Antonyms GRE Verbal Section Four or Five non-optional test sections Two analytical writing One verbal One quantitative Optional one pre-test Approximately 30 minutes Approximately 30 Questions Analogies (7) Antonyms (9) Sentence Completions (6) Reading Comprehension (8) 2 short passages with 2-3 questions each 1 long passage with 3-4 questions each Antonyms - Directions Each questions below consists of a word printed in capital letters, followed by five lettered words or phrases. Choose the lettered word or phrase that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters. Since some of the questions require you to distinguish fine shades of meaning, be sure to consider all the choices before deciding which one is best. Antonyms – CAT Impact Begins with medium difficulty Difficulty level is determined by question stem, not answer choices Seed question correctly, move up the ladder Seed question incorrectly, move down the ladder Antonyms – CAT Impact Start At the TOP It is important for students to start the test off on the right foot— Establish a spot near the top of the ladder of difficulty At a certain point the adaptive test will ―level off‖ Early Questions are VERY Important Antonyms – CAT Impact Build an Advantageous Position Answer the first several questions right! Then, if you accidentally fall off the ladder of difficulty, you’ll fall from an advantageous position. Antonyms – CAT Impact Example 1 Test scaled 1-100 Student answers first 10 of 30 correctly Probably established fairly high score Even if half of the remaining questions are answered incorrectly Antonyms – CAT Impact Why? Established a high proficiency early in the test Answering difficult questions incorrectly is not as damaging as answering easy questions incorrectly More difficulty questions are worth more when answered correctly Demonstrated consistent ability in answering the questions of moderate difficulty Antonyms – CAT Impact Take the extra time to answer the first several questions right 30 minutes to answer 30 questions Additional 10 – 20 seconds for each of the first five to 10 questions should help you to answer correctly Establishing a high position on the ladder of difficulty Antonyms – CAT Impact Don’t Obsess about the difficulty level Once on a rung, forget about the ladder of difficulty After establishing your position on the ladder of difficulty, forget about it. If you do fall off, the computer will adapt, and you can work your way back up the ladder for another try. Antonyms – CAT Impact Don’t be scared of heights Faced with a difficult questions that can’t be answered , you must guess Miss a a question because it is too hard, you won’t be penalized as much as you would if it were an easier questions Guess correctly, you’ll earn more points than you would for an easier question Antonyms – CAT Impact Don’t’ be scared of heights ―seed‖ questions answered correctly, establish a ―buffer zone‖, so that questions answered incorrectly are less damaging Some difficulty questions you can answer correctly Antonyms – CAT Impact Value of Difficulty Questions vs. Easy Questions When answered correctly, you earn more points for a harder question than for an easier question. Alternatively, when answered incorrectly, your score is penalized less for a hard question than for an easier questions. Antonyms – What is Tested Antonyms test knowledge of vocabulary Not designed to test the strength of one’s vocabulary Test Ability to reason determine a word’s opposite meaning Novice is opposite of EXPERT To FORBID means ―to prohibit‖ and a good opposite is allow. Antonyms – What is tested You ability to do well has a great deal to do with whether or not you know the meaning of the capitalized word. Capitalized word is part of your vocabulary, GOOD chance of answering correctly You may be forced to guess Antonyms - Difficulty Difficulty is determined mostly by vocabulary. Easy questions – constructed using vocabulary that is familiar Moderate questions – some words you don’t know and others that are vaguely familiar or not familiar Difficult questions – vocabulary gets very difficult – words you probably don’t know Antonyms – Difficulty (Examples) The word NEBULOUS means ―misty‖ or ―hazy‖, so a good opposite is very clear. INCIPIENCE is a difficulty word referring to the beginning stages of something. The answer choices, too, are difficult words. Culmination means ―the conclusion.‖ A good choice for opposite of INCIPIENCE. Antonyms – Shades of Meaning Opposites may depend upon shades of meaning You must choose the shade of meaning that is most nearly the opposite of the given word. Different shades of meaning are tested Relationships of opposites may depend upon shades of meaning; select the phrase ―most nearly‖ opposite. Antonyms – Shades of Meaning (Examples) ORNAMENTAL Something that adorns or embellishes; it is a decoration and is extra or optional So something that is ORNAMENTAL is not essential. PRECIPITOUS Abrupt or hasty Well-planned may not be the exact opposite of PRECIPITOUS, but it is the best answer choice Antonyms – Shades of Meaning (Examples) ENIGMATIC Adjective form of enigma Common meaning is puzzle or riddle Also used to describe something that is not clear ENIGMATIC means mysterious or obscure Best opposite is easily understood. Antonyms – Parts of Speech Antonyms are written as Nouns Verbs Adjectives Sometimes the capitalized word is ambiguous with respect to part of speech. Antonyms – Parts of Speech Look at the answer choices The answer choices will be the same part of speech intended for the capitalized word Antonyms – Parts of Speech ANSWER CHOICES SAME PART OF SPEECH AS STEM WORD Since the exam may test different parts of speech of the same word, look at the answer choices to determine what part of speech is intended. Antonyms – Secondary Meanings Secondary Meanings Be alert for tested secondary meanings– if an easy stem word appears in a problem that should be difficult, ask yourself: ―Does this word have a secondary meaning?‖ Antonyms – Roots, Prefixes, & Suffixes Study the GRE Word Parts List and Vocabulary List in the Cambridge GRE Textbook Appendix A, pp. A-49 and A-57 Antonyms – Common Word Roots cide = kill mort = death cycle = wheel or pend = hang dent = tooth circle dict = speak psy = mind phon = sound scope = see micro = small fract = break manu = hand sect = cut scrip = write rupt = break graph = written, meter = measure instrument Antonyms – Prefixes No or Not il un im anti in dis ir mis Antonyms – Prefixes that stand for numbers mono, uni = 1 di, du, bi = 2 tri = 3 quad = 4 penta, quint = 5 poly, multi = many deca = 10 cent = 100 Antonyms – Prefixes - Relationships ante = before inter = between post = after pre = before sub = under con, com = together peri = around sur, super = above cirum = around sym, syn = together, same Antonyms - Endings NOUN Endings : -ion, -ment, -ence, -tion, -ness, -ance, -sion, -ity ADJECTIVE Endings: -ic, -ive, -ous, -ish, -y, -al SUFFIX Endings: -er, -ier, -or, -ist, -cian, -or (for people) Antonyms - Strategies ANTICIPATE and MATCH 1. Read the capitalized stem word. 2. Anticipate one or two words that might be used as opposites. 3. Match your anticipated opposite to an actual choice. Antonyms - Strategies Change Parts of Speech to Determine Meaning Sometimes, using a word in a different part of speech will aid in determining the original meaning. Antonyms - Strategies Dissect the Word You can try to dissect the word. Take it apart; isolate the root word and suffixes and prefixes. Antonyms - Strategies Place the word in Context If you have seen a word before, but are not entirely sure of its meaning, try to place the word into context.