Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vocab in the Revised GRE

Unless you're living under a rock, like those cavemen in that Geico commercial, you've probably heard that as of 2011 the GRE has been *gasp* REVISED. The exact nature of this revision may elude you, but if you're a future test-taker you'll want to familiarize yourself with the content and structure of this new-fangled test at the official ETS website. For one thing, the Verbal section has been changed to eliminate Antonym and Analogy questions. If you're thinking 'No more memorizing vocab, I'm going to miss my T-prep vocab game,' not so fast! Two new question types (outlined with examples below) will be putting your vocab skills to the test, so to speak...

Text Completion

For each blank select one entry from the corresponding column of choices.
Fill all blanks in the way that best completes the text.

Vain and prone to violence, Caravaggio could not handle success: the more his (i)__________ as an artist increased, the more (ii)__________ his life became.
Sample Question 3 Answers.
Blank (i)Blank (ii)
(A) temperance(D) tumultuous
(B) notoriety(E) providential
(C) eminence(F) dispassionate

Sentence Equivalence

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning.

It was her view that the country's problems had been _______ by foreign technocrats, so that to ask for such assistance again would be counterproductive.
  1. ameliorated
  2. ascertained
  3. diagnosed
  4. exacerbated
  5. overlooked
  6. worsened

What does all this revising mean for T-preppers? Well, these new question types will reward students who have a strong vocabulary and can do more than just rattle off definitions. Dealing with vocab words in context, and understanding vocab usage will be a key skill for attacking the revised GRE Verbal section. Never fear, the T-prep vocab podcast will give you thorough discussions and example sentences for lots of high-yield words so you don't feel like you're just parroting meaningless definitions.

I know all you Verbal ninjas compulsively answered the two sample questions above, and now are wondering what the official answers say. Well FYI, 1) C, D and 2) D, F. Good work!

1 comment:

  1. In the last question "It was her view..." I used the key words "such assistance" referring to the technocrats as a definitive cue that what the foreign technocrats did was positive - and did not need to be repeated since it was done already. I chose "ascertained" and "diagnosed" (the country's problems). I reasoned this instead of "exacerbated" and "worsened" was much more plausibly a type of assistance. I don't know how my reasoning here was not sound...