SSAT Upper Level Verbal : Qualities and Features

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Qualities, Features, Abilities, And Other Analogies

Sweet is to sugar as spicy is to __________.

Possible Answers:

apple

corn

raspberry

potato

jalapeño

Correct answer:

jalapeño

Explanation:

“Sugar” is a noun that means “a sweet crystalline substance.” So, because sugar tastes sweet, we need to pick out an answer choice that is a noun representing a food that tastes spicy. While all of the potential answer choices are foods, only “jalapeño” (“a very hot green chili pepper”) is a food that tastes spicy. So, because jalapeños are spicy just as sugar is sweet, “jalapeño” is the correct answer.

Example Question #2 : Qualities, Features, Abilities, And Other Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Philanthropist is to charitable as priest is to __________.

Possible Answers:

temerity 

honorable 

eloquent 

miserly

spiritual 

Correct answer:

spiritual 

Explanation:

A philanthropist is someone who is charitable so the relationship can be established as the following: Charitable behavior is something that would be expected of a philanthropist so what kind of behavior is likely to be expected of a priest? This should lead to the correct answer which is “spiritual.” For clarification, "spiritual" means focused on religious or divine matters; "miserly" means not generous and is an antonym of charitable; "temerity" is a type of boldness or audacity; "eloquent" refers to a type of speech that is stylish and easily understood.

Example Question #1 : Qualities And Features

Shield is to defensive as sword is to __________.

Possible Answers:

offensive

unimportant

protective

expedient

quick

Correct answer:

offensive

Explanation:

A shield could be used by someone to defend themselves, so it could be described as “defensive,” or “used or intended to defend or protect.” So, we need to pick out an answer choice that is an adjective that describes a sword. While “protective” and “offensive” might each look like a potentially correct answer choice, “protective” means “capable of or intended to protect,” and does not describe a sword, so “protective” cannot be the correct answer. “Offensive,” however, is an adjective that can mean “meant for use in attack” when being used of a weapon, and because “offensive” aptly describes a sword just as “defensive” aptly describes a shield, “offensive” is the correct answer.

Example Question #3 : Qualities, Features, Abilities, And Other Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Pleasing is to euphony as displeasing is to __________.

Possible Answers:

Mellifluous

Celebration 

Adulation 

Exalt 

Vociferous 

Correct answer:

Vociferous 

Explanation:

Euphony is a pleasing sound, so to solve this analogy you have to determine which of these answer choices is an unpleasant sound. The correct answer is “vociferous,” which means loud and unpleasant noise. For clarification, mellifluous is a synonym of euphony; adulation is praise; exalt means to praise or celebrate.

Example Question #5 : Qualities And Features

Analogies: Complete this analogy.

Cat is to fast as sloth is to __________.

Possible Answers:

uninteresting

dull

pensive

sedentary

round

Correct answer:

sedentary

Explanation:

One might describe a cat as fast. Therefore, the correct answer will be a trait that a sloth has. Sloths do not move very much, and so they are "sedentary," which means lacking movementstationary, or inactive.

Example Question #4 : Qualities, Features, Abilities, And Other Analogies

Analogies: Complete this analogy.

Volcano is to volatile as lake is to __________.

Possible Answers:

commonplace

placid

opaque

predictable

large

Correct answer:

placid

Explanation:

The word "volatile" can be descriptive of a volcano's level of activity. Therefore, the correct answer will be able to describe a lake's level of activity. While the words "large" and "opaque" describe a lake's physical characteristics, they do not describe its level of activity. The words "predictable" and "commonplace" also fail to describe a lake's level of activity. The only word that does is "placid," the correct answer. Placid means calm.

Example Question #2 : Qualities And Features

Analogies: Complete this analogy.

Stagecoach is to antiquated as automobile is to __________.

Possible Answers:

visionary

forgotten

futuristic

old

contemporary

Correct answer:

contemporary

Explanation:

Stagecoaches are antiquated forms of transportation. Therefore, the correct answer will be an adjective that relates to time and describes an automobile. As the most common form of modern transportation, the correct answer is that an automobile is "contemporary," which means current or modern.

Example Question #6 : Qualities, Features, Abilities, And Other Analogies

Analogies: Complete this analogy.

Cheetah is to fast as __________.

Possible Answers:

cup is to drinking

cat is to meow

huge is to elephant

great dane is to dog

Santa is to jolly

Correct answer:

Santa is to jolly

Explanation:

The best choice is "Santa is to jolly." The relationship between "cheetah" and "fast" is that speed is a characteristic that is commonly associated with cheetahs. There are two choices that share this relationship: "Santa is to jolly" and "huge is to elephant." "Santa is to jolly" is the correct choice because the order of the question is noun to characteristic. "Huge is to elephant" is in the incorrect order. Considering the other options, a cup is used for drinking (use), a great dane is a type of dog (category), and cats meow. The latter, "cat is to meow" is an uncommonly seen relationship in which the relationship is noun to action performed by that noun.

Example Question #7 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Oration is to spoken as transcript is to __________.

Possible Answers:

conversion

observation

written

connected

rendition

Correct answer:

written

Explanation:

An oration is a speech, often one given at a ceremony. It comes both from the Latin for to pray as well as more distantly from the word for mouth. (Think of words like “oral” and “adore.”) Thus, an oration is a type of spoken communication. We could write a bridge sentence like, “As an oration is something that is spoken, so is a transcript something that is X.” A transcript is a written version of some communication. For instance, a transcript of a television show is the written version made for people to read after the show has aired.

Example Question #8 : Actor And Action

Complete this analogy.

Pedant is to tedious as transgressor is to __________.

Possible Answers:

sentenced

judged

guilty

unforgiving

forgiveness

Correct answer:

guilty

Explanation:

A pedant is a person who shows a great deal of learning to the point of being tedious and boring—going through every detail almost in a ridiculous fashion. Thus, “tedious” is an adequate description for a pedant. Someone who “transgresses” goes beyond the boundaries of the law. The “trans-” prefix means across (as in “transfer,” meaning, to carry across), and the “-gress” comes from the Latin for to step. It is related to many words like “grade,” “gradual,” “progress,” and “digress.” The options “judged” and “sentenced” might apply to a transgressor after a court case that acknowledges the guilt. In any case, a transgressor in general can be said to be guilty even before this is acknowledged in a court. This is the best description among those provided.

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