Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 2nd Ed. Part 9; Section 3; #6


Putting a cash value on the ecological services

Putting a cash value on the ecological services provided by nature—such as the water filtration “service” provided by a forested watershed—has, historically, been a (i) process. Early attempts at such valuation resulted in impressive but (ii) figures that were seized on by environmental advocates and then, when these figures were later (iii), they were used by opponents to tar the whole idea Blank (i): dispassionate, problematic, straightforward Blank (ii): redundant, unsound, understated Blank (iii): ignored, discredited, confirmed

2 Explanations


Jacob Elder

How did you explain eliminating (F) understated? In the video, it's explained that you need a negative word, and that you can narrow it down to D and E. But I thought (F) "understated" was pretty sufficiently negative to fill in there. What's the rationale there?

Jan 28, 2016 • Comment


Hi Jacob,

There are a few reasons to rule out "understated."

First, we're told that these figures were "impressive," or high. Well, if they're impressive, then it wouldn't make sense for them to be understated. This would be paradoxical.

Secondly, we know that the figures were later discredited. This means that these figures, which environmental activists had been using to argue for the value of land, had been proven incorrect. We can safely infer that the estimates of the value of the land had been *too high.* This is why opponents could then use the fact that the figures were discredited to smear the environmental movement.

If the initial figures were too high, then they could not have been understated -- in fact, the initial figures were overstated.

In any case, we know that the figures were "unsound," or incorrect, because they were later discredited. That's the only connection we need to make to see that "unsound" is the best choice.

Feb 3, 2016 • Reply


Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Dec 2, 2012 • Comment

Berkhan Eminsoy

why not "ignored" for the 3rd blank?

Jan 10, 2016 • Reply


Hi there!

We know that opponents later used these figures to discredit this idea. If the figures were later ignored, then they wouldn't be very effective as a tool to discredit anything, since no one would have been paying attention to these figures. That's why "ignored" isn't a good fit.

If the figures were proven to be inaccurate, then they would serve as a great tool to tar, or attack, an idea, so "discredited" fits very well.

Jan 11, 2016 • Reply

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