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Sentence Equivalence: Practice Question of the Week #12 Answer

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s question! Thanks for all of the comments on the question post– it’s a great study technique to make yourself write out the reasoning for an answer, and it’s also really helpful to read other students’ thought processes as well.

Test yourself before reading the answers and explanations by trying the question out on the Magoosh site, where you’ll be able to practice selecting multiple answers, just as you would on the exam.

If after you read the explanation below (or on the site) you still have trouble understanding the correct answer, let us know and we can help you figure out what you may be missing.


Researchers who study circadian rhythms have found that the physiological processes of animals and plants are neither independent of, nor entirely ___________ external stimuli, such as light and temperature, during a given 24-hour period.

  1. imperiled by
  2. analogous to
  3. coincident with
  4. perturbed by
  5. appurtenant to
  6. concomitant with

(C) coincident with and (F) concomitant with are the credited responses.

The key phrases in this sentence are neither independent of, nor, and external stimuli.

(C) to be coincident with something means to be of similar nature or, in this case, to occupy the same space or time. As anticipated by the key words neither/nor, coincident functions in opposition to independent.

(F) concomitant means accompanying, sometimes in a lessor way. Though slightly different in meaning from coincident, concomitant still completes the sentence appropriately.

(A) if something is imperiled, it’s at risk. Nothing here suggests that the circadian rhythms could be endangered by the external stimuli. Nor does this choice provide an appropriate counterpart for independent.

(B) an analogy is a resemblance between two things initially perceived as unalike. The relationship between external stimuli and circadian rhythms is one of cause and effect rather of similarity.

(D) to be perturbed means to be disturbed greatly in mind. Given that this choice denotes an emotional state, it is an unlikely answer for this question.

(E) appurtenant means pertaining or adding to, not a good fit in this context. (Appurtenant also has a more specialized legal meaning even less appropriate in this sentence.)

Helpful Hint:

In this case, the neither/nor construction sets up a sense of opposition between the provided adjective independent and the prospective answer.

If you need any tips on Sentence Equivalence, I’d recommend reading Chris’s Sentence Equivalence Questions post.  See you guys next Tuesday for another practice question!

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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