April 13, 2024
GRE Practice Question for December 8th

Known today for its radical spirit, San Francisco became ______ of counterculture in the 1950s.

(A) a carapace

(B) an assailant

(C) an epicenter

(D) a repast

(E) an antagonist

Read the sentence, looking for clues

Since San Francisco is known for its “radical spirit,” and since “counterculture” fits in with “radical spirit,” the fact that San Francisco “became” something related to counterculture means the missing word should connect with “counterculture” in a straight-ahead manner. Had the sentence said that San Francisco was something of counterculture in the 1950s, it could have been seen as setting up a contrast between San Francisco of the 1950s and of today.

Predict an answer

A good prediction based on the clues would be something like “a source,” or “a supporter.”

Select the choice that most closely matches your prediction

(C) an epicenter, or center, matches the prediction well and is the correct answer.

(A) a carapace, or “protective or disguising shell,” doesn’t make sense here, even in its figurative sense. (B) an assailant, or “attacker,” is the opposite of what the clues discussed above suggest. (D) a repast, or “a meal,” doesn’t make sense here. This choice is here to trap students who think repast has something to do with the past and then try to connect that to the 1950s. (E) an antagonist, or “opponent,” has the opposite charge of what is needed here.

Check your answer

Known today for its radical spirit, San Francisco became an epicenter of counterculture in the 1950s.

TAKEAWAY: The charge of a word can lead to a quick elimination.

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