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Text Completion Practice Question of the Week #20 Answer

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s question (thanks for submitting your answers!):

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)_______________.

Blank (i) Blank (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?)


Video Explanation:

If you’d like more help on this question type, check out our Text Completion page, which includes links to all of the posts we have about Text Completion.

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2 Responses to Text Completion Practice Question of the Week #20 Answer

  1. karthik June 16, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    How can ‘potentially insightful and powerful’ be considered as ‘ not living up to potential ‘?

    I thought the answer was (i)cogent and (ii)suspect .

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      I think the tone of the sentence and the words ‘lead to’ show that, while potentially helpful, the tools don’t always provide the best solutions (inelegant). The second blank, due to the time shift, has to be the opposite of the first blank.

      Cogent means compelling (there is no context in the beginning of the sentence to support a positive word). Also, the ‘inventive solutions’ at the end indicate we want a positive word for the second blank.

      Hope that helps!

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