Sample Test Questions for GRE: Answers with Complete
1. People seem to recall the brand of an advertised product,
considering most favorably the most frequently advertised product; therefore, an
advertisement that is----in newspaper advertisement would be expected to be
very----, but, actually, it is not.
(A) dominant.. impressive
(B) frequent.. bad
(C) unusual.. effective
(D) new.. rare
(E) widespread.. ineffective
Explanation: The first part of the sentence is a statement: the more
frequent an advertisement is, the more favorable it is considered. The word
“therefore" suggests that the missing words must, together, make a statement in
keeping with this assumption. A is the correct answer. An advertisement that is
“dominant" is very frequent. Because, according to the statement, the most
frequent advertisement is likely to be most favorably considered, one would
expect a “dominant" advertisement to be very “impressive?
2. Just as human beings who depend on each other, there are
no ------- foliages.
Explanation: The phrase “just as" means a similar way.
Since human beings depend on each other, the foliages should also depend on each
other, or are not solitary. Therefore, the best answer is E.
3. The blueprints for the new automobile were ----at first glance. but the
designer had been basically too conservative to ---- previous standards of
(A) striking.. flout
(B) impractical.. ignore
(C) impeccable.. dispel
(D) influential ..assess
(E) confusing.. incorporate
Explanation: The best answer is A.
4. Because its average annual rainfall is only about four
inches, one of the major tasks faced by the country has been to find ----sources
Explanation: The best answer is C.
5. Because the order in which the parts of speech appear in
the sentences of a given language is decided merely by custom, it is---- to
maintain that every departure from that order constitutes a ----of a natural
(A) traditional.. transformation
(B) conventional.. transgression
(C) necessary.. prototype
(D) unjustifiable.. violation
(E) unreasonable.. formulation
Explanation: The best answer is D.
The function of capital markets is to facilitate an exchange
of funds among all participants, and yet in practice we find that certain
participants are not on a par with others. Members of society have varying
degrees of market strength in terms of information they bring to a transaction,
as well as of purchasing power and creditworthiness, as defined by lenders.
For example, within minority communities, capital markets do
not properly fulfill their functions; they do not provide access to the
aggregate flow of funds in the United States. The financial system does not
generate the credit or investment vehicles needed for underwriting economic
development in minority areas. The problem underlying this dysfunction is found
in a rationing mechanism affecting both the available alternatives for
investment and the amount of financial resources. This creates a distributive
mechanism penalizing members of minority groups because of their socioeconomic
differences from others. The existing system expresses definite socially based
investment preferences that result from the previous allocation of income and
that influence the allocation of resources for the present and future. The
system tends to increase the inequality of income distribution. And, in the
United States economy, a greater inequality of income distribution leads to a
greater concentration of capital in certain types of investment.
Most traditional financial-market analysis studies ignore financial markets'
deficiencies in allocation because of analysts' inherent preferences for the
simple model of perfect competition. Conventional financial analysis pays
limited attention to issues of market structure and dynamics, relative costs of
information, and problems of income distribution. Market participants are viewed
as acting as entirely independent and homogeneous individuals with perfect
foresight about capital-market behavior. Also, it is assumed that each
individual in the community at large has the same access to the market and the
same opportunity to transact and to express the preference appropriate to his or
her individual interest. Moreover, it is assumed that transaction costs for
various types of financial instruments (stocks, bonds, etc.) are equally known
and equally divided among all community members.
6. The main point made by the passage is that
(A) financial markets provide for an optimum allocation of resources among all
competing participants by balancing supply and demand
(B) the allocation of financial resources takes place among separate individual
participants, each of whom has access to the market
(C) the existence of certain factors adversely affecting members of minority
groups shows that financial markets do not function as conventional theory says
(D) investments in minority communities can be made by the use of various
alternative financial instruments, such as stocks and bonds
(E) since transaction costs for stocks, bonds, and other other financial
instruments are not equally apportioned among all minority-group members, the
financial market is subject to criticism
Explanation: This question asks you to identify the
main point that is conveyed by the passage. C is the best answer. The
overarching message of the passage is that certain factors affecting minority
communities are essentially ignored in conventional financial-market analyses.
Choice A is not correct because the passage does not discuss issues of supply
and demand. Both B and D present a general claim about issues mentioned in the
passage, but neither statement expresses the main point of the passage. Choice E
can be eliminated because while the passage does criticize certain aspects of
the financial market, it is chiefly concerned with differences between minority
and non-minority communities, not with any differences among minority-group
7. The passage states that traditional studies of the
financial market overlook imbalances in the allocation of financial resources
(A) an optimum allocation of resources is the final result of competition among
(B) those performing the studies choose an oversimplified description of the
influences on competition
(C) such imbalances do not appear in the statistics usually compiled to measure
the market’s behavior
(D) the analysts who study the market are unwilling to accept criticism of their
methods as biased
(E) socioeconomic difference form the basis of a rationing mechanism that puts
minority groups at a disadvantage
Explanation: This question asks you to identify an
explicit claim made in the passage about traditional financial-market studies.
The best answer is B because the passage states that most studies are affected
by analysts' preference for simplicity in their models. Choice A is incorrect
because the passage does not suggest that competition eventually results in an
optimum allocation of resources. While the statements in C and D could be true,
they do not express claims presented in the passage. Choice E can be eliminated:
although the passage does make a similar point about rationing mechanisms, it
does not do so in explanation of alleged flaws in financial-market analyses.
8. The author’s main point is argued by
(A) giving examples that support a conventional generalization
(B) showing that the view opposite to the author’s is self-contradictory
(C) criticizing the presuppositions of a proposed plan
(D) showing that omissions in a theoretical description make it inapplicable in
(E) demonstrating that an alternative hypothesis more closely fits the data
Explanation: This question asks you to identify the
answer that best captures the author’s approach to the main argument presented
in the passage. Choice D is the best answer. In constructing an argument about
flaws in conventional market-analysis models, the author focuses on various
factors that are typically ignored-that is, omitted-in those models. Choice A
can be eliminated because the author is arguing against a conventional
viewpoint, not in favor of one. Choice B is incorrect because the author
characterizes the opposing point of view as flawed in certain respects, but does
not claim that the view is self-contradictory. Choices C and E are incorrect
because there is no proposed plan discussed in the passage, nor is an
alternative hypothesis offered.
9. A difference in which of the following would be an example
of inequality in transaction costs as alluded to in lines 40-43?
(A) Maximum amounts of loans extended by a bank to businesses in different areas
(B) Fees charged to large and small investors for purchasing stocks
(C) Prices of similar goods offered in large and small stores in an area
(D) Stipends paid to different attorneys for preparing legal suits for damages
(E) Exchange rates in dollars for currencies of different countries
Explanation: To answer this question correctly you
must choose the answer that most clearly offers an example of the phenomenon
alluded to in lines 40-43. Note that the question asks you to consider what it
would mean if there were differences in what is described in the answer choices.
The best answer is B. A fee to purchase stock is a transaction cost, and stock
is mentioned in the passage as an example of type of financial instrument.
Differences in fees charged to buy stock would thus be an example of inequality
in transaction costs for financial instruments. Choices A, C, And E are not
correct because amounts of loans, prices of goods, and exchange rates would not
be considered transaction costs for financial instruments. Choice D is incorrect
while a stipend paid for a service might be considered a type of transaction
cost, this choice does not describe a transaction cost involving the purchase or
sale of financial instruments.
10. Which of the following can be inferred about minority
communities on the basis of the passage?
(A) They provide a significant portion of the funds that become available for
investment in the financial market.
(B) They are penalized by the tax system, which increases the inequality of the
distribution of income between investors and wage earners.
(C) They do no receive the share of the amount of funds available for investment
that would be expected according to traditional financial-market analysis.
(D) They are not granted governmental subsidies to assist in underwriting the
cost of economic development
(E) They provide the same access to alternative sources of credit to finance
businesses as do majority communities.
Explanation: This question asks you to use information
provided in the passage in order to draw an inference about minority
communities. Choice C is the best answer. According to the passage, traditional
financial-market analysis assumes equal access to the market for all
participants; according to the author, however, minority communities do not have
equal access to the market. Thus it may be inferred that while traditional
analysis assumes that all communities will receive their share of available
funds, in reality those funds are disproportionately allocated to majority
communities. Choices A and B are incorrect because the passage does not discuss
either the origins of funds available for investment any tax penalties that may
be incurred by certain investors. While this statement in D could be true, there
is not enough information provided in the passage to support such an inference.
Choice E is incorrect because the passage does not assert or suggest that equal
access to any sources of credit is provided in minority communities.
11. According to the passage, a questionable assumption of
the conventional theory about the operation of financial markets is that
(A) creditworthiness as determined by lenders is a factor determining market
(B) market structure and market dynamics depend on income distribution
(C) a scarcity of alternative sources of funds would result from taking
socioeconomic factors into consideration
(D) those who engage in financial-market transactions are perfectly well
informed about the market
(E) inequalities in income distribution are increased by the functioning of the
Explanation: This question asks you to identify a
claim about conventional financial-market theory that is made explicitly in the
passage. The best answer is choice D. The author points out his assumption
within the context of criticizing the conventional theory about financial
markets. Choice A is not correct because creditworthiness is mentioned in the
first paragraph of the passage, but not in the context of assumptions made in
conventional theory. Choices B and C can be eliminated: with regard to the
consideration of income distribution, the passage states only that conventional
analysis tends to pay little attention to the topic. Choice C is incorrect
because the passage does not mention any assumption on the part of conventional
theory with regard to the consequence of considering socioeconomic factors.
12. According to the passage, analysts have conventionally
tended to view those who participate in financial market as
(A) judging investment preferences in terms of the good of society as a whole
(B) influencing the allocation of funds through prior ownership of certain kinds
(C) varying in market power with respect to one another
(D) basing judgments about future events mainly on chance
(E) having equal opportunities to engage in transactions
Explanation: This question asks you to identify a
claim made in the passage about the conventional viewpoint of financial market
analysts. The best answer is E. The passage states that conventional financial
analysis has assumed that all market participants have the same access to the
market and the same opportunity to make transactions in the markets. Choice A is
incorrect because the passage does not suggest that analysts have traditionally
assumed any attention to societal good on the part of market participants.
Choice B can be eliminated because the effect of prior allocation of funds is
mentioned in the second paragraph (lines 8-14), prior to any discussion of
traditional financial market analysis. Both C and D contradict a claim made in
the passage about conventional financial market analysis. First, conventional
analysis is said to assume that all participants have equal access, not varying
market power. Second, conventional analysis is said to assume that market
participants act with perfect foresight about capital-market behavior, not that
they rely on chance.
(The following is based on material written in 1996.)
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, signed in 1987
by more than 150 nations, has attained its short-term goals: it has decreased
the rate of increase in amounts of most ozone-depleting chemicals reaching the
atmosphere and has even reduced the atmospheric levels of some of them. The
projection that the ozone layer will substantially recover from ozone depletion
by 2050 is based on the assumption that the protocol’s regulations will be
strictly followed. Yet there is considerable evidence of violations,
particularly in the form of the release of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons
(CFC’s), which are commonly used in the refrigeration, heating, and air
conditioning industries. These violation reflect industry attitudes; for
example, in the United States, 48 percents of respondents in a recent survey of
subscribers to Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration News, and industry
trade journal, said that they did not believe that CFC’s damage the ozone layer.
Moreover, some in the industry apparently do not want to pay for CFC
substitutes, which can run five times the cost of CFC’s. Consequently, a black
market in imported illicit CFC’s has grown. Estimates of the contraband CFC
trade range from 10,000 to 22,000 tons a year, with most of the CFC’s
originating in India and China, whose agreements under the Protocol still allow
them to produce CFC’s. In fact, the United States Customs Service reports that
CFC-12 is a contraband problem second only to illicit drugs.
13. According to the passage, which of the following best describes most
ozone-depleting chemicals in 1996 as compared to those in 1987?
(A) The levels of such chemicals in the atmosphere had decreased.
(B) The number of such chemicals that reached the atmosphere had declined.
(C) The amounts of such chemicals released had increased but the amounts that
reached the atmosphere had decreased.
(D) The rate of increase in amounts of such chemicals reaching the atmosphere
(E) The rate at which such chemicals were being reduced in the atmosphere had
Explanation: This question asks you to identify a
claim that is made in the passage about ozone-depleting chemicals. The best
answer is D. The passage, written in 1996, states that the rate of increase in
amounts of most ozone-depleting chemicals reaching the atmosphere had been
reduced since 1987. Choice A can be eliminated because the passage states that
the atmospheric levels of some ozone-depleting chemicals had been reduced, not
that the levels of most had been reduced. Choice B is incorrect because the
actual number of different chemicals reaching the atmosphere is not provided in
the passage, nor is it claimed that the number had declined. Choice C is not
correct because the passage does not claim that there was an increase in the
amounts of ozone-depleting chemicals released between 1987 and 1996. Choice E is
incorrect because there is no indication in the passage that the rate of
reduction of atmospheric chemicals had slowed between 1987 and 1996.
14. The author of the passage compares the smuggling of CFC’s
to the illicit drug trade most likely for which of the following reasons?
(A) To qualify a previous claim
(B) To emphasize the extent of a problem
(C) To provide an explanation for an earlier assertion
(D) To suggest that the illicit CFC trade, likely the illicit drug trade, will
continue to increase
(E) To suggest that the consequences of a relatively little-knows problem are as
serious as those of a well-known one
Explanation: This question asks you to identify the
purpose of the author’s comparison of CFC smuggling and the illicit drug trade.
The best answer is B. The author notes that the smuggling of CFC’s is, in the
view of the United States Customs Service, a problem “second only" to the
illicit drug trade. This provides a point of reference that emphasizes the
extent of the CFC smuggling problem. Choice A is not correct To qualify a claim
is to weaken or soften it. The author’s comparison of CFC smuggling to the
illicit drug trade in fact underscores the previous claim, which ahs to do with
the amount of contraband CFC’s traded each year on the black market. Choice C is
not correct because the comparison of CFC smuggling to the illicit drug trade
does not provide an explanation for an assertion made in the passage. Choices D
and E are not correct because the comparison of CFC smuggling to the illicit
drug trade illustrates the extent of the CFC smuggling problem, but does not
suggest further similarities between the two phenomena, such as the likelihood
of their increase. The author also does not express any opinion as to the
relative seriousness of the two problems' consequence.
15. The passage suggests which of the following about the
illicit trade in CFC’s?
(A) It would cease if manufacturers in India and China stopped producing CFC’s.
(B) Most people who participate in such trade do not believe that CFC’s deplete
the ozone layer.
(C) It will probably surpass illicit drugs as the largest contraband problem
faced by the United States Custom Services.
(D) It is fostered by people who do not want to pay the price of CFC
(E) It has grown primarily because of the expansion of the refrigeration,
heating, and air-conditioning industries in foreign countries.
Explanation: The question asks what the passage
implies about the illicit trade in CFC’s. The best answer is D. The passage
states that some industry members appear not to want to pay the price of CFC
substitutes, and that consequently a black market in cheaper CFC’s has emerged.
This implies that the black market is fostered at least in part by those
industry members who are unwilling to pay the higher price of CFC substitutes.
Choice A can be eliminated because the passage states only that most contraband
CFC’s originate in India and China. This does not imply that the illicit trade
in CFC’s could not continue without manufacturers in those countries. Choice B
is not correct because the passage does not provide information about the
beliefs of participants in the illicit CFC trade. Choice C is incorrect because
the passage states only that the United States Customs Service considers the
illicit CFC trade to be a problem second only to the illicit drug trade:; there
is no suggestion in the passage that the illicit CFC trade is expected to
develop into a larger problem than the illicit drug trade. Choice E is incorrect
because the passage attributes the growth of the illicit trade in CFC’s to the
high cost of CFC substitutes, not to an expansion of refrigeration, heating, and
air-conditioning industries in foreign countries.
16. ASSUAGE : SORROW ::
(A) retaliate : antipathy
(B) dampen : ardor
(C) entrust : reliability
(D) counsel : reluctance
(E) withhold : appreciation
Explanation: To “assuage" means to lessen the
intensity of, or to relieve, something like pain or “sorrow" A rationale for
this analogy could be " to X means to lessen the intensity of a feeling such as
Y" To “dampen" can mean to diminish the intensity of a feeling such as “ardor"
17. DIE : SHAPING ::
(A) glue : attaching
(B) anchor : sailing
(C) drill : boring
(D) pedal : propelling
(E) ink : printing
Explanation: “Die" has several meanings, but its use
with “shaping" suggests that here it should be taken to mean a tool used to form
an object. This definition suggests that a rationale for this analogy could be "
X is a tool used for Y, where Y is done to something else. " A “drill" is a tool
used for “boring" making holes by piercing).
18. PERFUNCTORILY : INSPIRATION ::
(A) insolently : veneration
(B) ardently : passion
(C) phlegmatically : composure
(D) surreptitiously : obsession
(E) haltingly : reluctance
Explanation: Something done “perfunctorily" is done in
a mechanical or superficial manner, without enthusiasm or “inspiration" A
rationale for this analogy could be “A person performing in a manner described
as X is acting without feeling Y." a person who does something “insolently"
arrogantly or insultingly) does not feel “veneration" One who feels admiration
or reverence does not behave arrogantly.
19. FAWN : IMPERIOUSNESS ::
(A) equivocate : directness
(B) elaborate : originality
(C) boggle : imagination
(D) manipulate : repression
(E) coddle : permissiveness
Explanation: To “fawn" means to court favor in a
cringing or flattering manner. One who fawns is not characterized by
“imperiousness" arrogance, or a commanding presence). A rationale for this
analogy could be “to X is to show a lack of Y" To “equivocate" means to lie or
deceive, and shows a lack of “directness"
20. CLOT : DISSOLVED ::
(A) enthusiast : influenced
(B) carton : distorted
(C) crowd : dispersed
(D) chain : disengaged
(E) disciple : inspired
Explanation: A “clot" (a mass created when the
components of something stick together) ceases to be a “clot" when it is
“dissolved." A rationale for this analogy could be “an X ceases to be an X when
it is Y (that, is, when it has undergone the particular process of being Y)." if
a “crowd" is “dispersed," it is no longer a “crowd," but a number of separate
21. STUDY : LEARN ::
(A) pervade : encompass
(B) search : find
(C) gather : win
(D) agree : keep
(E) accumulate : raise
Explanation: People “study" in order to “learn"
Therefore, a rationale for this analogy could be “People X (study) in order to Y
(learn)," or “one way to y (learn) is to X (study)." People “search" in order
to “find" one way to “find" something is to “search for it"
22. APPLE : FRUIT ::
(A) egg : chicken
(B) rung : chair
(C) wool : fabric
(D) fuse : dynamite
(E) wick : candle
Explanation: An “apple" is a kind of “fruit" A
rationale for this analogy could be “X is a kind of Y" “Wool" is the name of a
kind of “fabric"
Explanation: “Boisterous" means noisy and high
spirited. It implies activity as well as noise. E is the correct answer. “Quiet"
can imply low levels of both noise and activity. To be “grateful" means to
appreciate something. Expressing appreciation is not necessarily associated with
particular levels of noise or activity. One who is “angry" might be, but is not
necessarily, quiet. To be “clever" means to be quick-witted or resourceful. It
does not imply a level of activity or of feeling. A “frightened" person might
not behave boisterously, but there is not, by definition, a connection between
D. speak slowly
E. joke inaptly
Explanation: To “jabber" means to speak so rapidly as
to be unintelligible. D is the correct answer. To “speak slowly" is the opposite
of speaking rapidly. To “tickle" means to excite in a pleasant way. It is
different from jabbering in that it involves touch rather than verbal
communication, but tickling is not the opposite of jabbering. To ‘argue" means
to dispute or to give reasons for something. It refers to the content rather
than to the manner of speech and so cannot be the opposite of “jabber." To
“stroke" means to rub gently. It is different from jabbering in that it involves
touch rather than verbal communication, but stroking is not the opposite of
jabbering. To “joke inaptly" means to make inappropriate jests. It does not
refer to the speed or intelligibility of speech.
Explanation: To “amalgamate" means to mix together or
unite. A is the correct answer. To “separate" means to disunite. To “fixate"
means to gaze steadily at something. To “terminate" means to put an end to or
to come to an end. It does not necessarily imply dissolution. To “calibrate"
means to adjust, as the markings on an instrument. To “correlate" means to show
a relationship to something else.
A. provoke criticism
B. receive payment
C. submit unwillingly
D. oppose publicly
E. perform quickly
Explanation: One meaning of “endorse" is to approve of
something. It implies attaching one’s name to an indication of approval, such as
a statement. D is the correct answer. To “oppose publicly" is the opposite of
lending one’s name in approval. To “provoke criticism" means to cause someone to
criticize, rather than to express disapproval. “Endorse" can mean to sign, as
one would sign a check, in order to “receive payment," but endorsement is a step
in a process of receiving payment, and not its opposite. To “submit unwillingly"
may or may not suggest disapproval. “Endorse" does not suggest coercion or the
absence of coercion, so to “submit unwillingly" is too specific to be the
opposite of the more general “endorse" To “perform quickly" does not imply
approval or disapproval.
A. artificial manner
B. trivial point
C. informal procedure
D. eccentric method
E. singular event
Explanation: The “gist" (of an argument, for
instance,) is the main, or most important, point. B is the correct answer. A
“trivial point" is an unimportant one. An “artificial manner" is an affected or
unnatural way of behaving, rather than a part of an argument or discussion. An
“informal procedure" is a method of operation that is not rigidly specified.
There is no reason to suppose that it is no reason to suppose that it is
unrelated to the main point. An “eccentric method" is a way of operating that is
peculiar to a person or group. There is no reason to suppose that it is
unrelated to the main point. A “singular event" is an occurrence that is
individual or unusual. There is no reason to suppose that it is unrelated to the
Explanation: “Anarchy" means absence of order. C is
the correct answer. “Order" is the opposite of a lack of order. A lack of
“courtesy" might well accompany a state of “anarchy," but this lack is not
implied in the definition of “anarchy." “Hope" is an emotion, and not a state.
It may or may not accompany “anarchy," but it is not the opposite of “anarchy"
“Neutrality," like “anarchy," can be a political state, but it does not
necessarily imply orderliness. “Importance" is a quality that does not directly
or necessarily have to do with order or the lack of it.
C. keep silent
D. move forward
E. give approval
Explanation: To “breach" means to break or to break
into something. You can tell from the answer choices that “breach" is used as a
verb, not as a noun. B is the correct answer. To “solder" is to unite parts or
to mend a break. To “garner" is to gather. To “keep silent" is to refrain from
speaking or making noise. To “move forward" is to go ahead or to make progress.
To “give approval" is to express a favorable opinion.
Explanation: “Extant" means still existing. It may
refer to living things, or to documents or other inanimate objects. D is the
correct answer. “Extinct" means, in the case of an animal or kind of animal, no
longer existing or living. To be “extensive" means to cover a large area.
Something that is “extensive" must still exist. “Extraneous" means inessential,
but it does not imply nonexistence. Something “extricable" can be removed or
disentangled. Such a thing is not nonexistent. “Extra" means additional. It may
imply unimportance, but it does not imply nonexistence.