Since she believed him to be both candid and trustworthy, she

Since she believed him to be both candid and trustworthy, she refused to consider the possibility that his statement had been        .

  1. irrelevant
  2. facetious
  3. mistaken
  4. critical
  5. insincere

So, you were trying to be a good test taker and practice for the GRE with PowerPrep online. Buuuut then you had some questions about the verbal section—specifically question 2 of the first Verbal section on Practice Test 1. Those Text completion questions can be kind of tricky, even if they’re only one blank questions—but never fear, PrepScholar has got your back!

Taking a look at our sentence, we want to search for any clues that might relate our blank to our keywords. Here, we might notice that the first part of our sentence is a dependent clause that begins with “since,” which means that the first half our sentence (before the comma) will be a reason for the second half of the sentence (which contains our blank). Therefore, we need to look in the first part of our sentence for our clue.

The first part of our sentence tells us that “she,” whoever she is, believes that “he” is “candid,” or straightforward, and “trustworthy,” or honest. Our blank, however, should describe something that “she” refuses to believe about his statement. We can infer that if she thinks he’s frank and honest, she wouldn’t believe his statement was anything BUT frank and honest. In other words, she might refuse to believe that it is dishonest.

Now that we have an idea of what our blank should say, we can start looking at our answers. It’s important that we try to form our own idea of what would fit in the blank before looking at our answers. This way we won’t get caught up trying to test out answers to see if they work. Instead we can match an answer.

  1. Irrelevant

Something that’s “irrelevant” is unimportant or impertinent. This does not match our prediction “dishonest,” and there’s no real reason why a frank and honest person couldn’t say something irrelevant. We can eliminate A.

  1. Facetious

Something “facetious” is flippant or deliberately humorous in an inappropriate or sarcastic way. This doesn’t really seem to match our prediction, but it also doesn’t necessarily seem like something that would describe the statement of someone “frank and honest.” We shouldn’t get rid of B, but we should definitely keep looking to see if there’s an answer that matches better.

  1. Mistaken

We should be careful: while something “mistaken” may not be true, it’s not a deliberate lie. In other words, someone who is usefully straightforward and truthful could still be mistaken. This answer also doesn’t match our prediction, so C is looking pretty unlikely.

  1. Critical

“Critical” can have a couple of different meanings. It can describe something of extreme importance or something that expresses disapproval or judgement. Neither of these definitions matches our prediction, and there’s no reason why a frank and honest person couldn’t be critical. In fact, we might expect them to be critical of something they disapprove of. We can eliminate D.

  1. Insincere

Aha! This answer is somewhat similar to our prediction. Something “insincere” is inauthentic or NOT frank and truthful. If “she” thinks “he” is “candid and trustworthy,” we can definitely expect that she would refuse to believe his statement was the opposite, or “insincere.” E is a better answer than B.

As a final check, let’s plug this answer into our sentence.

“Since she believed him to be both candid and trustworthy, she refused to consider the possibility that his statement had been insincere.”

Yes, this sentence makes sense: if “she” thinks he is frank and honest—one could even say sincere—then it would make sense for her to refuse to believe his comments were the opposite. E is the best answer.


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