SSAT Upper Level Verbal : Actor and Action

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Pendulum is to oscillate as satellite is to __________.

Possible Answers:

technology

break

orbit

space

communicate

Correct answer:

orbit

Explanation:

"Oscillate" is a verb meaning swing back and forth at a constant pace. Since "oscillate" describes the nature of a pendulum's movement, we need to pick out an answer choice that is a verb that describes the nature of a satellite's movement. Of the three answer choices which are verbs ("communicate," "break," and "orbit"), only "orbit" describes a type of movement, and specifically the movement of a satellite. Since a satellite orbits just as a pendulum oscillates, "orbit" is the correct answer.

Example Question #2 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Seamstress is to sewing as __________.

Possible Answers:

dog is to fetching

fighting is to wrestler

mother is to caring

egg is to hatching

captain is to sailing

Correct answer:

captain is to sailing

Explanation:

Sewing is the task of a seamstress. Similarly, sailing is the task of a captain.

Example Question #1 : Actor And Action

Complete the analogy.

Betray is to comrade as _____________ is to behavior.

Possible Answers:

demeanor

etiquette

penalty

condone

purgatory

Correct answer:

condone

Explanation:

A "comrade" is an ally or fellow worker. To fight or turn against them is to "betray them." The relationship is an action (betray) that can be done to a noun (comrade). Behavior is also a noun, so the answer will be a verb that can be done to or with it.

The answer is "condone" (verb), a reaction to behavior, generally with a negative connotation, such as allowing bad behavior. Prefix "con" = with, root "don" give.

"Demeanor" (noun), prefix "de" = of/away, root "mien" = face or action. It refers to the appearance someone shows to others. This is similar to behavior, but not an action.

"Penalty" (noun), root "penal" = punishment. This is a possible reaction to poor decisions, but not to behavior in general, and it is not an action.

"Purgatory" (noun), root "purg" = to clean, make pure. This is the place your spirit may go based on the decisions made in life. This is a possible consequence, but not an action.

"Etiquette" (noun) means proper and polite behavior.

Example Question #2 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

__________ is to thief as construct is to builder.

Possible Answers:

Impute

Implicate

Relegate

Purloin

Tantalize

Correct answer:

Purloin

Explanation:

Constructing things is something that a "builder" would do, so to solve this analogy you need to determine which of these is something a thief might do. "Thieves" tends to steal, so the correct answer is "purloin." Additionally, "impute" means attribute to; "tantalize" means tease; "relegate" means demote to an inferior position; "implicate" means suggest is guilty or responsible.

Example Question #3 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

__________ is to serve as sovereign is to rule.

Possible Answers:

Journalist

Peon

Clergyman

Monarch

Oligarch

Correct answer:

Peon

Explanation:

A "sovereign" is a monarch, someone who "rules." So, to solve this analogy you have to determine which of these is someone who "serves." The correct answer is "peon" which means servant, slave, someone who serves a ruler. Additionally, a "monarch" is a king or queen; an "oligarch" is someone wealthy who has political power in a country; a "clergyman" is a member of the clergy, a member of the church; a "journalist" is someone who reports the news.

Example Question #6 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Despot is to tyranny as ______________.

Possible Answers:

ruler is to evil

guardian is to youth

criminal is to jail

oracle is to prophecy

potentate is to deceit

Correct answer:

oracle is to prophecy

Explanation:

A "despot" by definition engages in tyranny. A "despot" is a person who has absolute power and uses it in a cruel or evil way. "Tyranny" is cruel and oppressive authority. So by definition, a despot is one who engages in tyranny.

Is an "oracle" one who engages in prophecy? By definition, yes. An "oracle" was a person who acted as a messenger between the gods and mortals, telling the future often in hard to understand riddles. And "prophecy" is simply prediction about the future.

Is a "potentate" one who engages in deceit? Not necessarily. A "potentate" is a ruler who holds all or most of the power. This is a distracting answer choice, because there is a similarity between a despot and a potentate, and both tyranny and deceit are negative words, so you might be tempted to think this is the answer. You also might think that "ruler is to evil" is the answer because of the similarities of the words to those in the question, but a "ruler" is a neutral word, neither good nor bad by definition.  

Does a "criminal" engage in jail? Not exactly. A "criminal" may go to jail, but the connection isn’t the same, and the definition of a "criminal" is one who breaks a law, not one who goes to jail, that would be a "prisoner" or "convict."

Does a guardian engage in youth? No. A "guardian" is a protector, defender, or supervisor. A youth (meaning a person under the age of 18) may be placed in the care of a guardian, but youth isn’t a defining characteristic of a guardian in the way a despot is defined by tyranny. 

Example Question #7 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Heart is to palpitate as scalpel is to ____________.

Possible Answers:

provoke

incise

allure

stymie

fetter

Correct answer:

incise

Explanation:

"Palpitate" means to beat rapidly or intensely. An action done by a "heart" is to "palpitate," so to solve this analogy you need to determine which of these is an action done by a "scalpel." Well, a "scalpel" is a medical instrument used for cutting. So, the correct answer is "incise." Additionally, "allure" means attract, tempt; "stymie" means hinder, obstruct, prevent; "provoke" means cause a reaction, cause to take action; "fetter" means shackle, tie up

Example Question #8 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Overseer is to supervise as pedagogue is to ______________.

Possible Answers:

bequeath

edify

extol

juxtapose

supplant

Correct answer:

edify

Explanation:

An "overseer" is a supervisor, a watchman, someone who observes and watches over the behavior of others. So, the role of an "overseer" is to "supervise." What is the role of a "pedagogue?" Well, a "pedagogue" is a teacher. So, the correct answer is "edify," which means teach, build, instruct. Additionally, "supplant" means replace; "extol" means praise; "bequeath" means leave to, give to following one's death; "juxtapose" means compare side-by-side

Example Question #9 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Parson is to preach as spelunker is to ______________.

Possible Answers:

deserve

berate

write

explore

discuss

Correct answer:

explore

Explanation:

A "parson" is a vicar, a clergyman. An action undertaken by a "parson" is "preaching." So, to solve this analogy you need to determine what it is that a "spelunker" might do. Well, a "spelunker" is a cave-diver, someone who "explores" caves. Additionally, "berate" means scold, yell at for a long time

Example Question #10 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Raconteur is to __________ as cataract is to cascade.

Possible Answers:

narrate

reprimand

disparage

covet

elongate

Correct answer:

narrate

Explanation:

A "cataract" is another name for a waterfall. Waterfall's "cascade," which means (of water) to fall and flow rapidly. So, to solve this analogy you need to determine what action is undertaken by a "raconteur." Well, a "raconteur" is a storyteller, someone who "narrates." Additionally, "elongate" means make longer; "reprimand" means yell at, punish; "disparage" means mock, make fun of in a mean way; "covet" means envy and desire, to want something someone else has.

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