SSAT Upper Level Verbal : Changes in Intensity

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Changes In Intensity

Complete this analogy.

Saccharine is to sweet as nosy is to __________.

Possible Answers:

interested

neighbor

willful

attention

prying

Correct answer:

interested

Explanation:

Since "saccharine" means overly sweet or sappy, we're looking for an adjective for which "nosy" describes the overabundance of that quality. Of the adjectives listed, "interested," "willful," and "prying," "willful" is not clearly related to "nosy," so we can ignore it as a possible choice. In choosing between "interested" and "prying," "interested" is the better choice, as "prying" has negative connotations and is closer to being a synonym of "nosy" than is "interested," which retains the positive connotations like "sweet" does when compared to "saccharine."  

Example Question #415 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Warm is to hot as amusing is to __________.

Possible Answers:

parsimonious 

uproarious 

derivative 

despondent

eloquent 

Correct answer:

uproarious 

Explanation:

"Warm" is a more mild form of temperature than is "hot," so to solve this analogy, you have to determine which answer choice is a more intense form of the word “amusing.” "Amusing" means moderately funny or entertaining, so the correct answer must mean very funny and entertaining. As a result, the correct answer is “uproarious” which means hilarious or extremely funny. For clarification, "despondent" means without hope; "parsimonious" means stingy with money; "eloquent" describes someone who speaks with style and control; and "derivative" describes something unoriginal.

Example Question #2 : Changes In Intensity

Complete this analogy.

Dislike is to abhor as __________.

Possible Answers:

like is to loathe

snow is to blizzard

storm is to drizzle

shout is to yell

respect is to revere

Correct answer:

respect is to revere

Explanation:

The relationship of "dislike" to "abhor" is a relationship of intensification. To "abhor" someone is to dislike them to a very high degree—to hate them. The only relationships of intensification amongst the answer choices are "respect is to revere," "storm is to drizzle," and "snow is to blizzard." We can rule "storm is to drizzle" out, because the words are in the wrong order. That leaves us with two choices. "Respect is to revere" is the best choice because it is a relationship of intensification of a feeling that one can have for another person.

Example Question #3 : Changes In Intensity

Complete this analogy.

Proud is to supercilious as __________.

Possible Answers:

core is to apple

exhausted is to tired 

happy is to ecstatic

sad is to furious

brush is to hair

Correct answer:

happy is to ecstatic

Explanation:

Someone who is supercilious ("behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others") is extremely proud, so we need to pick out a pair of words in which the second word is an adjective meaning an extreme amount of the first adjective. While "happy is to ecstatic," "exhausted is to tired," and "sad is to furious" all look like potentially correct answers, only "happy is to ecstatic" and "sad is to furious" have their words in the correct order, and "sad is to furious" does not match up - someone who is furious is very angry, not very sad. So, the correct answer is "happy is to ecstatic."

Example Question #4 : Changes In Intensity

Complete this analogy.

Hungry is to ravenous as __________.

Possible Answers:

myopic is to reclusive 

starving is to skinny

scared is to petrified

charming is to debilitating

content is to dissatisfied 

Correct answer:

scared is to petrified

Explanation:

Ravenous means hungry but to a more extreme degree. Petrified means scared, but to a more extreme degree.  

Example Question #5 : Changes In Intensity

Complete the analogy.

Illustrious is to impressive as ___________ is to offensive.

Possible Answers:

graceful

abhorrent

dissecting

luminous

malicious

Correct answer:

abhorrent

Explanation:

This analogy uses adjectives that decrease in intensity. "Illustrious" contains the root "lustr" meaning shine. It is being compared to "impressive." While something "impressive" is "nice," we attribute more value to things that "shine." Take for example, gold or jewels.  Following this relationship, we want a word that has the same basic meaning as "offensive" but with more intensity or strength.  

Of the choices, only "abhorrent" is correct. All the words in the analogy are adjectives, meaning the answer must also be one. Additionally, "abhorrent" contains the prefix "ab" (away) and the root "horrere" (horror, tremble at). Put together, these mean something that is so horrible, we turn away in hate and disgust.

Malicious (adj), root word "mal" (bad, evil). While something "evil" could be "offensive," it is not directly related in meaning to "offensive."

Luminous (adj), root word "lum" (light). This word is related to "illustrious," not "offensive."

Graceful (adj), means full of grace, smooth of disposition and well-mannered. Again, this is the opposite of "offensive."

Dissecting (verb), refers to the act of cutting (a body) into two for study. While some might find the act offensive, it is subject to personal opinion, and is not an adjective.

Example Question #6 : Changes In Intensity

Complete this analogy.

Pungent is to smell as __________ is to sound.

Possible Answers:

chorus

harmonious

aspirant

melodic

deafening

Correct answer:

deafening

Explanation:

The word "pungent" means strong smelling. "Pungent" is a particularly intense word that relates to smell. So, to solve this analogy you are looking for an answer that is a particularly intense word that relates to sound. The correct answer is "deafening" which means very loud. Additionally, "harmonious" and "melodious" both mean pleasant sounding; an "aspirant" is someone with goals, someone who aspires to something in particular.

Example Question #341 : Analogies: Determining Meaning From Type Of Relationship

Complete this analogy.

Small is to infinitesimal as large is to __________.

Possible Answers:

illicit

obtuse

humiliating

gargantuan

abstruse

Correct answer:

gargantuan

Explanation:

"Infinitesimal" means very small, tiny. So, to solve this analogy you are looking for the answer choice that means very large, giant. The correct answer is therefore "gargantuan." Additionally, "illicit" means illegal, against the rules; "humiliating" means embarrassing, causing shame; "abstruse" means hard to understand; "obtuse" means stupid.

Example Question #7 : Changes In Intensity

Complete this analogy.

__________ is to trickle as hurtle is to meander.

Possible Answers:

Bolster

Loft

Orate

Galvanize

Cascade

Correct answer:

Cascade

Explanation:

To begin with to "meander" is to move slowly, in an indirect fashion. And, to "hurtle" is to move very quickly, in a chaotic fashion. Both words relate to movement, but "hurtle" is a much more intense form of "meander." So, to solve this analogy you need to determine which of these is a much more intense form of "trickle." To "trickle" means (of a liquid) to fall in very small quantities. So, the correct answer is "cascade" which means to fall rapidly. Additionally, "orate" means speak in public; "galvanize" means motivate, inspire to action; "bolster" means support, reinforce; "loft" means throw up high.

Example Question #343 : Analogies: Determining Meaning From Type Of Relationship

Complete this analogy.

Sad is to miserable as happy is to __________.

Possible Answers:

prostrate

celestial

blissful

irate

monotonous

Correct answer:

blissful

Explanation:

"Miserable" is a more intense version of being "sad." So, to solve this analogy you need to determine which of these is a more intense version of being "happy." The correct answer is "blissful" which means full of bliss, deeply and profoundly happy. Additionally, "irate" means furious, very angry; "celestial" means heavenly; "prostrate" means lying flat; "monotonous" means boring, unchanging.

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