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GRE Vocabulary Quiz

Whether you are taking the test in its current form, or are pluckily gearing up for the Revised GRE, you still have to know your vocabulary.

Over the months, I’ve been putting up high-frequency GRE vocabulary words to help you navigate the verbal section on test day. Let’s see how many of these important GRE words you can remember. And if you haven’t read previous vocabulary posts, now is the perfect time!

Try out this question as a quiz, and make sure you know all of the vocabulary– not only the words in the answer choices, but any unfamiliar vocabulary in the question stem.

Potentially insightful and powerful analytical tools, the new electronic databases used to drive corporate planning often lead to (i)_______________ hypotheses, chiefly, in quantitative science and finance, areas in which inventive solutions achieved in the past by more traditional means have been highly (ii)_______________.

(i) (ii)
(A)  creditable (D) suspect
(B)  cogent (E) adequate
(C)  inelegant (F)  efficacious


(C) inelegant and (F) efficacious are the credited responses.

Note that the new electronic databases are described as potentially insightful and powerful—
the implication being that they are not living up to their potential. Thus, the word
used in Blank (i) to describe hypotheses will reflect that shortcoming, in contrast with
the inventive solutions achieved in the past, which should be described by a more positive
term in Blank (ii). By process of elimination, we can rule out the two more positive
choices for Blank (i) and the two negative, or lukewarm, choices for Blank (ii).

Blank (i)

(C) inelegant (in this context: unappealing and unnecessarily complicated) is consistent
with the sense of unrealized potential set up at the beginning of the sentence.

(A) a creditable hypothesis is worthy of praise—and we’re looking for a more negative
term here.

(B) a cogent hypothesis would be reasonable and convincing—no sense of unfulfilled
potential here.

Blank (ii)

(F) efficacious (producing the desired result) gives us the positive spin we’re looking
for on solutions achieved in the past.

(D) a solution that’s suspect would be questionable, and we’re looking for a more
positive term here.

(E) adequate isn’t a negative term exactly (not like suspect, for instance), but it’s
much weaker than efficacious. An adequate solution is just good enough, and
wouldn’t qualify for the praise conveyed by inventive. (Would you want to be rated
adequate at your next job performance review?)


Staying on top of confusing vocab words is an important part of preparing yourself for the GRE. Moreover, quiz yourself frequently, whether with flashcards or on the words that pop up in exercises such as this one. If you know your vocabulary words well enough, you can reason out the correct answers with relative ease.  Check your skills with some tough words with another sample question from Magoosh!

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

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