HSPT Verbal : Changes in Intensity

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HSPT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Changes In Intensity

Reject is to spurn as disapprove is to __________.

Possible Answers:

condemn

convict

accept

dislike

approve

Correct answer:

condemn

Explanation:

If someone spurns another person, he or she rejects that person with contempt. Thus, in a sense, “to spurn” is a stronger sense of “to reject.” When something is held in contempt, it is believed to be so worthless that it is not worth being considered at all. When something is condemned, it is not merely disapproved but is completely disapproved, often being publicly denounced and perhaps even made illegal. For this reason, it is related to disapprove as spurn is to reject.

Example Question #2 : Changes In Intensity

Interested is to engrossed as cut is to __________.

Possible Answers:

lacerated

bruised

scraped

broken

injured

Correct answer:

lacerated

Explanation:

When someone is engrossed in something, he or she has all of his or her attention focused on that thing. Thus, “engrossed” could be said to mean “very interested.” We are therefore looking for a word that increases the intensity of the given word “cut.” Among the options provided, “lacerated” means “being cut very deeply.” This is the best option among those provided, for none of the others express this intensification.

Example Question #3 : Changes In Intensity

Cool is to freeze as anger is to __________.

Possible Answers:

enrage

displease

irritate

heat

vex

Correct answer:

enrage

Explanation:

Freezing is a more forceful kind of chilling action than merely cooling something. Among the options provided, “enrage” provides the best example of a more forceful kind of action of angering. To enrage is literally to “place rage into” someone, to make someone very angry. Just as freezing is a more powerful action than cooling, so too enraging is something far stronger than mere angering.

Example Question #3 : Changes In Intensity

Illuminating is to dazzling as shocking is to __________.

Possible Answers:

sickening

frightening

horrifying

surprising

questioning

Correct answer:

horrifying

Explanation:

Although we often use the word “illuminating” to describe something that is informative or interesting, the word’s original meaning is merely “shining light,” as in “illumination” from a lamp in a room. The word “dazzling” represents a stronger form of lighting, for something that is dazzling is so bright that it nearly blinds those looking at it. With regard to “shocking,” the only option that means “very shocking” is “horrifying.” Options like “frightening” and “sickening,” do not really give this sense of a “stronger shock.”

Example Question #4 : Changes In Intensity

Attractive is to stunning as tempting is to __________.

Possible Answers:

temptation

irresistible

urge

malice

sin

Correct answer:

irresistible

Explanation:

When a woman is “stunning” in appearance, she is considered “very attractive.” (The metaphorical sense is that she is so attractive that it stops—i.e. stuns—those who see her.) Therefore, we are looking for a word that represents “very tempting.” Something that is irresistible is so tempting that one cannot avoid it. For instance, an “irresistible urge to eat a piece of pie” is an urge that is so tempting that you must give into it. None of the other options express this sense of “very tempting.”

Example Question #5 : Changes In Intensity

Surprising is to astonishing as easy is to __________.

Possible Answers:

simple

element

uncomplicated

farcical

vapid

Correct answer:

vapid

Explanation:

Something “astonishing” is very surprising (and perhaps also amazing). The sense of this analogy is, “Something astonishing is very surprising, as something X is very easy.”   Among the options, “vapid is the best.” The word originally comes from a usage meaning “having little flavor.” However, it has come to mean, “being completely unchallenging or not stimulating.” Sometimes, we will refer to “vapid music” that really just repeats several very simple chords over and over. It is “easy” for the listener, requiring little musical knowledge or thought. We could say by extension that something that is “vapid” is something that is very easy.

Example Question #7 : Changes In Intensity

Challenge is to overwhelm as dislike is to __________.

Possible Answers:

distinction

ignorance

distaste

aversion

acceptance

Correct answer:

aversion

Explanation:

Something that is “overwhelming” is so extremely challenging that it “defeats” the person attempting it (or overcomes them by its force / difficulty). The bridge sentence is a bit difficult here, for you need to read “dislike” not as a verb but as a noun. We do this when we say something like, “He had a strong dislike for pizza.” A “strong dislike” is an “aversion,” which is one of our options. None of the other potential answers capture the same sense of disliking something greatly.

Example Question #8 : Changes In Intensity

Speak is to bellow as cry is to __________.

Possible Answers:

simper

weep

lament

rage

tear

Correct answer:

lament

Explanation:

A “bellow” is a very strong type of speech, often loud and caused by pain. The general sense of this analogy is that a bellow is a louder and stronger type of enunciation than speech. A way to form a bridge sentence would be, “As bellowing is much stronger and louder than speaking, so too is X much stronger than crying.” Among the options, “lament” best describes this kind of “extreme crying,” for a “lamentation” (an act of lamenting) is a very passionate kind of crying. All of the other options are too weak and do not express this sense of “really crying.” “Rage,” though strong, does not deal with crying but instead with anger.

Example Question #6 : Changes In Intensity

Pleasing is to exhilarating as thin is to __________.

Possible Answers:

emaciated

fit

gargantuan

tawny

svelte

Correct answer:

emaciated

Explanation:

Something “exhilarating” is often thought of as being very “fun” or “exciting.” In general, the term means “something causing great joy or pleasure.” In the parts of speech provided, we can say that the analogy’s sentence form is, “As something exhilarating is very pleasing, so too is something X very thin.” Among the options provided, “emaciated” means “very thin” (perhaps malnourished). The other options do not express this sense of extreme thinness.

Example Question #7 : Changes In Intensity

Ability is to expertise as strength is to __________.

Possible Answers:

weakling

puissance

muscle

sturdy

fastidious

Correct answer:

puissance

Explanation:

Someone who has expertise in a given subject has a great deal of ability in it. Therefore, we are looking for a word that will express the state of having a great deal of strength.   Although the word “puissance” is a bit out of date, it does mean “having great power.” It is related to words like “potent” and “potentate,” which indicate power. Even if you did not know this word, you should be able to tell that none of the other options express either great strength or even (in the case of “weakling” and “fastidious”) anything related to strength (except perhaps negatively in the case of “weakling”).

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