GRE: Verbal Reasoning


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GRE - GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS
Verbal Reasoning

Time - 35 minutes
25 Questions

For each question, indicate the best answer, using the directions given.

For each of Questions 1 to 8, select one entry for each blank from the corresponding column of choices.
Fill all blanks in the way that best completes the text.

1. Many find it strange that her writing is thought to be tortuous; her recent essays, although longer than most of her earlier essays, are extremely ____.

A. painstaking
B. tedious
C. insightful
D. sophisticated
E. clear

2. Most spacecraft are still at little risk of collision with space debris during their operational lifetimes, but given the numbers of new satellites launched each year, the orbital environment in the future is likely to be less ____.

A. crowded
B. invulnerable
C. protected
D. polluted
E. benign

3. The author presents the life of Zane Grey with unusual in a biographer: he is not even convinced that Grey was a good writer.

A. a zeal
B. a deftness
C. a detachment
D. an eloquence
E. an imaginativeness

4. The unironic representation of objects from everyday life is (i) ____ serious American art of the twentieth century: “high” artists ceded the straightforward depiction of the (ii) ____ to illustrators, advertisers, and packaging designers.

Blank (i) Blank (ii)
A. missing from D. beautiful
B. valued in E. commonplace
C. crucial to F. complex

5. A newly published, laudatory biography of George Bernard Shaw fails, like others before it, to capture the essence of his personality: the more he is (i) ____, the more his true self seems to (ii) ____.

Blank (i) Blank (ii)
A. discussed D. disappear
B. disparaged E. emerge
C. disregarded F. coalesce

6. Although he has long had a reputation for (i) ____, his behavior toward his coworkers has always been (ii) ____, suggesting he may not be as insolent as people generally think.

Blank (i) Blank (ii)
A. inscrutability D. brazen
B. venality E. courteous
C. impudence F. predictable

7. There is nothing that (i) ____ scientists more than having an old problem in their field solved by someone from outside. If you doubt this (ii) ____, just think about the (iii) ____ reaction of paleontologists to the hypothesis of Luis Alvarez — a physicist — and Walter Alvarez — a geologist — that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by the impact of a large meteor on the surface of the planet.

Blank (i) Blank (ii) Blank (iii)
A. amazes D. exposition G. contemptuous
B. pleases E. objurgation H. indifferent
C. nettles F. observation I. insincere

8. If one could don magic spectacles—with lenses that make the murky depths of the ocean become transparent—and look back several centuries to an age before widespread abuse of the oceans began, even the most (i) ____ observer would quickly discover that fish were formerly much more abundant. Likewise, many now-depleted species of marine mammals would appear (ii) ____. But without such special glasses, the differences between past and present oceans are indeed hard to (iii) ____.

Blank (i) Blank (ii) Blank (iii)
A. casual D. threatened G. ignore
B. prescient E. plentiful H. discern
C. clearheaded F. unfamiliar I. dismiss

For each of Questions 9 to 14, select one answer choice unless otherwise directed.

Questions 9 to 11 are based on this passage.

Historian F. W. Maitland observed that legal
documents are the best—indeed, often the
only—available evidence about the economic and
social history of a given period. Why, then, has it
5 taken so long for historians to focus systematically on
the civil (noncriminal) law of early modern
(sixteenth- to eighteenth-century) England? Maitland
offered one reason: the subject requires researchers to
“master an extremely formal system of pleading and
10 procedure.” Yet the complexities that confront those
who would study such materials are not wholly
different from those recently surmounted by
historians of criminal law in England during the same
period. Another possible explanation for historians’
15 neglect of the subject is their widespread assumption
that most people in early modern England had little
contact with civil law. If that were so, the history of
legal matters would be of little relevance to general
historical scholarship. But recent research suggests
20 that civil litigation during the period involved
artisans, merchants, professionals, shopkeepers, and
farmers, and not merely a narrow, propertied, male
elite. Moreover, the later sixteenth and early
seventeenth centuries saw an extraordinary explosion
25 in civil litigation by both women and men,
making this the most litigious era in English history on a
per capita basis.

9. The passage suggests that the history of criminal law in early modern England differs from the history of civil law during that same period in that the history of criminal law

A. is of more intellectual interest to historians and their readers
B. has been studied more thoroughly by historians
C. is more relevant to general social history
D. involves the study of a larger proportion of the population
E. does not require the mastery of an extremely formal system of procedures

10. The author of the passage mentions the occupations of those involved in civil litigation in early modern England most likely in order to

A. suggest that most historians’ assumptions about the participants in the civil legal system during that period are probably correct
B. support the theory that more people participated in the civil legal system than the criminal legal system in England during that period
C. counter the claim that legal issues reveal more about a country’s ordinary citizens than about its elite
D. illustrate the wide range of people who used the civil legal system in England during that period
E. suggest that recent data on people who participated in early modern England’s legal system may not be correct

11. The author of the passage suggests which of the following about the “widespread assumption” (line 15) ?

A. Because it is true, the history of civil law is of as much interest to historians focusing on general social history as to those specializing in legal history.
B. Because it is inaccurate, the history of civil law in early modern England should enrich the general historical scholarship of that period.
C. It is based on inaccurate data about the propertied male elite of early modern England.
D. It does not provide a plausible explanation for historians’ failure to study the civil law of early modern England.
E. It is based on an analogy with criminal law in early modern England.


Answer Key and Percentage of Examinees Answering Each Question Correctly*

Question Number Correct Answer P+
1 E 57
2 E 49
3 C 72
4 A, E 43
5 A, D 79
6 C, E 61
7 C, F, G 59
8 A, E, H 69
9 B 58
10 D 76
11 B 53
  • The P+ is the percentage of examinees who answered the question correctly at a previous examination.
    Note: There is no partial credit for partially correct answers. You should treat as incorrect any question for which you did not select all the correct answer choices.

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