend time trying to figure out the precise number on the scale. A reasonable
estimate should let your answer be within 1 or 2 percent on either side of the
correct answer choice. As part of your strategy for dealing with graphs, look at
the answer choices to get an idea of the magnitude of your estimate before doing
the estimating. Choose the answer choice closest to your estimate.

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Example 2
If your estimate is 97 million and the answer choices are 3 million, 0.5 million, 90
million, 103 million, and 98 million, choose 98 million as your answer.

Use this bar graph to answer the following questions.

Student Enrollments: State U. vs. Thomas U.

1. What was the enrollment at State U. in 1980?
2. In 1990, how many more students were enrolled at State U. than at Thomas U.?
3. If the average tuition at State U. in 2000 was $6,500, what was the total
revenue received in tuition at State U. that year?
4. In 1990, 74% of the students enrolled at State U. were males. How many
males attended State U. in 1990?
5. Find the percent of increase in enrollment at Thomas U. from 1980 to 1990.


1. 8,000 students
2. 14,000 2 12,000 5 2,000 students
3. 12,000 3 $6,500 5 $78,000,000
4. 14,000 3 74% 5 14,000 3 .74 5 10,360 students
5. Increase in enrollment 5 12,000 - 10,000 5 2,000
Percent of increase in enrollment 5 2,000 4 10,000 5 5 20%

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Practice Test 1

Directions: Present your perspective on the issue below, using relevant

reasons and/or examples to support your views. Time—45 minutes. (Note: In the
actual GRE, you will be given a choice of two issues.)

“Schools should be responsible only for teaching academic skills and not for
teaching sex education.”

Directions: Discuss how well-reasoned you find this argument.

Time—30 minutes.

The following appeared in an announcement by the manufacturer of Roland

Rainwear, a clothing manufacturer:
“Since a competing lower-priced product line of outdoor clothing, TrekOut
Gear, was started five years ago, Roland Rainwear’s sales have declined by
10,000 units per month. The best way to get more people to purchase
Roland Rainwear is to reduce its price below that of TrekOut Gear, at least
until sales increase to former levels. The increased sales of Roland Rainwear
will attract more distributors to carry our product.”

Practice Test 2

Directions: Present your perspective on the issue below, using relevant

reasons and/or examples to support your views. Time—45 minutes. (Note: In the
actual GRE, you will be given a choice of two issues.)

“The reading of books is not important today. People can learn as much by
watching television or movies as they can by reading books.”

Directions: Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.

Time—30 minutes.

The following appeared in the editorial section of a newspaper in the country of

“The practice of officially changing seat-belt laws on the highways—whether
requiring them or eliminating them—is a dangerous one. Consider what
happened over the past decade whenever neighboring Serenia changed its
seat-belt laws: an average of 9 percent more automobile accidents occurred
during the week following the change than had occurred during the week
preceding it—even when the seat-belt law was required. This statistic shows
that the change in seat-belt law adversely affected the alertness of drivers.”

Practice Test 1


Directions: Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating
that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five lettered words or
sets of words. Choose a set of words for each pair of blanks that best fits the
meaning of the sentence as a whole.

1. While the instructor claimed his comments were ______ to a mild warning,
his students recognized his tone as ______ and responded with haste.
(A) tantamount. .scathing
(B) equivalent. .embrocation
(C) maladroit. .inimical
(D) reticulate. .circumspect
(E) countermand. .loquacious
2. Although typically unpleasant and ______ in business decisions out of his
purview, the junior vice president was often rewarded for his remarkable
(A) bungling. .demagoguery
(B) onerous. .gerrymandering
(C) finical. .dissipation
(D) exemplar. .ignominy
(E) officious. .perspicacity
3. Even though he was only a neophyte in the business, he effectively used
______ methods to ______ himself with the manager.
(A) audacious. .reprove
(B) obsequious. .ingratiate
(C) obdurate. .extradite
(D) stentorian. .vacillate
(E) desultory. .embrangle
4. In ancient Greece, ______ warfare between city-states decimated the
population with ______ loss of lives.
(A) equitable. .needless
(B) quixotic. .cynical
(C) recondite. .immoderate
(D) splendiferous. .superfluous
(E) internecine. .prodigious


5. Only someone with incredible ______ is likely to find ______ in a poten-

tially disastrous contretemps.
(A) faux pas. .topiary
(B) dichotomy. .guerdon
(C) erudition. .morass
(D) sanguinity. .serendipity
(E) savoir-faire. .acumen
6. The irate customer became ______, and then he ______ against the mechan-
ic’s unfair practices and outrageous fees for car repairs.
(A) mendacious. .seethed
(B) lachrymose. .jeered
(C) apoplectic. .fulminated
(D) stultified. .scoffed
(E) desolate. .denigrated


Directions: Each item below consists of a word printed in capital letters,

followed by five lettered words or phrases. Choose the lettered word or phrase
that is more nearly opposite in meaning from the word in capital letters. Since
some of the questions require you to distinguish fine shades of meaning, be sure
to consider all the choices before deciding which one is best.

(A) limber
(B) lissome
(C) adipose
(D) vile
(E) disingenuous
(A) panegyric
(B) censure
(C) declamation
(D) oratory
(E) pastiche
(A) sycophant
(B) zealot
(C) hedonist
(D) pariah
(E) tyro

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(A) splendor
(B) alacrity
(C) luster
(D) indolence
(E) declivity
(A) desolation
(B) strife
(C) mandate
(D) concord
(E) dearth
(A) docile
(B) inculpable
(C) dubious
(D) usurious
(E) diffident
(A) volatile
(B) enigmatic
(C) fulsome
(D) esoteric
(E) salutary
(A) simulate
(B) palliate
(C) compliment
(D) elucidate
(E) portend
(A) inveigh
(B) repulse
(C) malinger
(D) herald
(E) impugn

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Directions: Each passage in this group is followed by questions based on its

content. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question.
Answer all questions following a passage on the basis of what is stated or
implied in that passage.

Line There are 160 million people in the United States who wear contact lenses or
glasses, many of whom are tired of the inconvenience, ongoing expense, and
ineffectiveness of prescription lenses. More and more Americans, almost 500,000,
will have undergone corrective surgery to improve their vision. The surgical
5 process is called LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). The procedure can
take less than 15 minutes and is performed by an ophthalmologist. The results are
impressive, with seven out of ten people having their vision corrected to 20/20.
The majority of the remainder of people could drive without the use of corrective
lenses. In the future, experts are expecting that the majority of people will see
10 better than 20/20.
The procedure begins by marking the cornea with ink, then dropping a
liquid anesthetic into the patient’s eye. The ink is water soluble and harmless and
is used to help reposition the flaps of the cornea. Then a suction ring stabilizes
the eye and pressure is applied to allow for a clean cut by the microkeratome (the
15 cutting instrument), which glides across the moistened surface of the cornea,
cutting the outer layers and stopping automatically. An uncut section acts as a
hinge. The attached cornea is then lifted, and the layers below are excised by the
laser. A computer guides the laser as it reshapes the cornea. To correct farsighted-
ness, a piece of tissue shaped like a doughnut ring is removed. If the cornea’s
20 center is trimmed, thereby making it flatter, nearsightedness is corrected. The
hinged flap is then put back in position.
While the procedure is effective for the majority of patients, even those with
an astigmatism, other LASIK patients have had problems. A diminishing of contrast
has made driving a car more difficult, especially at night. Everyone experiences
25 glare and halo effect in the beginning, but, for some, it becomes a permanent
disability. Also, as people age, most need bifocals for closer work. This is due to a
condition called prebyopia (lenses in the eyes lose their ability to curve enough;
therefore it is difficult to focus on close objects). LASIK can’t help or prevent this
30 There are other alternatives being explored to improve vision. INTACS are
crescent shaped rings that are removable. They are placed within the cornea,
leaving it intact. It works well for minimal nearsightedness, but is not effective for
extreme nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
CUSTOM LASIK is adjusted for specific differences in an individual’s cornea,
35 lens, and retina. It corrects both nearsightedness (sometimes to 20/10) and
farsightedness with or without astigmatism. The main disadvantage is that it
permanently alters the curve of the cornea. INTRAOCULAR LENSES are implanted
behind the iris or the cornea. These are also removable and leave the cornea in

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one piece; however, they may cause injury to the cornea, intraocular infection,
40 and cataracts. They are effective for correcting both high degrees of nearsighted-
ness and farsightedness.
Although the risks are small for LASIK surgery, they are real and serious;
therefore, one must consider the reasons for opting for the surgery. Americans
seem to have a penchant for the “cure,” the quick fix, and, as a result, people
45 may rush too quickly for what they see to be a panacea. When it comes to eye
surgery that could possibly cause worse problems than it “cures,” no matter how
small the risk, it is wise to explore all of the options.

1. The name of the eye surgery, LASIK, as it appears in the regular surgery and
the CUSTOM LASIK surgery, is
(A) an acronym for the names of the doctors that developed the proce-
(B) the brand name of the surgical instrument that is used for the proce-
(C) an acronym for the surgical procedure that tells how the surgery is
(D) the generic name of the anesthetic used.
(E) the Latin prefix of a longer medical term.
2. The cornea is marked with ink (line 11) in order to
(A) align the suction ring to attach it to the eyeball.
(B) determine where the layers below the cornea are to be excised.
(C) measure the movement of the eye during surgery.
(D) aid in replacing the hinged flaps of the cornea.
(E) measure swelling of the eye after the operation has been completed.
3. The difference between correcting nearsightedness and farsightedness
depends on the
(A) marking of the cornea with ink.
(B) pressure exerted by the suction ring.
(C) size of the microkeratome.
(D) repositioning of the cornea flaps.
(E) way that the cornea is either cut or trimmed.
4. Of all the procedures described in the article, which of the following are
effective for correcting vision with or without astigmatism?

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Line Researchers have been trying to find new methods to combat one of the peskiest
of natural enemies in nature: the fire ant. They are known for their aggressiveness
and the painful stings and bites they deliver. Fire ants have displaced ants that are
native to the United States. The huge mounds that they inhabit are now being
5 seen around the South. The pests came from South America; it is believed that
they arrived in the 1930s aboard ships that docked at Gulf ports, such as Mobile,
Alabama. Since they have no natural enemies outside of their original habitat, they
have been able to multiply more readily and now are in 12 Southern states and
Puerto Rico, occupying more than an astonishing 300 million acres. Fire ants have
10 also been discovered in New Mexico and California.
Because of prolific breeding, their numbers alone, not to mention their
tenacity, preclude eradicating them entirely, but researchers are trying to control
them. One way to achieve this, possibly, is to use their natural enemies imported
from their original habitat. For example, there is a fly that preys on fire ants by
15 beheading them. Also, there is a disease that is a natural enemy of the fire ant
because it substantially reduces the egg production of the queen. However, any
insect introduced into the United States for the purpose of controlling other
insects has to go through a strict quarantine process developed by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture under the supervision of experts in the field of
20 entomology.
Ironically, farmers do not mind the insects and find them useful because they
actually kill other crop pests. However, when fire ant colonies and the larvae,
which are about the size of a pin point, are disturbed, the results can be disas-
trous with the likelihood of multiple stings. The dangerous truth is that one
25 percent of the population can be fatally allergic to the venom of the insects. The
insects pose other problems like shorting electrical connections and burrowing
that can damage the foundation of roads resulting in pot holes on the surface.
Although the pest cannot be eradicated, the fight against the fire ant will
continue with USDA entomologists studying what disease will effectively limit
30 their numbers.

1. An antonym for “prolific,” as it is used in line 11, is

(A) fecund.
(B) laborious.
(C) luxuriant.
(D) barren.
(E) lugubrious.
2. The word “entomology” (line 20) means the study of
(A) agriculture.
(B) infectious diseases.
(C) insects.
(D) reproduction.
(E) import/export protocol.

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3. It is ironic that farmers do not mind the insects because

(A) the foundation of roads can be damaged.
(B) people can be injured.
(C) electrical connections can be shorted.
(D) people can be fatally allergic to the venom of fire ants.
(E) insects usually destroy crops, not kill other crop pests.
4. The tone of the article is one of
(A) desperation over an enigmatic problem.
(B) defeat because fire ants cannot be completely destroyed.
(C) victory over the success of new methods of control.
(D) reconciliation in limiting their numbers.
(E) confusion because of the failure to keep fire ants out of the country.

Line The hippocampus is located inside the brains of both humans and mice; hence,
research is being done on the latter to see if its function can be improved. Both
the hippocampus and the medial temporal lobe are critical in the process of
learning by helping transform short-term memory into permanent memory—one
5 of the cornerstones in the foundation of the learning process itself.
Scientists are currently experimenting with increasing more of a single gene,
NR2B, that aids in building a protein called NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate). This
very consequential protein, located at the end of dendrites (vein-like projections
that extend from nerve and brain cells), functions as a receptor for detailed
10 chemical signals. The function of these signals is to condition brain cells to fire in
patterns that repeat. These repeating patterns are what the brain acknowledges as
memories. The NR2B gene is copious in the hippocampus portion of the brains of
mice that are young; however, after they reach sexual maturity, the amount is
greatly reduced. Researchers are experimenting with increasing NR2B in adult
15 mice thereby giving the mature animals the same learning skills of the young
mice. NMDA receptors need two independent signals: one is in the form of a
glutamate molecule that is transmitted by the axon of a cell that is close by; the
second one is an electric signal that is released within the cell itself. The signals
unblock the NMDA receptors allowing calcium to come in, and this assists in the
20 formation of memories. Mice, genetically altered by splicing the gene that creates
NR2B into their DNA, consistently performed better in learning and memory tests
than the control mice used in experiments. In addition, the sensitivity of their
brain cells increased in response to new and different stimuli.
No researchers have experimented with the NR2B gene in humans in a
25 similar manner; however, drugs may be developed that increase its function. By
doing this, the ability to learn and remember would be increased even with the
onset of aging. Also, this research may produce new therapies for the treatment of
memory problems that are the result of illness or injury, learning disabilities, and,
even, Alzheimer’s disease.

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1. It is desirable to have brain cells fire in repeating patterns because

(A) the process uses fewer receptors to record memory.
(B) they are acknowledged as memories.
(C) the time needed to memorize is decreased.
(D) NMDA receptors are unblocked.
(E) calcium is released.
2. In line 12, the word “copious” most closely means
(A) replete.
(B) meager.
(C) mutated.
(D) interspersed.
(E) vicious.
3. When NR2B is increased in adult mice, it improves long term memory by
(A) aiding in the building of a protein called NMDA that acts as a receptor.
(B) unblocking receptors and permitting calcium to enter.
(C) producing an electric signal within the cell structure.
(D) forming glutamate molecules that signal brain cells.
(E) increasing the size of the hippocampus and medial temporal lobe.
4. Humans may benefit from these studies because
(A) splicing of NR2B genes is being done on human DNA.
(B) mice and humans both have a hippocampus located in their brains.
(C) NMDA protein based receptors are being created in the human brain.
(D) therapeutic drugs are being developed that augment the function of
the NR2B gene.
(E) the NR2B gene is abundant in the brain of young humans.


Directions: In each of the following questions, five lettered pairs of words or

phrases follow a related pair of words or phrases. Select the lettered pair that
best expresses a relationship similar to that expressed in the original pair.

(A) ode : poem
(B) novel : nonfiction
(C) puzzle : cryptogram
(D) diary : repartee
(E) lyric : refrain

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(A) relinquish : pertinacious
(B) steep : strong
(C) schism : abyss
(D) scull : yacht
(E) pilfer : filch
(A) verbose : prolix
(B) clemency : pardon
(C) callow : cosmopolitan
(D) bungle : boast
(E) dilatory : widen
(A) radio : medley
(B) clarinet : melody
(C) microphone : sing
(D) harp : complain
(E) snare : drum
(A) fen : bog
(B) snake : skin
(C) shed : rest
(D) mud : medicine
(E) slumber : insomnia
(A) tomahawk : wickiup
(B) grenade : artillery
(C) javelin : competition
(D) carbine : rifle
(E) catapult : siege
(A) ruminate : spurn
(B) impugn : endorse
(C) grovel : glorify
(D) mollify : mitigate
(E) quibble : masticate

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Practice Test 2


Directions: Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating
that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five lettered words or
sets of words. Choose a set of words for each pair of blanks that best fits the
meaning of the sentence as a whole.

1. Making a(n) ______ visit to his ______, the unknown thief sought reassur-
ance that no one had discovered his crime.
(A) prurient. .domicile
(B) nefarious. .morass
(C) irrefutable. .acumen
(D) surreptitious. .cache
(E) supercilious. .tirade
2. Some regard ______ as a ______ for the year 2000.
(A) millennium. .misnomer
(B) imprecation. .moniker
(C) bruit. .bellwether
(D) euphoria. .malaise
(E) volition. .malapropism
3. Despite her eagerness to see DaVinci’s Mona Lisa in the Louvre, she ______
indifference to appear ______.
(A) goaded. .ineffable
(B) feigned. .sophisticated
(C) deigned. .provincial
(D) imbued. .bibulous
(E) obfuscated. .munificent
4. On election day, the presidential candidate’s ______ supporters braved the
______ weather in Maine to vote in the primary.
(A) officious. .nebulous
(B) motley. .ribald
(C) moribund. .placid
(D) partisan. .fungible
(E) staunch. .inclement


5. Almost lulled to sleep by the candidate’s ______ speech, the audience

seemed to fall into a state of ______.
(A) convoluted. .ecstasy
(B) vociferous. .apostasy
(C) turgid. .torpor
(D) acerbic. .sloth
(E) discursive. .effervescence
6. The old farmer’s ______ labor and wisdom about planting invariably
produced ______ fields of soybeans.
(A) erudite. .evanescent
(B) assiduous. .verdant
(C) obdurate. .palpable
(D) incipient. .labyrinthine
(E) infinitesimal. .scanty


Directions: Each item below consists of a word printed in capital letters,

followed by five lettered words or phrases. Choose the lettered word or phrase
that is more nearly opposite in meaning from the word in capital letters. Since
some of the questions require you to distinguish fine shades of meaning, be sure
to consider all the choices before deciding which one is best.

(A) sardonic
(B) ascetic
(C) nascent
(D) envisaged
(E) insolvent
(A) sugary
(B) resonant
(C) risible
(D) supercilious
(E) cacophonous
(A) sin
(B) pedantry
(C) virtue
(D) riata
(E) condolence

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(A) multifarious
(B) amorous
(C) clandestine
(D) perspicacious
(E) inane
(A) adroit
(B) devious
(C) prosaic
(D) volatile
(E) dormant
(A) bogus
(B) hackneyed
(C) affable
(D) authentic
(E) peremptory
(A) schism
(B) fallacy
(C) arithmetic
(D) paradigm
(E) redress
(A) meretricious
(B) muddled
(C) cooperative
(D) nonchalant
(E) willful
(A) reagin
(B) nomenclature
(C) conformist
(D) heroic
(E) tattoo

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Line “Body Art” (using the body as a human canvas) has been documented throughout
recorded history, and some anthropologists believe that it even precedes it. The
hackneyed phrase “since time immemorial” might actually apply in this case, as so
many diverse peoples throughout time have tattooed, pierced, painted, scarred, or
5 even reshaped their bodies. The relationship to modern day society is that there
has been a resurgence, especially in tattooing and body piercing, among teenag-
ers. But on a less “exotic” level, people style their hair, put on make-up, wear
facial hair, and pluck eyebrows regularly. Enhancing one’s appearance, especially
to positively affect one’s self-perception and to attract members of the opposite
10 sex, is a common practice that is repeated around the world. However, body art
has traditionally been ritualistic in nature, conveying marital status, designating
aspects of gender and age group, recognizing achievements, or to mark rites of
passage like puberty. Most important, body art has been used in religious rites and
rituals, even to summon forth spirits.
15 In New Zealand, the Maori, as part of “pagan” ritual, tattoo their faces in
elaborate, ornate patterns. In Ethiopia, the Hamar warrior scars his body by
cutting himself with a razor, thereby creating raised scar tissue. The scar tissue
heals with a somewhat lighter color, and they are arranged in symmetrical
patterns. This is done to acknowledge the killing of an enemy or a very dangerous
20 animal. The young women stretch their earlobes by inserting “plugs” made of
rolled leaves. The size of the holes is gradually increased by putting in ever
increasingly larger clay plates. When Kenyan teenage boys are circumcised, they
draw ritual designs on each other’s faces with white chalk and wear brass
pendants on the sides of their faces. For centuries in China, young girls had their
25 feet bound. This painful and crippling procedure stunted the growth of them to a
mere five inches long for an adult woman. Small feet were considered aestheti-
cally pleasing.
Today, however, most body art is done for the sake of fashions and trends,
with very little ritualistic sensibility unless it is an expression of rebellion against
30 authority figures like parents, teachers, or society as a whole. An exception would
be the ritual of tattooing and scarring to identify fellow gang members. This body
art is a rite of passage that allies friends and identifies foes.

1. In line 3, the word “hackneyed” most closely means

(A) choppy.
(B) metaphorical.
(C) indecorous.
(D) trite.
(E) unique.

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2. In the first paragraph, it can be inferred that “time immemorial” means

(A) a celebration of time.
(B) since the beginning of recorded history.
(C) longer than anyone can remember.
(D) to memorialize time.
(E) an endless future.
3. In today’s society, body art is practiced primarily
(A) to enhance one’s appearance.
(B) as a ritual and rite.
(C) to designate age and gender status.
(D) as a recognition of achievement.
(E) to convey marital status.
4. The tone of the article does which of the following?
(A) Condemns the practice of body art
(B) Minimizes its ubiquity
(C) Promotes the practice of body art
(D) Acknowledges its universality
(E) Warns of its harmful effects

Line Speculation about the cause of global warming continues, and the controversy
centers on whether increases in temperature are “natural” or the result of
ever-increasing pollution. Either way, calculations show that by the end of the
next century, the earth’s mean temperature will likely rise between 1.3 degrees
5 Centigrade and 4.0 degrees Centigrade (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit and 7.2 degrees
Fahrenheit). One major consequence of this warming will be rising sea levels.
The Greenhouse Effect is when increasing carbon emissions, as a result of
burning billions of tons of fossil fuels around the world, traps more heat and
makes the global temperature rise. As the sun’s rays go through the atmosphere, it
10 heats the earth’s surface. This heat is radiated as infrared rays, and while some of
it escapes, the remainder becomes trapped by an increasing amount of carbon
dioxide, along with other greenhouse gases. According to some scientists, one of
the indicators of this phenomenon is the shrinking Quelccaya ice cap located in
Peru, South America. It has lost one fifth of its mass over the last two decades. It
15 is incontrovertible that the earth’s temperature has increased about one degree
Fahrenheit over the last 12 decades, and the increasing temperature has resulted
in the lessening of the ice cap. What is debatable is whether this lessening is part
of some larger shift in climate or whether it has resulted from greenhouse gases.
To combat the problem of greenhouse gases, several fronts are being
20 attacked simultaneously. Research and development needs to be intensified to find
renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind power. Fuel efficiency for
popular vehicles, like vans, SUVs, and light trucks, needs to be improved in
addition to more rigorous emission standards. Similarly, emission standards for
industries that use fossil fuels for power must also be stricter. The federal govern-
25 ment should reduce its need for and use of energy significantly in an effort to cut

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emissions. Lastly, both state and federal government could give tax credits and
incentives for individuals and companies that use alternative sources of energy.
Unfortunately, even if all further emissions are ended immediately, green-
house gases will stay in the atmosphere for a hundred years, and global warming
30 will increase. According to environmentalists, however, that does not preclude
working on the problem as diligently as possible because it will be a serious
dilemma for the twenty-first century.

1. The essence of the debate regarding global warming is whether

(A) it is a reality or not.
(B) the temperature will increase over the next century.
(C) the Quelccaya ice cap is shrinking.
(D) conversion from the Centigrade scale to Fahrenheit is accurate.
(E) it is the result of nature or the Greenhouse Effect.
2. Greenhouse gasses heat up the earth because they
(A) magnify the rays of the sun, making them hotter.
(B) trap infrared heat in the atmosphere.
(C) reduce the size of the Quelccaya ice cap.
(D) produce infrared rays that heat up the earth.
(E) are produced by burning fossil fuels.
3. In line 15, “incontrovertible” most closely means
(A) indecisive.
(B) improbable.
(C) indubitable.
(D) imprudent.
(E) incredible.
4. The word “fronts” (line 19) completes a metaphor that compares finding
potential solutions to
(A) curing a disease.
(B) waging a war.
(C) winning a race.
(D) predicating climatic changes.
(E) solving a puzzle.

Line Hurricanes are a means to transfer heat from the equator to the poles. After
waters off the coast of Africa are warmed to more than 81 degrees Fahrenheit,
with the right combination of winds and accumulated thunderstorms, a hurricane
is born. The water temperature is essential, but it is the winds that play the
5 significant role. If they are weak easterlies and strong westerlies, as produced by
El Niño, then clouds will have their tops cut off, but if there is still air between
two wind belts and a stronger easterly flow, as found in La Niña, hurricanes form
more readily. This is one reason why the 1999 hurricane season was so active.
The presence of La Niña increased the chance of the United States being hit by
10 75%, as compared to the 25% chance with El Niño.

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When water evaporates, the moist vapor rises, then expands, then cools. It
condenses into cloud droplets and then forms rain. Heat that is locked within the
vapor is released, and this lowers air pressure, causing more rain and thunder-
storms. The winds in these accumulating thunderstorms begin to move in the
15 direction of the earth’s rotation and circulate in a counterclockwise motion. If this
takes place in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a clockwise direction. This mass of
whirling storms is called a tropical cyclone. As the winds accelerate in this spiral,
the storm is designated as a hurricane when they reach a speed of 74 m.p.h.
There is a column at the center of these multiple thunderstorms. It consists of
20 calm air and is called the “eye” of the hurricane. It is surrounded by the fiercest
storms of the system.
There are other factors that affect the formation of hurricanes. In addition to
the presence of El Niño and La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific, rainfall
amounts in West Africa, the intensity of stratospheric winds, and significant
25 changes in ocean circulation also affect how storms develop and to what degree.
Therefore, predicting where hurricanes will appear is difficult. Other factors that
may be a bit more esoteric are the overall effects of a natural shift in climate and
whether global warming, induced by the pollutants of technology, transportation,
and industrialization, will also contribute significantly. For example, global
30 warming may make storms more severe by loading them with more rain. This
would cause even more extensive flooding. If global sea levels rise, the surge
effect of waves would increase, thereby causing more damage and destruction.
Even though the number of typhoons in the Pacific and hurricanes in the
Atlantic may vary in proportion to one another, there will probably be about 80
35 such events in any one year.

1. Respectively, La Niña and El Niño affect the creation of hurricanes by

(A) increasing the amount of rain in storm systems and raising the tem-
perature of still air.
(B) decreasing the amount of evaporation and lowering the temperature of
still air.
(C) producing weak easterlies and strong westerlies and diminishing
clouds and increasing the formation of storms.
(D) producing strong westerlies and weak easterlies and increasing the
formation of storms and diminishing clouds.
(E) producing strong easterlies and weak easterlies and increasing the
formation of storms and diminishing clouds.
2. A tropical cyclone is defined by the
(A) amount of rain that it contains.
(B) speed of the winds.
(C) direction of the movement of the winds.
(D) eye at the center of the thunderstorms.
(E) amount of heat locked within the vapor.

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3. All of the following factors affect the formation of hurricanes EXCEPT

(A) global warming.
(B) rainfall amounts.
(C) stratospheric winds.
(D) phases of the moon.
(E) natural shift in climate.
4. It can be inferred that the difference between a typhoon and a hurricane is
(A) ferocity of the winds.
(B) geographical location.
(C) amount of rain.
(D) rate of evaporation.
(E) temperature of water.


Directions: In each of the following questions, five lettered pairs of words or

phrases follow a related pair of words or phrases. Select the lettered pair that
best expresses a relationship similar to that expressed in the original pair.

(A) redress : lawyer
(B) vaunt : braggart
(C) scuttle : coal
(D) poltroon : coward
(E) bushel : peck
(A) adumbrate : apotheosis
(B) amalgamate : commingle
(C) nullify : satiate
(D) prevaricate : cajole
(E) polemic : consensus
(A) pandemic : universal
(B) esprit de corps : le mot juste
(C) joist : threshold
(D) maelstrom : phenomenal
(E) sill : window

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(A) pride : lions
(B) covey : geese
(C) quail : flock
(D) bees : swarm
(E) pack : leopards
(A) digging : spade
(B) appetizer : dessert
(C) painter : easel
(D) mason : trowel
(E) adze : carpentry
6. KIT : FOX ::
(A) deer : fawn
(B) gosling : goose
(C) lamb : ewe
(D) salamander : newt
(E) eagle : fledgling
(A) wicket : croquet
(B) wedge : golf
(C) bridge : billiards
(D) hockey : puck
(E) trump : bridge

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Quick Score Answers

Practice Test 1: Verbal Ability
Sentence Reading
Completion Antonyms Comprehension Analogies
1. A 1. C Passage 1 1. A
2. E 2. B 1. C 2. E
3. B 3. E 2. D 3. C
4. E 4. D 3. E 4. B
5. D 5. D 4. D 5. A
6. C 6. B 6. D
Passage 2
7. E 7. D
1. D
8. D
2. C
9. B
3. E
4. D
Passage 3
1. B
2. A
3. A
4. D

Practice Test 2: Verbal Ability

Sentence Reading
Completion Antonyms Comprehension Analogies
1. D 1. B Passage 1 1. D
2. A 2. E 1. D 2. E
3. B 3. C 2. C 3. E
4. E 4. D 3. A 4. A
5. C 5. A 4. D 5. E
6. B 6. D 6. B
Passage 2
7. B 7. D
1. E
8. C
2. B
9. C
3. C
4. B
Passage 3
1. E
2. C
3. D
4. B

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Score 5–6 Issue Response
Many would argue that sex education should be taught only in the home or at religious
institutions—that schools, especially public schools, do not have the right, the resources,
or the appropriate set of moral guidelines to be teaching impressionable youth the
difference between “right” and “wrong” regarding sex or birth-control methods. However,
others feel that if schools do not prioritize the teaching of appropriate personal sexual
behaviors to students, no one else will, and society will suffer as a consequence. In the
following essay, I will argue that both homes and schools are suitable places for instruc-
tion in sex education.
Behaviors learned in youth are generally carried through to adulthood. If school-aged
children are not taught basic grammar, for example, they will often struggle far into
adulthood with poor writing and speaking skills. Likewise, if children are not drilled on
what constitutes appropriate sexual behavior, they will struggle with making choices
grounded in safety and common sense.
Sex education must come both from home and from school. If one does not
reinforce the other, the child can become frustrated and confused as to what is expected
regarding appropriate sexual behavior, safety, and protection. While every moral compass
points in a slightly different direction, it is only by a matter of degrees—generally ac-
cepted social and ethical values can be consistently reinforced in school and at home even
if the parties at each institution have slightly variable codes of sexual conduct. For
example, values such as respect for sexual partners, abstinence, and safe sex can be
taught, albeit in different ways, both at home and in school.
There are those who will insist that schools cannot possibly instill the sexual values
of an individual family, religion, or religious community. I agree that school is not the
appropriate place for religion-based sex education. Religion-based sex education, at the
discretion of the parents, should be conducted outside of the public school system.
However, just as many individuals have morality codes that are similar, many religions
share values and appropriate behaviors that can be taught in school, free from religious
Finally, parents trust schoolteachers to teach their children life skills such as reading,
writing, and critical thinking. These are skills that the children will continue to develop
and use throughout the rest of their lives, and to some extent they will determine how
“successful” a person becomes. Why would sex education—information that could
prevent pregnancy, disease, or even death—be less important to the teachers, the schools,
or the children? This information may determine the sexual behavior of each student as a
mature person, and it may have more influence than academico.

Score 5–6 Argument Response

While the manufacturer of Roland Rainwear may be looking for reasons for the decline in
sales, the argument that TrekOut Gear has caused a decrease in sales of Roland Rainwear
is not convincing. It contains several fundamental logical flaws. Assumptions are made
about the current manufacturing and sales environment for outdoor clothing that may or
may not be accurate. The following essay will discuss these flaws, flesh out the specious
assumptions, and reveal how the argument could have been made in a more effective

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First, it cannot possibly be determined that the sales of Roland Rainwear have
declined solely because of the appearance of a lower-priced competing product. Many
questions need to be asked. Does TrekOut Gear truly compete with Roland Rainwear?
Does the TrekOut Gear product line contain the same specific articles of clothing? Does it
use the same or similar textiles? Does it have the same level of quality? Do the companies
use the same marketing strategies? Because this information is not given, it is not truly
known whether or not TrekOut Gear actually competes with and seizes sales from Roland
Rainwear. Competing manufacturers in a local market can certainly affect sales of prod-
ucts, but multiple manufacturers with different products can actually enhance overall
product consumption. More information regarding the products of both manufacturers is
needed in order to make the assumption that TrekOut Gear is responsible for a decline in
sales for Roland Rainwear.
Also, in the five-year time period mentioned in the argument, many other factors
besides the introduction of TrekOut Gear may have been present to cause a decrease in
the sales of Roland Rainwear. For example, marketing changes may have occurred, staff
turnover could have affected the quality of the product, population decline could have
taken place in the area, population demographics may have changed, and quality and
quantity of advertisements may have been altered by general economic conditions or
changes in Roland Rainwear’s sales force.
The third assumption made in the argument is that if the price of Roland Rainwear is
lowered below that of TrekOut Gear, more people will purchase Roland Rainwear. But
consumers may or may not purchase Roland Rainwear if the price is dropped. The factors
listed above will play a role in sales. And if Roland Rainwear is an inferior product,
consumers will probably not spend discretionary income on it. However, if Roland
Rainwear is a superior product and the sole reason that people have stopped purchasing it
is the high price, then the assumption that a price decrease will boost sales would be
The final two assumptions the argument makes are that sales will return to pre-
TrekOut Gear levels if there is a price decrease for Roland Rainwear and that distributors
will increase their purchasing of Roland Rainwear if general sales increase. Both of these
events could take place, but they will not necessarily take place. Sales may never reach
previous levels for a number of reasons, some of which are discussed above, and distribu-
tors may or may not increase their purchasing of Roland Rainwear because of increased
sales. The argument makes the leap from sales to distribution without evidence to support
a cause–effect relationship.
Overall, the argument as stated is not credible. The argument could have been
strengthened if the manufacturer had referenced circumstances in addition to the intro-
duction of TrekOut Gear in the past five years. Without this information to correct the
core assumptions, this argument cannot be considered convincing.

Score 5–6 Issue Response
The statement above claims that television and movies, as a resource for information, are
as effective as books and have lessened the importance of books. In the following essay, I
will argue that television and movies, for several reasons, should not be considered the
primary sources of historical information, interpretations of current events, or even
entertainment. Rather, books should play a principal, but not solitary, role in gaining
perspective on history, current events, and entertainment, and other media outlets should
be important, but secondary, resources for information gathering and entertainment.
First, the statement “People can learn as much by watching television or movies as
they can by reading books” ignores the other alternatives to books for the presentation of

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information. This is, in fact, quite untrue. We are actually in an age of information
overload—we can choose from books, television, movies, satellite services, newspapers,
magazines, Internet sources, and multiple other outlets. A reasonable combination of some
or all of these media should be used in the accrual of current or historical information, as
well as for entertainment, but reliance solely on television and movies would limit a
person’s ability to have a well-rounded perspective on any issue or event.
Second, reading books has several advantages over television or movies for the
stimulation of a developing or adult brain. Television and movies present interpretations
for a viewer via images and sounds. Information is fed to the viewer—watching television
or a movie is a passive activity that requires little, if any, interaction from the viewer.
Books, on the other hand, require the reader to interpret the information for him-
or herself. The reader must use visual and auditory imagination, logic, and previous
knowledge to complete the picture and tie the words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters
together into meaningful or useful information.
Third, television or movies, especially those geared toward historical events or issues,
are a re-creation of what has occurred in the past. They represent one person’s (or
group’s) adaptation of written history. Historical and fictional books written during a
certain time period, on the other hand, are one step closer to the actual events. While
these books may also represent a personal or group interpretation of the events, they are
closer to being “eye-witness” accounts.
Television and movies do have many benefits. News coverage of current events is
more immediate on television than in newspapers or books. For entertainment purposes,
fantastic technological imagery and sound is available in movies. However, as passive
behavior, television and movie viewing cannot stimulate the imagination, challenge the
knowledge, or encourage growth the way that books can. Unlike television and movies,
books, both fiction and nonfiction, excite the mind, test the psyche, and stimulate the
reader to use interactive cognitive processes that allow the mind to grow by generating
new ideas, thoughts, and perspectives.
In conclusion, I have discussed why television and movies should not be considered
the primary sources of historical information, interpretation of current events, or entertain-
ment. Books should play a principal, but not solitary, role in gaining perspective on history,
current events, and entertainment. Other media outlets, such as television and movies, are
important, but secondary, resources for information gathering and entertainment.

Score 5–6 Argument Response

The writer of this argument states that changing the seat-belt law on highways is danger-
ous. This conclusion is based on several misleading notions, including irrelevant compari-
sons, extraneous statistics, and unfounded assumptions. The essay below will explain why
the argument is tenuous, and what elements could have been added or deleted to clarify
and validate it.
The author of the argument asks the reader to, “Consider what happened over the
past decade whenever neighboring Serenia changed its seat-belt laws: an average of 9
percent more automobile