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#24 in Verbal book, Lesson 2

Hello Powerscore!

I was looking at Powerscore Lesson 2 in the verbal book. I was wondering if I could get an explanation for number 24.  Thanks!


  • Jonathan EvansJonathan Evans PowerScore Staff Joined: 10/31/2016
    Hi, Nick, 

    Welcome to the forum! This problem is a good example of when many students hit a "vocab wall" on Verbal. In other words, at a certain difficulty level, the GRE can ramp up the challenging vocab to an extent at which it becomes difficult to reason your way through any text completion or sentence equivalence problem. Be that as it may, let's work our way through this problem.

    First, you need to identify the context clues necessary to determine the meaning of the blank. What do we know here?

    1. What does the blank describe? The "featured collection." 
    2. What else do we know about this "featured collection"? It's at an exhibition.
    3. So we need to know something about this "exhibition." We know it has an "ambitious and rather poetic title."
    4. Now does the blank agree or disagree with this description? We notice the word "belies" linking the first part of the sentence to the second.
    "Belies" means "contradict," so in this case we have a U-Turn indicator, i.e. the blank has a meaning opposite or opposed to "ambitious and poetic." What could our prediction be? I like to keep things simple, so sometimes I go with something as basic as "not poetic/not ambitious," but anything short and precise will do. Other possibilities could be "basic, ordinary, mundane, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian (in the adjective sense)" etc. 

    Now let's just go with "ordinary" for simplicity sake. Compare "ordinary" to the answer choices:

    1. prosaic — this is a good match for "ordinary"
    2. quixotic — no match
    3. audacious — here's one that's close to the opposite of "ordinary"
    4. mundane — another good match for "ordinary"
    5. idyllic — no match
    6. daring — again, close to the opposite of "ordinary," but an attractive wrong answer because it's nearly synonymous with "audacious"

    A and D are the answers. I hope this helps. Please follow up with further questions!
  • That helps. I misunderstood the meaning of the word "belies". It means the opposite. For some reason I thought it meant supports, for which I saw ambitious. I mentally selected audacious and daring. Those two words mean the same thing, and because I misunderstood the sentence, I went with the opposite meaning. Thank-you, very much!

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