(Sentence Completion) — As a student who was always intelligent and _______ when trying to solve difficult problems in school, Eugene shocked his entire community when he got into a fatal car accident that left his family _______, missing its beloved eldest son and condemned to incompletion forever.
EXPLANATION — According to the first clue (“when trying to solve difficult problems in school”) Eugene was hard-working, clever and/or motivated. He could have fulfilled any quality, except “reckless.” The next clue is critical; his family was now “missing its beloved eldest son and condemned to incompletion forever.” If some entity is lacking something, it is “bereaved” of such a thing. No family should ever feel vindicated or content by such a tragedy, and his family clearly was not. So the family may very well have been depressed or debilitated (weak), but the best answer based on the clue that describes what the family now lacked is “bereaved.” Choice E is correct.
(Sentence Completion) — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a clear ___ mission to assist less fortunate people suffering from health and education problems.
EXPLANATION — The clue here is that the organization is a foundation and assists less fortunate people, so clearly it is a charitable organization. The foundation does not have a cheap, profitable, money-oriented or evil mission based on the provided text, so we can eliminate choices B, C, D and E. Rather, the clue is that the foundation helps other people. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to provide humanitarian assistance, which is the definition of a philanthropic organization. Choice A is correct.
(Sentence Completion) — The videos of bleeding children and weeping mothers _______ the American citizens to the point of contacting legislators and urging for an end to the revolting war overseas.
EXPLANATION — Choice D is correct. Videos with such grotesque (“bleeding children and weeping mothers”) content would shock, or galvanize, a person. What were the Americans convinced of? Were the Americans so lighthearted that they were just surprised? Did the videos merely guide Americans, devoid of any emotion? Do videos have the power to ravage spectators, in a literal sense? Generally these choices are poor fits even though some could in fact fit. But the images described would shock people (the answer must contain emotion and be applicable to humans). Choice D is correct.
(Sentence Completion) — Since the orator was exceeding his allotted time and lost the audience’s interest, it was up to the orchestra at the awards show to _______ his speech and guide the host to the next event.
EXPLANATION — In case you were not aware of the way that the music at many awards shows curtail, or cut off, speeches, then you must pay attention to the fact that the orator needed to be cut off (passed allowed time, bored audience). The only choice the means “to cut off” is Choice D “curtail.” The orchestra would not lengthen the speech, nor would it be directly responsible for “ruining” the speaker’s presentation (eliminate A, B, C). So is the orchestra accommodating or does it curtail, or cut off, the speech? Typically “accommodate” has a positive connotation, or feeling, and the orchestra is not making adjustments to better suit the speaker. Choice D “curtail” captures the actions of the orchestra and is correct because it cut the speaker off.
(Sentence Completion) — The sailors had _______ charted the seas with detailed maps and planned for all possible mishaps; nevertheless, when the storm beat down on their ship _______ with hail and vigorous wind, there was no defense.
EXPLANATION — Since the sailors used detailed maps and planned properly, they were very careful which leaves choice A, D and E in the running. The sailors did not make poor planning decisions by being hasty or rash, so eliminate B and C. However, because the storm was so violent, it would be imperfect to say that the storm beat down on the ship “naturally” or “torpidly” (lazily). Rather, it is logical for the storm to beat down intensely, or vehemently. Choice D is the best answer.
(Sentence Completion) — The two _______ political parties in the United States are the Republicans and the Democrats; most of the political decisions and events are controlled by politicians that belong to these parties.
EXPLANATION — If you are not familiar with politics in the US, then consider the clue that “most of the political decisions and events are controlled by politicians that belong to these parties.” Obviously, an adjective that captures the concept that these parties are the most influential parties and represent a vast majority must be used. It's a simple matter of elimination because none of the other choices define this type of control or power. The only choice that captures such “dominance” is Choice E “predominant.”
(Reading Comprehension) — Swimming has developed from a primal mode of movement to an advanced hobby and competitive sport. Exercising nearly every muscle group, swimming is a rigorous sport and requires intense training. In competitions swimmers typically contend for the fastest time to complete a certain distance by performing a specific swimming stroke. Also, swimmers work to build endurance and an ability to swim over long distances. Because swimming has developed into a highly intricate competitive sport, where one wrong technique can disqualify a participant, it is interesting to ponder how the sport will evolve for people in the future, either advancing into a progressive purpose or regressing to a primal mode of movement. The structure of this passage could be best described in what way?
- An activity narrowed to a specific purpose and expanded to consider future implications.
- An activity narrowed to a specific purpose and expanded to consider future deviations.
- A hypothesis tested against certain conditions, developed into a larger thesis.
- An activity and its purposes are explained.
- A supposition regarding the prospect of an activity, analyzed for viability
EXPLANATION — The passage begins by introducing swimming, narrowing it down to competitive sports and then expanding the concept to figure out what swimming will turn into in the future. Choice A and choice B are close in meaning, but choice A refers to implications, or effects, rather than deviations, or different versions resulting from changes. This minor change separates the two choices and makes B superior. Choice D is relevant, but it does not include the entire scope of the passage. Choice E only focuses on the conclusion and stretches beyond what the passage actually accomplishes. Choice B is best.
(Reading Comprehension) — Which of the following situations would fulfill the author’s prophecy for swimming?
- Humans settling on the moon use swimming techniques to move through space.
- Swimming remains a competitive Olympic sport.
- Animals, including amphibians, begin to swim instinctively upon birth, as a dominant genetic trait.
- People swim in home and community pools to relax and exercise.
- Fish begin swimming at unprecedented speeds and extend the average life span.
EXPLANATION — This question refers you to the conclusion sentence. The author states clearly that swimming must either progress into a new form or regress to the primal mode of movement. Choice B and D can be eliminated because they show no change, just a continuation of current circumstances. Choice A is an actual possibility as humans may very well be settling in outer space in the future. Choice C and E refer to animals anyway, when the author specifically was predicting a future for humans. Choice A is the most realistic and relevant prophecy according to the premises developed by the author.
(Reading Comprehension) — Cities across the world are essentially blends of smaller cultural environments that lead people to have vastly different experiences. Each city typically contains a broad spectrum of dining establishments along with various art institutions like museums and theatres. Yet with all these blends of dining, art and night lives, what is the one characteristic that can distinguish a city? History. The undeniably unique history of each city provides rich traditions and a bond between the local people that overshadows any other city’s mélange of dining and art institutions. In context, which word most closely defines mélange?
EXPLANATION — The author selects words such as “spectrum” and “various” to refer to the dining and art institutions. Clearly mélange must be some sort of variety offering. Only choice C, “assortment” matches this definition.
(Reading Comprehension) — Which of the following would the author believe is the most important city attraction or characteristic?
- The exquisite French restaurant in the European district
- The Museum of Natural History
- Ruins from the Berlin Wall and the local community
- Wrigley Field
- A democratic government
EXPLANATION — The author clearly believes true, genuine history to be the paramount characteristic. Choice A and choice B (restaurant and museum) are exactly what the author said weren’t as important as history (choice B is tricky, but it is still just a museum—not natural history in its element). Choice D refers to sports, despite the fact that Wrigley Field has much history tied to it; choice E is irrelevant as government is not nearly as important to a city’s cultural wealth as a historical monument. Choice C is a historical object and symbol; furthermore, the author refers to the local people that add to the cultural vibrancy. Choice C is the best option.