All HSPT Verbal Resources
Example Question #1 : Qualities
Ice is to cold as sun is to __________.
This analogy is relatively simple, all you have to note is that “cold” describes ice. Thus, you are looking for something that describes the sun. All of the incorrect options are related to the “location” of the sun (i.e. “in” the sky) or when it is in the sky (“morning,” “daytime,” “diurnal”). None of these pertain to a description of the sun itself. Though simple, the best option is “bright.”
Example Question #2 : Qualities
Scholar is to intelligent as craftsman is to __________.
“Intelligent” is ideally a description that applies to a scholar—one who studies a given topic with great learning and depth. Thus, the analogy requires that you select an answer that describes a craftsman. A craftsman is a person like a tailor, a baker, etc, who has a skill in some particular trade. Thus, the best option among those provided is “skilled.” The others name types of craftsmen and do not give a general description that applies to the notion of craftsman. The option “technique” describes what the craftsman is said to “have.” It is not, however, a descriptive adjective applicable to craftsmen in general.
Example Question #3 : Qualities
Athlete is to fit as coward is to __________.
An athlete can be described as being “fit,” that is being “in shape.” Thus, this analogy is looking for a word that would adequately describe a coward. This is not necessarily a synonym as much as it is a descriptive adjective. Among the options provided, it might be that a coward is unreliable or perhaps, for some ethicists at least, vicious (in the sense of having a vice); however, the only option that really describes the coward as a coward is “fearful.”
Example Question #4 : Qualities
Saint is to holy as daredevil is to __________.
A saint is a person who is considered holy by some group. The word comes from the Latin “sanctus” meaning “consecrated,” “sacred,” or “holy.” The word “sanctify” means “to make holy.” Thus, the analogy is one of description, as though to say, “As a saint can properly be said to be holy, so a daredevil can be said to be X.” Now, the options “idiotic” and “insane” really import an additional judgment regarding the prudence of such daring people. They aren’t completely proper to the notion of being a daredevil (even if they do apply to some degree). “Stuntman” is a synonym, not a description. Thus, the best option is “fearless,” for a “daredevil” is so called because he or she dares to do quite fearful things.
Example Question #5 : Qualities
Rustic is to ornamentation as ailing is to __________.
Something described as “rustic” is related to the countryside. Often, the word can mean “plain,” as though to indicate “plain like a simple country cottage (or something of the like).” This latter interpretation should be given to the word given that it is coupled with “ornamentation,” which pertains to the general appearance and decoration of something. Thus, the analogy could be written as a lack: “Just as something rustic lacks ornamentation, so does something ailing lack X.” Something “ailing” is something that is sick. Such a thing lacks health, which is the best option among those given. Note that something ails because it lacks health—not necessarily because of lacking treatment or medication. Those are not essential to the notion of being sick or healthy.
Example Question #6 : Qualities
Meritocracy is to ability as democracy is to __________.
A meritocracy is a form of government or organization that ranks its members based on their abilities and accomplishments. This is not always the case, for some organizations prize loyalty (or perhaps other things) more than ability. The bridge sentence for the analogy could be constructed, “As a meritocracy is based upon ability, so is a democracy based upon X.” Democracies, in their purest forms at least, base themselves upon a presumed equality among citizens. As Aristotle once said, in democracies people believe that if they are equal in at least one things—i.e. freedom—they should be equal in all. This is quite different from an oligarchy of the rich, for he said of them that they believe that if people are unequal in one thing—i.e. wealth—they should be unequal in all. This is a bit overstated, but it makes the point for this analogy!
Example Question #7 : Qualities
Flame is to simmer as encouragement is to __________.
A flame is used to cause water to simmer, that is barely boil. The analogy should be understood in this manner: “As a flame causes something to simmer, so encouragement causes someone to X.” It is fair to say that encouragement makes someone hope for a better future, even if things are bad or difficult at the present moment. It is a type of “inspiration,” and the word “encouragement” literally means “to place courage into” (en+couragement).
Example Question #8 : Qualities
Virgin is to chaste as criminal is to __________.
A virgin is someone who has never had sexual intercourse. If this is by choice, such a person is characteristically chaste. Thus, the analogy requires that you look for a characteristic that could be applied to a criminal. Among those mentioned, you could consider any of the options, but the only one that covers the situation most generally is “iniquitous.” A criminal has done something wrong, and an iniquity is a sin or wrongdoing; therefore, the best characteristic term among those provided is “iniquitous.” A criminal can get away with a lot and not be caught, and not all criminal actions are done in a slinking way; however, inasmuch as they are criminal, they are wrong, and hence, iniquitous. (This presumes, of course, that they are true crimes—as Thomas Aquinas said, an unjust law is no law at all. This, however, is not our concern! Take the simple case of someone who is justly called a criminal).
Example Question #9 : Qualities
Congestion is to obstructed as cascade is to __________.
Congestion is the state of being blocked. The word is often used to describe traffic that has slowed because of the number of cars in a given area. It is likewise used to describe when one’s nose / air passages are filled with fluid or mucus. To be “obstructed” means “to be blocked.” Thus, we could say, “As congestion is by its nature obstructed, so is a cascade X.” A cascade is either a small type of waterfall or any type of continuous passing on of material or information. Thus, a cascade by its nature is something flowing.
Example Question #10 : Qualities
Desperado is to reckless as puritan is to __________.
A desperado is a person who is completely desperate—hence the name—an therefore likely criminal and reckless in action. Having no hope, such a person will do anything to further his station. The option “reckless” describes a character trait of a desperado, so the analogy requires that you select a character trait for a puritan. Since the term is not being used with a capital “P,” it here means merely someone who is very strict and rigid in morality. This may often have been the case with the Puritans in early America, but they are no longer among us. Still, the term lives on. Such “puritanical” people are “abstemious,” that is, they abstain or do not indulge in many pleasures.