Text Completion on the GRE Verbal Test — Practice Questions
The GRE Verbal test contains several Text Completion questions. Basically, you to look at a sentence or paragraph with one, two, or three blank spaces, and then choose the best word or words to fill in those spaces.
Following the sentence or paragraph are choices for filling in the blank(s): five choices if the sentence has only one blank, or three choices for each blank if the sentence has two or three blanks. Although all the answers may sound okay in the sentence, only one is correct for each blank.
If the text contains more than one blank, you don’t get partial credit for choosing only one correct word.
Conflict of interest is _____ in any organization that conducts its own internal investigations. Although these conflicts of interest rarely occur, the risk is ever-present.
Initially, Bartleby the scrivener performed his job duties (i) _____ and was generally a (ii) _____ employee. That changed one day when the lawyer who hired him asked him to examine a document. Bartleby responded by saying, “I would prefer not to.” Although the lawyer was somewhat taken aback by Bartleby’s (iii) _____, he also found it somewhat intriguing.
Answers and explanations
Inherent means by nature. Rampant and prevalent don’t work, because the second sentence states that these conflicts rarely arise. Extrinsic would imply that the conflicts arise from outside the organization, which doesn’t make sense. Flagrant means blatant — easily observable, which fits the first sentence but doesn’t convey the sense that the risk is ever-present, as stated in the second sentence.
C, F, H
Start at the end of the question. If the lawyer who hired Bartleby was taken aback, Bartleby probably did something bad, so that eliminates deference (respect) and persistence (diligence); he must be guilty of impertinence (being disrespectful). Now, because you know something changed for the worse, you know the first two blanks need positive words. Filling the first blank is fairly easy: Bartleby would’ve started out performing his job duties meticulously (carefully), not pedantically (overly concerned with formalities) or surreptitiously (secretly). Filling the second blank is more of a challenge. Because obdurate (stubborn) isn’t positive, you can immediately rule it out. Meek (gentle, perhaps overly so) and tractable (easily managed) are fairly close in meaning, but tractable is the better choice.