ISEE Middle Level Verbal : ISEE Middle Level (grades 7-8) Verbal Reasoning

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Synonyms

Synonyms: Choose the answer that most closely matches the word in capital letters.

CIRCUMVENT. 

Possible Answers:

Excel 

Avoid 

Extol 

Harangue

Examine 

Correct answer:

Avoid 

Explanation:

The prefix circum- means round, or to go around, and in this instance “circumvent” means to go around something that you wish to avoid. To provide further help, “harangue” means berate, criticize; “excel” means do very well in; “extol” means praise; “examine” means look at

Example Question #2 : Synonyms

Synonyms: Choose the answer that most closely matches the word in capital letters.

RECLAMATION. 

Possible Answers:

Evaluation 

Retrieval 

Conjecture 

Vehemence 

Umbrage 

Correct answer:

Retrieval 

Explanation:

A “reclamation” is an attempt to recover something and as such is most similar in meaning to retrieval.

“Umbrage” is offense; “conjecture” is guesswork based on some evidence; “evaluation” means assessment, appraisal; “vehemence” means intensity and forcefulness

Example Question #3 : Synonyms

Synonyms: Choose the answer that most closely matches the word in capital letters.

MALADY. 

Possible Answers:

Medicine 

Illness

Ultimatum 

Absolution 

Zoology 

Correct answer:

Illness

Explanation:

A “malady” is something that negatively affects someone, like an illness.

To provide further help, “zoology” is the study of animals; “absolution” is forgiveness from blame; an “ultimatum” is a final demand or opportunity to correct mistakes

Example Question #4 : Synonyms

Synonyms: Choose the answer that most closely matches the word in capital letters.

ALTRUISM. 

Possible Answers:

Harbinger 

Component 

Selflessness

Potential 

Placebo 

Correct answer:

Selflessness

Explanation:

The prefix alt- means other, and in this instance the word “altruism” literally means concern for the well-being of others. As such, it is closest in meaning to selflessness, which is the opposite of selfishness.

A “harbinger” is a bad omen; a “component” is a part of something larger; a “placebo” is something given to a patient that has no physical effect, but might do the patient some good because the patient believes it does have a physical effect

Example Question #5 : Synonyms

Synonyms: Choose the answer that most closely matches the word in capital letters.

ANTIQUATED. 

Possible Answers:

Contemporary 

Pathogen 

Antibody 

Antediluvian

Postmodernism

Correct answer:

Antediluvian

Explanation:

The prefix anti- most commonly means old or ancient. So something that is “antiquated” is archaic, ancient, or outdated. This is synonymous to antediluvian, which means prehistoric, ancient.

To provide further help, an “antibody” is something naturally produced in the body to fight off disease; here the prefix anti- more closely means against. A “pathogen” is a virus or bacterium carrying disease. Additionally, “contemporary” means modern, of the current time period, and “postmodern” is a school of thought that has arisen in the last few decades that focuses on self-conscious analysis and deconstruction and a rejection of the notion of high art or ultimate truth. Postmodernism might be confusing to you, but recognize that it has nothing to do with the word in question and is thus irrelevant.

Example Question #6 : Synonyms

Synonyms: Choose the answer that most closely matches the word in capital letters.

ANTINOMY. 

Possible Answers:

Paradox

Perpendicular

Parallel 

Opulence 

Ornery 

Correct answer:

Paradox

Explanation:

“Antimony” is a conclusion reached in philosophy, law, or science that seems contradictory to another conclusion; the answer choice that is closest in meaning is paradox. A “paradox” is a logical inconsistency.

To provide further help, “parallel” means running side-by-side; “perpendicular” means opposite to parallel, intersecting only once; “opulence” is great luxury and wealth; “ornery” means irritable

Example Question #7 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

VOCIFEROUS

Possible Answers:

Loud 

Edgy 

Silent 

Soft 

Quiet 

Correct answer:

Loud 

Explanation:

The root "voc-" usually means related to speech, and indeed someone who is “vociferous” is extremely “loud” and enthusiastic about something. To provide further help, “edgy” means anxious or trend-setting.

Example Question #1 : Sentence Completions

Sentence completions: Fill in the blank(s) to complete the sentence. 

The play was almost four hours long! I could scarcely believe it when a couple of hours had passed and it was only the __________

Possible Answers:

Intravenous 

Intermission 

Infrastructure 

Intramural 

International

Correct answer:

Intermission 

Explanation:

As the play is four hours long we can infer that after a couple of hours the play would be half-way over. At the halfway point of most long plays there is a break, also known as an “intermission.” The prefixes inter- and intra- are similar to one another, but have one key difference. Inter- means between and intra- means within. “International” means global, between the countries of the world; “intramural” means within an organization. Additionally, “infrastructure” is buildings and transport facilities that keep a community moving forward; “intravenous” means needed to be injected into

Example Question #2 : Sentence Completions

Sentence completions: Fill in the blank(s) to complete the sentence.

She was having trouble sleeping, so decided to go see a __________; unfortunately, the doctor was untrained and had __________ qualifications. 

Possible Answers:

Hypnotherapist . . . Phony 

Professor . . . Genuine

Orthodontist . . . Implacable 

Pediatrician . . . Unrealistic 

Somnambulist . . . Authentic 

Correct answer:

Hypnotherapist . . . Phony 

Explanation:

It is likely the subject of the sentence would go see a doctor who specializes in sleep therapy. The prefix hypno­- means related to sleeping, so the correct answer for the first black is hypnotherapist. Alternatively, you could determine the correct answer based on the information about the doctor. An “untrained” doctor probably has qualifications that are likely not to be real, or to be phony.

To provide further help, a “pediatrician” is a doctor who specializes in childcare; a “somnambulist” is someone who sleep-walks; “authentic” means genuine, real; an “orthodontist” is someone who specializes in the medical care of teeth; “implacable” means unstoppable, relentless

Example Question #3 : Sentence Completions

Sentence completions: Fill in the blank(s) to complete the sentence.

He had long been considered __________, so people were astonished when he was defeated by his __________

Possible Answers:

Vacuous . . . Coconspirator 

Uniform . . . Volition 

Invincible . . . Adversary 

Vicarious . . . Nemesis 

Implacable . . . Ally 

Correct answer:

Invincible . . . Adversary 

Explanation:

If people are astonished when the subject of this sentence is finally defeated, he had most likely been considered unbeatable, or invincible.

“Adversary” is another name for enemy or opponent, so it is the most appropriate fit for the second blank.

To provide further help, “implacable” means relentless; “ally” means partner, friend; “vicarious” means sensational; “nemesis” is an enemy; “vacuous” means vain, empty-headed; “co-conspirator” is someone who helps plan and execute a conspiracy; “uniform” means standard; “volition” means will, desire

Note that "nemesis" is also an appropriate choice for the second blank, but "vicarious" makes no sense in the first blank, so we can eliminate that answer choice.

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