GRE Verbal Reasoning – Text Completion Example Problem

What is ArtHere is an example of a simple Verbal Reasoning question you might see on the GRE.

It is (i)_____ that so many artists today don’t understand the importance of sincerity in art; even the most beautiful painting, sculpture, or song will fail to transform from object to art if it lacks genuine veracity. Instead of the artist, perhaps we should blame our (ii) _____ culture, where people often mistake being shallow for being authentic.

Explanation:  One key passage to determining the answer is the phrase “will fail to transform from object to art”; this tone indicates a negative perspective about “artists today.”  Of the three answer choices, only “heinous” has a negative connotation. Thus the answer to Blank (i) is B. heinous. The key phrase to answering Blank (ii) is “if it lacks genuine veracity.” This phrase indicates that the correct answer choice will be one that means something or someone that lacks genuine veracity, or truth. Of the three answer choices, only “superficial” means concerned only with understanding the obvious or apparent. Thus the answer to Blank (ii) is E. superficial.

You can never have enough vocabulary words; here are the definitions of all the answer choices:

Impecunious means lacking money or poor. This word is synonymous with penniless.

Heinous means grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable.

Edifying means to instruct; particularly in such a way as to encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.

Precocious means manifesting or characterized by unusually early development or maturity, especially in mental aptitude.

Superficial means concerned with or comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; shallow.

Educable means capable of being educated or taught.


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