This GRE Verbal review consists of 10 GRE Antonym practice questions. (Antonym questions will account for 7 of the 30 questions on your actual GRE Verbal section, and they'll be mixed with Reading Comprehension sets, Sentence Completion questions, and Analogy questions.)
Here are some tips for tackling GRE Antonyms (The Antonym format is one of four basic formats used for GRE Verbal questions)
- In most Antonym questions, the best answer isn't a perfect antonym. The test-makers can't resist hiding the ball from you; so don't expect to find an exact opposite among the answer choices.
- If you encounter an unfamiliar word, don't give up; ask yourself whether the word resembles a familiar one in any way. Perhaps the two words have the same root. If so, the two words are likely to have related meanings.
- Try working backward — from an answer choice to the capitalized word — to help gain insight if your stuck. Try to think of a single word (not a phrase) that expresses the opposite of the answer choice. Ask yourself whether your antonym for the answer choice is a good synonym for the headword? If not, you can eliminate the answer choice.
If an answer choice stumps you, resort to intuition by asking yourself two questions:
- Can you express the opposite idea using only one word (as opposed to a phrase)? If not, the answer is probably wrong.
- Can you imagine hearing the headword used in connection with the answer choice's antonyms? If not, go with your hunch an eliminate that answer choice.
- If you're stuck, try converting a word to another part of speech. Many GRE words are difficult to deal with simply because their part of speech (noun, verb, or adjective) is not commonly used. Turning the word into a more familiar form can help.
- Be sure to look for an antonym, not a synonym! This might seem like obvious advice, yet it's amazingly easy to get everything backwards during the pressure of the actual exam. The slightest lapse in concentration can result in your carelessly choosing a synonym instead of an antonym. Avoid "synonym syndrome" by always verifying your choice before you move on.
- Resolve close judgment calls in favor of the more specific antonym. This is another one of the test-makers' common ploys, and it is sometimes the key to distinguishing a best response from a second-best one. Always be on the lookout for this ploy!
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