ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Style, Intensity, and Connotation in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Upper Level Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

I __________ monday mornings; after the relaxation of the weekend, it is simply detestable to go back to work.

Possible Answers:

abduct

vacate

evaluate

abhor

preempt

Correct answer:

abhor

Explanation:

From context, it is clear that the answer choice must mean something similar to detest, so the correct answer is “abhor.” To “abhor” means to hate, detest or greatly dislike; “abduct” means kidnap; “vacate” means leave empty or evacuate; "evaluate" means assess the quality of; “preempt” means do something to stop something from happening in the future.

Example Question #2 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Cars are subject to __________ safety tests to ensure that they are as safe as they can possibly be.

Possible Answers:

thrifty

rigorous

effortless

tempestuous

tentative

Correct answer:

rigorous

Explanation:

The author says that cars are subject to safety tests that ensure they are "as safe as they can possibly be." This suggests that the tests must be exhausting, diligent,and thorough, and therefore the correct answer is “rigorous.” As for the other answer choices, “effortless” means done without any difficulty or effort whatsoever; “tentative” means unconfirmed or not yet decided on for sure; “tempestuous” means stormy or involving heated and frenetic emotions; and “thrifty” means economical and good at finding good prices for purchases.

Example Question #3 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Following the conviction of the infamous criminal, the judge remarked that he had never met such a(n) __________ individual.

Possible Answers:

heinous

laudable

exceptional

fickle

submissive

Correct answer:

heinous

Explanation:

The subject is an "infamous criminal," so you can infer that the judge would likely be severe in his characterization of the convicted man. The word “heinous” means wicked, evil, or odious, and so it is the best answer choice. “Laudable” means deserving of praise; “submissive” means not dominant or willing to be ordered around; “fickle” means inconsistent or changeable; and “exceptional” means unusual or uncommonly brilliant.

Example Question #4 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Following the birth of his daughter, he __________ his role as manager of his company because he wanted to accept a position with fewer hours.

Possible Answers:

imitated

admonished

relinquished

lost

humbled

Correct answer:

relinquished

Explanation:

The context of this sentence suggests that the new father gave up his role as manager so he could assume a different position. This leads to the correct answer “relinquished,” which means renounced, gave up, or gave away. “Admonished” means criticized or rebuked; “imitated” means copied; “humbled” means lowered in self-importance or made to feel modest; and "lost" in this context means had taken from him. While "lost" and "relinquished" may each look like a potentially correct answer, the distinction is in the subject's agency. The sentence suggests that the new father acted purposely to give up his role as manager since we are given details as to his reason for acting in this way: "because he wanted to accept a position with fewer hours." "Lost" suggests that the company took the new father's position from him without his permission, whereas "relinquished" implies that it was the new father's decision to give up the position. Therefore, "relinquished" is the better answer.

Example Question #2 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Her professors praised her for her __________ approach to studying and self-improvement.

Possible Answers:

apathetic

nonchalant

intrinsic

ambivalent

conscientious

Correct answer:

conscientious

Explanation:

It makes sense that the subject’s professors would praise her for her diligence and hard-working attitude. This leads to the correct answer “conscientious,” which means industrious, wanting to do one’s work well, diligent, and hard-working. “Ambivalent” means uncertain or indecisive; “apathetic” and “nonchalant” both describe an attitude of not caring; and “intrinsic” means innate, inherent, essential, and natural.

Example Question #101 : Context Clues In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

The old woman reflected on the __________ days of her youth when she had lived freely, traveled, and been happily in love.

Possible Answers:

incandescent

idle

ludicrous

halcyon

laconic

Correct answer:

halcyon

Explanation:

From the context, you know that the answer choice must refer to a period of time, in the past, that is characterized by happiness and contentment. This should lead you to the correct answer “halcyon.” “Ludicrous” means ridiculous; “idle” means lazy or not moving; “incandescent” means passionate, intense, or brilliant; and “laconic” means brief and using few words.

Example Question #102 : Context Clues In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

After many failures, it is often difficult to believe that success is on the __________; nevertheless, one should slog on with high hopes of success.

Possible Answers:

regimen

horizon

brink

itinerary

plan

Correct answer:

horizon

Explanation:

The tone of this sentence is somewhat informal, so bear this in mind when making and confirming your choice. The expression "slog on" means to work hard or to work diligently. This second half intends to say that someone should continue to work hard in the hopes that success may indeed be "at hand." To say that something is "on the horizon" means that it is "nearly here." The horizon is the farthest edge of our view, where the sky meets the ground. Therefore, the expression, "on the horizon" means "almost going to appear"—like the sun appearing on the horizon. This fits well with the first half of the sentence.

Example Question #103 : Context Clues In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

It might seem cruel, but it is necessary to __________ the ants completely, for if any remain alive, they will surely return to the house.

Possible Answers:

poison

trap

outdo

assail

exterminate

Correct answer:

exterminate

Explanation:

First of all, do not "overshoot" your details by choosing something like "poison" or "trap." We cannot justify such specificity without other clues. The key thing to note is the adverb "completely." We clearly are being told that the ants must be utterly killed. Now, "outdo" and "assail" just do not work for anything regarding killing—at least in no direct sense. However, "exterminate" is an excellent word. It not only expresses such killing but does so with completeness. A "terminus" is an end of something (just as a "terminal" at the airport is the branching walkway that goes all the way to the end of the possible planes). To "ex-terminate" is to drive something out beyond the boundaries. In English, it generally means "beyond the boundaries of life"—completely killing.

Example Question #3 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Water may be a joy for most people to drink, but for coffee lovers, a good “cup o’ joe” is a most __________ experience.

Possible Answers:

agreeable

attractive

fortunate

blissful

pleasant

Correct answer:

blissful

Explanation:

The intensifying adverb “most” requires us to look for the strongest possible option among those given. While “pleasant” and “agreeable” do work in a certain manner, the word “blissful” best fits for this very strong use. “Bliss” is an extreme form of happiness, denoting complete and perfect joy. Though perhaps an overstatement regarding coffee in general, this sentence clearly calls for such a strong usage and not the weaker ones mentioned above.

Example Question #105 : Context Clues In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Given the small size of Sally’s frame, it only took two alcoholic beverages to make her become totally __________ and incapable of walking a straight line without significant wavering.

Possible Answers:

incapacitated

inebriated

submergered

dessicated

overwhelmed

Correct answer:

inebriated

Explanation:

Clearly, the point in the sentence is that Sally became drunk from the beverages. It is not right to say that she was incapacitated, a word meaning that she would have no capacity for action whatsoever. Instead, all that can be asserted is that she is drunk. Such a state of health is called “inebriation,” from the Latin “ebrius,” meaning “drunk.”

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