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1.    Her snide remarks, her simpering smile, and above all, her unceasing insubordination drove Katie to conclude that her teenage daughter was the most ________ child that had ever lived.
(A)    docile
(B)    zealous
(C)    incorrigible
(D)    primal
(E)    irredeemable
(F)    amenable

2.    While many find the writings of early feminist writers such as Mary Woolstonecraft to be enlightening and still relevant, others find their writings ________.
(A)    archaic
(B)    inane
(C)    idiosyncratic
(D)    antediluvian
(E)    illuminative
(F)    edifying

3.    Judith feigned a forgotten wallet to evade paying for dinner, proving she had surpassed frugality and become ________.
(A)    jejune
(B)    parsimonious
(C)    prudent
(D)    penitent
(E)    economical
(F)    miserly


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4.    Bradford’s many notorious trysts with various supermodels have earned him a reputation as a ________.
(A)    libertine
(B)    philanthropist
(C)    marionette
(D)    lecher
(E)    patriarch
(F)    puritan

5.    Existential philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche are known for focusing on the subjective aspects of life rather than the ________.
(A)    obscure
(B)    personal
(C)    disingenuous
(D)    dispassionate
(E)    illusory
(F)    unbiased

6.    While others label her seemingly “carpe diem” attitude as carefree blithesomeness, I suspect it is mere ________.
(A)    fatuity
(B)    frivolity
(C)    ingenuity
(D)    falsetto
(E)    imbecility
(F)    cunning

7.    Being a stay-at-home mother requires more ________ than career-driven women often concede; indeed, it involves endlessly enduring children’s tantrums and mutinies.
(A)    forbearance
(B)    fidelity
(C)    clout
(D)    fortitude
(E)    retribution
(F)    fecklessness

8.    The functional aspects of biodiversity are broad and vague and thus require further ________ to become more scientifically valuable.
(A)    stratagem
(B)    validation
(C)    negation
(D)    substantiation
(E)    abrogation
(F)    talion

9.    Monks may be Christian, Buddhist, or Jain, but, though they differ in many beliefs, most orders are alike in practicing ________; they abjure carnal pleasures in pursuit of a life more conducive to spiritual enlightenment.
(A)    debauchery
(B)    lenience
(C)    asceticism
(D)    desuetude
(E)    peregrination
(F)    abstinence

10.    Sam’s pyromaniac younger brother had a habit of singeing the tips of his hair; the unpleasant result was a ________ smell that permeated the house.
(A)    querulous
(B)    banal
(C)    pithy
(D)    acrid
(E)    pungent
(F)    dull

11.    Listening to the dulcet crooning of famous American singer Frank Sinatra, one would never suspect his temperament to be anything but ________.
(A)    congenial
(B)    irascible
(C)    jocular
(D)    indolent
(E)    cantankerous
(F)    amiable

12.    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s role as leader of the Civil Rights Movement made him the target of violence; a flaming brick thrown through the window of his home, for example, was a ________ of greater violence, culminating in his assassination.
(A)    prologue
(B)    quadrille
(C)    renaissance
(D)    snippet
(E)    omen
(F)    harbinger

13.    The US Supreme Court case Foucha v. Louisiana established that a person declared not guilty by reason of insanity must remain committed and cannot be ________ until he can sufficiently demonstrate he is no longer a danger to society.
(A)    denounced
(B)    disavowed
(C)    acquitted
(D)    discharged
(E)    incarcerated
(F)    apprehended

14.    Bradley was dumbfounded to hear his erstwhile co-conspirator go on the record and ________ him.
(A)    laud
(B)    denigrate
(C)    buttress
(D)    aggrandize
(E)    malign
(F)    accost

15.    Covert societies, such as the Y Society at University of Virginia and Skull and Bones at Yale, often rely on the ________ of former members to continue the tradition with each generation.
(A)    progeny
(B)    prominence
(C)    benefaction
(D)    tenacity
(E)    posterity
(F)    travail

16.    Due to a ________ of resources, indigents in cities such as Johannesburg, South Africa, inhabit shanty towns, where they construct houses out of refuse.
(A)    myriad
(B)    dearth
(C)    dichotomy
(D)    paucity
(E)    perpetuity
(F)    profusion

17.    To combat the tension between conquered and conqueror that seems to inevitably spark revolution, the Roman Empire adopted a practice of ________, attempting to make all conquered nations “Romans.”
(A)    deterrence
(B)    integration
(C)    assimilation
(D)    hegemony
(E)    totalitarianism
(F)    subjugation

18.    Stevens was infamous for writing lengthy, verbose pages before recapitulating in one ________ phrase.
(A)    jocular
(B)    interminable
(C)    monolithic
(D)    pithy
(E)    monotonous
(F)    concise

19.    With an immediate ________ of funds only a dubious hope, the company’s owner began to reconcile himself to bankruptcy.
(A)    abatement
(B)    bequest
(C)    accretion
(D)    fluctuation
(E)    augmentation
(F)    reduction

20.    When the time came to decide whether or not to hire Michael, the store manager couldn’t help but ________; Michael’s aptitude was certain, his probity equivocal.
(A)    vacillate
(B)    relent
(C)    rejoice
(D)    propitiate
(E)    hesitate
(F)    exult

21.    Many of the Founding Fathers were influenced by deism, a religious philosophy that ________ the belief in an incomprehensible god in favor of a deity whose existence may be logically deduced.
(A)    professes
(B)    abjures
(C)    entrenches
(D)    avers
(E)    eschews
(F)    pursues


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22.    When the corporate behemoth purchased Jenny’s modest company, it amalgamated its other recent acquisitions, and Jenny was ________ to a managerial position.
(A)    elevated
(B)    relegated
(C)    demoted
(D)    abrogated
(E)    proscribed
(F)    deflected

23.    Megan left the first conditioning session of the season feeling ________ rather than empowered.
(A)    emancipated
(B)    euphoric
(C)    quashed
(D)    enervated
(E)    vexed
(F)    debilitated

24.    While the politician never explicitly sanctioned the use of mudslinging by his campaign managers, there was a tacit understanding that he ________ it.
(A)    prohibited
(B)    condoned
(C)    buttressed
(D)    censured
(E)    overlooked
(F)    conferred

25.    The aging man moved with surprising ________.
(A)    alacrity
(B)    pathos
(C)    sluggishness
(D)    rancor
(E)    laxity
(F)    swiftness

26.    His long-winded diatribe against members of the opposing party convinced me he was one of the most ________ politicians I’d ever met.
(A)    progressive
(B)    benign
(C)    untoward
(D)    sanctimonious
(E)    smug
(F)    zealous

27.    The ________ link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels has convinced many nutritionists of the long debated salubriousness of eggs.
(A)    cursory
(B)    dubious
(C)    tenuous
(D)    incontrovertible
(E)    chary
(F)    insubstantial

28.    In a bourgeois community full of pretentious people, I was taken aback by the new neighbor’s ________.
(A)    exigency
(B)    guile
(C)    artlessness
(D)    ambiguity
(E)    ingenuousness
(F)    cheekiness

29.    ________ becomes a necessary asset in the brutally competitive job market of a deteriorating economy.
(A)    boldness
(B)    temerity
(C)    diffidence
(D)    frugality
(E)    reticence
(F)    affability

30.    For most stars in the galaxy, the Red Giant or Super Red Giant phase is the most ________, as it precedes a massive collapse that results in the formation of a planetary nebula.
(A)    mercurial
(B)    voluminous
(C)    immutable
(D)    volatile
(E)    tranquil
(F)    prodigal

31.    While environmentalists and NGO’s have welcomed the move, there has been strong ________ from many a quarter.
(A)    opposition
(B)    rivalry
(C)    approval
(D)    counteraction
(E)    acceptance
(F)    animus

32.    Despite all its ________, a stint in the diplomatic core is invariably an uplifting experience.
(A)    merits
(B)    compensation
(C)    effectiveness
(D)    rigors
(E)    mediocrity
(F)    hardships

33.    Though a small man, J. Edgar Hoover appeared to be much larger behind his desk; for, having skillfully designed his office, he was _______ by the perspective.
(A)    distorted
(B)    augmented
(C)    apprehended
(D)    magnified
(E)    disconcerted
(F)    lessened

34.    Children not only provide cheap labor, but they are also ________, as they do not complain about menial chores given to them or about harsh treatment meted out.
(A)    impertinent
(B)    facile
(C)    presumptuous
(D)    hesitant
(E)    docile
(F)    compliant

Answers & Solutions

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


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1.    Word clues such as “simper,” “snide,” and “insubordination” indicate that Katie’s daughter is rebellious. (B) zealous and (D) primal, even if you’re not sure what they mean, don’t have synonyms in the sentence. (A) docile means teachable and corresponds to (F) amenable, agreeable, which are too positive for the sentence. The answer is (C) incorrigible, which means unreformable, and (E) irredeemable.

2.    The phrase “While many…others” implies a contradiction within the sentence. Thus, the answer should be opposite in meaning to “enlightening” or “continually relevant.” Your word to fit the blank might be something like “obsolete” or “irrelevant.” (A) archaic and (D) antediluvian both mean outdated. A trick answer is (B) inane, which means empty or silly. This would make sense in the context of the sentence, but since none of the other answer choices are a close synonym, (B) cannot be an answer. The answer is (A) and (D).

3.    Since she has “surpassed frugality,” the blank must mean frugal to a greater degree. Look for words then that mean “cheap.” The answer is (B) and (F).

4.    Know your vocabulary, and use process of elimination. If he has trysts with supermodels, he is probably known as a womanizer. Eliminate the answers you know don’t mean that, such as (B) philanthropist, (E) patriarch, and (F) puritan. The answer is (A) and (D).

5.    The phrase “rather than” lets us know the blank is opposite in meaning to “subjective.” You might come up with the word “objective” for the blank. The answer is (D) and (F).

6.    “Suspect” and “mere” imply that the speaker has a less than positive opinion of the subject. A more negative description of joyousness would be foolishness or stupidity. The answer is (A) and (E).

7.    If a mother must “endlessly endure” something, she would require patience and determination. The answer is (A) and (D).

8.    For something to be scientifically valuable, it must be proven through several experiments. Look for words that mean “proven.” The answer is (B) and (D).

9.    Abjuring carnal pleasures means becoming less worldly and practicing self-restraint and self-denial. If you don’t recognize some of the answer choices, eliminate the ones you know don’t fit. The answer is (C) and (F).

10.    Burnt hair smells terrible. If you don’t know this, the key phrase is “unpleasant result.” You might come up for a word to fit the blank such as “nasty.” The answer is (D) and (E).

11.    The clue to this sentence is the word “dulcet,” which means gentle and soothing. The phrase “One wouldn’t expect…to be anything but” indicates that the blank will support the positive connotation of “dulcet.” Thus, the synonym set (B) and (E), which mean irritable, cannot fit the blank. The answer is (A) and (F).

12.    Look for the set of synonyms in the answer choices. Though (A) prologue or (D) snippet might make sense in the context of the sentence, neither one has a synonym among the other answer choices. The answer is (E) and (F).

13.    Come up with your own word to fit the blank. Since the person must remain committed, the blank must be opposite in meaning to committed, such as “released.” Answers (A) and (B) do not mean “released,” and (E) and (F), though synonyms, mean the opposite of released. The answer is (C) and (D).

14.    Recognize the contradiction in the sentence — we know that the man Bradley speaks of is his “erstwhile co-conspirator,” but he is “dumbfounded” by what he says about him. Thus, he likely is not (A) lauding or (D) aggrandizing him; he is speaking ill of him. The answer is (B) and (E).

15.    This question is more difficult, as almost any of the answer choices could work within the sentence. So, you must rely on finding a set of synonyms. “Progeny” and “posterity” both mean offspring. The answer is (A) and (E).

16.    The key words in this sentence are “indigents,” meaning impoverished people, and “refuse,” meaning garbage. So, if poor people are building their homes out of garbage, they must have limited resources. The answer is (B) and (D).

17.    If there is tension between conquered and conqueror, an effective method of combatting it would be to lessen the differences between the two. By making all people “Romans,” the empire is integrating conquered nations into its culture. The answer is (B) and (C).

18.    To recapitulate means to recap or summarize, so the phrase would be “brief.” If you weren’t sure of the meaning of recapitulating, use the clues earlier in the sentence, which talk about lengthy, verbose passages and then one phrase. The answer is (D) and (F).

19.    If a company is on the verge of bankruptcy, they have neither funds nor the hope of getting funds in the near future. Thus, the “dubious hope” would be the acquisition of money. The answer is (C) and (E).

20.    If Michael is able to do the job (“aptitude is certain”), but he has a reputation for dishonesty (“probity is equivocal”), the manager would have a difficult time deciding whether to hire him. Come up with a word or phrase to fit the blank, such as “go back and forth.” The answer is (A) and (E).

21.    The phrase “in favor of” sets up a contradiction. So, if deists embrace a logically deduced god, they would reject or renounce the idea of an incomprehensive one. The answer is (B) and (E).

22.    Know your vocabulary. A “behemoth” is a “monster” or anything of monstrous size or power. If you didn’t recognize this vocabulary word, you could have figured it out by recognizing that in order to acquire a “modest” company among others, this company must be large. To “amalgamate” means to consolidate. Thus, using the context clues, you might come up with a word like “demoted” “lowered” to fit the blank, as Jenny has moved from being a business owner to a manager. The answer is (B) and (C).

23.    The phrase “rather than” lets us know the blank will be dissimilar to “empowered,” a word with positive connotation. Thus, we can eliminate (A) emancipated and (B) euphoric, because both of these words have positive meanings. Be careful here, though; several of the remaining answer choices make sense in the context of the sentence, but the key is to find the two that give it similar meaning. (D) and (F) both mean fatigued or weakened. The answer is (D) and (F).

24.    The key words in this sentences are “while,” which sets up a contradiction, and “explicitly,” which demonstrates that a close distinction will be made. To sanction is to openly support, so the blank should mean to support but not openly. The answer is (B) and (E).

25.    One would expect an aging man to move slowly and carefully, so if the way he’s moving is surprising, he would be moving quickly. The answer is (A) and (F).

26.    Eliminate answers (A) and (B), which don’t fit the context of the sentence. All of the remaining answer choices could work, but it is (D) and (E) that give it similar meaning. The answer is (D) and (E).

27.    This is a difficult question. The key vocabulary word in the sentence is “salubrious,” which means healthful. Thus, if the connection has convinced some nutritionists that eggs are healthful, it must be a weak tie between eggs, which contain high levels of dietary cholesterol, and blood cholesterol, which determines health. The answer is (C) and (F).

28.    Pretentious people put on airs, so a new neighbor that stands out would be genuine or sincere. The answer is (C) and (E).

29.    Several of the answer choices could fit the blank, so try to eliminate the lone rangers. “Frugality” and “affability,” though they might make sense in the sentence, don’t have any related words in the answer choices. Recognize two sets of answers — Diffidence and reticence and boldness and temerity. If the market is competitive, you would need to be bold. The answer is (A) and (B).

30.    The state preceding a massive collapse and explosion? Sounds pretty “unstable.” Look for the synonyms that mean unstable. The answer is (A) and (D).

31. The word “while” indicates a contrast between what is expressed in the first clause (welcoming the move) and what is expressed in the second clause (opposing the move). The answer is (A) and (D).

32. “Despite” sets up a contrast between the key phrase “uplifting experience” and the missing word. The implication is that in spite of the rewards, the job is harsh and trying. The answer is (D) and (F).

33. The passage states that when sitting behind his desk J. Edgar Hoover looked larger than he actually was. So the perspective must have increased the appearance of his size. “Distorted” could make sense in the sentence, but there is no other closely related word in the answer choices. The answer is (B) and (D).

34. The word “as” in the sentence indicates that the missing word is explained or defined by the clause that follows it: “they do not complain about menial chores given to them or about harsh treatment meted out.” This aptly describes a “docile” or “compliant” person. The answer is (E) and (F).


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