Articles published in Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence

GRE Verbal is Not a Rorschach Test

by

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Verbal is Not a Rorschach Test by Tom Anderson

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


GRE Verbal is Not a Rorschach Test

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Verbal is Not a Rorschach Test by Tom Anderson

What do you see in the image above? A butterfly? A twisty rollercoaster? Your mother’s disapproval? Read more

GRE Vocabulary Words that Change the Whole Sentence

by

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Vocabulary Words that Change the Whole Sentence by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


Let’s take a look at some of the most useful GRE vocabulary words. These words don’t look that important on their own, but they can reverse the meaning of an entire phrase or sentence! Get started by trying out this GRE Text Completion question: Read more

Making the Most of Your Mnemonic: Multi-Meaning Sentences

by

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Making the Most of Your Mnemonic: Multi-Meaning Sentences by Tom Anderson

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


Why am I thinking about an old spiritual guru, sitting on top of a mountain, eating steaks? It’s because I’m trying to remember the word rarefied. Sure, there are more mundane ways to remember this word, but I have my reasons. Namely, I’m trying to tie several meanings of “rarefied” into a single mnemonic sentence. Read more

GRE Sentence Equivalence: Theme Traps

by

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Sentence Equivalence: Theme Traps by Chelsey Cooley

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


There are four reasons to miss a GRE Sentence Equivalence problem. Here are three of them:

  • You misread the sentence.
  • You didn’t know all of the vocabulary words (or remembered a word incorrectly).
  • You were short on time and the problem looked tough, so you guessed and got unlucky.

These are all things that you can address with practice. (Check out our Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence Strategy Guide for ideas!) However, we won’t be talking about them here. Instead, let’s look at a fourth reason to miss a GRE Sentence Equivalence problem:

  • You fell for a trap.

Read more

Are GRE Verbal Questions Subjective?

by

 

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Are GRE Verbal Questions Subjective? by Chelsey Cooley

Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


A lot of people think that GRE Verbal questions can have more than one right answer. The GRE itself doesn’t do anything to dispel this myth, since Verbal questions often include wording like which of the following is best supported? or with which statement would the author most likely agree?. These questions make it sound as if you’re supposed to read five pretty good answers and pick the best one, even if the other ones are okay, too. However, this mindset will hurt you on test day. Read more

Why Isn’t My Vocabulary Knowledge Helping Me on the GRE?

by

Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Why Isn't My Vocabulary Knowledge Helping Me on the GRE? by Chelsey CooleyDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


You’re up to your ears in flashcards. You know the meanings of ‘nostrum’, ‘pelf’, and ‘maculated’. Maybe you’ve even used the spaced retrieval technique; here’s a piece that I wrote on this technique, and here’s another from my colleague, Céilidh Erickson. But when you take practice tests, your hard work with vocabulary doesn’t seem to be paying off. Why are you still missing GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence problems? Read more

Conquering GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence as a Non-Native English Speaker (Part 2)

by

Blog-EnglishSpeaker-II

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


In the previous article, we discussed two ways for a non-native English speaker to excel at the vocabulary-based question types on the GRE. If English isn’t your first language, check out that article first, and try our two recommendations: keep a list of inconsistent or illogical English idioms, and focus on context as you learn vocabulary. Then, read onward for two more ideas! Read more

Conquering GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence as a Non-Native English Speaker (Part 1)

by

Blog-EnglishSpeaker (1)

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Crazy, right? Check out our upcoming courses here.


If you’re a non-native English speaker and English is your second (or third, or fourth!) language, you might find GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence frustrating. However, you can still improve your performance, and you don’t need to study thousands of flashcards to do it. Here are a few ways to address your weaknesses and play to your strengths.
Read more

Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence: A Little Grammar Does a World of Good (Part 3)

by

2-19-Grammar-PtIII-2In a way, the environmental movement can still be said to be _________ movement, for while it has been around for decades, only recently has it become a serious organization associated with political parties and platforms.

The above sentence is a SE example from the 5Lb Book of GRE Practice Problems, #89.  Today’s discussion explores a third element of sentence structure that is easily overlooked – pronouns!  They can greatly help you clarify the meaning of a sentence.  (And if you didn’t notice already, do you see what I did in the previous sentence?  They – did this pronoun catch your eye?)

The challenge with pronouns isn’t that they are difficult to address, it’s that they are nearly invisible to us, because we have spent our entire adult lives ignoring them when we read and speak.  As a test, how many pronouns have I used just in this short paragraph?

Here’s one way I want you to ‘see’ the earlier SE example:

In a way, the environmental movement can still be said to be ________ movement, for while it has been around for decades, only recently has it become a serious organization associated with political parties and platforms.

Stop mid-sentence, and address those ‘it’s.  This mental exercise is not about finding the target, clues, and pivots, although you should be aware a pronoun could certainly be the target.  This is about making sure you understand the sentence.  Mentally, you should read the sentence as
Read more

GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence: A Little Grammar Does a World of Good (Part 2)

by

2-17-GrammarPtIISo, in my last post, I discussed finding the core sentence, using punctuation to help us break a sentence into manageable chunks.  We looked at two sentences; I’ve re-copied one of them below.

The director’s commercially-motivated attempts to (i)_______ the imperatives of the mass marketplace were (ii)_______, as evidenced by the critical acclaim but low attendance garnered by his film.

We focused on how the comma breaks the sentence in half: one half is the actual core sentence, and the other half describes how the director’s attempts were critically, but not commercially, successful.

This time, let’s dive into what’s happening with that first blank, and now I’ll give you the answer options:

sequester

obey

secure.

Many, many students in my classes choose ‘secure’, and that really puzzled me.  If a class doesn’t know the answer, there’s usually a fairly even division among the choices.  What I saw wasn’t students guessing; they thought they had the correct choice in ‘secure’.  Somehow, the third option was a trap.  How?

I have a theory: ‘secure’ is a trap because students link the first blank to the wrong element, the wrong target.  I think many students link that first blank to the word ‘marketplace’, and then think about how someone would want to ‘secure’ a ‘market’ for a product (in this case, a film).
Read more