The new GRE Text Completions are full of theories and ideas that are either being supported or rejected. Of course, we have to pick one of the two, as the word usually corresponds to a blank. And, usually, ‘support’ and ‘reject’ are not two answer choices. Instead, the new GRE is fond of using more difficult words that are synonyms for either ‘support’ or ‘reject.’ Learn these words well, and you will fare much better on the Verbal section.
Support a Theory/Claim
Reject or Weaken a Theory/Claim
Call a Claim into Question (similar to the reject or weaken category)
- Take Issue with
Now let’s see if you can crack this two-blank Text-Completion…
She rarely cared to (i) ______ those claims that were on the periphery of science, yet she often, and sometimes contentiously, ______ the sacred cows of science.
|A. scrutinize||D. took issue with|
|B. rebut||E. bolstered|
|C. sustain||F. contemplated|
The relationship between the two blanks is that they are similar. Even though yet is a sentence shifter, i.e. the part before yet is opposite to the part after yet, she rarely cared to… shifts the first blank back, so that it is the same as the second blank (it’s like a double negative, which equals a positive).
Whether the first and second blank mean to support or reject hinges on the word contentiously, which means argumentatively. You typically reject something contentiously instead of supporting something contentiously (to show intense support, you would use the adjective vehement, as in vehement support).
Therefore, the correct answer for each blank should be a word in the “reject category”. Only answers (B) and (D) work.
The new GRE commonly recycles the words above in Text Completions. Remember how these words function, and you will be able to better work through the Verbal section.